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Carol: Can You Blame WWE Stars For Being Unhappy?

We’ve seen a few releases, multiple requests and even more stories of disgruntled attitudes. Can you blame them for feeling that way?

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The Revival WWE

We’ve seen a few releases, multiple requests and even more stories of disgruntled attitudes. Can you blame them for feeling that way?

WWE television may be boring these days, but the backstage drama is just getting started. Each week it seems there’s a report about a superstar who is unhappy and wants to leave the company.

The biggest name to leave WWE this year is Dean Ambrose. When news broke that Ambrose wasn’t going to renew his contract, fans tried to decipher if it was real or a work. Given how he posted a video announcing his return as Jon Moxley, it was obvious that it was real and Ambrose or Moxley is indeed done with WWE.

The reason for Ambrose’s departure had to do with the creative direction of his character. That has become a big issue for other WWE stars, and many of them could be following Ambrose’s footsteps.

Sasha Banks is another big name that WWE could lose this year. For years Banks has been frustrated with her booking, and her emotions finally boiled over after losing the women’s tag titles. Banks hasn’t been on WWE television since WrestleMania and reports say that despite WWE’s attempts, Sasha has no interest in returning.

Aside from Sasha and Dean, Luke Harper is a star who has requested his release due to lack of booking. Plus, there’s also The Revival who want out of their contract.

So far there’s been a lot of fan support for these wrestlers, however there are critics who call these stars selfish and say that they should be grateful they’re working for a company like WWE. For those critics, I’ve got one thing to say, “It’s not about the money.”

Dean Ambrose has stated numerous times that he became a wrestler because it’s what he loves to do, he doesn’t care about the money. While these wrestlers are making big bucks from WWE, the money doesn’t mean anything if they’re not being booked properly.

Put yourself in their place. How would you feel if you showed up to work every week with nothing to do? If you are booked to be on television, you’re made to job to another star or do an embarrassing act like rub your butt against the ring mat?

Odds are you wouldn’t like it either. So you can understand how these wrestlers feel.

Banks, Harper, and The Revival could do so much more with their characters, but WWE fails to see the potential in them. If WWE doesn’t have anything planned for them, what’s the use in them staying just to hang out in catering and be miserable?

Yet, WWE isn’t willing to let these wrestlers to go due to the vast amount of competition popping up (AEW). To show how scared they are of losing their stars, Vince extended their contracts to include time off for injuries. So it’ll be a while before Sasha, Luke, and The Revival will be showing up on the indie circuit.

In the meantime, they’ll either have to sit out at home waiting out their contract or show up to work and risk being humiliated on television.

Instead of using this as punishment, Vince should examine what he’s doing wrong and try to fix the situation with his unhappy superstars. If not, then I guarantee there will be a lot more wrestlers planning their exit from WWE.


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Opinion

Rob: Has Pro Wrestling Become Too Soft?

The Undertaker took the online wrestling community by storm with his comments on the current product, and Rob offers some perspective!

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The Undertaker WWE WrestleMania Boneyard Match

The Undertaker took the online wrestling community by storm with his comments on the current product, and Rob offers some perspective!

So……the Undertaker had some things to say about how the kids today just aren’t doing it the way they did back in his day, and that it’s hurting the product.  In short he said it was harder to watch now because it was soft, and the guys weren’t real enough men – they spend too much time trying to look good and do things like play video games instead of packing heat.  Uhh………yeah………ok, Mr Callaway.

Now look, we can talk about the ring work – I for one think that there are way too many matches that look more like a gymnastics floor routine than what’s supposed to be a fight, from the indies all the way up to the WWE.  If he wants to stick to that than I think he’s worth listening to.  But that’s not what he focused on.  No, he spoke about how guys used to carry guns and knives in their bags, and that guys ‘handled stuff’ back in the day, and weren’t so occupied with grooming or playing video games with each other.  And that the changed behavior over the last few years has made the overall wrestling product harder to enjoy.  Help me out here but I don’t see how playing video games with each other and paying more attention to how you look, smell, etc makes for a worse wrestling product.  The ring action, sure.  The promos, which I didn’t see mentioned in the quotes I saw, sure.  Whether or not you do your hair…..really?  Does he not remember the many male wrestlers of days gone by who were sold to women fans as good looking men they’d want to go home with?  The Von Erich boys, the Rock on Roll Express, Ravishing Rick Rude, the Fantastics, Magnum TA?  Does he not remember commentary damn near yelling out loud ‘HEY LADIES, AREN”T THESE DUDES HOT?’ when those guys and many others were in the ring?  Does he not remember guys like ‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin, who was a proverbial man’s man but also had his valet (his real life wife Precious) spraying his hair while he was cutting promos?

But I got another question:

What kind of locker room does he think should exist? 

One where guys are dropping dead before the age of 50 or are concussed into oblivion?  Or one where they can work longer and not look pathetic if they so chose, or move on early if they want?

One where guys like Darren Young and Jake Atlas have to stay in the closet or where they can be out and accepted, where a guy like Randy Orton with his own checkered history will come up to them and say ‘if anyone gives you any crap, let me know?’

One where guys mostly keep each other out of trouble by doing things like……playing video games together or one where they’re out closing down the bar every night, getting into it with the police, etc.?

One where the men engage in all kinds of trifling behavior towards the women on the roster or one where they get along well enough for there to be genuine friendships where people look out for each other and even form some lasting romantic relationships?

And lastly in regards to guys carrying knives and guns instead of video games, do you want a locker room where guys work things out in a more civilized manner or one like where Bruiser Brody was stabbed to death?

