It’s no secret we have been quite here at KickOutat2.com since the departure of CM Punk, but like him, we lost our passion for the art form that we love. There comes a time when you have to take a break. Sometimes no matter what you are doing in life you need to take a little time, clear your head and find your center, that passion for what you love again and start things from a fresh perspective. The thing is WWE absolutely refuses to do anything fresh. For 12 Years John Cena has been WWE’s “Golden-Boy” and for a lot of people that’s a good thing, for most it’s a problem. While this could easily turn into a “Cena-Hater” post keep in mind I respect the man for what he does, he has a work ethic unparalleled to anyone currently in the company and the things he does for charity, especially the “Make-A-Wish Foundation, can truly be heart touching and appreciated by anyone.

That being said this should not be the grounds for closing in on the greatest title reign of all time. Currently the record is held by the Legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. An accomplishment that took a 40 something year to accomplish. After tonight Cena is currently sitting on a 15 Time World Championship record. Again he has only been there for 12 Years so this simply isn’t fair to the ring veterans of yesteryear. Now this isn’t Cena’s fault but mostly a bad call of WWE hot-shoting the title back and forth on a month by month basis in 2007. They are just simply too afraid to take chances on anyone else and this has been a problem for years.

Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are the two newest individuals to suffer from the wrath of WWE’s booking and John Cena’s “God Like Superman” abilities. The feud with Bray Wyatt was awesome. Not since CM Punk has someone brought out the best in Cena as far as this ring work. It was a good feud and in no doubt helped make Bray Wyatt but in the end Bray should have been the victor. Sadly once it was announced he would be facing Cena in a “Last Man Standing” Match, Bray Wyatt’s fate was sealed and Cena was “protected” according to the status-quo . Tonight the fans were no doubt ready for a new Champion, for a new era in WWE but sadly WWE returned to the well and played it “safe” with their Golden-Boy yet again.

There is no reason in this world that Roman Reigns should not be WWE World Heavyweight Champion as you read this. There are many who say that “It’s too early” or “It isn’t time” but at what point do they decide it is time?  WWE needs to focus on newer talent and promote these guys that the fans want to see to the top spots. John Cena isn’t going to be around forever and they need to learn to stop putting all their eggs in one basket. The Main Event picture should not be stale and boring constantly. Seeing the same thing over and over again is enough to make anyone’s passion wear thin. It’s no doubt that fans and superstars alike walk away from something they simply can not enjoy anymore…. P.S. We Miss You CM Punk!

 

-Robbie C.

streak 1So, I’ve had some time to digest what I’m calling the most shocking moment in wrestling history.  Up to this point, I would say Bash at the Beach 1996 took that spot with Hulk Hogan turning against Randy Savage and aligning himself with the Outsiders, creating the nWo.   Last night, though…last night they silenced 75,000+ fans with one strike of a hand against canvas.  They stopped me in my tracks and left me staring blankly, slackjawed at my screen for almost five minutes.

They ended the Streak.

They ended the $*@#ing Streak!

I’m sure I’m like most wrestling fans out there that figured the Streak would never end.  As long as Taker could go, just have him keep adding numbers until he finally calls it quits and rides off into the sunset.  Or, if it had to go, it would go to some up and comer who would benefit greatly from the rub.  I think that’s what was the most shocking from last night…not the fact that it ended, but WHO ended it.

I’d have never picked Lesnar to be that guy.  That’s not a knock against him, truthfully.  I love Brock.  We here at Ko@2 are pretty staunch Brock supporters.  I’m not worried about him not giving 100% to the business.  I’m not worried about him being a part timer.  I dig him.  Plus, even if he doesn’t LOVE the business like someone like Cena or Bryan, I don’t doubt for one second that Brock knows EXACTLY what was just handed to him and what an honor it was.  I just never would have figured it would be him.  Punk last year was the only time I’ve ever thought it would happen, honestly, and that was only a small glimmer of worry.  There was nothing  about last night’s match that gave me any worry of the Streak ending.

