An Upgrade, lack of depth, a new face all these words would be true to describe the impact that a new team would have in the WWE Tag Team Division. The Motor City Machine Guns could be that team as the WWE maybe interested in bringing the former TNA Tag Champions in as a fresh team for NXT when the territory begins to tour. Much like a lot of recent signings WWE has made they could help both NXT and the Main roster.
I do think that in terms the injury history that Chris Sabin has it maybe better for MCMG to be in NXT were the investment is lower and the depth is higher then being on the main roster. If you have seen my WWE 2015 Let's Play then you'd know that I am a fan of the Guns as I signed them with WWE for the Main roster division.
The feeling that NXT needs more experienced stars to be able to draw when they start touring in my opinion false, because let's put it this way Jushin Liger didn't sell out Barclay's Center for NXT: Brooklyn it was the talent that is down their that sold out the arena. That doesn't mean new faces wouldn't benefit them, but I just think Shelley and Sabin would be better off on the Main Roster then NXT as the Main Roster is in need of some new teams when NXT has other ways to find new teams.
As you all know at this point John Cena is now on the shelf with an injury after just recently coming back from a short hiatus. In regards to the injury it seems as though it was training related and didn't take place in the ring. It has been disclosed that the injury is related to John's rotator cuff and it is very likely that this injury will keep John on the shelf for next 6-9 months. This does indeed mean that John will likely miss both Wrestlemania and unless some miracle happens the upcoming Royal Rumble.
With John on the shelf this leaves the Mania card with just another question mark in terms drawing power for the event. As Vince and other management personal still would like for Wrestlemania 32 to set an all time in door attendance record by selling out the stadium in Dallas for Wrestlemania. At this point I hate to say that a sell out doesn't seem likely, but it really doesn't and should the least of WWE's worries at this point they should be focused on making it to the show with at least some top stars.
Cena's injury is just the latest in a long list of injury's that have plague various top stars recently in WWE with the likes Rollins & Orton both being injured long term. For me now the question remains what does WWE do now that they are seemingly back into a corner for their biggest show of the year.
Since Wrestle Kingdom 10 last weekend the rumors have been flying around as to where the "King of Strong Style" will end up. Either prior to or following WK 10 last weekend Shinsuke and a few other members of the NJPW roster gave their notice to booker Gedo that they were leaving the company. Now at the time of giving his notice to Gedo, Shinsuke was the IWGP Intercontinental Champion but as of this writing it seems as though they may have chosen to vacate the title instead of having Shinsuke loss the championship.
Nakamura has been with NJPW for over a decade now and has become one of their biggest stars with his almost cult like following he next steals the show every time he is in the ring. For example, look back Wrestle Kingdom 10 and his highly praised match with AJ Styles nothing like going out on top of your game. Nakamura has done it all in NJPW and it seems to me that he is now looking to move on to another company and get a fresh start. This is why Shinsuke got his own post, because I think his longevity in NJPW makes his departure all the more shocking.
To add more fuel to the fire as rumors have been a buzz that Nakamura maybe on his way to WWE and get big push in the company as a way to help promote the newly launched WWE Network in Japan. Though it maybe a bit of a stretch it is extremely possible that it might be the case that they would make Nakamura almost the international "face of the WWE Network." I mean using his popularity in Japan to your advantage would in deed be what is in fact "best for business."
Over the course of the last few years the favorite verbiage to say among wrestling fans is to ask how long can Vince remain in charge of the company. Well I took that question to the inter-web and asked various fans what they thought and you are about to see there answers.
Question: Do you think we'd be better off if Triple H took over WWE from Vince?
Pro-Wrestling Roundup: It's a hard question to answer - on one hand there is NXT which Triple H pretty much created and is a much more exciting product. On the other hand, reading recently about how Triple H nixed a proposed angle that would see Stephanie take a mugshot just like Vince did last week, because he was afraid of people thinking it was real. Being none of us know what REALLY goes on backstage, it's hard to say for sure, but if Triple H is willing to bring the same mentality he brought to NXT and be open to pushing the boundaries when things are getting stale, he would most likely do a good job.
