The Appeal of Rhonda Rousey
Yesterday I was told that if Rhonda lost her fight tonight at UFC 207 in Las Vegas that the aura of someone who was once considered the biggest draw in the UFC would be all but gone. Now some may agree and some may not, but it would be tough to argue that another loss in the Octagon on Friday wouldn't further damper the momentum of Rhonda, but I do think she would be able to come back from it stronger than before. However, for the last few months her fight at 207 with Amanda Nunes has been shrouded with rumors that this will be her last fight in the octagon and that she will retire from MMA following UFC 207.
Though this has yet to be confirmed as far as I know this definitely increases the drawing power for the PPV with the possibility this is Rousey's last fight in the octagon. This does bring up a question though: If you Rhonda does retire what happens next? Well recent reports have suggested that a stay in the WWE would be very likely in the future for Rousey or I honestly could see her following the path of Dwayne Johnson and becoming a movie star. As far as any confirmation to these reports we will just have to wait and see what happens in the future as this could be a big signing for the WWE.
Now to play a little devil advocate the only thing I worry about with the WWE signing Rhonda Rousey would be the believeability factor being extremely present every time she steps in the ring for a match. Much like it is present with Lesnar and in a way may hold Brock back, I think it will do the same for Rhonda if she was to step in a WWE ring. I am not saying that nobody in WWE could believably fight Rhonda in I do think that some women on the current WWE roster fight Rhonda and be believable threats to Rousey. For example: Natalya, Asuka, Becky Lynch, and a few others, but the list is limited. I also believe seeing Rhonda in the ring with a Sasha Banks, Charlotte or Alexa Bliss could be very interesting depending on who trains Rhonda for her WWE debut.
I think even if she does loss tonight and the aura that once surrounded her is gone that her mainstream appeal will still be extremely present and that it could be the perfect time for Vince and the WWE to capitalize on that appeal and make 2017 even bigger than this year was. However, my only condition is that Rousey MUST be a part time performer and not subject to the brand split to give her the freedom to work with more of the roster and be a true box office draw for the entire WWE. Until we know for sure what will happen, all we can do is wait and see what will happen in the future, but remember if this year proves anything it's that the WWE is still capable of being "Phenomenal"
As the new year comes upon us it also brings up the start of Wrestlemania season drawing ever so close and this means that the 2017 Hall of Fame class will be announced very soon or at least the first induction. For the last few months I have been talking with my guests on the podcast about who should be inducted this year and now I will talk about it here with my official picks for this years Class of 2017.
Everyone knows that every Hall of Fame class in recent years has paid tribute to someone who has passed away by inducting them after they are gone. The WWE has given those honors to Randy Savage and Ray Traylor in recent years, but I think that this year they should have two legends go in that are no longer with us because both are extremely deserving and should be in already. My first pick of the 2017 Hall of Fame class is:
WCW vs WWE Part 2
Tunnel vision in terms of pro-wrestling is a terrible thing as their more examples of it not working then there are example of it actually working. For example, focusing solely on ratings like the WCW higher-ups were really ended up hurting the company, because higher-ups didn’t have patience and would make creative switches before any booker or writer could really put his direction in place. Which means there was very little room for long term planning as they didn’t want to hear what would be done they wanted to hear what was being done. Shockingly this is just another similarity that the later years of WCW has to modern WWE as neither invested a lot into long-term planning.
“He predicted that the WWF, scaring away sponsors with its adult language and lewd gestures, would be in serious financial trouble within six months, although that bold statement likely was more intended to put a scare into those wrestlers whose contracts were coming up for renewal and may be considering a jump to the other promotion.” This is a quote from Eric Bischoff and boy was he wrong, because if anything because of the switch in programing the WWE experienced on of their most successful periods ever and in many ways were able to become publicly traded solely based on this era. Though Eric’s comment may have been justified as it is fair to say that pro-wrestling hasn’t encountered anything at all like the Attitude Era at the time or since.
The Pre-Show Shuffle
As of the last PPV both Lita and Jerry Lawler have been effectively removed from the pre-show table for PPV hype. This is the second time this year that the WWE has changed the pre-show "announcers" the first change came following the brand split when they moved Corey Graves off the table and placed him on Raw. They also removed Jerry Lawler from Samckdown's announce team and made him exclusive to the Pre-show panel along with newly added Lita as well.
This new change raises the question of why bother as in why bother adding Lita to the panel in the first place if she was going to be off the panel in less than a year like she was. Apparently as of this writing it seems like Lita may have been removed due in part to something having to do with her contract with WWE. Not exactly sure what could be limiting her apperances as she does still have a legends contract with the company, but I guess they maybe starting to limit certain people's appearances that are under such contracts.
