Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
Welcome to the ninth edition of This Week in Wrestling in 2017. Today, Craig talks about the departure of Jack Swagger from the WWE while Brian discussees the future of TNA and shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
How Jack lost his Swagger
This week a ‘where are they now?’ question was answered when Jack Swagger revealed on a podcast that he was currently sorting out his release from the WWE.
Swagger explained, appearing on Chael Sonnen’s Beyond the Fight podcast, of his decision to ask for his release: “It’s still kind of an ongoing process right now. Basically, it came down to contract negotiations. We were way off. They didn’t value me at what I thought I was valued at…They weren’t giving me the opportunity to make the full amount of income I could for my family, so when you put it like that, it’s time to go.”
You have to admire Swagger, to a certain extent, the risk he is taking. He clearly felt the WWE low-balled on their offer to him and felt that he could earn more money elsewhere and is going to give that a go. Fair play to him on that front.
However, you also can’t fault the WWE for, as is being suggested, low-balling him on contract negotiations. After being drafted to Raw on the brand split, he soon switched to Smackdown but after a short programme with Baron Corbin, which ended in October, he hasn’t been seen since.
At 34, Swagger still has a long time in the ring ahead of him however it’s clear that he wasn’t in the company’s immediate plans.
Although Smackdown has been the land of opportunity, if you will, since the brand split, perhaps the WWE were unwilling to afford him yet another opportunity.
Question marks have always hung over his attitude. The story of him falling asleep in a creative meeting discussing his future is famous and he would have earned a black mark against his name after his DUI in 2013. After all, after winning that year’s Elimination Chamber to earn a title shot at WrestleMania 29, he blotted his copybook ahead of the big event which saw Alberto Del Rio retain the title only to drop it to Dolph Ziggler the next night after Ziggler cashed in following Del Rio defeating Swagger again.
Few can doubt the in-ring abilities of Swagger, however, his lack of charisma was always going to be problematic but not as much of an issue as his ability to make the company rethink why they continued to offer him chance after chance.
There is undoubtedly time for him to rehabilitate his character and perhaps return to the WWE. In the meantime, don’t be too surprised to see him show up in TNA but he should reflect on what caused his WWE run to peter out.
TNA Impact’s 9 Lives
Here we go again, another week and yet another TNA reboot! Normally, by the 2nd or 3rd reboot of a pro wrestling company, fans seem to drift away. They have turned away from TNA the last few years and understandably so. The company lost focus and direction so many times. From bringing in older wrestlers who have nothing more than name value to bringing in MMA fighters to spike a rating here or there. TNA has done it over and over again.
So what will make this latest reboot any different? For one, TNA no longer has the albatross which was Dixie Carter running the day to day operations. Granted, Dixie and her money helped TNA survive many potential company catastrophes, but by the same token, she caused many herself. She made quite a few bad booking decisions and business decisions and perhaps let all the wrong people run her shows.
Now that Dixie Carter is no longer there day in and day out, she can no longer be made the scapegoat. Anthem which took over Impact have put an old familiar face in charge of the company, Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett decided to bring in some of the best wrestling booking minds in Dutch Mantell and even Bruce Pritchard. Some talented wrestlers have left including Jade, Mike Bennett, Maria Kannelis-Bennett and perhaps their most entertaining duo in many years, the Broken Hardys.
We have seen this story before, a mass TNA exodus from guys like Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Chris Sabin, Bully Ray, Velvet Sky etc, and all the critics predicting TNA’s doom is inevitable. Only it never happens. We have seen regime changes from Jeff Jarrett to Dixie Carter to Billy Corgan back to Dixie Carter and now Anthem Sports. Yet, TNA still stands.
Will this latest reboot prove to be the one that really helps propel TNA back to being a viable #2 North American company to the WWE? Only time will tell, but if past history is any indication, TNA Impact will be just fine, even when they’re not.
Run Joe Run!
JBL’s face says it all…
Who knew that Kelly Ripa was a Paul Heyman girl?
If Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens ever had a kid, it would probably look a lot like Seth Rogen.
Time for a tag team match Playa!
Who remembers this video starring Phil Collins and the Ultimate Warrior?
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon looked ahead to the Raw after WrestleMania 33; on Monday we had pt.8 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘ on Monday; on Tuesday we looked at when Ricky Morton was the choice to be NWA Champion; we had part 2 of our ‘history of the Intercontinental Championship‘ on Wednesday; Thursday’s Top Five looked at the best WrestleMania matches from the New Generation and Attitude Era and we rounded off the week with pt. 104 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.