Canton’s Corner: Twenty WWE Ideas Revisited & TNA for September 3
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport
Welcome to the seventh edition of Canton’s Corner. The good thing about this column is there are no rules and as such it means I can write about what I want. This week, because I already wrote the Raw Deal live on Monday & Super Smackdown live on Tuesday, I’m going to look at a column from last year. It was called Twenty Ideas for WWE to Consider and it was posted on June 28, 2010, so it was about 14 months ago give or take a few days. Why revisit it? Because the 2011 version is coming up this coming week. Once we’re done the brief revision I’ll talk about TNA and then my buddy Steve Melo will bring it home as well. First up, the polls.
Before we can move on to this week’s poll, we have to look at last week’s poll results.
Last Week’s Poll Results
The poll question was: What night should WWE Smackdown be on?
The result: Live on Tuesdays 50.87%, Thursdays 33.87%, Wednesday 8.65%, Friday 6.61%
That means that slightly more than half of the voters want the show live on Tuesdays. That’s after nearly 2,000 votes too, so it’s a big number. The Thursday number is telling because there are a third of you that wouldn’t mind if Smackdown was taped, but would prefer it was on its original weeknight of Thursday. Not much support for Wednesday, which was expected because it’s never been a wrestling night and I’m glad that Friday got the least amount of support. It’s interesting that nearly half would be okay with it being a taped show. I like it best on Tuesday. I could get used to that.
This Week’s Poll Question: Should WWE unify the WWE Title & the World Title?
With word coming out on Raw this week that Smackdown stars will be on Raw more frequently, does that mean they should unify the two major World Titles? Vote below.
I say no. I think they need two titles because they don’t know how to book secondary ones, so you might as well keep two major ones. I don’t think they will totally end the brand extension either. It would hurt the house show business too much. I’m interested in seeing how this vote turns out.
Twenty WWE Ideas Revisited
These are 20 things I wrote about on June 28 of last year that you can read again by following along at that link. I wanted to pick realistic things, just as I will do this year when I write the new column for Wednesday, so here they are again with my current thoughts on all of them. We can look together to see how right I was…or how I wrong I was. Once again remember these ideas were written 14 months ago so a lot has changed since then. I’ll use green font to denote what was on the list last year in the same order I had it.
Pay The Rock $5 Million to appear at WrestleMania 27
This is what I wrote: “My idea is to pay him at least $5 million to work not only WrestleMania, but also to appear on 2 or 3 episodes of Raw before it. If he doesn’t want to wrestle, which is understandable, then make him the guest ref. All people will want to see is a People’s Elbow and a Rock Bottom anyway. His presence will help.” Not bad huh? I’m not sure how much money he got, but he did appear on Raw’s prior to it, he did appear at ringside during the main event and he did do the Rock Bottom. Obviously it’s not going out on a limb saying he’d help the buyrate, but it was nice to see that they did one of the best buyrates in company history by passing the 1 million buys mark this year.
Move Smackdown to Thursdays
It didn’t happen obviously. Still on Friday, despite this past week’s Tuesday night special. I think the likelihood of Smackdown moving off Friday is very possible within the near future although I’m not sure if it would be live on Tuesday, Thursday or maybe even Wednesday. Either way I think WWE’s finally realized that keeping it on Friday is a bad move. Maybe I just say it’s about damn time!
Re-sign Bryan Danielson aka Daniel Bryan
He got fired in June 2010 after he choked ring announcer Justin Roberts with a tie. His return was never announced, but he surprisingly came back at August’s Summerslam PPV in 2010. I’m glad he was only gone for a few months. I was also glad that I didn’t have to answer the “when is Daniel Bryan coming back?” questions anymore.
No more guest hosts
They are done. Does anybody miss them? I doubt it. Aside from a dozen or so good ones they were often time wasters that hurt the show.
Tell Jerry Lawler to retire
He’s still there. Not only that, but he received several PPV matches this year including a WWE Title Match against The Miz and his first WrestleMania match against Michael Cole. He also signed a three year contract extension. If he was a heel announcer I’d enjoy him. The screeching babyface announcer that pees his pajamas (thanks Punk) for John Cena annoys the hell out of me.
Make color commentators into heels
They did. The choice was Michael Cole. That wouldn’t have been my choice because he does play by play also, but it’s better than having only generic announcers. I give myself a point here.
