Editorial Columns

Reasons To Be Cheerful | War Games, Survivor Series, MJF & Mauro Ranallo

Talking War Games, Survivor Series and MJF; Shaun Pond gives us his reasons to be cheerful from the wrestling week.

In a complete 180 from recent weeks, the last seven days have featured a wealth of fantastic wrestling out of the WWE both on the NXT side of things as well as Raw and Smackdown.

Things have been going strong outside of the WWE bubble too and as such we have a lot to be cheerful about. 

The biggest show of the last week had to be Survivor Series, but the best was Wargames. As is so often the case, NXT knocked it out of the park with an exemplary showing although this time they did so on both shows. 

Fans have long known that NXT is the home of the best wrestling in the WWE, but now those who exclusively watch the main roster know that too. In just two days both Adam Cole and Keith Lee have made themselves into megastars in the eyes of just about everybody through their incredible in-ring work.

Cole turned in a star making, in particular, performance on both shows and, if nothing else, we should be cheerful that he exists to do so. 

If WWE continues to lean into the idea of NXT being a force to rival the two main brands, then this could become an extremely interesting time in the company. Now please give me Ciampa versus Orton.   

Speaking of Keith Lee, let’s focus on him a little more closely. The big man is known for his impressive displays of athleticism and unique charisma, but he has not been able to build much of a head of steam before now. That can be blamed on injuries and a surprising initial disconnect between him and the NXT audience. Now though, he’s arrived in a big way. 

Lee was given the chance to shine brighter than any of his NXT brethren in the Men’s Elimination Tag Match at Survivor Series. He seized that opportunity and became the talk of the fanbase because of it. 

As if that wasn’t enough, he continued his momentum by Pouncing Adam Cole into the third row (or possibly space, judging by the impact) on NXT this week. 

Lee is a man who has proven elsewhere that he is capable of having some amazing matches that defy physics and audience expectations. If he is finally given a chance to do the same on WWE soil, then future TakeOvers could get a whole lot more entertaining as we are allowed to bask in his glory.

Moving now to AEW, it appears that a despicable star is finally being allowed to be born in the form of MJF. 

After turning into the detestable heel that we all knew he was all along, MJF has begun to string together some important victories and add to his character in ways that he simply couldn’t whilst playing more of a tweener role. 

The preppy egomaniac has added the imposing Wardlow to his act, a must for any good snivelling loudmouth, and now he is going to be able to flaunt the Dynamite Diamond Ring at every opportunity. 

That gaudy piece of jewellery wouldn’t have fit with anyone else’s gimmick, so it is good to see that the right call was made in giving it to MJF. It’s touted as being extremely expensive but is actually rather naff looking, just like MJF and his fake tan (and I mean that in the best way possible). 

The upcoming programme with Cody is going to be a thing of beauty and, in this day and age, I’m just cheerful that there’s an out and out heel in wrestling. 

Sadly, we cannot include anything from the NWA Powerrr episode this week as it was a collection of pre-taped interviews and one dark match. The reason for this being done is understandable however, and a sign of progress for the company as it continues to grow once more. 

Rather than their lack of an episode, what we should be focusing on as a positive is the end of Jim Cornette’s run there. Now to be clear, I’m a big fan of the man and value his opinions on wrestling. However, there is no room for racism in the modern world and, intentional or not, his comments just weren’t in-keeping with a product that is trying to make headway in 2019. 

The reason it is good that he’s no longer affiliated with the company is that it opens them up to a wider audience who were put off by Jim being there. The NWA are producing some of the best content of any company right now and it is heartening to know that a wider audience may well be inclined to tune in from here on out. 

This last entry is not so much as reason to be cheerful as it is an appreciation post directed towards Mauro Ranallo.

By now we have all heard that Mauro is in rough shape following a critical tweet from Corey Graves towards him at Wargames. Sadly, due to Mauro’s well documented mental health issues, such things are going to send him spiraling and that is what’s happened here. 

Let’s not pile on Graves, I do not believe for a second that he intended any harm to his colleague and surely feels awful for the result of his actions. Instead, let’s send our best wishes to Mauro, as we at TWM do, and hope for a speedy recovery. 

Mental health issues can be hell for the sufferer and right now Mauro needs positivity and understanding. I hope he takes as long as he needs before returning to TV and that when he does, he gets a raucous ovation. 

He is the best commentator in the business and he will be missed whilst he’s recuperating.

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