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Home arrow Blog arrow Gimme Five arrow Gimme Five arrow G5: TNA on the road, Bruno Sammartino in WWE Hall of Fame, Undertaker at WrestleMania & more
G5: TNA on the road, Bruno Sammartino in WWE Hall of Fame, Undertaker at WrestleMania & more
Written by NZPWI G5 Panel   
Feb 08, 2013 at 07:11 AM

Big changes are afoot for TNA in 2013 - not only have they reduced their ppv schedule, they are now doing what many have believed they should and taken their weekly show on the road. Is this a good decision?

Still with TNA, we speculate over who the leader of the Aces & Eights might be, now that Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco have been outed as members.

Bruno Sammartino has finally buckled and agreed to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. We discuss this latest development, and look ahead to who might be the next most deserving.

We also discuss the likelihood of the Undertaker appearing at WrestleMania, and single out New Zealand talent for a Boot Camp show.

Glad to have you with us for this week's edition of Gimme Five.

1. Dixie Carter made a big announcement on Impact Wrestling: TNA is leaving the Impact Zone and taking its television show on the road. Is this, coupled with the reduced pay-per-view schedule, the best move TNA could make right now?

Blake:
Hopefully. I'm a WWE guy through and through, but WWE was never better than when WCW was breaking through that glass ceiling. If TNA uses this to truly turn them into a nationally viable promotion, it doesn't matter what company wins in the end; the fans win.

Kirsty:
Absolutely. Many have been saying it for years. The Impact Zone was a great place to start out, but if they really want to bring their show to a wider audience they need to take it on the road. It will, of course, mean more stress on the talent and crew and I hope that they have people in place to help them deal with it. I suppose it's always been one of TNA's attractions - that they don't have the same brutal schedule as WWE - but if they want to compete with WWE on a serious level they need to get out there into the same marketplace.

Scott:
TNA shows filmed outside of the in-crowd filled sound stage have always been the best TNA shows. This is a good move; and hopefully the extra cost for the company will be matched by increased ratings from an improved product. But the live audience is only one element…

Dion:
These are definitely the boldest moves since trying to re-ignite the Monday Night Wars. It's definitely the right direction for TNA. The product has a much better feel when it's on the road.

Zak:
I think it's probably a good move, but I struggle to really get excited about it. So many times in the past it has seemed like TNA was on the verge of breaking through and becoming a credible threat, before they made a few silly decisions and slipped backwards again. Still, I think they put on a great show that could be a real viable alternative to WWE so I have my fingers crossed that this move will make a difference.

Craig:
Yes. You have to spend money to make money in any business and take your product to the masses. WWE does it in a larger scale doing overseas tours. They don't do it for charity. Reducing PPV numbers isn't a bad thing either. WWE should take note.

Stevie:
Best decision they've made in ages. There's pretty much no downsides. As a wrestling fan, I'm excited for the next year of TNA.

David:
It certainly is. As good and important as television is, there's nothing quite like a live event. Now TNA still has its television audience, plus a new audience attending the shows live each week. And all this exposure is probably going to motivate people to buy pay-per-view, which TNA can now put more time, effort and emphasis into.


2. Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco have finally outed themselves as members of Aces & Eights. Any guesses as to who the group's leader might be, and where things are headed with the gang?

Blake:
It's going to have to be someone pretty big leading the fight considering Anderson, Devon and Tazz are lessers. I'm predicting Jeff Jarrett... or, in a terrible twist that will make little to no sense, Kurt Angle.

Kirsty:
I couldn't begin to guess. Every week that they show up I have a new theory. I think it's safe to say - although somewhat of a contradiction in terms - that whoever it is will be a big surprise.

Scott:
Ugh, I really couldn’t care less. Swerve and dodge, reveals and betrayals. Whatever. Just give me an coherent storyline with good matches, k?

Dion:
To be honest, this one has failed to grasp me and I have no idea where it is going. Whoever the leader is, I hope it's a big name that can make some serious impact for TNA.

Zak:
Oh god I don't care any more. This story has meandered on for too long and taken up too much screen time. It's just a rehash of the same invasion storyline we've seen more than a dozen times since 1996.