Slice Entertainment: Yes And No Yes - Because Of His Success With NXT And Developing Talent. Triple H Would Succeed With Making New Talent Because He Understands The Wrestlers Side Of The Industry No - Because Triple H Should Also Have Help For The Business Side Of Wrestling And Marketing The Brand Of WWE
GTWrestlingFan: Yes, Vince is senile and Triple H knows what is "best for business"
OffShootRadio: With the right people working with him behind the scenes I would say yes he has a good mind for the business and has his finger on the pulse with the older fans a lot of changes would have to be made but in the long run it'll drag raw out of the gutter
RWWPodcast: Absolutely. There comes a point in time when we get to an age where we unfortunately lose touch with what people want to see and truly care about. Vince will always be an extremely important part for Wrestling but over the last number of years it's become more and more apparent that he's set in his ways and thinks he knows what is best. The fans have responded by dumping on a number of this ideas: Pushing Roman Reigns, ignoring Daniel Bryan and still looking for the big man aspect. Also the wrestling portion has been trimmed down tremendously in favor of the story. It's been years since the commentary focuses on the action in the ring instead of shilling an episode of Total Divas or talking about twitter. While he's not perfect, Triple H has shown what he is capable of in NXT, allowing those who can wrestle show it in the ring and along with putting a group together with the likes of Sara Del Ray, he's made a space to have true women's wrestling prove they belong on any card at any time. The best scenario would be give Triple H and Steph the control but at the same time have Vince as almost like a specialist, if they are stuck or need something, he can come in and use his experience to help with a problem.
Meltz in the Future: I don't
Christopher Wick: "No. I don't think having HHH taking over is as significant as fans think. To say that it would be better off, is to say that there is a problem. We're living in a new day and age in a new society. Wrestling, just like every other entity, will evolve and change. I don't see anything wrong with Vince McMahon or with WWE or its product at this current time. If anything, whoever they have set to take over WWE is not my business as a fan. However, my guess is that Mr McMahon would leave the company to one of his children. Stephanie McMahon. If Mr McMahon decides to have someone running day-to-day business more or full time; I think Triple H would be a great candidate. I think one of WWE's problems for ratings is what Vince Russo said. Having too many creative talent advisors and/or writers. Maybe have a little more input from the wrestlers themselves if they're up for it. Find somebody with a keen eye and a passion for the business of WWE's "sports-entertainment/pro wrestling" to lead the team behind the scenes and have creative consultants."
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There was a time when Raw was hard to miss a it felt like your missing out on something if you didn't watch it or even if you missed a second of the show. That time has come and gone much like the depth of the roster it doesn't feel special anymore. With the first episode of Monday Night Raw now in the rear view we take a look back at the first Raw from 2011 which was open by a Falls Count Anywhere match for the WWE Title.
Time has gone by and talent has moved on, but this flashback shows you almost an alternate reality with The Miz on top of the company and John Morrison showing the type of potential he had. I hope you enjoy this flashback time.
For decades the company people normally found growing up was the WWE, because from the middle of the 1980's on they were the company who had the most exposure on a national scale. Now the same can be said as WWE is the measuring stick of the pro-wrestling industry. (Someone should tell a certain TV producer I just used WWE and Wrestling in the same sentence, he may want to condemn me.) WWE has always been a wrestling company and as long as their name is WWE they will always be a WRESTLING company.
However, as we have seen from decades and decades of proof Vince values the entertainment aspects of wrestling more then the actual in-ring action. I will admit that style work perfectly in the Attitude Era and worked well in the Ruthless Aggression era, but it doesn't work anymore. The company hasn't changed, the talent who are employed by the company has changed and the fans have changed. I'm not discounting the extreme talent that some of the wrestlers have I just don't think they can hold a candle charisma wise to the those talents from previous eras. One could say it's lack of freedom for the talent and another could say that creative was better back then and didn't micro-manage. There is no doubt that nowadays creative is micro-managing the talent, but is creative to blame or the man in charge.
