Disclaimer: I was in a bad mood when I wrote this so reader discretion advised. Read at your own risk.
Our constant readers may have noticed that the F2H family failed to post their usual live review articles about Smackdown Live’s No Mercy and last night’s Monday Night Raw. Have we lost faith in Vince McMahon’s promotion? Are we bored with the product? I’ll answer your question with a question: does a bear shit in the woods? In this instance, the bear is Sean Waltman and the woods is Rena Lesnar’s luggage; and the answer is an emphatic yes.
While on the surface the No Mercy pay-per-view seemed like a solid venture, when you scrutinize it even a little bit, the entire show folds like a wet house of cards. Here is a short list of some of the more cringe-worthy moments of the show. The pre-show featured Jerry Lawler awkwardly flirting and eye-fucking Nikki Bella, a 4-team tag match (overkill in any scenario) that included The Acesnsion, and Curt Hawkins big debut that was only a declaration by him that he would have a match on Tuesday.
Prior to the show, WWE announced the “main event” triple-threat would go on first to start the show, essentially confirming WWE’s lack of confidence in their own product, being fearful that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would pull viewers and bomb their PPV. Although the triple-threat was a decent match, it still featured yet another John Cena title attempt, grasping for the coveted Ric Flair record; and Dean Ambrose in the main event picture, a man with no charism, character evolution, or ability to carry a promotion as either a heel or babyface. And while AJ Styles put on a great outing, I am still watching him on NJPW every week on AXS-TV and his crimped style with WWE is nowhere near his best work in a ring.
No Mercy also featured Nikki Bella utilizing the antiquated 50/50 booking style of WWE in order to beat Carmella. Speaking of the women, Becky Lynch was suddenly injured and not competing. So we saw Naomi not only wrestle but defeat Alexa Bliss. Both finishes were weak and did nothing at all for the losers while barely giving a boost to the winners. The third women’s match of the night was between Jack Swagger and Baron Corbin. Yeah, I said it. Why is this on a pay-per-view? Nobody cares!
The highlight of the night was Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. This was an excellent match and the best on the entire card. Nothing to complain about here. The main event was Randy Orton taking on Bray Wyatt. Oh great, two of the weakest in-between heel/face chimeras in the entire company. Wyatt has strewn together infinitely more losses than wins. And Orton has been a watered down version of himself ever since returning from injury. The build to this match was terribly dis-interesting. And the big “twist” finish was a Luke Harper run in. This ended a pay-per-view in 2016.
Skip ahead to Monday Night Raw and now we’re really swimming out to the deep end with no life preservers. We’re talking about a show that surprisingly opened with Sasha Banks and Charlotte declaring they were having a rematch INSIDE Hell in a Cell. This was a groundbreaking moment…that was immediately cut short by Rusev interrupting. He insults both of them, along with all women’s wrestling (as does Lana) and hijacks what should have been an epic segment. Then Roman Reigns comes out and further buries the angle. Then, in all of Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley’s jaded wisdom, they put Charlotte on a team with Rusev against the team of Banks and Reigns. Despite Rusev belittling Charlotte, she now gets the “honor” of being his tag team partner.
Do you know why this segment happened? Because Kevin Dunn (a guy that probably has twenty Donald Trump signs in his yard) objectifies women and probably doesn’t think they can carry a moment on their own. They needed big, strong men to come out and bolster their credibility. “Nobody is going to buy women in the Cell! We need men to put it over!” Nevermind the fact that when you have a match with Roman Reigns, Rusev, Charlotte, Lana, and Sasha Banks, the only goddamn babyface in the entire thing is Banks. Reigns is not a face! But WWE continues to try and pair him with any one in order to try and persuade the crowd to oh and ah over him.
Then we have a match between Kofi Kingston and Cesaro. The big angle here is Sheamus sits ringside and tweets during the match. Oh, just brilliant fucking television. Really helps sell Cesaro and Sheamus as a team and absolutely helps make New Day look strong. *vomits in mouth, down onto Ultimate Warrior t-shirt*
Bayley comes out and wrestles Cami Fields. Who? Exactly. She beats a jobber and then gets attacked from behind by Dana Brooke (wearing a way-too-tight outfit) and then Brooke just stands there awkwardly like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights when he doesn’t know what to do with his hands. Brilliant. There were four horsewomen in NXT. Becky has the Smackdown Women’s Title. Sasha and Charlotte are breaking new ground fighting for the Raw Women’s Title. Meanwhile, Bayley is given about two minutes against someone named Cami Fields. Just a real career booster for her. Good job, Vince!
The newly formed Cruiserweight Division continues to get its legs cut out from underneath it as WWE, despite having three hours of television, just keeps hitting us with Cruiserweight tag-team matches. We get Tony Nese and Drew Gulak against Sin Cara and Lince Dorado. Without fanfare, Sin Cara is now suddenly in the division. Dorado spends the whole match carrying Sin Cara before picking up the win. According to Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon, there are only two Cruiserweights named T.J. Perkins and Brian Kendrick. Anybody who isn’t them will just be the bathroom break match on Raw.
Then we come back from commercial to find Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas in the ring. Oh boy! That’ll really boost the ratings! Luckily we are saved by Enzo Amore and Big Cass. But before we can even see them wrestle, they are attacked by The Club. So let me get this straight. Cesaro and Sheamus, a team thrown together two weeks ago get to face New Day, but two of the top three tag teams on Raw have a segment with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel? Then WWE hits us with a bullshit 4-team tag at a PPV the night before? Why not save the multi-team matches for actual talent? I’d definitely watch New Day vs Enzo and Cass vs The Club any day.
Oh, but that segment isn’t even over. After The Club and Enzo and Cass leave, Axel and Dallas are still competing! They demand a team! So we have to suffer through not only them in a match, but a hastily thrown together Sami Zayn and Neville tag-team. Is Teddy Long running creative all of a sudden? We’ve had five matches so far and four of them have featured tag teams! Brilliant! I’m just as baffled as Vince as to why the ratings continue to tank. Fuck you, McMahon.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, we then are “treated” to a match between R-Truth and Titus O’Neal thrown together, on the premise, and I shit you not, of Truth trying to give O’Neal’s favorite candy bar to another wrestler. Now, while I can appreciate both men as they have skill and could be great if pushed properly (yeah right, as if that would ever happen), they certainly should not be in a match facing each other. Why, you might ask? Because they have a combined age of fucking 83. R-Truth is in his mid-forties and Titus is 39. This is not a live-TV match. This is not something you expose people to and then try to laugh off the sliding ratings to the board of directors. In simple terms, this is not a match you put on TV if you want people to take what you do seriously.
Backstage segment with Perkins and Kendrick showcasing the 50/50 booking again. I won’t even elaborate on any of that. Braun Strowman then squashes the “Splash Brothers” (who look like a Sheamus and Xavier Woods cosplay couple) and then asks Foley for stronger competition. If only Braun could be what he’s asking for: better talent. He has become a spectacle much like Big Show, Kane, and The Great Kahli before him. Vince will take a giant, twist and contort them, and turn them into a traveling freakshow.
And then the inter-gender match. Holy shit what a waste of time. Rusev and Charlotte against Reigns and Banks. The big creative ending here was Sasha making Charlotte tap to the Bank Statement timed perfectly with Reigns hitting Rusev with a spear. Been there, done that, played all the way out. Then Reigns and Banks stand with their arms in the air, smiling. As if Reigns was suddenly a good guy. Then T.J. Perkins defeated Jinder Mahal. Oh wait, that was Ariya Daivari. Another useless squash match doing nothing for anybody, including the viewers.
The main event was Seth Rollins versus Chris Jericho. Alright, I really can’t complain about this if I’m being fair and unbiased. It was a great match, highlight of the night for me. My only real gripe is that Jericho has main-evented a shit ton of Raw’s this year and did so again last night. Yes, Jericho is awesome. And his work these past few weeks with Kevin Owens has really been the crutch that has saved Raw from swirling into a black hole from wince there is no return. That being said, Jericho is older than both R-Truth and Titus O’Neal. Is the best WWE can do is to have a 45-year-old in the main event? Does that sound bonkers to anyone else? It says a lot about how incredibly talented and what great shape Y2J is in; but it also speaks volumes about how weak WWE thinks their own product is.
They don’t trust their youngers guys to do the job. They don’t have faith or confidence in their roster. And this is true across the board. Both Raw and Smackdown suffer from this inability to pull the trigger on younger talent. The result is getting a 39-year-old John Cena in a main event trying to get another world title. When is WWE going to move on? They speak of a new era and yet continue hitting us with out-to-pasture talent. Now the big hyped up sell is a potential match between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, a match about fifteen years too late between two men with a combined age of 88. Granted, both men are genetic anomalies (Lesnar more so on the chemically enhanced side) and will probably look great. But the point being is that WWE continues to live in the past. And the WWE Universe seems nostalgic to days gone by.
That’s why Sasha Banks gets a pop for mentioning Eddie Guerrero. That’s why Charlotte gets a “Woooooooooo!” every single time she mentions her dad. WWE doesn’t do anything to make their current talent relevant. They are censored and limited and forced to get over by mentioning long since retired or dead Superstars. It’s a vicious cycle all the way around. Fear, uncertainty, doubt; it all mixes together to make WWE unsure of their talent, the talent unsure of their place, and the fans unsure of why they should even give two shits about any of it. There are so many problems to list but I’m just one man and this article is already absurdly long. I have a love/hate relationship with WWE. It’s a frustrating partnership because I see the potential of what this company could be. As a kid I watched wrestling. Then I grew up. But wrestling never did. It plateaued and in some instances took a step back.
