TV Talking Points – 27th-31st January

It’s been a bumper week of on-screen happenings in WWE because of Royal Rumble weekend, so let’s just get straight into the most newsworthy moments of the last week!

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia

Gargano and Almas tear the house down

I previewed this match last week, and I closed that article by saying this: “Gargano and Almas have already proven they can put on a match that can hang with anything NXT has to offer. Now they just have to do it one more time.” And boy did they. It was a 31 minute spectacular that had the crowd on the edge of their seat. The match received rave reviews, even reaching 5 stars on Dave Melter’s hallowed rating scale – the first match under the WWE umbrella to do so since CM Punk vs John Cena at Money In The Bank 2011. This is already a frontrunner to be WWE’s Match of the Year, if you haven’t seen it, find a way to watch it. It will be well worth your time.

Almas Gargano Philly.jpg

 

Royal Rumble

A night of Japanese dominance

There were two Japanese superstars competing on the show, both in Royal Rumble matches, and both would go on to win. If you’re reading this, I’m sure it’s no surprise to read that Shinsuke Nakamura became the first debutant to win the men’s Royal Rumble since 2011, and Asuka continued her successful run to win the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Nakamura went on to announce he plans to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania, meaning we’ll finally get to see those two square off in a WWE ring on the biggest show of the year.

 

Things are about to get… Rowdy

We didn’t however find out who Asuka would be facing at Wrestlemania, and that was because we were treated to the shocking arrival of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey! The former UFC Bantamweight Champion had been rumoured to be debuting on the show for weeks, and despite trying to throw everyone off the scent it happened. It was later announced Rousey has signed a multi-year, full-time deal to become a professional wrestler.

 

Raw

History in the making… again

Hot off the heels of the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match, just 24-hours later Stephanie McMahon opened Raw by coming down to the ring and announcing another first – a women’s Elimination Chamber match. It will go down on the 25th February, and Alexa Bliss’ Raw Women’s Championship will be defended inside the steel structure. No other competitors have yet been confirmed, but it’s without doubt another notch in WWE’s belt of equality.

 

Braun Strowman commits murder for the 1008th time

I mean seriously, how great is it to see Braun genuinely trying to end lives every week? This time round it came during the shortest Last Man Standing match I can remember, as Strowman and Kane battled over to the announce desk beside the stage, and Strowman toppled the staging over, crushing Kane under the whole thing. It looks like this may have written Kane off of TV for the forseeable future, and if it was the end of the feud it absolutely did it’s job of putting Strowman over huge.

 

The 2018 Hall of Fame gets extreme

A couple of weeks ago Goldberg was announced as the headline name for the Hall of Fame Class of 2018, and this week it was announced he will be joined by the legendary Dudley Boyz! Bubba Ray and D-Von are one of the most decorated tag teams in wrestling history, and are 9-time WWE Tag Team Champions. Bubba is currently in Ring of Honor, while D-Von retired after their last WWE run and now works backstage for WWE. Their induction is well deserved by anyone’s standards.

 

SmackDown

The tag team division gets put on lockdown

So there was a lot of great wrestling over the last five days, with Raw and SmackDown unusually both being wrestling heavy shows. Maybe that’s why this stood out to me, but I was really impressed by the promo The Usos cut this past Tuesday. They have managed to nail their characters’ presentations since making a big change about a year ago, and this was evidence of that. In WWE’s world where mostly everything on the mic is scripted and sounds fairly robotic, The Usos have become something that stands out. Huge credit has to go to them for reinventing themselves so well, and making themselves the unmovable face of the SmackDown tag division.

 

NXT

A new number one contender

TakeOver set the tone for the week with a high standard of in-ring work, and last night they provided an equally impressive bookend to it all. The pairing of Tyler Bate and Roderick Strong is intriguing on paper alone, but the two delivered yet another great match last night on NXT. Their styles meshed well, and the win means Roderick Strong has earned himself a shot at Pete Dunne’s WWE United Kingdom Championship, which after watching this match is difficult not to get extremely excited for.

 

And there we have it! As I mentioned above, there has been a lot of really good in-ring work this week, including John Cena vs Finn Balor, Sasha Banks vs Asuka, a fatal-4-way match between Kofi Kingston, Rusev, Jinder Mahal and Zack Ryder and a tag team match between AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They are all worth looking up, but I tried to pick out the moments that stood out – even amongst all that great action. But now, for me after five straight days of high quality WWE, it’s time for a little break.

TV Talking Points – 8th-10th January

What happened on Raw, SmackDown and NXT this week? If you missed the show and want to know the key points, or just want to know what the main things to take note of going forward are, this is for you. I’ve summarised the main talking points in this article and included clips for you too, so you don’t have to do the legwork yourself.

 

Raw

Balor Club goes over

Last week I wrote about how it was good to see Finn Balor, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows back together, and this week it became clear that as a unit they’re here to stay. There was a backstage segment to remind everyone of their history, and in Raw’s main event they beat the golden trio of Jason Jordan, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. For one, it was just a straight up big win for the Club over two of Raw’s top stars and Jason Jordan. But for two, getting that win is a sign that the Balor Club are going to be booked strongly in the future, possibly making Balor a contender in the Royal Rumble and for a top championship thereafter.

Continue reading TV Talking Points – 8th-10th January

2017 Spotlight: October – December

Wrestling is an incredibly dynamic industry where everything can change in a matter of days – if not hours – and 2017 has really typified that in WWE. From wholesale roster changes, to walk outs and injuries, you can never predict what’s going to happen next, not that I won’t keep trying. As the year draws to a close, what better opportunity than to look back and reflect on the memorable moments WWE gave us in 2017?

