The Phenomenal Year
Now this wasn't the post I had anticipated doing today, but sitting back and thinking about things and how good the last year has been for AJ Styles in the WWE. It leaves us all at a loss for words because nobody would have believed that a "TNA Guy" would've been able to accomplish so much in the WWE in a short period of time. The "Phenomenal One" started his run with WWE off not only debuting in one of the biggest of the calendar year in the WWE and then would move into a feud with Chris Jericho heading to WrestleMania including a match with Jericho at the big event.
Even though his run started slow with big loses to Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns; he would then move into a feud with John Cena and together they would produce multiple great matches including the PWI Match of the Year. Following his victory at Summerslam, AJ would move into the title picture challenging Dean Ambrose for the title at No Mercy. AJ would then hold the title from October to January.
With the Royal Rumble now in the past we can put in context how good the last year has been for AJ Styles and the power that the WWE actually has when they invest in someone 100 percent. Looking I don't think anyone could've expected this last year to go the way that it did for Styles and with that in mind I can't imagine how good this year will be for AJ, but then again what would be better than Phenomenal.
PPV Predictions: Royal Rumble 2017
Royal Rumble 2017
WWE Tag Team Title Match:
(c) Cesaro & Sheamus vs Anderson & Gallows
This feud has been building for a few weeks and with two referees involved in this match we will see a decisive winner tonight. The one problem brought on by the New Day having such a long run with the titles was that they had to defeat so many of the same teams over the course of their reign which may have hurt the division in the long run. Because now this match leaves them with one choice and that is putting the titles on Anderson and Gallows or risk them losing all credibility. This is why Anderson and Gallows will win this one.
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax (Draw)
Note: The six women tag match had already before I started the PPV predications with that being the case I am not going to predict that match)
WWE Cruiserweight Championship:
(c) Rich Swann vs Neville
Since the debut of the division back in September the WWE has been trying to build the division from the ground up and I for one don't think they have done the best job they could possibly do. But things have been changing in recent weeks since the return of Neville and his heel turn, I actually like this feud for the title. I really think that if this is done right then a heel Neville will be a great building block for the upstart division. Neville will win here to maintain and even build some momentum.
WWE Universal Championship Match:
(c) Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns
Like everything on this card from the top bottom the idea of predictions has been done to death because the rumors have been running rampant over the last few weeks about who will be Universal champion at WrestleMania. If I am basing my opinion on the latest rumors this match goes one way and if I am basing it off my gut it goes another. So I am going to go with what I hope and that is a match with a clean finish and a strong win for Kevin Owens.
WWE Women's Championship Match:
(c) Charlotte vs Bayley
For this first time in her young career Bayley will face the women's champion on PPV in a singles match. It's been a tough road for the "hugger" since coming to the Main roster last August but things have begun to pick up recently and I think it's the right time to build on her momentum. Yes I know that the WWE has been building a "streak" for Charlotte on PPV, but there is no reason why Charlotte should keep the streak till Mania because losing it beforehand gives something to the event which she loses it. Which is why this match will be the other title change here tonight as Bayley will become Women's Champ.
WWE Championship Match:
(c) AJ Styles vs John Cena
Like everything on this card from the top bottom the idea of predictions has been done to death because the rumors have been running rampant over the last few weeks about who will be the WWE Champion at WrestleMania. However, I am not going to base this on the same rumors that I based the other title match on I will instead base my prediction on the upcoming Elimination Chamber PPV. The old problem I had with the Chamber was the terrible positioning, because the PPV was always so predictable. But this time around the WWE can change that idea by letting AJ go into the Chamber as Champion and not only set up his WrestleMania match, but at the same time a future feud for the title due to AJ not getting pinned to lose it. So with this being the case I firmly believe that AJ Styles retains the title tonight.
WWE 2017 Royal Rumble Match:
This match is always my favorite match of the year, because I am a huge fan of the battle royal concept and love the surprise entrant aspect of the match. But this year's Rumble is by far the toughest one to predicted in over a decade because of the numerous amount of possible winners in the match. From Randy Orton to Braun Strowman to Goldberg to Lesnar to Taker to a host of the others I have no idea who could or will win the Rumble tonight. Something I do know is that this Rumble will have at least a couple surprises. With the number of people in this I will not just pick one guy to win I will pick three possible winners for the match:
1) Chris Jericho
3) Sami Zayn
All the talk of a women's revolution in the last few years has been fantastic because we have seen a more serious push for the women in the major companies. With so much talent on the WWE nowadays it makes me think about how it compares to the talent past women's divisions for the WWE. For those who may not be aware back in the 1970's and 1980's the WWE actually had both WWE Women's Tag & Singles championships to support a very deep women's division. During this period names like Wendi Richter, Judy Martin, Jumping Bomb Angels, Fabulous Moolah, and a variety of other tremendously talented women.
