Why Reports Of NJPW Signings Will Help WWE

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Reports of the signings of New Japan Pro Wrestling stars AJ Styles, Shinesuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson really did shock the wrestling world. Despite the WWE’s best attempts at keeping the signings a secret, the news was eventually broken. Plans were reportedly in place for the likes of AJ Styles to actually compete in the 2016 Royal Rumble match. However, I fear that those plans may now be changed, considering that the cat is now out of the bag. WWE may want to go out of their way to shock us but I say continue with Plan A.

WWE’s been very short on long-term planning in the last few years, with the likes of the Undertaker’s streak ending being decided four hours before the event. In some cases I totally disagree with it, but in some cases it’s not always a bad thing. With the likes of Seth Rollins and John Cena suffering long term injuries, you can’t really afford to make long term plans if things go wrong.

Changing plans because of injuries is fine, as these things are just something you can’t prepare for. Changing plans because storylines were leaked however aren’t the appropriate measures to take. It’s certainly not appropriate to go out of your way to swerve the audience, when you’ve got something great in place for them already. Whether the news of AJ Styles came out or not, him entering the Royal Rumble would have gotten an incredible pop. If anything, I would argue that it would actually help the pop for AJ if the news had gotten out.

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I want to just state before I go on that wrestling fans are not idiots. A lot of them have the internet and a lot of them are well aware about other wrestling promotions. It’s possible that AJ would get a strong reaction if he showed up unannounced but I’m highly doubtful that it would get an extremely big reaction without the news. The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s biggest events. There could be a lot of casual viewers tuning into the Royal Rumble and I’m sure I’m right when I say that these viewers would have no idea who AJ Styles is.

Without that leak, there was always going to be a portion of the crowd that is sat there silently thinking “Who is AJ Styles?” If AJ wasn’t announced beforehand, those fans wouldn’t have had a clue. With the news though, it actually aids WWE in their bid to build anticipation for the likes of Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson. Those casual fans now have the time to do a bit of digging about who these people are. That builds anticipation a lot more than if WWE would have tried to make this a surprise.

 

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I also mean no disrespect when I say that AJ Styles is no Sting. When Sting signed for WWE, the WWE already had the WCW content on the WWE Network and other means for their younger WWE fans to find out just who he is. It’s not like WWE can just grab some TNA footage of AJ and shot it on the network. WWE have hardly ever hinted or mentioned TNA in any form of media, and it’s not like they’re willing to go out of their way to discuss wrestlers that aren’t even with the company.

That’s not on WWE as that’s not their job. Their job is to promote the talent that they’ve got. To say that they’ve completely neglected other wrestling companies would be an out-right lie. They’ve worked with other wrestling promotions in the past and have mentioned independent wrestlers like AJ and Samoa Joe in articles about Ring of Honor before they signed. The point is, you can’t expect casual and young wrestling fans to automatically figure out who these men are before they enter the WWE ring for the first time. That’s what vignettes are for. That’s what WWE.com is for. That’s what WWE games are for. Sting was announced for WWE 2K15 a few months before he debuted on WWE television.

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Wrestling fans must be aware that WWE are trying to appeal to the majority of THEIR fan base. In order to make these fans aware about who these men are, the leaks have played to their advantage. They can know take control of the narrative and build anticipation for the eventual arrival of these men. What have they been having Finn Balor and John Cena do on Twitter and Instagram? They posted a number of Bullet Club/AJ Styles related messages which get people excited. Finn had an interview with WWE.com, talking about the rumours. The hardcore wrestling fans, that know who the Bullet Club is, will go nuts. The casual wrestling fans, that don’t know who they are, can find out and get excited. It works so well for WWE.

If they were to change their plans just because word got out about their arrival, that would be detrimental. Some times, it works for the best if we know ahead of time that something’s going to happen. If WWE keep building up and building up these signings only for nothing to happen at the Royal Rumble, the fans that have gotten so excited are going to feel let down.

It was like at Extreme Rules 2012, when Kharma was supposed to come back and win the Divas title. Word got out and they decided against it. They went with the returning Layla to come back and win the title, and the crowd just didn’t care in the slightest. Remember when Matt Hardy turned on Jeff Hardy in 2009 and revealed himself as the mastermind behind his attacks from the last few months? Originally, the plan was for the returning Christian to reveal himself as the mastermind. When word got out what WWE were planning to do, WWE changed their minds.

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WWE going out of their way to shock us sometimes isn’t the best way to go, especially if you don’t have a good enough back-up plan. I enjoy unpredictability as much as the next guy but I’d prefer the best storyline WWE can give me. If they’ve got a plan for AJ, Shinsuke, Doc and Karl, I would much rather they stick with it. I want a storyline that truly is too sweet.

TNA Slammiversary 2013 Review – Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell Steal The Show In The Best PPV Of The Year

GAIL KIM AND TARYN TERRELL: What happens when you put Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockouts Standing match? You get insanity!

GAIL KIM AND TARYN TERRELL: What happens when you put Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockouts Standing match? You get insanity!

Evening wrestling fans, I’m The “King Of The Mountain” Tom Robinson here with a quick recap/review of Slammiversary last Sunday before Impact airs tonight.

I got to admit, it was a hell of a PPV. If all TNA PPVs delivered are going to be this good than this new four-PPV-per-year strategy may be a stroke of genius.