You can blame the break of kayfabe. You can blame the dirt sheets. You can blame the internet. You can even blame Vince for bringing too many promotions together and “killing the biz.” It doesn’t matter what the cause was. The effect is what truly matters, and in this case the effect is mediocre, unfulfilling, lazy, and often boring professional wrestling. CM Punk said it best: “Vince McMahon is a millionaire who should be a billionaire.” The reason why he isn’t is that the wrestling experience he presents is no longer thrilling to a certain extent. We demand more but WWE keeps coming up short. Smackdown Live is on tonight and we won’t be doing a live review for that either. If they want us to write something, they need to give us something worthwhile to write about. Until then, let the onslaught begin.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Tonight, Sean Combs will be on Raw, for reasons I don’t quite understand or care about. Raw kicks off with Smacktalker Skywalker himself; Enzo Amore and his partner, Big Cass. He hasn’t even spoken yet and I’m already grinning from ear to ear. Enzo addresses the crowd regarding last week’s match and flirtation with Sasha Banks, that Chris Jericho ruined. Jericho comes out in his best scarf to talk to “Enzo Annoying,” saying that he is nothing without Big Cass at his side. Now, Jericho has backup of his own in the form of Kevin Owens. I’m not crazy about this pairing; I’m not big on Jericho (sorry, hardcore wrestling fans) and I prefer Owens as a solo wrestler. Owens says that Cass is one of the few people he liked in NXT; they had a waste of space as a best friend as something in common. But unlike him, Cass still carries his dead weight around with him. Owens asks a “reforical” question, and threatens to hurt Enzo and Cass. The segment ends abruptly with Enzo getting the last word, and a match is set for after the commercial break.
Enzo and Jericho are in the ring for a singles match, with Cass and Owens ringside to support their respective teammates. Owens is screaming insults at Enzo as Jericho pins him in the corner and hits chops to the chest. Enzo hits a Hurricanrana, but Jericho responds with a clothesline that breaks his momentum. As the official is distracted, Owens hits Enzo with a cheap shot. The two men move outside of the ring, where Owens and Cass come to their defense as we move to our second break. When we return, Michael Cole says that it has been Jericho’s match during the break. Enzo quickly turns it around and hits a Crossbody into a shoulder tackle, then running forearm into a cover. Jericho locks in the Walls, but Enzo makes it to the rope. Jericho hits a Codebreaker after a distraction by Owens, prompting Cass to hit Jericho with a kick to the face. The ref calls the match thanks to the disqualification and Jericho is declared the winner. Enzo is down and out on the mat as Owens celebrates with his new BFF. Cass gets on the mic and challenges the duo to a match at Summerslam to settle the score, and Owens accepts. How you doin?
Mick Foley is on the phone backstage with Stephanie McMahon, discussing the issue with Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton, when Sasha Banks steps in. She proposes that the Women’s Title match be a handicap match so that she can keep an eye on Dana Brooke as she fights Charlotte. Foley counters, saying that Banks will face Brooke tonight. If she wins, Brooke will be banned from ringside at Summerslam. If she loses, she will get her handicap match.
Braun Strowman comes out to the ring now, and I am cracking up again at the loud BRAAAAAUN scream at the beginning of his new entrance theme. It’s amazing and I love it. Jorel Nelson is his opponent tonight, and in his pre-match interview, he was unable to say a single word. He comes out after Strowman, looking absolutely terrified. Nelson immediately exits the ring once the bell rings, and Strowman knocks him off the apron before throwing him back into the ring and hitting a killer clothesline. Nelson is hit with a reverse chokeslam before being pinned for the loss. Strowman then grabs him by the ankle and throws him from the ring before screaming “Everyone Will Fall!”
Sean Combs greets Foley backstage, and I tune out for a moment. Kofi Kingson and Xavier Woods save this segment with some delicious Booty-Os and congratulations to Combs for his work on the WWE 2k17 soundtrack. Our next match is Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, former tag team partners and now seemingly new enemies thanks to O’Neil’s questionable victory last week. Young takes a knee to the face early on, then the match moves outside of the ring as O’Neil shoves Young into the apron and hits a hard chop to the chest. Young tries a move off the second rope, but O’Neil catches him. Young is able to roll up O’Neil and pin him with a hand on the tights, exactly how O’Neil won his match last week. Bob Backlund picks him up in victory; he was conveniently not watching as Young cheated his way into a win. Quick, throwaway match.
Our former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins comes to the ring. Rollins addresses his Summerslam opponent, Finn Balor, calling him a Seth Rollins knockoff. The Jared Leto to his Heath Ledger. Rollins says that Balor’s name, which translates to “Demon King,” is absurd. Rollins wants to know who Balor truly is. He calls him disrespectful and arrogant, and thinks it’s a joke to even entertain the idea that he’ll beat him at Summerslam for the Universal Title. Rollins says he belongs at the top of the WWE, and he doesn’t need the smoke and mirrors to make himself into something he isn’t. This is a fantastic promo by Rollins; he’s tearing down Roman Reigns, John Cena, and everyone else who isn’t in his league.
The next match is a rematch from last week; Sheamus versus Cesaro. The two are clearly angry and lock up as soon as the bell rings, with Sheamus getting Cesaro down almost immediately. Cesaro knocks Sheamus from the ring, then executes an impressive dive to take him down. Cesaro starts in with the uppercuts as the ref pleads with him to get Sheamus out of the corner. Sheamus is finally able to take control of the match, but we move to commercial. When we return, Sheamus dives from the ropes to pin Cesaro. He locks Cesaro in a headlock on the mat, and the two rise to begin trading punches. It’s a pretty slow match, to be honest. There are a lot of false finishes and a lot of counters to finishing moves, but it’s failing to keep my attention. The two leave the ring, and Cesaro rams Sheamus into the barricade before returning to the ring for an uppercut party. The ref is caught up in the crossfire and Sheamus is able to pin Cesaro for the win, but the ref doesn’t see it. This allows Cesaro to capitalize and pin him for the win. He celebrates with the crowd as Sheamus looks understandably upset.
We move on to a video package with Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar, going back 15 years to get a recap of their journey through WWE. It’s crazy to see them so young and to see everything they have accomplished over the years. Orton says that he isn’t impressed with Lesnar because he left the WWE. Lesnar basically says he doesn’t give a shit what Orton thinks or says. Lesnar giggles when they replay him F5ing Orton on Smackdown. It’s a bad ass promo, and I want to see the unedited version, because Lesnar cusses a lot.
Bubba Ray and D-Von are up now for a tag match against Neville and surprise partner, Sin Cara. Oh, joy. Sin Cara is dressed all in black and looks like he came to rob a bank but forgot his shirt. He starts off the match against Bubba. The crowd is chanting for tables as Sin Cara hits a moonsault to take Bubba down. Bubba knocks him from the ropes into the barricade, then throws him back into the ring and tags in D-Von. D-Von mocks the Lucha chant before throwing Sin Cara into the turnbuckle, not allowing him to regain his footing or tag in Neville. He’s finally able to make it to his partner, who gets a pin on D-Von, but can’t hold him down. He flies out of the ring to take down Bubba before returning to the ring to hit a Missile Drop Kick on D-Von. Neville goes to the top rope and hits the Red Arrow for the win. A shaky match, but Neville looked great.
Our newlywed United States champion and his lovely wife, Lana, come out to a decorated ring to celebrate their marriage, which was filmed for Total Divas. The crowd is hating on the couple, and I’m wondering how Lana can walk in those shoes without tripping. I can’t manage it in my Chuck Taylors, nevermind 6″ heels. Lana says that since we weren’t invited to their VIP wedding, they will reenact it for us now. We get photos of their special day along with cheesy music, and the crowd responds with BORING chants. I love me some Lana, but I have to wonder what this is leading to. I have zero interest in hearing their vows and want this to move on.
Be careful what you wish for… Roman Reigns interrupts and the crowd cheers. Kudos to WWE for finding a way to get people to cheer for this guy again. He offers to be Rusev’s best man and says he will toast to their marriage. When Rusev refuses, he challenges him to a match, which Rusev also refuses. Patiently waiting for a cake to fly into somebody. Reigns decides to do the toast anyway. Reigns tries hard to be clever, but reminds us all that the promo talent that The Rock is blessed with is certainly not genetic. Reigns and Rusev start fighting, and poor Lana gets shoved into the cake. She’s covered in frosting, and Reigns slinks away with a stupid look on his face. Poor Lana. Backstage, Rusev is screaming at Foley, saying that Reigns needs to pay for ruining their celebration. Foley makes a match at Summerslam for the US Title; Rusev versus Reigns. They start yelling in Russian, and we cut away. Poor Lana…
Sasha Banks us set to face Dana Brooke to decide if the Summerslam match will be one-on-one or a handicap match. A belated congratulations goes out to our Women’s Champion, who recently got married to Sareth Ton, a WWE costume designer and former WWE wrestler known as Mikaze. Charlotte is screaming at Brooke, shouting instructions on how to take Banks down. Brooke goes for multiple pins, but The Boss kicks free. Charlotte tries for a cheap shot to Banks, but hits Brooke instead. Banks hits Brooke with knees to the chest and wins the match, banning Brooke from the Summerslam match.
