Welcome to another edition of eWN Ring Position, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on this weekend’s WWE Super Show-Down event.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Ethan Ablser and Richard Staple.
1) “Which superstar do you feel is the biggest omission from this card, and how would you add that person to the lineup if you could?”
MANGO: Easily Shinsuke Nakamura, again. He’s the only champion that has absolutely nothing going on for him. At least with someone like Randy Orton, you can excuse him for not having a feud, but Nakamura is holding a title and should always be involved in SOMETHING, yet it seems WWE hasn’t had any idea what to do with him since June. I think he should have been added to this card in a match against Rusev and instead of having that heel turn happen on SmackDown, it should have happened here.
ABSLER: The fact that the United States Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, is absent from the card for the second PPV in a row is unacceptable. I have no idea how they managed to drop the ball on his title reign so badly, but Nakamura is the biggest omission from the card and one of the best wrestlers on the roster. If I could integrate him in the card, I would have him defend the US Title somehow.
STAPLE: Off the top of my head, I’d have to say that once again, a glaring omission from the card is Shinsuke Nakamura. Like, for Pete’s sake, he’s your United States Champion. You can’t tell me that you have absolutely NOTHING for him. Even if it’s something as simple as defending it against Tye Dillinger or somebody else, WWE cannot insist on giving titles to people they plan on doing nothing with. Otherwise, find somebody who will make the championship seem prestigious. You wouldn’t think that Nakamura was as hot as he was when he first came over to NXT with the way he’s been nerfed.
2) “What match are you most excited to see on this pay-per-view?”
MANGO: More than anything, I’m excited to see Shawn Michaels do something. That’s more important to me than any match itself. If I have to pick an actual match, I’d probably go with Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander as I think that will deliver the best in-ring performance.
ABSLER: I am most excited to see Triple H vs The Undertaker. At first I wasn’t overly excited for it, but the thought of Shawn Michaels getting in the ring one more time makes this match unpredictable. We are going to witness history at SSD and I’m intrigued to see how the storyline plays out.
STAPLE: We’ve seen variations of every match on the card in one form or another. I cannot say that I am excited to see any one match on the show simply because a lot of what is already on the show have been shoved down our throats since the summer. I mean, the Shield six man tag should be interesting with the underlying Dean Ambrose storyline, and AJ and Joe fighting with no rules can be fun, but there isn’t exactly anything new on the card. And I’m sure we all know there’s nothing new about Triple H vs. The Undertaker. Even if it’s building up to Shawn Michaels making a return.
3) “Should The IIconics and Buddy Murphy win because they’re from Australia, or should that not be a factor in determining the outcome of those matches?”
MANGO: I think both should win, if not just for the pop they’ll receive. There’s no reason for Peyton Royce and Billie Kay NOT to win, as it doesn’t do Asuka and Naomi any favors to get booed, nor do I think it’s a good idea to have The IIconics try to cut a promo ahead of time denouncing Australia. I say if this is supposed to be a big deal and you know these three will get major receptions, go with the flow. Put the title on Murphy. He’s proven himself and Alexander’s title reign has been long enough that he won’t look bad.
ABSLER: The IIconics and Buddy Murphy being from Australia should have absolutely no factor in the way they’re booked. It might in actuality, but I believe it shouldn’t.
STAPLE: I’ve appreciated the work Buddy Murphy has done for 205 this year, and I’d personally give him the rub this Saturday. The IIconics are okay, but they haven’t set me on fire and really don’t care either way what WWE does to them. They don’t seem like anything unique. Put it this way. I see them as The Bella Twins…but Austrailian.
4) “If Undertaker and Triple H face off in some fashion at Crown Jewel, will that sour your perception of this “last time ever” selling point?”
MANGO: Absolutely, but not too much, because I already don’t believe it. We already had one “end of an era” so this match is flying in the face of that, and it means WWE has no stock in their promises. Remember when John Cena vs. The Rock was once in a lifetime and then it happened a second time? I just don’t believe what WWE says anymore, so “last time ever” hasn’t made me any more excited, cause I put zero value in that tagline.
ABSLER: If the Undertaker and Triple H face off again after SSD, I wouldn’t be a fan of it. WWE has used the “last time ever” catchphrase to sell the match, more than any other point. Similarly to when Cena and The Rock was supposed to be “once in a lifetime” and fans were upset, I think this would actually be an even worse case.
STAPLE: The selling point of “Last Time Ever” was lost the moment they announced Triple H vs. The Undertaker. WWE has routinely made a habit out of contraicting thmselves with dream matches and last time ever matches. John Cena vs. The Rock was supposed to be once in a lifetime. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura was anticipated to be a special one-off WrestleMania match and it ended up diverging into a series of nut kicks for the next 2 months. Triple H vs. Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell with Shawn Michaels was the perfect way to end whatever feud they had with each other in 2012. The scene of them looking on the WrestleMania crowd, battered and bruised, with Michaels in between them was a perfect swan song. The end of an era shouldn’t have a sequel. We all know this match is just going to build up to Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement too, rendering the finish of Michaels and Undertaker’s match 8 years ago meaningless. This is all because WWE still doesn’t have enough faith in their current crop of stars, and want to go to the well as many times as they can with old legends before they run dry. Even if it means if they are well past their physical primes. It’s hard letting go of the past and not being able to see the stars that made us fall in love with the business as kids, but letting go is less painful than seeing older versions of themselves fight past their peak.
5) “Be honest: do you feel like this is a true pay-per-view, or is it just a televised house show with Undertaker and Triple H thrown in to make it seem more important?”
MANGO: This will definitely be just a house show if no titles change hands, as it’ll then mean it has the same promise of “anything can happen, but pretty much won’t” like most other non-TV/PPV live events. Yeah, we have Taker and HHH, but that was an easy thing to do. It’s a shame, as it could have been so much better, but I get the feeling the writers felt like they didn’t want to do any more work so they split half of Hell in a Cell and half of this, then said “copy and paste the rest” and did rematches and such just to make it stretch to two events and not do twice the work. Only four titles are on the line, the tag team matches are lame and mean nothing, and I just can’t get hyped for this too much more than I would a normal house show.