Craig:
I don't watch TNA.

Stevie:
I still assume Bully Ray, but my wildcard bet is AJ Styles.

David:
There are only one or two masked members left now, aren't there? I imagine it's Eric Bischoff behind things, after being stripped of his name and his place in TNA early in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if he looked to make his comeback at the same event he was humiliated at, Lockdown.


3. Widely regarded by many as the most significant name missing from the WWE Hall of Fame, Bruno Sammartino will be inducted in this year's ceremony. Is Sammartino the inductee that will give the Hall of Fame the most legitimacy? Who, now, takes Bruno's place as the most-deserving superstar yet to be inducted?

Blake:
Unfortunately, Hall of Fames of any sport always has hits and misses. With WWE, Sammartino may be coming, but Drew Carey still entered first. As for most legitimacy, that's relative and opinion. Maybe, maybe not. Not to mention, what is the objective of the Hall of Fame in WWE? If it truly is to honour those "who have forever impacted the world of sports-entertainment", then he certainly belongs in the hallowed halls. But the greatest impact of a WWE Superstar on sports entertainment is a 3-way tie: Hulk Hogan, The Rock, John Cena.

Kirsty:
I was thrilled that he finally caved, and all props to Triple H for being the one to convince him where Vince McMahon was never able to. For the generation above my own, Sammartino is The Man. And for many people of any generation who have studied wrestling history, Sammartino is one of the genuine, true legends of the business. So as for giving legitimacy to the Hall of Fame, he was an absolute must, and yet, until now, he seemed to be a genuine hold-out. On a personal level, since I will be at the Hall of Fame, this is fantastic news. It will be one of the greatest and most historically significant inductions ever, and I'm thrilled that I will be there to witness it.

As to who should be next, I have to keep going back to Randy Savage. I don't know what the hold-up is - I hate to speculate - but Savage is without a doubt one of the best and most beloved stars of the 80s and he deserves to be recognised for it.

Scott:
I didn’t realise WWE’s Hall of Fame lacked “legitimacy” (well, as much as a self-selected pat-on-the-back honour system like the HoF can be legitimate). And the answer for the “most deserving star yet to be inducted” is still Randy Savage.

Dion:
I don't think there is a legitimacy issue with the Hall of Fame at all. But, it's great to see Sammartino finally a part of it.

Next on my list - Randy Savage. It's such a shame that it will be posthumously.

Zak:
Sammartino definitely deserves his spot, and the HOF is really looking stacked this year which is great. I echo the calls for Savage to get the nod, and I'd also like to see Jake the Snake called up soon now that he looks to be back on the wagon somewhat. Now that Vince McMahon seems to be just about done with on-screen participation he probably should get the chance as well, although I wonder whether the boss will be too proud to schedule his own induction.

Craig:
Lou Thesz is now the only glaring omission. Jim Cornette should be there too. I know everyone's going to say Macho Man but I put him on equal par with Ultimate Warrior, Honky Tonk Man, Rick Rude and Demolition. All of them should be there ahead of Koko B Ware. Frankie is more deserving than Koko!

Stevie:
It's already as legit as a self-created back-patting event can be. That's all major awards events, by the way, and I'm a huge fan of the Hall of Fame. Can't wait to be there for it! Randy Savage isn't going to stop being the biggest omission any time soon.

David:
Sammartino's inclusion definitely brings the Hall of Fame closer to containing every name you'd expect it to. I think Vince McMahon is the main man missing now, although seeing as he's still in charge of everything I can understand why he wouldn't want to be inducted, yet.


4. Speculation is rife as to whether Undertaker will be a part of this year's WrestleMania. Would you be fine seeing Undertaker involved in the show in a diminished capacity - whether just making an appearance, or perhaps wrestling a tag team match - or are you holding out for a full-force return from the Phenom?