On the side of Jerry Lawler, the word came out not soon after his departure from the broadcast table that they were pulling him from TV to begin lighting up his schedule because at his age they want people to start cutting back dates. However, at the time it felt King found his second wind after flipping back to a heel once moved to Smackdown with Mauro Rannelo. But it may have also been time to move on to some fresh faces and get fresh sound for WWE programming. Sadly a era may have ended officially, but much like Lita the King's isn't gone from the company. However, his apperance will become a lot more sparse in the future as he will only be around for the big event like the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Hero Heading Back to WWE
Back in late 2011 the Independent wrestling circuit was sort of filpped upside down when both Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero had private tryouts with the WWE at the behest of William Regal. Claudio was offered and a contract right on the spot and then the following February Hero was as well, this lead to a big loss of ROH would be losing their top heel tag team in one feel swoop. I think we all know the success that man later known as Cesaro would go onto have in the WWE, but the same can't be said for Hero.
Repackaged as Kassius Ohono and assigned to the rebranded developmental territory called NXT his career seemed to kick off right. When Hero signed came up with the name of K.O due to it his gimmicked infatuation with knocking his opponets out. However, due to problems with management Hero's time in the WWE was very short and he would actually never make it to the main roster. Honestly, I think never making to main roster may have motivated him when he went back to the Indies to prove something to himself as I feel like his run on the Indies post WWE was better then before he was with the company.
As of a few days ago and Dave Meltzer next to confirming the story it seems very likely that one of the "debuts" we could be seeing next year for WWE could be the former Kassihus Ohono. If in fact this is definetly going to happen and Hero will be heading back to the WWE then I for one am very happy for Chris and am actually really excited about the prospect of Hero & Cesaro reuniting under the WWE banner as the Kings of Wrestling for a total mark out moment. But I guess for right now we have to wait and see what will happen in the coming weeks leading into the new year.
PPV Predictions: WWE Roadblock
WWE Roadblock 2016
Rusev w/ Lana vs Big Cass w/ Enzo
In my opinion this match should be on the regular show as it has been given enough hype in the build up to the PPV to be one of the matches on the show. I know that WWE management has loved Cass since he had to go at on his own when Enzo got hurt for a few weeks and I am not saying that they will be breaking up I just thought I would toss that out their though. I don't think their is any doubt that Rusev will get the win in this match and get momentum going for next year.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match:
(c) Rich Swann vs Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins
Thus far the booking of the cruiserweight division has been lackluster at best, but I will say that I am very happy for all of these guys that they either made it or made it back to the WWE, because they all deserve to be in the company. With time the booking will improve and as the talent get over the same thing will happen all we need to do is wait. As far as the winner I think it's time to keep the belt still for a while and that's why Swann will win.
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman
I have really enjoyed Braun's push so far and I do enjoy the microphone work Sami has displayed since the start of this feud as I feel like it's some of his best work yet. But I do think this feud needs to go somewhere and if it doesn't lead to Sami getting dealt I think there is only one other place it can go and I don't think WWE want that. Logically a trade could be good for Sami and it would makes sense especially if he wants to keep chasing Braun after tonight. Pretty much academic who wins this one as Braun will remain unbeaten tonight.
WWE Tag Team Title Match:
(c) New Day vs Cesaro & Sheamus
At this point the WWE really to shake things up for the New Day and give them a punch in the arm as we head to 2017. The New Day have become one of the best stables in recent WWE history but at this point they have held the Tag Team titles for over 480 days and a change is needed. To be fair they are still entertaining and interesting, but I think they need to chase the gold again for a while instead of holding onto it again tonight. A win gives the new team crediblity and will replenish the division after a year of the same it's time to shake things up again with Cesaro and Sheamus winning the titles tonight.
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho
2016 has been an incredible year for Jericho as we have seen his best performances yet and it feels like he once again loves what he does and actually isn't just going through the motions anymore. This Jericho we have seen in 2016 has been Jericho at his best and we have absolutely gotten the "Gift of Jericho" this year. However, weak booking is the only criticism that can be placed on the "Court of Jericho" as he has lost to Seth especially way to much and needs to gain some revenege on Rollins tonight. Seth is pretty much bullet proof as far as losing a big match and can afford to come up short as Jericho needs it more. Jericho will get the win tonight finally.
WWE Women's Championship Match:
(c) Sasah Banks vs Charlotte
This feud has been incredible and has done so much to change the perception of what it means to be a woman in the WWE. These two have made history with one another over the course of this year and will again tonight, but this show is amptly named the End of the Line and tonight this feud needs to end, no matter who wins. I know Charlotte is still unbeaten at PPV's but that doesn't matter what matters is ending this feud while it still has momentum and not overexposing the feud by keeping them together for way to long. Tonight feud needs to end and we need to head to the new year ready for something new and the only way that happens is if Banks wins and retains the gold.
WWE Universal Title Match:
(c) Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns
I definitly think that this match will be good and these two will show the chemistry they have with one another once again. However, there is only way this match can go and it's not the way most expect. Roman isn't ready for the World title again and they need to humanize him before they put the title back on him, because no humanizing him will undo all of the effort they have put in to make him human and not a super hero. I am not saying don't put the title on him I am saying you will gain more by giving Kevin the win and having Roman lose clean for the first time in a very long time. Kevin Owens NEEDS the win tonight!!
