This is going to be one of the most disjointed columns I’ve published in a long time. Usually I like to write to make a point, to address one or two ideas through exemplification and analysis. There will be aspects of that here, but there were so many things I wanted to talk about it is a bit of a mish-mash of ideas. That is because last week, I went to the Raw house show in Glasgow and the Aberdeen house show in Aberdeen – and when you see so much, it gets you thinking about a lot of different things too.
It’s time to write the final leg of my journey to Wrestlemania with the Raw men’s division! This part covers the period between the night after the Royal Rumble right up to Wrestlemania, with some outlined plans for what I would have afterwards too. For the story so far, make sure you read Part 1 and Part 2, but if you’re up to speed let’s pick it right up the night after the Royal Rumble!
January 29th, Raw
On social media before Raw, and during the show, “Kurt Angle addresses Samoa Joe” is promoted as the main event segment.
Results: Matt Hardy defeats Elias by pinfall, Braun Strowman defeats Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil by pinfall, Finn Balor defeats Darren Young by pinfall
Promos: – Roman Reigns comes out to start Raw, talking about winning the Royal Rumble for the second time. He simply says he is going to Wrestlemania to face Brock Lesnar, and he will win the Universal Championship. Continue reading
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.
It’s Part 2 time! This is the project where I take the men’s division on Monday nights, and detail what I would do with them, and how I would go about it. Simple right? You can check Part 1 for a refresher of the base rules I set myself, as well as what I’d done so far, but for simplicity here’s the “need to know” notes for as far as Survivor Series:
- The Raw vs SmackDown series at Survivor Series returned, with the final spot in the Royal Rumble match up for grabs – Raw won 2-1, winning the women’s and men’s matches and losing the tag team elimination match
- Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman were the sole survivors for Raw in the decisive men’s match
- The Miz is still Intercontinental Champion, and Sheamus & Cesaro are Raw Tag Team Champions – but Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose are due a rematch
- Brock Lesnar just retained the Universal Championship against Finn Balor
- Samoa Joe has been making jibes to Kurt Angle over Jason Jordan’s losing streak, which he snapped at Survivor Series by beating Elias
- John Cena has been on hiatus, and will return to the SmackDown brand in December, not figuring into these plans as yet
I think that’s all, so let’s pick things up again the night after Survivor Series! Continue reading
It was always going to happen. Once I’d mapped out how I would book SmackDown through to Wrestlemania, it was only natural that I’d look at Monday nights at some point too. This is going to follow the same broad rules I set myself for the SD column – I can’t change storylines that are already in development, I have to write some sort of conclusion to them – and like the Kevin Owens/Shane McMahon feud I still work towards matches that are expected in the future. I’m also still assuming there is a PPV roughly every month, even though WWE haven’t yet announced as much. And I can’t magically heal anyone who is injured, I have to work with their expected recovery time, which means no Big Cass or Jeff Hardy.
I’m mainly dealing with the Universal and Intercontinental Championships (though I do briefly discuss the Tag titles early on), and on that note I only have Brock Lesnar wrestling in “Big-4” PPVs from here on out. I had anticipated while writing the SD column that John Cena would be on Raw through to Survivor series, and would then take a few weeks off from there, but since he seems to be gone for now he stays off TV until his return to SmackDown, and he won’t reappear in Raw storylines until after the Royal Rumble. As with my SD columns, if a show looks empty, that’s because I anticipate more focus will be given on those weeks to the women’s, cruiserweight or tag divisions. Continue reading
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 ©
Day three of my Wrestlemania 33 Spotlights is here! And it’s the match that, on paper, was felt like a massive let down considering the year some of these competitors have had. There could have been so much more for these guys, and a lot of potential matches were suggested around Royal Rumble time. But, it has turned out to be one of the most well developed programs on the Wrestlemania card, and has delivered some of the best segments WWE has had to offer on the road to the biggest show of the year. I’m talking about John Cena and Nikki Bella going up against The Miz and Maryse.
There were so many complaints online when it became clear that this was the direction WWE were going in. It was a let-down for Cena, who the online community had been hoping would face Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship. It was a let-down for The Miz, one of the very top performers on the blue brand since the draft (aside from AJ Styles, probably the best) to only be in what would at best be a mid-card mixed tag team match, surely? Continue reading
Making predictions is something all wrestling fans love to do. Whether it’s predicting something as immediate as PPV results, predicting what the next Wrestlemania card will look like or who the next Royal Rumble winner will be, or as cataclysmic as who the next face of the industry will be. So when I start this column by making a prediction with an incredible number of variables, and that I wouldn’t have dreamed of making this time last year, it may surprise you to find it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Road to Wrestlemania. Instead I’m saying The Miz will win a Money In The Bank Ladder match in 2017.
When I say there are variables, we know there’s going to be a Money In The Bank PPV next year. We don’t know if it’s going to be dual branded, and if it’s not we don’t know whether Raw superstars will compete or SmackDown. On top of that, we don’t know which show Miz will be on because there could very well be a draft before then, and even if there isn’t Miz’s ongoing storyline with Daniel Bryan could see him traded to Raw at some point. We don’t know where on the card he will be, if he will still be Intercontinental or any other champion, and – crucially – we don’t know if he will be in the Money In The Bank Ladder match itself. Continue reading
Tonight SmackDown presents it’s second brand exclusive PPV since the draft – No Mercy. Can I just take a second to say how awesome the theme song is this time round?
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