Topic #1: What are your thoughts on Jeff Hardy winning the Bound for Glory Series?
David Martell: Well this was completely out of left field. I would have like any other guy in the top four besides Jeff Hardy. If you have been following us on DirtSheets, you know that we are pretty much anti-Jeff Hardy and for good reason. Hardy has let us down so many times over the years that we are past the point of giving him a chance. Jeff Hardy simply doesn’t deserve to be given opportunities likes this when there are better more reliable people in the company. Most of all, I am really disappointed that Bully Ray wasn’t given the opportunity. If anyone in the company deserves a title shot, it’s Bully Ray. This guy completely rejuvenated his career of the last few years and to me, he is the most interesting character in TNA. A guy like Bully Ray has probably been waiting his entire professional career to get a chance like this. I am sure his opportunity will come sooner than later but the fact that he has to wait behind Jeff Hardy is a tragedy.
Zach Brown: Yeah so this makes absolutely no sense. Jeff Hardy? Why does the wrestling world keep giving this man chances? Why are wrestling companies constantly giving him the ball with his proven track record? I don’t doubt that Jeff Hardy has charisma that people are drawn to and has a high flying style that excites crowd. But like I said on the podcast, Jeff Hardy is responsible for the darkest day in TNA history with the Victory Road incident. So there's that. Then there's also the feeling I have that Jeff Hardy won this out of left field. There was no storyline going on with him at all. You know who did? James Storm and Bully Ray. Both have been deep in the Aces and Eights storyline, and if either man had been the leader of the group, facing Austin Aries (probably the group's biggest opponent) would have made for an epic encounter at Bound for Glory. Someone explain to me how Jeff Hardy winning the series makes any kind of sense. It's terrible, with no good story involved, and it's overwhelmingly undeserved for Hardy.
Jacob San Antonio: The Dirt Sheets Podcast said it better than I ever could, but the point still stands: should TNA really be rewarding Hardy with chances like this? On one hand, there's no way of knowing he's going to keep himself clean again. On the other, he really doesn't need another chance at the title given how long he was around it last year. Simply put, any other of the BfG competitors would have been a better fit for this win instead of Hardy. Of course I'll swallow my words if this is just a red herring. There's a lot of suspicion surrounding Bully Ray being the leader of Aces and Eights. If he decides to strike during Hardy's big chance, I'm totally fine with the direction TNA takes the angle. It's one of those moments in wrestling where you just have to have faith in the company. TNA hasn't really earned a ton of my faith over the years, but I feel like putting myself out there this once. I'm thinking Hardy's never going to get a chance to win the big title, and Bully Ray will ruin everything.
Topic #2: With Jerry Lawler’s heart attack on RAW this past week, do you think he should ever wrestle again?
David Martell: I sincerely believe that at his age and with this recent incident, it would not be a good idea for Jerry Lawler to step in the ring again. A heart attack is serious business and it is possible for it to happen again if the proper steps aren’t taken. Jerry Lawler has nothing to prove to us when it comes to being an in-ring competitor. I honestly don’t believe anyone would be disappointed it Jerry never laced his boots again. I believe his swan song of his professional wrestling career should have been when he lost his WWE Title opportunity against the Miz at Elimination Chamber not too long ago. I have no ill will towards Jerry Lawler, I would just like to see him live the longest life possible and I think by ending his in-ring wrestling career, he could live a hell of a lot longer.
Zach Brown: No, I think Lawler should completely retire from being on screen in WWE, in or out of the ring. Jerry Lawler's heart attack live on Raw was a traumatic event; not only for Lawler himself, but for everyone in WWE, and all the fans that watched it either live or on television. I strongly doubt that everything revolving around Jerry and WWE can just go back to normal after this. Having a heart attack is a very private and intense health issue, and Jerry's happened in front of millions of viewers. I wish I could be more positive about this, but it's difficult. Don't get me wrong, I wish Jerry Lawler a full and speedy recovery, and for him to live a long and healthy life after this. But I just think the best course of action for Jerry is to make one more appearance on Raw, tell the fans that he is retiring from WWE for his health, and maybe make sporadic legend appearances afterwards.
