Wrestling Buzz: My Critical Thoughts on WWE's Nexus/Cena and TNA's They/Hardy
Hello, Buzzers, Buzz is back.
Recently, all the wrestling buzz seems to be about WWE's Nexus/Cena story line and TNA's Jeff Hardy turning heel and being part of "them" who were revealed last Sunday at Bound for Glory and who are now officially called "Immortals."
Honestly speaking, I can't rank the fans' reaction towards those stories because they seemed mixed, but I'll say that the slight majority seems to be positive about them.
For me, I have my own mixed feelings and thoughts regarding both angles. But the real reason for writing this article was to analyze how they were received by fans.
So without further introduction, I'll give my two cents on each story line.
WWE: John Cena and Nexus
Ever since John Cena lost to Wade Barret and joined Nexus, IWC's only speculations were that Cena is turning heel. And until now, they're still waiting for this turn to occur. Well, I'm not part of this faction.
I'm not bragging here, but I did predict something similar to the current story, and I'm sure a lot of you had similar anticipations about it. I mean a quick heel turn would have been odd, ridiculous and lame, had it occurred at Hell in a Cell or on RAW that followed the PPV.
No offense to the members who predicted a heel turn, but all the suggested angles looked weird. How could Cena turning on the fans at HIAC and joining Barret look awesome? Or why would Cena being the mastermind behind the group that attacked him week after week be a great story? Sorry, but anybody suggesting these angles is sure smoking some harmful stuff and should stop it immediately.
Come on, people. I understand that you want to see a heel turn, but not an illogical and odd one. It should be well made and a somehow convincing.
Moving on, it seems that WWE will book this story according to the fans' reactions, and though WWE did seem to have planted the seeds for a heel turn, it's still not apparent.
However, until now, Cena seems to be the reluctant and helpless superstar who's doing something against his will due to certain stipulations that are beyond his power. It's similar to the JBL/HBK story line that we watched in 2008. It's also similar to the Ted Dibiase/Virgil story line that occurred in 1987.
I think most of you are familiar with HBK's story, and if not, ask me in the comments section and I'll answer. As for the Virgil/Dibiase story line, I'll summarize it for people who don't know it. Virgil was Dibiase's bodyguard who was mistreated and humiliated by his boss. The story went on until Virgil got tired and turned on the Million Dollar Man and attacked him.
Back to our current story, it seems that it could go on for a while. From what I read here and on many other sites, many fans are still not able to make up their minds about the story, and some of them are still showing the same hatred towards Cena. While others are saying that Cena is losing spotlight. Really?
Before I go on, let's just remember why many fans used to hate Cena's run. I won't discuss the sick hatred shown by some people here, and I won't talk about the ill "He can't wrestle" and "He has three moves" comments. I'll only mention what is widely said when talking about Cena.
Most people claim that they respect Cena, but they hated his repetitive run where he always wins and beats people. They say that Cena always had the same story line that revolves around never giving up and defying all odds no matter how hard they seem to be. They also add that he gets all the spotlight most of the time.
For me, I had some similar thoughts here, but I never hated Cena. I only thought he could have different feuds than the ones he has been stuck in since five years because I do think that he's a good performer.
Anyway, fans said that they want some changes and they thought they got it. Well, let's look at the current story and see what change we witnessed exactly.
After losing to Wade Barret at Hell in a Cell, John Cena hesitantly became part of the arm-banded group. He looked double-minded as he officially joined the evil guys. Just when we thought that Cena was going to destroy the group, the RAW GM had different thoughts about it. He told Cena that he has to stick to the stipulations of the match if he lost and work under Barret's orders.
On the next episode, Cena told the fans that he won't give up even though he might be doing a few things that are against his will. Of course, Wade Barret is making use of every single moment of this, and he's even mocking Cena and daring him to make any offensive move against the group.
My first question here is the following, do you still remember that Randy Orton is the WWE Champion? I mean if Barret hadn't become the No. 1 contender, I would have forgotten about the championship.
Seriously, I'm not trying to sound smart, but how many articles or news have you read about Orton other than those that were directly written after he won the title at Night of Champions?
