Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on The Rock, Raw 20 and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Michael Cahill, Brandon Galvin, Mike Chiari and Donald Wood give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world. WWE legend The Honky Tonk Man also joined the show and gave us his inside perspective on the business.
With another unpredictable episode of Ring Rust Radio in the books, you can't afford to miss another second of the action. Catch us LIVE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
(Some language NSFW)
Jan. 22 - Downstait (Band that performs Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Alex Riley's WWE theme songs)
WWE's 20th Anniversary Raw Not What Most Expected
With the 20th anniversary episode of Raw being held in Houston, fans were anticipating an epic night full of appearances from legends such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. None of that happened and there seemed to be a palpable feeling the next day amongst WWE fans that the show didn't live up to expectations.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was Raw 20 a Failure?
Perhaps the biggest reason why fans were expecting such a huge lineup was the fact that numerous dirt sheets and wrestling news sites were reporting that Austin, HBK and Taker would almost certainly be present. Austin and Michaels had prior commitments with SHOT Show in Las Vegas, however, so they were never actually candidates to appear.
Also, the WWE didn't even advertise or suggest that any of those stars would be there. The 20th anniversary Raw was hyped a bit more than normal Raws, but it was nowhere near what we saw with the 1,000th episode of Raw, More than anything, fans got their hopes up to a ridiculous and unattainable level, and that unfortunately caused many to come away from the show with a bad taste in their mouths.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
I certainly understand the disappointment because there were plenty of misleading reports out there on the Internet, but I was satisfied with Raw and feel like it was a quality show. Comparing it to any other episode of Raw, it was actually quite excellent as there was plenty of action throughout.
The Rock concert and the ensuing brawl between The Rock and CM Punk was a great way to close the show. We also got to see a great steel cage match between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. Legends like Mick Foley and Ric Flair appeared. There was definitely a lot to like.
The big problem is that people are rating the show based on what we didn't see. Since there weren't actually any plans for Austin, Michaels or Taker to be involved, that isn't fair. We can only rate it based on what we did see, and what we saw was a strong Raw that did a great job of building toward the Royal Rumble.
I would have liked to have seen more legends like anyone else, but I'm not about to allow that to cloud my judgment.
Rumor Mill: The Rock Could Win at Elimination Chamber; Not Royal Rumble (via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Interview with The Honky Tonk Man
Ring Rust Radio has been fortunate to host tons of great guests over the course of its run, but few, if any, have been able to measure up to The Honky Tonk Man. The greatest and longest-reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion of all time joined the RRR panel this week and it was as if he hadn't even missed a beat when compared to his heyday in the 1980's and early 1990's.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is the WWE Hall of Fame In His Future?
The Honky Tonk Man had plenty to talk about and he certainly didn't shy away from any questions. We even got to hear a sampling of his famous singing voice. The interview covered a wide range of topics including his loss to The Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam 1988, his brief and tumultuous run with WCW in 1994, his surprise entry into the 2001 Royal Rumble and the reasoning behind Hulk Hogan being his favorite opponent.
Perhaps the most interesting subject as far as current fans are concerned is his status with the WWE with regards to making the Hall of Fame. The Honky Tonk Man said that he had been contacted previously by Vince McMahon and he was asked to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but he had other commitments and was unable to. He believes that might have angered McMahon and is now unsure of the odds of him ever being asked again.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The Honky Tonk Man said that the WWE doesn't like to hear the word "no," and I certainly believe that to be the case, but I have little doubt that he'll eventually be asked again at some point.
The Hall of Fame admittedly means little in terms of accomplishments and is more about McMahon helping out his favorites, but it would look really bad to neglect the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time. Honky Tonk was a huge part of the WWE in the 1980's and there is no question that he deserves to be honored.
If Vince was willing to bring Eric Bischoff in to the WWE and was willing to continually bring back a guy like The Ultimate Warrior, I highly doubt that he'll snub The Honky Tonk Man. It didn't sound like there was any chance of The Honky Tonk Man being inducted this year based on his uncertainty, but it's probably only a matter of time before it comes to fruition.
TNA Genesis Comes Up Small
It has been quite some time since TNA put on a high-quality pay-per-view and that drought is still very much in progress as Genesis failed to deliver. The main event between Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode was good, albeit predictable, but there wasn't much else of note on the card. It was built very poorly and I can't imagine that those who bought it on pay-per-view were too happy.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is TNA Smart to Cut Down on PPV's?
Although I have to believe that this is something that has been in the works for a while, TNA is apparently planning on cutting down its pay-per-view schedule starting immediately. According to WrestlingNewsSource.com, TNA will have only four regular pay-per-views in 2013.
In place of the events that they are eliminating, TNA will instead have a pay-per-view on the first Friday of every month in which there isn't a major pay-per-view already scheduled.
These Friday pay-per-views will be pre-taped and they will also be discounted in comparison to the regular pay-per-view events. There are obviously some positive aspects to this decision by TNA, but it important thing to consider is whether the company will be any better off under the new system than it was under the old one.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
I have no issue with the idea of cutting down to four major pay-per-views and actually applaud the decision because it will allow TNA to focus more on booking feuds and storylines properly.
With that said, adding the Friday pay-per-views is an absolutely senseless move. I realize that TNA is trying to be innovative and is trying to draw in a niche Friday night audience, but there are so many issues with it that I'm not sure where to begin.
First and foremost, TNA will be going head to head with SmackDown on Friday nights. While SmackDown may not garner great ratings due to the fact that it's pre-taped, the odds are that more people are likely to watch that than pay any amount of money for a pre-taped TNA pay-per-view.
The pre-taped nature of said pay-per-views is odd to say the least. TNA has already taped the first two and the first won't air until April, so it will be three months old by the time it's shown and will have absolutely no storyline continuity. I just don't see how these Friday pay-per-views will be beneficial in any way.
Rumor Mill: TNA Taking New PPV Approach (via ProWrestling.net)