Finn Balor takes his turn to address the situation with Seth Rollins and to properly explain the origin of his name. Balor’s origins aren’t a myth, they are pieces of himself that he is able to tap into and use to his advantage. He will introduce the Demon King to Rollins at Summerslam. It’s a pretty decent package, and I’m excited to see their match.
Moving on, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are dressed as doctors to address ringpostitis. They also have eggs in a jar to represent Big E’s balls. It makes them “a bit testy.” Tonight, they promise to add Kofi’s nuts to their collection. Testicles. Luke Gallows will face Kingston now. The match kicks off with Gallows in total control, and he never loses it. This is a fast match, with Gallows getting a quick pin on his opponent. He and Anderson drag Kofi to the ring post and get ready to take his fun bits for a ride, but Woods grabs a steel chair and sends them running up the ramp.
Outside, R-Truth is in Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine. R-Truth accuses Goldust of replacing him with Scooby, and he almost fights the dude in the suit, but all is well and they run off to watch the movie. Back in reality, Mick Foley comes to the ring to welcome Smackdown GM, Daniel Bryan. The two trade compliments before Foley apologizes for Lesnar’s actions on Smackdown. Bryan offers his own apology for Orton’s actions, but Foley isn’t buying it and pulls up video of Bryan insulting the Universal Title. Surprisingly, Rusev interrupts and threatens Bryan, saying anyone who tries what Orton did will be crushed. Now Cesaro is out in the ring, saying that he proved he deserves a title shot and wants Foley to deliver. Foley says that Cesaro can have his shot tonight, even though it’s 10:55pm.
It’s 11pm as we return to our title match. Cesaro starts the uppercut party and goes for the swing, but Rusev goes for the rope. He flies out of the ring to attack Rusev before rolling him back into the ring. He goes to the top rope and hits Rusev with a crossbody for an unsuccessful pin. Rusev regains control and throws Cesaro into the ringpost. He is targeting Cesaro’s shoulders, then moves to his midsection. Cesaro tries for the swing again, but Rusev blocks it. He almost scores a win, but Rusev isn’t allowing it. The uppercuts continue at the expense of Rusev, who is then hit with a Tornado DDT. Rusev is angry now and goes for the Accolade, but Cesaro fights free, lifting Rusev on his shoulders before dropping him to the mat. Cesaro lands a solid uppercut and calls for the swing. He gets Rusev up, then locks the Sharpshooter in. Sheamus unfortunately breaks it up, allowing Rusev to get up and take Cesaro down. The referee gets knocked out, not seeing Cesaro getting a successful pin. Rusev pokes Cesaro in the eye, then Sheamus kicks him in the face, allowing Rusev to retain his title. As he celebrates, Reigns comes out and spears him. We end the night with Reigns’ music as he flashes the peace sign and walks into the back.
Summerslam is in two weeks, and we will bring you a run down of the matches and our predictions closer to the event. Tonight was a decent build to our second biggest WWE event of the year, and it was successful in getting me excited for a good number of the matches. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel, and we will see you all tomorrow night for Smackdown.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Last night was the official kick off party for the first live Smackdown episode, during which the entire WWE landscape was upended and changed forever. Who went where? We discuss below each draft pick and how they fit in the picture going forward.
Seth Rollins got the #1 Draft pick slot, headed over to Monday Night Raw. This one seems obvious. He is quite definitely the future and deserves to be the main guy at Raw. A+ pick.
Dean Ambrose went second, headed to Smackdown. Another obvious choice. They can’t have both Ambrose and Rollins on the same show. Not such a great idea to send the World Heavyweight Championship over to Smackdown, and for that reason we have to give this pick a B+.
Charlotte was the first female wrestler selected and she goes to Monday Night Raw. Her reign as champion has gone on a little too long and she needs to drop the title soon. Because of that, I for one do not care where she goes. I’m giving this pick a C. Not because it’s terrible but because C is right in the middle and neutral is how I feel about Charlotte.
AJ Styles to Smackdown, in a move that could really help propel the “B+ show” into prominence. Styles is a superstar and wherever he goes, viewers will tune in to see him. Although, on the flip side he is almost too good for Smackdown. This pick deserves an A-.
Finn Balor to Raw. This one worries me because we all know how great Balor is. And we all know how shitty Vince is with character gimmicks. I almost wish Balor had gone to Smackdown to put a little bit of a buffer between him and Vince’s main creative team. But Balor deserves Raw. He deserves a top spot. B+ for the overall decision to draft him to Raw and a C- for drafting him a week before a crap pay-per-view on a Tuesday night. Before you get up in arms and send me hate mail, these are just my opinions and the grades are in no way a reflection of the athletes themselves.
Roman Reigns to Raw. I hate this pick. I understand it, but I hate it. Roman Reigns should not be a top tier guy. He should never have been. But it is what it is. I wish he would get back to NXT for development because his ringwork is stale and his mic work is awful. As it is, he’s going to Raw and I give that my lowest grade so far of a D+.
John Cena to Smackdown. The only grade I can give this is an A+ because it means that the flagship show will not feature Cena. Although, one could make the argument to downgrade to an A- because Cena went to the show that has the world title, which is stressful for people that hate Cena any where near the WHC.
Brock Lesnar to Raw. I’m not sure if I want to give this an A+ or a B+. On one hand, Lesnar deserves to be on Raw. He is a heavyweight powerhouse. But on the other, Smackdown could really use him to infuse some badassery into it. Yes, I just used the word badassery. Let’s settle with an A for now until we see when and if this part-timer comes back.
Randy Orton to Smackdown. My initial grade for this is a C+. Only because it seems like a setup to shove Lesnar and Orton down our throats for the next month prior SummerSlam. Also, Cena was drafted to Smackdown and we really don’t need anymore matches between these two. However, I am willing to bump the grade up to a B+ because AJ Styles versus Randy Orton is a dream match to me. And I truly believe Orton taking on Baron Corbin could be some sort of beautiful hoss match, charged with ego and dripping with arrogance.
The New Day to Raw. I like this one because they split The Wyatt Family up tonight, which means New Day will probably retain their titles this weekend and that means the tag division will be strong on Raw. Not splitting up New Day was a wise decision. Giving this draft a solid A.
Sami Zayn to Raw. Automatic A+. Zayn is right where he needs to be, and hopefully he will get a push now.
Bray Wyatt to Smackdown. This one is a little bothersome to me. Wyatt has all the tools to be a behemoth superstar. But WWE has creatively dropped the ball on him continuously, as well as making odd booking choices for his match outcomes. If his most recent track record the past year is anything to go off of, sending him to Smackdown cannot be a good sign. D+ for this draft pick. I will admit if I am wrong. Maybe the point of this is to bring him back to life and have him stand alone for a push. I hope that’s the case.
Sasha Banks to Raw. This is a no brainer. Solid gold A. And you can take that to the bank.
Becky Lynch to Smackdown. I’m alright with this selection. It’s apparent that she isn’t getting a title push, and moving to Smackdown gives her a chance to teach the lower card gals and help elevate them in some great matches. She’s likable by the fans and she could help boost the women’s division over in Smackdown. A- for this one, with the one drawback being that she very well could be buried in Smackdown obscurity.
Chris Jericho is picked up by Raw. Now, I am biased on this one because I hate old man Fozzy-bear. Jericho over the past year has had way too many pushes. He has main evented tons of Raw episodes, won a large handful of pay-per-view matches, and even went over at WreslteMania this year. It’s time for these older guys to stop being in the spotlight. I give this draft pick an F. Send Jericho to Smackdown. Better yet, send him home. He should not have been drafted to Raw and certainly shouldn’t have gone this high up in the picks.
Rusev and Lana to Raw. Another no brainer. Rusev looks like a champion. Lana looks like a million bucks. Why wouldn’t you want these two easy-on-the-eyes roster members on your highest rated show? A+
The Miz and Maryse go to Smackdown. Giving this one a C-. I am over The Miz. And I am definitely over The Miz being Intercontinental Championship. And Maryse does nothing, so why was she included in this draft? The only reason this got a C- and not a D- is because he went to Smackdown and not Raw. Keep the title off of Miz, and keep the Miz off of Raw.
Kevin Owens to Raw equals A++. Owens and Zayn are on the same show. That’s money all day. Raw being the prominent show means that Owens gets to be in the spotlight where he belongs. Good stuff, here.
Baron Corbin to Smackdown is a weird thing. But, with the other guys being drafted there, it could spell good things for the Lone Wolf. If a couple of superstars take them under their wing, it could make Corbin a better worker and smoother on the mic. A- for this, in my opinion. The worry here is the big man being jobbed out and lost in the shuffle.
Enzo and Cass to Raw. Again, no brainer. A+. Keep the tag division strong.
Gallows and Anderson to Raw. Initially this looks like a B- at best. However, it was announced that Finn Balor will be coming to raw. I will bump this up to an A- as I salivate at the thought of mainstream Bulletclub action as Balor takes over the duo and forms a new stable.
American Alpha to Smackdown is a D- for me. These guys deserve to be at the top. If they are getting the callup they deserve Monday Night Raw. That’s it, period. Nothing else is even acceptable. I am very angry about this draft pick. It’s all kinds of wrong, and I cringe at American Alpha having to take on The Usos.
Big Show to Raw. Meh. Giving this one my second F of the draft. Big Show is old as time. He is overused in obscure segments, flip-flopping back and forth between heel and face. I’d rather see him taking a smaller role on Smackdown then wasting television time on Raw. I would have swapped him for Baron Corbin in a heartbeat.
