G5: SummerSlam, WWE Network, AAA, more

WWE’s biggest event of the American summer is behind us – what sort of legacy did this year’s SummerSlam leave behind?

SummerSlam will back its bags and leave California in favour of New Jersey/New York next year, but where else would the Gimme Five team like to see given the chance to host a major event?

Can TNA survive if it loses its Spike TV deal? Will Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio generate big interest for Mexico’s AAA? And, after more than a week to check it out, how are we liking the WWE Network?

Join us as we answer these burning questions in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. SummerSlam has wrapped for another year. Did you enjoy the event, and how does it stack up against SummerSlams from previous years?

Luke:
I thought SummerSlam was the second best pay-per-view of the year, behind WrestleMania XXX, and it delivered completely. Every match on the card was solid and there were multiple title changes and many surprises that kept the crowd happy for the entire night. Rollins and Ambrose continued to shine in their lumberjack match. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, but boy was that one chaotic, hard-hitting contest! Ziggler finally picked up a much-needed win, and Lesnar absolutely annihilated John Cena which—to my guilty pleasure—I enjoyed watching after all these years of Cena’s dominance. Cena’s credibility wasn’t damanged as he never gave up to Lesnar, and Lesnar continued to prove why he is a legitimate bad-ass and a draw for the company. One of the best SummerSlams in the last 10 years for sure.

Blake:
I really enjoyed the pay-per-view; I was especially fond of the fact that there were two Divas matches of good quality, and plenty of managers. I genuinely think it was one of the best from the last 10 years, although it certainly doesn’t compare to some of those from the Attitude Era or Ruthless Aggression Era.

Stevie:
I loved it! I was there live and it met all my expectations. I think it’s one of the better pay-per-views they’ve put out in the last couple years.

David:
SummerSlam 2014 was definitely up there with some of the stronger offerings this century – 2002, 2005, 2013. You got your quality in-ring action from Jericho vs. Wyatt, and Orton vs. Reigns, while matches like Brie vs. Stephanie, and Ambrose vs. Rollins delivered in terms of over-the-top spectacle. Cena vs. Lesnar was something else entirely – an odd combination of in-ring action and long-term consequence.

 

2. WWE Network has been available in New Zealand for over a week now. What are your first thoughts on the Network?

Luke:
It is worth every cent. For only $9.99 USD, you get every pay-per-view, original content… the works! I honestly cannot put over how amazing the WWE Network truly is. Don’t be a coward and buy it. Find out for yourself!

Blake:
I’m still a bit let down by it and I still don’t know why. It could be the simple fact is that it’s not working on Chrome for me, but there’s something about it that just doesn’t feel completely polished yet.

Stevie:
I’ve been using it for a while and I love it. I’m travelling across the States now and being able to watch it whenever I want on my iPad is simply fantastic. It’s worth it to always have years of wrestling at your fingertips wherever you are.

David:
The biggest drawcard for me has been access to Main Event, NXT, and Superstars (and, of course, SummerSlam) as they first air. The huge archive of pay-per-view events is nice, and takes away the need to be snapping up cheap DVDs from Cash Converters or The Warehouse, but so far I’ve had most enjoyment from tuning in at midday to check out what’s going on at Full Sail University with WWE’s stars of tomorrow.

 

3. Alberto Del Rio appeared at AAA TripleMania XXII on Monday, as did Rey Mysterio. Will the addition of two names so closely associated with WWE make AAA more appealing to an international audience?

Luke:
I don’t think it will generate much of an impact. It will create a wave among the internet wrestling community, but that’s about it.

Blake:
I think there will be an initial interest, but the simple fact is the lucha libre style of wrestling will not catch on. There will be the few who are interested in it, the few who follow it, but the majority who will lose interest in it very quickly.

Stevie:
No offence to the man but I’m pretty sure Alberto Del Rio never increased anybody’s interest in the global product when he was on the top company’s roster. This won’t do anything for AAA’s global positioning but is a great coup for anybody’s in-ring product.

David:
I’ve been looking for a reason/way to follow the Mexican scene, and right now seems to be a pretty decent starting point. Don’t hold me to it, but in the wake of TripleMania and with El Patron (Del Rio’s new name) now on the roster, I do intend to try and keep up with AAA.

 

4. Rumours continue to fly about TNA’s contract negotiations with Spike TV. Will it be a death-blow for the company if TNA can’t find an American TV deal?

Luke:
It will be a deathly blow to TNA if they lose an American television deal. It will be ECW all over again. Without a television deal, nobody sees your product, there’s no advertising investment and then you’re as good as an invisible man. I hope TNA get a solid deal in place because we want wrestling to continue and be in the limelight. If you’re a wrestling fan and wish death upon TNA, you’re a discrace. Wrestlers need more places to wrestle, regardless of how bad some storylines might be.

Blake:
Purely out of stubbornness, I’m going to say no. A few months ago I predicted that within the next five years, TNA would be competitive promotion – maybe not the level of WWE, but certainly a contender for ROH. Anyway, they have a TV deal in the UK where they are bloody huge, so maybe they could just build on that fan base for now.

Stevie:
They have contracts for international TV but I have no idea if that could keep them afloat. I’ll give them this – they’re trying really hard to survive. I admire that.

David:
Ring of Honor, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t have television—not in the traditional sense of being on a certain station across the country at a certain time anyway—and it’s flourishing at the moment. TNA could easily fall back to the ROH model in a worst case scenario, but it’s far from its worst case yet. Even if the company should wind up parting ways with Spike TV, I’m confident it’ll be just fine.

 

5. SummerSlam is leaving California in favour of New Jersey/New York in 2015. Which locations would you like to see given the chance to hold a major event like SummerSlam or WrestleMania?

Luke:
Toronto? The United Kingdom again? I’d like to see SummerSlam go international sometimes but I’d love to see WrestleMania return to Toronto again.

Blake:
I would really love to see an event held in England again, especially a WrestleMania. Other than that, as long as they stop their obsession with Florida and California, I’m happy.

Stevie:
Chicago! Best city in the world.

David:
Canada has certainly been short-changed lately; Toronto could do with a big event. Anywhere with a strong wrestling history is a fine choice though – Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, etc.