Jacob San Antonio: If he wrestles again, he should wrestle like Bret Hart. Which is to say no, I don't want him to wrestle again. A punch here and there is fine, but as far as bumps and real-ish matches? Absolutely not. You don't play around heart conditions. If Lawler's having problems, which he obviously is, his highest priority should be to keep himself healthy. I don't mind if he wants to stay involved in the business; there are plenty of roles for a guy with as much experience as King. If he wants to commentate again, that shouldn't be a problem. Wrestling is simply out of the question, though.
Topic #3: Would you like to see William Regal become the manager of Daniel Bryan?
David Martell: If this would lead to more TV time for Mr. Regal than hell yeah! At this point, Daniel Bryan doesn’t really need a manager but I think this tandem would work quite well together. After all, Regal is a huge reason why Daniel Bryan is so good today. I will never understand why Regal was taken off TV in the first place when I believe he still has so much to offer. Regal is one of my favorite in ring wrestlers but I cannot remember the last time I saw him wrestle. Regal leading Daniel Bryan would certainly be entertaining and it could lead to one of my favorite storylines, teacher vs. student. If not Daniel Bryan, then someone else. There are plenty of people in the WWE and in their developmental system that could benefit from William Regal being their manager. Hopefully this type of situation will present itself in the near future because WWE TV could really use some Regal right now.
Zach Brown: Yes, absolutely I would. William Regal is a great character and not on WWE television nearly enough. I think that Bryan could have definitely benefited from this pairing way back when he was on NXT, and he even called attention to it on TV when he found out Miz was his champion. Now that Bryan is one of the main focuses of the show, it would be a very successful pairing in my opinion. Does Bryan totally need a manager? Not exactly. He is successful enough as a character and on the mic on his own. But the duo could give us some entertaining television, and I am constantly pleasantly surprised by what Daniel Bryan does next. I’m open to it, even though I don’t predict it happening at least for several months.
Jacob San Antonio: Nope. Regal's ability on the mic would be better spent on a talent that needs the help. I don't mind pointing out how entertaining the team of Skip Sheffield and Regal were together in NXT. He could be a great manager, but he shouldn't be wasted on wrestlers who are doing quite fine on their own. That isn't to say I'd dislike watching Bryan and Regal together. I think it'd be fantastic working off of their backstage history, and seeing the kind of gold they could produce. Even so, you can't just waste your talent, and if Regal became a manager there's a long list of wrestlers who could use that help.
Topic #4: If CM Punk and Paul Heyman were to form a stable, who would you like to see join them?
David Martell: This has become a big topic among wrestling fans lately and it really came to head for me when I was chatting with fellow DirtSheets staff member Chris Lemchi. Of course the obvious choice would be Brock Lesnar. Although Brock Lesnar and CM Punk would probably be a conflict of interest, I know Paul Heyman could work things out between the two. Someone has to be the muscle. My next choice would be the ever so elusive Big Show. Big Show used to be a Heyman guy back in the day. In fact, Big Show was at his best when he was with Paul Heyman on Smackdown many moons ago. The last two guys I would add to the group might not make as much sense but I think could really work. I would love to see the Prime Time Players round out this faction. It would be a fitting story since their last manager was fired from the WWE and since haven’t had any representation. The Prime Time Players have also had instances where AJ has pretty much screwed them over after they won the Tag Team Title shots on Smackdown. With Paul Heyman leading them, tag team titles would definitely be in their future. I really believe that a stable like this is imminent and if so, I can’t wait to see it happen.
