At this point Roman Reigns had been missing since the week before Wrestlemania due to concerns around the ongoing pandemic. With the stress and uncertainty that had been present during Wrestlemania season it was unclear when Roman would possibly return to programming. It was unfair to assume that we could possibly know when Roman would be returning to the company as we didn't know when the pandemic would be under control to point where could even consider doing so. In his absence Braun Strowman took the lead and became the unexpected Universal Champion defeating Goldberg.
At Summerslam the rivalry came to ahead between The Fiend and Braun Strowman it finally happened after being robbed of the gold by Goldberg his title is back. The Fiend is once again Universal Champion and is the leader of the Smackdown brand. In my opinion, now WWE needs to keep rebuilding him and not make the same mistake twice don't f** up again, because Bray Wyatt can't handle another misstep. Goldberg's loss set him back a few months and he has finally rehab himself to solid ground, but it can all evaporate just as quick. Defeating Cena at Wrestlemania helped reset The Fiend and now winning back the title undid the past missteps, but now they have to continue on this road and not switch back to make him chase again. Roman might be back, but really who knows if he is staying or just has returned to give The Fiend a deserving rub and then he can disappear once more. I guess we will have to wait and see what comes next on Smackdown for Roman Reigns and The Fiend.
A couple of weeks ago at this point Adam Cole appeared on Pat Mcaffe's talk show and things got interesting relatively quick. Mcaffe would begin to express his opinion on how much Cole's record setting title reign was reliant on his association with the Undisputed Era. After making some quips about his height as well Cole would storm out of the show breaking some equipment in the process leading to what might've still be a real altercation between Cole and Mcaffe. Things would continue to build up with Mcafee being invited to NXT as a way to quell any ill will between Cole and Mcaffe in a professional manner.
Everything seemed to be fine, but then Mcafee would again start taking shots at Adam Cole specifically about his reliance on Undisputed Era and his height. Pat said on commentary that he respects the other members of Undisputed Era outside of Adam Cole. Things would escalate from there leading to one of the better heel turns and in my opinion one of the best things WWE has done in a long time, because it felt real. Mcafee is training to get in the ring with legend Rip Rogers and it seems that is where we are heading at this point and it seems like a face turn for at least Adam Cole is in the cards while we build. Take a look for yourself at Pat Mcafee turning heel!!! Also known as effectively using a non wrestler to the best of their ability!
I have really fallen out of favor with wrestling in recent months not where I don't still love it, but it is more where I'm tired of waiting for things to change and wasting my time watching the show. I think the best comparison I can make is that WWE hit a 1.9 rating on the March 3, 1997 edition of Monday Night Raw. This was the Raw that turned everything around for the company when they finally decided to turn the corner creatively toward an "Era of Attitude."
The most recent episode of Raw hit 1.7 million viewers and even though that was higher then the week before it was one of the lowest in recent memory. I can't answer many of the questions in this article alone, because there are just way to many questions to answer in the same article. Can probably write a book on how many problems there are with WWE today and the biggest problem facing the company is that new problems keep popping up before they have a chance to solve the old problems.
Yes! Are there easy fixes? Of course should the company be looking for those fixes? Well no, but the real question is will they be looking for those types of fixes, let me ask this is WWE right? It would be more surprising at this point if they try to actually fix any problem the right way. The right way for them to try and fix the problem is by sitting down and actually taking the time to figure out the best plan of action for the company to go and take the time to put those plans into place. It's like I've heard from some old school wrestling personalities "I can't make you money tomorrow, but in six months we will have a chance to be making money." Basically in it's truest form wrestling takes time to develop, it takes time for the wrestlers to get over and build a sense of attachment with viewing audience, it takes time for a story line to get over or not. It's simple really, but WWE has lost sight of how important exposition is to wrestling allowing fans to know clearly who to get behind and invest in over time.
The reality is that WWE has been placing band aids on a crumbling system for years and Vince has been resist to admit that either creative needs to change or he does. Vince isn't out of touch, it's that he's trying to do to much and not letting his employees do what they were hired to do. Basically, if Vince was a coach in baseball how he's running WWE would like him telling a player the exact way he wants them to swing a bat or through a ball. Vince has always been crazy, but he use to be able to delegate to others around him that he could trust. I can keep talking about Vince or the problems facing WWE for hours, but I don't want to keep talking to long so let's save that for next time.
