After Will Pruett beat me to it last week and wrote the column I intended to write, I was stuck without an idea. But then I decided to take advantage of the Jewish holiday season and go the positive route. While we don’t have a holiday like Thanksgiving (Which isn’t a religious holiday anyway), here are some of the things that I’m grateful for in wrestling.
The Miz. Two weeks Ago I sang his praises so I’ll keep this short. He’s the hottest heel in WWE today, he’s the wrestler that grew the most in recent years and he was able to transform himself into a serious threat. The Miz is anything but Marty Jannetty and I can’t wait for him to make it to the next level.
And you can’t talk about The Miz nowadays without mentioning his nemesis Daniel Bryan Danielson. I’ll admit that I was skeptical about WWE’s use of Danielson when he first signed with the company, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, some people may be disappointed since WWE didn’t give him the World Championship on his debut, but I think WWE is doing things pretty smart with him. Danielson is getting over based on his wrestling skills and his feud with The Miz. On NXT he got to show off his wrestling skills week in and week out, The Miz and Michael Cole turned him into a true underdog hero and now he’s on his way to becoming the first NXT graduate to hold gold in WWE. Even if it’s a midcard belt, WWE is making Bryan look like a star and by pitting him against their hottest heel, they’re turning him into more than just any other midcarder.
And from the indi hero of NXT season 1, to the indi hero of NXT season 2. When I first heard that Laycool would be Kaval’s pros, I shuddered. But it turned into one of the most entertaining teams in recent memory. Kaval’s extreme seriousness and Laycool’s flakiness were pure fun to watch. Laycool themselves were able to grow out of the Beautiful People knockoff they were when they started out and own this gimmick. Kaval being the winner of NXT 2, combined with Daniel Bryan’s rise on Raw, might indicate that perhaps WWE is willing to give real consideration to wrestling skills when it comes to pushing talent, which is a great development, if true.
How can I talk about Daniel Bryan and Kaval without dedicating some space to Nexus. I love almost everything that WWE has done with Nexus since their debut. This is probably the most innovative, intriguing and fresh idea that WWE had in a long time, and I wish WWE showed that much creativity more often. They took a major risk with Nexus, by taking 8 (at first) relatively unknown wrestlers and making them the focus of their flagship show. When they debuted, they went over guys like John Cena, Bret Hart and Vince McMahon himself. This gamble could have easily backfired on WWE and at times it seemed like it’s destined to fail, but amazingly, it didn’t. WWE showed that smart booking can overcome a lot of things, and while I would have loved to see Nexus decimate the Raw team rather than lose to John Cena, they were able to rebound and even with only five members Nexus are still a force to be reckoned with with. Nexus is a clear example of synergy, as nobody would probably care about Heath Slater or Michael Tarver, but as Nexus members they’re hot. I’m pretty sure that after Nexus is over WWE will probably future endeavor most of its members, but for now, this is a good thing.
Down in Florida, I’m grateful for TNA’s tag team division. The best of five series between MCMG and Beer Money reminded a lot of people just how good tag team wrestling can be. I even know a few people who started watching TNA again thanks to this series. They didn’t just put on six great matches (There was one match before the series, don’t forget it) â€“ each match was different, unique and excellent on its own. With the Guns on top of TNA’s tag team division, they are set to face Generation me again and while their match at No Surrender did not meet my expectations, I still believe they can put on an entertaining Ultimate X match at BFG. And if TNA will keep London Brawling together, I believe they will also put classic matches with the guns. TNA made tag team wrestling relevant again and I wish WWE would follow TNA’s lead in that field, which is severely mishandled in WWE.
In fact, I’m grateful for most of TNA’s roster. TNA is blessed with many talented wrestlers that can put on great matches in so many different combinations. Despite of TNA’s many shortcomings, and trust me, there are a lot, match quality is not one of them. With the roster at its disposal, TNA could have put WWE to shame, if only they utilized the wrestlers well. Sadly, TNA’s booking team is like a bad chef that makes crap out of the best ingredients but we should keep in mind that the many of the wrestlers in TNA are the best in North America today.
And with that I will close. I’m glad to have had this opportunity to take a step back and look at some of the things that still make me a wrestling fan, rather than bitch and moan like I usually do. And perhaps this should be a mental note that we shouldn’t wait for special occasions like holidays to think about the good things in wrestling (Even though I know itâ€™s not nearly as fun as complaining about the crap in the business).
Tags: beer money, Brian Danielson, Daniel Bryan, Generation Me, john cena, kaval, Laycool, Motor City Machineguns, nexus, NXT, Raw, The Miz, TNA, WWE