One of the more anticipated special events in recent memory has been the WWE's event in Saudi Arabia. It is very hard to decide what the best way is to describe this event as it wasn't a PPV but I guess the best way to explain it is a network special. Though a lot of the matches featured were in some way predictable or a continuation of WrestleMania some were a lot better. One of those matches that really hit their stride this time round was the WWE Championship match with AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura. The match at WrestleMania between these two was very lackluster and was no where close to the expectations that where in place. Seeing these two collide again I will say honestly that this match was way better this time around then it was the first time. It is almost like Shinsuke & AJ needed to get hold of their chemistry unfortunately it was at the expense of WrestleMania.
However, this wasn't the biggest surprise of this special event was that Brock Lesnar actually tight roped away from Saudi Arabia with the WWE Universal Title. Now looking at the finish of the match which saw Roman spear Brock through the cage and basically was put over as a tie with Brock getting awarded the win. Though I don't think anything at this point can make Brock look weak, but it does make the title look bad considering the dusty finish. Though a rumor is now going around that Brock will hold onto the Universal Title until June as Vince wants someone to break the title reign set by CM Punk a few years ago.
Hopefully this means that Brock will have at least one more defense before breaking the record for the longest modern era reign. The only problem now is that Roman has lost to Brock twice within a month & couldn't possibly fight Brock again without bringing down the title. I don't mean it as a negative to Roman, but having some fresh talent challenge Brock would help in the same way it did last year when Samoa Joe & Braun fought Brock. At this point Brock can maintain his reign for the time being, but I think it would be best to pull Roman from the title picture for the time being and repair his image & if they still do want him to be World Champion. In conclusion the finish of this match put the weakness of Raw's main event picture on display with very few choices left to face Brock as a believable challenger without some of them getting built up which makes way for a very boring title picture, feel like I've heard that somewhere before.
Apparently the concept of being a “Super Mark” is a thing and something that is very frowned upon in the WWE, but that is a story for a different day. The concept of being a “super mark” has to do with being a fan of more than wrestling company. For example, former WWE writer Dr. Ranjan Chhibber was called a “super mark” for knowing about All-Japan pro wrestling while working in the WWE and was actually lectured for having knowledge of other companies. One member of management said that "If he let wrestlers know he had that type of knowledge then he would be looked at as a "super mark" and would never be able to earn their respect.
In the WWE the best time for the company has always been when they had retired wrestling personalities helping with the creative direction of the company. When names like Bruce Pritchard, Jim Cornette, Jim Ross, Pat Patterson, and a variety of others were on the creative team the company was always hotter than when they didn’t have people like them on the team. A creative team that has members who lack knowledge of pro-wrestling even if they have knowledge of how to write weekly television still display weakness and lack the ability to properly handle talent in the best way possible. Having knowledge of other wrestling can help you better handle your company just look at how the bookers of yesteryear handle their territories and kept areas hot year after year.
Even though looking at this years Superstar Shakeup I will say that things have gone actually quite well with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Good Brothers, & Dolph Ziggler being able to switch brands. This means that they not only they will be able get a fresh start on the new brand, but it will give the brand a new look. However, I do think that some things could've changed and done a little different without focusing on the lower mid card. Though fact is doing this could give some very underused talent a chance to get back on television, but now we look at two mistakes I think they made with the Shake up this year.
Don't get me wrong there were some people that didn't really need to move as one way or the other their position in the company will not change. Keeping that in mind I think that giving Rusev a change of scenery would have been good for the man with his own holiday. Though it is pretty clear that someone in management doesn't want Rusev to be over as a good guy even though he and Aiden get some of the biggest reactions in the company; it could change things having him on a different show. The person that I don't think needed to move was Mojo as it doesn't matter if he is on Raw or Smackdown Live I don't think his position will change. However, I think now is a great time to try and strike with Rusev as the iron is hot and I think he is at the peak of his run so far and the interesting thing is WWE always tries to turn talent at some point & normally it is a dumb decision but now it would be the best decision for the company and the talent, but they refuse.
As for the name I think that should've moved to Smackdown Live it is a little tougher as I think there could've been a few choices. With the departure of The Miz from Raw I think that Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel will move back to the position they had before Miz which would be a mistake & honestly they all should've stayed together at least until Maryse came back. The other choice for me that should've switched was Finn Balor; even though the last few months have gone a lot better for Finn it has been a bumpy ride for him on the main roster. Now don't get me wrong Finn can carry a promo, but I think shifting him to the brand where match quality takes precedent over promo skills would've been better then keeping him on Raw. Especially now with his former Bullet Club mates now on the other brand. As for who I think could've remained on Raw well I think that even though starting him on Smackdown is the right decision I think Big Cass returning on Raw would've made more of an impact.
