Note from Richard: I wrote this during the live airing of WWE Smackdown Live. If any questions were addressed in angles, that is why.
Is it too soon to hope that The Miz is going to break The Honky Tonk Man’s Intercontinental Championship reign?
Yes, it’s too soon. While The Miz has held the WWE Intercontinental Championship for 162 days and counting, there was actually a pretty good chance at one point over the weekend that Dolph Ziggler was going to win it from him. Let’s wait until someone gets at least halfway to The Honky Tonk Man’s reign of 454 days before we get the anointing oil out. However, I will say The Miz and Ziggler tore the house down at Backlash and The Miz is far more than a lower to mid-card wrestler. I honestly have no idea why he gets the heat that he gets from Internet fans. He’s worked his way up from the bottom and it was just five years ago he was working in the main event. While I may be in the minority, I do not think he was miscast in that role and saw him as a legitimate top star. Some of the more prototypical guys have mocked The Miz but I see him as strong in all three core areas of look, mic work and in-ring abilities.
Speaking of The Miz, what did you think of him and Dolph Ziggler incorporating CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall in their match at Backlash?
I am sure it was a directive from Vince McMahon but that was a perfect example of how immature Vince can be, even at age 71. Most people didn’t even realize The Miz and Dolph Ziggler mimicked CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall until TMZ slowed the tape and sites like us pointed out their footage. CM Punk cut ties with this website too when he left WWE and I don’t know why and yes it’s frustrating but I’ve moved on with it. What Punk did at UFC 203 on Saturday night was not shameful nor was it an embarrassment. He took full advantage of a once and a lifetime opportunity and I’m sure he drew a lot of pay-per-view buys as well. It’s a shame the fight didn’t turn out better than it did but I am confident that Punk is better than what he showed. Of course me and pretty much every reader I’ve spoken with felt that Punk didn’t stand much of a chance against Mickey Gall. Gall is brown belt in jiu-jitsu and Punk hasn’t had as much of a karate match prior to fighting for UFC. It wasn’t a fair fight. It would be like me getting in a wrestling ring with someone like AJ Styles. Even if I trained hard for two years like Punk did, there’s no way I would be able to put on a decent match with an outstanding talent my very first time out. Mickey is a hot prospect and we’re going to see more from him.
Is it true that Roderick Strong and Eric Young have signed with WWE?
I cannot confirm that Roderick Strong has signed with WWE but the rumor is Eric Young has inked a contract. At this point I don’t know if EY has signed for the main roster or NXT but a case could be made for either one. As for Strong, we reported early in August he was set to begin with NXT before the end of the summer and they didn’t get things completed within that timeframe. He’s wanted to go to WWE for a long time now and he’s going to get his wish so I can type with confidence that Strong should be under WWE contract very soon.
Why does WWE still use traditional PPV outlets when the WWE Network is a far better value for money? I know in the UK Backlash was £15 and so is Clash of Champions in two weeks.
WWE is simply honoring prior pay-per-view distribution contracts, as you would be mad to pay that when, like you said, the WWE Network is by far the better value. The reason I picked this question though is I wanted to talk about the distribution of WWE pay-per-views. UFC 203 was a sobering reminder of just how much better it is to pay a flat monthly fee rather than shelling out big money for a pay-per-view event. UFC 203 was well below my expectations with only one fight I found worth it (Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem) and that didn’t even last one round. Fabrício Werdum vs. Travis Browne was a big disappointment and we all know how Punk vs. Gall turned out.
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