A few weeks ago I mentioned the fact that the company was seeming to focus to much on the past and not enough on building the future. The feeling of a glass ceiling that has kept current talent from reaching a higher point started to show some cracks this week. In the last couple of year the company hasn't always done the best of booking new talent with one exception. The exception of the poor booking or the glass ceiling seems to now be the former "Drifter" who at this point is seemingly on the side of the good guys. With the ascension of Drew McIntyre and the heel turn of Dean Ambrose the heel side of the roster has gotten a face lift.
In my opinion Elias could help the Raw roster on the good guy side of things helping provide fresh matches and feuds to put together to help continue building Elias. It is clear based on who he has had TV time with over the last 12 months that the company has a lot of faith in him and it is pretty obvious why as he is unlike any other talent on the roster right now.
Overall the best way wrestler to compare Elias is the Velveteen Dream, because the gimmick fits the wrestler perfectly. It is extremely rare in modern wrestling not just for someone to have a gimmick, but for someone to do the gimmick as well as Elias does his gimmick. I will admit it is interesting seeing him feuding with Baron Corbin, because for once the company actually gave a reason for him to turn face & feud with Corbin. To make a bold prediction Elias will hold a championship by the end of 2018 & will get a run with the title now I know that Elias hasn't always been the best in the ring, but 2018 has really been his year so far and it will end on a very high not for one of the future stars of WWE.
Now I know that some of you might point this out as a negative thing or try and disprove my opinion on the situation. But that has never stopped me before so I am going to express it anyway and if you don't agree feel free to let me know your opinion. Though in some cases I can place the blame on working for not seeing the event, but I didn't even realize that the event for was set for today until I saw that Mike Johnson from PWInsider was covering the event. This has happened with a lot of WWE PPV's due to the poor way the company promotes most of their events outside of the big four.
Starting in July when the company first announced the all women's PPV event many fans were wondering what type of dream matches we would see at the event. Weeks would go by and very little would be announced for the event and then one dream match was set Trish Stratus vs Alexa Bliss though this would've been a fantastic match to build around it isn't enough to sell a show. The reality is that the weeks following the announcement were spent building to the Supershow in Australia and Summerslam which the latter is understandable. Though the Smackdown side had Charlotte & Becky's feud for the Women's title that was it and that is actually one grip fans have with the event is most of Smackdown's women's division was shoved into a battle royal.
Overall instead of picking a part the show or again running down the WWE's build to the event the clear message I will put over is that I was excited for the event and even thought about attending early on. However, as I said to someone who asked about why I didn't attend the event "Why I am going to spend money on an event that the WWE doesn't care about. Even with the "long term booking" of the Rousey/Bella's feud it still truly felt like the show lacked just the same importance it did when it was announced. The fact that work did play a factor aside this was a major missed opportunity by WWE as there is no reason they could've just started building the event either right at the moment of announcement or soon after. To put a positive spin on it though this is a start for the women's division and another stop on their long road back to a positive perception in the WWE. Congrats to the Women's Division on another milestone accomplishment!!
Following another episode from the blue brand and much like previous weeks I explain what I think is a highlight of the show. After last weeks milestone episode of Smackdown going super well I just expected a little more especially how many stories that Raw established. I feel like something was missing from this week's show as it was just way to plain in my opinion. I know that this happens from time to time, but I think it happens far to much from the WWE. Now don't get me wrong this doesn't mean that this episode was bad at all it is just that you could've missed this show and not really missed to much.
Looking at the show they spent some time building up both the upcoming events, but the build was not really anything special. Looking at the upcoming Evolution event and the lacking build of many Smackdown women's division matches other than the Women's championship match. Though some fans might point to there not being any feuds on Smackdown to build up I think that is just a cop out for WWE due to the company having had plenty of time to spend building up a few feuds for the show. I feel as though Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Asuka, Naomi, etc should've had a bigger part in the event just to make them feel a little more important.