Overall I feel like I can make more of a case for a Rusev switching then I can for Finn because I think that the haul Smackdown Live got was pretty good with both Samoa Joe & Jeff Hardy moving over. I also feel like the Raw haul was more in cause of giving the show some depth to the roster with a lot of lower card talent coming over. Some fans have pointed out that they could be stocking Raw up with the upcoming programming deal expiring at the end of year. For once though it will be very interesting to see where things go from here.
Superstar Shake-Up Predictions
Now that we are after WrestleMania it is time for the traditional events for this time of year since the return of the brand split. As Vince use to say every year when he would announce the draft "It's time to shake things up again." Part of the fun of the shake up is discussing which talents will switch brands and which will stay put on the same brand. Admittedly it sort of feels like something has been missing from this brand split and maybe now that they'll have shared PPV's again it will fix that, but as always shaking things up a little bit will really help things feel at least a little new. Now it's prediction time:
Finn Balor: Based on recent events I think that Finn will be moving over to Tuesday nights and the reason for this is that at first I thought Seth would be the big name switching, but after he won the Intercontinental Title that ship has sailed. Also I don't think that Finn will be going alone as Anderson & Gallows will be joining him in the move over to Smackdown Live as all three men could benefit from a change of scenery. Plus it would be very interesting to see Finn on the same brand as not just AJ Styles, but Shinsuke Nakamura and possibly Daniel Bryan as well.
Rusev Day: At this point it is clear that the WWE doesn't really have faith in Rusev or Aiden English even though they are the most over act in the company. Looking at the fact that the company normally brings successful acts to Raw from Smackdown which is the reason I think Rusev Day should move to Raw. But also after selecting that Balor & Good Brothers will move over to Smackdown that means a team will have to slide to Raw. I will throw it out there that if Rusev Day doesn't move than I am going to predict that the future is in doubt for team that always celebrates their holiday.
Sasha Banks: I think that at this point it is time that Sasha slides over to the blue brand after spending almost two years on Raw. I will also through Sarah Logan out there as someone who likely switch with Banks to keep her away from Ronda due to the similar gimmicks they have. The only other thing to bring up is Banks and her ongoing feud with Bayley which would lend to her staying put on Raw, but I think that it is time for her to be on the Blue brand.
Natalya: With me selecting both Sasha Banks and Sarah Logan moving over to the blue brand we need two heels to move over to the red brand. Much like with Banks though I think it might be time for Nattie to switch brands as she has called Smackdown home for the last two years. At this point it would help give Nattie some fresh feuds and shake things up in the Raw Woman's division. Who I think will join Natalya in moving to Raw is probably Naomi for the same reason as Sasha and Natalya just as a way to shake things up.
Though more people will be moving around in the shake up I just wanted to point out some talent that I think are likely to switch as oppose to pointing out everyone. Fact is this will be a big shake-up depending on if they have a long term booking plan for the company, but knowing the company it is doubtful that they have such a plan. This does add just another wrinkle to this times of year and really adds to keeping fans interested for just a little bit longer following WrestleMania.
Post Wrestlemania Thoughts
The "Show of Show's" is now behind us and we are looking for any semblance of what could be in the near future. Final thoughts on the event though was that I thought the event could've been better, but wasn't the worst. By this I mean the show wasn't bad or one of the worst Wrestlemania's but it could've been and some cases should have been a lot better. One major criticism I have is how badly put together the latter half of the show was either because the matches weren't good or that the crowd was dead. The crowd was excessively silent during the Main Event between Brock and Roman which is an indication that not only did WWE make a mistake, but the match was poorly put together.
However, by the end we did behold a sight that none of us thought we would see and that was Brock Lesnar still holding onto the WWE Universal Title. Most fans expect the "Beast" to drop the gold to Roman at the event and then leave the WWE after a very successful 6 years with the company. Following the event though we have found that not only did Brock resign with the WWE, but he also might have had an altercation with Vince McMahon. Due to not much being known about the altercation and to avoid spreading false information I will not discuss that aspect.
