Hello everyone. I have been doing well and you’re keeping warm if you’re in the Northeast/Midwest because it looks like were not out of the woods yet when it comes to winter weather. But I’m not here to talk about that. I want to talk about stuff. What stuff? Well it’s really a hodgepodge of a lot of things. So let’s get started.

CM Punk  Thor comic variant cover

I had the chance to read CM Punk’s first foray into comic book writing with this year’s Marvel Thor annual. To be honest, I found the story a little strange as it deals with a young God of Thunder celebrating his latest victory in battle In a Tavern with the Warriors Three and his half-brother Loki. Given the straight edge nature of the Chicago native, it is a little bizarre to have a drinking contest with a demon as his debut as a comics writer. It was a good story though, fun, whimsical and it did have a straight edge message at the end. But I think it gave you a great look at what could be coming from the Second City Saint. The artwork is very cartoon and his beautiful. The artist even re-tweeted me for my thoughts on their story.

I think this was a sign that CM Punk is very much willing to step out of their comfort zone. Going into the UFC, writing comics, appearing on television shows these are things that the Punk from 10 years ago wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of this stuff. But I think he is willing to challenge himself because if he doesn’t have something feels creatively fulfilled by and that he’s working towards he’s miserable.

Former employers, WWE seem to be the exact opposite and just coasting on past formulas. Over the last week WWE has released a Flintstones animated movie, a franchise, while poised for a reboot thanks to Will Ferrell next year, feels a relic of a bygone era from The Stone Age. And looking at Smackdown this past week it seems like WWE is taking ideas from the partnership with Warner Bros. particularly when it comes to the Intercontinental title storyline. Seems like WWE’s version of Looney Tunes which wouldn’t be terrible except for the fact that you have “the good guys” acting like a heel with Bad News Barrett the heel being sympathetic as a baby face. There’s no doubt that in wrestling there been cartoonish things because of its past placement on Saturday mornings. However the animated genre has evolved a little bit.

 

Things such as Phineas and Ferb, SpongeBob SquarePants, Gravity Falls and much much more has evolved what kids used to watch to something family themselves can all enjoy on different levels. That’s what wrestling needs to learn is how to be clever to work from eight-year-old to 80-year-olds. I said it once you can do so much more with little tweaks.

Having Fandango beat Adam Rose doesn’t mean anything if you don’t put something behind it. If you just throw characters out there they can get over to some degree. But it will mean as much unless you tell them this matters. And while I appreciate them giving Curtis Axel TV time. Because Lord knows he deserves it. But making him a nameless face in a sea of 25 for The Andre the Giant Battle Royal this year won’t really do anything. Even when he does get the victory what exactly does it mean? A trophy? We saw what happened with Cesara it took him almost 11 months to actually do something substantial. We all remember the meandering course that he took to even get there. Matches need to have stakes. You have to feel like you’re invested in what’s going on otherwise it doesn’t mean a thing and is just the bathroom break that everyone uses at Levi’s Stadium on March 29.

Samoa Joe Returning to Ring of Honor, Heading to Wrestlemania Weekend

Moving on to other things in the wrestling world, ROH announced this week that Samoa Joe would be returning after a seven-year absence to the company. And while most are excited to hear what he has to say this Sunday in Las Vegas. I’m questionable of what he can actually still can really bring to the table to bring water. I know that may sound blasphemous to some old-school Ring of Honor fans the man was the most dominant champion company history warning the title of record 22 months but it’s been a rough seven years for The Samoan Submission Machine. There’s no secret that Joe has had back trouble and I’m interested to see how he will hang with the era of the modern ROH Talent. It will deftly give the company shot in the arm PR wise but I don’t know what that brings from an in ring standpoint. I have a feeling that Joe will make his appearances in ROH pretty scarce to not overstay his welcome. He’s going to use ROH much like he did in the past to help revitalize his spirit. If I were them I’d use him very sparingly as the elder statesman of the roster.

 

And finally something to recommend to everyone who is an old-school wrestling fan, if you like our friends Respect the Mat Podcast, you should definitely check out Kayfabe Commentaries Back to the Territories series particularly the one with JJ Dillon talking The Mid-Atlantic Territory. The series hosted by the very eccentric Jim Cornette uses shoot interview format in an interesting way. It really takes you back and makes you understand how different every territory really was. Cornette pulls materials from his vast archive to help set the mood. There is even rare archival footage from material that was saved by the Louisville Slugger (which you can buy by going here)..

The 3 1/2 hour discussion delves in everything from the Crockett themselves, booking philosophy , travel stories and very much more. Honestly, it costs a pretty premium penny from WWN Live being priced at $20.99. But it’s well worth every minute. There is a another in the series that was released featuring Midsouth and Jim Duggan but honestly that doesn’t have the same reverence as Hacksaw wasn’t as behind-the-scenes as JJ. But it’s still solid.

That’s all I have for now. Stay safe. Stay warm. I will see you next time.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.