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ROH this weekend in NY, Survivor Series no more, Danielson name change, NXT and more

I wanted to stop in at the end of a crazy week covering snowstorms with some thoughts on a few wrestling headlines.

. First off, Ring of Honor returns to New York City Saturday night a Manhattan Center show headlined by ROH Champion Austin Aries defending the title against Tyler Black. It’s a rematch of their December “Final Battle” hour-long draw, but in this bout, a panel of judges will be available to pick a winner if the time limit expires. For ticket information, visit ROHWrestling.com.

. I was saddened to hear that WWE is dropping the Survivor Series from the annual pay per view calendar. The event, which debuted in 1987, was WWE’s second-oldest pay per view, behind only WrestleMania. It became apparent in recent years that WWE saw the tag team elimination format as more of a burden than anything else, but I always enjoyed thought the “survivor” matches presented an opportunity to do some great wrestling storytelling. That was the case last year when Kofi Kingston was the sole survivor of his team, and when Sheamus, Drew McEntyre and The Miz showed that they were the future of WWE by winning their match. There are such few things in WWE these days whose routes go back more than 20 years. It’s a shame to lose one of them – especially if we get another lame “concept” pay per view in its place.

. I’m all for WWE ditching the ECW brand in favor of something new, although I hope WWE doesn’t go too far in trying to reinvent the wheel with WWE NXT. Although the ratings had fallen considerably in recent years, WWE was on to a solid formula with ECW – making it a proving ground of sorts for young WWE talent. The main problem with the brand was that it was called ECW, when it was painfully apparent for years now that the brand had nothing at all to do with the Extreme Championship Wrestling that Paul Heyman made a cult favorite in the 1990s. I think the concept of a WWE “feeder” brand can still work, and so I’m afraid to see WWE go overboard in adding all kinds of lame “futuristic” bells and whistles to NXT.

. NXT might be just the right atmosphere to debut WWE’s next potential superstar – Bryan Danielson. Or should I say Daniel Bryan, the name under which he wrestled in his first Florida Championship Wrestling bout this week. I totally get WWE’s desire to use names that they can own – so wrestlers don’t go and cash in on WWE’s intellectual property after they leave the company. But there should be exceptions, and Danielson should be one of them. There are so few wrestlers who have never worked for WWE or WCW whose names mean something. Danielson earned a reputation in Ring of Honor and in his independent work as one of the best wrestlers in the world. WWE should look to cash in on that. At the very least, I hope they keep the “American Dragon” moniker.

. So TNA is set to make a “major announcement” on Monday. Most people assume they will announce that Impact is moving to Monday Night permanently, opposite of Raw.  But I think the announcement will be even bigger. I think TNA will announce that they will do something they have never done before. Something truly groundbreaking.

On Monday, Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan will announce that TNA intends to book a logical storyline.

You can close your mouths now.

 

New York Sports