This Week in Wrestling 2018 week 8

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Craig Wilson and Brian Damage

It’s Saturday so time for the latest instalment of ’This Week in Wrestling’, the eighth of 2018. Today, Craig looks at Jeff Jarrett being announced as the latest inductee into the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class while Brian looks at the WWE’s inability to deliver what the fans want and shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.


Jeff Jarrett’s surprise Hall of Fame induction

Craig

This past week on WWE Raw the latest inductee into the 2018 class of the WWE Hall of Fame was announced and it’s fair to say it was a surprise: Jeff Jarrett.

Jarrett is the very personification of WWE blacklisting. It all stems from the incident in 1999 when his contract expired the day before a PPV and he requested extra money, rightly, from the WWE in order to appear at the PPV and drop the Intercontinental title to Chyna.

The six-time former IC Champion and one-time European and tag champion moved on to World Championship Wrestling, even though by that stage the WWF were firmly on top in the Monday Night Wars.

After WCW was “rebooted” by Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo – and all titles were vacated – the then 33-year-old Jeff Jarrett joined ‘The New Blood’, a stable of younger wrestlers who battled ‘the Millionaire’s Club’, made up of older wrestlers. Jarrett would go on to become a four-time WCW World Champion, he lost the title to Scream actor David Arquette, who won by pinning Eric Bischoff – yup… He would become a four-time WCW world heavyweight champion.

However, in 2001, when WCW folded, unsurprisingly, all things considered, the WWE opted to not acquire Jarrett’s contract. The following year him and his father, Jerry, created ‘Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’ (TNA) – it wouldn’t be the last awfully named wrestling promotion he would be involved in creating…

He’d remain at TNA, winning their world title six times, until 2014, when he resigned, and created Global Force Wrestling – that whole naming a promotion issue again… He’d bring Global Force Wrestling to TNA in 2017 again but was gone within the year.

So, that brings us to now. Jeff Jarrett, to quote Mike Graham, he “broke 6000 guitars and never drew a dime”, is going on the Hall of Fame. We’ve seen Vince McMahon overcome grudges for the Hall of Fame before – Bruno Sammartino, Macho Man Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior to name a few. Whilst they were deserving, the rationale behind those was quite transparent, cash-in on them and use their likenesses to sell merchandise etc. But Jarrett? Is there a clamour for a Jeff Jarrett boxset? His inclusion is an odd one – yes, I know it’s not a wrestling Hall of Fame but a sports entertainment one – but still.

 



What WWE Want…WWE Don’t Seem to Get
Brian

This Sunday is the Elimination pay per view and word is starting to spread that sales for this event have been selling briskly at best. A recent advertisement was offering a deal of buy one ticket and get the next one free. Definitely not a good sign for the WWE and the event. Also, this past Tuesday on Smackdown Live, a fan took a picture of the arena with a ton of empty seats. NXT which has been one of the stronger shows creatively and in-ring wise has lost money the last couple of years.

Is “Sports Entertainment” dying out? It’s always been said that wrestling is cyclical. There are high times and low times. This can certainly be identified as a low time in WWE’s popularity. What is wrong? What can be fixed? Can WWE be fixed at all?

It seems that while the in-ring product has vastly improved over the years, the wrestlers themselves seem very ordinary. There are not many characters that WWE audiences are gravitating to. Braun Strowman seems to be gaining a strong fan following, as is Elias and Rusev, but many of them just seem to be there. So many talented wrestlers who simply aren’t connecting with fans.

Getting back to guys like Braun Strowman, Elias and Rusev, they have organically grown into popular stars that the fans want to see succeed yet it seems to be business as usual for WWE. Roman Reigns, who I admire for his hard work and commitment continues to be pushed hard. I have nothing against Reigns as a wrestler but it seems a majority of fans have rebelled against his push.

How else do you explain the lackluster ticket sales for Elimination Chamber? Granted, there are way too many pay per view shows that have watered down the product but there is something else. Why do fans want to pay their hard earned money to witness the obvious and that is Reigns winning the Chamber match. Vince is going to push who Vince wants. It’s his company and he calls the shots.

If they really want to shake things up, they should let somebody else win the chamber match. Get people talking about it on social media etc. Yet here we are, waiting for the inevitable, a Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar WrestleMania match. Again, this isn’t a piece to trash Reigns, but sometimes you really need to identify what is working and what isn’t. 205 Live has been so good the last few weeks and the Gauntlet match put Seth Rollins back on the main event map.

It isn’t all doom and gloom for WWE and its fans. It’s time though that they really listen to their audience. Stop pushing the same old faces. Stop trying to shove a wrestler down the throats of a much smarter fan base. Whether it was John Cena or Roman Reigns, listen to your fans. Build the stars that the fans naturally cheer for. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Maybe there aren’t any simple answers but WWE management better start looking for some soon.


