So, with the release of possibly the greatest invention in wrestling’s history next to the Bra and Panties Match, the WWE Network has been able to present the masses with classic wrestling matches from years past. I am happy we are able to take a look at the past, and by the past I don’t mean The Attitude Era, I’m talking about in the 1980’s when the wrestling boom erupted and the industry was becoming recognized for it's entertainment and compelling storytelling. The storytelling is the most important aspect of why we love to watch wrestling. But it’s not just the story that comes across in the promos, vignettes, and cutaways; but I am stressing the storytelling that happens in the ring which makes you love or hate a wrestler or a team. When you watch the first WrestleMania you can see the hatred “Rowdy” Roddy Piper had for Mr. T and Hulk Hogan with his facial expressions, mannerisms and indications of inflecting pain. Or matches between Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes that showed their level of competition and mutual respect as well as the loathing of each other’s lifestyles and upbringing. For some years, we seem to have lost the storytelling due to Creative wanting to be less creative and wanting the talent to draw from their “reality”. But I am happy to see there is a glimmer of storytelling brilliance which is shining through with storylines such as The Shield battling The Wyatt Family, Cesaro and Sami Zayn’s ongoing feud, and of course the “Yes Movement” with Daniel Bryan and the Authority. These days, Dean Ambrose would make Roddy Piper proud. Compelling stories are the reason why we keep coming back to the world of wrestling. So, with that being said, I bring to you…
Face and Heel of the Week
Face of the Week: Adrian Neville (NXT Champion)
Well, in the case of the “The Man That Gravity Forgot” we can all say he did not stop B0-lieving in his dream in winning championship gold. The man was once known as PAC as he traveled across the world fighting in small town rings to big-scale arenas until he landed at NXT in 2013. In that small period of time, Adrian Neville was able to shock audiences with his small size but was able to pack a punch with his power, speed and agility. Neville was able to succeed in winning not one, but two NXT Tag Titles with two separate partners. But it was this past week on NXT ArRIVAL where Neville faced his biggest challenge against Bo Dallas in a Ladder Match during a live show on the WWE Network. The match was a back and forth struggle which sums up the career of Neville at this point because many would believe because of his size he won’t be a top card draw. But on this night, Adrian Neville was on top of the ladder holding the gold, still defying the naysayers and gravity.
Heel of the Week: CM Punk (WWE)
WHAT?! CM PUNK?! HOW DARE I PUT THE BEST IN THE WORLD IN THIS CATEGORY?! Well, at this moment CM Punk may not have been a heel at the time of his WWE departure, but he sure left like one. Look, I know all of you CM Punk fans may feel he left for the right reasons, but if you ever worked at a place of business, you just don’t walk away, especially from your co-workers and fans. Fine, we don’t know the whole story and only can speculate but we do know Punk picked up his ball and went home unhappy. What disappoints me most is I’m a fan. I’ve been a CM Punk fan since his days in the Indys. Even with his pipebombs, his Straight Edge Society, and his constant reminder of his “Best in the World” greatness I was still in his corner. But these days, the fans are forgetting the most realistic aspect of this power struggle between Punk and WWE – Punk walked away. Even with his large fan base, his lucrative contracts and merchandise percentages, Punk walked away from us. I didn’t blink an eye doing it. That is what the Best in the World did for you, in possibly the biggest Heel of the Year move.