While having a few weeks off, I’ve had the chance to sit back and watch more of TNA and WWE than in the recent past. I’ve noticed that a few superstars that have struggled in the mid-card and lower, such as R-Truth, have stepped their game up (both in-ring and on the mic). There are a few, however, that have gone/are going in the opposite direction and fast. These are stars with big-time name recognition and hype but have done little in the past year or so. Who are they and what can be done to get them higher up the ladder?

1) Ted DiBiase. Think back to the days of Legacy… of the 3, who did you think would be the one who would do very little after the breakup of the group. Raise your hands if you thought it would be Cody Rhodes (*hand is raised*). Instead, it’s been DiBiase. He had a little thing going with Maryse and the Million Dollar Title but has done crap since. The son of the “Million Dollar Man” should be AT LEAST in serious contention for the U.S. Title, if not on the outside of the WWE/World Title pictures, not having the very rare backstage appearance before a commercial break.

2) Drew McIntyre. For nearly a year, he ruled the mid/upper-mid card as the IC Champion, with some VERY good matches against Kofi Kingston and John Morrison, among others. After losing the title, he basically became an afterthought (I still can’t believe he lost CLEANLY to Chris Masters on Superstars a few weeks ago). There is simply TOO MUCH TALENT in McIntyre to not have him causing havoc in the Title pictures.

3) Samoa Joe. He had a nearly 2 year unbeaten streak in ROH. He had another 18-month unbeaten streak in TNA. He (along with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels) was not only the best thing going in the X-Division at the time, but perhaps all of TNA. So what’s happened in the last 6-8 months? Losing to Crimson in under 3 minutes? Walking away from potential fights? Not being mentioned in the TNA World Title picture? Or the X-Division Title picture? Even the TV Title chase??

What can these 3 do to get out of their slides? Well, in Joe’s case, I think one of 2 things can help:

a) He can go completely bad-a$$ heel. I talking about loose-cannon, destroy anything that moves, heel. His target(s) should start with Fourtune and Styles and/or Daniels (re-capturing the “magic”, unless TNA screws it up). If/when that ends, he should turn his rage on the X-Division until he gets the title. Have him hold the belt until someone can finally step up and end his reign of terror. It gets him a belt, gets his “name” back, and he can actually DO something other than lose.

b) He could become the “franchise” of TNA by going after Immortal and taking them out, one by one. Again, this depends on TNA’s writers not screwing things up.

In DiBiase and McIntyre’s case, it may involve Arn Anderson, a few months, and a stable.

Arn could be sitting ringside, watching matches and “taking notes”. Whenever he see DiBiase and McIntyre lose, he gets increasingly frustrated. After a few weeks (say, 3-5), he gets fed up and rips them a new one publically. He decides to take them under his wing to get them to reach “their potential”. As they wrestle with Arn in their corner, the wins start coming… as does a newly found cunning (DiBiase) and ruthlessness (McIntyre). Arn also adds a 3rd star to this stable, based on his notes, to help them along (Daniel Bryan? Justin Gabriel?). Arn, after a while, decides that they “are ready”… and reveals the leader and 4th member (see where this is going now…?). Yes, reviving the 4 Horsemen through McIntyre and DiBiase, while not likely, is not a bad way to jumpstart their careers.

Whatever solution is out there, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, and Ted DiBiase really need to get going.


Daniels and Strong’s wrestling clinic: Ring of Honor 10/11/10

As I’m just getting started on Ring of Honor, I’m not exactly familar of the history between ROH Champion Roderick Strong and Christopher Daniels.  I am aware that Tyler Black was the ROH Champion and upon signing a deal with WWE, vowed to take the title with him.  That brought Strong out for a match in which he upset Black and captured the ROH title.  This week, Daniels recognized that his match against Strong would be non-title, but still vowed to pin Strong and prove who the best in ROH really was.

Strong vs. Daniels took up two of the 5-part clips that the YouTube rebroadcast was cut up into, and their match was absolutely fantastic.  A lot of mat wrestling and a ton of near falls that saw momentum constantly shifting between the two men.  Christian Able and Paul Turner hit the ring to cause a distraction for the referee, which allowed Strong’s manager Truth Martini to attempt to interfere in the match.  Daniels avoided the attack and crotched Martini on the ropes and tossed him out of the ring.  Unfortunately, the distraction allowed Strong to level Daniels and go for the pin.  At his two count, the ref spotted Martini’s book in the ring and assumed that Strong had used it.  This allowed Daniels the opening to nail Strong with the yuranage then hit the Best Moonsault Ever and win.  Awesome match and killer win for Daniels.

As for the rest of the show…

  • Upset that he seems to have lost his influence over TV Champ Eddie Edwards, manager Shane Hagadorn called out Davey Richards, whom he’s had a problem with for quite some time.  Hagadorn and Richards argued until the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) came down to beat on Richards.  Edwards came out to make the save.
  • After a rather chaotic match between the All Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus) and the Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis), the Express picked up the win when King snuck in and schoolboyed Davis for the pin.
  • After Kevin Steen and Steve Corino picked Davey Richards to fight El Generico last week, it was Generico and Colt Cabana’s turn to pick Steen’s opponent this week.  The two of them pick Corino, which doesn’t sit well with either man.  Both Steen and Corino announce that they’re quitting ROH and walk out in a huff.

Looking Back
This was a quality program, which is something I’m definitely not accustomed to being that I review TNA every week.  Daniels and Strong’s match was definitely good, as was the tag match between the Express and the Dark City Fight Club.  I’m still getting a feel for the brand, so I don’t have many thoughts on it, but I definitely like what I’m seeing here.

Ring of Honor coverage coming to the 1/8th Nelson

It’s hard to not acknowledge that a third wrestling company has national(ish) exposure with a TV deal.  Ring of Honor has had a weekly program for some time now on the channel HDNet.  While none of the 1/8th Nelson writers get HDNet, the show is offered three days after airing on a YouTube channel with a deal with the company.

Your Masked Marvel has been watching these episodes for the last couple weeks to get a feel for the company and learn some of the characters, and he actually has been impressed with both the quality of the company as well as the quality of the show’s production.  Of course, it’s no WWE, but the show’s camera work and commentary are both leaps and bounds above anything coming out of TNA.

So as of this Thursday, your Masked Marvel will start reviewing episodes of Ring of Honor…at least until we can find someone to handle the responsibility weekly.