2013 was a memorable year in the world of professional wrestling; we’ve seen the unveiling of a new WWE championship, as well as the unification of WWE’s two World titles. We’ve seen the rising of several promising talents within the developmental camps of WWE, as well as changes we’ve longed hoped for within WWE and TNA. What do we as wrestling fans have to look forward to as we close out this year and move into the new year?
Well, brother… Hulkamania is no longer running wild in the IMPACT Zone, but may make a long-awaited return to the WWE. No, not as an active wrestler because let’s face it, Hulk Hogan is long past his glory days. It’s strange, we’ve seen the Hulkster in TNA Wrestling for about 3-4 years and no one batted an eye, but if he were to return to the WWE, fans would lose their minds. And why wouldn’t they? Despite the leading role as a General Manager in TNA, Hogan’s real home will always be the WWE. It was in the WWE that Hulkamania truly ran wild with a four-year WWE championship reign, and the pinnacle of the birth of WrestleMania.
So how’s TNA Wrestling fairing without the Hulkster in charge? Well, I guess the IMPACT Zone has Dixie Carter because she is a Carter and the world needs her, apparently. At first, if you followed me on twitter @WrestlingTimesX, I didn’t have anything nice to say about Dixie Carter when she first started her heel turn, but she has come a long way. Dixie Carter, with her outrageous demands, delusions of grandeur, insane concepts, and constant back-talking towards “The Phenomenal One”, has turned into quite the character.
Then she made the decision of placing the championship on Magnus, which doesn’t sit well with me because he hasn’t proven himself to take on that position. Hopefully in time, Magnus might use this opportunity to grow a personality and prove to be entertaining to say the least. 2013 in TNA was really a long-shot experiment to try to launch Magnus to the top, with him being involved with the Main Event Mafia, to being thrust into a main event match at Bound for Glory against “The Icon” Sting. I’m all for TNA trying to develop new talents, but don’t force them into a position that they are clearly not ready for.
Where oh where is the People’s champion? Not talking about Hollywood Rocky, I’m referring to AJ Styles who high-tailed it out of TNA Wrestling to defend the World championship around the world. Well, after losing the unification match to Magnus, and negotiations on a new contract went south, Styles made his triumphant return to the independent circuit as a free agent. Ring of Honor Wrestling announced that on January 4th, Styles will make his return to ROH after eight years against “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong.
“I’m excited to return to ROH and the Nashville Fairgrounds. Lots of history made that I was made that I was part of in both. Expect more on January 4. Hope Nashville fans fill that asylum,” said AJ.
Enough about TNA, what about the rising stars of tomorrow in NXT Wrestling? WWE has Kassius Ohno… no, wait, Chris Hero was released from his contract and returned back to the independent circuit. There was talk about Hero not following orders about his physique, not too sure if any of that was true, but WWE didn’t truly understand Hero like the way his followers did. The man had all the god-given ability to become a major player in the WWE, but he was left to make gold out of crap with a crap name like Kassius Ohno. Was he supposed to be Russian or Japanese? What kind of name was that? At least Hero gets to return to his fans with the gimmick that provided a living for himself unlike Sin Cara.
Not a hundred percent sure what has become of the original Místico, Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde, since Hunico is currently donning the Sin Cara mask, but if Ignascio does get released from the WWE, he will be left with nothing. Think about it, WWE owns the likeness of the Sin Cara gimmick which is the Místico gimmick only in blue. What chance does Ignascio have of making a living outside of the WWE? Then again, Mexico would probably take him back in a heart beat with promotional signs reading “Former WWE Superstar…” just to draw in crowds.
Do you know who doesn’t share Ignascio’s problem? Sami Zayn, formerly known as the “Generic Luchador” El Generico, has made quite an IMPACT–no, not over in Dixieland–in NXT Wrestling. The Florida fans at Full Sail University are well aware of who Sami Zayn truly is with chants of “Ole… Ole, Ole, Ole!” And Sami has delivered every time he has stepped foot in the wrestling ring; even Michael Cole said that his match with Antonio Cesaro was one of the best matches he’d seen in a long time–and this was after WrestleMania. I won’t lie, it was strange at first seeing El Generico unmasked, since I really loved his character in Ring of Honor, but he’s actually making a developmental opportunity into a “sensational” one.
As wrestling moves forward into 2014, the WWE will have its work cut out for them as they introduce a new generation to what wrestling was like when it only had one world champion. Opportunities for superstars to earn championship matches will be far less, but it’s been long overdue because wrestling really needs a champion who will represent the company as Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart did in the early years.
There’s talk of the return of Jeff Jarrett to TNA Wrestling. Not too sure how I would feel about that. Many people say it would be great to have Double-J back in control because he gave us an alternative to the WWE. But he also gave us matches that saw him as the World champion, which when a booker books himself to be on top, the promotion fails to progress.
::To the Reader:: Thank you for reading my blog for the past year, now raise your glass–whether it’s coffee, soda, wine, or a Steveweiser–and let’s toast to the New Years and to another year of professional wrestling. And don’t forget to follow the mantra of WrestlingTimesX – Love Wrestling… Now. Then. Forever.
Answer the Question: What are you looking forward to in professional wrestling come the New Year?
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