Recently I heard that number one Summerslam is still up in the air as Vince had wanted fans to be back in the crowd for the biggest party of the summer. However, that doesn't seem like something plausible at this point due to the recent outbreak. I also believe that due to the recent issues WWE has had dealing with the current situation they should step back from planning big events and figure out the right now.
Either way though Brock Lesnar is rumored to be challenging Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at Summerslam. Two ways this doesn't happen though is if Summerslam is pushed back or if Brock is unable to enter the USA. For those unaware Brock has been a Canadian resident for a few years at this point and with the current situation it has made traveling between countries a very complicated situation.
At this point, should Brock be unable to make Summerslam the WWE has a replacement in place for Lesnar in Randy Orton. Initial plans penciled him in for another match with Edge at Summerslam but that changed when Edge got injured. Orton has had a bit of a resurgence in 2020 and could make for a credible opponent for McIntyre on the large scale and I'd point out I'd rather Orton take the belt then Lesnar take it again. It is likely we will get our answer of his opponent following Extreme Rules and the end of his feud with Dolph Ziggler. I'd rather see Brock stay off television and let Orton take the spot, but they are desperate and even though Brock may help one week it won't change much.
Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus
I agree with what I read on CBS Sports predictions so I will just take what they said "Sheamus picks up the win on Sunday, and with Extreme Rules tentatively scheduled as the next PPV on the calendar, Hardy will emerge victorious in the feud in some sort of gimmick match." I don't like this feud, because I think that they could've put more thought into it just like I could've with this prediction.
WWE United States Championship:
(c) Apollo Crews vs Andrade
It was a big surprise that Apollo finally was given an opportunity to shine with the United States title and I think that they need time to rebuild his credibility to give him something to fall back on when he no longer has the title. With that being said Andrade can take a loss and be fine, but Apollo really can't in the same vain. Apollo takes the win and moves on from Andrade.
Women's Tag Team Championship: (c) Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics
The only thing that makes logical sense is keeping the titles on Banks and Bayley to allow them to remain on television and be a part of the eventual feud between Banks and Bayley. Plus the two women never really got a fair reign with the titles the first time around. Banks and Bayley retain.
WWE Women's Championship:
(c) Asuka vs Nia Jax
I'll keep it simple Asuka is extremely entertaining and I wouldn't take the title off her right now. Asuka retains the title.
Universal Championship Match:
(c) Braun Strowman vs The Miz and John Morrison
I don't really understand the logic of this match, because if Strowman defeats both Miz and Morrison it will do some damage to the two former tag team champions. Even if it is just a placeholder feud it would've been better served as Miz or Morrison vs Strowman not both men or at least making it a triple threat match instead to drive up the interest. Strowman wins tonight!
WWE Championship Match:
(c) Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Lashley
Even though is nothing more then a placeholder feud for McIntyre to waist some time I'm more intrigued by this one then most anything on the card. I think there is more to build up with a partnership between Lashley and MVP to maybe have a rematch down the line with Drew, but pulling the trigger now would be to soon and make little sense.
Edge vs Randy Orton
In my opinion, this feud should've ended at Wrestlemania, because running a feud like this too long will make it loose the same tension it had when it began. There is no need for another match to happen especially with them using the worst possible tagline imaginable. It's called "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" it's a f***** wrestling show between two guys who have never been known to have great "wrestling" matches. Just let them fight with no freaking tagline it's unneeded. Plus fans want to see dream matches with Edge due to many questioning how many years he will remain active. AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, or having him elevate some younger stars into the main event like Andrade. Edge wins with the hope of them ending this unneeded rivalry.
On Sunday night the NXT brand wrote another chapter in it's tremendous legacy of upstaging the main roster and it was no different this time. In Your House use to be the go to brand name for WWF PPV, but was dropped back after ST. Valentines Massacre in February 1999. However, the WWE finally cycled back to the historical event in the year that marks 25 years since it's debut. Now it's unclear at this point if In Your House will be a yearly event for NXT, but if this year is any indication it will be welcome addition.
On Sunday we saw the much anticipated debut of Karrion Kross who collided with NXT stalwart Tommaso Ciampa. A lot has been made of Kross the exceptions that management have for him so a feud with Ciampa this early isn't a shock. With an apparent emphatic win against the former champion it is a new look for NXT but a massive first victory for the new monster in NXT. For once we could see someone who didn't get a chance to reach their potential elsewhere find it in WWE.