Dolph Ziggler to Smackdown; this one is both hot and cold. On the one hand, this could be a new, fresh start for The Showoff. He is really talented and could benefit from a reboot. On the other hand, I get the sense that the potential to bury him is there and that worries me. Ziggler is a hell of a wrestler and I hope he doesn’t get hidden away on Tuesday nights. Giving this one a straight down the middle C.
Nia Jax from NXT up to Raw. Really? Over Bayley? What a strange call-up, not only for Jax probably not being ready for this, but also the fact they sent her to Raw. D- draft. Keep in mind, the grades are solely on the draft decisions and nothing more.
Neville to Raw is a good choice. Once he returns from injury, he can carry any match and will be a big addition to the cruiserweight division. Giving this one an A+.
Natalya was drafted to Smackdown. I don’t immediately hate this, but it does seem like more betrayal on her family name. She has never gotten a real title push and has never even won the women’s or diva’s belts. She is talented and deserves more than what WWE does with her. I’d prefer her to be on Raw, so this gets a B- from me.
Cesaro to Raw. This is a really solid choice and is hopefully a sign of good things to come for the Swiss Superman. Easy A. Shame on WWE for drafting him so far down on the list. He should have been top ten material.
Alberto Del Rio to Smackdown makes me sad. He hasn’t been properly utilized in WWE for a long time. He is one of the most talented guys on the roster. He seemed annoyed on the WWE Network being interviewed after the draft. I am disappointed right along with him. C-
Sheamus to Raw. I think this one would get a D+ either way. There’s really no place for Sheamus right now, and I really just don’t care.
Golden Truth to Raw. See above. D+ for R-Truth and Goldust.
The Usos to Smackdown. This annoys me because a more interesting angle would have been to split these two up. One to each show and we get to see them stand alone. C-
Titus O’Neal to Raw. Now all he needs is some sort of title. B+ for my money. Would have given an A but Vince has no idea what to do with big, black Adonises.
Kane to Smackdown. I was surprised for this decision. Kane is by and far better than Big Show currently. They should have been swapped. However, Kane will make a home for himself anywhere he goes. And it will be fun to see a little tension between him and Daniel Bryan. A- for this one.
Paige to Raw. She needs to be out of the top tier of the women’s division. She should have gone to Smackdown. C grading for this draft pick.
Darren Young to Raw. I don’t think he’s ready, for either a Raw spot or a title shot against The Miz. D- and that’s being generous.
Kalisto to Smackdown. D+ because this one just doesn’t hold enough weight for me to care one way or another.
Sin Cara to Raw. Sin Cara falls into the same camp as his former partner Kalisto. Although, he might see a big career booster once cruiserweight gets going. For now, a reluctant C+.
Naomi to Smackdown. D+ because she’s almost obscure enough to just get released from the company.
Jack Swagger to Raw. I like it. He’s a worker, he’s big, and the fans dig him. A- decision.
The Ascension to Smackdown. I am giving this an F because Ascension should have never come up from NXT in the first place. They aren’t main roster material and they have been nothing but the job-squad ever since they came up.
The Dudley Boyz to Raw. C- for this decision. They should be no higher than Smackdown.
Zack Ryder to Smackdown. What the heck, I’ll get on board with WWE’s decision to suddenly push the guy. Give this draft decision an A-.
Summer Rae to Raw. Do I like this? I don’t know. Haven’t really seen her as of late. It depends in what capacity she joins the Raw Roster. We’ll give this an apprehensive C.
Apollo Crews to Smackdown. This one irritated me. I really wanted to see him get a slight push and be well received by the fans. Seems like Smackdown isn’t the place for that. B- for this, and hopefully Crews can keep the smile on his face.
Mark Henry to Raw was another baffling decision. Henry, Kane, Big Show, and Jericho should have all been sent to Smackdown to be used sparingly. That being said, I like Henry. And if we actually get to see him running some matches, this could be a B pick.
Alexa Bliss to Smackdown was a bit of a shocker. But this is well deserved. She has really earned her place in NXT lately. I think she’s ready, so let’s give her a chance. I’m rolling with this one. Even A.
Braun Strowman to Raw. I am giving this a D grading because Strowman only made it to Raw because Vince McMahon loves giants. Nothing more. His skill level is not Raw quality.
Breezango to Smackdown. I wish they had split the pair up. Tyler Breeze is talented, but them going to Smackdown as a tag team is dismal. Especially if they go against American Alpha. The skill just is not there. C- is my vote here.
Bo Dallas to Raw. Giving yet another F. I dislike this guy and having him on Raw is a waste of all our time.
Eva Marie to Smackdown. What grade is lower than an F? The test score is so low I may just not grade the test and ask the dean to kick her out of school on an expulsion. She is one of the worst female wrestlers I have ever seen and she should stay off any WWE programming.
Shining Stars to Raw. These guys haven’t done anything at all to warrant being taken to Raw. D- for me.
The Vaudevillians to Smackdown. Finally a team that can go against American Alpha. I like the decision. A-
Alicia Fox to Raw. Meaningless roster pick that just took up a spot that could have been better suited for someone with way more talent. D-
Erick Rowan to Smackdown. I’m okay with this. He’s definitely a B+ player and belongs on the B+ show. In fact, that’s the grade we’ll give this decision.
Dana Brooke to Raw. I think her future could be bright, once she breaks away from Charlotte. Good choice and the right place for her. She needs to go solo though. A-
Mojo Rawley to Smackdown. Strange callup, but if he joins Ryder and the Hype Bros become a main roster tag team, this is a really good thing. I have no complaints about this so let’s hit it with a decent A-.
Curtis Axel to Raw. Ugh. Stay off my television. No star power, and what has he done for us lately? A whole lot of nothing. Heath Slater is much better liked by the fans than Curtis Axel. I didn’t like this weird decision. D+
Carmella to Smackdown is head-scratching. She floundered a bit in NXT after Enzo and Cass left. It would make sense to bring her up and pair her back with them. Now she has to move up solo on a bigger stage and it could spell disaster for her. Not a fan of this draft pick. I’m happy for her, but she should be with her boys. C-
A couple of interesting take away’s from this draft:
- The split up of The Club. While many would view this as a negative for Gallows and Anderson, lest we forget that Finn Balor is a big member of the global Bulletclub, what he calls the Balorclub in NXT. With him and The Club being drafted to Raw, that can only mean good things. Styles gets to go be a badass solo competitor and stand on his own. And Balor can start building a new stable.
- No mention of The Undertaker, which isn’t necessarily an oversight. His status is year to year and this whole brand split might fall apart before WrestleMania next year.
- AJ Styles is solo now and is on the brand with the world title. That just made things all sorts of interesting.
- Nobody drafted Heath Slater. He got a funny segment where he was left sitting in the dark, but it is pretty shitty to not include him. He is the best guy in the Social Outcasts group. The fact that Bo Dallas got drafted and he didn’t is garbage.
- We still don’t know who Sasha Banks will have as a tag partner at Battleground, which potentially could mean we may see a few more drafts next week, including but not limited to Bayley from NXT.
- Three names surprisingly left out of the draft were Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Eric Young. This would have been a perfect time to transition them up. They are veterans and shouldn’t hang around NXT too long.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Tonight is the final Raw before the brand split and drafts tomorrow night on Smackdown, which is getting me excited, but very nervous. Stephanie McMahon kicks things off, but barely gets a word out before brother Shane enters the arena. Steph reminds us that this will be Shane’s last Raw, as he is the commissioner of Smackdown, while she controls Raw. Steph makes an amazing announcement; thanks to the success of the Cruiserweight Classic on the Network, Raw will exclusively have a new Cruiserweight division. This is huge and a great move for WWE.
Steph’s second announcement is to name none other than Mick Foley as General Manager of Raw! Foley compares the current New Era to the Attitude Era, and the brand split to Monday Night Wars, so I hope he has big plans for his new position as GM. Foley makes a lot of promises, and his history shows that he can live up to all of them. Not to be outdone, Shane’s pick for GM of Smackdown is Daniel Bryan! The ultimate underdog, who was forced into retirement too soon, is back in the ring! He may not be wrestling, but it’s great to see him. The “YES” and “Daniel Bryan” chants are deafening. Bryan says he had reservations about returning until he realized that Smackdown was the underdog that desperately needed his help in this fight. He makes a plea for the fans to help him and Shane to beat Raw in this war. Steph congratulates the “B+ player” on his B+ show. This should be interesting.
24 minutes into Raw and we get our first match; a tag between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens versus Sami Zayn and Cesaro. Cesaro and Jericho start things off, with Cesaro going for an early pin and delivering a few uppercuts. Zayn is tagged in and delivers shots to Jericho’s chest. Zayn hits two arm drag takedowns into an arm bar as Owens talks trash from the sidelines. The tension between Zayn and Owens is electric, and I hope they are drafted to the same brand. Owens tags in and we get another commercial break. We come back to Jericho and Zayn in the ring; Zayn is desperately trying to tag in Cesaro but can’t quite make it. As Jericho distracts the ref, Owens tries to attack Zayn outside of the ring, but Zayn gets the upper hand and ends up taking Jericho down as well. Cesaro gets in and delivers uppercuts to Owens and Jericho, who are pinned in opposite corners, before trying to pin Jericho. Owens and Zayn get in the match and Owens hits a brutal clothesline, before trying for a Pop-Up Powerbomb that Zayn avoids. Cesaro and Jericho are back in; Cesaro hits the Swing, but it is broken up as Owens and Zayn get back in and show us how well they work together. Finally, Zayn is able to get the pin on Jericho and win the match. Great job by all four.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan is welcomed back by other performers before being interrupted by Steph who isn’t done with her insults. After the break, Alberto Del Rio comes out for his singles match against Darren Young, the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. The Miz is on commentary, alongside his wife Maryse, and Bob Backlund is ringside to support Young. Am I the only one who finds it odd that a rip-off version of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign is being used by a black gay man? Del Rio takes control of the match early on and tries for a quick pin while Backlund screams and grabs his face. Young hits a couple good clotheslines to take Del Rio down, and The Miz jumps on the apron and gets a right hand to the face courtesy of Young. As The Miz tries to sabotage the match for Young, he is able to roll Del Rio up and secure a quick win.
