AJ Styles

MITB Spotlight 2017 Pt2: Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

The Money in the Bank briefcase has launched the careers of many a WWE superstar over the years into the stratosphere. It bridged the gap between upper mid-carder and main eventer, and led to greats like Edge, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan winning their first World Championships in WWE. Not every briefcase holder has been a success (Jack Swagger, Damien Sandow), and even two little known wrestlers called Randy Orton and John Cena have won Money in the Bank matches, but since they’re little more than footnotes in history we’ll move on quickly from them. Regardless of the blemishes on the record though, holding the MitB briefcase is a sign that WWE higher ups have faith in you to deliver big as and when required. Tonight, we find out who the latest man to write their name in the history books will be.

This will be the same format as the preview of the women’s match I posted earlier, where I look at how to make each individual the star of the match, and then assess their chances of winning and being able to call themselves Mr Money in the Bank for the foreseeable future. Without further adieu… Continue reading

8 Feuds for Post-Wrestlemania SmackDown

As we head into Wrestlemania, all eyes are on the ultimate thrill ride, and rightfully so. It’s not WWE’s pinnacle for no reason. But, as ever with WWE storylines, a big part of the excitement around Mania is the possibility for what will come next. So I’ve put my fantasy booking hat on (I mean come on, I don’t really ever take it off) and come up with eight rivalries I want to see on SmackDown coming out of Wrestlemania season. In case you’re wondering, I’m only doing SmackDown because I’m too uncertain about who will be in what spots and roles on Raw, and I’m doing eight feuds because there are eight segments in a typical SmackDown broadcast. And the roster isn’t really big enough for more. Got that? Let’s go!

WWE Championship – Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt ©

Orton Wyatt WWE Title

Continue reading

WWE Survivor Series 2016 PPV Spotlight: Men’s 5-On-5 Elimination Match

Ahh Survivor Series. Raw vs Smackdown, as it has essentially been branded. I have to admit, when I first heard about the concept I wasn’t too keen, as I thought it was coming too soon. I didn’t think we had enough reason to care about seeing everyone in the same ring just a matter of months after they were split up.

But dammit they’ve done it, and I’m excited.

This PPV Spotlight is going to focus on the men’s 5-on-5 elimination match. Theoretically the ten top guys in the entire company, going head to head in the battle for brand supremacy. Now obviously, it never quite works out that way because of booking or injuries (or TV-hosting), but we still have an intriguing match-up with some mouth-watering potential clashes.

Continue reading

Draft 2016: Our Top Picks

The WWE Draft is just a matter of hours away. The big question is of course, who will end up where? I decided to write about who my priorities would be if I were one of the selectors. But I’ve also shaken things up a bit and called in the reinforcements! I asked a couple of friends to join me in choosing their top picks, just to see if there was a consensus for anybody on the roster.

The criteria I gave the guys was that they had to pick at least one woman, at least one team (for the purposes of this I said you could pick the Wyatt Family or The Club as a team) and we could pick a maximum of one NXT superstar to call up. Simple enough, right? Let’s get to the picks, starting with the choices of… Jonny Bird!

Dean Ambrose

Ambrose Unstable

Continue reading

10 Rivalries for the Brand Extension 2.0

The main focus for me right now in wrestling – as I’m sure is also true of millions of WWE fans around the world – is the upcoming draft. In roughly two weeks, the roster will be split, characters will be separated. And as yet, nobody knows who will go where. We don’t even know for sure what the situations with the Championship belts are. But with uncertainty comes speculation, and with speculation comes dreams. So I’ve put together 10 feuds that I would love to see happen – and think we should see happen – in the months after July 19th. Continue reading

MitB 2016 Spotlight: Cena vs Styles

This is the first in a new monthly-ish feature I’m starting up. Back when I used to do predictions for each PPV, I found I would have literally a line to say about some matches, and paragraphs to say about others. So instead of going through every match, I’m going to pick out one match on the day of a PPV, and give my thoughts on it. For Money in the Bank, I’ve actually kind of cheated, because I’ve already written about the ladder match. But here, I’m going to focus on AJ Styles vs John Cena. Continue reading

Breaking Down the Rumble

I wasn’t writing for this blog in January but if I was, the main talking point would obviously have been this year’s Royal Rumble. For the first time since 1992, the WWE Championship was on the line in the Royal Rumble match itself, and it was the first time ever a champion had to defend his title in the match. While that stipulation itself didn’t overly excite me (I was adamant in the build-up it was a way to put Reigns over even more), I have to say it was booked to near perfection. Continue reading

AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns – what could happen?