This guy is as Internet famous as they come today!

This guy is as Internet famous as they come today!

I think, after having almost 24 hours to deal with it, that’s the only thing that I have a problem with in this whole ordeal.  If they were going to have Brock win, I think it should have went longer.  They had all the makings for a really epic story.  Taker challenged Brock this year.  It’s the first time in half a decade that Taker wasn’t the one goaded into the match.  Maybe they could have played up that he had beaten the best over the last few years so now he was going to try his hand at the biggest badass in the WWE.  Maybe they could have stretched this out since at least the Rumble instead of just throwing it together in a few weeks.  That’s the problem I have…there wasn’t any buildup.  It simply looked like they just said “Okay…Taker…and, um….Brock, yeah, Brock!” and suddenly there was a match made.  There was no credible threat other than Lesnar himself.

At the end of the day, I’m okay with the Streak being gone.  I wasn’t last night.  Oh, I wasn’t ready to accept it last night.  I thought Derick was crazy when he told me he was okay with it.  But now, yeah, I can deal with it.  I’m just worried about some stuff, I guess.

The big rumor these last few days (like it is EVERY YEAR!) was that Sting was being brought in to take on Taker at Wrestlemania 31.  If that holds true, then I am way more excited about that match now because with the Streak gone, something like Taker VS Sting can be more than Taker’s normal Wrestlemania match where you know who is going to win.  Sting has a chance.  That could make for some very interesting TV.  Of course, now there’s a kink in that…

From what I’ve been hearing today, it looks like Taker is done.  He had to go to the hospital last night after the match due to a concussion.  I don’t know if it was the concussion 100% or not, but Taker looked pretty bad last night too.  That match just didn’t flow right and you could tell Taker wasn’t all in.  If that was due to the concussion, then that’s one thing.  But if the concussion was only part of the problem, that really points to the possibility that Taker doesn’t have it anymore.  With Taker being 50 next year and Sting being around 55, that doesn’t make for the greatest match of all time to begin with…but if Taker has other issues and is really calling it quits, then where does that leave Sting?  He has stated a few times that he’d love Taker to be the final match he has.  If he really did sign with WWE, who is there for Sting to take on next year?  Cena?  Triple H?  Those matches don’t really seem to have that magic that Sting and Taker would.  Who knows…maybe they’ll come up with something.  At any rate, as long as Sting signing (if he has) means I get a biography Blu-Ray set, action figures and Sting in WWE 2K15, I’m all for it, no matter what happens.

I guess we’ll see tonight what is in store for Taker and where the fallout from this will take us.  I do have to hand it to Vince, though…he took away the predictability last night.  If Taker can lose, it really is true…

…anything can happen in World Wrestling Entertainment!

-Shane

streal 3

20140121-124924.jpgThere’s been a lot of “will he/won’t he” talk leading up to tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw.  Two months ago, CM Punk, like Steve Austin before him, took his ball and went home.  There’s been a lot of speculation about the status of Punk since then, as well as the reasons behind him taking off.  The general consensus is that it was a combination of nagging injuries and unhappiness with his current direction in the company.  Punk has held radio silence since that day, but the WWE Universe and, more importantly, the Internet Wrestling Community, has definitely been torn on how to proceed.

Which brings us to tonight…Raw…Chicago.

Chicago is one of WWE’s most vocal crowds without Punk being on the card to begin with.  With a lot of fan backlash over the booking decisions (namely those involving Batista and Daniel Bryan), many were looking to the overly vocal Chicago crowd to take WWE to task.  With Punk gone, everything from hostile takeovers of the product by the fans to full scale rioting has been mentioned.  WWE is apparently well aware of the plans to hijack the show…leading to the speculation and rumors that Punk will be making his return tonight.