This is the final part of my 2017 Spotlights, you can find the first three below:

January – March

April – May

June – September

October

2nd-16th October – Sierra. Hotel. India. Echo. Lima. Delta.

The reunion of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose naturally invoked memories of The Shield, and got the fans wondering if the third piece of the puzzle would come together. As it turned out, three and a half years after Rollins slammed a chair into Roman Reigns’ back, The Shield returned as a united force. Battling against their common enemies of The Miz, The Bar and Braun Strowman, it was fantastic to see the ever-popular trio working together once again.

Continue reading 2017 Spotlight: October – December

WWE TLC 2017 PPV Spotlight: Card Changes

It’s nearly TLC time, but last night the WWE Universe was rocked by news of two major changes to matches at the PPV tomorrow night. Usually in my PPV Spotlights I focus on one match, but I think under the circumstances I’m going to change things up for one show only and just write about the changes – they’re major enough that I think that’s all anyone is talking about anyway.

So first off, why the changes? In short, illness. WWE have confirmed that three of their performers are currently suffering from a “viral infection”. The rumour going around wrestling news sites is that they’re suffering from viral meningitis. The three performers in question are Bo Dallas (who has been missing from the last couple of Raw’s), Bray Wyatt (who hasn’t appeared in person during the same time frame), and most significantly Roman Reigns.

Roman Reigns gets blasted by Braun Strowman. - Imgur
Reigns being taken out by illness like:

Continue reading WWE TLC 2017 PPV Spotlight: Card Changes

Who Will Win The WWE WHC Money In The Bank Ladder Match 2014

And part two is here! This is of course the second of two columns looking forward to the Money In The Bank Ladder matches this Sunday! The first looked at the contract match, and it can be found here. This column is looking forward to the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank ladder match, where the title is actually on the line! There are 8 competitors in this match compared to 7 in the other, so let’s sink out teeth right into it! Continue reading Who Will Win The WWE WHC Money In The Bank Ladder Match 2014

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 predictions

So here we go again for another year. After Andrew’s league win last year I’m determined to get some revenge this time out. I’m not bitter but just remember that I missed a PPV last year so that’s why he won!!!

Anyway……. To business. After a literally unbelievable Wrestlemania season, we start the road again at Extreme Rules. From my memory of this event, it’s usually a good show with a lot of the rivalries from Mania continuing on and new stories starting out. With that in mind, I’m thinking it could be a great spectacle. We have some good story progressions here with The Shield and Evolution plus Cena and the Wyatt’s. Both these matches should be great if they are given the time and of course the highlight of the night will undoubtedly be LANA!! XD

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road. Here are our predictions. Continue reading WWE Extreme Rules 2014 predictions

MITB 2013 predictions

Hello folks, it’s mid July which can only mean one thing……..that’s right Money In The Bank!

This time it’s me Matt that will be your author as Andrew is away on some musical escapades at T in the park. Lucky sod.

Anyway let’s get cracking as we’ve got a big card to get through.

We’ll start with the first match on the kick off. Continue reading MITB 2013 predictions

Who Will Win the All-Stars Money In The Bank Ladder Match

I did a post last year looking at the chances for each individual involved the Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, and I’m back to do the same again this year! This post will be for the WWE Championship MITB, or as it has been dubbed this time around, the “All-Star” match. I’ll have another one up in the next day or two for the World Heavyweight Championship – or as I would call it, the “Next Generation” MITB match, though that may be too similar to NXT. The reason I’m doing them in this order is because I find the All-Star MITB much easier to judge.
There are going to be 4 categories I’m using: Possible – for those I think have a chance of winning; and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, Unlikely – for those that have an outside chance of winning but won’t, None – for those who really don’t have a realistic chance, and of course Winner – for the man who I would expect to win. So let’s get right into it, and why not start with the only man to have won the match twice! Continue reading Who Will Win the All-Stars Money In The Bank Ladder Match

Night Of Champions 2012 Predictions

I’m back! After a short, unscheduled hiatus (for which I apologise) I have returned to the world of wrestling blogging! First things first, best wishes to Jerry Lawler. Here’s hoping he recovers soon and returns to the commentary desk before long! I know there’s a lot of people out there who don’t like the commentary team right now on Raw, but no one wishes this kind of thing to happen to anybody. Also a lot of credit goes to Michael Cole, Bret Hart, John Cena, CM Punk and everyone else who went out and performed on Raw for the way they handled the situation.

But in true WWE style, the show must go on, and their next show is the Night of Champions PPV in just under 23 hours time! There are 7 matches announced, plus a pre-show battle royal. So, without further ado, here we go! Continue reading Night Of Champions 2012 Predictions

Plebeian Point of View: Who Will Win The Money In The Bank Matches?

July 15th. WWE Money In The Bank. The day everything suddenly becomes so unpredictable.

Just look at last year’s event. 2 days before the show, Smackdown’s MitB winner Daniel Bryan lost to fellow match participant Cody Rhodes on Smackdown. And the WWE Title match was an enthralling battle from the moment Punk sat down on Raw with a microphone. Granted Alberto was practically guaranteed to win, but there was still a question over whether or not he would cash in on the same night.

This year, for the first time, the matches will be interpromotional – superstars from both brands will compete in each match, and the briefcase will represent a title instead of a brand. Another change for this year is that only former WWE Champions can take part in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank match. I would expect more men to be added to the WWE Title MitB match (perhaps Rey Mysterio or The Miz), while more qualifying matches for the World Title MitB match have been announced for next week’s shows. We already know 9 of the men who will compete though, so here are my thoughts on the chances of each man in the hunt for a briefcase, starting with the World Title MitB. Continue reading Plebeian Point of View: Who Will Win The Money In The Bank Matches?