I will mention though that from what is being reported it seems that Brock has resigned with WWE for what is being said to be a "short term deal." At this moment the details are a little fuzzy, but it seems to be that Brock is pegged for at least two more appearances and one more match. The reason for Brock's extension was solely due to Vince noticing the negative reaction to Roman at Mania and wanting to do it front of a more pro-Roman audience in Saudi Arabia. Overall I am very happy with the Wrestlemania results and can't wait to see what happens next week as a result of the Superstar Shakeup.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: won by Samoa Joe
Women's Battle Royal: won by Becky Lynch
Cruiserweight Championship Match:
Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
(c) The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor
This will be one of the more underrated matches on the show as all three of these talents are workhorses & can put together a great contest. There is no doubt that Miz has become one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions in history with his recent run. Rumors have been running around in recent months about what the plans are for Rollins following Wrestlemania. However, I think that it's tough to pick, but I think Finn Balor needs to get the win and start redoing his momentum from last year.
Raw Women's Championship:
(c) Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax
I have been very surprised to see how well the WWE has promoted this feud and made an intrigued match for tonight. I am going to keep this short though and make two points, first being that Alexa has really come into her own in recent months but it is now time for her to drop the title. However, I think it is time for Nia to get the biggest win of her career and get her moment. I think that Nia will become Women's Champion
WWE United States Championship Match:
(c) Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode vs Jinder Mahal w/ Singh Brothers vs Rusev
The hype for this match has been lackluster and just the booking in general for the United States title has been bad. The tournament for the title was a let down and though Orton winning the title was a good surprise and a way to bring his career full circle. Though I do think that Jinder could continue his push by winning the title. However, after certain rumors popping up & the fact that tomorrow is Rusev Day it would be crazy to think that Rusev couldn't become United States champion again.
Smackdown Live Women's Champion:
(c) Charlotte vs Asuka
There is no doubt that this match is one of the most highly anticipated women's matches in the history of not just Wrestlemania but in WWE history as well. Asuka has yet to loose in the WWE & Charlotte has become one of the best female competitors in over a decade. I think this is the toughest match to predict of all the matches due to it being able to go either way. However, I think that the WWE will stick to their guns and let the "Empress of Tomorrow" get her win and become Women's Champion.
Raw Tag Team Title Match:
(c) The Bar vs Braun Strowman & ???
Though in the build to this match it made the tag team division look excessively weak it was still a good way to get Braun on the show. I honestly have no idea who will team with the "Monster Among Men", but what I do know is that this match is pretty easy to predict. The reason for the easy nature of the prediction is that I think that the WWE is ready to have Braun win a title, but they don't want him winning a singles title just yet. This means that the Tag Team title is the next best thing for the monster to win and so he and his partner will leave the new champions.
Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match:
(c) The Uso's vs Bludgeon Brothers vs New Day
Much like the Intercontinental title match from earlier I think this match will be very underrated and will put on display how much better SD's division is than Raw's division. It is incredible how good of a run both the New Day and The Uso's have been on over the last year especially The Uso's. However, it is time for a new team to take the lead in the division and that's why the Bludgeon Brothers get the win and the gold.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon
It is incredible to think that this feud has been going on since last October and has been the most interesting part of the WWE. Though this feud has sometimes missed a beat, but it has also made Smackdown the more interesting of the two brands. Following the attack on Shane a few weeks in seems as though Bryan & Shane have put the tension behind them, but could it be that someone needs to remember "Never Cross a McMahon." I think though it could be either way and this will be an incredible sight to see with Daniel being in the ring. However, I think Owens and Zayn win due to Shane never really winning at the big event.
WWE Championship Match:
(c) AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Nobody thought that this match would ever happen just due to not one fan thinking that AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura would ever be in the WWE let alone fighting for the World title at Wrestlemania. It is crazy that Shinsuke won the Royal Rumble and could become the WWE Champion. There is no doubt though that this will be the best match on the Wrestlemania card with two of the best wrestlers meeting in the ring. At this point I do believe that Nakamura will be the WWE Champion at get his Wrestlemania moment.
Rhonda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
I have personally loved the build for this match and think that all four of these people have done a great job of building interest. I also think that Rhonda has done wonders with her microphone work getting a lot more comfortable since her debut at Fast Lane. I will say that I am a tad worried about Rhonda in the ring with Stephanie and think that may be a little bumpy. However, anyone who thinks Rhonda was brought in to lose her first match is crazy. Therefore it will be Angle & Rhonda getting the win over Triple H & Stephanie.
WWE Universal Championship Match:
(c) Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs Roman Reigns
Even with Dana White commenting that Brock Lesnar has next to officially resigned with UFC that doesn't ruin the match for anyone. As this will be yet another predictable Wrestlemania Main Event for the WWE with the "Big Dog" getting another Mania victory. Fans have predicted this for almost a year and it is now soon a reality that Brock Lesnar's year reign with the Universal title will end at the hand of Roman Reigns tonight.
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