I'll say a few things about Orton. Some people are beginning to feel that he's the new Superman. I can't agree with this, but I also can't blame them. I mean ever since after Summerslam, he has always been on top during any confrontation, and the only time he was put down was at Smackdown's Syfy debut episode when Sheamus hit him with the bicycle kick. Whether it was one superstar or more, they all end up receiving RKO's by Orton in the end.
But that's how a dominant champion is booked, and I think we should give him more time. If you really want him to be the face of the company, that's the only way he can be in the current PG program. I, however, disagree that Orton is a ratings killer.
But still, he's not the main story, and Cena is the main subject. Even RAW recaps and reviews are focusing on the Nexus story more than anything else.
Whether you'd like to admit it or not, the whole thing is still about Cena and Nexus. So Cena is still getting the main spotlight. I have no problem with this, but I'm only saying this to people who're thinking that Cena is not the main story anymore and that Orton is now the new face of the company.
I'll only agree with the fact that Cena has changed, and I'm glad to see him in a new refreshing feud. I mean Nexus angle was becoming boring and repetitive with their attacks every week, and they needed something new. But remember that the story has only started and it could go either way.
I mean Cena can still find a way to get himself out of the group. Maybe by announcing another match that with a stipulation that can free him from the stable and end it. This will sure lead us to the same "Cena always wins" rants.
But I don't think that the story will end this way, unless officials decide to change it during the run.
As for the heel turn, I still don't see it coming, even though it seems slightly closer than before, but I still think that WWE are hesitant about this. I'll say again that the turn should be logical and convincing.
Did I say that Orton is the WWE Champion?
I think that the long awaited heel turn could come after the end of Nexus, or it could occur during his time with the group where he ends up taking out the leader and becoming the new "boss." I can't see Cena turning heel while being under Barret's lead. But again, I won't predict much and I'll leave it to the creative staff hoping that they make it look amazing if they decide to do it.
The first RAW after HIAC scored a good 3.3 ratings while the next one witnessed a drop to 2.9. So even with a new story involving Cena, ratings weren't so high, and the previous episodes that had the so-called "Super Cena" had higher ratings.
The first impression says that fans wanted to see how Cena will act when he joins the group, and once they saw how the story is going, they lost interest again. Football nights might have had their effects too.
I think it's fair to give the story more time. The next RAW will sure show us if these claims are right. And the RAW following Bragging Rights will even give us a better idea about the viewers' feelings.
WWE should be aware of one thing. Some children went crazy when Cena lost, and if he had a different direction in the future, some of them might stop watching it. I'm sure they won't be much, but Vince McMahon will sure hope that WWE gains some interest from more adults again.
However, if this doesn't happen, then WWE might find themselves losing more viewers, and in that case don't blame them if they ended the story in a way that will please kids and bring them back again.
I won't read into things a lot and I'll leave the story as it is. I only wanted to give my thoughts on this story and draw your attention to the fact that all your expectations could be wrong. I also wanted to say that the main focus is still on Nexus and Cena.
Furthermore, my main purpose here was to show you that you still can't make up your minds about Cena.
Did I remind you that Orton is the WWE Champion?
P.S. I hope Cena wears the yellow-and-black Nexus T-shirt.
TNA: The Immortals and Jeff Hardy
I'll give my thoughts on "them" and Jeff Hardy's heel turn, in addition to the last iMPACT episode.
Other than Hardy's heel turn, there wasn't anything surprising about who "they" turned out to be at Bound For Glory. I mean I've been reading a lot of predictions saying that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff will turn out to be "they." Abyss was always saying that "they" are coming to control TNA, and this made it more obvious.
However, I admit that Hardy's heel turn was something I never saw coming, and I'll give TNA credit for this.
Many people criticize TNA for focusing on veterans and old superstars more than young and main TNA superstars who helped build this show.
But if we look at the iMPACT's ratings, we might notice that many fans do like veterans. Last week's live iMPACT before glory scored 1.33 ratings. The highest rated segment was Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley, and it scored more than 1.4. I know that Foley and Flair are not any normal veterans and that they're one of the best superstars, but that doesn't deny the fact that they're old now. But still the match was the most watched segment and I'll admit that it was good.
