Sunday Sermon: Our hopes for 2014

Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Russ Mortan, Jamie Lithgow and Kenneth Richardson

(Image courtesy of www.wrestlingnewsmafia.com)

Will 2014 see Bryan have a longer run with this strap? (Image courtesy of http://www.wrestlingnewsmafia.com)

It’s that time of year again as we reflect on the last twelve months while at the same time looking forward to the year ahead. It’s no different on this blog as today, in the final Sunday Sermon of 2013, the team discuss what they want to see happen in 2014.

So whether that’s seeing a local indy promotion have a breakthrough year, the WWE network launched or a hero of old get some TV time in January’s Royal Rumble today Craig, Brian, Russ, Jamie and Kenneth share their wrestling hopes for 2014.

Craig: I’m going to share my thoughts for this Sermon without being too critical of 2013. Sure it wasn’t the best wrestling year, nor was it the worst, but let’s draw a line under that and look forward positively to what the next 12 months will bring us.

The first thing I definitely hope to see is an appearance from Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts in the Royal Rumble. It’s been great to see the transformation in him since hooking up with DDP and what a great gesture it would be from the WWE to reward him for that with a cameo in the Rumble. Even though I’m hoping for that I’d still go wild if it happens.

I also hope TNA can have a better year of it. The cost cutting seems largely complete now and I’m definitely willing to give them another shot. They have a young and talented roster and if the focus can be on ‘not trying to be the WWE’ then they can probably have a good 2014. In January they are coming to Scotland to broadcast, and of course record an episode of, Impact and I’m looking forward to seeing them in the flesh.

It’s also my near year’s resolution to afford more time to not only the buzzing scene over here in Scotland but also to watch more PWG and RoH. Also, we should also give some thought to a podcast eh?

Brian: There are many things I’d like to see happen in 2014. The first being Richie Steamboat….who I personally think is an underrated, yet amazing talent…get healthy and return to the ring. He underwent back surgery in 2013 and his career may be in jeopardy. I remember when the 2nd generation Steamboat first signed with the WWE…management thought he was too small…too skinny…he worked so hard to bulk up and put on some of the finest matches in FCW/NXT history.

Speaking of redemption…yes, I’d like to see Jake Roberts and Scott Hall continue down the straight and narrow path. They have worked extremely hard in recovery and if nothing else…for them to continue their sobriety.

I want to see the WWE network finally get launched in 2014…..but I would also like to see Ring of Honor get a solid TV deal somewhere nationally. Forget about NXT being a breeding ground for stars….ROH has been doing that for years now. They deserve some national exposure.

Craig: It’d be good to also see WWE PPVs get a better build up. In the weeks leading up to Survivor Series it was almost as if the company had forgotten that the event was actually happening. Sticking with PPVs I’d like to see the booking team move away from the swerve finishes. It got to the stage that we were spending more time trying to guess what the swerve would be rather than who it would be that would win the matches.

2014 will also see Batista return to the WWE (Image courtesy of www.wrestlezone.com)

2014 will also see Batista return to the WWE (Image courtesy of http://www.wrestlezone.com)

Russ: I would love to see some old talent come back to give the company a bit of a buzz. Hogan coming back will be a big fanfare. Batista coming back will put some butts in seats. Goldberg would be a coup too. I would also like an end to the endless 4 team tag matches at PPV’s… On the other hand I want more tag matches with more tag teams.

Brian: I would finally like to see Antonio Cesaro break through as big time player in the WWE. He’s creeping closer and closer with a little help from his “Cesaro Swing.” Fans are starting to bring signs that say “Cesaro Section,” and people chanting in unison to “We the People.” Cesaro is too good to be a low mid carder for this long.

Sting Vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX…let’s finally make that happen. I know the match probably wouldn’t be as good as say 10 years ago, but the build up alone would certainly be filled with a few “mark out” moments.

Jamie: I’m looking forward to seeing a WWE with a logical and linear structure again. There is now one identified World Champion. Yes, we all knew that the WWE Title was the top title, but the continued existence of the World Heavyweight Championship beyond the the brand extension drew focus and attention away from it.

Now we have one prize that everyone will be gunning for, no more competing for the WHC after unsuccessfully pursuing the WWE Title. For the first time in a long time we might actually get to see a number one contenders match… on a PPV no less! With two titles it was easy enough to figure out who would get the next shot at each respective title, but the game has changed now.

Oh, I’m also looking forward to seeing the new belt design. No doubt it will debut around the same time as the much anticipated WWE Network, seeing as a new WWE logo looks set for around then too.