In my opinion seeing someone like Naomi compete at the first ever Women's PPV could in turn set her up to move into a feud with Becky Lynch or Charlotte following the event. The reality is Carmella, Asuka, Sonya or Mandy would really benefit the same way from being included on the event in my opinion due to the seemingly long term outlook. However, the company has clearly lacked the ability to book long term in a big picture to keep a flow going. In the long term outlook the upcoming Last Women Standing Match should be the end of the Charlotte vs Becky feud and the show should set up the next feud for not just the Smackdown champion but Ronda Rousey as well.
The reason for this is, because then you don't have the layoff meaning the champion doesn't disappear from the television for a certain number of weeks while the company scrambles to find a new challenger they already have both people selected based on the events of the PPV. Unfortunately though the WWE doesn't seem to be into booking that far ahead anymore and is more interested in going week to week for whatever reason even though they would have better flow and I think allow for more investment in talent if the fans can see where a talent might be going next.
Certain times in life something can happen that really puts life into perspective and that is the best way to describe what happened Monday Night on Raw. Fact is that Roman Reigns announced that the leukemia that he fought 11 years ago is back and that he will have to step away from wrestling for treatment. I want to mention that this is an extremely tough subject and I will not be writing an article on this subject, because it is a hard topic to write about. Either way though I again want to offer prayers, positive thoughts and good vibes to the "Big Dog." We all know that you will beat this again and not just beat it, but you will kick cancers ass just like you did before. I know I speak for a number of fans when I say I can't wait to see you back on Raw in the future.
With the hard part out of the way I wanted to focus on the last segment of the night which saw the turn so many of us have been excited for and waiting to see for years. Following his and Rollins title victory things suddenly changed when Ambrose attacked Rollins with a savage beat down. Ambrose would hit the dirty deeds twice on Rollins once on the floor and would leave his former partner laying on the outside. The reality is that I don't think that this turn was planned tonight, but they went for it because of the impact that it would have as opposed to doing it on a random episode.
In my opinion Mike Johnson from PWInsider said it best: "The turn was unexpected that is what a heel turn is suppose be as it is suppose to make you mad. Your not suppose to like a heel turn as it is meant to do the opposite and should get you mad to the point of where you want the wronged good guy to get revenge. I think that some might believe Ambrose turning should've been held off, but the reality is I don't think the company could have picked a better night to do it. During his time on the "Indies" Dean Ambrose was an evil heel similar to the one Sami Callahan is currently with Impact. I don't think that Dean will go back that persona as the level of violence he was able to display in CZW is nowhere near what he can do in WWE. With that being said I'm unsure what to expect from Dean in the future, but I will admit I'm finally interested in WWE again.
Overall for once the company did a heel turn the right way as Ambrose I think will have a tremendous amount of heat with the fans and will be legitimately booed, which by the way is what makes a heel a heel. Truth is though I would've liked to see them wait a little longer for the turn, but I do understand why they did it on Monday and am very excited to see if they keep Ambrose as hot as they've kept Tomasso Ciampa. Even though I know they will not take my advice, but if they did I would say toss everything you think you should do with Rollins & Ambrose out the window as this feud should be booked unlike anything else the company has put together in years.
This past week we saw a landmark edition of Smackdown Live with the show holding it's 1000 episode ever and was it a spectacle. Looking back at this past January when the company held the 25th anniversary Raw event it was a cluster and that is an understatement. In reality I think that this show flowed a lot better then the other show which added to how successful the show was. One of the minor moments from the show we saw the return of Rey Mysterio who has been rumored to be returning for most of the year.
The one moment from the show that caught my attention based how messy the relationships had seemed between Batista and the McMahon family after his last run. Another rumor that has persisted for years is that Batista wanted to have one more feud with Triple H leading to a retirement match at Wrestlemania. During the show we saw the first appearance of Evolution on the blue brand and though it had been a while since they had been together it was almost like nothing changed. Yet once Batista took the microphone and might have planted the seeds for a return to the ring and getting the match he wanted. In my opinion it does seem like the company has set the stage for Triple H against Batista at Wrestlemania which is very interesting.