Zach Brown: Brock Lesnar for sure. I mean he is the only other man to be a Heyman guy at the moment. But I don’t think Lesnar would like to be the enforcer or the middle man of any sort of stable. With as awesome as Punk is, I don’t know if Lesnar likes taking a backseat to anyone at this point in his career, so his inclusion would be weird. But hey, if we are going with dream picks, he’s in there. My only other choice would be Big Show, since he too was a guy that Heyman managed and strongly backed for a time. The trio of Punk, Lesnar and Show while managed by Heyman would be a total power stable that would get monster heat in an instant. Will it happen? Not likely. I think that Heyman will just manage one guy at a time and it would be a big leap for WWE to create a stable and main focus around these guys. I predict they keep all men separate and build them all separately for Wrestlemania. That is unfortunately the most likely scenario in my honest opinion.
Jacob San Antonio: Oh dear, this is such a loaded question. I used to be a big fan of stables in wrestling, until I realized it's an interesting concept rarely executed properly. In theory, a stable puts a bunch of lesser stars together in order to make them stronger. Good examples are D-X before HHH was the big main eventer he is now, and the Nation. Unfortunately, nowadays stables are just used to house some nobodies with the big stars and make the big stars look bigger. The lesser members are cannon fodder, big star saves the day, etc etc. A Punk stable would not work at all, in my opinion, because Punk does not need one. I think Heyman could easily make an effective stable, but Punk simply wouldn't have a place in it. He's too big now. I'd like to see a stable of some of the lesser talent, without the WWE making it into Nexus 3.0. Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, maybe Ted Dibiase? It doesn't need to be a main event threat, but you'd have less competition for relevance between them if they all came out together anyway. Stables are a tricky thing to try in today's wrestling. The last few outings have been less than stellar, and I think a fair amount of time needs to pass before companies try it again.
Topic #5: Winter was released from TNA this past week. How do you feel about this?
David Martell: Is the Knockout’s division imploding or what? The Knockout’s division use to be one of the most thriving parts of TNA wrestling, but now it seems all but lost. Although Winter hasn’t been a big part of the show for quite some time, losing her is still a big blow. This begs the question, why are the Knockout’s Tag Team titles still in existence? The division is so thin they need a man to hold one of the belts! From what I understand, Winter is not too upset about this situation and with that, I wish her the best where ever she may go.
Zach Brown: Another strong Knockout released from TNA…sigh. Winter had essentially been absent from TNA programming for a considerable amount of time, so her release isn’t all that upsetting or surprising. But the fact of the matter is, TNA is typically known to have the strongest women’s division in wrestling, with the exception of SHIMMER. What can you say about their division now? There are really only 6 active females in TNA to fill out their roster; Tara, Tessmacher, Mickie, Gail, ODB, and Madison. Sarita and Rosita are there too but they haven’t been on TV in several months. Taeler Hendrix is awful and Taryn just started as a ref. Over on the WWE side of things, they have 13 Divas total with only Cameron and Naomi lacking experience in a WWE ring; every other Diva is solid and established. TNA kind of pales in comparison to WWE here. But the bottom line is, Winter was talented both on the mic and in the ring. Losing her was not a good idea. She could have been featured more, that is for sure. Why not throw her in the mix with a Knockout Open Fight Night? It could have been done to at least keep her relevant. Oh well. I hope she finds work elsewhere. I always liked Winter, so I hope I see her again in some capacity.
Jacob San Antonio: Well, from interviews with her she doesn't seem to upset about this. Which, when you think about it, is really all you can ask for. She had some memorable moments in her career, but apparently she wants to step away from wrestling and take acting a bit seriously. All the more power to her, I say. If there's anything eyebrow-raising about any of this, it's that yet another Knockout has left TNA while Brooke Hogan was around. I can't really say for certain if she had anything to do with this, but the timing is just a bit suspicious. In any case, Winter seems pretty upbeat about the release and with that kind of attitude she's got some good momentum going for her. I hope she finds success with an acting career, but in the meantime I suppose I should keep a closer eye on the Knockouts division.
-David Martell, Zach Brown and Jacob San Antonio, DirtSheets.com