We’re usually pretty Pro-Punk here at Ko@2, but I haven’t really wanted to take to the air too much over this because, honestly, I don’t know the whole story and I don’t feel the need to really speculate on a man’s personal decisions.

That being said, a lot of the Internet has been talking about it more than I ever could, so I wanted to weigh in on the reactions that I’ve been seeing over the last few weeks.

CM Punk doesn’t deserve our chants and praise because he walked out on us.

 I hold this one as a “I don’t know the whole story, so I’m not going to judge either Punk or the WWE for their actions.”   If Punk was legitimately hurt and that’s why he took time off, then why would I be upset at a man doing what was right for his body and his career?  If it was due to booking, surely a man with such respect for Steve Austin would realize that Austin holds the night that he did the same thing as the biggest regret of his career.  He left a lot of money on the table and spent 9 months at home not getting paid and leaving the WWE in a bad place without him.  The argument can be made that Punk is committing career suicide by doing this, but, honestly, Punk always struck me as a man who really wouldn’t worry about burning bridges as long as he felt he was morally right.

At the end of the day, I don’t boo or cheer a man for the actions they lead outside of the ring.  If I did, I’d cheer like a 5 year old boy every time John Cena came to the ring.  I don’t, however.  For me, what happens in the ring is all that is important (with one MAJOR exception, but this post isn’t the time or place for it).  If you like Punk, cheer Punk.  If you hate Punk, boo Punk.  Let personal issues remain personal and don’t boo or cheer someone based on their career decisions.

If Punk comes back, he should be brought into the main event for the title.

 Punk wants to headline Wrestlemania.  He’s told us that many times over the last few years.  He’s had huge matches over the last two Manias as well.  One as champion, the other against The Undertaker…the man who ONLY wrestles at the Grandest Stage.  Neither of those matches went on last.  Both times, Punk was pushed aside for the returning “part timer,” The Rock.   A lot of people believe that Rocky coming back stole a spot from a member of the current roster.  That’s the argument with Batista headlining Mania this year.

Honestly, I never bought that argument with The Rock.  The reason The Rock was given that spot is because no other wrestler on the active roster could generate the buys that Rock could.  They weren’t in that upper echelon yet.  As much as I love Punk, he’s not reached Rocky status yet.  Neither has Bryan.  Now, with Batista, I completely agree.  There are many on the roster that have eclipsed Batista at his brightest.  Daniel Bryan right now is hotter than Batista ever was.  He is taking a spot that, truthfully, is rightfully Bryans.

There are a lot that believe that if Punk comes back and is given a spot in the title match, that he is no better than Rock or Batista.  Now, shocker, this one I kind of agree with.  Does Punk deserve a Wrestlemania main event?  Without a doubt.  Does he deserve THIS one?  No.  This one is Bryan’s.  If anyone else is going to get entered into that match, it NEEDS to be Bryan.  Punk entering that match, with no build up since no one has even said Punk’s name in two months, would make no sense and would still keep Bryan out of the main event match that he deserves.

Punk is the reason that Bryan is wrestling HHH at Mania.  If he never left, Bryan would be in the title match!

 This one I call straight BS on.  If that title match spot was/is Bryan’s, then he’d go into it regardless of what Punk did.  This comes from the rumored Wrestlemania card that featured Punk Vs. HHH.  If Bryan’s now calling out HHH, then that HAS to be because Punk is gone, right?  Wrong.  Sure, it damn sure looks like that’s where they’re putting him on the Mania card, but I feel this is probably better than what they were going to give Bryan to being with (unless this was all a long build up to finally enter him into that match anyway).  Remember, that same rumored Mania card that featured Punk/HHH also featured Bryan/Sheamus…a match that NO ONE wants.  At least Bryan/HHH is a blow off to the current “Solid B+” story line.  A match with Sheamus wouldn’t have had any reason to happen other than they have wrestled at before.

