Summerslam, Finn’s Demon, G1, and the fall of PPVs

A co-worker asked me how excited I am about Summerslam on a 1-5 scale. I said, 3.

On to Summerslam

I had to stop for a moment and think about all the matches that are booked for Summerslam…which is problem number one. If I have to think that hard, there’s probably something missing. The only match I had on my radar was the Balor/Rollins match…but I guess, Styles/Cena II is a thing, as is Ambrose/Ziggler. And then there’s Orton/Lesnar…meh.

The Lesnar match is a yawn to me already. I’m hoping they surprise me and it’s a good show but I have little care about going into the match. Orton is good but not a favorite and Lesnar is…well, Lesnar. Despite him being a ultra part-time player, his schtick is starting to stale on me a little bit.

Speaking of Finn Balor, a lot of folks got upset with the Demon was unleashed on Raw this week. That was my initial reaction too but then I thought about it. I’d say probably 60% of the audience has never seen Balor wrestler, nor seen him in full paint. It’s hard to sell the notion of a two-face character without showing the other face. What will get people to watch Summerslam more, the “watch to find out who the Demon is,” or “here’s the Demon, now come watch him wrestler”…? I actually kind of lead to the second in this era of wrestling.

Another thing that’s happening in this era is apparently having the same match twice…three times or four. Reigns and Rusev had a match on Raw that wasn’t that bad. It was the headliner match and went for what seemed like forever. Thing is, they have a match at Summerslam too…so why have this match on Raw? I mean, Roman can beat him so done, right?

I have less of an issue with Finn’s paint showing up on Raw and more a problem with showing a full match of what will be on the PPV.

And with that, we’ve pretty much stripped PPVs of being anything special. The time of PPVs meaning more wrestling, more blood and more surprise is now gone. The only thing a PPV is good for now is exchanging belts…but that won’t last much longer either, I suspect. I care less whether Roman Reigns gets the US Title from Rusev and more about whether he can just win period, belt or not – and that was proven to me already.

Back to Brooklyn

NXT is going back to Brooklyn on Saturday and while I still love NXT, I’m finding it hard to get excited about this. The NXT television product has been pretty weak since the draft and with nobody really showing up except for Bobby Roode, I see no new stars in the bunch. Nakamura/Joe…sure, why not? Not much story there but will be a good match. Baley/Askua…lots of story there but the lack of either of them wrestling has taken its toll. There’s not much for either of them left to do except just trade the belt back and fourth so it’s hard to dig in too deep.

The G1 Marathon

The Climax G1 ended this past week in NJPW with Kenny Omega taking home the trophy. He deserves it and will certainly take that all the way to Wrestle Kingdom next year.

This year was the first time I followed the G1 closely and tried to watch…but I couldn’t keep up. I’m sorry but 19 solid days of wrestling is just killer. I thought 3-hours of Raw was a struggle…but at least the G1 had lots of good wrestling. But with each show being 3-hours or so, I had to resort to cherry picking matches. I relied on the pros to tell me which matches to check out.

Another problem with something like G1 is that it exposes the one true problem wrestling has and can never shake…formulas. We all know wrestlers have routines and movesets. We like them and we like to see them…weekly. Seeing them night after night for a solid month does not help many wrestlers. Yeah, the opponents are different and that makes for some magical match-ups, it does get old.

I don’t know when the next NJPW event is but coming out of the G1, I feel like I need to detox a bit. I’ve had my fill and can probably shy away for a month or two. But then again, maybe that’s okay. I get a big buffet of wrestling, go away for a while and then come back, remembering how good that meal was in the first place. You can’t go to the buffet daily but once a month is fine.

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