Friday, November 8, 2019

AEW Full Gear Predictions

So here we are, and AEW once again proves it's possible to tell good stories and actually build to a pay-per-view.  AEW Full Gear is this weekend, and the card is pretty solid and I'm gonna preview the entire card so let's get right into it. 

Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestly

The story here was a complete accident but it's worked perfectly to build to this match.  At Fyter Fest, Bea Priestly legitimately kicked Britt in the head, giving Britt a concussion.  This incident was the first thing Bea ever did in AEW.  Britt would miss a little time and in following weeks these two would end up in brawls and cost each other matches along the way.  It's finally time to settle this, and for me Britt has not looked amazing in the ring, considering she is still very new to the business in general, I think this is a very good chance for her to show us something here, but I'm picking Bea to win, and also I probably would have put this on the main card and this next match on the Buy-In.

Shawn Spears vs. Joey Janela

There isn't a lot to this match, last week on AEW Dark, Tully Blanchard walked up to Janela and told him he didn't like what Janela said about him a few months back, this prompted Shawn Spears to attack Janela from behind and grab Janela's tongue with a pair of pliers and all we hear is Janela screaming as the camera pans away.  This is the premise of this feud, if you want to call it one.  So for me, this will surely be a pretty decent match, both guys are great workers and in need of a win, but Janela has really been treated as the fall guy for a little while now, if he isn't in a "lights out match" which technically "doesn't count" (more on my feelings towards that match type later).  So it seems this was set up just to get Spears a win after he should have beaten Cody at All Out and didn't he's need to be built back up for a little while now and I feel like there wasn't a lot to this match that made it main card worthy as opposed to the Britt/Bea match that is officially on the pre-show.

AEW World Tag Team Championship
(C) SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. Lucha Bros. vs. Private Party

So the Tag Team Tournament to crown the first Tag Team Champions has come and gone, and all the matches involved were pretty good to great, but I had one big problem with it, the only story that was going on between any of the teams resulted in the finals of the tournament being very very predictable.  From the beginning of the tournament, SCU and the Lucha Bros. were trading insults and getting into brawls.  Then the opening match of the tournament saw the Lucha Bros. attack SCU injuring Christopher Daniels, making it super obvious that this was where the tournament was going.  Then the ending of the the finals resulted in a roll up after a twenty minute match, which was very underwhelming.  SCU defeated The Dark Order in the semi-finals, and The Lucha Bros. defeated Private Party in the semi-finals, so The Dark Order and Private Party would face each other for third place and earn a spot in this match which was eventually won by Private Party.  I expect this match to be very fast paced with a lot of back and forth action with SCU retaining, it wouldn't make sense for them to lose the titles weeks after winning them, but all three teams should have great showings and I expect Private Party will probably be pinned.

AEW Women's World Championship
(C) Riho vs. Emi Sakura

This match though it should be very good, is a throw away match.  This is a teacher versus student match, Riho, only twenty-two years old, first started training under Sakura at the age of nine.  That's really it for the build to this match, there hasn't really been anything else to talk about, Sakura has only had four matches in AEW and only one of them was a singles match which she won.  I don't know how that results in a title match but I digress.  Riho is 100% winning here, and I'm assuming they will set up who her next challenger will be right after this match and I really hope it isn't Awesome Kong.  If it goes by record then her next challenger would be Hikaru Shida, who is 2-1 in singles competition so far, and I don't want to see Brandi anywhere near the title anytime soon or at all.

Hangman Page vs. PAC

This feud goes back to Double or Nothing in May, PAC was scheduled to face Hangman at that show, but creative differences with Dragon Gate resulting in it being cancelled.  When PAC finally arrived in AEW these two picked up right where they left off.  PAC got a singles win over Page in there very first meeting in AEW, then Page got the return win in a tag team match.  So this is the rubber match, and if PAC wins I think that would put him next in line for a world title match.  So it will be interesting to see what they do here.  I'm picking PAC to win for this reason, I think they want to get him to that level right away with the way he's been booked recently and they are waiting for Hangman to go on a big run down the line before he is thrown back into the title picture.

Santana & Ortiz vs. The Young Bucks

I've been looking forward to this match since it was announced.  Santana & Ortiz (which is what I'll be calling them because "Proud n' Powerful" is a horrible name) arrived in AEW at All Out attacking the Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros. following their ladder match, then on the very first episode of AEW Dynamite they joined forces with Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and the debuting Jake Hager to form The Inner Circle.  The Inner Circle immediately declared war on The Elite (Cody, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page) and Santana & Ortiz continued to go after the Young Bucks, basically wanting to prove who the best tag team in AEW is right out the gate.  I think Santana & Ortiz need to win here, and establish themselves even further and get them ready for a tag title program down the line.  The Young Bucks are the guys, who don't need big wins at the moment, because they're the Young Bucks, simple as that.  This win will further the Inner Circle vs. The Elite story and establish other members, not named Chris Jericho.

Non-Sanctioned Lights Out Match
Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega

This match has been a long time coming, it was supposed to happen at All Out but Moxley had to withdraw because of a returning staph infection in his elbow.  PAC took Moxley's place, and Moxley would return in later weeks and immediately go right for Omega, giving Omega his finisher, The Paradigm Shift on a glass table.  This resulted in every time these two would get in contact with each other they would incorporate weapons, Moxley using a bat wrapped in barbed wire, and Omega using a broom wrapped in barbed wire, to go with his gimmick "The Cleaner".  It would later be determined that this match, would be an Non-Sanctioned Lights Out Match.  AEW has done this match a couple times already in it's short existence, Moxley had one with Janela, then Omega had one with Janela, and now these two will have one with each other, my biggest problem with this match is it technically doesn't count.  They are going to have a match to legitimately hurt each other and it won't mean anything.  I feel this stipulation hurts the feud because they will probably have to have another one in order "settle it", so they can go on to whatever they do next.  They can't even be considered for the title picture if their matches don't count.  I'm looking forward to the match, because I love both guys as wrestlers they are probably two of my favorites in any wrestling federation, and since this doesn't count Moxley will probably win, if they face again and it does count, Omega will win.

