The Fish Tank – The WWE Network, Kaityln’s WWE Departure, Old School Raw, TNA & More
It was the busiest week in pro wrestling in sports entertainment this year highlighted by the WWE Network announcement. So many fans will now have the challenge of managing their social lives and jobs when the network launches next month (in U.S. anyway). The best part about it is the fact the pay-per-views will air on there. You get the PPVs and the hours and hours of content, including NXT, for $9.99. It’s basically the greatest thing since sliced bread.
The same day as the announcement Kaitlyn announced she has parted ways with the company to pursue outside projects. The diva has done a lot during her short career and will no doubt be missed by the following she has developed over the years. The shelf-life of a WWE diva is less than 10 years, but more times than not, around three. She just got engaged, so maybe traveling less was a factor in her decision. It was nice to see AJ Lee be her last opponent considering their history and friendship.
The Big Show has stepped up to the plate against Brock Lesnar. It’s a rivalry we’ve seen before, but the two do work well together. I think they rekindled this feud perfectly on Raw with Show getting the upper-hand on the Beast. Let’s see if the ring can hold these two, and I do mean that literally.
It is becoming more and more obvious that WWE has chosen Roman Reigns as the breakout of the Shield. Every member of the trio has been impressive in their own ways, but with a win over CM Punk in the main event, it’s clearly Reigns who they have their eye on for the foreseeable future. He has stepped up to the challenge and builds a following each week. Years later we can look at Raw’s win as another milestone in his career.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a WWE ring again for a multitude of reasons. One it was something not spoiled by people online and someone in the company. It gave every viewer a chance to genuinely enjoy the moment without seeing it coming. Roberts even denied it on Twitter when asked if he would be part of the “Old School Raw”. You could see the smiles on the faces of the other individuals in the ring when they saw Roberts coming down the aisle with is trademark snake. Dean Ambrose had the best night of his life as he battled on the mic with Roddy Piper and then got the snake put on him. You could see a hint of a smile on the Shield’s mouthpiece as Raw went off the air.
The “Old School” concept is always fun, and this one was among the best. It was great to see Too Cool and Rikishi again. Although I would have loved to see Rikishi team with his boys the Uso’s. Maybe somewhere down the line that will happen. Jake was clearly the mark-out moment of the evening. Diamond Dallas Page has done wonders for Roberts life and you can see the progress. Roberts should be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame for his contributions to the business and maybe it will happen this year. At the same time I would throw DDP’s name on the ballot as well for the impact he has had on WWE alum’s life and making them better. He literally took Roberts from death’s door back home to the WWE ring. It’s something we all never thought we would see again. Maybe that entry in the Royal Rumble isn’t that far off for Jake.
For all of the good TNA has been doing the last few weeks on Impact, they took a step back in my eyes this week with the main event. Magnus shouldn’t need all that help to beat AJ Styles. If it was Styles last match with the company, and I hope it wasn’t, that was a horrible sendoff for someone who is viewed by many as the franchise of the company for more than a decade. People came and went, but Styles was the constant. The one who put on great matches and worked hard for TNA to entertain the audience, he deserves better than that.
Check out my work on the Miami Herald pro wrestling section online at this link and on John “Bradshaw” Layfield’s Layfield Report at this link. Follow me on Twitter: @smFISHMAN (https://twitter.com/smFISHMAN).