For some reason in our second hour, we now have a 12-man tag match. John Cena, Enzo, Big Cass, and The New Day versus The Club and The Wyatt Family. This isn’t the best move after last week’s embarrassing attempt to top TNA’s Final Deletion with the fight at the Wyatt compound. Cena is out first, trying to look sassy with his hands on his hips as the crowd chants “John Cena SUUUUCKS” to the tune of his music. Cena grabs a microphone and starts making threats toward The Club to set up their match at Battleground. Enzo and Cass come out to a huge pop, as per usual; these two are on fire. He says to Gallows, “the only time women open their mouth for you is when they yawn,” that Styles has a haircut like a soccer mom, and Anderson is like Times New Roman font: as generic as they come. Smacktalker Skywalker at his finest. The Club interrupts Big Cass’s SAWFT chant to call Cena a turd in a punch bowl. The “hot Asian wife” comment from Anderson is a tad uncomfortable. Cue The New Day; their new ring gear looks absolutely amazing. The battle at the Wyatt compound is addressed, and New Day assures us that they are not broken from the experience because they are not normal men. Then they start naming Pokemon, because the Earth is overly obsessed with Pokemon Go. The Wyatt’s finally come out to save us from this insanity. This all has gone on for 15 minutes, so we cut to commercial as the Wyatt’s make their way down the ramp.
After the commercial break, Cena and Rowan are in the ring, but Gallows is quickly tagged in. Cena tries a shoulder tackle but Gallows doesn’t budge. Big E tags in and does his signature hip thrusts as Gallows escapes and tags Strowman in. Enzo tags in to go against Strowman as Woods plays the trombone. Cass tags himself in to even the odds since Strowman is a beast and so is Cass. The two man stand face to face before Strowman knocks Cena off the apron, cuing every man to jump into the ring and start fighting. They clear out and we’re back to Strowman and Cass, who is destroying his opponent but can’t get him down to the mat. Kingston tags in and tries to take Strowman down but is caught, and we cut to commercial again. As we return, Kingston and Bray Wyatt are in the ring and Wyatt tries for a pin. Michael Cole tries (and fails) to build up the Wyatt compound battle as “the craziest thing” he’s ever seen. Cena gets tagged in and performs the Five Moves of Doom on Wyatt, but Wyatt breaks it up with his creepy signature backbend. He tags in Strowman who headbutts Cena and pins him in the corner to tag in Rowan. Styles is tagged in and taunts Enzo and Cass as he goes to work on Cena. There are way too many people in this match. Gallows takes his turn beating up Cena now, who is unable to get to his corner for a tag, and we have another commercial break. Xavier Woods does an impressive dive out of the ring to take down the entire Wyatt family. Cena hops in to deliver an AA, Anderson counters with a spine buster, and there are bodies everywhere. At this point, the fights are spreading throughout the arena. Styles delivers a Styles Clash to Enzo and wins this trainwreck of a match. 40 minutes later. Man.
We return to see Seth Rollins standing in the empty arena in a pre-taped segment. He talks about his time with The Shield and calls them pawns in his game, saying he is always two steps ahead and had his reasons for keeping Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns around for as long as he did. The only reason Reigns rose to become top dog was because Rollins was out due to injury. Ambrose was nothing but a thief who capitalized on the situation and stole the title that Rollins never lost in the first place. Tonight, Rollins says he will put an end to Ambrose’s fairy tale run as WWE Champion, and when he’s fallen as low as he can go, Rollins will take back his title and prove to everyone that as far as The Shield is concerned, he was always the man. Amazing promo; I’m so glad he’s back.
Backstage, Foley is finally making moves as GM as he chats with Breezango only to be interrupted by Shane. He gives Foley no more than 6 months before he gets sick of Steph, and warns him about the dangers of working with his sister. Foley has been around long enough to be unfazed by this though and sees passion and drive in Steph. We come back from break to Sin Cara in the ring with Baron Corbin. Cara kicks Corbin out of the ring and then dives out to take him down. Corbin regains control quickly and hits End Of Days to win the match. He delivers a few extra kicks to Sin Cara before demanding the ref raise his hand. Kalisto, the former tag partner of Sin Cara, comes to his rescue. Corbin retreats only to blindside Kalisto and take him down as well. Extremely short match, but Corbin looked good. Our second hour is winding down and we’ve only had four matches.
Sasha Banks brings us into our third hour as she teams with Becky Lynch to take on Women’s Champion Charlotte and her sidekick Dana Brooke. Charlotte immediately tags Brooke in so she won’t have to face Banks. It’s frustrating to see our first Women’s champion constantly hiding behind other people; first her father and now Dana Brooke. Banks tags Lynch in, who ground Brooke with an arm bar. Lynch hits a few leg drops on Brooke before trying for a pin. Banks is tagged back in and throws Brooke into the corner before knocking Charlotte to the ground as well. Out of nowhere, Natayla comes out to attack Lynch. The ref calls the match due to disqualification, so we got a solid three minutes of a women’s match tonight. What an embarrassment. Charlotte takes advantage of the situation to hit Natural Selection on Banks and gloat with her sidekick.
We cut away to Dean Ambrose who has a handheld camera, similar to what The Shield used. He promises to retain his title, and we take another break. When we return, the beautiful Lana is in the ring to introduce Rusev. He will be tag teaming with Sheamus against Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder, who is the number one contender for Rusev’s United States title. Ryder comes out strong, but Rusev throws him into the barricade and Sheamus continues the attack with a hard knee to the face. Rusev wants a tag back in, but Sheamus won’t allow it. Ryder and Sheamus tag in their partners, and Ziggler goes on the offensive against Rusev, hitting a Famouser, but Sheamus breaks things up. Ziggler tries for a quick roll-up but Rusev is able to kick out and lock Ziggler in the Accolade, forcing the tap and winning the match. Ryder does his best to look intimidating as Rusev glares at him from outside of the ring.
Backstage, Bryan and Foley exchange words, and seem to be pretty friendly with each other; definitely different than the dynamic between Steph and Shane. Our main event is Dean Ambrose defending his title against former champion Seth Rollins. According to “sources,” Roman Reigns is like a caged animal, ready to come out at Battleground and earn his title back. I’m a bit annoyed that he fails a wellness test and still gets to sit atop his pedestal, but that’s an article all on its own. These two work so well together; Ambrose hits two arm drag takedowns before Rollins rolls out of the ring for a break. Foley, Bryan, Steph and Shane all are ringside for this match, as Rollins returns to the ring and pins Ambrose in the corner to deliver a series of kicks. Outside of the ring, Ambrose throws Rollins into the barricade and delivers a clothesline, then an elbow.
Five minutes into the main event, we get another commercial. We come back to Rollins holding Ambrose in a headlock. Ambrose gets to his feet, but Rollins floors him again and goes for a pin. The two are on the mat, rolling back and forth, trading pins, before breaking free. To be honest, this has been a slow Raw and I’m more interested in looking up ringtones for my phone than I am watching this main event. Both men dive outside the ring and now the Commissioners and GMs are all on their feet, paying close attention. Rollins throws Ambrose into the barricade before hurling him back into the ring and covering him for a pin. It’s 10:55pm and we cut to yet another commercial. We return to see Rollins being hurled into the corner as Steph demands that the ref check on Rollins. Rollins attempts a Frog Splash, but Ambrose rolls to safety. Ambrose manages to deliver a DDT to Rollins and crawls into the pin, but Rollins gets a foot on the rope. Outside of the ring, Ambrose begins to disassemble the Spanish announce table and throws Rollins on top of it. He climbs onto the barricade and gets ready to jump, but Rollins rolls to safety, much to the dismay of the crowd. Ambrose gets Rollins back into the ring with a strong clothesline, but Rollins is able to hit a Pedigree and nearly gets the win.
Ambrose goes to the top rope, Rollins goes to meet him, and Ambrose shoves him off and into the ref. We then have a confusing looking pin, and the ref counts three and calls for the bell, but no one’s music hits and no one’s hand is raised. I have no clue who won. Steph enters the ring to hug Rollins, who she thinks is the winner, but the ref still hasn’t gotten to his feet to declare a winner. Steph takes the initiative to grab a mic and declare Seth Rollins the winner, and his music plays while Steph does a victory dance in the face of her brother. I’m very confused, and so is everyone else. On the WWE Network, it is determined that Dean Ambrose was the winner on Raw, so he will go into Battleground as our champion.
Tomorrow, Smackdown will go live on its new night on the USA Network, and we will finally get to see where our favorite stars will be drafted. Battleground is this Sunday in Washington, DC and will be live on the network at 8pm, with the preshow beginning at 7. We will be providing coverage and will be live tweeting both events; please follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel and leave your thoughts on tonight’s Raw and who is the rightful champion below!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Tonight’s episode starts off with a four minute recap of last week’s episode, particularly the main event with Reigns and The Usos, Styles, Gallows and Anderson. Not surprisingly, tonight already has a six man tag with those guys. WWE seems determined to run this storyline into the ground as often as possible. I hate to start off all negative, but you cannot wear kids’ gloves with the repetitive nature of WWE’s booking.