Now he’s not the only one who says this kind of stuff.  A lot of guys from his generation have offered similar sentiments and there are a lot of podcasters who pine for the days when things felt more real and what not.  Well if we’re gonna keep it 100 a lot of those gave off more gravitas and sounded more real because they were legit living hard, messed up lives.  Drug problems.  Alcoholism.  Multiple marriages and divorces.  Bad relationships with their children.  Broken homes and childhoods that they were still traumatized over.  Failed careers in other professions.  I don’t know about you but I think it’s a plus that more of the guys seem to be living and working in such a way that they’re able to avoid those things.  I’ll take hearing Kofi and Xavier talk about their kids on the New Day Pod than a bunch of stories about how they were out boozing and cheating on their spouses in between shows.  The latter can be romanticized by guys who tell good stories and all, but the reality is a lot more grim (for good reference take a look at the ESPN documentary on Ric Flair).

And this goes beyond pro wrestling.  A lot of those old guys in our lives who say the same kind of things have suffered the same fates as their counterparts in the wrestling business.  It’s not healthy, full stop.  Just because you can’t relate with the guys who aren’t living and playing like you did 10, 20 years ago doesn’t mean that they’re doing it wrong.  As for the guys being ‘too pretty’ now…..it’s a lot easier to get opportunities to do things outside of wrestling if you look good, are well groomed, etc.  Acting gigs, TV gigs, magazine covers….you think Xavier Woods would have gotten a hosting job on the relaunched G4 network if he looked and groomed himself like Abdullah the Butcher?  Do you honestly think New Day would be more popular if they looked and acted more like what you consider to be real men?  I don’t see it.  And in an entertainment industry where women have to look damn near perfect just to get an interview I don’t think that men choosing to look as good as they possibly can is a negative.  And let’s not pretend that any of New Day can’t put their ring work alongside any guys from any era.  The video games, the gear colors and everything else don’t mean a damn thing as far as their abilities go.

Look man, time stops for no one.  Things change, and in this case I think they’ve changed for the better.  That he can’t see a trail several miles long of broken families, broken bodies, and premature death behind the ‘right way’ that he speaks of is kinda sad.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: Anatomy of a Wrestling Match

Bradley Jay digs into the HISTORY MAKING night of WWE NXT. HISTORY! (And Timothy Thatcher is the only person to ever win in Fight Pit.)

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WWE NXT Fight Pit

Bradley Jay digs into the HISTORY MAKING night of WWE NXT. HISTORY! (And Timothy Thatcher is the only person to ever win in Fight Pit.)

Other than in-ring action, there are a lot of factors that can make or break a match.

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6. I’m running a new feature for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: the History-O-Meter! How many times can lazy announcers reference making history in one show? This week, TWELVE!!! Every ten minutes that gaggle of human of microphone stands reminded us we are witnessing HISTORY MAKERS MAKING HISTORY EXCLAMATION POINT!!!

7 Ups And 1 Down For WWE NXT (Jan 20) – Page 3

5. I have dubbed this year’s DRTTC “3.5 Live.” Most of the matches have been solid, nothing great. The best so far? The Way versus KUSHIDA and Leon Ruff. KUSHIDA gets an extra ½ star by himself. He hits an armbar suplex into a bridge for the 1-2-3. I’ve never seen that. It’s too much fun watching him figure out how to twist his opponent into a pretzel. 

Pete Dunne looks to take the torch from Finn Bálor: WWE NXT, Jan. 20, 2021 - YouTube

4. Pete Dunne cut a scorching promo this week. Clearly the Bruiserweight didn’t spend all his time away getting shredded beyond belief. Finn Balor isn’t going to pass the torch so much as Dunne will break his fingers and rip it out of his hand. Speaking of Balor…

3. The Prince needs a tag team partner to face the Brit-Am Brawlers. Of course he calls in a favor from Kyle O’Reilly. Everybody’s favorite Canadian accepts but clearly isn’t excited about it. Are they letting bygones be bygones? Oh Hell no. I’ve never been so happy to see two guys not shake hands. Gonna be some tense teammates Wednesday night. The little details take it from good to great. Balor and O’Reilly are two of the best. 

WWE NXT Results: Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa [Fight Pit Match] - The Overtimer

2. First and foremost, wrestling is about the story being told in the ring. However, it takes more than that to create a great match. One of those elements is production. We’re having a nice Fight Pit match. Tommaso Ciampa is whomping Timothy Thatcher on the platform above the ring. Then we go to a commercial. When we get back, the two men are in the ring?!?! No explanation. No split screen with “Here’s what happened during the break.” The production crew could not have screwed that up any worse. It was like reading a 10-chapter book that’s missing chapters 3-6. Awful.

WWE News: Timothy Thatcher Beats Tommaso Ciampa in Fight Pit, Beth Phoenix Returns to Announce Table | 411MANIA

1. Announcing is another element that can make or break a match. I can almost forgive Wade Barrett for screaming like he’s watching his mom die in a house fire. Here’s what I won’t forgive. Did you know there’s only been one other Fight Pit in history? And Timothy Thatcher is undefeated in the Fight Pit?? Did I mention that this was only the second Fight Pit in history? The second one! In history! And Thatcher is undefeated in the Fight Pit? Because this is only the second one in history! AND THATCHER WON THE FIRST AND ONLY OTHER FIGHT PIT!!!  I spent half the match wishing Ciampa and Thatcher would join forces to kick the crap out of the announce team. Better announcing and better production could have made this the match it deserved to be.


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