Fact is their was a time when Vince would let the creative team do what they were brought in to the company to do and that is write the shows with limited involvement from him and NO Micro-Managing. Does any see a difference in NXT and WWE's creative direction: They always have a plan for talent they book, No Micro Managing, and most importantly the talent have influence over what they say in promos and how their gimmicks get over. I'm not saying Hunter should replace Vince tomorrow and he'd make WWE enter another Golden Age as I don't think he would. But then again he could as JR would say "Anything can happen in the WWE." However, until Triple H proves he can manage the company on a larger scale I will still have my doubts.
The workhorses are gone, the freedom has been lost, the depth was fired, and the past is the past as it seems. Right now things are very cut and dry in WWE nothing seems to be special about the company. To tap into an old analogy watching WWE is like eating a seven course meal at a restaurant that used be a five star place, but now is lucky to get a passing grade by the health inspector. Until WWE straightens out a golden age will just a dream for those who are hoping for one, but in reality it's more likely for another Wrestlerock Rumble to happen. What's missing something Needs to change and soon!!
As of this writing, Cesaro is currently set to return to Birmingham early this month as he'll receive additional therapy on his shoulder. Cesaro has been training and rehabbing down at the Performance Center in recent weeks & is set to see Dr. James Andrews. For those who may not know the work of Dr. Andrews or haven't heard is name then you must not be a baseball fan as Dr. Andrews is the doctor that most baseball players go for tommy john related issues. But that's beside the point as after meeting with doctors, he should have better idea of when he'll be able to return to the ring.
The recovery time for Cesaro and his should is still 4-6 months following the surgery that he had back at the end of November. Now following his meeting with the doctors his recovery time could change, but don't expect to much of a difference in recovery time as coming back too soon would be a mistake. We all miss Cesaro, but I think I can speak for us all by saying that I would him miss an extra month and be 100% then come back early and end up getting injured again.
This year has been a terrible year for the WWE in terms of injuries to some of their top stars like Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. But this year has also taken a tool on the depth of the roster as well which was lacking to begin with and now is even worse then before. First Cesaro got hit with ever popular shoulder injury that seems to be hitting WWE as hard as tommy john surgery is hitting baseball players. Now another middle of the road talent has gone down with an injury and it could be serious.
Back at Survivor Series the new WWE World Champion was crowned at it was Roman Reigns, but then Sheamus came down to cash in Money in the Bank to become WWE Champion. Shortly after Sheamus won the gold his stable known as the League of Nations was formed with him at the helm and Del Rio, Rusev, and King Barrett as his stablemates. Maybe two weeks after the creation of the league of nations Barrett was hit with the injury bug once again. During his career in WWE if anything has hurt Barrett more than piss poor booking it has been the fact that he is the Ahmed Johnson of the modern era. For those who may not get the comparison let me explain Ahmed was butting superstar for the WWE in the mid to late 1990's and had all the potential and chances to become a top star for the company, but at every turn an injury took him down.
Since his debut in the WWE Barrett has had to endure the same fate almost to a tee. At every turn or anytime he is close to getting a push Wade has been hit with an injury and it usually took him out long term. This time is only a little different, because now Barrett still has the opportunity to remain on TV as a manager for the group, but his role is still very limited due to his injury. I just hope this injury doesn't require him to have another extended stay of TV as that wouldn't do him any good. Sometimes the question of "What if" is always meant to remain and not meant to become a reality and in this case the ship seems to have sailed on Barrett becoming a top star in WWE.
For years at this point Smackdown has been looking for a new identity after so many years of not really being cared about or even thought of as a real show that you really need to watch. Now with Smackdown's eventual move to USA Network early next year on the horizon it was time to ask "How to Fix" the unfixable. Smackdown hasn't been important, meaningful or interesting for the last few years how do we change that. Well I asked a few fans what they thought and this what we came back with:
Pro-Wrestling Roundup: I would give Smackdown more unique matches and angles instead of just throwing together a mixed up version of RAW without any big happenings. I think being taped will always hurt Smackdown to a degree, but they have to show that big occurrences happen Smackdown too to make it "must watch" again. When was the last time someone made a challenge on RAW for Smackdown? A Smackdown title change? Problem 1 is if you're not watching Smackdown, you're not missing anything.