Chris Jericho is up first, headed to the ring to a lukewarm reception. He isn’t exactly booed, but nobody quite cheers him either. That is until he tells the crowd to shut up. Y2J is hosting the Highlight Reel. Jericho goes on and on about Dean Ambrose and Mitch the Potted Plant. This is our lives now. This is WWE’s main roster product. Y2J is interrupted by Big Cass. Thank god. Couldn’t take much more of this segment. Cass does his best on the mic, but it’s a wash. He is terrible without Enzo and we really need him back ASAP. Cass runs Jericho out of the ring and we go to commercial break. Michael Cole and Cass keep selling this is a “new era” but it definitely looks a lot like the same old shit. At least Cass had a pretty sweet kick on Jericho to knock him off the apron.
After the break, just what we needed, more Jericho. He’s backstage pandering to Stephanie McMahon. She doesn’t fall for it, but sets up a match with Y2J vs Big Cass for the main event. Well, it’s something different. Hopefully it’s a set up to bring back Enzo. Dolph Ziggler comes down to the ring. He is set to take on Baron Corbin. Really smart match between these two. Ziggler looked a little less like a sell-object and they both did good. End of Days for the finish and Corbin picks up some payback on The Showoff.
Couple of segments with Ric Flair, Charlotte and Shane McMahon; and Gallows, Anderson, and Styles talk to JoJo. Fandango vs R-Truth in a singles match after the break with Goldust and Tyler Breeze ringside. Brief comedy-laced match with R-Truth picking up the win. Not much for this one but a couple of laughs. Charlotte vs Paige in women’s action after the break. Natalya is on commentary and Ric Flair has been banned from ringside. Really solid match between both ladies. Paige is actually likable in this one because she isn’t yelling, just wrestling. Nattie is petulant on commentary and takes away from the match. Without Ric at ringside, Charlotte seems hesitant. Nattie jumps on the apron and distracts Charlotte. Paige tries for a pinfall, but Charlotte kicks out at two. Ric Flair comes down and gets in Nattie’s face. Charlotte slams Paige in the ring. Shane’s music hits and he brings refs out with him. They escort Flair out, Paige rolls up Charlotte and gets the pinfall. Really smart match/segment. Good stuff here. First real highlight of the night so far.
Sami Zayn vs The Miz up next with the caveat being that if Zayn wins, he gets into the Intercontinental Championship match at Extreme Rules, making it a Fatal-4-Way. Why isn’t Kevin Owens on commentary?? Missed opportunity by WWE. It doesn’t take long for Maryse to interfere, but Zayn recovers. Miz tries a series of covers, but Zayn keeps kicking out, the crowd rallying behind him. Near pinfall for Zayn, but Miz narrowly kicks out. Maryse looks worried at ringside. Zayn tries a move off the top rope but Miz plants him and locks in the Figure Four leglock. Zayn somehow manages to reach the bottom rope and breaks the hold. An enraged Miz stomps him on the apron. Zayn recovers, kicks Miz in the corner and rolls on Miz for the pinfall. Zayn is in the IC title match. Good match from both guys. Miz, love him or hate him, knows how to make a face look good. Backstage, Dana Brooke and Emma attack Becky Lynch.
Sin Cara takes on Rusev next with Kalisto ringside, which is just as riveting as it sounds. Short match, with Rusev dominating throughout and Sin Cara pulling off a small package rollup pinfall. Not much to report here. Rusev is in a holding pattern until he gets and then drops the US Title to Cena.
Six man tag action next featuring Gallows, Anderson and Styles taking on Roman Reings and The Usos. Elimination style matchup here. Jay Uso is the first one gone. Gallows then takes on Reigns. Reigns knocks down Styles and then tags in Jimmy. Near fall for Gallows. Anderson is sent packing. Jimmy is eliminated after taking a phenomenal forearm. Gallows and Styles are left to fight Reigns 2-on-1. Reigns slams Gallows and eliminates him. Styles wails on Reigns and then kicks him in the side of the head. Reigns throws Styles over the announce table but Gallows and Anderson run up and attack Reigns from behind with a steel chair. Ref calls for the match. The Usos run out to even the odds. Reigns spears Gallows and Anderson. Reigns goes to hit Gallows with a chair but Styles kicks him in the head again. Segment gets interesting but then falls completely flat as Styles and Reigns stand and stare each other down for a good two minutes. Then they speak to each other in low tones that nobody can hear, not even the TV cameras can pick it up. Reigns still isn’t capable of carrying an interesting promo to save his life.
Zack Ryder vs Kevin Owens up next. Ryder carries his own for a few minutes before Owens takes over and gets the pinfall. Short, but decent match. New Day is out cracking jokes but are interrupted by Dudleys. Match forthcoming after a commercial break. Fun, little match that the Vaudevillians interrupt, beating down Xavier Woods. In the ring, Devon pins Kofi and the Vaudevillians clean up the leftovers. Big Cass comes out first and…someone…comes out in Jericho’s jacket. It’s Dean Ambrose! He takes off the jacket and starts tearing it apart with Y2J screaming at the top of the ramp. Jericho runs down and Ambrose goes to work. Jericho then runs into Cass, whom he slaps. Cass throws him against the barricade and tosses him back in the ring to get beat down by Ambrose. Ambrose takes out a pair of scissors and continues destroying the jacket. Can anyone answer why Jericho is still in main event segments??
Very disappointing Raw. The dynamic between Steph and Shane has shifted to make them lovable brother and sister now. WWE’s new era talk is as weak as Undertaker’s performance at Wrestlemania this year. Styles and Reigns skyrocketed into the stratosphere only to crash and burn. Bunch of recaps and chatty segments kept this Raw unbearable long. Another poorly booked main event. The in-ring ended with a grown man cutting up a jacket with a pair of scissors. This is professional wrestling? I thought 37 superkicks by The Young Bucks last night was a stretch. This is like pulling teeth. Can we just fast-forward to SummerSlam, please?
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
After last night’s WrestleMania, I may be ready for another vacation from wrestling; if Raw doesn’t bring the house down tonight, I’m taking a break until the Payback PPV. We started the night off with a two hour preshow that began with the US Title match. Kalisto defended his title against Ryback at 5:45pm while most of the fans weren’t even in the building, and before the preshow was on USA Network for those fans without the WWE Network. It was a terrible way to treat the title and the two men competing for it. If WWE doesn’t treat the title as something important, why should the fans care about it?
The two USA Network preshow matches were The Usos vs The Dudleys and Team BAD & Blonde vs Team Total Divas. The women’s match was all about Lana, at least in the buildup. When it came down to the match though, we barely got any Lana and instead got Brie acting like Daniel Bryan. If she’s retiring and needs to go out with a great match, fine. But how is stealing her husband’s moveset a positive way to go out? It was frustrating to watch. The Usos vs The Dudleys was the one match I assumed would be a throwaway, but it ended up being confusing. The Dudleys are meant to be the heels here, but were playing to the crowd, getting cheered, and it was the Usos who closed out the match with a questionable heel-like ending by putting Bubba and D-Von through two tables. The best part of the preshow kickoff was when Lita unveiled the new Women’s Title; that thing is a masterpiece.
WrestleMania began with the ladder match for the IC Title, which was phenomenal. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens looked like they honestly hated each other; both men were intense and focused on getting the win. There were some pretty scary spots, especially Sin Cara diving off a ladder and onto Stardust, who lay on a ladder outside of the ring. The tribute to Dusty Rhodes with Stardust’s gear and the polka dotted ladder was such a heartwarming gesture. We were teased with Miz stealing a victory, but ultimately Zack Ryder won the title. Zack Ryder. Who saw that one coming? I was incredibly happy with this entire match and pumped for the rest of the night. Every single competitor brought their A game and put everything on the line. There was not a single moment of downtime, and that ending was nothing short of genius; no one seriously thought that Ryder would walk away as champ. I loved it.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho was basically the same thing we’ve already seen. Jericho keeps kicking out of the Styles Clash, which is frustrating, and then he beat Styles, which is confusing. You would think we’d be protecting the talent that is going to stick around and be here week after week, not handing the veteran a win so he can go off and tour with Fozzy. Outside of a confusing win, the match itself was stale and slow, and the crowd was not feeling it. Styles has been over as hell since his debut, but he keeps getting stuck in matches with Jericho. When do we get to see something else? I swear, if we get Styles vs Jericho, Take 5 at Payback, I’m cancelling my Network subscription.
New Day’s entrance was fantastic, coming out of a massive box of Booty-O’s, but the actual match with League Of Nations was very boring. The crowd looked as if they had fallen asleep at one point. I still can’t understand why the titles weren’t on the line here; every title should be up for grabs at WrestleMania. The whole competition for who is the stronger faction would be fine if that actually meant anything. Remember when Rusev came out in a tank? Where was that showmanship and fanfare this year? The best part of this match involved three men who had nothing to do with the match; Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin. Sweet Chin Music, Mandible Claw, and Stunners for everyone! It was an awesome moment that made me hopeful that the night would be picking up.
