Welcome to the debut of a brand-new column from SLTD’s resident Scottish Nightmare, yours truly. I’ve not been around much lately. That’s partly to do with the Xmas period, partly to do with me being lazy and partly to do with the fact that I just needed a break from the shite that WWE and TNA had been serving up at the end of 2012. I was burned out and needed a break, so I took it.
What have I done since you last heard from me? Well, there was a pretty monumental shift in the world. The world, as I knew it, ended on 29th December when I turned 30. Yup. Hard to believe right? Turning 30. I never thought I’d live to see that day. The sheer amount of booze and cigarettes I’ve rattled through in the last decade was for nothing. That’s proof that there is no God. Turning 30 means I’m supposed to grow up right? You’ll be glad to know that isn’t happening. Turning 30 means I’m finally allowed to be as grumpy as I want, so if you think that I’m going to mellow out in 2013, you’re fucking sadly mistaken. I’ll probably be angrier, swear a lot more and generally be harder to please as a wrestling fan (if that’s even possible). Bring it on Vince and Dixie. Whatcha got for me?
Now, getting to this new column. I’ve decided on calling my SLTD exclusive blog “Smoke & Mirrors”. Why? Because Cody Rhodes’ theme tune is fucking awesome. That’s why. Also, that’s pretty much what wrestling is – smoke & mirrors – so it makes sense right? I’ll be posting this every weekend from now on, but I’ll keep bringing you interviews with the top stars of the Scottish wrestling scene too.
You don’t need me to explain what this week’s first column is about. The title does that for me. I’m going to list 5 men who I think should have a WWE Title run in 2013. If you’re expecting to see the names John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton and CM Punk on this list, then you’d better lower your expectations or leave right now. Seriously… They’re not on here. It’s almost a given that they’ll get title runs this year, so it’s pointless wasting time talking about them.
I’m talking about guys who genuinely deserve to be at the top of the card. Guys that should be working with any, or all, of the “top guys” in WWE. Men who deserve to be pushed instead of the jacked-up Johnnies or Vince’s latest pet project. I genuinely couldn’t give a fuck about guys like Ryback or The Funkasaurus, Brodus Clay getting pushed. Their characters/gimmicks (whatever the fuck you want to call them) are awful and do nothing for me as a fan. I’d rather see ACTUAL wrestlers getting the TV time that those toolbags get on a weekly basis.
“FEED ME MORE!” – nah, more like “MAKES ME SNORE!”
“FUNK IS ON A ROLL” – well I wish it’d roll the fuck off my TV. Hey Vince. 1999 called. Rikishi wants his gimmick back.
Seriously. WWE have given SO much time to SO many shitey gimmicks in the last year that it’s actually made my head hurt. Hell, it even hurt Khali’s head so bad that he had to have surgery. What? Too soon… Anyway, let’s get started with this list.
I think Cody’s matured a hell of a lot this year as an all-round performer. He’s really stepped it up on the mic, although his obsession with luchador masks is a concern. Maybe he’s got some kind of fetish where he just likes sniffing them? Who knows? The guy has always been able to get it done in the ring, but he’s a much better talker than he was this time last year. I’m glad WWE paired him with Damien Sandow late last year because they’re a great tag-team. Their skills complement each other. That’s what a tag-team is supposed to be, not just two random pricks thrown together to make up the numbers. In 2013, I expect his team with Damien Sandow to win the WWE Tag-Team Championships, possibly at the Elimination Chamber. They’ll split in the summer and Cody wins one of the MiTB matches. Hopefully he’ll cash in on the SmackDown babyface champion the same night and leave as World Champion. That’s how I’d do it anyway.
Regular SLTD’ers (if that’s even a word) will know I have a massive man-crush on Dolph Ziggler. However, if there was a league table, Daniel Bryan would be in 2nd place. The silver medallist. I’m not ashamed to say it. I fucking love Daniel Bryan, but not in a gay way. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just not how I roll. Bryan was fucking amazing last year. From his World Title run, to the “YES!” phenomenon, to the Miami Screwjob, to his series of matches with Punk, to Anger Management with Kane, ending up with “I’M THE TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS!”. Bryan was SO far above and beyond everyone else in WWE or TNA last year that it’s not even funny. Great matches? Yup. Character development? Yup. Funny as fuck? Oh… Hell… Yeah!!! In all seriousness, Bryan’s proved in the last year that he can get over with the crowd. His wrestling skills have never been in question, but now he’s proved his character connects with the punters. Personally, I’d have put the WWE Title on him last summer to capitalise on how over he was as a heel. If he doesn’t get another “big” title run in 2013, there’s something seriously wrong with the world.