As for the main event which saw the Women's Division given center stage and Charlotte defend the NXT Women's championship. Flair holding the NXT title was an interesting break from the normal down on the black and yellow brand, but now it's time shift back to those who call NXT home. Also it might be time for Charlotte to head back to the main roster. The match proved exactly why the WWE's women's division is a step ahead of most every division in american wrestling as far as in ring competition. It is indeed a breath of fresh air seeing Io Shari get her shot to lead the women's division and with likely feud with Ripley now in the cards it will be more interesting the next few months in NXT.
The series is back with another person that had waited till later on in his career and maybe was a little bit past his prime. Steve Williams would debut in WWE in late 1997 as a member of the failure of a Brawl for it All. Around a year before that another legendary figure from Japan would finally make the jump to the WWE this time from WCW. At first Vader's career really struggled to take off in America and really didn't find his place in wrestling until he got the chance to go to Japan. In Japan, Vader would become a top box office draw and would eventually move back to America to join WCW and would spend the later half of his prime as a box office draw in WCW.
Even though WCW prior to the arrival of Hulk Hogan didn't have the same type of notoriety as they would, but Vader was one of the top stars in the pre-Hogan WCW. Around the time of Hogan's arrival it was when Vader run in WCW was winding down. The reality is at the time a five year run in one place was still extremely rare especially with Vader staying as a heel for his entire run in WCW. Vader would leave WCW in late summer 1995 prior to the start of Monday Nitro and would eventually sign with WWE.
Vader would debut as a member of the Royal Rumble and would then attack President Monsoon the next night on Raw which was rare at the time, because nobody laid hands on Gorilla Monsoon. Vader at the time needed surgery so they needed to write him off for a time which was unfortunate, but something that needed to be done at the time. A lot has been made over the years out of the eventual feud between Vader and Shawn Michaels and I will not dig deep into this part of Vader's career. Overall Vader's career in WWE would hit a wall after an incident in Kuwait due to getting arrested for beating up a news reporter who asked if wrestling was fake. Even though at the time in 1998, Vader was approaching the twilight of his career as he was in his early 40's, his body was wearing down, and had experienced weight gain.
In my opinion, Vader was a victim of circumstance from the very start of his stint in WWE and if his run started a little differently. I'm not sure if they knew about Vader's need for surgery from the start of his signing with the company then I wonder exactly why they didn't chose to hold off his debut until after his needed surgery was completed. Vader was out of his prime by the time he moved to WWE and in reality his in ring style didn't really fit the WWE style, because he was more snug in the ring. I do think that there was still drawing power for Vader early on in his run with WWE, but the mystique would've disappeared eventually anyway. I just don't think it would've happened as quick had they held off his debut or done things a little differently from the start, I just don't know how Vince didn't see money in Vader and did with some of his other experiments at the time.
A few weeks ago one of the bigger missteps from the WWE had taken place with them leaving Drew Gulak behind even though he had been getting a push teaming with Daniel Bryan. According to various sources Drew Gulak thought that he had earned a raise due to his status in the company changing and becoming more valuable to the WWE. However, there is no doubting that this isn't the right time to be asking for a raise even if you deserve it. Gulak was very early on in his push and even though he was in a better more stable position in the company it was a little too soon.
Rumor has it at this point that Drew Gulak has not only resigned with WWE, but earned his multi-year contract. Taken from an article on the Bleacher Report: "Meltzer added that other promoters attempted to contact Gulak during the brief period of time that he was a free agent, but he "clearly had a destination" in WWE."
I more then once questioned how Gulak and WWE couldn't have come to a compromise to keep Drew within the company and prevent him from leaving for greener pastures. Gulak has finally been able to show his potential, but it was derailed by something that was preventable. If the company was smart then they would be using his short departure as a part of a story line especially if it means him turning heel on Daniel Bryan eventually.
In a shocking move Drew Gulak is no longer a member of the WWE roster and there seems to be a simple reason for it. For anyone that hasn't been paying attention to WWE in recent months Drew had been working Daniel Bryan and seemed to finally be getting a much deserved push. Drew actually had just fought Bryan in a solid contest on Smackdown three days ago and still got his walking papers. First off WWE didn't release him his contract expired and the company failed to resign him.
