Welcome to the Pat’s Pit, where we discuss different wrestling topics. As always, dumb responses will get you hit in the head with a coconut. Here’s today’s discussions:
Roman Reigns is not going anywhere. I think WWE is fine with the reaction that he’s getting, because it’s a lot like the Cena reaction. However, we know that they probably would rather him cheered. Without saying the situation is “unfixable”, how would you book him to get him to get him a positive reaction down the line, which could include turning him heel first?
KRYSIA: I wouldn’t book him in anything. I am not a Roman fan, never was and might possibly never will be. I feel he will turn into what John Cena has not turned into. A ten-second match, with a whole lot of HYPE, and nothing but his finishers.
STEVE: I think a heel turn would be a great move for Reigns. It would have to be followed up by a hiatus of some sort. His return should be to come to someone’s aid as they’re being attacked by a heel and start a feud with that heel. And he really needs to stop doing the Superman punch so much, please learn more moves.
CHRIS: Truthfully, I think Roman’s path to the top has cemented a taste in the crowds mouth that isn’t going to ever go away until he’s reached a level of nostalgia/respect for fans later on down the line like Cena has right now. If we tried to go the root of reimagining him as the babyface everyone loves, the only way I could see it happening is if he as a person (the actor behind the character) is interesting. From what I saw on up up down down, that is not the case. He’s boring as a human being and that blandness lets fans project what they want to see on him easily. I could craft any number of scenarios, my favorite being him turning heel on the shield and forming the Bloodline with the Usos, but I doubt that’d even be worth it if Roman doesn’t bring more personality than what he currently has now (which is nothing).
JASON: I wouldn’t say that the Roman Reigns situation is “unfixable,” I’d say that it doesn’t need to be fixed. I think the fact that he gets such a strong reaction is good enough, even though it’s not the positive reaction the WWE would likely prefer. At this point, fans boo him because that’s what you do when his music hits and when he starts to talk. As a big Roman Reigns fan, I think the reaction he gets is more entertaining than everyone just cheering a traditional face.
PAT: I used to be firmly against a Reigns heel turn, but the idea gradually grew on me. As I’ve said on here before, when I thought they turned him on the Raw after SummerSlam this year, I was thrilled. I thought they were going to set up a Strowman face run to the title, and people would get off Roman’s back as being the top guy for a bit. I firmly believe he needs that turn. His personality and promos already have a heel feel to them. Almost every one of the biggest faces in wrestling history were top heels first. Face Roman just doesn’t work for me at the moment, and I think he’d thrive as a heel.
Should legends be going over younger talent? What message does it send when they do?
KRYSIA: I enjoy when legends come out of the woodwork and are able to put on a good match. Just recently Undertaker and Triple H had their “last time ever” match in Australia. It was great, give or take a few times during the match that you can tell these guys are OLD and need slow moments to regain their energy. I understand why they were the main event, since most of the promos for that PPV were all pretty much a build up for their match. However I don’t think that they should go over the young talents or at least not over them at each event. Now DX made a challenge to the Brother of Destruction. What happened to last match ever? If they do end up wrestling again at the Crown Jewel, I hope it’s not the main event. Most of the younger talent grew up watching these legends do what they do best, so as far as a message to the younger talent, I think it says you work hard enough and soon you can be as old as them still kicking butt
STEVE: Legends are always gonna be face in my opinion. That being said, if a legend comes back they should only face a very well established heel in order to save face. Having a legend win against a newer wrestler could have irreversible damage to the character building of said “newbie”.
CHRIS: Situational, but overall no. Goldberg is still a mountain of a man, but if you built a Goldberg like character out of a young star and had them tee off in a slug fest, put over the young star. The biggest issue we talk about is that WWE, for fear of their stars growing too big and leaving them/fear that too much freedom for that star to perform at an entertaining level could endanger the sanctuary that is Vince’s neurotic PG playpen, has stifled any star in the company from getting too big. This absolutely blows when you want to invest in the new crop of young lads and lasses of the group, as you know they’re only one phone call away from eating a pedigree with a side order of dirt on account of being buried by THE GAME HHH THE CEREBRAL ASSASSIN TERMINATOR WRESTLING GOD KING SUPREME. It’s a conflicting feeling to say the least, and really kills most of the hype I had for guys like Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke, Bayley, etc.