AEW World Championship
(C) Chris Jericho vs. Cody

The story leading up to this match has been perfect.  Chris Jericho thinks that AEW wouldn't exist without him, and obviously the real reason is because of Cody.  The promos by both men have been absolutely on fire.  Cody has been nothing but passion, emotion, and realness.  Jericho's promos have been arrogant and funny.  This feud has a real fight feel.  Cody even announced that if he doesn't win he'll never challenge for the world title again, and the reason being that he doesn't want to be one of those members of management who "makes himself champion".  Now I'm sure that when he eventually turns heel down the line that will happen but it's not gonna happen here.  Jericho needs to remain champion for a little longer, The Inner Circle is the hottest thing in AEW right now and that's because of Jericho.  This match is going to be personal, it's going to be emotional, and I may be rambling or whatever, but that's how good the build to this match has been.  It's just not the time for Cody to win the belt.

Okay that's gonna do it for me, AEW Full Gear is sure to be a very good show, and full of great matches, I hope everyone enjoys the card as a whole and just enjoys wrestling.   

Monday, November 4, 2019

The NXT Invasion That Almost Wasn't

So here we are, post pointless Crown Jewel show number two of the year has passed.  Not only was the show bad, but political drama between Vince McMahon and the Prince of Saudi Arabia ensued and caused not only a twenty-four hour delay of the flight to bring the WWE roster home, and possibly destroyed the trust between Vince and his entire roster, but they also had to scramble to rearrange the entire Smackdown show that took place the day after Crown Jewel.  Despite the drama that caused it, this turned out to be the best Smackdown shows in years.  

Vince McMahon, enlisted the help of Triple H and the NXT roster to save the day, after trying his hardest to get legends to come through, and talent that hadn't appeared in years to make one off appearances to fill the void, NXT was the saving grace.  Even Brock Lesnar, who was supposed to going home because he got to leave Crown Jewel immediately because he has his own plane, made an appearance on Smackdown, this appearance was probably the worst thing that happened on this Smackdown but I digress.

With the recent announcement of NXT being involved in the brand supremacy dynamic taking place at Survivor Series, this was the perfect time to run this angle, that wasn't even supposed to happen.  Smackdown was laid out already, when the talent couldn't appear the whole show was rewritten last second and the NXT roster was chartered to Buffalo (the destination of this Smackdown) and arrived with five minute before Smackdown went on the air.  

NXT was made to look like heavy hitters, and their champion, Adam Cole, was made to look stronger than ever by beating Daniel Bryan clean in an impromptu NXT Championship match in the main event.  Not to mention, this was the first time ever that Bryan and Cole ever faced eachother, and they had one of the best matches on Smackdown in a long time.  Even the commentary was a breathe of fresh air, Tom Phillips was better then ever and Renee Young really shined in the number two chair.  Also Pat McAfee, was used as the NXT spokesman the whole show and he did his job perfectly.  

It's safe to say Smackdown hasn't been good, and I think we all know why, constant over scripting of everything, and the only saving grace in recent weeks has been the transformation of Bayley, and I don't think I'm the only one who noticed that Smackdown kind of got screwed in the draft, even though they are supposed to be the "A Show" now.  Something needs to change and with Brock Lesnar going to RAW (apparently), there's no reason you can't send at least three people over to Smackdown in return.  This show proved that when WWE's back is against the wall they can put on a good show, but this isn't gonna be the case every week, not everything needs to be scripted, things that look and feel organic are the things that make a good show, that was literally everything about this show. 

Now I don't expect NXT to make appearances on every RAW or Smackdown going into Survivor Series, I don't even expect RAW and Smackdown to possibly make more than one appearance on NXT as retaliation, but the fact that WWE fell into this storyline could be the best thing that's happened to them in a long time.  

I have one big concern going into this, and that's the same layout that always happens at Survivor Series, where all the champions face each other in this case it would be triple threats all around and one big elimination match between brands of people who aren't champions.  I don't think we need that this time around.  You can still have triple threats between brands but don't make it "whose the best champion" between the three brands, it should be the top people of each brand no matter champion or not.  Honestly I don't even need Brock Lesnar on this show if he's not defending his title.   I'd rather see actual storylines put in place, I say have Bray, Brock and Cole defend their titles in singles matches, let the rest handle the "brand supremacy."  Also the War Games Takeover is the night before, so we don't even need championships defended on that show, defend them at Survivor Series.  

For me this is the best way to go, first have the biggest names have the triple threat matches.  Let me add that all of this is off the cuff and even if it went the way I'm suggesting the participants could definitely be different.

AJ Styles vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Roman Reigns, 

Seth Rollins vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Daniel Bryan, 

Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. (if  healthy) Velveteen Dream or Matt Riddle.  

Then we can have a single 4 vs. 4 vs. 4 elimination match for the men. 

Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Kevin Owens, and Aleister Black vs. Kofi Kingston, Big E, Gable, and Ali vs. Keith Lee, Matt Riddle (if Velveteen Dream is healthy), Pete Dunne, and Roderick Strong.

  The women can still have a triple threat between all the woman singles champions because unlike the men this match is less predictable and way more appealing to see with the talent involved.  

Becky Lynch vs. Bayley v.s Shayna Baszler

As well as a 4 vs. 4 vs. 4 elimination match between the women as well. 

Charlotte, Asuka, Kairi, and Natalya vs. Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, and Carmella vs. Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Tegan Knox, and Dakota Kai

Then all the tag team champions can have a match between them cause that would be one hell of a match. 

Viking Raider vs. The Revival vs. Undisputed Era.   

Then finally all the world champions can actually defend their titles against people on their brand.  

Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio 

WWE Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman

NXT Championship
Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor  

This is how I'd book this show and you'd have the dynamic of people who normally feuding teaming together on some of the teams like always etc. but instead of telling me I have to see Brock Lesnar versus Bray Wyatt versus Adam Cole which honestly doesn't sound very good for Adam Cole does it?  Do this!  This would be a more then solid ten match card and one hell of a pay-per-view at that, and as long as there's some kind of stakes involved, it could be a memorable pay-per-view we remember for ever.  Do I have hope WWE would book a show like this absolutely not, knowing them they will just have all the champions face off and have elimination matches etc. like always and there will be no stakes at all.  I hope WWE does this right but all we can do is wait and see.