Photo Gallery
Brian

That Tattoo is simply Perfect.

Syxxx Million Dollar Man Steve Austin…get it?

James Ellsworth newest title: the inter-gender championship. Move over Andy Kaufman!

A very cool drawing of old-school NWA vs. Old School WWF

Cool looking sneakers…oh yeah!

The worst-kept secret in NWA/WCW history: Doom!

WCW’s Gorgeous George and eh, who am I kidding, you stopped reading what I had to say…

The King of Harts

Hulk Hogan reacting to seeing some goofball who tattooed Hulk’s likeness on his back.


All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.


13 thoughts on “This Week in Wrestling 2018 week 8

  1. I’m someone that is not fond of The Man Who is Fond of Slapping Nutz. Jarrett is a good wrestler. He can talk on the mic and put on good matches but can anyone here name a match that he was in that is considered a classic?

    I can’t think of anything he’s done at all to make me believe that he’s Hall of Fame worthy. There’s people like Owen Hart, Val Venis, Davey Boy Smith, Chyna, D-Lo Brown, Sean Waltman, the New Age Outlaws, Christian, the Hardyz, and Kane that should be in the Hall of Fame right now as they at least made some noteworthy contributions to the WWE that we can remember. Jarrett, I can’t think of anything noteworthy. Even in WCW in his first run, he was nothing more than a fucking leech that was just trying to suck up to Ric Flair. In his 2nd WCW run, he just became an insufferable douche who proved to be exactly what Mike Graham had said all along. WCW lost more than $62 million in 2000 and he was their world champ 4 times during that period.

    Let’s not forget that he’s a wife-stealer as he stole Steve McMichael’s wife and later Kurt Angle plus created TNA to make himself a big deal which he wasn’t. He tried to con people into investing GFW through some lame pyramid scheme and will latch on to anything that is hot. There’s a reason why he was only in the Bullet Club for one day as they were smart enough to know that he will ruin them if he stayed too long. Still, I think one day was too much.

    The fact that he thought himself to be a bigger star than Hogan and Austin is just laughable. He’s not even a headliner. He’s nothing than a personification of mediocrity. Say what you will about Koko B. Ware, at least Koko was over with the fans during his prime. At least Jarrett isn’t the worst person that’s been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

    Like

    • You’re not wrong. I feel the timing of his WWE-paid for rehab and his HOF induction is no coincidence. It seems like you have to fit a certain criteria to even get into the HOF, and besides doing some serious McAss-kissing, you have also have been sent to rehab on their dime, talked mad shit about them in the past, and some other things only the McMahon clan know. Regardless, I’m as baffled as most people, both insiders and fans alike, as to how in the hell Jarrett got inducted. Does he or did he, have something they wanted? Something related to getting a hold of the TNA tape library perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I feel like he’s conning them once again and when they realize what he’s doing. This is going to be an induction they’ll regret as there’s a few people who are in the WWE Hall of Fame that should be removed. Sunny is one of them and the other….. we all know who he is.

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      • Who? Snuka? Hogan shouldn’t have gotten removed I feel. For saying the N-word? Psssh, try getting away with murdering your girlfriend. Sunny….agreed for now unless she can finally beat her demons and get clean. Good luck with that, but yeah…

        I wonder how former co-workers of his in TNA/Impact, especially GFW, like Curt Hawkins or Mike Kanelis feel about all this. Shit,. Dixie too. Gotta’ rub Kurt the wrong way too just a little right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not Snuka. Not Hogan. Someone much worse. We all know who it is.

        Yeah, that’s the other thing about Jarrett’s induction that feels wrong. I don’t know what Kurt Angle is thinking since Slap Nutz did steal his wife and turned her into a slut.

        Like

      • Chris Benoit? If so, yeah….Goddamn, if only he hadn’t done what he did, he’d be in the HOF, and probably working as either an agent or NXT trainer.

        Like

      • I wasn’t talking about him. The individual I’m talking about is… well… he did get inducted five years ago and let’s just say that his induction wasn’t well-received by pretty much everyone at Madison Square Garden and the next night at WrestleMania. I hate the piece of shit so much that I just refuse to say his name.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well we got the Roman Empire to blame for that mostly, as well the utter and complete failure of “creative” to do anything creative with other wrestlers that aren’t named Roman Reigns.

        Like

      • I know. I haven’t watched a full episode of RAW since November 2014. I haven’t watched a full episode of Smackdown in a very long time. I don’t have three hours to waste on bad TV. Plus, I would be watching 4-5 hour movies once in a while depending on what it is.

        Like

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