I have praised Drew in the past as an underrated performer who really stuck out from the pack during his stay in Combat Zone Wrestling. Originally signed to be a member of the cruiserweight division in 2016, it took Drew a few years to even get a shot to stick out, and his time as cruiserweight champion gave us a taste of what he could do in the spotlight. Last year we got our first taste of Drew getting a chance to shine on a brand that matters when he started feuding with Daniel Bryan. In a fresh take on long standing concept Gulak actually joined Bryan and it seemed that WWE had a long term plan for both Bryan and Gulak which could've led to Gulak being the one to retire Daniel in the future.
According to Dave Meltzer the reason for Gulak's contract expiring is simply due to Drew thinking he was due a raise and WWE not wanting to give him one. With the current situation troubling society WWE will not be giving talent a raise and they pulled his contract. I understand the WWE's perspective in this uncertain situation they can't exactly toss money around, but I feel like this situation could've been handled a little better. If I had to guess Drew didn't want to leave and would've been willing to compromise or at least was open to some sort of negotiating. Another bad step by WWE in a time of constant issues for WWE.
Money in the Bank 2020
Jeff Hardy vs Cesaro
MVP vs R-Truth
A random match that feels like something designed to help MVP and is more or less PPV filler will be treated like that here. All I will say is MVP wins.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships:
(c) New Day vs The Miz & John Morrison vs The Forgotten Sons vs Lucha House Party
After a shock win against the tag team champions the Forgotten Sons have found their way into the title picture very early on in their main roster run. Looking at it from that perspective I think that the Forgotten Sons can take the fall in the match. Right now is the best time for the WWE to take a test run with someone unexpected, because nobody is at the show and they need a new direction to peak interest. The Lucha House Party are my pick to get the win here, because they need it the most.
Smackdown Women's Championship:
(c) Bayley vs Tamina
A test for Tamina who has never been in this type of position before in her career so this is a first time for her. Bayley has woken up to a degree since Wrestlemania and it seems like they planted seeds for a real feud between Banks and Bayley and they finally need to stay the course. Bayley will keep the gold tonight!
(c) Braun Strowman vs Bray Wyatt
It is still strange seeing Strowman with the Universal Championship after his shock win at Wrestlemania. I'm happy that they finally gave him a shot and like I mentioned with the Tag Title match this is the perfect time for that with Strowman to take the lead, because it will show if he can handle the pressure of being on top. Wyatt has recovered a lot of the momentum he lost back in February after losing to Goldberg in Saudi Arabia. It is unclear if Wyatt needs the win here or if they could get another match out of this feud without giving up on the feud this early. Considering there is more meat on the bone it is obvious to me that Strowman gets the victory tonight.
(c) Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins
Much like Strowman it is still strange knowing that McIntyre is WWE Champion and has done a solid job so far as champion. I was surprised to see Rollins jump into the title picture this soon, but I guess with the current situation they wanted to try jolt energy right from the start with this feud and not wait for it. McIntyre will not drop the title yet it is too soon unless they want to put him back on the chase for the gold against Rollins, but I don't think it's the right time for that. McIntyre wins tonight!
Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Nia Jax vs. Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke
I'm gonna make this pretty easy and say that I never have liked matches with too many on screen at one time and I've heard that both Ladder matches will happen at once I have zero interest in that aspect of this years event. I do have interest in seeing it happen at WWE headquarters, but they should take place individually not together. It is unfair to the competitors to have the match happen together and I really hope that WWE has changed their minds on that front. After losing at Wrestlemania to Becky Lynch it is clear that Shayna Baszler is the logical choice to get the win tonight and get her revenge on Becky.
Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match: AJ Styles vs. Aleister Black vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Otis vs. King Corbin
Copy and paste what I said above about the ladder match down here to, because it will it uninteresting and hard to follow if both matches happen at once. I don't know how I feel about it happening at the Headquarters, but they do have my interest and intrigue. This is the right chance for them to take a chance on someone new and give them a shot which only leaves Otis or Aleister Black as possible winners which aren't bad choices. Otis has made his case recently by being someone the people care about and have gotten behind, but Black is almost the opposite and needs a little oof behind him to really take the next step. With sticking with the same logic I've been using so far I will select Black as my choice to win Money in the Bank this year.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present