That's gonna do it for me I'll be back at the end of the week to predict the the next AEW pay-per-view this weekend, Full Gear.  Thanks for reading, look at for more articles down the line, and some new projects that I'm still trying to get off the ground, and thanks for the support by people who enjoy my stuff.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

WWE Doesn't Know How to Do a Draft Correctly

I'm gonna start this off with a question that every wrestling fan has probably asked themselves at some point, Do we expect too much from WWE?  If you have asked yourself this question at any point in the last decade, congratulations, your a real WWE fan.  This past Friday into Monday, WWE had there second draft in three years.  

Usually this is done when the roster is being split into separate brand exclusive rosters, but this time around the reason it happened was because WWE went out of there way to ruin the brand split by coming up with the "Wild Card Rule".  In the beginning, the "Wild Card Rule" meant that at any point 4 (or 5, and this changed a lot) superstars from other brands could just show up on the opposite brand just cause.  To this day nobody knows why anyone in WWE let this happen, and why Vince McMahon thought it was good idea. They still had brand exclusive champions but everyone was going everywhere, no sense at all.

So then the FOX deal finally came, Smackdown is now on broadcast television, basically competing with USA which is the home of RAW.  That's great, that's new, because usually every WWE show is under the same umbrella, with NBCUniversal, and now essentially the shows truly are competing.

The problem, WWE doesn't know how to handle a draft anymore.  They released the guidelines of this draft by saying that over seventy superstars would be put into two separate pools and would only be eligible to be drafted on that specific day, Tag team's would count as one pick unless, a brand chose to draft one person separately.  RAW would get three picks every round to Smackdown's two picks because RAW has an extra hour (which has needed to go for a while now).  All of these guidelines, are very stupid.  The way this was handled was just horrible.  The only thing I liked about all of this was that they said "the networks would be making the draft picks", which really meant WWE made the picks, discussed it with the networks and changed things as needed, but it essentially did away with on-screen authority figures which I've been saying for years needed to go away.  WWE even went out of their way to hire bad actors to play the "network representatives" in a war room scene reacting to picks, which was very corny but it had a sports feel to it which I liked a lot.

Here's the thing, a lot of the actual picks they made, kept people on the brand they were already on, even though a lot of fans probably forgot what brand people were on at this point.  The first thing they messed up was brand exclusive champions should not have been included in the draft pools, because why would it even be a thought of the RAW exclusive champions being drafted to Smackdown and vise versa.  They couldn't possibly think it would be okay for Becky Lynch to get drafted to Smackdown but stay on RAW until she loses the RAW championship, could they? Then you have certain champions or people who have been thriving being drafted after people who haven't been on TV in months, certain injured people being included in the draft pools and not being included, people who aren't on TV who didn't even get mentioned like The Usos, Naomi, etc. why though?  What was the planning there, the answer is none.

Then on the first night of the draft WWE "accidentally" leaked the exact draft order, and when they realized it, they broke the tag teams drafted together rule by drafting Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross separately to the same brand.  Then "traded" Alexa and Nikki to Smackdown for "future considerations" which ultimately means they don't know who to move to RAW and nobody probably will.  So they wasted a RAW pick by picking them separately then traded them to Smackdown for nothing, resulting in two wasted picks.

This isn't hard, all you really have to do is actually try.  Does Vince McMahon know how to do that anymore?  Is making sense of everything so hard that Vince McMahon would rather do it badly?  I don't know what to say anymore about this crap, and then all their next pay-per-view is cross branded matches?  The biggest thing that WWE needs to do is, make things make sense.  Continuity is key in telling stories on TV.  How is WWE not able to do this?  Something needs to change big time.  

Do I have hope for this to work out?  Only time will tell but we say this about WWE a lot, and Vince McMahon needs to care as much as fans do, and he clearly doesn't.  I say this a lot, as wrestling fans, we watch no matter what cause we love it, and I don't complain just to complain, I complain because I want everything to thrive how it should.  WWE isn't thriving at all right now, and again will it ever again? Either way I hope WWE starts to give us, A. reasons to care about things, and B. Make it all matter.  I don't think that is too much to ask.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

WWE Draft Predictions

So here we are, the WWE Draft is back this Friday, after we had a "Shake Up" earlier this year, then it meaning absolutely nothing with the implementation of the "Wild Card Rule", which was an absolute failure.  Now we're in a new era, with NXT being live every Wednesday, and Smackdown moving back to Fridays live on FOX.  Things are changing and as much as I'm not a fan of separated brands, and more then one World Champion, its necessary with the excess of talent on all the shows under the WWE umbrella, so I'm going to try and predict the rosters (for the most part).  So I'm gonna draft about 15 people to each show, and discuss some people I feel should absolutely go to NXT, now that it is truly considered a third brand and treated as such especially with the recent development of Finn Balor going back. So here we go, this might be really long, and I just wanna go over a little bit, the brand specific champions most likely will not be moving, so The Revival, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Brock Lesnar, will stay on the respective shows those titles belong to.

#1 to Smackdown - Roman Reigns

Pretty self explanatory here, top guy in the company gonna go to the top network, FOX.

#2 to RAW - Daniel Bryan

As much as Bryan prides himself on being the guy that carries the Smackdown brand on his back, it's time for a change for him.

#3 to Smackdown - Bray Wyatt

It seems to me that FOX is very intrigued in having this character on Smackdown and could be good move for them being the most popular thing going in WWE today.

#4 to RAW - New Day

After Kofi lost the WWE Title in the worst way possible (I know what I said) and Xavier and Big E have kind of been put to the side in the Smackdown tag team division, to me it's time for all of them to get a new start on RAW and put this Brock Lesnar bs behind Kofi forever.

#5 to Smackdown - Sasha Banks

With her feud with Becky seemingly behind her now, it's time for Sasha to get some new scenery, and hopefully keep her and Bayley together cause them together as heels is working big time.

#6 to RAW - Braun Strowman

Part of me wanted to put him on Smackdown for the change of scenery but, I don't want him on the same show as Brock anymore, simple as that.