Even their promo that occurred the week before scored the highest ratings. Yes, the promo that had Flair applying an elbow-drop on Foley's book was the most watched segment.
After "they" were released, many fans wanted to see how this will go, so iMPACT was expected to score high this week, and it did. The show scored a final rating of 1.4, the highest since January. "They" formed and alliance with Fortune and are now officially called the "Immortals." According to the story line, Hogan, Bischoff and Jeff Jarret are now "officially" running TNA.
But the show wasn't that good this week, and even die-hard fans will admit this. The show had four trash-booked and short so-called matches. I know that they were trying to explain how the new stable will go, and they needed many promos. But still, I think TNA could have done it in shorter promos.
The show started with 1.53 ratings, and they dropped to 1.23 as the show went on, and this clearly shows that a large number fans lost interest during the episode. We'll have to wait for next week to see if this will have any effects on it.
I'll give my own takes on this.
First, Jeff Hardy's heel turn was surprising and I liked it. But making him TNA's Heavyweight Champion could be risky. Hardy has a drug case and could end up in jail. Furthermore, I still think he's not that good as a heel, but I'll give him more time before judging.
As for "they," as much as anybody tries to defend it, but WCW's Bash at the Beach (1996) certainly had its effect on it. I won't say they completely mocked it, but they did try to spark interest among nostalgic fans with this. Well, I think fans did like it, and the ratings didn't lie. I know they dropped during the show, but that was due to the weak booking of promos and matches.
As much as I see this interesting, I still think that some young and established superstars are really harmed by the over-exposure of old superstars.
First, why would Fortune lose to EV 2.0 at BFG? Why would young superstars like AJ Styles and Kazarian lose to ECW old superstars? I know that Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff are focusing on veterans, but still, such young superstars can be booked better. Furthermore, what's great about watching two males sharing a lollipop? I won't mention those two superstars.
iMPACT this week was horrible. The only thing I liked about it was Kurt Angle's promo with Jeff Jarret.
Why did Tara win the Knockout's Championship at BFG if she's going to lie down for Madison Rayne few days later? Why did they end Abyss vs. Samoa Joe match quickly with no contest?
The Pope faced AJ Styles, Beer Money (Rober Roode and James Storm), Doug Williams and Kazarian in a five-on-one handicap match. Surprisingly, the superstar who's ranked as No. 1 in PWI's rankings, one of the best tag teams available, and two other good superstars were about to be put down by one superstar! Even their win didn't come in a very clean way.
The final match between RVD and Mr. Anderson was also cut by Jeff Hardy who came and attacked both superstars.
Again I say that they were trying to explain the story to the fans, but they could have done it in a better way, and I don't think it should have taken them this long.
Eric Bischoff once said that veterans pull more mature fans and that's his main goal at the moment. Bound For Glory is TNA's biggest show, and I think that high ratings were expected before and after the PPV. Furthermore, "they" story was gaining more interest from many fans.
Now, we'll have to wait for next week's iMPACT before judging the whole thing. Ratings might drop next week.
Again, even if TNA think that veterans are a good addition to the show, this doesn't mean that other superstars like AJ Styles shouldn't be booked better. Hogan and Bischoff did harm other divisions in the show. The X-Division is not as good as it once was. The tag-team division is much better than WWE, but the matches are becoming repetitive. The Knockouts Division is all about the Beautiful People with their repetitive matches and segments.
I'm talking about those divisions and the main TNA superstars because they were the main reasons that made me like TNA.
Fans might not know a lot about Styles and they would like watching the old and popular superstars and that's fine. But this doesn't give TNA any excuse for horribly booking the young superstars. You can use your young established superstars better while still focusing on the veterans.
That's it for now, folks. What do you think? Do I have a point? Or did I just waste my time?
Remember that each show has its fans, so do respect them.
All thoughts and comments are welcome, and if you feel you can't comment on both shows, do give you thoughts about your favorite show only.
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