Bring back Mickie James
Nope. She signed with TNA although it wasn’t immediately after her 90 days were up. She waited a few months. I still think her firing was one of the most shocking in WWE history. Yes I’m biased. Deal with it.
Sign Awesome Kong
They did and they gave her the name Kharma. I’m glad they looked past the regular diva look to bring her in. I wrote about this in May 2010 and they ended up signing her at the end of 2010. A lot of people thought she’d debut at the Royal Rumble including myself. They waited until after WrestleMania and they booked her like a monster. Before her first match, however, she found out she was pregnant and would take about a year off to come back. We’ll see her in 2012.
Let women talk like women instead of like high school girls
I don’t know if I can give this one a correct or incorrect. I guess I’ll go incorrect. I remember being really frustrated with how awful the promos were of babyface women like Maria (who got fired in early 2010), Kelly Kelly and Eve in particular. It was awful. I’m not sure if anything has really changed. Babyface divas barely get to talk or show personality. They are all like beauty pageant contestants that have those fake smiles on their faces all the time. Really annoying.
Stop booking champions to lose non-title matches
Last year in the column I ranted about how Jack Swagger won only 4 out of 15 matches while he was the World Champion. If you’re not given a chance to look good holding a title guess what? Fans are going to see you as a loser. I’m not saying champs should win all non-title matches, but I think WWE books them to lose too often. It’s a recurring trend that leads to predictable finishes every time you hear non-title. I’ll give myself an incorrect here.
Give a push to the following two people…
The Miz – This was before Money in the Bank. He won the briefcase, cashed in on the Raw after Survivor Series and headlined WrestleMania. He did a great job.
John Morrison – Fourteen months later he’s basically in the same spot where he was. No push for you. I guess I got one out of two here, so give me 1/2 a point.
Wish the following two people the best in their future endeavors…
Mark Henry – After he continued to suck as a babyface, they moved him to Smackdown where he has went on a dominant run as a heel and now he’s challenging Randy Orton for the World Title at Night of Champions. He’s been in the title hunt before (he headlined Royal Rumble 2006 vs. Kurt Angle)
Vladimir Kozlov – He’s gone now. Give me 1/2 points here too, so I get one for these last two.
More Raw’s in Major Cities
It’s hard to define this one, but I’d say they haven’t done it as much as I’d like. If it was up to me they’d have at least two Raw’s every year in the cities with the best crowds like Chicago, New York City, Toronto and Philadelphia to name a few. Instead they go to some smaller cities that don’t make as much noise and it hurts the show a bit.
Bring back sitdown interviews
They don’t do them anymore. It’s a shame because I thought they were great for character development. Every so often they do insets as people are walking down to the ring, which has an old school feel, but they’re not doing sitdown interviews at all. That’s a shame.
Add more people to the Straight Edge Society
I suggested that MVP turn heel to join the group. It needed members. It didn’t happen obviously. Instead, Joey Mercury joined the group, but soon after that Luke Gallows and Serena got fired and the group essentially disbanded. Punk went on to lead another unsuccessful group, the new Nexus, before finally hitting his groove this summer as a babyface. I feel like my idea was valid because the only way the group could have grown was if it added more members of the roster in a manner that put over Punk’s ability to convince them that it was the right way to live. Time flies huh?
Get Edge & Christian on the same show
It happened. Before they could feud, though, Edge was forced to retire. It’s a shame they couldn’t have one last memorable match. Still, it’s a been a great year for Christian as he’s proven himself as a main eventer while Edge’s retirement was one of the most memorable moments of the year.
Build an actual WWE Hall of Fame
As far as I know, they are discussing this possibility. The likely home for it is somewhere in the state of Florida, which makes sense as a tourist attraction. I’m not sure when it would be built, but I’d guess within the next two years. After having been at WWE Axxess at WrestleMania this year I think this would be a huge draw for fans interested in items that they’ve seen at WWE events over the years.
Get rid of the Spinner Belt
I hate the look of that damn thing. Even Cena has said in the past. It’s still there with no sign of disappearing.
When HHH returns, make him a heel
He was barely on WWE TV in late 2010 and into 2011. He came back for the great match with Undertaker at WrestleMania 27, then he went away for a few months and now he’s back in the role of Chief Operating Officer. As far as being a heel, he’s currently in his babyface role although I don’t expect that to last too much longer.
