Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, 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 the WWE Stomping Grounds 2019 pay-per-view event.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Robert DeFelice, Vincent DiPietro, Ethan Absler and Kyle Dunning.
1) “What do you think of the name Stomping Grounds? Is this a better or worse replacement of Backlash?”
MANGO: I think the name would have been better for a television show about the Performance Center, like Breaking Ground. Maybe this could have been WWE’s version of Tough Enough, if they can’t fully get the rights to that name? As a pay-per-view, it doesn’t make much logical sense, but the name is still better than Great Balls of Fire. I just thought there was nothing wrong with Backlash and if we were replacing another event, why not get rid of TLC instead?
STAPLE: WWE never has been the best at gaming PPV’s after the Ruthless Aggression Era. Since Stomping Grounds is more or less a rehashing of Super Showdown, Backlash is a far more appropriate name.
DEFELICE: I don’t hate the name. Actually, to be honest, I like the fact that it is a generic name that doesn’t have a specific gimmick attached to it. It is not as good as No Mercy, but it’s not as lame as Fatal 4-Way or Great Balls of Fire.
DIPIETRO: I think it is a worse replacement and up there with the worst sounding PPV names in history. It’s a toss-up for me between this and Great Balls of Fire. The name would make sense for a network special involving main roster talent going back down to NXT, but in this case, it has no meaning to even be called Stomping Grounds.
ABSLER: I think this is a worse replacement than Backlash and you can see it in the seating chart for the show. Fans are uninterested; WWE hasn’t had this much trouble selling tickets in ages and people were excited for the reboot of an old favorite PPV in Backlash.
DUNNING: Stomping Grounds usually means somewhere you grew up. You cut your teeth in your old neighbourhood, and by going back to your Stomping Grounds you are revisiting your past to find something you may have forgotten or lost. It can also mean somewhere for rookies to train. So .. unless WWE is somehow going back in time to when it had better ratings? Then sure, the name makes sense. Are we going to see a lot of NXT “rookies” show up? I doubt it. Stomping Grounds is up there with Roadblock and Fast Lane as one of the worst PPV names WWE has ever come up with. I miss Backlash, which was one of the best names ever.
2) “Which heel do you find harder to watch right now, Baron Corbin or Shane McMahon?”
MANGO: Shane McMahon’s promos have become such drains on my energy that I can’t stand them. Baron Corbin, for as much hate as he gets, I’m not a hater. I actually enjoy his shtick. But I can’t stomach the McMahon stuff anymore, as it feels it goes on far too long and accomplishes nothing every single time. It’s EASILY easier to watch Corbin segments for me. No comparison.
STAPLE: Shane McMahon by a mile. He has no business having half hour segments devoted to him, much less going over the likes of Miz and Reigns. My biggest question is what is the endgame to all of this? What is this leading to?
If it’s him winning the WWE Title (sorry, I just threw up in my mouth), then it would be arguably the worst creative decision in WWE history.
If it’s him getting his comeuppance, what fun is there in seeing a 49 year old non-wrestler get beat? There’s no positive outcome to this nonsense.
DEFELICE: Both are insufferable at the moment, but if I had to choose, I would pick Baron Corbin. At least Shane McMahon is standing the test of time with the heel authority figure gimmick, Baron Corbin literally exists right now to be the person that makes everybody want to change the channel.
DIPIETRO: I would have to go with Shane McMahon on this. He isn’t the believable heel going against his father during the Attitude Era. Shane has always excelled better in babyface roles, thinking back to his feud with Kane.
ABSLER: I think Shane McMahon is harder to watch right now. As a wrestler, you take opportunities when they are granted to you and Baron Corbin is just doing the best he can to turn his push into quality television. Although Corbin is hard to watch, it isn’t as bad as Shane because Shane has creative control in the company and is possibly pushing himself. Fans have criticized wrestlers who have ties to creative in the past like Triple H and John Cena, as fans don’t like when someone in charge of the storylines pushes themselves
DUNNING: Shane McMahon. Corbin’s a great heel, because he’s consistent and doesn’t need anyone to get people to boo him. As for Shane .. this is 2019, not 1999. When he was a face, I was getting sick of seeing him, but with him beating The Miz and Roman Reigns? I’m like .. well, I guess he’s playing the heel, but I couldn’t care any less when he’s on-screen. He’s just like Vince, Triple H, Stephanie and any other legend they bring back. Unless all of this leads to Drew McIntyre becoming a main event superstar? Then I’ll applaud Shane for getting him over. But if it’s just to feed The McMahon family ego? Then I’m already tired of it.
3) “Reigns vs. McIntyre, Rollins vs. Corbin, Kingston vs. Ziggler, Lynch vs. Evans and New Day vs. Owens and Zayn are recent rematches. Does that bug you, or are you okay with that?”
MANGO: The only one of these that I care about is Kingston/Ziggler, because they’ve added a stipulation to it. There’s nothing new with the other ones, so why should I give a damn? McIntyre and Reigns fought at WrestleMania. I’ve seen it. Now what? I’m supposed to care because Shane beat Reigns? Well, I don’t. Just like movie sequels or follow-up seasons of television shows, I only want a return to what happened before if it was good enough for me to be left wanting more, and then, I want to see something new added to the mix. Simply going “here’s that again, copied and pasted” does nothing for me.