#7 to Smackdown - AJ Styles

AJ belongs on Smackdown, simple as that.  Heel or Face, Smackdown is his show now, seeing him on RAW hasn't worked and it just doesn't feel right.

#8 to RAW - Randy Orton

Randy Orton, has been on Smackdown for three years, and I think it's finally time for him to go over to RAW and do something new.

#9 to Smackdown -  Bayley

For me, Sasha and Bayley need to be together, I don't see Bayley, going to RAW, and Sasha going to Smackdown, leading to another possible Charlotte vs. Sasha feud.  So I don't know where it will go from here, but Sasha and Bayley need to stay together.

#10 to RAW - Asuka & Kairi Sane

Right now as the Women's Tag Team Champions, Asuka & Kairi will be on both shows but when they do lose the titles, they need a change of scenery and it seems theres a feud in the works between Becky and Asuka looming, which should be interesting especially with the new dynamic of Asuka and Kairi being heels.

#11 to Smackdown - Ricochet

I have a feeling FOX saw Ricochet and their eyes widened and there money started printing in there minds.  He's an amazing athlete who can do amazing things, but he needs a huge character change, because the smiley "superheroes are real" promos are very corny and not working at all.

#12 to RAW - Kevin Owens

After this whole Shane McMahon thing that is thankfully over, I think it would be too obvious for Owens to just stay on Smackdown, to me putting him on RAW after the fact, and giving him something new to do instead of another feud with the likes of AJ for example, would be good for him to go to RAW.

#13 to Smackdown - The Usos

I think it's finally time for The Usos and Roman Reigns to be on the same show and they should be a group going forward, a dominant group and they don't need to be heels to do that.

#14 to RAW - The Viking Raiders

The Viking Raiders have a RAW tag title shot coming up next Monday, and to me they will probably get drafted to RAW before that championship match and if they win which to me seems very likely, they'll be on RAW anyway.  Also I'd like to add, Sarah Logan needs to absolutely be with this group.

#15 to Smackdown - Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio is one of those guys that FOX will absolutely want, and this recent development with Brock Lesnar going on it seems likely he'll end up on Smackdown backing up Cain Velasquez in the build to that match.

#16 to RAW - Shinsuke Nakamura & Sami Zayn

So I'm going to assume Nakamura and Zayn will be a package deal at this point, and With AJ going back to Smackdown with the US Title, Shinsuke and the Intercontinental Title goes to RAW simple as that and it's time for a change of scenery for Shinsuke, and I'd like a long term feud between Shinsuke and Owens, obviously with Sami Zayn involved it would be very interesting.

#17 to Smackdown - Baron Corbin

Corbin has been on RAW for a while, and I simply think it's time for a change for him, simple as that.

#18 to RAW - Rowan & Harper 

So for me, I'm still convinced that Bryan will end up in a group with these two, and I don't know if that will happen down the line or soon, but that's why I put them on the same show as Bryan other wise I'd probably keep these guys on Smackdown.

#19 to Smackdown - Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross

For now these two are still a team, and they're faces to boot which is very odd for Alexa especially, but their dynamic as a team has worked and I like it.  and it's time for them to have a change here.

#20 to RAW - Ember Moon

With Smackdown's women's division pretty stacked at this point, RAW needs names, Ember Moon is good, very good in fact and she'd be a good name to have in that case, and with more women that will be going to Smackdown because of relationships they are in for real, RAW needs to start building up more women not being used.

#21 to Smackdown - Ali

I think we're gonna see a lot of former cruiserweight talent on Smackdown because of the the athleticism that comes along with the more sports and less entertainment edict that FOX has put in place, I'm sure their will be a lot of "entertainment" too but we'll see where everything goes.

#22 to RAW - Andrade & Zelina Vega

This one seems very likely considering how Aleister will most likely go to RAW and Zelina is his wife for real, Andrade and Aleister are basically bound together by that fact, and I think it would be fine to move these two over to RAW and get Andrade TV time and some legitimate feuds going forward.  I know I said a lot of the Women would be switching shows based on their relationships, but I don't know if Charlotte will be losing her title before the draft to be on the same show as Andrade so that might be the one relationship affected here.

#23 to Smackdown - Cedric Alexander

Cedric needs a change of scenery, and I think it's time for him to go over to Smackdown and finally get a shot, simple as that.

#24 to RAW - AOP

Just think about this, AOP vs. The Viking Raiders.  That is money right there.  That's a feud that will happen and needs to happen to help bring up this tag divison and I can't wait to see it.

#25 to Smackdown - The OC

I never want AJ away from Gallows and Anderson ever again, they stay relevant because of AJ, because that's the only way Vince knows how to use them.

#26 to RAW - Samoa Joe

I think I'd prefer if Samoa Joe stayed away from the likes of Roman and AJ.  Joe needs something new, and I'd love a feud between him and Bryan in WWE.

#27 to Smackdown - Carmella

Carmella will most likely remain on Smackdown, because Corey Graves is on Smackdown, she's been great in her role with R-Truth, and she's improved a lot in the ring, so I'd like to see her have like a legit feud with the likes of Bayley and/or Sasha for example.

#28 to RAW - Buddy Murphy

Buddy Murphy is an amazing talent, he has it all, and deserves to be used consistently, and that will happen on RAW, because he's a Paul Heyman guy just like Aleister Black, and Heyman will make him into a star and he could easily carry the mid-card and have great matches, as evident by his recent match with Bryan which he won, and got nothing out of it.

#29 to Smackdown - Apollo Crews

Apollo Crews needs a character change, similar to Ricochet he's very, very good, and his smiley demeanor at all times is not working, this isn't my idea but I think it works perfectly for Apollo he should be a character similar to Sammy Guevara who tries to act nice but in reality he's a dick to everyone, being sarcastic and coming off as cocky even tho he's trying to be nice kind of deal, that would be perfect for Apollo.

#30 to RAW - Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

With all the women superstars I drafted to Smackdown, and I mentioned earlier RAW needs to build up more Women, and these two are the perfect example, they are both very good and need to be used more, and I think Many and Sonya can both have great singles feuds with Becky if done correctly.

So that's it for the drafting for me, obviously the draft will be much longer with how big the roster is but I just couldn't see myself drafting the entire roster, cause that's over 80+ people, so I'm gonna close that out here.  