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar was next, and this one had to be good considering it was No Holds Barred. Unfortunately, it was Kendo Stick city with an odd and abrupt ending. It felt like someone backstage ordered the ref to cut the match short. I had been looking forward to this ever since they announced it, and this is what we got? Ambrose and Lesnar could have gone to the extreme, but instead all they did was hit each other with sticks and play with a fire extinguisher. There were some good moments, of course, but overall this was confusing, short and not extreme at all. Lesnar can obviously beat the shit out of people with ease, and Ambrose can take a beating like no other, so why didn’t we get a bloody all-out brawl? Why was Ambrose suddenly unable to continue after we’ve seen him get up and come back after going through worse? I went into this match thinking it would be one of the best of the entire night, and instead was left shaking my head, wondering what the hell I just watched.
The Women’s Title was on the line next, and Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Charlotte did a great job here. They absolutely killed it and showed us what the female division should look like, and hopefully what it will look like from here on out. My complaint is that Charlotte won with the help of her daddy. Again. Ric Flair prevented Sasha from returning to the ring, which allowed Charlotte time to get Becky to tap. Why in the holy hell are we pushing the strength of a new Women’s Division and still having the champ rely on a man to help her win? Flair should have stayed the hell out of it. This made Charlotte look weak, like if it were not for daddy, she wouldn’t be champ. I don’t want Daddy’s Girl heading the Women’s Division, I want someone who doesn’t need a man standing behind her because she can stand strongly on her own.
Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker was up next, and this match looked exactly how you would expect. A fight between two old men who probably shouldn’t be doing half the things they are trying to do. This was slow and tedious. The highlight was Shane diving off of the top of the cage and onto the announce table, resulting in Taker able to pick up the win and Shane getting carried off on a stretcher. The two broke out of the cell at one point, so an interference would have been awesome, but we didn’t get that. We didn’t really get anything. This was terrible.
The Andre The Giant Battle Royal was interesting with the addition of Shaq as a competitor, but overall it was nothing special. The highlight was seeing NXT star Baron Corbin pick up the win. I hope this means we’ll’ be getting him on the main roster; the guy is seriously on fire. With the Battle Royal moved off the preshow and onto the main card at the last minute, I was expecting to see a hell of a lot of action and surprises. Shaq is gimmicky, not something main-event worthy. I don’t get why this match was moved because other than Corbin’s victory, there was nothing special about this at all. Unremarkable and forgettable. I honestly can’t remember anything about this other than being confused that Shaq showed up and Corbin being the last man standing.
The Rock finally showed up next and faced off with The Wyatt’s which got me hyped up. Rock was in his ring gear, but we didn’t get Bray in the ring; Erick Rowan stepped up to compete and got his ass handed to him in 6 seconds. What is the point? Then, the Family gangs up on Rock and John Fucking Cena comes to his rescue. Honestly, guys, could we have gone one WrestleMania without him? I’m so tired of Cena getting shoved in our faces at every opportunity, especially when he is constantly greeted by a chorus of boos because everyone over the age of 8 is fed up with his cartoonish antics. The Rock would have been better utilized in the Roman vs Triple H fight by interfering and having Reigns turn on him. It would also have been better if we weren’t informed that he would be a part of Mania months ago. We suspected that Stone Cold would be there, but we didn’t see promo after promo advertising the fact, so we got hyped up when his music hit. With The Rock, we were waiting for it all night because WWE has been telling us week after week to expect it.
Our main event was next. Triple H had an awesome entrance as usual, though the whole speech by Stephanie McMahon was a bit odd, and Roman Reigns came out looking all broody as the crowd booed him. The high point was seeing Steph get speared, and the low point was everything else. Predictably, Reigns won. I knew Reigns would win, so that isn’t my issue here. My issue is this entire match was lazy and uneventful and unworthy of a WrestleMania main event. This is the biggest match on the biggest show of the entire year, and it felt like a throwaway Raw moment. Reigns won for the third time, and no one cared.
WrestleMania went over their allotted time by almost an hour, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it was necessary. I’ve already seen the “this is setting things up for Payback” arguments, and quite honestly, I think that is bullshit. WrestleMania is the event of the year; it should not be mediocre in order to set up things for an upcoming PPV. There is no excuse for not putting every title on the line. There is no excuse for lazy booking and shoddy performances. I shouldn’t be so bored during your main event that I mute the PPV and move to a second TV so I can watch the Walking Dead finale.
NXT TakeOver was what WrestleMania should have been. Compelling matches, lots of action and memorable moments, exciting debuts, and match endings that make you cheer even if it wasn’t the outcome you wanted. WWE’s so-called developmental division did the better job this weekend in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the people. Once TakeOver was over, we immediately went back to rewatch some of the matches. When Mania ended, we happily turned off the Xbox and almost instantly forgot about half the matches we watched. I haven’t seen as many Manias as the typical WWE fan, but this was undoubtedly the worst.
Tonight’s Raw is their chance to make things right, and the WWE has a lot of work to do. We still have The Authority in charge since Shane McMahon failed, but Triple H isn’t champion anymore, so I’m curious to see how they address it. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch should get a rematch tonight; the title should have changed hands last night. The tag titles should also be on the line tonight; not defending them last night was a mistake that needs to be righted. We should get a surprise debut tonight as well; seeing Bayley or Finn Balor on Raw would go a long way in righting some of the wrongs we saw last night. Creative needs to pull their heads out of their asses and put their all into tonight’s show. So many fans are jaded after watching a mind-numbing seven hours of wrestling last night; we need something big to pull us back in and make us want to keep watching. As it stands now, I have one foot out the door and won’t have any regrets about taking a few weeks off from Raw and Smackdown.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
WrestleMania is finally here! Like many responsible adults, I opted to take paid time off on Monday so I can enjoy some drinks while watching the show of shows. After getting slightly jaded with the state of wrestling and taking a few weeks off around the winter holiday season, my husband and I are back in the middle of things and putting more energy into Face To Heel than ever before. The 32nd annual WrestleMania is taking place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and is scheduled to start on the Network at 5PM, giving us an insane six hours of wrestling and pre-show action to contend with.
A special live, hour-long presentation that includes three preshow matches will air for free on the USA Network at 6PM, and the main PPV airing begins at 7PM. An hour long WrestleMania Fallout Post Show will immediately begin after the final match on the Network. We had two dismal go-home events earlier this week that did little to get fans hyped for this event. For those of you happy to have a Cena-free WrestleMania, I suspect you’ll end up disappointed. With Cena still unable to compete, he will likely either be featured in The Rock’s segment or used in a backstage promo in preparation for his return, because he’s John Cena and he can get the crowd to pop. Let’s take a look at the massive card and make some predictions.
Kalisto (c) vs Ryback – US Title Match on WWE Network Preshow
I can’t tell you how happy I am to see Ryback in a title match at Mania! He has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few months; you can’t deny that Ryback has improved both in the ring and on the mic. One of the reasons the Goldberg chants annoy me so much is because it undermines the work Ryback has done to make himself into something more. That said, it doesn’t help that they have updated his ring gear to look like Goldberg’s. I’ve read a lot about how this is a throwaway match or a waste of time, and I wholeheartedly disagree. Kalisto has done a lot for himself, working his way from NXT to the main roster, and is gaining popularity as a singles competitor. Like them or not, they both have earned this match. The go home episode of Raw had Ryback come to the ring for all of eight seconds to quickly “confront” his competitor before leaving, which is a shame because these men and this title deserve better. Originally on the main card, they were bumped to the preshow to make room for the Battle Royal. Not even bumped to the USA Preshow, but to the 5:30PM slot on the Network. A title match shouldn’t be treated as a throwaway, competed for while people are still filing into the arena or not even tuned in yet at home. Still, I feel like big things are in the future for Ryback, and I’m excited to see where things go from here.
Lana, Summer Rae, Emma, Naomi & Tamina (Team BAD & Blonde) vs Paige, Natalya, Brie Bella, Eva Marie & Alicia Fox (Team Bella/Total Divas) – Tag Match on USA Preshow
Not only is Lana finally having her first match, but she’s getting it at WrestleMania! At least, she will if this match doesn’t get cut for time. Lana has been antagonizing Brie Bella over the past few weeks for no other reason than she can get away with it. This has given us the first few indications that she has a moveset, even if it’s a borrowed one. Putting her in such a large tag match will allow her to enter in briefly enough to do what she needs to without putting the entire match on her shoulders. I got excited about the late addition of Emma to this match, but the excitement was short-lived once they added the useless Eva Marie to the mix. I’m very worried that this is going to turn into the Daniel Bryan Tribute Match, with Brie wearing his ring gear and starting a YES! chant. Since WWE doesn’t have Daniel Bryan, they might settle for the next closest thing. Don’t let it happen. Bryan’s wrestling career is sadly over, and this match is about all of these ten individuals, not one wife of a former champ. Even if they don’t go the Bryan tribute route, there is a rumor that Brie will retire from in-ring competition due to an undisclosed health issue (which is why Bryan reportedly cancelled his recent live appearances), so this match may be all about Brie no matter what.
WINNERS: Team Bella/Total Divas
The Usos vs The Dudley Boyz – Tag Match on USA Preshow
This is the one match I’m really going to complain about on the entire card, which is an improvement for me. I’m simply bored with The Usos, and have been for some time. They were off TV for a while due to injury and came back exactly the same as when they left. The color of their shorts might change here and there, but otherwise they stay stagnant. No new moves, no new promos, just the same two guys day in and day out. The Dudleys recently turned heel, and they’ve been ticking off fans left and right, likely in preparation to face the brothers. Their match on the go-home episode of Smackdown was said to be “below average” and was one of only three Smackdown matches held. I found it hard to pay attention as they fought on Smackdown; the match was stale and didn’t do anything to build towards Mania. There’s nothing on the line for these teams at Mania either, just another two-on-two that we’ve seen countless times already. Being that it’s WrestleMania, I expected some sort of stipulation to make this match matter. As it stands, this is just filler.