Book John Cena vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27
I thought they would do it. Then they got The Rock signed, so they went in the direction of Miz vs. Cena with the Rock in the background while Undertaker had a match of the year contender with Triple H. That was Undertaker’s only on screen match in 2011 with no future matches in sight. We may never get Cena vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania because Cena’s already booked for WM28 and who knows if Undertaker will wrestle beyond that.
Those were my 20 ideas. Some of them are clearly right and wrong while others are a little too vague to really judge fairly. I’ll have 20 more ideas in my column this week. Got a great idea of your own? Email me at email@example.com or send it to me via Twitter @johnreport and I may use it. I have most of them already written out while I’m still thinking of the last few. If I use your idea I’ll put your name in the column too. Don’t be shy. Nothing is ever too stupid for WWE. Hey Katie Vick, how you doing?
This week’s Impact was taped outside of their usual spot in Orlando and the Huntsville, Alabama crowd was significantly better than what we usually see. That doesn’t mean they were great, but it meant that there was less piped in crowd noise than usual. Let’s do some quick Likes/Dislikes this week.
LIKE – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
The match wasn’t as good as their Destination X match because it was significantly shorter, but it was still really good stuff from two of the best workers in the company. I liked the finish with Styles slipping on the top ropes leading to Daniels covering for the opportunistic pin and then celebrating in an over the top manner. I’m assuming this leads to Daniels turning heel, which will then build up to a third match at October’s Bound For Glory event in Philadelphia. I still think it sucks that Styles has been out of the main event picture for so long, but at least he’s able to good matches with Daniels.
DISLIKE – The Bound For Glory Tournament Results
The final four in the Bound For Glory Tournament, which had great potential, are Bully Ray, Bobby Roode, James Storm and Gunner. What was interesting is the number of matches each man in the tournament had. In this article by James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch, he points out that Gunner had the most matches with 19 while The Pope had 17 and the low guys on the match scale were Scott Steiner with 9, Samoa Joe with 10 and AJ Styles with 11. In other words, they can’t even book something as easy as a tournament in a manner that makes sense. Ideally in a tournament every man would have the same number of matches. Even a 10 year old kid would know that from playing in sports tournaments. Not TNA. I guess the only good thing to take away from it is that it’s likely that Robert Roode will win and get a Heavyweight Title match against Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory. The problem is the build sucks as usual. He hasn’t had a chance to shine in singles at all. They’re just going to throw it out there to see if it sticks.
LIKE – Mickie James win the Knockouts Title again
Good match. They told a solid story and the inept ref Earl Hebner actually prevented some heel work for once. What was the point of Winter’s three week reign? I guess because they wanted a title change at the TV tapings on the road. It’s just silly to take the belt off somebody for that reason. I’m assuming they want to do Mickie vs. Velvet Sky at Bound For Glory with Velvet winning her first KO title, which is fine I guess, but I still don’t understand the need for the title change.
DISLIKE – Karen Jarrett as VP of Knockouts Division
What is with TNA’s insistence to have people in charge making decisions? Enough already. There’s already Bischoff & Hogan calling the shots, plus other random people being in charge. Now the always annoying Karen Jarrett is going to be on screen even more? Yawn. I guess it’s nice to be married to one of the people in charge. The only highlight of this segment was all the cleavage on the screen at the same time. I’d rather see the women of the division getting more TV time instead of Karen Jarrett.
LIKE – Samoa Joe is evil again
It’s about time. Since they didn’t use him very well as a face I’m glad he turned. Keep in mind that Joe turns between heel and face at least twice a year. I think Anderson has turned four times this year, so at least somebody has Joe beat. Still, there’s nobody that plays a better badass in the company than Samoa Joe. I really liked his attack on Crimson last week and taking out a big guy like Matt Morgan was good too. The problem is that Joe was booked like a jobber for the past four months, but again that’s a recurring trend for this company. They have the right idea for angles. They just don’t execute them right.
DISLIKE – “Stone Cold” Ken Anderson
They are copying the Austin gimmick way too much with this guy. It’s enough to make me roll my eyes when I see him come to the ring in a vehicle or his facial expressions that look almost comical by this point. I can’t blame the guy if he’s lost his passion for it. How many times has he turned heel and face in TNA? I’m not going to try to count because it’s a ridiculous number for somebody who hasn’t even been there for two years. If you want to see why nobody gets over and why no progress gets made in TNA, I give you this man. He’s a good talent who had the potential to be great. Now? It’s become a joke because the storytelling is so poor. A shame, really.
