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
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.
Holy star power wrestling fan. After looking for a while like it was going to be a really bland Survivor Series card, the changes in the last couple of weeks have produced a stacked show. There are 12 former world champions on the show, 8 former women’s or divas champions, 6 former NXT champions, and the only man on the show (including Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) who has never held a title is Braun Strowman. However, even with the depth on the card, what a lot of people seem to be talking about this week is the ages of the participants in the top matches – in particular the Raw vs SmackDown 5-on-5 Elimination match.
SmackDown’s team consists of Shane McMahon (47), Randy Orton (37), Bobby Roode (40), Shinsuke Nakamura (37) and John Cena (40) for an average age of 40.2 years old. Raw’s team consists of Kurt Angle (48), Braun Strowman (34), Finn Balor (36), Samoa Joe (38) and Triple H (48) for an average age of 40.8. The issue that people have with the ages of performers is undoubtedly exacerbated by the other real main event – Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles – also featuring two forty year olds.
I don’t care these guys are both 40, I haven’t been this excited for a WWE match in a long time!
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 finally here! It’s the day of Wrestlemania 33. It’s been a long build up, in more ways than one. We’ve been on the road to Wrestlemania for all intents and purposed for the last three months. We’ve been hearing constant plugs for Mania several times a week on each Raw and SmackDown. But it’s been a long build up for some matches too, as I’ve already written about some matches that’s roots can be traced back to SummerSlam, a whole seven months ago.
But there’s one match where the history, across several tracks, goes back years. And that’s the match I’m rounding off this preview series on. It may be unsanctioned, but that just means there are boundless opportunities here. It is, of course, Seth Rollins vs Triple H.
Serious Trips. Mean Trips. Grrrrrrrrr. #HeelBeard
The Brand Extension back in July was supposed to bring about a “New Era”. It was supposed to be the start of change in WWE. It was supposed to be an opportunity for people who didn’t normally get much of the spotlight to be centre stage. So far, it’s easy to pick out faults in that ideology. So far, fans could be forgiven for thinking that the separate shows have mostly been a case of the same old same old, but with new puppets in the well-worn shoes.
I would argue differently. Continue reading
When I first started writing this PPV Spotlight column I did it with the intention of generally staying away from the main event matches. I thought that I would be far more likely to be writing about those storylines every other week anyway, so I wanted to give some focus to matches or storylines with the potential for significant development but may have flown under the radar.
That is not the case for this article.
Since I don’t actually think I’ve written anything on the subject so far, there was only one match I could focus on for Clash of Champions tonight: Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens for the Universal Title. Continue reading
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
It’s been a big year for Smackdown. It celebrated its 15th Anniversary in October, and it has fairly recently been announced that Smackdown will be moving back to Thursdays next year, which should give it some impetus that it’s currently lacking. But when you think about it, some of the more iconic moments in WWE history happened on the blue brand. Then they went through the brand extension, where Smackdown was consistently the better wrestling show. It has been under the leadership of Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Heyman (all on and off screen), as well as the likes of Vickie Guerrero, Teddy Long, Kurt Angle, John Laurinaitis and even Zack Ryder. It has gone from The Rock’s show, to the better brand, only to fall into irrelevancy in recent years. I’m going to take a look back at some of the best moments over the last 15 years, and then look at why nobody cares about it anymore.
This article is part 1/3. Here I’m going to look at some of the best matches and rivalries to race the blue brand. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the most iconic and memorable things we have seen on Smackdown. Continue reading
So it’s been a while. Sorry bout that. But hopefully you can look forward to a real plethora of articles coming at you in the month of November! I have so much planned, fingers crossed I can actually get through it. My return to typing here is for something that I will make an annual feature – it is time to predict the card for Wrestlemania 31. Last year I did this column and got nowhere near the actual card, but this time round I’ve given myself about two extra months to analyse the rumours, and current storylines, and make a better call for what we will see on the night of March 29th. Just like last year, this will be a mix of likely matches, possible matches, and things that will never happen but I really want to see. So, let’s get right into it, starting things off with our WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match!