So now I want to talk about some people that absolutely need to go to NXT.  NXT is considered the third brand now, and can help people grow as well as taking people from the main roster, and bring new life to their career.  We've seen it already, with Breezango, and Killain Dain, and now Finn Balor is back for the time being.  So for me Cesaro and EC3, absolutely need to go back to NXT.  These two have been wasted for YEARS.  EC3 was in TNA and he became a star, the problem he was in TNA.   Cesaro has been so good for so long and for whatever reason has gotten nothing on the main roster.  These two belong in NXT, especially EC3 who never should have left NXT at all.  I hope they both get back to the Yellow brand and they become the stars they deserve to be.

Alright so that's it for me, I'm excited to see where everyone in the draft goes and I hope at least some of my picks are correct, we'll all see what happens this Friday and next Monday, and where everyone goes, even though that won't matter until after the next Crown Jewel event that will have people from different brands teaming together, for this very stupid Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match, that will probably have absolutely no stakes.  It's all a wait and see, but it should all be very exciting.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 Predictions & Smackdown on FOX Debut

Alright, so the first week of this new era of wrestling is in the books, and it had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, and I'll be getting into my thoughts on that especially the end of the first Smackdown on FOX, and that will probably be the bulk, considering Hell in a Cell only has 4 announced matches, so let's discuss those 4 announced matches.

Smackdown Women's Championship
(C) Bayley vs. Charlotte

So this is a rematch from Clash of Champions, that continues this story that has enthralled all of the Four Horsewomen together, and this has been one of the highlights of both shows.   This feud in particular has been very interesting, the dynamic of Bayley being a heel who still acts face, still acts like a role model to the children, hasn't really changed much about her personality at all, except she seems more aggressive in the ring, and she stands by her friend Sasha Banks no matter what, I love it.  Charlotte has kind of been the same but the other way around, still acting cocky, still acting like she's the best, but doing it in a less heelish way.  It's been a very interesting dynamic and how Charlotte and Becky have respect for each other based on their history and it all just works.  This match is very hard to call with the draft looming, I think it's very possible that whoever wins either title, Bayley and Sasha will be on the same show, so I'm gonna pick Charlotte here and I'll get into why when I discuss the other Women's match.

Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper

So I still don't understand what's going on here, except that Rowan and Harper are back together, and Rowan turned on Bryan in the process of trying to kill Roman.  None of this makes sense still, I don't know where this is going, where it should go is Bryan revealing during this match, that this entire thing was his plan all along, and we get a proper Roman vs Bryan feud isntead of whatever this has been.  That's all the only thing I can think of as to why Roman would be Rowan clean on Smackdown in a Lumberjack match.  I'm happy Harper is finally back but don't know his role in this either, they are really keeping details far away from this and expecting us to just wait and see what happens but either way, I want this to end and there finally be a reason for all of it, so I'm hoping Bryan turns on Roman, explains all of this BS, and we move on to something else.

Hell in a Cell Match
RAW Women's Championship
(C) Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

The last time Sasha was in a Hell in a Cell match, it was very underwhelming mainly because her and Charlotte tried to make it a match that men would do, I understand why but they have to do what works for them.  These two (Becky and Sasha) are two of the best wrestlers in the world right now, so they have to make this match in their way.  The feud has been amazing, the build up has been great.  I don't understand why they had Sasha go over the Tag champs in separate singles matches further burying those titles, but here we are.  Regardless I hope Becky and Sasha can have a great match here, and make it memorable.  With that said, I mentioned earlier that I don't see Bayley and Sasha being separated in the draft, so Sasha will win here, obviously I could be wrong about them being on the same show.  If they both win then that will be the case, and I kind of want Charlotte and Becky on separate shows, but part of me sees Becky going to Smackdown.  It's very up in the air to me but either way I'm picking Sasha.

Hell in a Cell Match
Universal Championship
(C) Seth Rollins vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt

So I'm super excited to see this match, because I want to see what The Fiend is capable of inside the cell.  It is way too early to beat The Fiend right now, so he has to win.  I could just leave it there but, lets talk about how horrible this story has made Seth look.  A face champion, is not supposed to be afraid of who he's facing, no matter what.  A face champion shouldn't be afraid of anything, he can't say he will persevere no matter what, and then cower when a guy in a mask shows up, he's beaten a beast and a monster right?  Shouldn't that mean something? Either way, I think it's time for Seth to go to Smackdown, after this loss and turn heel again.  Whatever he's doing as a face, isn't working anymore.


So that's every match announced for Hell in a Cell, obviously there will be more, but instead of speculating, let's discuss the debut episode of Smackdown on FOX.  I'm not gonna run down the whole show, cause this isn't a full show review or anything.  This is 100 percent about the ending and the photo preceding this rant.  Kofi Kingston, became WWE champion, at Wrestlemania, when he wasn't supposed to be champion, when he wasn't even supposed to be in the picture, he was organically placed into the title picture by the fans because they wanted to see it and they couldn't be denied anymore.  His entire reign has not only been him trying to prove how credible of a champion he is but to prove that he's a fighting champion, and that was taken away literally in seconds, making the last 8 months mean nothing.  Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns kicked out of a single F-5 numerous times, Seth Rollins someone who is about the same size as Kofi, has beaten Brock, twice, clean, by himself.  How is that how end Kofi's reign, how is that how you treat a fighting champion who actually gives a shit about the company he works for unlike Brock Lesnar.  So after that match ended after 10 seconds, Brock Lesnar is champion once again, Rey Mysterio's music hits and he comes out with Cain Velasquez, the main dethroned Brock Lesnar as UFC Heavyweight Champion in 2010.  Now that isn't the problem, the problem is that why couldn't Brock and Kofi have an actual match, and why couldn't Rey and Cain come out during the match instead of after the match helping Kofi retain.  It would have told a better story, it wouldn't have made Kofi look like a piece of garbage, and now Brock will defend the WWE Championship against Cain Velasquez at Crown Jewel, a show with absolutely no meaning at all.  I really hope that that Lesnar doesn't hold the championship until mania because if he does, this entire re-branding of Smackdown, as a credible show means nothing with no champion on every pay-per-view to defend it.

