Hello again and welcome to another edition of Bell To Bell! I know it’s been a while. We all love our machines, but they unfortunately break at times, and yet another power chord has bitten the dust…effectively sending my network into chaos and unpredictability once again. I usually work from my laptop, but have been forced to use one of these iPad things until further notice. I figure if I can at least get a copy of the blog out on this device, I can then copy and paste on my PC to get it out to all of the remaining sites. My dedication knows no end, and I will continue to try everything within my power to practice my craft and hone my skills. Fingers crossed that this new format will be sustainable until we get back to full power. Writing is my true passion and I’m truly not at home when I can’t hammer out Bell To Bell or The Referee’s Position, which is exclusive to 1wrestling.com and will be returning very soon. Let’s run through some random thoughts generated over the last week……
- I was excited going into last week’s TV tapings for a couple reasons. I’m clearly not from this era, so any time we get to see someone the caliber of Undertaker on TV is a treat in itself. I, like many others, also had my sights set on the crowds that came out to the O2 Arena…looking to see if the great UK fans could somehow recreate the madness from the now-infamous post-WM29 Raw in Jersey. While that exact lightning wasn’t recaptured last week, the London fans didn’t disappoint.
- Loved how Raw kicked off with Paul Heyman and Triple H. Heyman is great and I have thoroughly enjoyed his current run. It is a run that for all intents and purposes, most people,never thought would happen again. He has so much left to offer, as he’s proven with the charges he’s backed since returning.
- Considering their overall build since debuting, I really liked the helicopter arrival by The Shield. Forget the fact that it was legit do to the earlier event in Wales. They already have a military build and the only thing that might have taken away from the unusual entrance is that the chopper wasn’t black…and they didn’t land on the grounds of the O2.
- Another good match between Ziggler and Jericho. Y2J is a sure-nuff ‘rare gem’ in today’s business as he has the ability to work with almost anyone, and the seasoned vet still has the uncanny ability to make his opponents better…especially the younger guys. He’s proven this time and time again with the likes of Kofi Kingston, Ziggler, and recently with Fandango. (hope I got that last one right.) Also hope we’ll get to see the 1st Undisputed Champion climb the mountain one more time before hanging them up.
- Funny segment between Team Hell No prior to the main event where they get ambushed by The Shield. D-Bry with the idea that he was going to command Taker was hilarious.
- Not much build needed for the main event really, and I think the backstage segment was good in telling the story that became more ‘clear’ on SmackDown about the trio’s dibs on the tag belts. I love that the match was made to begin with…killing faulty Internet rumors and reports that the tease the night after WM29 was nothing more than that. I would consider going with the sites that have built a rep over years of delivering credible news. It was obviously smart to have Taker make the trip for TV, and the match itself delivered.
- I like Ryback as an antagonist much better. While I understand Mick Foley’s real-life physical situation, that old school in me likes to see guy’s wishes and words respected…like stipulations. Foley wanted no interference, yet Cena was really the only one that could make the save, I guess. Since he did anyway, I think it was good enough to get Foley out of there, and then leave Ryback to the ‘Hounds’. That’s called “poetic justice” my friends, and was good enough at this stage. Still a lot of time until Extreme Rules.
- On the SmackDown side, I think things were pretty run of the mill. Still some good in-ring action although many will argue that some things need more time. I’ll get back to that.
- Del Rio/Swagger’s No DQ wasn’t bad. ADR looks like he’s getting killed when taking the kendo stick, and I thinks those were high spots. Good in-ring story being told with both competitor’s injuries coming into play. A lot of people complain so much these days, yet have little to nothing to say about the actual wrestling that is presented. Sometimes it’s the subtle things.
- LMAO moment when Big Show hit Sheamus with the WMD.
