There's wrestling on TV just about everyday now. From Monday Night Raw and ROH on HDNet to PPVs, it can be hard to keep up with it all. Add in all the news and rumors launched on the net and it's enough to make you tap out in defeat. But relax my friends, Hit the Ropes is here to give you a quick update on all the highs and lows of WWE, TNA, ROH and everything in between.
So let's get to Who's Hot and Who's Not for January 25, 2010 - January 31, 2010.
Undertaker looks stronger than he has in years. Anytime you have a future Hall of Famer begging for a chance to fight you, you have to feel good. Taker stood by his guns, despite getting called out and refused Shawn, demanding if he wants a rematch he has to earn it.
The Deadman wasn't all talk though, he backed it up in the ring. He ended Smackdown by delivering two thunderous chokeslams, one to HBK and one to Rey Mysterio. And he capped the week off by taking out the King of Mystery at the Royal Rumble. Everyone wants to challenge the champ, and Taker proves he's a champion who never backs down from a challenge.
No major TV exposure, yet still a major impact in the wrestling community. Jim Cornette's Pick 6 concept was so hot, that TNA decided to steal it an implement it what they call an 8 Card Tourney. Interesting seeing how it wasn't long ago that Cornette was with TNA, but was released due to creative differences.
ROH also makes a huge step into establishing new stars by bringing in a brand new TV title. This will help feature more of their talent as we now have a place for those who aren't yet main event caliber talent, but are on the verge of breaking out a place to shine.
3. CM Punk
CM Punk is one of the best things going in professional wrestling today. His Straight Edge Society is one of the hottest storylines going today. He has taken two members who have been oblivious to casual fans, and brought them to the forefront as he leads them to a pure life.
And despite having his Unified World Tag Team Titles shot stripped away, he shined in his singles bout with The Game. Just two days later, Punk takes his momentum into the Rumble where eliminated Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne, JTG, Beth Phoenix and Zach Ryder before being upended once again by Triple H. HBK was the only superstar with more eliminations than Punk. He looks very strong despite not getting close to winning the Royal Rumble. WWE Superstars should be jumping at the chance to change their lives and join the Straight Edge Society.
Say what you want about Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and the fogeys that they've brought in, it's working. The TV ratings are on the climb, they've announced that they will be headed to Monday nights once again, and the interest in TNA has never been so high.
While they are not yet anywhere in the league of the WWE, they are definitely on their way. Fans can't seem to stop talking about what happened last week and what's to come next week. You, the fans, have proven this over and over as TNA articles have doubled the views of WWE for the past few weeks. For their anticipation and spark, TNA is the second hottest thing in professional wrestling.
Although we only saw Edge for a whopping 7:00 minutes of WWE programing this week, there's no doubt he's the hottest wrestler of the week. After cutting his injury time in half, Edge surprises many with not only returning at WWE Royal Rumble...but he pulls a John Cena and wins the entire thing. Well considering he's the Ultimate Opportunists, maybe it's not that surprising. Regardless, Edge is going to the main event of Wrestlemania courtesy of the biggest impact of the week.
5. Amazing Red
Amazing Red started the the week as the X-Division title, but is barely seen on TV. When he finally does make it on Spike, he loses twice in the span of 10 minutes. He gets defeated by TNA newcomer Brian Kenderick, and just one commercial break later he loses his title to Doug Williams. What a great return Amazing Red had as he returned to the company to win the title, only to have it buried along with himself.
The week started off so-so for Shawn Michaels and ended in disaster. As one half of DX, he upended Legacy. And with the exception of not having to defend the title later that week on Smackdown!, that's about as good as it got. HBK's best friend and tag team partner couldn't understand why he wanted Undertaker so bad, and he couldn't complete his one and only goal...to win the Rumble.
Despite eliminating seven opponents at the Rumble, including his tag team partner, HBK was eliminated without the chance to face his biggest loss at Mania. For Michaels, there could not be a worse outcome. Ask HBK if he's had a red hot week, and you'd wish all you got was a cold shoulder.
3. Gregory Helms
Gregory Helms suffered the triple whammy this week. Not only did he get busted for public intoxication, his mugshot and story was posted on TMZ and the wrestling Internet community took the situation and ran every which way. But the third and final whammy was his professional career took a hit. Gregory Helms was removed from the Royal Rumble, and in an unrelated note so was the Hurricane, as well as TV for the next week. Who knows how long he will have to pay the price for one night out on the town.
There have been few weaker world champions in recent memory than the man with the WWE Championship, Shaemus. When Shaemus was burring the likes of Jamie Noble and Evan Bourne, it was easy to see the WWE was building him into a human wrecking machine. They quickly put the strap on him to try and add to his credibility. But there's a time when you leave the cheap heat alone, and become a ruthless champion that you're advertised to be. Shaemus has yet to do so.
On Monday night, fans were treated to an impromptu bout with Superman John Cena. With many fans being upset with the way Shaemus won the belt, now was the perfect time to rectify it all by having Shaemus destroy Cena. It did not happen.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. TNA. The more things change, the more the stay the same. Despite TNA Impact gaining some of the best ratings in their history, story wise it has been less than impressive.
Why are fans supposed to expect that just because you pair AJ Styles with Ric Flair, that his whole lifestyle is supposed to change over night. Styles is said to be a devout Christian and family man, he's displayed these characteristics time and again on TNA television, but now he's hugging up on a bunch of no named women and partying like a rock star because Ric's in the room? One would think Styles wouldn't be corrupted in just a day. We get you're trying to give Styles an edge, but it's just not realistic overnight.
So Eric Bischoff, faked his attack? Where was the truth behind the explanation? Why wasn't Mick Foley more upset about being accused and then fired for something he didn't do?
If Mick Foley was fired, why did TNA promote his blog on Facebook that very night? If Kurt Angle quit, why was he on the program the next week? Why are both Foley and Angle still being promoted for the next PPV? These are simple things that shouldn't be overlooked.
Yes, TNA was both red hot and ice cold at times this week. But you've got to give credit when credit is due. Although their moves aren't exactly what most wrestling fans would say is riveting TV, they are drawing numbers that prove there are plenty of people watching.
The WWE's world champions, are polar opposites. Undertaker looks strong and dominate on Smackdown! while Raw's Sheamus still looks like he doesn't belong.
Let's hope the WWE continues to build around CM Punk and you shouldn't bet the farm that HBK will remain in the NOT column for long. It was a very exciting week in professional wrestling and should be an even better week to follow.