So that's it for me, as you can see I am very, very unhappy about this turn of events and hope that it gets better from here, but hey at least Shane is gone from TV so that's a start I guess.

Friday, September 27, 2019

A New Era In the Wrestling World

The wrestling world is about to change for the foreseeable future, next week is the first week of this new schedule.  If your a true wrestling fan like myself you are super excited, so let's discuss the affects that this will have on the business as a whole.

A lot of these changes came about because of the emergence of All Elite Wrestling.  This wouldn't be happening if not for AEW.  The wrestling world was changed forever by them becoming the new number two as far as american wrestling goes.  As we all know by now, they have the backing from a very wealthy family in the Khans, a TV deal that can rival WWE, a different product that will attract new and old fans alike, and the promise of being an alternative to WWE should be and is enough to have a good regular audience every week.

The question is, What do they have to do to keep the fans watching? Sure its great to have an alternative, its great they have this following so early on, mainly because of the members of The Elite, and its even better they didn't go and grab a ton of former WWE talents because we've seen that fail, more then once, with more then one company.  The thing that they cannot do, is be 100 percent the opposite of WWE just cause, we've seen some of their original ideas already that aren't spectacular, they can't, put the people who are considered "EVPs" at the forefront all the time, because that will get tired.  Also a lot of what their doing is feeling like WCW 2.0 all the way down to the name of their weekly show, AEW Dynamite, sounds awfully close to WCW Monday Nitro doesn't it?  Keep the intrigue that got you here, and don't fall into a formula, and stick to it, remain to be different, and maybe work on some of the original ideas.

Even before all of this, WWE had a deal with FOX already in the bag, that was going to take place in October regardless, but in response to AEW, they put there biggest WWE Network show on the same network as RAW, the USA Network, and expanded it to two hours.  A move that as I said before is a direct answer to AEW being on Wednesdays.  My biggest concern about all of this, is the day of the week Smackdown is on, it is kind of an unwritten rule in television ratings that networks put shows on Fridays to test them to see how they do, and whether they should keep them.  As most know Friday is usually the day people don't wanna stay in to watch TV, and FOX's biggest concern is TV ratings.  So this move has definitely been puzzling to me.

Now those two Federations are sure to be going at each other's throats on Wednesday nights, and I'm very excited in general for that night in particular.  As a fan of both I will be watching both, and I'll be DVRing one and watching the other after the fact, but that's how much I like this sport.  What I really want to know is, what WWE is going to do different to keep the casual fans, because the only time they seem to try hard is when they have competition, as evident by most of the stories in the last 18 years.  This is a wrestling boom period, and WWE can't go on as usual, and give us the same stories, no psychology matches, and the god awful continuity errors they give us every single week.

I want there to be stakes in every match, I want true storytelling, I want talent who haven't been utilized to their full potential to get more opportunities, guys like Buddy Murphy, EC3, Apollo, Cesaro, etc, who are all so good that can carry a division.  Also it's time to get serious about tag team wrestling, for whatever reason Vince McMahon thinks we don't care about both tag team divsions when in reality its him who doesn't care, we love tag team wrestling, and want to see it flourish.  I know this turned into a "What is WWE Doing Wrong" tangent, but, these are all things that need to be serious about to not only bring in more viewers, but make their business seem important again.

Shane on three segements isn't doing it, the constant not caring about the fans is not doing it.  Things need to change, and with another draft coming, they need to be serious about that again too, because the "Wild Card Rule" was such a success....right!? Oh that's right it was steaming pile of crap.  So I'm hoping, WWE gets serious again, starts actually caring about their fans, instead of doing things without any real thought.  Instead of treating fans like we're stupid, and don't remember things, actually have continuity in everything you do.  

Unfortunately I don't have much to say about the other federations, they are all very tiny blips on the radar that all have there own, share of great talent, with horrible TV deals, so if the likes of ROH, or MLW want to break out they need to get on bigger networks, Impact and WOW are just settling into this new venture with AXSTV so this is probably the best they can do at the moment and that's fine, there was a time I thought Impact was dead in the water, so if they can turn it around I give them props for that.  

So thats gonna do it for me, it's surely a very interesting time in wrestling as a whole, and I'm excited about where it all goes from here, and with a WWE pay-per-view next weekend, and the new draft starting the week after that, WWE is certainly making the first move and I'll have future articles to discuss all of that for now thanks for reading, and I hope wrestling as whole benefits from all this and we all can just enjoy it.

Friday, September 13, 2019

WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Predictions

Hey everyone, MikeJC here back to talk about this weekends WWE pay-per-view, Clash of Champions.  This has been a very interesting time in WWE, some good, some bad, some really bad.  There's been a very good King of the Ring tournament (with a few stinkers both involving Shane McMahon in a prominent way) that I don't think anyone predicted would go the way it has with the finals taking place next Monday instead of on this show.  The aforementioned Shane McMahon continuing a horrible feud with Kevin Owens that has only gotten worse and should have ended at Summerslam with no more Shane on television, but I digress.  I have a lot to say about the build of this show, so be prepared for a long one.  So let's get into the matches on Clash of Champions, the 2019 edition.

Triple Threat Match
Cruiserweight  Championship
(C) Drew Gulak vs. Lince Dorado vs. Humberto Carillo

Okay so my continued disregard for 205 Live continues here, it just has not been something I look forward to watching as a stand alone show especially after Smackdown.  My hope is Triple H's recent proclamation that the show 205 Live is going to end and this division will migrate to NXT (how it should have been in the first place) is true.  Regardless, of my non viewing of this show or this feud, I've seen all three of these men work numerous times, and am very excited to see this match.  It's sure to be fast paced and high energy like most cruiserweight title matches, and the new dynamic of it being at triple threat match I'm sure will be great.  Gulak is an amazing heel, and is expected to retain here as I see him going into a big feud with Kushida in the coming months so Gulak will win, but look for both Dorado and Carillo to put on a show.