- I know I speak for many that were happy to see William Regal back on TV last week. I, for one, would liked to have seen him in winning efforts, but it is what it is. I know a lot of fans also don’t like Raw on taped delay, but I was floored by the numbers. The match with Fandango really lost more than 900,000 viewers??? I’m sorry, but it’s bullshit like that that will keep Regal in Florida for the rest of his tenure. Fans who once mobbed WWE with requests for his return to TV had the chance to show the powers-that-be exactly how they felt. Despite this future HOFer’s great work with the likes of Cashius Ohno on NXT recently, a mass tune-out like that is disturbing. This man is a legend who still generates heat and could add to TV. A great chance to showcase that came Friday night with what I thought would be a smash-mouth European style brawl reminiscent of Regal’s battles with Finlay. Yet, like I said earlier, this could be one of those things that needed more time.
- Another good main event to close out the week. Again, reports were plenty about the Taker/Ambrose showdown making TV or not until official word came out that it would. For those that saw video of what happened in the dark after…great. It’s awesome that fans are getting to see the Outlaws again. The match was fun to watch. Dean Ambrose as I’ve said before earned a lot of his bones right here in the Philly area in CZW and he truly has a great opportunity in front of him. Of course I didn’t see Undertaker losing, but I didn’t see a clean finish either. Good stuff.
- Great to see #IMPACTLIVE come to the home state of Pennsylvania, but this current format still confuses me…and seems problematic when thinking of potential host cities…mainly on the East Coast. Time being the issue.
- It seemed a coupe weeks ago the Aces & 8s might be headed for danger with so many run-in segments. Very nWo-like, and probably not good from what message boards suggest. You are the pulse. That was relaxed this week, and for good reason. From what I’m seeing and hearing, fans still aren’t grasping the concept of the current format TNA is operating under. For new school fans I completely understand. You’ve never seen it. That’s no excuse however. Do film study and know your history. Before monthly PPVs the builds were primarily on TV with several reveals delivered for free. Considering the world economy, I’d be grateful and enjoy the ride. At least try to.
- One story that I think is really gonna have a nice pay off is Joseph Park realizing that he IS Abyss. Hints are already being sprinkled, as they are in many other places.
- Like the mini story between The Shield and “Team 21-0 Hell No”, the one of Bad Influence trying to reform Fortune has been a fun one IMO. Just the tease did get some buzz as a possible solution to Aces & 8s. Even though something like that likely has to happen, take a breath. It’s only April.
- High octane return match for the tag titles. I enjoyed the 1st match, maybe more, but this was good. I like their chemistry, but the Todd guy on commentary really sucks. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just go back to this match. And speaking of commentary, I’m with everyone that wonders why Tazz joined Aces. He’s way too calm and often neutral. He needs to revert to thug Tazz 100% not only to put the group over, but himself. I’m just waiting for him to remember who he is and threaten to, or rather, choke Tenay or Todd out one of these weeks.
- I felt the ending segment was ok, and will continue to support Hulk Hogan’s involvement at this level as long as it doesn’t lead to him wrestling or winning the title. It’s no question he can still add something, and for a company in TNA’s position, it’s smart…period. I’ve read that some are confused by the eb & flow of a lot of this…especially now with the manor in which Sting returned. Why did he help after being banished by HH? Who knows, but one concept could be that Sting is one of the people that Bully and his group has overlooked so far. There are others. (the plot thickens) Maybe this is what will carry them closer to SlammiVersary? Remember, this PPV has been very good to Sting in the past. At the same time, can’t forget Matt Morgan. He may get a piece. And then there’s AJ Styles.
Things are heating up on the independent circuit as it usually does this time of year. As I sit here finishing this up, this week’s episode of Raw is roughly 30 minutes old and I’m that far behind on Live coverage over at The Elite Pro Wrestling Forum on Facebook. Search us and join the conversation, also on Twitter @TheEPWF. Shorter blogs to come along with tons of news on some huge Indy shows coming to the Philly Tri-State area in the coming months. Wrestling is returning to Philadelphia full time for the first time since the closing of the former ECW Arena in early 2012. I am involved in a few of them, one in a new Creative role, and will have the latest in the weeks to come.
I invite you join me on Facebook (Referee Jimmy Dylan) or Twitter (@RefJimmy215). You can also check me out on YouTube (Jimmy Dylan) featuring my in-ring matches and other content. Thanks for reading!