Adzop: Hot Topics, Ring Generals, Ones to watch, Singing Along with Ryback

Hello friends. Time for me to let you know what’s been on my mind this week. I still haven’t been inspired enough by anything WWE-related to bang out a full size, restaurant quality column lately. Also, I’m quite enjoying sending out these bite-sized nuggets of goodness. With that in mind…

The hottest topic this week.
I’ve been impressed with the efforts of Mr AW since he formed ‘All World Promotions’ and joined up with Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. The trio have looked like a genuine Superstar tag team over the last few weeks. The only problem I have with the whole scenario is that they keep wrestling Primo & Epico every week. Whether its tag matches or one-on-one matches, it’s happening too often. Anyway, the big story this week is that AW has been fired. He’s been ‘future endeavoured’ for making lewd and inappropriate comments on live TV. I don’t know how many warnings AW had been given. I didn’t even notice the Kobe Bryant joke that started it all. I’m sure over half of the audience had no clue what he was talking about, anyway. I find it difficult to believe that this won’t seriously hamper the progress of O’Neil and Young. They’re confident enough, and they were looking good before AW joined them as their manager, but the three of them together just clicked. It’s rare these days to see someone use a microphone with such confidence and be so convincing in their role. He has been Tweeting his thoughts, providing examples of Superstars doing much worse on TV in the past and not getting punished – but most of these examples happened years ago, before Linda was running for Senate, and before WWE went full-bore with the PG era.

One to Watch.
I’ve been holding this one back for a few weeks. I really like Antonio Cesaro. Here’s a guy who really could be huge in WWE. He’s got it all. He wrestled Christian on Smackdown this week in a nice little match. I thought he would have won, but maybe they’re going to save that for a PPV show. He has the size, an impressive and deadly move-set, some unique taunts and a gorgeous manager. I hope he gets to wrestle Christian at Summerslam, so he can avenge that defeat. Keep your eye on this guy. He could use some better entrance music, though.

Sheamus down and out!
Alberto Del Rio had World Champion Sheamus lying on the mat at the end of Smackdown. That was refreshing. It must be the first time Sheamus has looked vulnerable or overmatched since he won the title at WrestleMania. I don’t believe Del Rio will take the Championship from the ‘Celtic Warrior’, but at least they made Smackdown a little more interesting for a week.

Barrett Barrage is back.
On Raw, a vignette hyping up the imminent return of Wade Barrett was played. At last. I thought he’d be back for Money in the Bank. Hopefully he’ll be back at (or just after) Summerslam. Barrett was on the rise, but suffered a horrible injury which has cost him half of this year. He hasn’t done much wrong since he arrived in WWE. As the mouthpiece of Nexus, he got a lot of TV time and many high profile matches. He looks, acts, and sounds like a true villain. His feud with Randy Orton last year received much acclaim. These are reasons why so many people are excited to see him return. The promo itself was dark, sinister, and well produced. Wade Barrett could unseat Sheamus as World Champion. As a fellow Englishman and a big Barrett fan, this would make me very happy.

I once wrote a column about booking Wade Barrett to end The Undertaker’s Streak. I’ve often wondered how WWE will keep my interest when The Undertaker is gone forever – and it’s Superstars like Wade Barrett that give me hope. I often talk about Superstars failing to CONVINCE me as a viewer. Wade Barrett has never had that problem. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are also very good in that respect. There was a term used for Superstars like Steve Austin, Undertaker, and Triple H – they were called the ‘Ring Generals’. You don’t tend to hear it anymore. A General of the ring is somebody that keeps things together and makes their opponent, the referee, and the fans feel safe in the knowledge that things are going to go as well as possible. I get that feeling about Barrett. As a fan, I trust him to deliver the goods, every time he’s on TV. I may be rambling, now. Let’s crack on.

Annoyingly unrealistic crowd noises.
Whenever I watch Smackdown or Superstars, I get increasingly frustrated by the piped-in crowd noises. These shows are taped. Raw is live, and such, you get real-life crowd noises and a more organic, realistic, spontaneous show. How am I supposed to believe that Primo and Epico received such a massive ovation this week on Smackdown? I’ve watched Divas matches on Superstars and seen Alicia Fox receive a bigger ovation than what most Superstars received on Raw the same week! It’s even worse when a wrestler is cutting a promo and the cheers and boos are put in there to accompany it – half of the time, the timing of the ‘cheer’ or the ‘boo’ isn’t even correct. It’s just awful. Why do they need to do it? Do fans not cheer at Smackdown events?

Impressive Mahal.
The very first time I saw Jinder Mahal, I told everyone that would listen that he’d be one to look out for. I was instantly struck by his unique and sinister demeanour. A few weeks later, I was left with egg on my face when WWE began to present him as a racially-stereotypical jobber who was never going to be anything more than a tool for WWE’s plans to appeal to the worldwide market. However, since he entered his little feud with Ryback, we have seen another side to his character. On Smackdown this week, he beat two local wrestlers in a handicap match, Ryback-style, imitating Ryback’s head-slapping gesture and performing an impressive double Camel Clutch. I noticed on an NXT promo that he had all but dropped his Indian accent, but then on Smackdown, it was back again. How odd. Drop the stereotypical gimmick, change the theme music, and we’ve got ourselves a player.

Feed Me More.
There were some hilarious fans singing along with Ryback on this week’s Smackdown. More of this, please. That was one of the highlights of the show! Feed me more!

So, that’s it for this week, people. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Summerslam is next Sunday. Will Brock Lesnar defeat Triple H? Will Sheamus wrestle Del Rio? Will Wade Barrett return? Will Randy Orton be working?

Post your thoughts, comments and opinions below!

‘Til then…