Since the start of NXT we have seen a vast number of top Independent stars join the company and shock the wrestling world. From Bobby Roode to Samoa Joe to James Storm to Prince Devitt have found there way to NXT. Then we have those who fall into a special category like Chris Hero that didn't make it as far as they could've under the WWE banner. Austin Aries at one point was one of the biggest names not under the WWE banner and the first person to win the ROH World Title on two different occasions.
When Aries arrived in NXT the bar had been set to see how far he'd be able to go up the card before hitting the main roster. Honestly, at first I didn't think that Aries would ever hit the main roster as I didn't think he sort of fit the WWE model. But when the cruiserweight division was brought back it opened the door for a name like Austin Aries to reach the main roster. Now I do think that given the chance Austin could've put on display the talent that made him a top talent in ROH & TNA. But with backstage issues seemingly playing a part in holding Austin back it kept him down.
Either way at this point Austin has left the WWE and is now heading back to the Independent circuit. Could we see Austin head back to GFW or ROH possibly yes as I think both doors are still open. Aries is and has always been a vastly talented performer, but maybe not the right fit for the WWE.
Even in the month of July there the biggest PPV of the year is still making headlines and giving us something to talk about. Yes! There has been talk about possible WrestleMania matches for next year's event which is something we will talk about on another day. For today we will talk about possible WrestleMania locations for future events.
The two locations I have found the biggest event of the year one event that could host a WrestleMania and the other was actually had their bid rejected. One city that has entered the rumor mill for WrestleMania is London, England. Now most fans would likely be very surprised to find out that this city could be in the running to host WrestleMania 35 as due to the time difference between, the US and UK that has really kept the WWE from holding a major event elsewhere. But due to the increased attention that the WWE has been put on establishing the UK market I would say its possible that we could see a WrestleMania across the pond. Another possible location for WrestleMania 35 seems to be New York City, which maybe something we talk about the future.
As for the location that had their bid rejected for WrestleMania it was none other the New England Patriots who tried have WrestleMania held in their home stadium, but it was turned down. Now I'm not sure what the reason could be that the WWE turned down the bid, but what I do know is that I would rather see Mania is the UK over another football stadium.
Two years ago the WWE decided to bring back Tough Enough and give the product of a bygone era one more chance. Even though at first it seemed that the changes that they made to the series was helping things at first, but I just think that fans may just be interested in a concept like this anymore. The reason for this is because the highlight of the season was when Hulk Hogan got removed as a judge for the show during the season.
At the time I understood the reason that the WWE limited the mentioning of the Hulkster, but I still was on Hogan's side due to the "controversial" incident taking place when he wasn't in the company. However, they let him go and haven't really talked about the Hulkster too much since then, but there has been talk recently that Hulk could be returning soon to the company.
Now even with the judgement of the Hogan vs Gawker lawsuit and Hogan being more set financially the WWE is still his home. I for one will love seeing Hogan back where he belong because I believe that he should be inducted again into the Hall of Fame with the NWO. When he will be back is another question but hopefully soon!!
Since the Brand Split last year we have seen a split among the women's division with some being exclusive to Smackdown Live and others to Raw. Unfortunately though the booking for both brands has been vastly different and in some cases one brand has been a lot better than the other. Really the booking of the women's division has been a weakness of Raw since the brand split which is a problem as it makes the division seem weak.
Raw has fallen victim to the simple booking effect which has forced some talent to be forgotten and forced into shoddy, meaningless angles. Though some cases the women's division is a lot like the Tag team division it should be booked differently. The reason for the comparison is that normally their is only one feud going on for the title and that's it nothing else much like it is in the tag team division. Now with Sasha as number one contender I hope that the booking can improve because Sasha and Alexa could have a money feud if it is booked right.
However, if we have learned anything from the past few months with Raw is that they don't always go the logical way when it comes to booking. But logical and different have always been a tough barrier for the WWE to get passed with booking on Raw. The women's division can be a lot better than it is and I think that depending on how this next feud goes that will gives us an idea of what to expect for the rest of the year.
Last year the hottest tag team in the WWE was American Alpha. At one point the future was in doubt for both Chad Gable and Jason Jordan in NXT as neither of them had a future prior to them coming together as a team. When the WWE made the decision to unite Gable and Jordan they showed the power of why tag team wrestling is very important. Following their arrival on the main roster they were booked well the first time, but in no time the booking changed and things fell a part.
Unfortunately, for Jordan and Gable the WWE fell into the lackluster booking strategy of making them unreal and booking them way to strong and having them defeat everyone. However, following their loss of the tag team titles to the Uso's a little before WrestleMania they were written off television and haven't returned yet.
At this point there are rumors surrounding there return which at this point is still up in the air with not much is known. There has been talk about what the future holds for the team as there seems to be big plans for Alpha upon their returns to the company. Now I hope that upon their returns the booking for the team to allow them to live up to the potential they almost reached in NXT.
Anytime we see a former talent return to the company they always get back with a large amount of momentum. Now don't get me wrong every so often the WWE strikes gold with a former talent returning to the company and gives us an opportunity to see some dream matches. But sometimes when a shocking return takes place they always return with momentum and every so often that momentum disappears.
Two years ago on the Monday Night Raw following Summerslam the Dudley Boys made their shocking return to the WWE for the first time in about nine years. Upon their return it was sight to see, but after a while it was clear that the momentum was wearing off. Even though they pretty much returned to help get the stars of today over I feel like they could've done more had they been booked better.