Punk isn’t keeping Bryan out of the title match.  WWE is.

punkbryanotlPunk coming back should lead to an Iron Man match between him and Bryan.

 Wait…what?  What does this one serve?  Punk still doesn’t headline Mania.  Bryan still doesn’t get the title shot we all want him to have.  Why would this be an acceptable outcome at all?

Would I love to see the match?  Yes.  Should this be the outcome from this situation?  Oh Hell No!  It’s nothing more than wrestling fan masturbation.  It doesn’t pay off any story, doesn’t move anything forward, and doesn’t address any of the concerns we have about either party.  Plus, in Punk’s case, it STILL wouldn’t headline Mania as we’d still be left with Batista vs Orton.

 

Let’s hijack Raw tonight to show our displeasure!

 I guess this is the part where I play the old man of the IWC, but I hate this idea.  I think the idea of the crowd turning their backs to the matches and segments in the ring is entirely disrespectful.  Is the WWE giving is something that the vast majority (or at least the vocal majority) doesn’t seem to want?  Yes.  However, at the end of the day, they’ve got your money already.  If you want to make a statement about you not liking the product, stay at home.  Don’t buy the PPV.  Don’t give them your money.  We can yell for CM Punk or Daniel Bryan all we want, but they’re not going to go deviate from their plan until they’re good and ready.  I have been in “wait and see” mode for months with Bryan because I was sure that they would give him the title at Mania.  Now that it seems like they’re not going with that idea, I’m convinced they’re just not going to pull the trigger with Bryan any time soon.  I don’t think that we can chant for Bryan any harder than we do already…or voice our displeasure with their choice not to put the title on him any louder.  I feel that chanting for other people or, God forbid, turning your back on the performers is incredibly disrespectful to the people in the ring.  Is it Randy Orton’s fault Bryan isn’t wrestling?  Is it Cena’s?  Batista’s?  No, at the end of the day, it’s Vince’s.  If you’re unhappy with what Vince is feeding you, stop eating at his restaurant.  Simple as that.

I’m looking forward to Raw tonight to see what happens.  I’m still holding out hope that Bryan ends up in the title match.  I’m holding out hope that Punk comes out tonight…hell, I still hold out the smallest shred of hope that he’ll bring Colt Cabana with him!  I hope they setup Mania to be one of the biggest of all time…but, if they don’t pay off the way I want them to, I’ll go elsewhere.  Chikara’s coming back in May.  I’ve got thousands of hours of back catalog to watch on the WWE Network.  Hell, I’ll watch NXT, because Arrival was the best thing that WWE has produced in years.  But I won’t worry about the personal dealings of the in ring talent or worry about disrespecting the show in the ring.

But that’s just my two cents, I guess…

-Shane

dishIt’s been making the rounds over the last few days that Dish (formerly Dish Network) will not be carrying Elimination Chamber and potentially not carrying any WWE pay per view going forward.  While there is a lot of commentary about this situation around the net, I wanted to add a little something to it since I have some personal ties to Dish in that I used to be an employee there.  Having been through quite a few channel disputes and takedowns on the customer relations end, I can kind of see where they’re going with this and how they come to the idea of boycotting, but at the end of the day, I feel it’s entirely the wrong decision.

Earlier today, WWE released this statement;

“WWE is pleased that the majority of our cable and satellite Pay-Per-View distributors are giving our fans an option to purchase traditional Pay-Per-Views as we prepare to launch WWE Network on Monday, February 24. Unfortunately, DISH will not be doing so. We hope DISH will reconsider for this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event and especially for WrestleMania 30.”

Basically, the first step in these kind of disputes is that one side blames the other.  WWE is essentially telling you that Dish doesn’t have your interest as a customer in mind and will not be offering the product that you want to purchase.  Dish’s side of things was:

“WWE has chosen to launch a 24/7 online network, without its TV partners, that includes all of its pay-per-view events. As WWE enters the increasingly fragmented media world by themselves, DISH will continue to consider the value of WWE pay-per-view on an event by event basis.”

