Hey everybody. I hope you had a great week so far. The weekend is just around the corner. There’s been a lot going on this week in the world of professional wrestling. Everything product on wrestling television seems to be firing on all cylinders recently. Whether it says WWE, TNA, ROH, or Lucha Underground you can’t seem to go wrong. What an amazing period of time we live in where the arguments are really about in ring quality anymore but the stories that they tell where the audience wants more nuance and trust from their escapist entertainment.

WWE continued the rebuilding phase post Wrestlemania. Smackdown saw the debuts of Enzo and Cass in the ring. Their match against the Ascension was basically a transpose version of what you saw on NXT for all those years. Of all the call ups from Orlando, Enzo and Cass seem to be the most natural translation from the small stage of Full Sail to WWE arenas. Fans chant along with them and are into the act. Whereas The Vaudevillians haven’t been able to gain that connection. This can be from the fact that their debut week they were portrayed with their baby face music and this week the throwbacks were made to be the heels. WWE seems to be trying to find out where they belong.

But that being said it seems like the cultures changing about how talents will be used regarding the role the main roster. Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn have been put in prominent positions on the main roster. No longer will be have characters like Adam Rose, and Tyler Breeze go beyond the wayside. I think Vince understands that NXT establishes a back story that cannot be ignored.

There’s plenty of fresh faces in the company right now and by the looks of the May 1 Payback pay-per-view it may be one of the better post Wrestlemania pay per views in WWE history. It’s crazy how doom and gloom things were in November and December and how crazy is that changed in just a few months.

Even established characters the Miz and Zack Ryder have gotten a renewed focus that wasn’t seen a few months ago. Hopefully this is a trend showing that WWE has learned from this string of injuries and will not hold all its chips on four main talents but instead spread the wealth the whole way around.

Names like John Cena, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Undertaker, Triple H and others will not be around to shoulder the load forever. Especially John Cena who debuted his new reality show “American Grit” on Fox this past Thursday opposite of WWE Smackdown. The 39-year-old poster boy of WWE seems to be looking at life beyond the Ring. And by its first episode WWE might have something to worry about.

“American Grit” is a military competition series in which teams of civilians led by military personnel are put through physical and mental tests done by the US branches of service. The series which is also produced by John Cena is the epitome of his character and feels very natural. Going above and beyond the physical limits and showing true passion is something that the multitime WWE champion has shown time after time to WWE audiences and now brings it to a new realm. I will be very surprised if this is not a hit for Fox. And with that comes concessions that John Cena would have to make to his WWE schedule. So the company really needs to think about life without the rainbow colored warrior.

Moving on, with all this positive news coming forward we did have some unfortunate stories. Of course, the first being the passing of ECW original Balls Mahoney at the age of 44. A lot of people in the business have been sharing stories of The Chair Swinging Freak’s love of the business and just being involved. All the shots that he took and damage that he did to his body were voluntary just to please the crowd. Unfortunately, this has been the year of a lot of the original crew in Philadelphia passing away. But with the sadness comes the knowledge of professional wrestling safety has grown in leaps and bounds. I don’t really know many promotions that promote head shots with chairs anymore, but is used more effectively and sparingly and promoters are more cognizant of the talent being injured. Some may find this as a bad thing but if it helps future generations live better longer lives than the ones who came before them, then that something was done right.

The growing pains of TNA continue to be a prominent story every week. In the last seven days news of Impact Wrestling moving headquarters and production in Nashville has really caught fire. Every business has its growing pains and TNA is going through them very publicly. Even though the television product is really great Impact Wrestling can’t seem to gain any positive momentum in the mind of some fans. There is talk of outside investment coming into the company but I am unsure what actually can be done at this point. It may be too damaged as a brand at least domestically to continue on. But that brand seems to be the one that you really can’t kill.

Overall, this definitely feel like a period of time that fans look upon as a transformative age in the medium of professional wrestling. I’ve been watching a lot of 1997 Raw and Nitro On WWE Network and this definitely feels like things are evolving in the wrestling business and we will be better coming out of its wake.

As always time will tell.

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.