Topic #1: There are rumors going around that Jeff Hardy wants one more run in the WWE. How do you feel about this?
David Martell: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is hilarious! Really, Jeff Hardy? After all you have been though with drugs you think the WWE would actually take you back? With the WWE’s Wellness policy stronger than ever, I honestly doubt they would take that risk again. Yeah, Jeff Hardy is very popular and he would sell a lot of merchandise but the risk just wouldn’t be worth it. Jeff Hardy’s best bet would be to stay in TNA where he is having great success right now. I also believe that the WWE is moving on with younger talent and Jeff Hardy is already past his prime. If you have something good, keep it, that’s the best advice I could give Jeff Hardy. TNA is a great home for him and trying to make it back to the big leagues just seems like a big mistake to me.
Zach Brown: For whatever reason, regardless of Jeff’s problems with drugs in WWE, I think the WWE will always take him back as long as he promises he’s clean. Even though I hate to admit it, Jeff Hardy is a huge star. His merch sells, and people buy PPVs to see him wrestle. I wish things were different. With as many conscious bad decisions that Hardy has made, he does not deserve the fans he has. I for one have stopped getting invested in Jeff Hardy. Why would I give him another chance when he has let the fans down time and time again. Now granted, things in TNA were worse than they were in WWE. I mean Jeff let his drug habits affect the main event of a PPV for crying out loud. But even with his problems, I see WWE hiring him back if he wants to come back. He generated a lot of money for them, and his time away from WWE should give him a clean wellness slate in the WWE rulebook. I don’t want to see any sort of scenario of Jeff Hardy back in WWE but it could realistically happen again in my opinion.
Jacob San Antonio: There is nothing I'd rather see less than another Jeff Hardy run in the WWE. As far as what he offers the company, he brings nothing to the ring that another younger guy could accomplish just as easily. Something bigger to consider is how the bigger paycheck could change things for Hardy. I don't want to say he'd immediately fall back into bad habits, but that's something you just don't want to risk. With the way Hardy was sent off in the WWE, also, I'm surprised he's even toying with the idea of returning. Ultimately, I say no to Jeff Hardy in the WWE. He's doing just fine in TNA. Let him stay where he's finding his current success.
Topic #2: What are your thoughts on Beth Phoenix possibly leaving the WWE?
David Martell: It seems like the women of the industry seem to flip flop more than anyone in wrestling but it’s hard to blame them. Right now, women’s wrestling is at an all-time low and you have to believe that the women want to accomplish the same success as the male wrestlers. Beth is a truly great wrestling talent but she hasn’t had a great run in quite some time. Maybe she feels like testing the indy waters to rejuvenate herself or maybe she thinks that TNA could give her better competition. At this point, I don’t know if TNA’s Knockout division is anything to write home about because they seem to be losing talent almost weekly. I imagine Beth just needs some rejuvenation and she most likely will end up back in the WWE if she does leave. If anything, I wish her luck in whatever she may do.
Zach Brown: For me, this is a very sad event in women’s wrestling. Beth Phoenix has been my hands down favorite female wrestler for several years now. It really pains me to see her go. With the kind of career she’s had in WWE, I honestly can picture her retiring at this point. I mean she has been in WWE for over 6 years. During that time, I am sure she has amassed a hefty amount of money, and she can use that to help transition into a different career if she so chose. Joining the TNA Knockouts division is a possibility, but I really don’t understand what the point of that would be. She’s already in the top company. Why would she just leave to down to the B league? And the state of the Knockouts is in dire straights anyway. While TNA could definitely use her to her fullest extent, I think she might find herself in a mostly empty division over there. Whatever the Glamazon chooses, I wish her the best of luck and I hope it isn’t too long before I see her on television again.
Jacob San Antonio: Hey, did you hear that? That howl of anguish? That was me, realizing that the Divas division is officially dead. "But hey, Jacob, how can one Diva spell the end of the division?" It's simple. Phoenix is a physical wrestler, and one who knows her way around the ring. When she wrestles, she gets the job done right. In her most recent run in the division, she was beaten with last second rollups after dominating the opposition. Since then, she's done nothing. Beth Phoenix is not the entire Divas division, and I don't want to make the claim that she's the only thing worth watching. However, she was one of the better competitors in the division, and the WWE spent an entire feud embarrassing her until she got fed up and left. How am I supposed to have any faith in the WWE's treatment of the Divas division? I can't. Unless this recent Eve bait and switch leads to some kind of wrestling explosion in the division, I've written off women's wrestling in the WWE. And they have no one but themselves to blame.