Intercontinental Championship
(C) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Miz

Anyone who knows me, knows I never have been and probably never will be a fan of The Miz, heel or face.  This face turn just like his previous one in 2013 has resulted in nothing at all, and has cooled him down considerably not that he was doing anything recently before it anyway.  Despite my continued dislike for the character of The Miz, it's obvious to everyone he should always be a heel, and stay away from feuding with people he really shouldn't be feuding with, like Shinsuke Nakamura.  This is without a doubt the coldest Nakamura has been since his call up to the main roster.  Before he won the IC title he wasn't doing anything for months, after a tag team with Rusev quietly disappeared, recently he's gotten Sami Zayn as his mouth piece which is great, since WWE has ruined him as well why not pair these two together and make Sami into a bigger loser.  Do I like the pairing yes and no, yes cause it's different and both guys need different, no because Sami seems to not be wrestling at all while it's happening and he's being booked as the annoying heel manager that gets beat up by everyone when he should be on the same level as his new partner.  Notice how I spent a long time talking about these individuals and not the feud, that's cause there isn't one, it was barely put together, handled poorly and Miz has no reason to win here, so I'm picking Nakamura.

Tag Team Match
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
(C) New Day vs. The Revival

This feud, and the involvement of these two teams in the WWE Title match as well has been very good.  I've loved The Revival being with Randy Orton, I feel like it's a perfect match and should have happened years ago, I love that Orton and The Revival have worked together to systematically destroy the New Day, to the point where we haven't seen Xavier and Big E for weeks, and Kofi has had to fight off The Revival as well as Orton.  Now the problem I have is, with that said, why has the Revival lost at all leading up to this match? Why did they receive a shot at the Raw Tag Title contendership if they were already in this feud? The Revival is probably one of the worst handled tag teams as far as booking goes, and that's obviously not their fault, they should not have lost at all before this match leading to the return of E and Xavier, this match to me is very very tough to call, cause the returning people should win but it really depends if WWE wants to pull the trigger on Revival and Orton sweeping the New Day, I think this is a Toss up and the result of this match will be telling as to what happens in the WWE Title match.

Tag Team Match
Women's Tag Team Championship
(C) Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Fire & Desire

This feud has been...stupid.  Honestly we can barely call it a feud cause it's only had about two weeks of build.  This entire division has been poorly handled because of Vince McMahon's reluctance to even have a women's tag team division.  He never wanted it in the first place but he couldn't ignore the fans anymore, with that said he took it upon himself to make it his mission to ruin it and he did that very very quickly, maybe in record time of his history of ruining things.  In February when this division was established six teams competed to be the first champion, four of the teams in that match, are no longer together because of a combination of horrible booking, being on separate brands (even though that hasn't mattered for a while) or injury.  Fast forward to Mania where The IIconics won the belts, and never defended them for about four months, why is that you ask, nobody knows.  The current champs Alexa and Nikki are the third champs ever, with a division that is very lacking because another thing promised when these title's were created was crossover into NXT, that never happened, so Mandy and Sonya are the only other team that WWE isn't wasting, let's not forget they put Asuka and Kairi, two ladies who are 100 percent better as singles stars in a tag team and done nothing with them at all.  I mentioned earlier this feud is stupid, here's why, Mandy and Sonya were given a random non-title match beat the champions and during the match, Mandy told Nikki "You'll never look like me!" and that's been the basis of this feud.   It's a Vince McMahon special and it's very dumb.  Alexa and Nikki should retain and I honestly don't know where this division goes from here.  Let me just add I've enjoyed the dynamic of Alexa and Nikki as a team and expected Alexa to just turn on her as I think a lot of people did.

United States Championship
(C) AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander

I've actually enjoyed the build to this match, recently Cedric Alexander has received a resurgence he rightfully deserved, and a short feud with Drew McIntyre, that helped him get the exposure he needed to get here.  The recent heel turn of AJ and reformation of The Club now known as The OC has been the right move for AJ going forward.  AJ has been goading Seth and Braun recently and in his frustrations he ran into Cedric and The OC attacked Cedric for no reason.  Sparking this feud and hopefully a very exciting title match to follow. the slow ascent of Cedric is ongoing but I don't think his big win is here, it will come, but AJ is winning here.

No Disqualification Match
Roman Reigns vs. Rowan

I have no idea what is going on in this feud, I don't think anyone does, not even Vince McMahon, there's been no sign of this feud resulting in anything good for anyone.  It started as a mystery attacker storyline, where a scaffold was pulled onto Roman, he was fine but it was poorly shot, with camera angles from every which way except the angle of the side the scaffold fell from, Roman accused Samoa Joe, the person he was feuding with at the time that is until the second attack attempt saw a car try to run over Roman, a car that had a camera in it with video footage from inside the car being used in the video packages going forward, and took way too long to leave the scene (you can't make this shit up).  Roman later went to Buddy Murphy who accidentally appeared in the footage of the first attack and accused him, this was good for Murphy who had done literally nothing since his "call up" from 205 Live, he had an amazing match with Roman, and a big win against Daniel Bryan, after Murphy had claimed that Rowan, Bryan's friend, was the attacker.  Bryan said Rowan was innocent and spent a week to prove it, he said he knew who did it, and spent an entire Smackdown broadcast building to the reveal, he would reveal a Rowan look alike, and we never saw the look a like again (again you can't make this shit up).  We were then given footage weeks later that showed Rowan at the scene of the first attack, and Rowan didn't deny it or tell us why he did it, and Bryan said he had no idea of any of this.  This has resulted in brawls between Rowan and Roman, Rowan subsequently turning on Bryan for no reason, and to this day no concrete reasons given for any of this, I think Bryan will reveal he was behind it all along but for now, nobody knows what's going on and I think Rowan will win because of Bryan.  I warned you this would be long. 

