G5: Elimination Chamber, Zack Ryder, Brock Lesnar, more

Elimination Chamber will be the first event of its kind in the United States, airing exclusively on WWE Network. Does this mean WWE will place more, or less, importance on Monday’s live special?

Zack Ryder wrestled his first match in some time on Raw. Brock Lesnar hasn’t been seen on WWE television in almost two months. When are we expecting to see either Superstar back on our screens?

We also debate who should be the next NXT Diva called up to the main WWE roster, and which of The Rock’s films is his best in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. Elimination Chamber will be held this Monday as a WWE Network-exclusive in the United States. What expectations do you have for the event? Will WWE place more, or less, importance on Elimination Chamber now that it won’t be shown on traditional pay-per-view?

David:
This is WWE’s chance to go all-out and convince those last few holdouts on traditional pay-per-view to convert to the WWE Network. King of the Ring seems to have given WWE the confidence to attempt a Network-only event, and this should be where it really pulls the trigger. We’re in for a great show.

Grady:
I think they are trying to build up the power of the WWE Network, and giving it this event exclusively is a great way to do it. The Elimination Chamber match has been a spectacle, and having it show on the Network will either really help.

Mike:
My expectations are low, but this tends to be when they deliver their best content. The card looks pretty damned good for something that isn’t getting a huge build-up and I think this has the potential to outshine other shows which are traditional pay-per-views. I think it’s a good move to have WWE Network specific events to try and encourage uptake.

Clint:
My expectations are that the show will be entertaining, the Chamber matches always are. I don’t think WWE will place any more or less importance on it than it did before though.

Steve:
I think this is the way of the future for WWE and I hope they start to have these events every month, in-between the traditional pay-per-view (until it dies off). It gives much needed importance to the Network and the company has so much TV to write for, it can only be easier having a shorter cycle of main events to plan for.

Peter:
I like the idea of the tag team Chamber match, will be interesting to see what happens there. I think it’s a good idea for WWE to run Network-only events, it needs a lot more exclusive content if it wants more subscribers and something special like Elimination Chamber is the way to go.

Corey:
This year’s Elimination Chamber event will show what most already know: WWE Network is the best place to see WWE’s monthly events. With the low price everybody knows and great content, I feel Elimination Chamber will sell people on the Network as the only place necessary to watch pay-per-views.

 

2. Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks blew audiences away with their match at last week’s NXT TakeOver event. Who from the NXT women’s division do you anticipate making the next move to the main WWE roster?

David:
Who would have thought we’d get to a stage where we didn’t want to see people progressing from NXT to the main roster? And yet, I really hope Becky and Sasha aren’t going anywhere soon. I think Charlotte is ready (both in terms of her skill-set and her position on the NXT roster) to be moved to Raw and SmackDown, but I hope she’s the only woman to go in the near future.

Grady:
Wooooo! I think Charlotte will be the next NXT Diva to be pulled up to the main roster, with Sasha Banks quickly behind her. I have seen Natalya vs. Charlotte on NXT, and I hope WWE gives the Divas a chance to have the same spotlight they did when down in Florida.

Mike:
Sasha Banks probably. I want Emma to dominate everything, though.

Clint:
Charlotte seems like a good pick, especially as they can play up the Nature Boy connection. I agree with others that Becky and Sasha would be better served staying in NXT for a while, where they can continue to do their thing with less restrictions.

Steve:
Charlotte. I want the rest to keep being fantastic in NXT until Vince is, um, gone. But Charlotte is hard to screw over, and they should play up the Flair thing before he’s, um, gone.

Peter:
With the small timeslots and shallow booking I wouldn’t want any of the NXT women on the main roster. As it stands right now NXT is the place to be for women’s wrestling. That being said, The Four Horsewomen of NXT (Sasha, Becky, Charlotte and Bayley) are all definitely main roster worthy.

Corey:
First off, I just want to reiterate how great Sasha and Becky’s match was. I haven’t been that impressed by a women’s match in a while. Anyway, back to the point at hand. I would love to see Charlotte or Bayley get the call up soon. Hell, in the words of that little girl from the taco ads, “Why not both?”

 

3. Zack Ryder made his Raw return this week, answering John Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge. Is this the start of another push for the revamped Ryder, or are Long Island Iced-Z’s best days behind him?

David:
Ryder did well against Cena, and he got a good reaction, but unless Raw’s going to be held in Long Island every week I don’t see a repeat performance in his future.

