Best For Business: WWE Battleground & Raw Reaction, TNA's Youth Movement, More
But with a Rhodes'-Shield main event, we get a satisfying ending—one that makes the viewers happy and excited for Hell In A Cell.
Is TNA Preparing for a Youth Movement?
Last Thursday's Impact Wrestling featured a desperate Dixie Carter dropping to her knees to beg Hulk Hogan to stay in TNA—the exact same thing that AJ Styles promised Dixie she'd do for him. Some are calling it a bit of "creative control" from The Hulkster himself, and they might be right. But in this instance, it worked. Dixie is putting herself on a pedestal, saying she's responsible for what success TNA has achieved.
But if she's truly going to be a heel, she needs to be a full-on chicken-you-know-what heel. And begging Hulk Hogan to stay accomplishes that. Sure, Hogan is likely to go on radio programs pretending that Dixie begged him to stay in real life. We all know the truth, and it shall set us free.
But TNA did accomplish some great things on Impact Wrestling. It was our second week in a row involving Kenny King, and we also got some character development for Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky, aka "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Elizabeth. For the record, this is TNA's second time ripping off Savage, and only slightly less blatant than Black Machismo.
But we also saw the next step in the process to build "Ethan," who we all now know is former WWE NXT winner Derrick Bateman (also known as Michael Hutter). Hutter has already shown more personality in one TNA promo than in his entire WWE run, and if the rumors are true—that he's the first of several young stars set to debut, than TNA is getting this right. Hutter is the right type of ex-WWE Superstar for TNA. Much like "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, he represents "the one that got away," where he can go to TNA and shine. If TNA were smart, they'd bring back the former Trent Baretta, as well as sign a few very talented wrestlers from the indies. And if they really want to have AJ Styles lose at Bound For Glory, the right interference isn't from Aces & Eights—it's from a returning Matt Morgan.
While TNA isn't in a good place right now, they are a few moves away from resetting things in a way that can build some confidence from the hardcore internet fan base, one that is far more important to TNA than it is to WWE.
Unlike some of the WrestlingInc community commenting in Marc Middleton's Raw coverage, I rather enjoyed Raw, and this is becoming a trend for me. We saw a mini payoff as The Big Show knocked out Triple H, and Daniel Bryan got the last laugh despite being pinned by The Shield's Seth Rollins. If this puts plans in motion for an eventual Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H match, sign me up.
One rather random element of Raw was the introduction of John Cena as the next challenger to Alberto Del Rio's World Heavyweight Championship. I mean, c'mon, who has he beat to earn a damn title shot!?!? I kid, but there is one serious problem with this announcement: it's too soon.
John Cena had surgery (to remove what appeared to be a junior league football) from his elbow on August 20. WWE presents Hell In A Cell on October 27, just two months and one week after Cena's surgery. If you remember, John Cena's expected recovery time was 4-6 months...four months is the fast end of that timeframe!
John Cena being in the title picture isn't fresh, but that's not the concern. Either the WWE brass, John Cena himself, or both entities, are trading in 2-4 months of Cena in the ring now for quite possibly the last few years of his Hall of Fame career. He could reinjure his arm and be out for a year. Worse off, he could cause nerve damage that ends his career altogether. Ratings have proven that neither Daniel Bryan nor Randy Orton are the face of the WWE.
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