Tag Team Match
Raw Tag Team Championship
(C) Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Okay, right off the bat I will tell you my number 1 problem with this match, neither of these teams were together a month ago.  Also the reason Seth and Braun even received tag title shots is ridiculous, and the former champs, Gallows and Anderson of The OC had to go through a gauntlet match with five other teams which they lost by double DQ to get another shot.  Seth and Braun "earned" tag title shots just cause AJ was harassing them and Gallows and Anderson got involved, that makes no sense, and of course they won cause Gallows and Anderson couldn't lose by DQ to keep the belts, they had to do this stupid tag partners who aren't friends as tag champs deal are also feuding for the world title trope, that they've done before.  The aforementioned gauntlet match, saw Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode, a makeshift team that hated eachother a year and a half ago (but Vince thinks we don't remember that) win and become number one contenders, while teams like Authors of Pain, sat and watched it, and lets not forget The Revival took a spot in the match even though they are feuding with the the other tag champs and took a loss in the process.  None of this makes any sense, and this could have been War Raiders (I know what I said) vs. Gallows and Anderson.  Regardless, I think Ziggler and Roode have a good chance of winning as ridiculous as that sounds, because of the fact that Seth and Braun are fighting for a bigger prize in the main event and they shouldn't have been tag champs in the first place.

Smackdown Women's Championship
(C) Bayley vs. Charlotte

So when this feud started, it aggravated me because of the fact that Charlotte needs to be involved in a title feud every other month, she could have sat back until November and let Bayley have the matches she promised with the people who never get opportunities, but Vince just can't help himself.  That all changed when Sasha Banks returned, turned heel and Bayley subsequently aligned herself with Sasha and turned heel (I think).  Bayley said that she didn't plan to be overshadowed, by Becky as the opposing champion, and that she wanted to show the children what it means to be loyal, and sticking by your friends no matter what.  Sasha is her best friend and in turn because Sasha is feuding with Becky she did what she felt was right.  I love this new edge to Bayley, and that made this match a whole lot more interesting, because it meant that it was no longer a foregone conclusion that Charlotte would be winning, usually the trope is if you get one over on Charlotte you definitely won't next time, it's happened more times then I can count, I don't think it will this time, because believe it or not, Charlotte is the least over of the Four Horsewomen of WWE right now and I love that.

WWE Championship
(C) Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton

I mentioned earlier how I loved the pairing of The Revival and Randy Orton, because it has been perfect not just for The Revival, but for Kofi and Orton as well, Kofi has had to work against the odds, with his New Day brothers taken out for the time being, and having a team like The Revival to back him up Randy Orton has been better then ever.  I will say the thing I hate for sure, is the WWE trope of faces not having a lot of friends, but heels always having back up, but regardless, this feud has been great, just because of the history behind it alone.  Dialing it back to when Kofi and Orton feuded ten years ago was the perfect way to go, as we all know a lot of times WWE likes to pretend things like that didn't happen, why I don't know.  Kofi wants to prove that his title win and reign isn't a fluke, Orton wants to end the fairy tale of Kofi Kingston, and I love it.  Even reliving the MSG spot from ten years ago was great, Kofi and Orton have been working great together and like I said earlier I think the result of this match really depends on who wins the Smackdown Tag Title match, I feel like if Revival wins, Orton can't lose, it be the perfect way to tell a big story of all the New Day trying to get back to the top,  I don't know if it's time for Kofi to lose the belt, but if it is, he's had one hell of a run as champion.  As I said before it's a toss up for me here, if Revival wins, I think Orton has to win, if Revival loses, Orton can still win, but it's more likely Kofi will if New Day retains.

Raw Women's Championship
(C) Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

This is hands down, my favorite feud going into this pay-per-view,  Sasha's surprise return after Summerslam, was a breathe of fresh air for this division, that saw Lacey Evans feud with Becky for three months and that was agonizing.  Sasha came back and attacked and injured Nattie on the one year anniversary of her father's death, and revealed a new look in the process, a change that definitely proved Sasha was back to do different and be different.  Sasha hadn't had a heel turn since 2015, which is mind blowing, because she's such a natural heel.  This match, has been on the list of many since Becky's rise to super stardom.  Becky was goading Sasha on social media for months, calling her a coward for leaving, and that she felt disrespected by Sasha "taking her ball and going home" for not getting what she wants, while Becky worked harder then anyone to get where she is.  Now add to this new Sasha, a mean streak, a drive to be the best, and to do it on her own terms, with her best friend, Bayley, by her side, their goal is to run the divisions on both shows, and do it together.  I love the promos, Becky has had during this feud, the brawls between two have been great as well, further having us fans chomp at the bit to see where this one is gonna go, and even though I'm the biggest Becky supporter there is, I'm picking Sasha, I want to see what happens with this new Sasha and Bayley dynamic with both of them as champion, and we all know Becky can chase the hell out of a championship and make it mean something.

Universal Championship
(C) Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman

Here we are, we made it, I told you all this would be a long one, but anyway, this match, I'm sure won't be bad, that's not the problem, the problem is the story, the way this match came about was, Seth was being outnumbered and a recently absent Braun came out to make the save, the following week Seth returned the favor, this led to mutual respect, but Braun would always glance at the Universal Title, and instead of earning a shot like he's supposed to, he was awarded a title shot, just cause Seth agreed he deserved it, why I don't know as I mentioned earlier he was absent for a little while and really did nothing to deserve a title shot.  Then the whole tag title thing I mentioned earlier happened, and instead of these two feuding for real they been teaming, but having some miscommunication here and there but as tag champs, it makes no sense at all.  The OC got in the way of a lot going on with these two, including interrupting a contract signing for this match two weeks in a row, one of which included Stone Cold moderating and AJ Styles receiving a stunner.  Nobody has turned on the other, nobody has done anything to really make this seem like a legitimate feud.  It just feels like a placeholder match before the winner faces Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell which they have made pretty obvious is happening with Bray's recent promos.  For that reason, Seth will probably retain, Seth will continue his conquering of bigger guys, and I guess we'll see what happens from here, but this build, has not been great by any means, I'm sure the match won't be bad, Seth will do what he can to make it good, cause that's what he does.

Okay I'm done, I've gone on long enough, if you haven't noticed, I dislike the build for most of these matches, but regardless, usually when this happens we get a hell of a show so, I'm hoping that happens again, and let me add, as I've said before, and continue whether it's here or on twitter arguing with people who don't get it, people like me, who "complain" about wrestling, don't do so because they hate it, we do so because we want to see wrestling get better.  Things in WWE (main roster) are not great, we all know it, and true fans watch no matter what, so with that said, try to enjoy this show on Sunday, continue to love this sport, and continue to hope for better times ahead in the wrestling world.

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