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WWE Needs To Change It’s In Ring Style

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This week’s NXT main event featured yet another potential entry to the list of potential NXT match of the year candidates (and that’s a long list) when Ricochet defended his North American Title against Pete Dunne and Adam Cole. This made me realise something: WWE really needs to change their in ring style.

It’s pretty much gospel amongst WWE fans that NXT is head and shoulders the main roster but I’ve never really taken the time to think why. We could be here all day suggesting reasons why this is but the best I can think of is the the huge gap in match quality.

WWE has been accused of wrestling a softer, safer style than some other promotions. This has caused much irritation in fans especially in recent years with the rise in popularity of the indies that wrestle a more high impact style. The WWE Performance Center is seen as a key factor in this style as everyone is taught to wrestle the same way leaving very little room for variety. On the other side of that argument many of the independent talent competing in NXT train in the performance centre and still put on excellent matches.

Velveteen is a prime example as he is very much a performance center creation and consistently steels the show at Takeovers. While there’s nothing wrong with the PC style you shouldn’t have two people who wrestle this style face off too often. Sometimes it’s good to have a clash of styles as this gives you Dream vs Ricochet rather than Dream vs EC3.

I think it can be attributed to who’s in charge of NXT and the main roster. Triple H runs NXT and seems to allow a sense of freedom for the performers. Meanwhile Vince is still to this day is very hands on with everything on the main roster and finds it hard to give up control. I’m not saying WWE needs to have every match on the main roster featuring 50 superkicks and countless false finishes but there needs to be some middle ground. NXT finds this balance between WWE’s style and the independent style which needs to translate to the main roster.

NXT thrives on a primary focus on the in ring action and telling simple stories through this. They rarely have to use gimmick matches except in special occasions. This is what WWE should have done when they moved to PG focusing less on blood and over the top violence and more on the in ring action and telling better stories.

Next time you blame PG for WWE’s poor product just look at NXT which is as PG as it gets and is going from strength to strength.

Hopefully we see the necessary changes made to WWE’s style in the next year or so with  WWE’s new Billion dollar TV deal for RAW and SmackDown. USA and FOX are going to expect quality content to make up for their massive investment so WWE’s going to need to step up their game.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

Becky, Ronda, or Charlotte: Who Should Win?

Ok, we assume the match. But who wins?

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Ronda Rousey Becky Lynch Charlotte Flair

There’s a historic women’s main event coming to WrestleMania, and it’s time to start considering who comes out on top.

We’re now one week closer to WrestleMania, and while we’re still not officially in the know about who’s going to be in the big match I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we’re going to end up with a triple threat between Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, and Charlotte Flair.  So the real question is: who wins?  Is there a case for anyone other than Becky winning or is it Becky or Bust?  I thought I’d take a look at it now.

Becky Lynch

Why:  It’s the easy, feel good, no brainer call.  There hasn’t been a feel good ending since WrestleMania 30 (32 was supposed to be one, but the whining crybabies in the crowd couldn’t stand to see the Prince of Darkness Roman Reigns win in the main event ruined that one).  Becky winning won’t piss many people off in the building and would make a lot of people happy.  After last year’s frustrating finish and the sad one from a year earlier, just do the simple thing and don’t try to get too clever or outsmart yourself, Vince.

Why Not:  What comes next?  Becky chasing the champion > Becky as champion, we’ve already seen that.  Assuming Ronda takes a break after WrestleMania, then unless Charlotte comes to RAW with her then she’s going to be in the position of having to work as champion against a roster of opponents that either don’t appear to be on her level or could outshine her in a one on one setting, and that could make things difficult after the post-Mania glow starts to fade (I talked about this more here).  Us as fans don’t have to worry about that but when you’re booking things, you do.  Her character is going to hit a crossroads soon after and if they feel that the long term investment with her at the top will not pay off then taking the hit now and moving forward may be what they want to do.

Ronda Rousey

Why:  First up if she is going to take a break right afterwards then there is no why.  She’s gotta drop the tile.  But if she isn’t then you gotta look at the headlines.  The biggest mainstream coverage afterwards would come with her winning.  ‘MMA Champion conquers WWE at WrestleMania’ will get a lot more play then anything about her losing.  To the casual observers, people who don’t watch at all, or people who only pay attention on a surface level she’s the name that draws the attention and there’s more momentum to be gained with them by still having her on top than taking a loss.  For them, once she loses the story is over and it’s time to find something else to do so better to have something to keep their attention.  As well as the women have performed the driving force behind the interest in their side has been Ronda being there and you want to keep that going as long as you can.

Why not:  Your hardcore audience has talked themselves into believing that Ronda losing is a foregone conclusion.  If it doesn’t happen a lot of them are going to be pissed.  That’s pretty much it.  If she’s not taking a break then it’s perfectly logical for her to win and keep the title.

Charlotte Flair

Why not:  I’m flipping things around here on purpose.  Charlotte winning neither pays off the heroes journey story Becky is on or maximizes media coverage like Ronda winning could.  To the people who have fallen hard for Becky, this would literally be the evil prevailing and would feed the narrative of Vince giving Charlotte everything because of her last name (and that is beyond tired by the way).  It would be a crushing blow and might make some of them want to quit entirely.  The only people who would be happy are the Charlotte fans like myself, and there would be a deluge of dirty diaper podcasts going on and on about the old man losing it again.  Wrestling twitter would be ablaze about it, too.  And in a world where a lot of fans take out their anger with a finish not by booing the heel but ranting about Vince, it really may not be worth the headache no matter what you planned.

