G5: WWE cuts, Team 3D, TNA’s ring, more

WWE trimmed 10 Superstars from its roster last week. Of all the talent let go, who has the brightest future ahead of them?

Team 3D were announced as the latest inductees into the TNA Hall of Fame at the Slammiversary pay-per-view this past Monday. Where do Bully Ray and Devon rank when it comes to the all-time great tag teams?

And, speaking of TNA, the promotion might be going back to its six-sided ring starting with the upcoming Impact Wrestling tapings in New York City. Which style of ring does the NZPWI team prefer?

We’re answering these, and more, questions below in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. Ten Superstars were cut from the WWE roster last week, including Brodus Clay, Drew McIntyre, and Evan Bourne. Of all those who were released from their contracts, who do you think will find the most success away from WWE?

David:
I would have said Evan Bourne/Matt Sydal would be the guy to thrive on the indies if he hadn’t been away from the ring for almost two years. Drew McIntyre is my pick. He’s still got untapped potential, and could be a hot commodity in TNA if he were partnered with Bram and Magnus.

Craig:
Brodus Clay should make a fortune in Japan with his look and Evan Bourne should easily be picked up by ROH or TNA. I feel Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal have had a bit of a raw deal. How WWE hasn’t been able to find something good for Mahal when there are more than a billion Indians in the world is beyond me. McIntyre apparently had political issues behind the scenes and he never recovered from them. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was back sometime in the future.

Luke:
I think that if Bourne can stay healthy he can still be a king of the indies. Brodus is a huge guy too with a great look and having a huge rub from his exposure in WWE he could be another guy to make waves, following the same route that guys like Luke Gallows and Tensai did in Japan.

Blake:
While I think this is a very difficult question to answer considering the amount of talent contained within so many of the Superstars, I would put my best bet on Curt Hawkins. Not only is he a talented wrestler in his own right, but he could fit into so many growing independent promotions in America right now plus he now has his own wrestling school.

Stevie:
Drew has the best chance. He’d suit TNA quite well. Give him a chance to let loose and be himself, you’ll see greatness.

Dion:
I’m inclined to say Evan Bourne will find good success. Assuming he stays healthy, he could slot right in to TNA or ROH. Though, so could Drew McIntyre. It’s a shame that there is no place for either in WWE, but it certainly won’t be the last we hear of either.

2. Aksana and 3MB appeared on last week’s SmackDown broadcast, which aired after their releases had been announced. A pre-taped episode of Impact Wrestling also showed MVP in the ring long after he suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of the Slammiversary main event. Is it a good idea for shows to be taped in advance in the ever-changing pro-wrestling climate?

David:
I think it’s fine to pre-tape SmackDown, for example, because it airs only a few days after it’s filmed. (Why couldn’t WWE just wait one more day to release Aksana, Mahal, and McIntyre?) Taping a month’s worth of Impact Wrestling in one go is asking for trouble though. As good a decision as it was economically, continuing to air shows that built Slammiversary around MVP while knowing he wouldn’t be able to compete must have been awkward for the TNA office. Can you imagine if WWE was still promoting Daniel Bryan for Money in the Bank and had to announce their new main event, with no TV coverage, just days before the show?

Craig:
Only the smarks know they’ve been released. It’s no big deal is it?

Luke:
It doesn’t bother me and I don’t think it really matters as the majority of wrestling fans don’t belong to the internet wrestling community and therefore most likely don’t even have a clue they have been released. It can, however, screw up continuity and create plot holes. But this is wrestling…

Blake:
While I really don’t mind pre-taped shows, the argument is clearly becoming more and more in favour of live broadcasts. I think this is the reason WWE is managing to continue to monopolise the market. In saying that, without WWE’s pre-taped Mankind WWF Championship victory, they also wouldn’t be where they are today.

Stevie:
The SmackDown example isn’t a worry, it’s only a few days. TNA has a big problem though, as the MVP stuff was a shambles. Sometimes you need to do things on the fly.

Dion:
Yes, it is. The cost savings of pre-taped shows far outweigh the possibility of a talent appearing on one of these shows after being released. By far.

3. Team 3D, the Dudley Boyz, were announced as the latest inductees into the TNA Hall of Fame at Slammiversary. Where do Bully Ray and Devon rank in terms of the all-time great tag teams?