After last week's episode of Raw and the multiple issues I had about the amount of repetition the company is guilty of especially recently. However, this time around I will once again put that aside to finally have a more positive outlook after this episode based on some interesting side effects from the show. If you look up and down the card this week there was a lot of seeds planted for the future and some good build up to the Evolution PPV finally. Now don't get me wrong the WWE has done a terrible job of building up the Evolution PPV as was announced to be a spectacle and now is more like just another PPV. As they were more focused on promoting glorified house shows then the first ever all Women's PPV event which is crazy in my opinion. Look I understand why they are going to Australia & that other place, but isn't there such thing as over saturation and the company should have pulled it back a little.
Either way let's put that opinion aside and focus on the positives first of which was the segment including the Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey. So far I think that Ronda has taken to wrestling quite well and though she still has a ways to go this was a step in the right direction. Early on her matches have been formulaic similar to that of a "young lion" in New Japan, but to this point she never really showed much on the microphone. Though the Bella's have their critics truth be told both of them are very good at getting heat from the fans and are very good heels which made the lines that Ronda said on Raw even better. I don't think I can do the segment justice as I will go as far to say that it was the best Women's segment on Raw in a long time.
Shifting gears to another positive sight as Raw went off the air with Drew McIntyre standing tall and the "Monster Among Men" licking his wounds. Reality is that this is a sight we don't normally see as that was a sign of weakness from Braun which could really be a testament to how far the company plans to go with Drew. There have been rumors for months that Vince once again sees a bright future for the former "Chosen One" but it seems like this time around the future might be a little brighter from him then it was the first time around. The only thing I'm unsure about after seeing the ending to Raw is what exactly does this mean for the Tag Team champions if Drew will move into a feud with Braun in the near future. Overall I think we will have to wait and see what will happen next.
At first most fans didn't think much of the Lashley attack on Kevin Owens from last week's episode of Raw other than maybe WWE would finally allow Kevin to turn face & Lashley turn heel. I for was one of those people who was excited about Kevin finally getting a run as a good guy. Unfortunately it wasn't long after the episode finished that we found out the real reason that Kevin got written off television. The reason for those who may not know is that Kevin is actually injured with an undisclosed knee injury that will require surgery. Early reports point to a 6-8 month recovery time for the star, but this does mean that he will in fact miss WrestleMania next year for the first time since he arrived on the main roster.
In recent months nobody has had more "hardcore" moments then Kevin Owens who has been put through tables from various heights, slammed on the floor and who could forget thrown from the top of a cage. Kevin has done more in the last few months to look like a good guy and someone who puts his body on the line for the fans then any other time in his career. Knowing that at this point we could possibly not see Kevin until around WrestleMania of next year that being early April it will be highly unlikely that he doesn't return as a good guy. Now I know keeping his Spring 2019 recovery in mind I do think that he could be back before Mania, but I don't think the company should or wants him to rush back as this could be an injury that could keep him out longer if not given the right time to heal.
Overall if it was me I would now start a massive heel run from Lashley as he has now "taken out" Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. This could not only find him his next feud, but could garner him a ton of heat as both these guys even as heels had some fans cheering them week to week. Plus the reason you give Lashley a massive push is to give Owens someone to topple upon his return from the injury. Either way though the question is if the WWE will do anything like this and I think we just have to wait and see. Speedy recovery Kevin Owens!!
Though there might have been some moments from this week's edition of Smckdown to write home about, but I think everyone is focused on one thing right now. At this point I don't know how many people would've thought that Smackdown would hit this number, but let's hope it's better then Raw 25. I do remember that six years ago when the WWE had the Raw 1000 episode that was a very special event and worked as a milestone event. Looking at all the names set to appear next week at the event it is really a whose who of legends in WWE history. One of the more interesting "guests" next week will be all four members of Evolution which will be the first time that all four members will be together on the blue brand.