At it’s core, they’re saying that WWE chose not to play the way we want them to play, so we’re not going to invite them over anymore.  Which, honestly, is the way that Dish rolls.  It’s the way that they’ve always rolled.  AMC showed up last year and decided that they were now a bigger player than they originally started out to be and wanted more money per subscriber.  Dish didn’t feel that and took the channel off the air.  Now, I’m not here to criticize Dish on that situation, as channel takedowns due to price increases are an entirely different animal and in most cases the cable/satellite company is trying to actually keep your rates from going up when they choose to fight like that.  I feel that this, however, is a different situation.

It’s no secret, or even surprise, that cable companies are upset that WWE has basically taken the PPV industry’s #2 player out of the game with the launch of this network.  Even in a world where a large group of fans is upset with the product being offered, WWE makes a lot of money ever month for themselves and their television and PPV partners.  By offering another option at a fraction of the price, WWE has severely undercut these companies.  I get it.  They’re not happy.  That’s a lot of money that PPV providers will be missing out on because of this.

wwe logoWhere I feel that Dish is making the wrong move, though, is that they’re throwing out ALL potential money to be made just because they won’t be making AS MUCH as they started out making.  Satellite really stepped up into becoming  a competitor of cable over the last ten to fifteen years.  Before that, most customers who had satellite had it because they were not in an area that had access to cable.  While the industry has changed and both Dish and DirecTV have stepped up in the last decade or so, there is still a large section of their customer base that exists in an area that cannot receive television through cable.  They’re in remote areas where other telecommunication companies haven’t set up infrastructure.  This includes Internet.  No cable means no cable Internet.  In a lot of these areas DSL isn’t an option either.  This leaves the only option for Internet satellite based services like WildBlue or HughesNet.  Neither of those services are viable services to have the WWE Network on either due to speed or, mainly, due to data restrictions.  I know for a fact that WildBlue’s highest data limit per month is about 25 GBs of usage and that’s at their highest package which is near $100 if not over.  The service that I had when I lived in that area was $60 a month for 10GB of monthly usage.  I regularly hit that cap through just normal web surfing, so if I hadn’t moved to Florida last summer, the WWE Network would just be this wonderful pipe dream that I would never get to experience.  In those situations, PPV would be the only option I would have for watching something like Wrestlemania, which I do every year.

That’s just the geographical restrictions for services.  You’re also going to have customers who aren’t up on the newest technology and aren’t going to subscribe to the Network, but still want PPVs.  Will the WWE Network hurt WWE PPV sales?  Of course.  There’s going to be a huge segment that will not turn down the opportunity to pay $10 a month for a PPV instead of $55+.  Just take Wrestlemania into the equation.  Mania is usually $75 or so for the HD feed.  For $15 less, a Network subscriber gets Mania, 5 other PPVs, and 6 months of the backlog of on demand content.  Of course that’s going to kick the PPV model right in it’s ass.

But it’s not going to kill it dead.

There will always be people who want to order PPV, whether out of necessity or out of habit.  What Dish has done is throw the baby out with the bathwater.  They’re so upset that their part of the deal is going to be diminished that they’re tossing away any possible money that they could make at all.

Their posturing isn’t going to make Vince rethink the way the Network runs.  This is how WWE works now.  Everyone’s going to have to follow suit.  Vince revolutionized the PPV industry and it would not be where it is today without him.  He’s chosen a new direction and could very easily be at the forefront of this new revolution.  You think HBO isn’t watching how this plays out incredibly closely?  If Vince succeeds and the Network is sustainable or even THRIVES without the regular PPV model, expect HBO GO to be available without a backing cable or satellite subscription very shortly after.  Vince has the potential to prove that big name products like this do not need a distributor.  They can be their own distributor and keep all of the profit.  Companies like Dish can choose to be a part of this and work in this new system, or they can watch the future roll on without them.  Their choice.