Even though recently the WWE has seemingly been focusing on honoring women of the Attitude era in recent years I think it would be a good idea to change things up and spread to spotlight back to those who sort of helped bring women's wrestling to the WWF. One of those women was Joyce Grable, whose career extended through all the major companies at the time including AWA, NWA and the WWF. Along with both Wendi Richter and Vicki Williams they would hold the WWF and NWA World Women's Championships respectively. Joyce also would become one of only a handful of women to hold the NWA United States Women's championship after winning the title from Ann Casey in 1978. Following her title reign with the US Women's title the title would be retired by the NWA between 1978 and 1980. Though Joyce may not have been as known or famous as her fellow territory era counterparts, but that shouldn't stop her from being inducted into the Hall of Fame even if it was as a tag team with Vicki or Wendi. However, I do think that Joyce's induction will be highly unlikely I do think they eventually need to turn their attention to the 1980's and names like Joyce Grable.
Why WWE Favors One Demographic
I posted part of this a while ago but never posted the second half of the article which bothers me, because it was suppose to be a two part series, but that's not the case. So I decided to go back a repost the entire article this time around.
For the last number of years many fans of pro-wrestling have had numerous arguments and criticized many a decision based on the childish nature of the event. Most fans have hated the change from TV-14 to PG as it pertains to the WWE TV content rating. Once again let’s take a trip back in the wrestling time machine to a simpler time in wrestling and many ways a time like we are in now in terms of the environment of the overall industry. In the early 1990’s WWE cut back the tires and started appealing to kids and by 1993 they almost a G rated TV show with the over top gimmicks for talent and matches. But if you were watching at this time did you ever think why they would appeal to kids instead of the teenagers. The answer is if you can get a kid hooked on wrestling when they are young they are very likely to stay hooked well into adulthood. Also think about this a lot of the older demographic of wrestling didn’t the WWE product so even though the company they watched like AWA, World Class, UWF, etc may have went under doesn’t mean that you automatically go & watch the WWE as the products were too different.
Now look at modern WWE and answer me this is the product more kid friendly or targeted to the teenager demographic. Not sure? I’ll tell you, the WWE’s largest demographic in terms viewership percentage is in fact teenagers or specifically those who fall within the 18-34 demographic. Does that answer my question? Nope, why well its really simple I didn’t ask what the largest demo was I asked who the product is appealing to and you have to look no further then to the PG TV rating to find out the answer. Either this means that Vince is hungry for competition and is leaving the wider demographic for pro-wrestling companies open for a competitor or he is trying to duplicate what he did in the early 1990’s.
If you don’t remember or you skipped, head back in the early 1990’s the WWE was focused on marketing to the younger kids expelling the older teens to the WCW until the late 1990’s when WWE got them back. Think about it overall if a kid is six in 1990 then by the time 1998 rolls around he is entered his teen years and has been hooked on wrestling specifically WWE since he was six. Do you see the connection and how WWE is technically attempting to build a relationship with the fans to have them as lifetime customers. I’ve always believed in the idea of building for the future if possible which means it doesn’t take away from the day to day operations of the business only I didn’t realize that is what WWE is trying to do.
With the headliner announced for this year's Hall of Fame class and me already making one prediction for this years class I have been thinking about who else should be inducted this year. After simply overthinking the situation I made the easy decision to pick the former longest reigning WWE World Tag Team Champions in history. I think that the WWE should finally honor Demolition by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.
Though many fans of the era believed that Demolition were just cheap imitations of the Road Warriors that doesn't change Ax & Smash would become one of the great teams in the history of WWE or the fact that both men were very talented in ring competitors. Now part of me thinks that Barry Darsow and Bill Eadie are both Hall of Fame worthy on their own but in the overall scope I think the only way they at least get in right now is through Demolition. WWE keep undoing the injustices and let this year be a big year for the Hall of Fame were those who have deserved it for far to long finally get the chance they have always deserved.
To continue the expansion on an International scale and to differentiate themselves from the competition in Georgia the WWF would put together a tournament to crown the first European champion. The finals of the tournament would be held on a very special edition of Raw in Berlin Germany where The British Bulldog defeated Owen Hart in the finals of the tournament to become the first European Champion. At first the title gained importance and meaning over time, but as time went on slowly but surely the title began to mean less and less.