Why:  She’s the safest bet long term.  Ronda is not going to be around 10 more years and there’s no real certainty to how long Becky’s run can maintain it’s momentum win or lose.  Charlotte may never be as popular with hardcore fans as Becky is now but she is the best performer on the Women’s side and projects greatness in a way that is always going to draw attention and make her matches feel like a big deal.  We know that she can perform at a high and compelling level as champion, which matters. And we’ve seen she can maintain some level of interest even without the full weight of the machine behind her like Becky is getting now.  In two years Ronda may be gone for good and Becky cooled off, but Charlotte will probably be where she is now.  If they think that taking this heel thing up a notch and really riding with it is the way to go then they may want to go with it now instead of waiting a few months to put a title back on her anyway.  Also, the backlash may not be as big as wrestling twitter would have you believe.  If the plan was always for her to win, and they have a map going forward with it after the show then my own fan bias notwithstanding I think they should stick with the plan.

So what’s the Final Verdict?

Man, I don’t know.  On the one hand there is the emotional payoff with Becky and then on the other hand there are what may be the better structural decisions with either long term with Charlotte or short term with Ronda.  My preference as a fan is for Charlotte, my gut says just give the loudest voices what they want with Becky, and what little business acumen I have says go with Ronda assuming she’s not going for a break.  Decisions, decisions…….

Aw screw it.  Ronda’s going on a break, Charlotte’s the best woman on the roster, she’s been having kick ass matches for the past year, she’s put Becky over a million times and has been as much a part of her rise as Becky herself.  It’s about time excellence got properly rewarded and pushed like it should be.  Enough with the damn underdogs, you don’t really like them as much as you think anyway.  Give her the dam victory, she’s earned it.  Suck it, haters.

And next year, we do the same for the Big Dog!!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

Comics & Wrestling: More In Common Than You Thought?

Do comics and wrestling have more in common than we think?

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WWE Wrestling Comics John Cena Super Man

Guest column from Chad Aaron shows the relation between comics and wrestling–even more than you think?

I was in a waiting room not too long ago and happened to be wearing a wrestling t-shirt, featuring The Shield. An older woman asked me if those were comic book characters on my shirt, and not being in the mood for a discussion at the time, I simply told her yes. As I sat and waited. I started thinking about it. Wrestlers are very much like live-action comic book characters. There is a lot of crossover between the respective fanbases. Here are some examples.

NOTE: The following are generalizations. I’m not a comic book reader, so coming at me with “Well, so-and-so does/doesn’t do this thing you said” misses the entire point of this discussion.

Wrestlers Have A Superpower: Their Finisher

Comic book heroes and villains generally have a defined superpower, some multiple ones. Most wrestles have a finishing move, something they do better than anyone else. Top stars may have more than one. Superman can fly and has x-ray vision. The Undertaker is known for the Tombstone & Last Ride, among others.

Most Wrestlers Have An Alter Ego: Them In Real Life

Most wrestlers use a different name than they have in real life. Same thing in the comic book universe(s) And then they will change names as situations and stories evolve. Dick Grayson was Robin, then Nightwing. Steve Austin was Stunning before he was Stone Cold, and his given last name is actually Williams.

Wrestlers, Like Superheroes, Have A Backstory

Most superheroes and villains have a detailed backstory that makes them who they are. Most wrestlers who stay with a company for any significant length of time will have their own collection of stories, this team, that heel/face turn, this title chase, etc…

Superheroes And Wrestlers Both Tend To Form Groups

There are alliances and groups formed for varying reasons. The nWo, DX, Four Horsemen, even The New Day. Comics have X-Men, Avengers, Justice League, Suicide Squad, among many others.

Hero/Villian Alignment Changes

You will see wrestlers turn heel/face, and heroes who become villains. This happens more often in Wrestling but is not unheard of in comic books.

Storylines Involve Real Life Situations

Storylines go beyond fighting crimes and/or fighting in the ring. Both deal with relationships, love, broken trust, enemies-becoming-allies, you name it. Family dynamics make up a significant portion of stories in each universe.

Someone Real Is Putting This On

Comic books will have a variety of writers and artists handling them, each with their own take and spin on the character. Wrestling has a never-ending series of bookers and creative teams and match agents and producers, all of whom have varying ideas what a wrestler will do or say.

Both Have Large Companies And Independents

Comics are dominated by a couple of large companies and a myriad of smaller ones. Wrestling has had a similar dynamic since the mid-80’s. In both realms, the various companies often have similar characters and occasionally, ones with the same names.

Comics And Wrestling Each Have The Most Passionate Fanbase

And the fanbases of each are very, very passionate. When a wrestler does something out of character, the reaction is swift and immediate. When a movie strays from the comic cannon, the reaction is equally heated.

Of course, there have been a few examples of crossover between the two. Stephen Amell, the actor behind the Green Arrow, has wrestled a number of matches with several companies, including a WWE Pay-per-view. Rey Mysterio Jr. and Finn Balor (as Prince Devitt) have been known to incorporate superhero designs into their wrestling attire.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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