Blake:
I was hoping the End of an Era match truly would be that; the end. I'm not saying I don't like 'Taker, I just don't want him to turn into a Flair. The fact is, Undertaker peaked with Shawn Michaels 4 years ago. Unfortunately, like an enzyme in heating water, he's doing nothing more than breaking down now. We had Punk/Undertaker, and they can be proud of their work. There's no need to do anything more for the sake of doing something more.

Kirsty:
I think it would be a miserable thing indeed for 'Taker to show up at 'Mania in a token appearance and not wrestle. If he's past it - fine. If anyone deserves to hang up their boots and be remembered as the greatest ever legend of WrestleMania, it's him. And it would be great to see him in a limited capacity - like these token appearances - on RAW or lesser ppvs, but if he's going to be at 'Mania then he should be defending the Streak.

Scott:
Well, if he’s going to come back to go one-on-one with CM Punk then ‘Taker has to be fit and ready to go, because if he is it should be one of the great WrestleMania matches. But if he isn’t then it’ll be an embarrassment to Undertaker’s legacy and do no favours to Punk either. So, if he’s not going to be able to do a good one-on-one match then I’d prefer to see Undertaker not appear at all. Which then leaves the question about what will happen with Punk?

Dion:
I'm expecting (and hoping for) a full-on return. If anyone can pull out a big match once a year, it's the big man. Though he's not one for back-patting, it would be nice to see him getting a send-off after his final match takes place.

Zak:
I'm torn on this because I think Undertaker's days as an in-ring competitor are just about at an end, but I also would like to see him get one last final match to wrap up his career. Whether he drops the streak or not (and that's a hotly debated topic), he deserves a final moment in the spotlight. I'm sure he'll be at WrestleMania this year.

Craig:
He's only wrestled once in the last 12 months so he couldn't diminish his capacity any further! He may as well retire if he's just making an appearance but he can't retire because he'd have to go into the Hall of Fame straight away and he can't really with Sammartino, Backland and Foley all going in this year.

Stevie:
I'm not actually sold on the proposed Punk/Taker, because of no doubt surrounding around the outcome. I do wonder if Taker shouldn't be more mindful of his health, nobody wants to see him get injured further out there. I'd actually like to see a tag match, to incorporate the other match I'm not keen on - and make it Taker/HHH vs. Punk/Brock. Now that'd be fun. End of an Era vs. the Heyman Guys.

David:
I'm not saying I don't want to see The Undertaker - it would be phenomenal (pun intended) to see him at WrestleMania - but if he doesn't want to return to the ring then I am more than fine with WrestleMania 28 having been the final chapter in the story of the streak.


5. Rockstar Spud will make his Impact Wrestling debut this week, after winning a contract on TNA reality series British Boot Camp. If TNA were to hold a New Zealand Boot Camp, which four wrestlers would you cast for the show?

Blake:
Kingi, Liam Fury, Alfred Valentine, and Lil T.

Kirsty:
Evie, Kingi, Dal Knox and "Handsome" Danny Jacobs. Even though HDJ is retired, I think he'd be an essential addition to any wrestling reality TV show in NZ.

Scott:
Assuming the same “two men, two women” format of the UK show, I think it’d be fun to throw into the mix men and women with different backgrounds and from different regions. So from IPW I’d choose Evie and Kingi, add Scarlett from NZWPW, and from KPW I’d pick Shane Whitehead. That’d be interesting…

Dion:
Dal Knox, Travis Banks, Jordan Invincible and James Shaw. Let the games begin.

Zak:
Dal Knox, James O'Connor, Travis Banks and Liam Fury. No offense to the non-Auckland guys, but I can only vote for who I've seen perform.

Craig:
I'm not qualified to answer.

Stevie:
Damn hard question. James Shaw, Kingi, Evie, and Travis Banks. There's about another 10 NZ talents that I'd just love to see on a show like that.

David:
Let's keep the British in British Boot Camp: New Zealand... Graham Hughes, Marcus Kool, Jakob Cross, and Amy St Clere.

Saturday, April 19
- WWE Raw (10.15am, the BOX)

Sunday, April 20
- WWE Raw (3.45pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (6.15pm, the BOX)

- WWE SmackDown (7.05pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (11.50pm, the BOX)

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