Why a Trade Needs to Happen
Since the Brand Split returned back in July numerous talent have been able to break through the "glass ceiling" that has been put in place. Alot of names have break through and have done amazing in the last few months names like The Miz, Cesaro, Carmella, Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, and a variety of other talent have really broke through the glass ceiling. But that doesn't mean that the rosters from the split have been done perfect or the roster were split right, because they weren't. That's why I am going to select two trades that should happen sooner rather than later.
Cruiserweights Then and Now 2
If you good back in time to when the cruiserweights came to the WCW they took a little over a little time for them to get over with the new group of fans. Names like Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Kidman, Malenko, Jericho, and a variety of others would go on to accomplish a large amount of success following their stay in the cruiserweight division. Looking at the current division for the WWE we can see a lot of names with a tremendous amount of potential to become big stars in the WWE but it will just take time.
WCW Differs from WWE
Think about this back in the late 1990’s when Wrestling had reached in many ways its peak in popularity and we had two major companies ruling the wrestling world. One being the “adult” eques company and the other being the total and complete opposite. In the late 90’s the WWF at the time was the company built for teens with all the adult language and lewd gestures one could handle. Instead of following their lead and doing the exact same thing WCW and Eric Bischoff went the opposite way looking to hit the market that WWE wasn’t that being the kids. At this time WCW wasn’t doing any lewd gestures, had bans on certain adult language and even had certain moves off-limits for example, the Bronco buster.
Much like I mentioned in the WCW vs WWE series the WCW is much more comparable to the WWE product of today than the one that we saw back during the Monday Night Wars. Back in the late WCW and WWF couldn’t have been more different they were like 360 degrees the opposite of each other, and you could see that every single Monday night with how the show started and the TV rating just to name a couple off the top of my head.
The main demographic for pro-wrestling TV shows is normally the 18-34 year old range and no I’m getting any more specific than just the range of ages. This doesn’t include gender, geography or anything that nature. The problem was that when WCW began to compete with Vince in many ways he had that demographic all sewed up. Also before Nitro kicked off in 1995 then Vice-President Eric Bischoff sat down and made a chart which include all the things that WWE did at the time and what WCW could do to be different then WWE. One of those things they could do different is appeal to a different demographic then Vince, then again WCW never really appealed to the same audience that WWE did during the Attitude Era.
PPV Predictions: WWE TLC
WWE TLC 2016
Baron Corbin vs Kalisto
I have never liked the concept of a chairs match and this match doesn't change things for as I just think it is a dumb concept for a match. I do like the depth that is with this feud but I think that WWE has painted themselves into a corner with this one as both guys could use a win, but only one of them will win. I think as far as left over potential Corbin needs the win for this match to remain a top heel on Smackdown. So I think Corbin gets the win and a trade should be in the future for Kalisto.
WWE Tag Team Title Match:
(c) Heath Slater & Rhyno vs The Wyatt Family
This will be the biggest chance for WWE to save the Wyatt's as Survivor Series should've been a turning point with them actually being the only survivors in the Raw vs Smackdown Main Event and tonight should be were they continue the momentum building for the tag team. Plus I think Slater and Rhyno at the top has been done for long enough and now they need a new team on top. So I see the momentum continuing to finally grow for the Wyatt's with a win tonight.
NO Holds Barred:
Nikki Bella vs Carmella
This is one of those feuds that need to end tonight as it has been going since the start of the brand split back in July and though I am a big supporter of long term feuds they are pushing to much with this feud. Also the winner of this match should be dependent on who wins the Women's title match later in the show as this match should give one of them a push to the title. For me this is a tough choice as it really depends on Nikki's schedule if she should get the win or not. Though I feel like it might be too soon for Carmella to get a title shot I want to believe she will win, but I am going with Nikki to win this and feud with Becky.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match:
(c) The Miz w/ Maryse vs Dolp Ziggler
Another one of the feuds that really need to end on this show due to the length of time the feud has been going on to this point and though it isn't as overdone as Nikki vs Carmella it is getting there. See Miz is by far the hottest heel in the company right now far none and has done a lot of good for the Interncontinental title this year, but keeping him feuding with one guys isn't doing either of them any favors. I think following this match sending Dolph away for a bit might be a great idea, but there is no reason why the Miz shouldn't win this match clean.
Tables Match for the WWE Women's Championship:
(c) Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss
This will likely be the blowoff to this feud and I for one have enjoyed this feud from the start as I had some doubts about Alexa coming to the main roster, but she is eliminated them all by her performances so far and continues to impress me. Much like I mentioned with the earlier women's match this match could go either way. But I think that letting Becky hold on to the title would be better in this situation.
TLC Match for the WWE Championship
(c) AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose
At this point this feud needs to blow off tonight as they have exhausted all the possiblities out of this feud and I don't think there is much left. Dean was a good champion and it was great to see Dean get his moment in the sun with the title and having it for a few months, but overall he is very limited as far as who he can work well with. For that reason alone I think AJ needs to keep the belt as we head to the new year.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present
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