It’s Christmastime and that means I get to hear a bunch of Christmas carols. One of these is “12 Days of Christmas” but since we’re less than a week away from that, we’re a bit too late for such a song. Instead, and since it makes more sense for something like this, we’ll be looking at twelve things to be thankful for in the wrestling world/things in general because it’s kind of hard to be positive throughout something like this. These are only in the order of the numbers and many of these are going to be a bit more lighthearted than others.
12 is the number of pay per views we should have a year. In the year 2016 we saw a staggering SIXTEEN WWE pay per views. To put this in perspective, starting with “The Wrestling Classic” in 1995, you would have to go all the way to “Survivor Series 1990” to get to sixteen pay per views.
There comes a point (and we passed it a LONG time ago) where pay per views stop meaning much of anything. It’s really hard to care about a pay per view every few weeks because there’s a saturation point when there’s too much material. How good can a show be with such little time to build up proper stories and feuds? Just let there be one a month with the brands alternating like they did for years. Or do away with the Brand Split all together, but that’s a story for another time.
That’s not even the only contender for match of the year out of the division as you also have a host of other Revival vs. DIY matches and the instant classic from “Takeover: Dallas” when American Alpha took the titles from the Revival. This division has replaced the women as the must see part of the show and is one of the most entertaining things in wrestling at the moment.
10 is for Tye Dillinger, who is just awesome in general. I don’t think this needs much more of an explanation.
9 is the number of seconds it took Dean Ambrose to cash in Money in the Bank last year and knock the thing out for a whole year. All I can say to this is thank goodness. I can’t stand sitting around waiting on the cash-in all year as WWE never really has mastered the art of subtlety.
You don’t have to always have the briefcase holder threaten to cash in for weeks a time, be thwarted every time, and then cash in a few months later. It gets really old and since WWE doesn’t know how to change gears on anything, we’ve seen the same formula so many times. Ambrose cashing in once on the same night was so refreshing and I wish they would do something like that more often. Or just get rid of the concept but that’s not going to happen.
8 is the number of women in the “Smackdown Live” women’s division (if you count the injured, hiatused and yet to debut), which has become a real treat. Yes the “Monday Night Raw” women are always going to get more focus and rightfully so, but at the same time the “Smackdown Live” women are playing so far above their heads that they deserve a mention.
If nothing else, just look at Alexa Bliss (torture I know). She’s gone from debuting to one of the most entertaining heels the women’s division has seen in a long time. Even though she’s only been on the main roster for a few months now, it feels like she completely belongs there and deserves to be champion. There’s effort in the division and that helps so much. The fact that they do this with only a handful of women makes it even more impressive.
7 is the number of deities that helped set up Matt Hardy’s Broken Universe. I know this is a touchy subject for some people (or an unknown for the high number of people who don’t watch TNA) but Hardy has put together one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen in wrestling and it’s going along with some of the best performances of his career.
Now that being said, TNA needs to lay off the thing a bit. It’s been going for over half a year now and the idea is really starting to overstay its welcome. The recent “Total Nonstop Deletion” was a true spectacle but at what point does this end? The Hardys are getting more screen time than anyone in TNA and I don’t see how anyone benefits from this but the two of them. Yes it’s been entertaining but eventually you reach a point where enough is enough. That was somewhere back in October and it’s still going, which has always been one of TNA’s major issues.
6 is a hard number to come up with something for but it still made the list.
5 is what Big E. used to count to in NXT, which helped to get him up to the main roster where he became part of New Day. It’s still kind of amazing that they broke a twenty five year old record and became the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in company history (save for the Women’s Tag Team Titles but I don’t think anyone really cares about them).
New Day was so much fun and at their peak, easily the hottest act in the company. Their merchandise sales alone warranted their huge push and I’m glad they never went full on heel to break the record. They should be fine going forward, though I’m not sure what they’re going to do save for breaking into the singles ranks. If it means Kofi Kingston getting near the World Title, I’m all for it.
4 is the number of Raw Women’s Titles won by Charlotte, who has had an amazing feud with Sasha Bans. This is one of those things that has been discussed to death but keep this in mind: they main evented a WWE pay per view. Think back to the days of the Divas and their two minute matches and then think about them main eventing a pay per view. It’s almost unthinkable but these two actually pulled it off. That’s really amazing and has made them the greatest rivalry in the history of the women’s division.
3 is the number of cruiserweights who were left laying after Sunday’s title match with Neville (and his awesome beard) standing tall. The division hasn’t been the most interesting in the world so far with TJ Perkins, Brian Kendrick and Rich Swann not exactly being enough to carry things. Neville can help fix that as he was going toe to toe with some top stars earlier this year and holding his own.
The division is far from a disaster but it hasn’t exactly been interesting up to this point. Putting in some better known names like Neville can help build things up and make it a lot easier to make some new stars. You’re only going to get so far with the same people having the same matches so putting someone like Neville in there could help out a lot.
2 is the amount of hours “Smackdown Live” runs every week and it still proves to be the sweet spot instead of the three hours every Monday night. There’s almost no way around the fact that three hours is too long for a weekly wrestling show. “Smackdown Live” goes for two hours a week and makes me want to keep watching to see what’s going to happen next.
It’s not so much about the storytelling and the writing because that extra hour is going to sink even the most talented creative writers in wrestling. Having just two hours allows you to get in, tell the stories and have the matches you want while getting out before the show wears out its welcome. I know it’s beyond WWE’s control but it would certainly be nice to have Monday follow Tuesday’s lead for a change.
1 is for the undisputed #1 gift for wrestling fans: the WWE Network. If there has ever been a better moment for wrestling fans than the day it launched, I’ve yet to see it. The idea of having so much wrestling available for such a cheap price is amazing and one of my favorite things in WWE history. It’s more wrestling all the time and has changed the way WWE does business in a positive way. If there’s one thing more important, I don’t know what it is.
Some of these might be stretching it a bit but I think you get the point: there’s a lot to be thankful for in wrestling and WWE has a lot of those good things under its own roof. Sure there are major problems in the company but there’s also a lot of positives to point towards. If nothing else the in ring product is outstanding at the moment and you have a lot of content to watch, which is never a problem for a wrestling fan.
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