Tuesday Headlines: Shut 'er Down
Good morning Humanoids, my name is Lonestar’s Last Stand and these are today’s top stories.
The Grand Wizard of Creative must have waved his magic wand, because the WWE just had a changing of the seasons. A ton of storylines and feuds just ended at the Hell in a Cell PPV and new ones started during yesterday’s Raw. Big E. Langston is now on the hunt for a secondary title, The Rhodes Boys seen to be moving into a feud with The Real Americans, THE WYATT FAMILY just attacked Daniel Bryan and C M Punk, the Big Show looks to take on Randy Orton, and Kane has turned corporate heel.
Oh yes, and Sandow lost his MITB cash in (face-turn?) and John Cena is the new World Heavyweight Champion and our eternal lord and savior. Not that the WHC title scene hasn’t been on a downward slide since Wrestlemania, but who wants to talk about that?
So yeah, Raw seemed pretty eventful from my vantage point of seeing people’s reactions, heralding the true Autumn of the WWE’s calendar year. To be honest, we probably could have used the refresh. People seemed to have been burnt out on the lingering summer storylines, which in itself is a topic worthy of discussion.
I imagine creating and maintaining a wrestling show is a tricky business. The only form of entertainment it really compares to is a soap opera, which, coincidentally, are dying off with some regularity. My point is, a wrestling show has to balance giving the fans immediate satisfaction (especially when money has been spent), with effective storytelling, and moments that ensure the fans continue to tune in, all the while adapting to changing audience reactions and injuries sustained to the men and women behind the show’s characters. I personally think the WWE recently struggled to do all that, partially because, as an audience, our demands are so much greater than they used to be. I think we might have tolerated Bryan’s title chase a bit more in 1993 or even 2003 than in 2013. Today we’ve got such a greater access to quality entertainment that if a wrestling show falters for just a moment, something that gives us greater pleasure is just a click of a smart-phone away. There’s just that much competition for our time and attention and, frankly, why should we as consumers have to tolerate anything less?
Which I guess is also my way saying that this week’s Tuesday Headlines is the last Headlines I will be writing. There are a few reasons for my decision, but you could basically sum it up to me not enjoying the process enough to continue doing it. I will, however, still be writing the NXT review. I’d to thank Andrew Johnson for suggesting I become a Headlines writer, John for hosting the articles and contributing the occasional lead, and you, the reader, for your viewcounts and your comments. We may not have always seen eye to eye but hey, that’s life. Thanks for reading.
To wrap things up, I’m going to post some things: pictures, videos, and links to wrestling-related content that I’ve enjoyed over the past few months, but have never really found the chance to talk about.
AJ Lee coming full circle
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that Divas Champion AJ is and was a giant fan of professional wrestling and more specifically the WWE. She was even filmed as a young fan getting a little emotional while meeting Lita way back in the early 2000s.
One of the coolest things about the WWE, I think, is watching people that really loved what the WWE was busting their asses to beat the odds and turn from fan into actual big-time wrestler. Mick Foley and Edge are just two of the wrestlers we’ve seen the WWE recognize as fans-turned-superstars and, in our age of social media, it’s been easier than ever to catch these little moments of dreams coming true. In fact, while I was looking for some pictures for this subject, I found this little trinket of AJ talking with Lita so many years after their initial meeting, this time as professional compatriots.
Ignoring the gossip-magazine implications of this (I am glaring at all of you so hard right now), that’s pretty cool, to meet your idol again as someone working in that same industry. It’s not only something AJ has experienced recently though, NXT’s Emma recently posted a picture taken from when she was a young wrestling fan in Australia.
And now Mr. Goldust is back and heading down to NXT to work with the new wrestlers training there, one of them being Emma.
Of course, part of being a successful WWE superstar is building a positive relationship with your fans, who can range anywhere from borderline crazy-devoted to hyper-critical. I follow AJ on twitter and lately she’s taken to re-posting pictures fans have sent her from when they’ve either dressed up as AJ for Halloween or Comic Conventions or met AJ in person. It’s kind of surprising, how many people, and especially young women, look up to her, recognizing that she represents them as a kooky, nerdy, awkward but hard-working, real life person. I think another picture is the best way to sum up how AJ has come full-circle, from fan to struggling wrestler, to WWE Diva, to superstar giving back to fans just like her.
Daniel Bryan Interviews
Bryan may not have gotten the WWE title for any meaningful length of time over the past four months, but the combination of newfound fame, fortune and love certainly hasn’t gone to his head. Here’s a couple recent interviews, conducted by one of my favorite wrestling interview guys Sam Roberts, wherein Bryan talks a little bit about his new life and the pressures (or non-pressures) of being one of the WWE’s biggest superstars.
Links to other cool wrestling things
The internet is full of people that enjoy wrestling and create awesome free content. As far as other blogs go beyond TJR, I’ve also liked Matt Fowler’s blog on IGN, as well as Cewsh Reviews, a usually positive but entertaining blog featuring reviews on WWE, NJPW, TNA and everything in between. I’ve also recently gotten into OSW, the Old-School Wrestling Review Podcast. They’re mainly known for covering the HulkaMania era PPV by PPV, reviewing the shows over clips of the actual PPV. It’s pretty neat for someone like me who had never seen that period of wrestling. The WWE Youtube channel is also kicking a lot of ass recently, so check that out if you some free goodies and awesome matches.
And yes, that is in fact the news. Try to enjoy wrestling if you can. If not, hey, you could always write a book or two.