The reigning and defending official #mancrush of yours truly. He’s also Mr Money in the Bank. The guy who’s a better all-round performer than 95% of the entire WWE roster. Yet WWE STILL feel the need to pair him up with a bint. Just after he finally seemed to have broken out on his own, creative paired him with a girl who’s shagged her way through almost all of Raw’s main-event talent. At least in terms of storylines. I’m talking about the girl whose own theme music tells us to “slide it up” – AJ Lee. There was Daniel Bryan, Kane, CM Punk, John Cena and now Ziggler. I dunno why I’m surprised. This is WWE, where naughty words are a big no-no, but poopy jokes and promiscuity are OK kids! But seriously, AJ is pissing me off. I’m tired of her. It’s over-exposure to the “crazy chick” character. Ziggler is MORE than capable of being over with the crowd on his own. Listen to the reactions he’s been getting all year. The crowd digs him. Why? Cos he does what it says on the t-shirt. He steals the show EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Seriously, is there a guy he’s worked with in the last 2 years that Ziggler hasn’t made look like $1million? No. There isn’t. He does what a heel is supposed to do. He makes you believe he’s getting his ass kicked, while looking credible at the same time.
I’m gonna surprise you. A lot of people said after he beat John Cena at TLC that it was his “breakthrough” moment. THIS JUST IN… IT WASN’T! His win at TLC meant fuck all. Why? Because it wasn’t a clean, pinfall win. Winning a gimmick match through interference is cheap. If WWE believed in him enough to give him the MiTB briefcase, why wouldn’t they let him pin Cena clean in a 1-on-1 contest? Both guys are good enough to carry that. I’ll tell you why. It’s WWE’s relentless persistence on booking Cena strong. He’s lost 1 PPV match by a clean pinfall in the last 7 years, and that was to Rock. Every other loss Cena has had on PPV has either been in some form of gimmick or multi-man match. It’s bullshit. Ziggler deserved to pin Cena clean on PPV. Before you start moaning, I get that it was a gimmick PPV, but why not have an Iron-Man match that’s pinfall or submission only? That would’ve meant more because that’s decisive. Any jackass can climb up a ladder and pull down a belt or a briefcase.
Anyway, after a couple of hesitant years, it seems like WWE are FINALLY going to pull the trigger and push Ziggler as a main-eventer. All I can say is that it’s about fucking time. In 2013, he deserves to have a memorable year and a long title run. He’s been too good, and over-looked, for far too long. I just hope his run at the top is sustained like CM Punk’s, instead of a flash in the pan like Jack Swagger or The Miz.
I’ll be honest and say that when he first debuted, I couldn’t stand the sight of this dude. His smarmy, reality-TV based persona used to really grind my gears. However, he’s really grown on me since becoming a singles star. His shitty wrestling ability used to annoy me, but now I can see that he’s no more limited than people like The Rock, Hulk Hogan or John Cena. Similar to those guys, but nowhere near the same level, Miz has charisma. He’s entertaining, funny and he always gets a reaction from the crowd. His face turn towards the end of 2012 wasn’t quite as smooth as it could’ve been, but there’s still time. It’ll take time for the punters to get used to him as a face. It’s not as if he’s got to do a major shift in terms of his in-ring style. It’s basically the same whether he’s heel or face.
Miz has a movie out later this year and if WWE are going to promote it heavily, like they always do with that straight-to-DVD action movie shite that would embarrass Steven Seagal, then they’ll want Miz to have a prominent role on TV. I think he’s easily capable of having main-event feuds with the likes of Orton, Sheamus, Punk, Bryan and Ziggler. He’s put up with a lot of shit since he lost the WWE Championship, like blaming him for the poor buyrates that Survivor Series got in 2011 (which was beyond fucking ridiculous), and he’s come through it so hopefully Miz gets another prolonged stint at the top of the card. Of the 2, a World Title run is more likely than another WWE Title reign at this point.
The list comes to an end with Wade Barrett. Wadey Poos. The man of the BullHammer and the Barrett Barrage. Arguably the stand-out performer from the first season/series of NXT. I’ve said this 100’s of times before, but Barrett has all the tools to be the best bad-ass heel WWE has had since HHH’s last real heel run between 2002 and 2005/6. He looks like he could legit fuck you up and in fairness, I wouldn’t mess with him. Barrett’s smashmouth style isn’t as nice to watch as the pure wrestling of a Punk, Bryan or Ziggler, but it’s damn effective. I think he’d have been in Big Show’s spot now if he hadn’t have been injured early last year – at the top of the card as SmackDown’s top heel. WWE just need to keep this slow burn going up the card and giving him the IC Title for a bit is fine, but he doesn’t need a belt to be relevant. Makes me sad to say it, but someone like Kofi Kingston does need a belt to be relevant. I like Kofi, but it’s the truth. There’s no doubt in my mind that Barrett will be the first British-born WWE Champion at some point down the line. 2013 should see Barrett win either the Royal Rumble or one of the Money in the Bank matches, before cashing in to become World Champion. I’d like to see him as World Champion this time next year, and head in to WrestleMania 30 defending his title. That’d be fucking epic.
That’ll about wrap things up. I want Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Wade Barrett to have either WWE or World Title runs this year, but what about you? Get involved and leave your own suggestions in the comment section, or find me on Twitter @george_sltd anytime you wanna shoot the shit.
I’ll be back with another of these expletive filled columns at the weekend, but if you want to hear my thoughts on the last month in WWE and TNA, make sure you tune in to the first episode of SLTD Radio in 2013 this coming Thursday at 9:30pm! The boys are back in town and we’ll have a huge announcement to make too! You’ve got no excuse for missing it!
See ya next week,