Welcome to the latest edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Month with Marc Madison. After a month’s hiatus, this (intended to be) monthly edition return, and like the bi-weekly (ish) version it tackles things that happened over the past month, things that may have been missed, forgotten or initially ignored. We want to bring these events to the forefront! Showcase the oddest, unique or possibly bizarre qualities because that’s what makes them stand out. We’ll dive deep into a handful of different things, stories whose strange nature is something that should be featured.
You can anticipate something outside normal online wrestling culture when it comes to this (generally) monthly edition, just like the bi-weekly (ish) edition. We may focus on a tweet from a wrestler, an image, a scenario, a match, or even a storyline. In this month’s edition, we didn’t tackle why Breezango showed up on 205 Live, though that didn’t seem to make much sense. Instead, it highlights things that weren’t included in a recent pay per view, a see you later, the announcement of a returning pay per view, and four men facing each other in a WWE ring in a confrontation that couldn’t have been predicted a year ago. And more! Without further ado, here is Strange Things in Wrestling This Month for September 2017.
WWE is bringing back Starrcade
It was one of the most notable creations ever to come from World Championship Wrestling. The brainchild of the late Dusty Rhodes, Starrcade was considered the equivalent of Wrestlemania for WWE’s rival. This past month, it was announced that Starrcade was set to make a return, as an enhanced live event tied to Smackdown Live’s roster. There are even announced matches for the event including having Shinsuke Nakamura and Jinder Mahal facing each other one more time for the WWE championship, this time in a steel cage. While the announcement of Starrcade has been met by some with a great deal of appreciation that wasn’t the case for Cody Rhodes. Rhodes directed a tweet at WWE executive Michael P.S Hayes, essentially saying he wasn’t pleased that his father’s creation was being used yet his brother (Goldust/Dustin Rhodes) wasn’t on the card.
We have to keep in mind that with Goldust on the Raw roster, and this being a Smackdown only show that the chances of him being in a match are pretty unlikely. Rhodes has reason to take issue with the decision, as a Rhodes-created event really should have a Rhodes involved in it in some way, shape or form. What is strange is that Starrcade was a major event for WCW, and really should have been presented as a big deal, but that isn’t really the case here. Starrcade could have been used to bring together both rosters in what could be a major fifth pay per view, as a way to say thank you to Dusty Rhodes for all he’s done. That really would have been the least they could do.
A week removed from No Mercy 2017, a number of different things took place that shaped the present and future of the Raw brand. John Cena has officially passed the torch to Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar proved that a beast could conquer a monster, and even as a man, Finn Balor could still defeat a God in Bray Wyatt. There were also events of a peculiar nature, with Enzo Amore capturing the WWE Cruiserweight championship. He didn’t do it in a way a face would normally win a title, which made it all the more strange. However, we’re talking about the Enzo character, after all, so really is anything all that far-fetched? He’s been called a joke because when considering everyone else in the division and how much skill they possess, it’s shocking to believe that he was the choice to capture the title. What he does have is personality, and whether some like it or not, it’s impossible to ignore that he can generate a reaction.
We had Alexa Bliss walk away as champion after a fatal-five way, defeating Bayley, Sasha Banks, Emma and Nia Jax. Bliss claimed that she cleaned out the division and went on to talk down to Mickie James, calling her old and suggesting she didn’t have it anymore. It also appears that Jeff Hardy will be out of action nearly half a year.
The event was fairly successful and had some highs and lows as with any event, but the strange thing wasn’t the event as a whole, but the questions we were left thinking about moving into Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.
Moustache Mountain vs. ReDragon
The idea of having these four men face each other could have been considered a dream. Sure, they’re facing each other anywhere in the world was very much a possibility. It could have been in Progress or even New Japan Pro Wrestling, but no matter where a match involving the four of them was something fans knew would be exciting to see. However, fans didn’t see it in those other mentioned promotions. Instead, this confrontation was on the September 20th edition of NXT, where Tyler Bate and Trent Seven teamed up to face the team formerly known as ReDragon, now part of the Undisputed Era, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish.
All four men have such a skilled pedigree and have achieved so much in the ring. The match itself wasn’t strange or weird, but the fact that we saw it on WWE television was! While the result, a win for Fish and O’Reilly, wasn’t a clean finish that doesn’t take away from the fact that they were able to connect with Total Elimination on Seven, leading to the win. What was unfortunate about the match was that it ended up taking a back seat to the involvement of Drew McIntyre and sAnity afterward. The focus really should have been in the match, with all members of CFO standing victorious over Seven and Bate. Anyway, the odd thing remains that having these two teams meet in WWE seemed unlikely to happen.
Daniel Bryan wants to return to wrestling
We have heard this story before, but it seemed like over the last month more and more traction was building towards the current Smackdown Live general manager stepping aside from his role and stepping back into the ring. In an Instagram video posted by Brie Bella, Bryan was shown to be actively seeking alternative means to ensure that he is better and capable of once again competing in the ring. He was never ready to say goodbye and have his career end when it did, so to have to walk away when he felt that he could still compete had to be difficult.
In recent months, Bryan was approached by a doctor who asked him why he retired, and he told him that there were apparently lesions on his brain evident in x-rays. What the doctor told him was that it was possible that it was a false report. Now if you tell someone incapable of having children that there is a way they can, they are given hope. Really, how is what this doctor did any different? It gave Bryan hope that with enough time, preparation and additional testing that he would be cleared to return to the ring.
Bryan has been told by several doctors that he is capable of returning to the ring. The biggest problem has been that the WWE’s doctors haven’t cleared him, and may never do so, and perhaps because the risk of injury in their eyes is too great.
Goodbye John Cena?
This narrative has happened so many times before; John Cena comes and he goes. In recent years, the need to have Cena on top hasn’t been all that necessary. There have been a number of men that battle for the brass ring, and are fighting to be seen as the guy. Whether it’s called passing the torch or simply taking it, at some point, it happens when someone on top knows that they can’t keep up the pace they have been on, and does the honors for others in the promotion.
This past week Roman Reigns and John Cena faced each other in a test of these men’s wills. The build-up was essentially based on Cena’s not showing respect towards Reigns because the leader of the Roman Empire ‘couldn’t do his job’. In the end, Reigns defeated Cena with a superman punch and a spear, cementing his place as the ‘top dog’ in the company.
It was a strange moment to see Cena sit in the ring after the match, taking it all in and soaking up the cheers of the audience. He is often considered the most polarizing figure in WWE, though Reigns is in that same category, on this night it felt different. To see someone compete at the level he has for roughly fifteen years says a lot about Cena’s commitment. He didn’t say he’s retiring, but he is going to have to walk away for movie commitments and has said that given his age and the beating his body has taken over the years that his role in the company will be a bit different.
So ends this edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Month with Marc Madison. September is when Fall begins, and coincidentally when my birthday is. They say age is just a number and mine is a high one. This month manages to be both hot and cold, sometimes all at once. Who knew that across the wrestling world, we would see wrestlers getting emotional over stepping aside, the announcement of Starrcade, and the effects of No Mercy moving forward.
As per usual, we featured some odd and unusual suspects, and social media played a major part in many of the stories. We could have talked about other things that caught our attention, but we didn’t focus on hard-hitting issues in the world of sports entertainment. We are above that here with our Strange Things in Wrestling series! We hit you with the fun that comes from putting things in a blender and testing the end result. What were we talking about again? Did we miss something or should we have talked about something else in this month’s edition? Let me know, it’s important that some things aren’t left forgotten.
For Strange Things in Wrestling This Month, this is Marc Madison saying, see you next month…and let the massive pondering begin!
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