Chris Cooper: Bring back Teddy Long as GM and Paul Heyman as head writer
Gina Bean: I think Smackdown live would bring more attention to it. I also feel progressing the story line more and not leaving that all for Raw.
Rest Hold Radio: There's many routes but I would go with a feeder system between NXT & RAW. So you see some NXT stars and WWE stars together on Smackdown. Plus it's pre taped so if the rookie guys mess up it can be edited.
David Russell: By not watching it
PWV: In order to fix Smackdown I think it needs to take a leaf out of NXTs book. They need to be more based around wrestling, have more solid wrestling matches which the fans haven't seen 100 times over! Use Smackdown to progress the storylines and not just repeat content from raw. If Smackdown went live people say this could help but to go live on a Tuesday that would leave the fans waiting a whole week till their next wrestling fix and I'm not sure this would be the best way to go. In short how do you fix Smackdown? I don't know! All we have to hope is that the creative team know and implement some fresh material on Thursdays wrestling prime show!
JamisVanDerClaus: Make the roster specific to Smackdown AKA A brand split. More character features showing the wrestler in a different light. Outside of the arena.Make the roster specific to Smackdown AKA A brand split. More character features showing the wrestler in a different light. Outside of the arena.
AttitudeAgg: On the Attitude Of Aggression Wrtestling Podcast, we review Smackdown every week so I have a very good understanding of what ails the Blue Brand. One of the big p[problems with Smackdown is that more often than not, there is nothing unique happening there. Sometimes, you get matches which will continue an angle or a story that began on Raw. But just as frequently, the matches on Smackdowen have very little to do with the main story lines being established on Raw. Smackdown really feels, far too often, like a version of Main Event on steroids. And, very similar to Raw, nothing truly special ever happens on Smackdown any more. When is the last time you saw a title change hands on Smackdown? Raw had the same problem, which they went a long way towards fixing by having the WWE World Heavyweight Championship actually change hands on Raw. But it is the same general problem: Why should I watch Smackdown when I know damn well that nothing of real significance is going to happen. Smackdown has some things in its favor though. It is only 2 hours long, which I still feel is the sweet spot as far as lengths of these broadcasts should go. The easiest fix would be to actually have something important happen. Have a title change hands, or have more of these tournaments to determine #1 contenders. Things like that keep people excited and interested and will make more and m ore people tune in...provided the people come to expect something unexpected from the Blue Brand. But if Mauro Ranallo, Smckdown's new announcer, is correct, then the problem may be well on its way to being fixed. According to Ranallo, Smackdown will be a hybrid of WWE and NXT once it moves to USA in January. Think about the possibilities there. If Smackdown becomes the show that bridges the gap between Raw and NXT...now you have something. For instance, what if Smackdown was the one show per week where the main roster men and Divas went up against men and Divas from NXT? Even if titles weren't on the line, who wouldn't want to see Finn Balor taking on Roman Reigns, or Dash & Dawson vs The New Day? New alliances could form, just as new rivalries would evolve. Instead of worrying about when someone will be called up or sent down, Smackdown could be the show where the two "brands" interact on a regular basis. This could easily segue into a contest of sorts as to whether the mason roster or NXT is superior. If it is done right, this could be what the Invasion angle should have been, many years ago. If Smackdown is the show that features the merging of the main roster and NXT, this would be the best way to fix Smackdown. It would completely change the dynamic of Thursday nights and could, quite possibly, lead to Smackdown being the superior show in the entire WWE Universe of shows.