David:
They’re not my personal favourite but you can’t argue against anyone calling Team 3D the greatest tag team of all time. They’ve worked almost everywhere, and won almost everything, and done it for as long as any other team in the business.

Craig:
They do rank as one of the great tag teams but I think they fall just short of that title which I believe belongs to Legion of Doom. WWE ranks Edge & Christian the best and the Dudleys at 10 but I think that’s a little harsh.

Luke:
At the very top. I consider the Dudley Boyz the greatest tag team in the history of the business and their accolades prove it. They took everything from the greats before them such as the LOD, Demolition etc., and applied it to themselves. They are more than worthy of a Hall of Fame mark and hopefully this honour will not prevent them from entering the WWE Hall of Fame one day.

Blake:
Now there’s a debate I don’t want to get into. However, their championship credentials speak for themselves and the matches they had with the Hardys and Edge & Christian were some of the best of all time. A much deserved congratulations to them.

Stevie:
I think you have to put them right near the top. Different generations will feel differently – Ray himself has said the Road Warriors are the best – but it’s hard to deny that the Dudleys are one of the greatest teams of all time.

Dion:
They’re clearly one of the most decorated and they certainly rank right up there. But there have been some incredible tag teams over the years: The Hart Foundation; The Legion of Doom; Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard; The Hardy Boyz; Edge & Christian. You could argue that any one of those, or more, are the best.

4. TNA is asking fans to vote whether the promotion should keep its current ring or revert back to the six-sided version it used from 2004 to 2010. Which style of ring do you prefer?

David:
I liked the six-sided ring for X Division matches, but guys like Kurt Angle or Sting always looked a little out of place inside it to me. Some of TNA’s best years (2005, 2006) happened in the six-sided ring so I imagine it’ll win the poll in a landslide, but it’s probably best to stick with a traditional four sides and just focus on what happens inside it.

Craig:
A six-sided ring is a gimmick similar to the Elimination Chamber. You don’t change things unless it’s for the better. A six-sided ring is not better.

Luke:
I was a huge fan of the six-sided ring so I’ll be one fan that will be happy to see it back in action if it returns. I always thought it made the promotion look more unique and it had its own attitude to it. It distinguished itself from looking like Raw, SmackDown, or ROH shows. Plus the gimmick matches suited it – six sides of steel! Boom!

Blake:
While I don’t think that the changing of the ring was the nail in the coffin, it was certainly a stupid idea to remove something that made TNA iconic. While I also don’t think that returning the six-sided ring will fix TNA’s problems, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Stevie:
I prefer six sides. But it sounds like most of the wrestlers don’t. From my angle, it makes it unique, which means it helps them create an identity. But they’ve squandered chance after chance, and cosmetics can’t fix their story problems.

Dion:
I prefer the four-sided ring. Anyone that thinks a six-sided ring will help TNA, in any way, has no idea.

5. Ring of Honor makes its traditional pay-per-view debut in the United States this weekend. The event is also available on iPPV worldwide. Will you be ordering Best in the World on Monday? And, should WWE be concerned about more competitors entering the pay-per-view arena?

David:
I’m on the Best in the World bandwagon and am very much hoping to see Michael Elgin win the ROH World Championship. It sounds like the event hasn’t been particularly well advertised in the United States, so only current ROH fans will wind up booking it, but in theory now that some PPV networks have dropped WWE events in a backlash to the WWE Network launch, Best in the World has the potential to be seen by more casual fans than Money in the Bank. WWE won’t, and shouldn’t, be worried but this is the first step of a journey that could see ROH as a real contender for people’s expendable income over the next year.

Craig:
No I will not be booking it and no WWE won’t be concerned. They will certainly look on with interest and see how it does. WWE has shown it needs a strong competitor to shake it from its complacency. We can only hope.

Luke:
WWE has no fear with its network. I won’t be ordering the PPV personally but I’m sure I will catch it at some point.

Blake:
I won’t be ordering it unfortunately, but it is great to see another promotion entering a monopolised market. Especially considering WWE’s recent flops with pay-per-view companies, they should definitely be worried about the currently-adored Ring of Honor.

Stevie:
I wish I had time to watch another PPV. I’m stoked for ROH to be doing traditional PPV, it’s a great move for them. I’m curious to see how this will go over the next year or so.

Dion:
I won’t be, but it is great to hear ROH is taking the step. I don’t think WWE has anything to worry about. You’re either an ROH guy/gal or a WWE guy/gal or, in some cases, both.