THE SPECIALISTS DONOFRIO'S FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE 11/7: Review of the hot topics of the week in WWE, TNA, ROH, and more!
Nov 7, 2012 - 5:09:43 PM
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By Tony Donofrio, PWTorch specialist
-WWE made the right move changing the main event for Survivor Series. Many were scratching their heads (and that's putting it lightly) last week when it seemed that C.M. Punk would not be defending his WWE Title on Day 364 of the reign. The only thing that I wonder is, why did it take so long for WWE to make the change? If it was declared by them that Punk's reign was more important than Ryback's streak, how could the fact that defending the title on the eve of a complete calendar year not be a booker's dream?
Bottom line is, they eventually got it right. However, I hope they go back to the Mick Foley-Punk feud at some point. Those that know of Punk's ROH history know that he has a history with Foley. The "Summer of Punk" during his last run in ROH before starting in WWE was sprinkled with Foley pushing Punk to defend the ROH Title, and their promos were the things dreams were made of. WWE has a lot of things on their plate now that make me salivate and could be very big. However, with their track record over the past few years, I fear that they'll once again fall flat.
-Now that Linda McMahon has failed yet again at another run for Senate, I find it very comical that a group of hardcore fans are clamoring for the end to the PG era in WWE. I give you three words: not gonna happen. Being PG does not hurt WWE as much as most people think it does. If that ere the case, TNA would be crushing WWE in the ratings weekly. They're obviously not. WWE makes too much money now from advertisers since they officially went PG in 2008.
PG doesn't mean that the product can't have some edge. The fact that it's PG, I believe, gives WWE more flexibility when it wants to make something seem more "real" or "serious." When you have a TV-14 product like TNA or back when WWE was in the Attitude Era, viewers almost became desensitized to stronger language or a more risque product that after a while, the appeal wore off and it was like listening to a loud buzzing sound all the time. However, in the PG era, WWE now can turn up the volume at certain times and it makes more of an impact (no pun intended). WWE has done things like this the past two years and it helps create more buzz for certain programs. WWE's business model is too good right now to not be PG. It's not going away and some people need to realize this.
TNA Impact Wrestling
-I remember writing some time last winter that I thought Austin Aries could be a big part of the future of TNA if given the chance. I'm happy to say that I told you so! I was always a fan of Aries's work in ROH and none of what he has done the past 12 months has been a surprise to this writer. The upcoming ladder match with Jeff Hardy is a match that I would pay to see. I don't think Aries will win the title back, but he probably should.
Aries as a heel is what is best for TNA business-wise; just like C.M. Punk being a heel is what is best for WWE business-wise. My only concern is that TNA will do with Aries what WWE did with Punk after his first title run and that is bury him in the mid-card and make Aries wallow there for a while. The seeds for that concern were planted at Bound for Glory when TNA erased months of optimism by making WWE cast-offs most of their champions. I guess time will tell, but I hope TNA stays the course on what it did for most of 2012.
- ***ROH SPOILER ALERT*** For those who have not heard, ROH named a new "authority figure" this past weekend at the TV tapings in Pittsburgh. I'd have loved to be there, but I'm on the road right now and missed the taping that took place in my hometown. From all accounts that I've read, it was a great night and show. As for the spoiler, Nigel McGuinness is the new on-air "authority figure." I love this choice by ROH for the role.
McGuinness has a great rapport with the hardcore ROH fanbase and was one of their all-time greats. He also is great on the microphone; cuts a great promo. Since the Sinclair deal last year, ROH has lost most of its buzz. Making McGuinness the new "authority figure" probably won't be the shot in the arm that ROH needs, but having someone that identifies more with ROH and is more relevant to the history of that company in the role should be a help.
-Now that election season has more or less wrapped up, you have to admit whether you're a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, or other that the United States is very much divided country right now. The first sign of that is social media. I don't know how many others noticed the same thing, but on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I saw nothing but fighting for the past six weeks. It really reached a boiling point on Election Night. The divide in this country is wider than most political pundits will admit. I really feel that if some of the people that interact on social media did so in-person, it would get terribly violent.
Let's also look at the popular vote. It was nearly a dead heat. The country is very much divided right now and I don't see that going away any time soon. Regardless of what party you belong to, you have to hope that President Barack Obama is sincere is getting all parties to work together to help to bring this country together. As for me, I hate that we pretty much live in a two-party system and wish more choices were available. However, that's another rant for another time...
Tony Donofrio is a Specialist for the Torch covering a variety of topics and promotions. You can reach Tony at TonyDonofrio@icloud.com or follow him on Twitter @TonyDonofrio .
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