In reality another attention grabbing announcements is that Rey Mysterio will be set to return full time next week on the very special Smackdown. During the Ruthless Aggression era very few people went more hand and hand with the blue brand than Rey Mysterio. Since his Royal Rumble return earlier in the year we saw Rey look in fantastic shape by far the best shape he has been in for over a decade. Rey has been floating around the wrestling since January competing for New Japan & had a match at the All In event. Overall the rumors have been all over for most of the year with everyone trying to determine when Rey would return and now it's set for next week on Smackdown. I have to say that I'm happy to see Rey returning back to WWE and am very interested to see who Mysterio will be feuding with upon his return.
Looking at this week's episode of Raw it was a solid show, but I still did have a few issues as somethings on the show were a little confusing as to the reason that they were even on the show. Now looking at last weekend it really proved how unimportant the show was based on the lack of continued storylines. I'm unsure about the announced match between DX and Brothers of Destruction based on the article that I posted last week. Even with that being an issue for me this week too I will be ignoring it to avoid sounding like a broken record and talking about the same thing back to back weeks.
The main problem I had with this episode of Raw is the repetition of booking from show to show with the same matches being shown most weeks. Specifically we have seen the Ascension and Gable/Roode compete against each other for the last month or so and it is really getting old. Sometimes it really feels like the WWE forgets that there are other ways to keep feuds going from week to week other than having them in matches. Now I know that a feud between the Ascension and Roode/Gable may not be something that a lot of people want to see but in reality how does the company actually know that, because it would be something very fresh.
Overall comparing Lynch vs Charlotte as a fresh feud for the women's division I do believe that seeing this tag team feud could be a very fresh feud for the Raw tag team division. But I am not going to pin all the blame on this tag team match as the Finn Balor/Bayley vs Jinder Mahal/Alicia Fox "feud" continuing, but being extremely one sided. I do love the Bayley & Finn Balor partnership and feel like Fox & Mahal could fit together, but both need establishing otherwise it will be just seen as a thrown together team that doesn't have a reason to be together. I will point out that WWE is once again guilty of 50/50 booking, but then again that is something that every traditional WWE fan should know that they are guilty of at this point. I understand the "feud" has come together because of the mixed match challenge, but they really need to add some more depth to both the partnerships and make it less one side to allow for some more investment.
Recently, news has broken that WWE veteran Matt Hardy has seemingly decided to call it a career after a mixture of injuries he has sustained during his career and some new injuries have caught up with him. I think that the best way you can look at things is that age might have caught up with him at this point and time. On social media we saw Matt mention that he was looking to spend more time at home and being a father for his two young sons. Though it could end up that Hardy isn't done, but really just needs a little time off from the road to heal up then again it is also likely that this could the end of his career.
Either way if this is the end then it has been an incredible career for the elder Hardy brother starting from an enhancement talent and would become a top star in the largest company in the country. Putting aside his pre WWE career for various reasons, we have seen every phase of his career including the dark days in TNA when he was battling substance abuse. But from one half of one of the greatest Tag teams in WWE history to Version 1 to a bitter brother then a Hardy Boys return. Championships aside we have seen Matt be apart of some of the greatest moments in WWE history and some first ever matches as well.
Now adding his time as a promoter with Omega and his second run in TNA when he found the Broken Universe to add new life to his and Jeff's careers. It was the right time for it and it finally showed just how smart to wrestling Matt really is as he found his way to become a top star and reach the level that everyone always put his brother. For once Matt had the spotlight and didn't have to share it because he was the man insanely over with the fans. Then in one of the more feel good moments from any WrestleMania this decade we saw the Hardy Boys return to the WWE for one more run. I will admit that the Hardy's last run was booked a lot better then the Dudley's, then again that doesn't say much.
Overall though if this is the end then I'm glad we got to see the Hardy's together in the WWE one last time before the end came. All and all though I firmly believe that down the road Matt will be a WWE Hall of Famer both singles & with Jeff in my opinion. But I also want to say thank you, Thank you to Matt for all the moments and memories over the years it was an amazing ride and I'm glad he can walk away with his health & now has the luxury of becoming a father. In true "Broken" fashion we would never delete the memories it has been a "Wonderful" ride.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present