TJR: 20 Things I Really Like About WWE Right Now
There is far too much negativity amongst internet wrestling fans. Too many people complain about storylines or matches. Sometimes I'm guilty of it to an extent although much less than some of the aggressive critics out there. I like to equate WWE to my favorite sports teams. I love the product, but it's not perfect. I love my sports teams, but it's not like they're winning championships all the time.
I think it's okay to be critical of anything you are passionate about. But if you "hate" on something then why watch in the first place? Those are the people I don't get. If I don't like a certain television show (American Idol for example) then I just don't watch it. I don't hate anybody that does. I just choose to watch something else. If people hate WWE that's fine. Don't watch it. There are millions of us all around the world that like it and will continue to watch it on a weekly basis.
This column is about the twenty things going on in WWE that I really like these days. It's not in any particular order. I could probably list fifty things, but I decided to keep it shorter. I can also assure you that no dance off competitions or tug of war contests are making this list either.
Here are the 20 things I really like about WWE right now.
1. Anything that Brock Lesnar does.
There's nobody in WWE that has more credibility as a badass than Lesnar. From his amateur wrestling background to a successful UFC career and a dominant WWE run, he makes you take notice of everything he does. From the time his music hits to the moment when he walks back up the ramp he's a guy you always want to keep your eye on because you never know what might happen. Remember when he hit that F5 on Heath Slater on the security wall a couple of weeks ago? That was incredible.
2. Humming along to Fandango's theme song.
As the Raw crowd on April 8th showed us, it's a catchy tune. Give a lot of credit to WWE's music master Jim Johnston for doing his part to give music to not just Fandango, but hundreds of WWE performers over the years.
3. The work ethic of WWE Champion John Cena.
I think it's fair to say that Cena is the leader of the WWE locker room these days and there's no better person to be an example for the stacked WWE roster. As most of probably know, the WWE Champion is working through a painful Achilles injury. Even when he was hurt in Europe he didn't miss any of the shows he was advertised on. He also worked through the injury on Raw. I have the utmost respect for John Cena.
4. The European uppercut of Antonio Cesaro.
It's especially great when he connects with it on a leaping opponent in mid-air. The Neutralizer is an awesome finisher too, but that uppercut shot is the kind of thing that makes the audience takes notice of him. Cesaro has become one of my favorite performers in WWE.
5. Daniel Bryan's all around growth as a performer.
It's been a joy to watch. He's gone from a guy known merely for technical wrestling to somebody that has developed an all around game that allows him to deliver excellent promos and show off his comedic side as well. As much as I like his tag team with Kane, I think he'll thrive on his own as somebody the fans can rally around. How about a feud versus Dolph Ziggler for the World Title? I'd love that.
6. Paul Heyman's promos and facial expressions.
I guess that's two things, but since they are both Heyman related I'm counting it as one. When Heyman talks people listen. You don't hear the fans shouting "what" during a Heyman promo because he commands the attention of the audience. Also, Heyman is a master at reacting to situations with his facial expressions. Whether he's at ringside during a match or reacting to what somebody says during a promo, Heyman is a joy to watch. One of my favorite things about WWE in the last twelve months is Heyman's return to television.
7. The three man announce team on Raw.
I think the rapport between Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield on Raw is great. JBL supports the villains, Lawler loves the good guys and Cole sounds much more comfortable as a play by play guy instead of the guy trying to antagonize the audience. Plus, Cole isn't having matches anymore. That's great too!
8. Mark Henry saying: "That's What I Do!"
It's simple, but effective. It also helps that he's one of the scariest dudes in the business too. For what it's worth, Henry also has my favorite theme song. It might give Fandango's song a run as the catchiest song in WWE.
9. Chris Jericho making others look like stars.
Is there any veteran on the WWE roster that's better at helping others than Jericho? He's a guy that could lose 100 matches in a row and still elicit a huge reaction from the audience because his accomplishments have earned him that right. Some may gripe that he's only a part-timer, but I'm not one of those people. Enjoy him when he's out there. Watch as he does everything he can to help somebody like Fandango reach his full potential. Jericho's value to WWE is immeasurable.
10. Randy Orton hitting the RKO out of nowhere.
It's still a great move. It still generates a huge reaction from crowd. When he hits it on an opponent that's coming off the top rope it's incredible to watch. I'll never forget that time he hit it on Evan Bourne as he was leaping off the top rope with his Air Bourne move. The RKO is a move that will always get a pop out of me.
11. The Disaster Kick of Cody Rhodes.
Even though it's not his finishing move it should be. I love it. It's a move that Cody can do when he's on the attack or as a counter to slow down his opponent. Much like the RKO mentioned up above, it can be hit out of nowhere. That element of surprise makes it a special move.
12. Dolph Ziggler's matches.
On a week to week basis he's arguably the best in-ring performer that WWE has. Ziggler might get even better too. As more opportunities are presented to the World Heavyweight Champion I think he'll be able to deliver at an even higher level. I would love to see World Title feuds against Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan among others.
13. Any time Damien Sandow speaks.
SILENCE! I love this guy. Not only has he become a star on WWE television with his promos talking to the "ignoramus" fans around the world, but he's also been great on the JBL & Cole show found right here on LayfieldReport.com too (cheap pop, I know). I think he's hilarious. He's also educational too, so that's a plus!
14. Summer Rae.
You can't teach hot. You either have it or you don't. Just look at her. Enough said.
15. Knock out finishing moves.
The KO Punch by the Big Show. The Brogue Kick of Sheamus. Wade Barrett's Bull Hammer elbow. The Trouble in Paradise of Kofi Kingston. There are others, but you get the point. Whenever any of these moves connect we know a match is over. I love seeing finishers like that because they're moves that can work on any opponent no matter the size.
16. The look of the new WWE Championship.
I really got sick of the spinner WWE Title. I understand that it was a top merchandise seller, but it looked silly after a while. The new WWE Championship has the "WWE" logo front and center while also representing a more classic look. Those of us that loved the old "Winged Eagle" title have to understand it's not coming back. However, this new WWE Championship is old school in a lot of ways, so I suggest embracing it because it will be around for a while.
17. AJ Lee's craziness.
She's one of my favorite performers in WWE because you never know what she might do from week to week. Some people are predictable, which can get boring. She is not. That's what makes her stand out and makes her a star. It also helps that she's a gorgeous woman. As most guys can attest, gorgeous can certainly mean dangerous too!
18. Kane's durability.
Here's a guy in his mid 40s that has proved himself over the past twenty years as one of the most durable performers ever. His tag team with Daniel Bryan has been a lot of fun to watch. I don’t know if the underrated tag fits for him, but maybe he's a bit underappreciated at times. He's been a constant in WWE for so long and I admire his dedication to the business.
19. Long television matches.
I like to define a "long" TV match as a contest that gets 12 minutes of airtime or more. This week on Raw we had four matches like that. On Main Event we saw Antonio Cesaro and Kofi Kingston get over 20 minutes. When you consider that Raw is three hours long, Smackdown is two hours and Main Event is one hour there are plenty of time for long matches on television. The entertainment aspect of the business is fun, but the second "W" in WWE does stand for wrestling after all.
20. The Shield.
I enjoy everything about them. The way they have been presented is excellent and the amount of credibility they have by beating big names is paving the way for a bright future for Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. All of them have main event potential. That's how good they are.
That's all I have for you this time. If CM Punk was active on WWE programming I'd have at least one or two points about him. I miss watching him perform and look forward to his return in the near future.
What's on your list of things you like in WWE these days? Let me know.
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