In a nod to Thanksgiving, today we do our Top Five turkeys of 2014. The basic jist is that contributors to this blog list five garbage things that have happened/we’ve seen in wrestling this year. Last year’s Top Five Turkeys, which can be read here, featured, amongst other things, release of Jesse Sorensen, Wrestlemania 29 & the People’s Elbow ending CM Punk’s reign as WWE champ.
Today; Craig, Brian and Jamie list their Top Five turkeys of 2014 and an overall overall turkey of the year. The easiest way to do it is if something is number 1 in an individual’s list it gets 5 points, 2nd place gets 4, 3rd and it gets 3, 4th place gets 2 points and 5th place gets one. Got it? Let’s go.
5. Divas division
Man, the divas division is in a poor state. Not content with letting another TV show – Total Divas – dictate booking decisions for the division, it is a division that is so lacking in talent. Compiling a list of the worst matches of 2014 features many diva matches: Eva Maria, who appears to have no wrestling ability, versus Summer Rae, who is only slightly better, on Raw. The silly invitational match at Wrestlemania, the woeful Aksana taking on, and injuring Cameron, or AJ Lee versus the dreadful Naomi on far too many occasions. Of all the female talent on the WWE roster, it’s only Paige, Natalya, Charlotte, and at a push, Emma that are at all interesting. Paige stands out by a long way.
4. Splitting teams up for no real reason
The Wyatt Family and The Prime Time Players spring to mind immediately. For the former, there wasn’t even an announcement or moment that sealed them going their separate ways. It’s worse for the Prime Time Players. The WWE took an entertaining tag team, split them up, the two had a crap feud and now both are languishing doing nothing. There’s even an argument that Darren Young, who is off TV, is in a better spot than Titus O’Neill, who is on TV teaming with Heath Slater…
3. Batista return
The WWE fans wanted Daniel Bryan pushed to the top. What did they get? The return of Batista. The jeers that greeted Red Mysterious entering Rumble at number 30, meaning Bryan wasn’t entering, said it all. Forced WWE to change their plans and have a multi-man main event at Wrestlemania. It’s looking like WWE went to the well once too often with legacy stars. And we haven’t even mentioned his match with Alberto Del Rio at Elimination Chamber!
2. Brock Lesnar versus The Undertaker
No-one going in to Wrestlemania weekend expected this to be on par with Ric Flair versus Ricky Steamboat but few expected it to be this bad. The very broken down looking Taker picking up another injury early into this one didn’t help, but still. It’s not even the outcome that makes this match feature. Neither men seemed to make any connection with the crowd and that hurt this one further.
1. The Network
The failings of the network have been plentiful but it’s been even more frustrating for us UK based fans. Numerous delays in terms of its release and now rumours it’ll be a channel on Sky and not an app. Hardly great for WWE fans without Sky or those that do have Sky and are most interested in the Network’s archive – which is rumoured to be more limited as a channel.
5. The Network in the UK
Admittedly, I’m not affected by this while living in the states, but I would think the WWE would really want the UK’s business on this venture. It doesn’t make a whole lot of business sense to not launch the network as is there.
The girl has a ton of talent and potential and basically threw it away for an ipad case? Even though she was rehired after being released…I fear she will never get to shine they she could’ve before that bonehead move.
3. The WWE’s Racist Social Media Manager
The WWE should be added to this turkey award as well because they fired the wrong man. So this unnamed social media manager makes a racist “joke” to Alberto Del Rio…gets slapped after refusing to apologize and it is Alberto who gets canned? Seems fair…
2. Total Divas
I admit, I watched the first season and found the show pretty entertaining. It gave fans a sneak peek into pro wrestlers lives when the cameras are off. Then I realized, that’s not exactly a good thing. We all know wrestling is scripted…but the beauty is able to suspend disbelief for a few hours. Now we know all the catty crap that goes on behind the scenes and the male wrestlers who date and marry them and put up with it all. No thank you.
1. WWE creative
2014 hasn’t been a banner year for the WWE creatively. They really haven’t created any new mega stars…they stop and start and then stop storylines. They push and de-push wrestlers and bring in “guest hosts” that no wrestling fan is remotely interested in…..(Larry the Cable Guy….Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb….Grumpy cat) I know Vince is to blame ultimately…but a lot of the stuff that has been churned out and then dropped…wasn’t really that good anyway.
5. Bo Dallas
Man, WWE gave up on this guy quickly. He started the year as NXT Champion, playing the oblivious heel character to perfection. After much hype he debuted (we’ll ignore the 2013 Royal Rumble) on the main roster as a slightly tweaked – and more inspirational – version of his NXT self. Now what’s he doing? When not sitting at home he jobs to the rest of the main roster. Why did WWE call him up if they didn’t Bo-lieve???
4. Celebrity Guests
More often than not celebrities and wrestling just don’t mix. However this year we have seen new lows, both in regards to what constitutes a celebrity and what constitutes entertainment. A sleepy cat? Two middle aged women drinking wine? Several other people I have never heard of, and likely never will, doing nothing of significance? Why? A proper celebrity draws attention – Hugh Jackman punching Dolph Ziggler for example – but what purpose does a grumpy cat have on Monday Night Raw?
3. John Cena v Brock Lesnar… again…. and again…
Okay, I get why the match was booked at Summerslam and have no issue with that. However, the one-sided ass kicking that was the Summerslam main event makes John Cena’s non-removal from the title picture baffling. He received his rematch, which he lost, and is due yet another match with The Beast. Does WWE have any other ideas for who should face Lesnar, or will he be facing Cena every other month until his contract expires?
2. The Royal Rumble
Daniel Bryan couldn’t get the title match we all wanted him to receive. Then along came the Royal Rumble, effectively a lottery that anyone could win. Bryan puts Bray Wyatt over in the opening match of the Royal Rumble event, thus ending their feud. With sufficient recovery time before the Rumble match and no Wyatt shaped obstacles in his way, we all expected Daniel Bryan to enter the match and possibly even win. Moreover, there was no word from The Authority regarding any omissions from the Rumble match. Did Bryan win? Did he even enter the match? Oh dear…
1. The WWE Network
If you are an American Network subscriber with a strong internet connection and good stream quality then this may have passed you by. If, however, you are anyone else in the world with an interest in WWE and their Network then what a disaster! There have been technical problems during live broadcasts, subscription numbers are way down on projections and WWE have tried and failed to launch the service in their second biggest market… TWICE! When it was announced the concept of an on-demand WWE service sounded too good to be true. Maybe that assumption was correct after all…
Turkey of the year
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the UK launch of the WWE Network is this blog’s turkey of the year, especially as two of the contributors to today’s blog are based in the UK. Ultimately, the Network’s UK launch has been an unmitigated disaster with still no information on when it’ll be officially released.
You can read all previous Top Five articles here.