Topic #3: There are rumors going around that ever since the “We want Nexus” chant happened on RAW, the WWE has been thinking about bring back the group. Your thoughts?
David Martell: I actually loved the Nexus and it was incredibly sad how it all came to be. I wouldn’t mind seeing the group back lead by Wade Barrett but it would be impossible have the same members at this point. I would say, for the most part, most of the former Nexus members have something good going for them. Wade would have to find a whole new group of people and I doubt it will have the impact it once did in the past. Nexus was a great angle that was ruined by the existence of John Cena and any other reincarnation might suffer the same fate. As much as I love stables and factions, they aren’t supposed to last forever so even if the Nexus returned, it wouldn’t be a long lasting thing. As much as I would love to see them return to power, I doubt things would be any better this time around. Instead, I would just like to see Wade Barrett become a part of the main event picture. If the WWE gives me that, I would definitely be a happy camper.
Zach Brown: I love this. The chant was hilarious and it got me thinking a lot of positive thoughts. However, it is just one crowd on just one show. I think they should put other former Nexus members against each other or have Barrett and Gabriel wrestle in other cities as well to see if those crowds get the same chant going. But how could they really bring it back? Just have Wade Barrett form another group? What about his singles run? If he has to be in this stable, is he not going to get one? I think it’s all a little too complicated to work out at the moment. Most Nexus members have moved on to bigger and better things. Ryback is a huge star now. Heath Slater, as annoying as he is, has a spot on the show each week. Darren Young is now in a fantastic tag team. And Otunga is an entertaining lawyer character. And even though he was only a member on the first night, I don’t even need to mention what Daniel Bryan has been up to. Strangely enough, Gabriel and Barrett have had the least to do in the past several months. So that’s why I think the crowd chanted that. It was a fun reminder of the past, but it was ultimately too short sighted. Big things are happening with almost all former members, so I would like to continue to see where that goes first and foremost. And reforming it with other low-level WWE wrestlers wouldn’t feel the same to me either. Maybe bring up the current crop of NXT talent? That would be something I could get behind, but I don’t see it happening either.
Jacob San Antonio: ...no? Why would anyone want to see a Nexus return? Random fans at a live show aside, what did the Nexus really bring the WWE aside from one of the most gloriously botched storylines in recent memory? You've got Ryback picking up where Sheffield left off, Wade Barrett's getting himself back in the limelight, Heath Slater annoying everyone with his existence, and Otunga being kept out of the ring. Nexus lives on in how the WWE is currently treating its members. If the WWE wants to bring back Nexus, have them destroy John Cena for six weeks straight to get back the heat he stole from them. Otherwise, I don't care to ever see that team again.
Topic #4: Would you like to see JBL and Jim Ross return to the commentary booth?
David Martell: If only the world were perfect, both men would still be in the commentary booth. Jim Ross in my personal opinion is the best commentator of all time and it really is a shame that they took him off TV regularly. It doesn’t matter what the man looks like, it matters how good he is at talking and main events just don’t feel the same without good ole’ JR. I remember how great JBL was back when he was commentating Smackdown. He could quite possibly be one of the greatest color commentators of all time if he had a much longer run. I do understand that JBL runs a business and he is currently doing this mountain climbing charity event so I completely understand why he can’t return full time right now. The likeliness of both men returning full time is slim. I think JBL has the best chance in the future. Either way, I enjoyed their work this past week and I hope it wasn’t the last time I see these guys commentating in the WWE.
