Welcome, friends and fans, to another round of Geek Versus Pro Wrestling. I regret to inform everyone that we will be enduring yet another summer without a “Bash at the Beach” pay-per-view because WCW is still dead and Vince McMahon is still squatting on the copyright. That doesn’t mean the summer PPV season isn’t upon us in full force, so let’s hit some high spots.
WWE’s Money in the Bank is coming up this Sunday, and i’m excited to see how big they’re going with the card. I really wanna see Kevin Owens walk out with the briefcase this weekend. He’s put in the work to deserve it, obviously, but i’m more intrigued by how he would literally use the briefcase itself as a prop. He’s super creative, and walks that perfect heel balance of being a jerk in a way that’s hilarious. Hopefully, he would carry it for a long time before cashing in for that reason.
However, I don’t feel like that’s how it will shake down. If I were placing a bet (in the spirit of the event taking place in Las Vegas), my money would be on Dean Ambrose. He deserves the big win, but I think it would have more to do with the two guys competing for the WWE title later in the evening, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
The three former members of The Shield have been on course for some sort’ve three-way situation for the title from the group’s inception. The pieces are too conveniently placed for the WWE not to pull the trigger on it now, most likely for SummerSlam in August.
They called their shot during the Ambrose Asylum segment on Raw this past week. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time they set up a big misdirect, but i’m hyped for it none the less.
Setting up a Shield confrontation isn’t the only “dream match” we’ve got to look forward to this Sunday, and i’ll address that further in King of the Week, but not before discussing the promotion one of the participants helped define before coming to the WWE.
TNA’s Slammiversary was this past Sunday. I don’t normally keep up with TNA, but that has more to do with being a cable cord-cutter then actually disliking the product. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have a history of some seriously wack programs. The “Broken Matt Hardy” stuff is
waving that banner pretty hard right now.
There was actually a lot I enjoyed about the show. I was happy to see it open with Eddie Edwards getting the X-Division title. That guy was one of the pillars of Ring of Honor for a long time, so i’m glad to see him get a singles title in TNA while his Wolves partner, Davey Richards, recovers from injury. The Heavyweight title match between Drew Galloway and Bobby “Destroyer” Lashley was also pretty strong.
Galloway and fellow TNA star EC3 recently crashed the Evolve promotion, which held their 62nd and 63rd events this past weekend. It makes for interesting story to see the “unmentionable” TNA promotion so close to the WWE, who has a working relationship with Evolve. EC3 literally plugged TNA’s Slammiversary PPV at the end of the show with WWE officials in attendance. It’s not exactly an nWo level invasion, but the overlap still creates a bit of intrigue.
Quasi invasion angle aside, these Evolve shows had their own set of highlights, many of which included participants in the upcoming Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network. The names of all 32 participants were released this week and it featured quite a few surprises and potential barn burners. My early mostly-baseless speculation; Johnny Gargano’s my favorite to win, Zack Sabre Jr.’s also a strong bet, with Cedric Alexander and Kota Ibushi coming in as my dark horses. The bigger question is who sticks around NXT after the tournament.
King of the Week – AJ Styles
There’s a special place in my heart for a heel AJ Styles. As someone who grew up in Georgia, he reminds me of a lot of dudes my age that I didn’t like as a teenager. It’s a very specific type that I doubt fully translates to people outside of the region. Ironically, it makes me a fan of a pro wrestler I’m supposed to boo.
This match between John Cena and AJ Styles would have been intriguing enough without turning AJ bad. There’s a “Sting Vs Hulk Hogan” vibe that would have carried the feud just fine.
However, WWE made the smart decision of letting AJ go full heel because, frankly, he’s good at it. Of course, having The Club helps. Maybe it has just as much to do with the cocky baseball-jock he reminds me of from my youth, but he uses that flavor to his advantage. It says a lot about him as a talent to be able to play both heel and face so well.
That ability to play both sides of the equation is something I doubt we’ll ever get the opportunity to see from AJ’s opponent. Then again, I would have put the probability of this match ever happening at about the same measure a few years ago. Never say never, as they say.
I’m not confident there will be any sort’ve clean finish here. Like the Shield scenario, I feel like this is a feud they’re also building to culminate at SummerSlam. That doesn’t take anything away from how quickly this feud escalated, and AJ going hard bad guy greatly contributed to that.
Geek Versus Pro Wrestling is an esoteric weekly editorial column reviewing the vast world of professional wrestling. That’s right. The word “esoteric” was just used to describe a series of internet articles about wrestling. Hang that from your turnbuckle and chop it.
J. Aaron Poole is a 21st century writer, musician, and geeky thing liker. He is a member of the American Sociological Association with an academic interest in the relationship between media, technology, and modern culture. Currently residing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida by way of Atlanta, Georgia, he’s recently begun archiving his work at Station146.com. Aaron can be found making absurd comments on Twitter, PSN, and other social media platforms as @JAaronPoole.