And here we are at the end of Wrestlemania season! We’ve had six straight nights of content from WWE alone with the Hall of Fame, TakeOver: Orlando, Wrestlemania 33, Raw, SmackDown and NXT. It almost feels strange not having more wrestling to look forward to tonight. BUT, we can look back at all the awesome stuff that’s happened in the last week, and look ahead by asking the question “where do we go from here?”
We saw Kurt Angle return to the company, first as a Hall of Famer then as the Raw General Manager. We saw what looks like a full on heel turn from Asuka. We saw Matt and Jeff Hardy return to the WWE and become the Raw Tag Team Champions. We saw the career of The Undertaker likely come to a close. We saw The Revival debut on the main roster on Monday night, and Shinsuke Nakamura and Tye Dillinger get the call up on Tuesday night. And crucially, we also saw Vince McMahon announce that next week we would shake up the rosters.
And that’s what I want to focus on here. Who is most likely to switch brands, or maybe rather who needs to switch brands the most? Here I lay out six picks, three from each show, who could really benefit from a shake up of their surroundings.
First off, Battleground was a great show. We saw a match of the year candidate between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, another great match for the WWE Championship, what must be one of the best promos of Enzo Amore’s life, and the long awaited main roster debut of Bayley.
On top of that, The Wyatts and the New Day produced an entertaining battle that was all about the story of Xavier Woods, Natalya and Becky Lynch put on a solid showing in an unlucky spot, and Randy Orton might have produced the line of the night in a Highlight Reel that accomplished all it needed to.
That seems like a fairly stacked show, right? Continue reading
Who remembers the Black Pleb Watchers of Wrestling YouTube shows? Of course you do! As you may have noticed, we haven’t done one of those for a while. But now, we’ve found a way of doing those shows on a more regular basis! Myself and Jamie (The Black Watcher) are now doing a weekly wrestling radio show, which you can hear over at http://www.mixcloud.com/arh96. The shows will be titled BPWOW Presents:… So get listening! I’ve posted a link to the debut edition below for your listening pleasure.
Wrestlemania weekend is finally over. It’s bittersweet, because on one hand Wrestlemania is generally when the product is at it’s hottest, and highest quality. On the other, I may actually get some sleep now. It all culminated in Raw last night, the show that widely considered to be one of the best of the year, partially because of the Wrestlemania hangover: all the fans stick around for Raw the next night too. This year though was a bit different. The word I keep using to describe was underwhelming.
Last year we had a Ryback heel turn, Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase and won the World Heavyweight Championship, and The Undertaker wrestled his first match on Raw in 3 years, as he teamed up with Kane and Daniel Bryan to take on The Shield. The year before saw Brock Lesnar’s return to the WWE. We could be forgiven for expecting something equally as huge this year. Continue reading
Back on the 25th March 2002, on Raw, the landscape of the WWE changed completely. That was the date of the inaugural WWE Draft – and the beginning of the Brand Extension.
In June 2006 the Brand Extension changed again with the revival of ECW as the third brand in the company. As I’m sure we all remember, it started out as a tribute to the extreme style of the original ECW with the return of various ECW alumni, but it quickly developed into a watered down, generic WWE TV show. It still served a purpose though as an enhancement show. It was eventually replaced in February 2010 by a purpose built development show known as NXT.
And the final nail was hammered into the coffin of the Brand Extension in August last year, as Supershows became the norm, allowing superstars from both brands to appear on both shows. The concept of each show having exclusive rosters was just quietly dropped, but the absence of the annual draft from 2012 was the final confirmation – if it was needed – that it was no more.
The very existence of the Brand Extension has been a contentious point since then, with some arguing that it is needed for the good of WWE television, while others argue that it was never necessary in the first place. Here I try to look at both sides, and weigh up both arguments. Continue reading
Having seen both Wrestlemania 28 and Raw there were only two things going through my mind: the freak of nature, the athlete that needs to be seen to be believed, the wrestler formerly known as the Next Big Thing – Brock Lesnar – is BACK!!!! And of course, YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! The reaction both Lesnar and Daniel Bryan got at Raw was unbelievable, especially when you consider the short amount of time they were on screen in total. Of course, Bryan was part of the dark match, and when he got to talk after the crowd reacted to everything he said. Continue reading