Zach Brown: In a perfect world, of course. Both men are overwhelmingly talented at commentary. Jim Ross can excellently commentate a match with his eyes closed. I don’t ever understand why WWE stopped working with him on a regular basis. And JBL excellently puts over everyone that steps in a ring when he is on the show. JBL makes it his job to make the talent look like a million bucks. That is why he is good on commentary. Now if Lawler makes a full recovery and depending on what he says this coming Monday Night Raw, Lawler might be hopping right back in the saddle with Michael Cole. Ideally, I would love seeing either one of them commentate next to Cole, or to make a move over to the blue brand. But those are just pipe dreams. I don’t think either man has a long term run on commentary in the future.
Jacob San Antonio: Yeah, and I'd also like to be named King of England while we're at it. JBL did a great job on commentary, especially on short notice. JR is a veteran at the table, and he's always got something extra to bring to a match. Bring in the chemistry that JBL has with Cole, and you've got yourself a fun commentary team for your shows. It'd be something special to hear. That said, some things just aren't going to happen anytime soon.
Topic #5: What are your thoughts on the double pin between John Cena and CM Punk at Night of Champions?
David Martell: If you listened to the DirtSheets Podcast, you know how unhappy this made me. To me, it really wasn’t a double pin. When in the history of wrestling did a germen suplex pin ever seem like a double pin? I think this was a rather stupid way of doing things and in the end, it just makes me believe that Cena pinned Punk. If this is what the WWE is trying to show me, it doesn’t make me happy what so ever. Why couldn’t they do the classic double pin where both men have one arm on each other? To me this would have been a lot more effective and a lot less questionable. Instead, they make Punk look weak. I hate that Punk looks weak. He is the WWE Champion and has held it longer than most people in the history of the company so why make the man look weak? You know what sells PPVs? When you have two top level talent that look equal and you question yourself on who’s going to win, that sells PPVs. Instead they make one guy look weak and the other one look like Superman. It really is hard to see where the WWE is going to go with this storyline but I can say that I am not happy about it.
Zach Brown: Barf. I made my feelings clear on the podcast, but I’m always down to talk about it again. When a match ends this way, and when you know the history of John Cena in WWE, it all just reeks of WWE trying to keep the belt on Punk whilst protecting John Cena. Why does John Cena need secret service levels of protection from pinfalls and submissions? Why can’t he lose clean in scenarios where it’s obvious that it should happen? CM Punk would never be as protected as John Cena is; not in a million years. It’s really upsetting. Why is John Cena so heavily viewed as WWE’s golden goose? Why is he such an unstoppable superhero? Why, when CM Punk has proven to be the top merch seller for several months and draws a ton of money as well? This double pin makes me so upset because no argument can be made that Punk beat John Cena. Because of the nature of the german suplex pin, the two wrestlers are not on equal footing whatsoever. You only walk away with the thought that John Cena should have won. It’s sickening. I hate that it happened, and it just makes me think that WWE will never let John Cena be beaten in scenarios when it matters most.
Jacob San Antonio: The WWE wanted to end this match in a tie. Honestly, this doesn't bother me. They needed to set up another match for Hell in the Cell, and a tie will do just that. However, there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. The WWE elected to choose the dumbest route. You can go with a double count out. This implies both guys wore each other down, and neither could get an advantage. This is a GREAT choice for a feud you want to take just a bit further. You can do the run in DQ, where someone wins but nothing really gets decided as far as a feud goes. Or you can do a double pin. To be honest, a double pin is fine 99% of the time. When you have CM Punk take a German suplex off the top rope, get bridged into a pin and only get the double pin because Cena can't bridge it correctly? That's called...well, I can't publicly say what it is. It's quite a bad word, though. The chants of "You can't wrestle!" have now been turned into kayfabe. The only reason Cena lost is because he can't execute a wrestling movie correctly. Otherwise, Cena would have won the match. With the entire storyline of the feud being "CM Punk is the best and he demands respect," the WWE has effectively sucked all life out of the matchup through shenanigans. There are so many other, smarter ways to accomplish the same result, and having Cena beat himself is the worst possible way to get there. It's bad enough that Cena never takes a clean pin. Now whenever he loses a match, it'll be by beating himself. Get ready for the main event of Wrestlemania 2015, everybody: John Cena wrestles himself for twenty minutes. The title will not be on the line.
-David Martell, Zach Brown and Jacob San Antonio, DirtSheets.com