The show kicked off with the high-flying X-Division Championship Ultimate X match with Kenny King defending against Suicide and Chris Sabin. As usual, a quality Ultimate X Match with all 3 guys given plenty of time to showcase their skills. 15 minutes of high-impact, wham and bang stuff from the X-Division with Chris Sabin getting the Win. Hulk Hogan came out and re-assured Sabin that he’d get a chance to cash-in the X-Division title for a World title shot in the summer. It’s good to hear that the Destination-X Stipulation is still in tact despite Destination X not being around again. I think with that stipulation plus with the returning X-Division guys like Sabin, Suicide and Petey Williams, the X-Division is certainty on the right tracks and it can be a force to be reckoned with again.

We then got a segment with Hulk Hogan being confronted by Mr Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff of the Aces And Eights which led to their match against Samoa Joe, Magnus and the returning Jeff Hardy. I loved Hogan’s segment with Aces And Eights, and him calling Garrett and his father Eric a bitch. Definitely giving the middle finger to any parental TV ratings that get in their way. XD Anyway, Team TNA won in an OK 6-Man Tag. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from it anyway but at least this got Jeff back in the ball game and into the fight with Aces And Eights. I just hope TNA don’t have Jeff dominate them like Kurt Angle did for a period after they got full access at Bound For Glory.

Incredibly short and not that special match between Jay Bradley and Sam Shaw followed which saw Bradley pick up the victory with his BOOMSTICK clothesline, which provoked me to shout at the top of my lungs….

Anyway, this victory meant tha#t Jay Bradley is now in the Bound For Glory series. It’ll be nice to see Bradley having more TV time with his Bound For Glory participation.

Up next was supposed to be Devon defending the TV Title against Joseph Park. However after Joseph was taken out by Aces And Eights backstage beforehand, Devon was awarded the victory. However, Devon was then given a 2nd opponent for the night…. THE MONSTER ABYSS! And typically enough, Abyss won the title without breaking a sweat! What a badass! I really hope this is the end for the Joseph Park thing. Just let Abyss come back full-time and defend his title like he should. Anyway, great that Abyss is the TV champion. Not a great night for Aces And Eights so far…

And in a pretty good 16 MINUTE fatal four way elimination tag team match we crowned NEW TNA Tag Team Champions! Yes, Chavo and Hernandez were eliminated shortly after Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were eliminated for getting DQ’d. Then it came down to the team of Austin Aires and Bobby Roode and team of Gunner and “The Cowboy” James Storm. In a really back and forth finish to the match, Gunner made Aires tap to the torture rack to win the titles for him and Storm. I loved the ending to this match. It kept you in suspense thinking which team would win, and it was a great exchange between all 4 teams to be honest. A great elimination 4 way tag match. Honestly shocked by the result of this. I figured this team was just booked in the match just to make the numbers. However, it appears that these two are getting a run at the tag titles, and it’ll be interesting to see how they are utilized. At least it gets James Storm doing something. XD

Now we get on to the match of the night… Taryn Terrell vs Gail Kim in a Last Knockout Standing match. If you haven’t watched the match yet, here’s a YouTube link (Sorry that it’s flipped horizontally. I’m assuming this guy uploaded it this way to prevent it being taken down for copyright)….

UNBELIEVABLE! 10 minutes of f’ing insanity! When was the last time you saw women wrestlers do these sorts of things and take them sorts of bumps? It was so… brutal! Chairs were involved! Gail Kim ran head first into a chair which got me marking out. The fans were so into this match. HOLY SHIT chants and THIS IS AWESOME chants just erupted in Boston. This crowd was amazing through-out the night! But they loved this match. Taryn’s little diamond cutter of the stage onto the floor was insane. I bet you about 75% of internet wrestling fans that was giving Taryn beef over her wrestling have changed their mind over her now. That was a gutsy performance from both of them. TMZ uploaded some of the photos of Taryn’s bruises after the match. Click here for the link. If one of your women’s matches gets covered by TMZ, you know you’re doing something right. That’s probably the greatest women’s match I’ve ever seen. And I’m not overselling it either. Crowd were great, the women were great. It was just incredible what I was watching thinking “OH MY GOD!” Insane!

AJ Styles FINALLY got a new theme song as he made his down the ring to face Kurt Angle (who got inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame. Good inductee, but a little bit early for him. I was hoping it’d be Jeff Jarrett). It was a really badass theme song too. I’ll post it down below. These two put on a good match. I’m not sure I agree with the decision to give Angle the victory. I think AJ needed to win if he was being built up to defeat Bully Ray and save TNA. A loss like this is not going to do AJ any good. Ended a little abruptly too, but it was still good. There was one really good sequence where Angle tried a top rope German Suplex on AJ, which saw AJ flipped and he ended up landing on his feet which I thought was incredible. It was a good match, but AJ should have won.

And finally, the TNA World Title match. Sting vs Bully Ray for the TNA World Title. It was a brutal no holds barred match. There was freaking piledrivers for gods sake. One of the most dangerous moves in wrestling which even Bully said wrestlers weren’t supposed to do. As you’d expect Aces And Eights got involved. And as you’d expect, they helped Bully win. Mr Anderson gave Bully the hammer, who smashed Sting in the head with it to retain the title. That means Sting is now out of the TNA World title picture… FOREVER! Muahahahahaha! Unless they pull out some bogus ruling that overturns the decision or something like that. And if they do that, TNA are a bunch of knobheads. XD Still a great match, to end a phenomenal PPV.

No doubt my favourite PPV of the year. There’s was a lot of action and some insane matches at Slammiversary. Really looking forward to what happens next in TNA. It’s a great way to begin the Road to Bound For Glory for TNA.

Oh and before I leave…. here’s AJ Styles’ new theme song. Pretty badass don’t you think?