AJ Styles has been one of the highlights of WWE programming since his debut at this years’ Royal Rumble. Week after week he has been getting one of the biggest reactions on the show, and in the ring he has been very good. Tonight he faces Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship just a couple of months after debuting, but in the last couple of weeks the dynamic surrounding the phenomenal one has changed slightly. Continue reading

The Return of… well… content

I’m back.

It’s been 8 long months, so first let me explain the absence. The workload for me at university got stupidly high, and I wasn’t coping with that as it was, never mind attempting to blog on top of that. But there was also the issue that for a long time WWE just wasn’t that exciting last year. There were too many people being featured prominently that I just didn’t care about, and the potential matchups didn’t interest me at all.

So what changed? Why am I back now?

In terms of WWE, I can pretty much narrow it down to three names. AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Shane McMahon.

When rumours started swirling about the New Japan four making the jump to WWE, that was massive. There was the potential for so many dream matches that just a couple of years earlier had seemed impossible when WWE apparently offered Styles a lowball deal. And handily, I really didn’t expect him to enter the Royal Rumble as early as he did. I was waiting for some unfamiliar music to hit, but I didn’t think it would happen that quickly.

I was excited for the Rumble, but in all honesty mainly for AJ. The title picture still didn’t appeal to me. So massively though I reacted when AJ made his entrance, I still wouldn’t have said I was back in super-fandom mode. Then we had the Vincent J. McMahon Legacy Of Excellence Award presentation.

Shane O'Mac

 

I. Went. Mental. I was jumping around the room, because for years I have been amongst a group of wrestling fans who were calling for Shane McMahon’s return to the WWE. But it really wasn’t something I expected to happen anytime soon, and certainly not as a surprise return like it was. It really reinforced the idea that anything can happen on Raw, and it made for a great moment that I’ll never forget.

So when it came to Wrestlemania weekend, I was very excited. The title picture still didn’t excite me, but the rest of the card looked good, and you could now throw Sami Zayn into the main roster mix. But he still had to say goodbye to NXT, which would come in the form of what was my match of the year so far against Nakamura.

It was the perfect way for Zayn to bid farewell to the yellow brand, and the perfect introduction to show fans who hadn’t seen Nakamura before what he was capable of. I have never heard a “wrestle forever” chant or anything of the like in my life before. It was a showcase of pure wrestling, and proved how great it can be.

Outside of WWE though, I got a reminder of what I loved about wrestling when I went to my first ever live event. The same night as Zayn vs Nakamura, I went to a World Wide Wrestling League (W3L) show which was so much fun. While it was a tad cartoonish, and obviously the level of competition was nowhere near that of WWE’s competitors, it was extremely entertaining. Seeing wrestling at that level, and seeing similarities between what the performers on that show were doing and what I was watching every week on Raw was really heartening.

IMG_1100.JPG

 

But on a personal level, I suppose part of the reason I’m back is because I have a newfound appreciation for the art. When I was uber-stressed with university work, or when I was having a bad day, I turned to wrestling. I happily watched five or six hours of wrestling a day because it allowed me to forget about what was getting me down in everyday life, if only briefly.

Even if I was in a really bad mood and didn’t really want to talk to anyone, I would talk about wrestling if someone asked. It was my escape. It was a release. That to me is what wrestling should be, and I think I appreciate that far more than I used to.

So I’m back. And I’m the most excited I’ve been about WWE for a long time. This is the best roster they’ve ever had in my opinion, and Raw has generally been really good since Wrestlemania. I think there are bright things ahead, and I’m going along for the ride.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new piece about possible outcomes of the AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns match at Payback, so keep an eye out for that. I’ll be talking about the Bullet Club and heel turns, so it should be a good one!

January 2014 News: Month in Review

So this is the first of what will hopefully become a regular feature here. I am going to round up the biggest news stories/moments of the month, and put them all into a list. It will let me cover stories that I wouldn’t otherwise get round to covering, and it may be something to look back on with a bit of nostalgia. I’m going to post this on either the last day of the month, or the first day of the next, so that’s more regular content from the off!

I’ve split things up into three categories: Inside The Ring, Outside The Ring, and In The Industry. The first is what we see on WWE TV, the second covers behind the scenes in the WWE, and the last is anything outside of the WWE basically, in the wrestling industry. This will probably be quite a long article, so let’s get to it!

Continue reading