WINNERS: The Dudley Boyz
Andre The Giant 20-Man Memorial Battle Royal
This year, the battle royal has downsized from 30 competitors to 20. Originally advertised for the preshow, this match was recently moved to the main card, giving us an indication that we will see a major surprise entrant. Past winners include Big Show and Cesaro, so the assumption already is that we’ll see one of the bigger men take the win this year. The Social Outcasts were the first to announce their involvement, and will also probably be among the first eliminated. Big Show, Mark Henry and Kane will also compete and present a challenge when it comes to elimination considering their sizes. I’d love to see Prince Pretty win, but I don’t think Tyler Breeze is due his WrestleMania moment just yet. Damien Sandow is a dark horse in this match; he could use the win to catapult himself back into the spotlight. Goldust and R-Truth could use this match to further tease their tag team aspirations, and The Ascension can use it to try to be relevant again. I’m hoping the Wyatt’s (minus Luke Harper) get into this match. The Wyatt Family main evented Smackdown, and by main evented I mean that Wyatt and Strowman refused to compete, so Rowan had a one-on-one with Dean Ambrose. Either they are saving them for something big, they are protecting a still-healing injury, or Creative has lost their minds.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
I’m excited about this match because there are some rumors floating around that I desperately want to believe about Finn Balor using this match as a way to debut on the main roster by assisting AJ Styles in some capacity. The problem with this rumor is that Balor’s entrance demands our full attention, so having him run out mid-match would be a terrible waste of his first appearance. Plus, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows are currently in Dallas and are rumored to be debuting on the main roster during the post-Mania RAW under the Balor Club name, so we might not see Balor at all until then. Something needs to happen here to build the bridge that carries Styles into his next storyline, because we’ve exhausted what he can do with Jericho. Styles needs to get a victory over the veteran to end this feud and stop the “you’re just a rookie” nonsense. Yes, this is his first WrestleMania, but the guy has been wrestling for years and is anything but a rookie. Beating Jericho in their 4th (and hopefully final) match up should put the rookie talk to rest and allow him to move on, stop being the newcomer, and properly establish himself on the main roster.
WINNER: AJ Styles
Kevin Owens (c) vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn vs The Miz vs Zack Ryder vs Stardust vs Sin Cara – 7 Man Ladder IC Title Match
Neville was intended to participate in this match, but since he is out with an injury, Zack Ryder will be taking his place. Last year, Daniel Bryan won the IC title in a ladder match that tried to recapture the amazing moment Bryan had at WM30. I like the idea of revisiting a ladder match, especially with Owens and Zayn involved. It’s a bit insulting to Ryder, Stardust and Sin Cara to be the afterthoughts, the ones Owens threw into a qualifying match as a joke, but I’m sure it’s still exciting for them to get a match and title shot. I’m looking forward to seeing Owens vs Zayn the most; neither man holds anything back, plus Owens was responsible for taking Zayn out of action for quite a bit, so things could get heated. The dynamic between the two is the best part of this match. Not to take away from the other men here, but it’s incredible to see NXT pushing themselves onto the main roster and proving that they belong and then some. I just hope The Miz doesn’t pull the hiding under the ring stunt and steal a win at the last second.
WINNER: Sami Zayn
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar – No Holds Barred Street Fight
If we choose to believe every rumor we read online, Bray Wyatt was originally meant to face Lesnar at WM, but was sidelined by a minor back injury. WWE wanted to keep it under wraps, so they had Wyatt carefully back out of matches but still remain present as they build a new story with Lesnar and Ambrose. Now that Wyatt is cleared to compete, he may insert himself into this No DQ match. I truly hope this happens, or Wyatt is added to make this a Triple Threat at the last minute, because why not? Ambrose has been teasing an array of weapons, including a chainsaw because this is the zombie apocalypse and you just never know. These three are incredibly strong in the ring and could very well turn this into the best match of the evening. Bray Wyatt deserves to be in the title picture for countless reasons, so throwing him into this match in a big way is a good start on getting him there. The Raw before Mania didn’t do much at all to hype up this match; having a red wagon full of weapons circle the ring while Lesnar holds a kendo stick wasn’t all that thrilling. It would be interesting if Paul Heyman picks this match to turn on Lesnar, aligning himself with Ambrose and allowing him to make a seamless heel turn. Both of these guys are such over babyfaces, so something has got to give.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks – Triple Threat Divas Title Match
This is the match we’ve all been waiting for, only we imagined it without Ric Flair standing at the sidelines. It says a lot about the WWE’s main roster Divas that the three newest additions from NXT are the ones with the important women’s match on the card instead of veterans like Natalya or Brie, but the NXT trio is the most deserving out of everyone. Banks has announced that her entrance at Mania will be one-of-a-kind and something we’ve never seen before. She also announced her plans to have the first MITB match for the women, giving me another reason to call her my favorite female on the main roster. Charlotte burst onto the main roster with a vengeance, but having her daddy trail behind her 24/7 has made her look weak and incapable of winning on her own. It plays to the sad stereotype that women need a big strong man to help them out, and it’s outdated and pathetic. The belt needs to change hands because the character they turned Charlotte into isn’t who we need as our Divas champ. The women’s division still needs work, and we need to ensure that we have a strong female heading it up. Previously dubbed the Four Horsewomen (with Bayley), these three will give us a match that is main event worthy, which is what we’ve desperately needed on the main roster for some time now. If the rebranding rumors are true, whoever wins here tonight will be the last Divas champion, and the first to hold the new Women’s title.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
The New Day vs The League Of Nations – 4 on 3 Handicap Match
New Day has had a numbers advantage on other tag teams from the beginning with their third member (4th if you count the trombone), but with the League Of Nations, the odds are against them for once. I’m a big fan of the League; it’s great to finally see Wade Barrett competing again, and it’s good to have Rusev and Lana separated so they can both pursue their own stories. This match was originally billed as a tag title match from WWE’s WrestleMania specific account, but the tweet making that announcement has since been deleted. The new verbiage is that this is “a battle for supremacy” and it will determine “which team will assert itself as WWE’s prime stable.” I fail to see how becoming the prime stable could mean more than winning the titles, so this change is confusing for me. I expect this match to feature a full and unquestionable babyface turn for The New Day; they’re basically there already, and a beat down from the Nation will help push them over the edge.
WINNERS: New Day
Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker – HIAC Match
The stipulations are clear. If Shane wins, he earns control of Raw and The Undertaker can no longer appear at WrestleMania. If Shane loses, he’s out of the will and the family business. Taker is obviously past the point of safe retirement; he could have gone out when he hit 20-0, but chose to keep on going. I don’t see him having his last match against Shane McMahon. Although stranger things have happened, this feels like the wrong way for the dead man to say goodbye, so in that respect he needs to win. On the other hand, seeing Triple H and Stephanie dethroned by Shane would be an interesting twist. Quite honestly, it would probably be nice for the pair to be able to take a little time off, and losing the title and control of Raw would allow that to happen. I don’t think Shane is back to make a big commitment though; it seems like he was a choice down the list somewhere. The main problem here is trying to convince a crowd to cheer for a McMahon victory when it means that Taker won’t be at any future Mania. Shane is meant to be the face here, but this stipulation is going to make him the villain. Creative will look foolish if they backtrack after the fact and find a loophole to keep Taker at future Manias, or if they have Shane shake his hand after winning and declare that now that he’s in charge, Taker can wrestle at Manias until his legs quit working. At the end of the night, we have to have a crystal clear winner and decision on what happens from here. We can end Mania with questions, but we cannot allow any of those questions to be about whether or not one (or both) of these men has a job.
WINNER: The Undertaker
Triple H (c) vs Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match
The posters and merchandise in Dallas are advertising this match as a no DQ, which would be a great way to guarantee the maximum amount of action in this match. I honestly didn’t give two shits about this match prior to Triple H breaking Reigns’s face. Now that Reigns is back to his old self, I’m seriously into it and can’t wait to see him and Triple H beat the hell out of each other. Reigns is doing a phenomenal job of making us believe he truly hates Triple H and wants revenge and the title back. He’s stopped the goofy schtick and he’s quit smiling at the crowd. Now he shows up, kicks ass, and leaves. I’m curious about The Rock’s involvement in WM and whether or not he will interfere in this match. It would make sense for him to come in and attempt to assist Reigns. It would be a smart move to have Reigns turn on The Rock, knock him out of commission, and go on to fight solo. Reigns is looking to capture his third title reign, and while I’m happy to see Reigns is done showboating for the crowd, I don’t want to see the title back around his waist. Not just yet. If he does win, I want Seth Rollins to crash the party. He’s not ready to return to the ring, though he’ll possibly be ready for SummerSlam, but he’s well enough to show up and has been rehabbing hard. Rollins showing up to make his intentions known would be an epic moment. I’d like to see Reigns and Rollins resume their battle when he returns, only with the roles reversed and Rollins as the face while Reigns plays villain. He needs to turn; we’re seeing him get booed far too often as he tries to remain face; it’s not working and needs to change. I’m not talking too much about Triple H because this match isn’t about him. He truly does whatever is best for business, in character and out, so his involvement in this match and in the title picture is for the greater good, not the individual.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker