It’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity that exists online when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. Let’s put a pause on the bad stuff, all the complaints, criticisms, rants, and rundowns. Instead, let’s come up for a breath of fresh air, sift through the week that was, and accentuate the positives.
Here are your top 3 positives from the week that was:
1. EC3 Wins The TNA World Championship
Part of the challenge of talking about TNA in this series is the fact that I don’t allow myself to talk about anything negative. There are plenty of things to pick at when it comes to TNA, but I’m not sure what purpose that picking does. And that is sort of the point of Accentuate the Positives, to point out the positive stuff that people may not see because it’s buried behind the negative. EC3 winning the TNA World Title this past Wednesday on Impact is definitely one of those positives.
Look, I understand the problems that the company is having. I’m not blind to them, I’m just trying to look past it. Think of me as Between the Ropes’ eternal optimist (at least in these articles). EC3 winning the title is a huge positive for TNA. TNA has managed to create a viable character and his build has been extremely well. The fact that he’s managed to go over 600 days without being defeated is amazing when you consider the fact that one “booking whim” could’ve easily stopped that months ago.
EC3 as champion could (and should) be the key to the company’s long term success. He is a character with depth and he seems to connect well with the fans. Plus, he is solid in the ring and has put up plenty of excellent matches. I hope TNA allows the character to not only grow organically, but also books him in a way that makes him seem legitimate as their World’s Champion. The last thing TNA needs is another title run like Magnus had, wherein he defeated no one legitimately and looked like a paper champion and therefore made TNA and its title look like a joke.
I’m hoping TNA has learned from their mistakes and moves forward with EC3 as the face of their company. Watching a face chase the undefeated champion should write itself, and the moment EC3 does eventually lose should be a big deal. TNA putting their title on EC3 was a huge positive for them.
2. WWE’s Beast in the East Show
This show was worth pushing back this week’s AtP. I enjoyed it immensely (though the main event went on next to last, which was weird) and I feel like the critical success of the show will lead to more like it in the future. I thought Jericho and Neville kicking off the televised portion of the show was an excellent idea as their energy set the tone for the remainder of the show. I know some wanted to see Neville put over, but I don’t think the loss hurt him, especially in this setting against someone like Jericho. I’m hopeful that Neville’s track record of solid in-ring work will lead to some fun long term plans for that character.
I felt like Brock’s squash of New Day was very well done. I’d like to see New Day rewarded for this by having them win back the tag titles as I feel they are one of the best acts in WWE right now. It wasn’t a long segment but it was enough to whet the appetite of both the live crowd and the viewing audience for what I will refer to as the main course.
That main course was the spectacular NXT Title match with Kevin Owens defending against Finn Bálor. If you haven’t seen the match, do so immediately. The entrances and ring introduction was phenomenal on its own, with the fans throwing streamers into the ring for Finn’s introduction which is something I’ve never seen in WWE before. In other words, it was special before the bell ever rang. And then it did… and it was art.
I don’t know if I could do the match justice with my words, but I’ll say that both men told a great story in the ring and the finish was built too quite nicely. I love the idea of Finn being the face of NXT moving forward and I think waiting to call him up to the main roster will only help build anticipation for his eventual debut. As for Owens, I’m excited to see how he uses this moving forward with Cena and I wouldn’t mind seeing the U.S. Title on him soon.
As I said a few weeks back, I think WWE should continue these occasional specials on the Network, but also consider doing a live monthly PPV from the UK soon. The buzz around this show was great (as the Twitter trends showed) and that was at 5:30-7:30 in the morning stateside. Imagine if they ran a show in the UK from 9 to midnight and had it air live on the Network from 6-9 pm EST. Heck, WrestleMania runs from 6-11 if you count the pre-show so this wouldn’t be an unusual time for us to watch a show. I really think the UK fans deserve a PPV and I still think a Survivor Series airing there would be a nice draw for the WWE and a positive for the business, just like the Japan show was.
3. John Cena vs. Cesaro on Raw
This was easily the standout match/moment from last Monday’s Raw. I’ve spoken before about my enjoyment of the John Cena open challenge, but I will reiterate that John Cena’s appearances on Raw since WrestleMania have been the segments that I have looked forward to the most each week. This week’s match with Cesaro highlighted exactly why that has been the case.
First off, I’d like to again point out how excellent the Cena/Kevin Owens program has been. I love the fact that now someone on the outside of this program, like Cesaro, can benefit from this feud by being in the same segment as these two.
I love when feuds don’t exist in a vacuum. Real life situations don’t exist in isolation, if two people don’t like each other, the people around them are affected as well. And the effect in this situation is that Cesaro got “robbed” of a possible U.S. Title win because Owens wants to be the one to take the belt (sorry Vince, it’s a belt) off of Cena.
I hope more individuals can benefit from this feud, as the players currently involved can definitely get the job done in the ring, and that’s where the payoff happens. Cena and Cesaro did just that, as they got the job done in the ring for twenty minutes without losing the crowd once.
I’m hopeful that Cesaro’s work doesn’t go unnoticed (BTR’s own Sherron Watson has noticed) and they find something meaningful for him while Tyson Kidd recovers from his recent neck surgery. Cesaro’s performance with Cena was a positive not just for the men involved but for those who tuned in to Raw last week.
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, stay positive!