On the April 26, 2001 edition of Smackdown Matt Hardy would win the European title from Eddie Guerrero and would go on to become the longest reigning American born European champion in the five year history of the championship. Even though at this point the title didn't really mean anything as far as meaning or importance but it did mean something for Matt Hardy because that would be his first singles title in the WWE at the time. Around this time the WWF split the Hardy's for a short time attempting to push them in singles competition as Jeff Hardy also won the Intercontinental from Triple H for a short time around this time as well.
WWE's UK Tournament
The concept of pushing the envelope and doing things we never expected continues with the first being the Cruiserweight Classic last summer and a lot of talk regarding the possibility of a women's tournament. The WWE shocked us all by suddenly giving us the announcement of the tournament. At this point not many details are known about the tournament or what will come of the tournament other than the winner being given the UK Championship. Now I will pick one match I am looking forward to and my favorite pick to win the whole tournament:
Mark Andrews: Andrews has been making his way in TNA for the last couple of years after British Boot Camp. However, Mark has never had the opportunity to really show off his full potential or his talent in TNA thus far. On the indies Andrews shows what he can be and hopefully show of his skills and just how good he is in this tournament. As he is still young and has a tremendous amount of potential to show what he has to offer on the large scale.
I am going to cheat for the match, because I don't really know any talent in the tournament that well other than Andrews. But I am very excited to see how well Nigel does on commentary with this tournament and maybe could gain a step and with a good showing in the tournament he could help the WWE fix their commentary issues and they could trim down the excess.
For more info: Click Here
E:60 on the XFL Coming Soon
Confidence is a trait that some of us lack and other just exude confidence one of those people that have a tremendous amount of confidence is Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Anyone who knows about Vince or knows Vince has at least a little bit of an idea to how confident Vince has become over the years. In the past the confidence that Vince has always posed has been in hidden like when his company was very close to going under back in the mid-1990's or when the WCW almost put Vince out of business during the height of the Monday Night Wars.
Over the last few years confidence has just exuded through Vince and he has felt that he can do no wrong and this has been exvident with some of the big risks Vince taken in recent years but this personality that we see from Vinnie Mac isn't something new and is something we started seeing when the War turned in favor of WWE. As the early part of the century we saw Vince take the biggest risk he has ever taken and that is getting into another sport..... the Xtreme Football League was born:
Finn's Return Rumor Killer
Back in July the WWE decided to bring back the brand split which unfortunatley meant that the WWE also decided to bring in a new World Title for the other brand. This meant that we had to see a match for the opponent of Seth Rollins at Summerslam for the newly named WWE Universal Championship. Shockingly Finn Balor would go onto win the fatal four way to face Seth Rollins to challenge for the Unversial Title at Summerslam. Sadly during the match Finn would sustain a very serious injury to his shoulder and though he not only popped his shoulder back into place, but he also finished the match and won. Finn would unfortunately later vacate the Universal title the next day on Raw which would bring up a match for the vacated title the following week.
Finn would go on the shelf with his injury and at this point there is still no indication as to when Finn will be making his long awaited return to the company. Recently as they always do and actually last year with John Cena as well a lot of sites were reporting that Finn could be a surprise in the Royal Rumble this year and I am here to tell you that this will likely not happen because the recovery time just doesn't fit. With that being said if he will not be back for the Rumble then I highly doubt he will be around for Wrestlemania because by the Rumble most of the plans are set place for Wrestlemania.
So when do I think Finn could be making his return to the company well this dependends on if they prefer him wait to being fully healthy or not, because if not I think there would be no reason Finn couldn't be in a the Rumble match. But the more likely is that they do care with that being the case I think Finn will return in the first few shows following Mania much like Cesaro did last year after his shoulder injury. But hte only way we will know for sure is by waiting for said thing to happen and for that you must believe anything can happen, but I do hope for Finn's sake that he does indeed wait until he is 100% to return and not in anyway bfore that time.
The Night that Changed a War
It was just another night in the middle of a War as WCW once again had given away the results of that Night's Raw during the episode of Nitro the problem was they did it as the show went on and not all at once. See the reason that's a problem is because when they announced that Mick Foley would win the WWF Title and the announcers added "Oh that'll put buts in the seats" the audience collectively clicked over to watch WWF instead. If WCW would have kept quite they would have won that night, but they didn't and they ended up losing the night to the WWF because of Mick Foley. This night changed the Monday Night Wars forever:
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present
About Wrestling Express
Join Our Team
Stay Connected with Wrestling Express