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“Hart Murmurs” – Edition #1: Booking the WWE World Title Tournament

In the first installment of “Hart Murmurs”, the legendary Bruce Hart talks about the unfortunate injury to Seth Rollins and who will/should walk out WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Survivor Series. 

Welcome to “Hart Murmurs”, my candid take on the wrestling business – past, present and whatever the hell else. This week, the major news in wrestling has been that Seth Rolllins had unfortunately sustained a serious knee injury whilst on tour in Ireland. As a consequence, he had to relinquish his WWE World Heavyweight Championship, with a tournament being held to determine a new champion. Before I offer you my take on the title tournament, I’d like to wish Seth a speedy recovery and extend props to him for having done an admirable job with the World Title.

WWE started the touranment this past week, with Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens, Neville, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and Kalisto advancing to the second round. Most of those were predictable outcomes, with the possible exception of Kalisto — Rey Mysterio lookalike, who who went over Ryback — which certainly didn’t do much for Ryback’s stock. Conspicuous by their absence from the tournament were superstars such as: John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Kane, Undertaker, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Daniel Bryan — all of whom I would rate as far more worthy candidates for the World Title than the likes of Tyler Breeze, Titus O’Neil, The Miz or Stardust.

WWE Survivor Series WWE title

Given that the tournament is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship — which is the WWE’s equivalent of the Super Bowl. Leaving those guys out of the tournament is like excluding the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos from the Super Bowl quest, but including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns — doesn’t make any sense.

The next round of elimination bouts will see Reigns taking on Cesaro, Del Rio against Kalisto, Owens against Neville and Ziggler against Ambrose. Reigns will no doubt be advancing, probably against Del Rio, although it would be no great surprise if Kalisto went over. Regardless of whether it turns out to be Kalisto or Del Rio, it’s pretty hard to get excited about Reigns — who does little or no wrestling and mainly punches, and kicks, duking it out with fellow babyfaces, in two consecutive matches.

The WWE brain trust — who are supposed to be setting the stage for Reigns to be the next big superstar, sure as hell aren’t doing him any favors with lame, uninspiring scenarios like this, let alone putting him up against one of WWE’s biggest fan favorites, Cesaro.

On the other side of the draw, I would expect that Owens, who much to my amazement is the only true heel still left in that tournament, will squash Neville. He will then face the winner of Ziggler and Ambrose. All things considered, I think that Ziggler would be the better choice to advance, here only because he’d probably have a better match against Owens than Ambrose would.

Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns WWE

If such proves to be the case, that would leave Reigns and Owens to battle it out for the World Title. The common consensus is that Reigns will emerge as champion, although if they’re considering what’s “best for business” – as Hunter is so fond of proclaiming — I would be inclined to put the strap on the dark horse, Kevin Owens, with some kind of hot finish that would set the stage for a rematch, possibly at WrestleMania 32.

Not to be telling the powers that be in Connecticut how to run their business, but here’s hoping that the title is decided in the middle of the ring, with no swerve finishes, run-ins, referee bumps, Hunter and Stephanie interceding or any of the other contrived bull crap, which seems to have been the rule, rather than the exception since as far back as the infamous Montreal screw job, last century.

In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what transpires and hope, in nothing else, that the WWE will restore some badly needed respectability and sense of legitimacy to its once coveted World Title. Time will tell.

You can listen to Bruce Hart every Saturday on “Hart Beat Radio” on the PWP Nation Radio Network.

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