NEWS ANALYSIS: Lesnar’s MSG opponent, Snuka arrest, Jericho-Owens
Some quick reaction to today’s headlines…
-I wasn’t excited to read Big Show was Lesnar’s opponent on the MSG line-up that will air live on WWE Network on Oct. 3, but I also can’t be too critical since I don’t have a better option in mind. Show seems like a worthy opponent in terms of sheer physical size, but isn’t going to be hurt by losing decisively to Lesnar. Since Paul Heyman is tight with Big Show and Lesnar in real life, there should be some chemistry here, although I doubt there will be much of any hype for it on TV. I’ll be intrigued, though, if this ends up being tied in to Show making an issue lately of wanting someone to step up and “retire him.” Maybe that was planting seeds for this match, and WWE plans to build up the threat of Lesnar by having him beat Show so decisively that Show does indeed retire. Hmmm.
-Glad to see Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens listed for the MSG show, too. The more Owens gets exposure in the ring against legacy attractions like Jericho, the more his star rises. I feel the same way about Seth Rollins facing Sting.
-With the Raw ratings holding at 2.7 this week for the fourth straight week, when I was anticipating a drop to the 2.5 range, it could indicate people are intrigued enough with Sting’s return that they’re not dwelling on the absence of Brock Lesnar and Undertaker from the show for the time being. What’s also impressive about Monday’s Raw rating is that John Cena wasn’t advertised throughout the show. He made the appearance at the end, but there were no teasers, so Raw held the audience to match the day after Summerslam without any strong star power or special attractions other than Sting. On the flip side, this week’s rating makes last week’s seem even more disappointing.
-I enjoyed Jim Ross’s quote at his blog today: “I’m not in the target demo any longer but I think that I still know a good storyline when I see one and this one isn’t it.” He said that about the Dolph Ziggler-Summer Rae-Lana segment. Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net and I talked at length about what we didn’t like about that angle on yesterday’s PWTorch Livecast.
-As for Jimmy Snuka’s arrest, based on what I’ve read about the case, I think the grand jury did their job and made a reasonable call. Of course, the grand jury knows a lot more now than I do about the case, so I defer to their judgment. The D.A.’s explanation that they charged Snuka with third-degree murder because there was malice behind his alleged actions, but not premeditation, made sense to me, too. He faces a maximum of 20-40 years in prison if convicted, which is essentially the rest of his life since he’s 72 years old and battling stomach cancer. Link to James Caldwell’s story on this: Ad-Free VIP Site Article / Free Site Article.
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WWE really doesn’t seem interested in acknowledging history out of obligation. They only acknowledge history if it’s good for today’s storyline and today’s business. So far, they have stayed away from acknowledging their 2002 match, so I don’t think that will change. I don’t feel strongly either way on this one, although in general I tend to side on acknowledging history when they can.