Aaron from the Big Gold Belt Wrestling Podcast: SmackDown has been a conundrum for a few years now. After making the move to SyFy, they fizzled the brand out to a bunch of one-off matches and tag match iterations that we may or may not have seen on Raw a few days prior. Gone are the glory days of the SmackDown Six in 2009, when Jericho, Punk, Jeff Hardy, Morrison, Edge, and Mysterio were providing unique feuds and matches each week as an alternative to John Cena, Triple H, and the Raw brand. With no brand split now in place, what can WWE do to freshen up the SmackDown show as they switch to the USA Network early next month? I feel that there are two obvious strategies that WWE can implement simultaneously. First, feature talent on SmackDown that we didn't see on Raw that same week. After three hours of Raw, I don't need to see the same or a slightly different version of Ryback versus Rusev on SmackDown. I can't imagine the USA Network would desire this either. Instead, save some talent for Thursday and promote their matches and feuds on Raw to bait fans into checking SmackDown out more regularly. This doesn't need to be a brand split where we only see Tyler Breeze on SmackDown, but if we could only see him once a week, WWE programming on both Mondays and Thursdays would become more 'must-see.' Secondly, WWE should consider creating a non-character gimmick that is inclusive to SmackDown. Perhaps they could draw inspiration from the US Championship Open Challenge and feature that title as a Television-style Championship, where it is defended each week exclusively on SmackDown. John Cena was still able to maintain feuds with other talents while facing random opponents in title matches on Raw each week in 2015, so why not do something similar on SmackDown. This would differentiate SmackDown a little more from Raw and certainly make me tune in more regularly, as opposed to my current relationship with the show - have my DVR record it each week and subsequently delete it on Sunday when it's obvious I'm going to spend my day watching NFL instead of catching up on Raw-lite. The jump to the USA Network in 2016 will certainly come with the usual WWE hype. USA will undoubtedly give the program more national exposure compared to the fledging SyFy Network. WWE has an opportunity to revive what was once a great show. Here's hoping they make the most of it. I know my crew on the Big Gold Wrestling Podcast and I will be discussing the evolution - or lack thereof - on future episodes in January when SmackDown makes the leap to USA.
Pro Wrestling Nation: How do I feel they can improve Smackdown? I think they have a great plan, moving to USA Network and signing Mauro Ranallo as their voice for Smackdown. This, of course, sounds very promising but will Smackdown be a shiny new toy for a few months and get forgotten about, kinda like Main Event. Let's assume the best possible scenario and add a few fantasy concepts. If they would split the brands they would have more room to get people over and there would be less overexposure like we see today. Smackdown as it's own brand with its own World Championship can be a go-between for RAW and NXT, with a few exceptions, they could us Smackdown as a platform to introduce people to WWE Universe. Also with a brand split, they could use some of our favorite WWE Superstars to make Smackdown feel much more must-see. If Dolph Ziggler is your favorite and Thursday Nights is the only time you can see him weekly, your going to sit in from of your TV on Thursday. Of course it's not a perfect world and Smackdown will probably feel exciting for a couple of months but something tells me that it'll fizzle out not too long after WrestleMania. #SmackYourTV
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Last year to begin the year WWE changed up their announce teams for Raw and Smackdown. This change saw Jerry Lawler move from Raw to Smackdown and Booker, T move from Smackdown to Raw. Now longtime announcer Mauro Ranallo is joining the WWE on January 7, 2016 when Smackdown makes the move to USA Network.
Prior to joining Showtime, Ranallo was the voice of the Pride Fighting Championship, and spent six years in Toronto where he hosted Canada's first TV show dedicated to MMA while also hosting a daily combat sports radio show. Allowing someone with a tremendous amount of announcing experience, and not so much wrestling experience is an awesome idea and has Vince written all over it. I think that, because Vince has a habit of taking unknown talent in wrestling much like a Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar and signing due to a lack of exposure so he can build them from the ground up. Now for the first time he is doing that exactly with an announcer who is unknown to pure wrestling fans, but may not be unknown to other fans.
With Mauro set to debut on January 7, this is another reason why Smackdown needs to be repackaged and given back some meaning and importance that it once had. Also forgot to mention that Mauro also announced a few boxing events in the past to go along with his history in MMA. Smackdown needs a facelift and Mauro Ranallo is a great place for that to start.