Grady:
I will take the unpopular opinion here. I am not a fan of Ryder. I like what he did with breaking out on the internet, but not a fan of his in-ring skills.

Mike:
I hope it’s the start of another push. He’s talented – but I have my doubts. There’s so much talent on the main roster that I’m not sure where all of these talented wrestlers are going to sit. Looking at the card for Elimination Chamber and half of the big names aren’t even scheduled to appear.

Clint:
Ryder is a footnote in WWE these days. He’s a handy guy to have around in case you need to use him for a cheap pop (like the Long Island show) but otherwise he’s not getting pushed any time soon.

Steve:
They missed the boat on Ryder a long time ago. I love he pulled out a Killswitch and 450 Splash though. The Open Challenge is great for this kind of thing. A great audience for home-town favourites looks great on TV and creates great moments.

Peter:
I’m sure that Ryder’s Raw appearance was just a one time deal because they were in Long Island. I don’t think WWE thinks very highly of Zack Ryder, which is a shame because I think he has a lot of potential and definitely knows how to get over with a crowd.

Corey:
I’ve been a fan of Zack Ryder’s for a while, so I hope this is a fresh start for The Woo Woo Woo Kid. Zack is a great competitor and has had great matches. A match that sticks out for me is his US title victory over Dolph Ziggler from TLC 2011.

 

4. It’s been almost two months since Brock Lesnar was last seen on WWE television. Are you anticipating his return? When, and how, should Lesnar make his next appearance?

David:
It might be close to two months but it feels like yesterday I was watching Lesnar maul Seth Rollins and that unlucky cameraman with ease. SummerSlam sounds like the ideal time for The Beast Incarnate to return, and probably take on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Grady:
SummerSlam. It’s a big stage and it makes sense for Lesnar to come back with an impact. I haven’t missed Lesnar and that is a good thing. It means he adds something to WWE, but WWE doesn’t need him.

Mike:
Nope, I’m not bothered if Lesnar ever appears again. If he was to appear I’d like to see him F5 Seth Rollins so Roman Reigns or Dean Ambrose can pick up the title.

Clint:
The aura of Lesnar is such that it doesn’t matter if he stays off-screen for months on end. When he shows back up it’s a big deal. SummerSlam seems a good bet for his next appearance.

Steve:
If it was me, it’d be Money in the Bank. Imagine The Beast holding that briefcase. And you never know when he’s around to cash in, so there’d be good drama there.

Peter:
I love the idea of Brock winning Money in the Bank. Could you think of anything scarier than Brock Lesnar being able to attack you and take your title at any time?

Corey:
Lesnar should make his return by doing what he does best and gets paid handsomely to do: Kicking ass and taking names. ‘Nuff said.

 

5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest blockbuster, San Andreas, opens in theatres this weekend. Are you a fan of The Rock’s movies? Which is your current favourite?

David:
Put The Rock’s name on the poster and I’m there. Unless we’re talking about Southland Tales; so bad. I’ll go check out San Andreas in the near future, but for now Pain & Gain’s at the top of my favourites list.

Grady:
I watched some of his older stuff, The Scorpion King etc. I don’t watch his movies for him, but I will watch them if they interest me. I would have to take Tooth Fairy as my favourite at the moment.

Mike:
Hands down, it’s Be Cool – the under-rated follow-up to Get Shorty. The Rock as gay bodyguard Elliot is fantastic – and you never get the feeling that he’s taking the piss. He commits and I laugh every time I watch it.

Clint:
I don’t actively seek out The Rock’s movies, but I enjoy them when I watch them. Admittedly I haven’t seen too many of his recent efforts, so my favourite would be an older one like Walking Tall or Welcome to the Jungle. Faster is also underrated.

Steve:
I just realised I’ve seen less of them than I thought. Walking Tall and GI Joe: Retaliation were both a good time. His role in Get Smart was a lot of fun.

Peter:
I haven’t seen many of The Rock’s movies however he’s been great in the few I have seen. I was disappointed when I found out San Andreas wasn’t a Grand Theft Auto movie. The Rock would have made a great CJ.

Corey:
I am a fan of The Rock’s movies. Even though he is the biggest action star in the world today, I prefer when Rocky stretches his comedic wings. I loved him in Pain & Gain as a coked-up meathead, but my favorite movie he was in would be Disney’s family hit The Game Plan.