Random Clip of the Week
I know I rip on TNA a lot, so instead of that I thought I’d share with you what I think is the best moment in the history of their company. I’m talking about in terms of an angle, not necessarily a match. This is Kurt Angle’s TNA debut, which was a faceoff with then NWA Champion Samoa Joe. You won’t see a TNA crowd much hotter than this.
After that debut I thought there’s no way TNA could screw this up. They ended up having a series of great Angle/Joe matches that led to the most watched PPVs in company history. Of course ratings today are about the same as they were five years ago, but that’s TNA for ya. Still, it doesn’t get much better than Angle’s debut feud against Samoa Joe. If you want to see their first match the link to that is here. It’s a classic.
Melo Out with Steve Melo
Greetings wrestling fans. Before I get into this edition of the Melo Out, I need to thank Andrew Johnson for paying somewhat of a tribute to me in the Thursday’s Headlines column. In case you missed it, I had created some parodies of WWE wrestlers and the now infamous Dos Equis advertisements. I did them out of pure boredom , but it has been interesting seeing all the feedback. He also plugged be in yesterday’s edition in regards to the facebook page I created entitled “Who is Sin Cara?” which was also something I created while bored. Check it out. At least now if I am ever looking for something to do graphics wise I will have that to waste my time with. Feel free to submit your own creations.
I was debating on what to talk about this week. The whole Matt Hardy story has been talked about so much that I could care less about that issue at this point. Raw was average. The “Smackdown Supershow” was also average. It was average programming this week to say the least. One thing that did happen was Triple H announcing that talent from Smackdown will now be appearing on Raw, thus officially deeming the whole brand extension worthless and over. But you already knew that. I don’t know about you, but years ago when WWE bought WCW, it made sense to have the WWE Championship and the WCW Championship on TV. When the invasion was over and the belts were unified to form the Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Championship that also made sense and made the title mean something. Then the brand extension took place and at the time, it also made sense because WWE now had no competition. WCW was gone and TNA was in its early years and was not an established wrestling company yet. Who am I kidding, they still aren’t but that is beside the point. Monday Night Raw had their wrestlers and Smackdown had theirs as well. The Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion was allowed on both shows to defend the title. Do you realize how bad ass this made the champ look?
I don’t know about you, but when I look back at this period of time, Brock Lesnar being Champion and being on both shows comes to mind. Why? If you remember, he is also the same guy who decided to stay on Smackdown with that belt. In the summer of 2002 on Monday Night Raw, Eric Bischoff (who was the general manager at the time) awarded Triple H the World Heavyweight Championship. So now we had the WWE Champion & the World Heavyweight Championship. It would be like that for many years. I have hated it all this time because the brand extension was never taken seriously and neither were the titles it seemed. Having two champions always has me questioning who the best is and which belt is more important. One is the WWE belt that is in serious need of an upgrade and the other resembles the classic WCW belt. In my opinion, they need to be unified again. There can be only one.
That’s all for this week. I don’t normally plug things myself but in this case I am going to make an exception since it is for a noble cause. My friend Melissa & her mother Tracey have set up a donation page to help send them to New York for the 2011 Walk for Behcet’s charity. Behcet’s is a very rare immune disease that Tracey herself actually suffers from. They are so close to their goal. Even a little bit can go a long way. You can donate by clicking here or by clicking on the banner to the left.
Until next week, sit back, relax & Melo Out, because that’s what wrestling’s all about.
That’s all for this week. On Tuesday morning I’ll be back with the Raw Deal. No more live Raw Deal’s the rest of the year by the way. This Monday I have plans and going forward I watch Monday Night Football live while Raw goes to the DVR, so I will post my Raw Deal column on Tuesdays until 2012 gets here. On Wednesday the next edition of TJR Radio returns at 10pmET for two hours. We’re taking calls for the entire show. Also on Wednesday I’ll post the 2011 version of my 20 WWE Ideas. I have a few good ones in there, so hopefully it can cause some discussion. Until then, I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend, or Labour as we spell it in Canada. See how I conform to the American spelling? You’re welcome. Please don’t hurt us.
Have a great weekend.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.