See the underlying idea is that the WWE lacks depth and long term planning which makes it easier for talent end up lost in the shuffle so even when someone big returns they could easily get lost. For example, compare the Hardy Boys return to the Dudley Boys return and you'll see this concept at work. Unfortunately, when talent get lost in the shuffle it can be hard to bring them back to a position of meaning and importance, but not impossible. This is the reason that when a talent returns it is a balancing act to keep them in the conversation and to maximize the nature of the return. However, this doesn't always happen and the returning talent becomes a sudden flop rather than an important asset.
Though most of you who are fans of both WWE and the Independents may be thinking that Colt was never in the WWE, and technically you'd be right. See Colt Cabana was in the WWE for a short run during the original brand split as a jobber but he was under the name of Scotty Goldman. In my opinion Colt has done wonders since his WWE run to become a staple of the Indies and in some cases a legend on the independents.
However, I always thought that with how good Colt is in the ring and how natural his comedy act looks he would be perfect for the WWE. Though some may think that Colt is very limited and can only work as a good guy and not a bad guy well in recent years I have seen Colt more often as a heel than a baby face. Which the fact that he can do both would really help the WWE in adding more depth to company, because everyone knows how they like to turn people back and forth.
Even though at this point the WWE has done a little better hiding the lack of depth with the brand split the roster is still clearly lacking and needs help. As for which brand Colt belongs on and would do better on well that's simple in my book. I think that Colt would be a better fit on Smackdown this way he could work with New Day and Fashion Police. Though I am almost 100% sure that Colt will not be signed by WWE I do think bringing him in would help the company,
Money in the Bank 2017
The Hype Bros vs The Colons
WWE Women's Championship Match:
(c) Naomi vs Lana
I for one am happier with the idea of Lana competing for the Women's title then her being in Money in the Bank. Even though either way she doesn't deserve the opportunity she is in fact a good filler for the one show with all the other women competing in the ladder match. This will also be a good test for Lana to see if she can be trusted in the ring. I do think that either way Naomi will get the win tonight.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
(c) The Usos vs The New Day
Since switching heel the momentum for The Uso's has never been higher then it is right now and the team should keep building. The New Day have done an amazing job as a trio during their entire run I just think that it might be too soon to give them the tag team titles on Smackdown. With that being said The Usos will get the win.
First Ever Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Carmella vs Tamina vs Natalya vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte
For the first time ever the women of WWE will get the opportunity to enter into the Money in the Bank ladder match. I don't really have much to say about this match because I don't really know what to expect from this one. What I will say is that I think that Carmella will become the first ever Ms. Money in the Bank.
WWE Championship Match:
(c) Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers vs Randy Orton
I honestly am still getting used to the idea that Jinder is the WWE Champion as it is extremely incredible. At this point in his career Randy is capable of taking a loss and allowing the WWE to give Jinder a stable run with the World Title instead of short joke run. With that being said I believe Jinder will remain WWE Champion.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler
Honestly, the first point I have to make is that I don't understand why Dolph was chosen to be apart of the match as he has absolutely no momentum going into the match. However, I don't really think that the WWE had anyone else to place in the match instead of Dolph Ziggler. This is the first time that I would've liked to see Dolph get sent to Raw instead of Miz as having Miz be a part of the build for the show would've helped the match and show tremendously. But without the "A-Lister" the match still will be very exciting and it is a very hard choice to pick the winner. For the last year the WWE has been helping Baron Corbin work his way up on the card, this is a perfect way to get his push back on track. This is the reason why I am selecting Baron Corbin to grab the briefcase and win Money in the Bank.
At this point it feels like there is a story that is never ending as one woman who lead the early days of WWE's changed booking philosophy for the women's division. Things started to changed in NXT first with the booking of both Paige and Emma. It feels like we should start questioning if we will ever see Paige in a WWE ring again, but it seems like they are giving her another chance and really aren't holding the actions of another against her.
Paige was once the leader of the women's division and really still has a tremendous potential to help the division. The issues we have seen from behind the camera but it seems like she will be recovering from her most surgery to hopefully return from her injuries. I would like to say that she is just healing from old injuries, but it isn't just that simple. Though it seems like things have calmed down in the last few months it would be hard to believe that some sort of tension wouldn't exist between Paige and the company. Fact is problems may exist, but I do hope that a Paige return is in the cards for the WWE as seeing her back would be a big boost to a division that has gone through some hard times.
As of this writing it seems as though Paige might be training for her return to the ring as she is recovering from neck surgery. From the last report I saw it seems as though if everything goes according to plan and that's a big if we could be seeing Paige before the year is up.
Going back to last year starting with the Cruiserweight Classic it was the first time we actually saw the WWE use the WWE Network to spotlight talent outside the company. Since then we have heard about the possibility of the WWE running the same type of tournament for the Women's Division. Then with the success of the CWC last year it became all the more clear that the WWE would attempt to do the same idea for the women.
Recently, the WWE actually made the announcement about the tournament and named it after Mae Young. Once the name came out a lot of talent gave heavy praise of the name as most agree that Mae is someone that deserves to be honored. Now everyone knows that the CWC last year was held to determine the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. At this point there is no way to know what the winner of the tournament may receive.
The scheduled date for the tournament is currently set for July 13 and 14 at Full Sail University. The tournament is being taped for a new WWE Network series, which will be released in sets as VOD programing similar to how Holy Foley! and Camp WWE were released. At this point the finals seem to be set for August 29 as a live WWE Network special.