Fandango, TNA, Batista, ESPN's Bomani Jones & More from the Kings of Sport
Episode 5 of The Kings of Sport featured the first edition of the Ringside Rap (at 51:40 of podcast), where the hosts discussed a myriad of pro wrestling topics.
Batista's rumored return, TNA's always-cloudy future and the budding Fandango craze were all discussed at length.
ESPN personality Bomani Jones also joined the hosts and provided his unique take in an in-depth interview on some of the most talked about news in sport.
Podcast after the jump.
1. The WWE Fandango Craze 2013: How Long Will It Last?
Fandango's dance craze is sweeping the world. The upstart wrestler was unexpectedly launched into superstardom by a raucous New Jersey crowd, and WWE has run with it. (Big Nasty article sighting at 00:55 of the YouTube video.)
As much credit as hardcore wrestling fans get for making Fandango, the WWE should ultimately be credited with preserving his celebrity should he continue to surge.
The WWE has immediately capitalized on the Fandango craze, featuring YouTube videos of fans, cheerleaders and even PETA doing the Fandango.
Fandango predictably came down this past week on Raw from Greenville, but he is expected to make a nice bounce back when the WWE travels to the United Kingdom, where his star shines at its brightest.
The Undertaker is the only outlandish WWE gimmick to achieve long-term main event status. Goldust came close. Can Fandango possibly be the next?
2. Batista's Rumored Return to the WWE: Will It Work?
Last week, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Batista was nearing his pro wrestling frame of 290 pounds and posturing for a WWE return. The last time the WWE heard from Batista, he was doing arguably the best work of his career as a disillusioned heel.
Pro wrestling fans love nostalgia and would welcome him with open arms. And while Batista won't completely fill the gap left by The Rock, he will bring with him a measure of mainstream appeal after having been cast in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy.
Batista's impending return could possibly be a sign of friction behind the scenes between the WWE and The Rock. The Rock's injury, and abrupt departure from the WWE with no initial notice, could mean that his in-ring days are over. His future in Hollywood may not be worth the injury risk in a WWE ring.
If The Rock is gone for good, Batista would be a necessary part-time signing to help recoup lost mainstream interest.
3. Big Show in Hot Water After Allegedly Assaulting Former WWE Producer
The Big Show made headlines for a lawsuit that has surfaced against him and the WWE. Filed by former producer Andrew Green, the lawsuit stems from an incident where The Big Show roughed up Green while shooting an interview backstage.
What was thought to be in-character aggression was later reportedly revealed by The Big Show to have been real. The lawsuit followed.
Standing at 7'0" and over 500 pounds, The Big Show will always run the risk not knowing his own strength. But if even half of Green's claims are true, the WWE can expect to reach underneath its couch and settle out of court.
4. TNA Impact on the Road: Good Show, Bad Rating
TNA Impact continued taking its show on the road and did not disappoint—at least from a live crowd perspective.
Last week's main event, featured from Corpus Christi, Texas, featured a strong hardcore match between Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray. The Full Metal Mayhem match in Texas was reminiscent of another Texas classic at WrestleMania X-Seven known simply as TLC II.
Despite a good main event, Impact would go on to draw a year-low .93 rating.
TNA continues to tread water with a formula of featuring WWE stars of the past. They'll only go so far without creating their own brand identity.
5. What Is TNA's Future in Professional Wrestling?
TNA's brief history has been one of two steps forward, two steps back. Among many organizational struggles, TNA's chief problem lies in their inability to differentiate themselves from the WWE.
Former ECW and WWE wrestler Bully Ray is TNA's current world champion. He beat Jeff Hardy—also formerly of the WWE—for the championship, rendering TNA as WWE lite.
TNA's social media reach has also been suspect. The company clearly needs a social media guru to help drive an endless social media audience toward their product.
God forbid TNA ever get bought out by the WWE—a promotion that has proven to thrive in the face of competition.
Expect otherwise talented southern workers like AJ Styles and James Storm to don overalls and a straw hat if they ever had to work for the Fed.