JASON: Legends shouldn’t be going over young talent. I enjoy legends returning as much as the next guy, but it makes no sense for the old guys to walk in and squash guys that WWE has presumably spent months if not longer trying to build up. The only exception I’d say for this is the oversees shows like super showdown or Crown Jewel. These shows are more exhibitions than anything else so I don’t take too much stock in how they book them.
PAT: If a legend is coming in for a short run and actually building up to a program with someone, I think it’s fine if that legend goes over wrestlers for whom wins and losses don’t matter that much. At the moment I think Tye Dillinger, R-Truth, Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and of course, Curt Hawkins. The problem comes when you have moments like The Rock beating Erick Rowan in 11 seconds at WrestleMania 32, then Rock and Cena taking out the entire Wyatt Family. You just buried some of your best new stars in 11 seconds at the expense of a momentary pop. That’s the shit I can’t stand, and I think the audience is getting too smart to even care for it in the moment.
What is your favorite match of all-time, and what do you think is the greatest match of all-time? They can be the same or different.
KRYSIA: My favorite match of all time is The Dudley Boyz vs. the Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian (WrestleMania X-Seven) I was a HUGE Team Xtreme fan, so anything that Jeff and Matt did I was a huge fan of. They put their bodies on the line, and it was just Poetry In Motion. These guys worked so well together and the crowd LOVED IT.
What I think is the GREATEST match of all-time would be the Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell match. That was amazing, and another match where bodies were on the line. Mankind took such a beating, he even lost a tooth. They don’t make matches like that anymore.
STEVE: From an entertainment standpoint the attitude era TLC matches were the best. Edge and Christian, The Hardy’s, The Dudley’s it was incredible to watch even being almost empty of any real technical wrestling. I was always a big stone cold fan so I’m gonna have to say WrestleMania 13 Bret Hart vs Steve Austin in the I Quit match as my favorite or at least in my top 3 of all time.
CHRIS: Undertaker vs. Kane mania 20. My favorite match ever and I don’t think it will ever change.
As for greatest match, idk man. I’m terrible at picking these. Shinsuke vs. Sami Zayn is one that still sits in my head as one of those classics that astounded me from start to finish.
JASON: My favorite match of all time is Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon at k\King of the Ring 2001. This match had absolutely everything that any wrestling fan could ever ask for. Shane never disappoints when he gets in the ring and he and Kurt put on the most exciting and entertaining matches I’ve ever seen. As for the greatest match of all time, I’d have to go with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 17. The greatest era in professional wrestling, the biggest show of the year, the biggest prize in the “sport” and the two most influential superstars the business has ever seen, and you have the stage set for the greatest match ever.
PAT: Jason and I have the same favorite match. that Angle-McMahon street fight is a match I can watch over and over again. It just beats out the first two TLC matches in my mind. I don’t know if you’ll ever see two guys go more all-out than they did in that match.
For greatest match, I always say Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels Iron Man match from WrestleMania XII. The last 20 minutes of that match are the best 20 minutes of wrestling you’ll ever see from two of the best two ever step in the ring. It set the bar for all future Iron Man matches that has yet to be reached.
We’re just under four months away from the 2019 Royal Rumble. Who returns and who debuts, if anyone?
KRYSIA: I definitely want to see some NXT stars come up either at Royal Rumble or right before. As far as returns, maybe Enzo Amore!? I have to keep my ear to the ground and see what rumors I hear, or of course what Pat tells me.
STEVE: Tommaso Ciampa is gonna be in the rumble so if he loses the belt that definitely means he’s gonna be in the rumble.
CHRIS: Kenny Omega, riding a dog sleigh pulled by C.M. Punk. #1 out of 30.
JASON: I don’t follow NXT so I don’t know any of the names that could possibly be making their debuts at the Royal Rumble. As for returns, I can only hope they up their game with legends compared to the past few years. The most exciting part of the Royal Rumble match is the completely unexpected music of a legend hitting and seeing the place go nuts.
PAT: Tommaso Ciampa, EC3, Matt Riddle from NXT. From outside WWE, Hangman Page. On the women’s side: Shayna Baszler & Rhea Ripley.