Craig: Yeah, I’m excited too about the fact that there’s one champion again heading into Wrestlemania. It’s all a bit more cleaner and will make for a much better build-up. Got to wonder, though, if 2014 will end with just the one champion. It only last 8 months in 2001…

That said, it really did make things easy having two top titles. Meant you could keep more superstars in the upper echelons of the card as there were two titles to compete with. I’m really looking forward how this pans out.

I’d be quite keen to see how the bookers deal with this though. Take Elimination Chamber, is there just going to be one Elimination Chamber match or is one going to be dedicated to a secondary title, same goes for Money in the Bank. Guess time will tell on that front. I don’t think there would be a terrible amount of interest in, say, an IC title Elimination Chamber match mainly due to who would be involved in that.

Brian: With one title now recognized by the WWE…2014 is the time for many mid carders to step up their game. 2013 didn’t see many stars elevated and they had two World titles to work with. I hope to see potential become reality and see some guys move up the food chain. I mentioned Cesaro already, but Kofi Kingston, Bray Wyatt, perhaps the Shield members in singles competition etc…..I want to see some others step up as Daniel Bryan did this past year.

With that said…I also think it is time John Cena take a step back…not so much wrestling because that isn’t a viable option right now…but…away from the world title scene. He’s already an established star and there no longer needs to be a vindication for him.

Kenneth: Things I want for 2014…..no more meaningless swerve finshes. Shawn Micheals vs. Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania. That will be the only match I’ll mark out for than Austin vs. Punk. And for TNA to gain some ground this year….this company needs it.

Craig: I was hopeful that Daniel Bryan may have better things to do at Wrestlemania than fight Michaels but I have a funny feeling Orton v Cena will again headline ‘mania. In fact, that’s a point, I definitely don’t want to see Cena win the Rumble again. We’re all agreed on that, right?

Jamie: I want to see Daniel Bryan win the Rumble in 2014. It just makes the most sense. Under The Authority he will never receive another opportunity, so it makes sense that he would go around Triple and Steph and earn a title shot the hard way. I’m sure they’ve told this story with Austin before, and it would work perfectly here too. I guess this all depends on the direction they take with Bryan and the Wyatt Family.

Something else I’m looking forward to is the rumoured return of Batista. I just hope that some of the other rumours I’ve heard are false. Apparently the plan is for Batista to win the Rumble and challenge Cena for the title at Wrestlemania. What an insult to not only the wrestlers like Bryan, Punk, Orton etc. but the fans too. Here we are investing our time and effort in these guys, all the while WWE are planning on ignoring them and gifting the opportunity of a lifetime to a 44 year old actor instead. Now, Batista v Lesnar on the other hand might catch my attention…

So will it be Batista that Goldberg faces at Wrestlemania? (Image courtesy of www.sportskeeda.com)

So will it be Batista that Goldberg faces at Wrestlemania? (Image courtesy of http://www.sportskeeda.com)

Craig: Yeah I’d go along with all you’ve said on Batista, certainly a match v Brock. That’d be something big for Wrestlemania. Ticks a lot of boxes certainly.

Brian: I disagree with a Batista Vs. Lesnar match at Wrestlemania XXX…Batista has some skills as a big man, but needs to be in a ring with an individual that can sell his moves properly. Two guys like Batista and Lesnar who have been M.I.A. for months and even years could be a train wreck.

Craig: While I don’t at all disagree with your analysis Brian, it is certainly a match the WWE are likely to be happy enough with and would be a draw. A big tick for the company for Wrestlemania.

I hope even more emphasis is placed on the tag division. 2013 was one of the best years for a while for tag team wrestling in the WWE – although still not anywhere near as great as years gone by but heading in the right direction – and I’d love to see that continue. For the first time in a while, there’s a bit of depth in the division.

Brian: I do want to add that I want to see TNA continue to improve and get stronger. I like Magnus as World Champion and it makes good business sense. TNA does strong in the UK and having one of their own as a champion can only solidify that fan base even more. Vince McMahon said himself at one time that business overseas is a very essential part of what makes the WWE tick, so the same, I’m sure, can be said of TNA.

All other Sunday Sermons can be read here.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Sermon: Our hopes for 2014

  1. Cesaro and Brian Danielson…( I still call him this) should get major pushes as CM Punk…if not, then they should play out their string and then leave for elsewhere. Stick it to the WWE and go to ROH or TNA. Speaking of TNA it’s been more of a focus on wrestling and not back stage b/s and that’s great….maybe less of Dixie Carter on TV because let’s face it….she’s got a hard time trying to get the fact out that she’s a heel owner…the minute she opens her mouth, you get mad and just think..shut the hell up. What I would like to see is some sort of cross over with TNA & ROH, not an invasion because that’s been done but some sort of cross promotion with perhaps some other independent promotion and put it on a pay-per-view…I’m dreaming but it’s nice to dream.

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