-Shane

WTF WWE!?

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Robbie C
Tags: , ,

It’s been 2 weeks now since the WWE fanbase was rocked and WRESTLING fans suffered one of the worst 48hrs they have experienced in a long while. Now its no secret that I have been kinda quite as of late on the site, a big part of that was because I simply didn’t like the direction that WWE was going. When I started my “RAW is Xanatos” feature I did it with a passion behind it. Shane has been our resident Indy Guy, Derick is our Japan expert and between the both of them I have access to every bit of WCW knowledge I would ever need in my life….and a lot that I don’t. I was the WWE guy, I grew up watching the likes of The Rock, “Mankind” Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and the one and only Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. It was a time when I absolutely loved wrestling and even through slow periods I always found something to enjoy.

It’s harder for me to do that now. WWE seemed to be going in a direction which looked like they were going to promote new talent. CM Punk delivered his pipebomb promo that signaled a coming change. Shortly after people like Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan were being utilized. These 4 individuals are easily the most talented performers inside the company but more importantly they cared. They cared about wrestling, they cared about their fans and they cared about being the absolutely best that they could be. CM Punk gave us a lengthy title reign of 434 days, Daniel Bryan was The World Heavyweight Champion and Zack Ryder and Dolph had a terrific feud in which the United States Championship was elevated to a point that when Zack Ryder finally won it he treated it as if it was a World Championship win.

Last year was the beginning of the downward spiral. Wrestlemania 29 was lackluster and the only thing I enjoyed was The Undertaker vs CM Punk. The night after when Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in The Bank contact and won the World Heavyweight Championship THAT was a Wrestlemania moment, sadly it was cut short due to a concussion issue. Instead of giving him the title when he returned and was healthy enough to compete they bury him and do everything they can to keep him away from the title. From that point on it seemed like everything that I cared about was slipping away and I fought to keep find some passion in the sport and entertainment that I cared so much for.

I quickly found myself sharing the same thoughts that CM Punk had but obviously on the fan side of things. I remember on Punk’s documentary he talks about how he wished that he didn’t care as much as he did. That was me. I care about the WWE so much that the last couple weeks have just aggravated me so much. The Royal Rumble was the most surrealist thing I have ever seen in my life while I have been a wrestling fan. John Cena vs Randy Orton was terrible and boring. So much so we heard chants for EVERYONE that wasn’t even in the match, chants for the announcers, a “This is Awful” chant and even a “We Want Divas” chant. WWE was simply ignoring their fans and crapping on what we wanted. The Royal Rumble Match itself was what really drove the home the fact that WWE had their heads so far up their own asses that they just ignored the fact the fans were ready for Daniel Bryan. As I write this I still can’t believe that the match was booked like this.

Frustration was at an all time high with the fans and also with the talent. So much so that the following night CM Punk walked out of the company. The Voice of The Voiceless had, had enough and waked out. When I heard the news I was instantly saddened but at the same time It didn’t shock me. If we as fans were aggravated with WWE’s crap-tacular booking how should we expect one of their most talented individuals handle the news that the company they work for was ignoring their fanbase and in the process not utilizing their everyday talent?

I haven’t completely turned my back on WWE but now I understand why Shane took his hiatus in 2006. Shane was the most hardcore ECW fan I have ever met and seeing how WWE handled the “Re-birth” of the organization rubbed him the wrong way so much he turned his attention to other companies, which worked out for the best. That’s what I’m hoping here is that CM Punk’s walkout shakes things up for the best of their future. I hope and want to believe that this is like when Stone Cold walked out in 2002. Given a few months down the road I hope that we see a fresh new WWE, a WWE where CM Punk is back, Daniel Bryan is WWE World Heavyweight Champion and wrestling fans feel like they enjoy wrestling instead of scratching their heads wondering “Why am I still watching this?”

-Robbie