Even though some fans might believe that at his height Miz could've and should've been a top challenger for the WWE or Universal Championship. I do agree he should've challenged for the title and would've given Kofi Kingston a more interesting feud for Kofi then he had with Dolph or Kevin Owens. However, I think at this point the WWE isn't willing to get behind The Miz in that way again even though he has become a household name due to Total Divas and Miz & Mrs. It is possible that, because of the filming of the show they do believe in The Miz and know that he is a reliable in ring competitor.
I didn't mind the feud earlier this year between Miz and Shane McMahon, but I feel like Miz hasn't had a direction since the end of the feud. Until now that is a few weeks ago it seemed like a feud has kicked off between Miz and Shinsuke Nakamura. Side note it is alarming that WWE can go weeks or months without having a long term direction for the Intercontinental or United States Champion. In my opinion, someone shouldn't be given the opportunity to become champion if WWE doesn't have a plan for him following the title victory.
At this point, Miz is one victory away from tying Chris Jericho for the most reigns ever as Intercontinental Champion. Every reign Miz has had in recent years has done so much to reset to prestige of the Intercontinental title for them to just losing all the meaning & importance that Miz had established for the title. I am confident that Miz and Nakamura could have go match together, but if they will have chemistry is always the question. As of this writing Nakamura has held the championship for 52 days and I could see them look to crown a new champion next week at Clash of Champions especially with the full draft coming in October.
A few weeks ago Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins defeated The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Raw Tag Team Titles. This continues the puzzling way of how the WWE books the tag team division on Raw the company has never really cared about properly giving a hot feud to the tag team division. From The Revival to The OC to the short lived tag team of Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy the division hasn't had a proper direction for years. It is an unfortunate side effect of how little Vince McMahon believes in the tag team division and that he hasn't in nearly two decades. Even though the talent level is just as high as it was back in the early part of the decade but it seems like they aren't believed in as much as they use to be.
The reason for this title is that I think that when two people that have never teamed together before not only defeat the tag team champions, but win the tag team titles from a well respected team. Now don't get me wrong one loss will not kill a tag team but if it happens often enough it could kill a lot of the credibility that a team has. Since they debuted there has been a lot of ups and downs for Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson recently have regained some credibility that they had lost in the past. However, losing to Strowman & Rollins does show just how undervalued the tag team division is, because when a team has chemistry and can work well together that is made such a big deal in matches with The Revival and The Uso's. But then you see Strowman & Rollins team together once and win with no chemistry.
In my opinion, what is the point of having a division if you are just going to give the tag titles to a non team. I know that this could be win it and lose it right back to The OC. Simply put them having this title change seems like an unnecessary addition to the developing rivalry between Rollins and Strowman. This is lazy booking as there is a division for a reason and this like a slap in the face to the actual teams that the company has. Unless this helps elevate an actual team when they win the titles then I will eat my words, until then I hate this booking style, because it forces WWE to push all the teams in Raw's division to the background which is pointless as you are paying people to sit back instead of just allowing them to do what they are being paid to do.
At this point Randy Orton has been in the ranks of the WWE for the last seventeen years. Unlike some other top stars Randy has had a lot of ups and downs in his career struggling to really keep his stock high in the company at all times. Early it seemed like Randy would be the first person to break through from the 2002 rookie class, but that changed after the flop World Title reign in 2004. Fast forward to modern times when Randy has become the elder statesman it has been a sight really seeing Randy get push to the background in favor of names like Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, and others.
However, since the start of his feud with Kofi Kingston it seems like Randy has found his way out of the background and into the foreground once again. Even though their first meeting leaned a bit much on the history these two men have mounted in the last decade and not enough on making the match memorable things have seemingly picked up in recent weeks. Recently a rise in intensity has given the feud some much needed energy. Now with sides even and Randy taking The Revival under his wing similar to the way he took Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase under his wing many years ago things have changed again.
Last week on Raw the trio attacked the New Day and "injured" Xavier Woods and though there is no indication of when we will be seeing Woods again it would help the feud and the new trio if he missed a few weeks. In my opinion, Woods shouldn't be on television this week and instead Kofi & Big E should give us an update on him. Next week he should be selling the injuries, because there is no need to rush through this and the longer Woods is gone the more dangerous it makes Orton and The Revival seem. I love this new combination, because everyone knows how valued Orton is in the company and seeing him with The Revival could mean the team has finally been placed in a spot to succeed like they deserve.
Following Wrestlemania 35 we saw the first title change for the Women's Tag Titles when Billy Kay and Peyton Royce. Though this seems like a simple title change it didn't come without controversy as reports would pop up after Mania that both Sasha and Bailey were extremely angry about the outcome of the match, because they finally hit their breaking points with the terrible booking they had been enduring with the company for the last couple of years. Though Bailey would return to WWE and eventually would become Smackdown Women's Champion it wasn't so easy to bring Sasha back.
With the advent of All Elite Wrestling there were plenty of reports that Sasha would be leaving WWE for the new company due to the bad booking and just generally being fed up with the promotion. Heading to greener pastures in All Elite would've given The Boss a fresh start like she needed, but there was something else she could do. Since her arrival on the main roster Sasha has only been a heel once and that was with Tamina and Naomi collectively known as Team BAD. Take a glance back a few years when Banks was in NXT and she was not only one of the best heels for the brand, but one of the best in the company. Since then though she has never had a chance to be a stand alone heel on the big stage.
Overall Banks has never had the chance to be "The Boss" because she didn't get her nickname from being the nice girl she became "The Boss" by being an intense bitch that did what it took to win. The night after Summerslam we finally got our answer that about what Sasha will do and she came back with blue hair. More importantly though it is official for the first time she is a heel and seemingly jumping right into a feud with Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch. I still believe that Banks is a very special talent and if she is given the ball she will be able to run with it, and I know this because she's proven it before. With Paul taking charge of the Red brand we could be seeing a little bit more of a focus placed on names that haven't been given the spotlight as much as they were before.
Even though at this point it has been almost twenty years since The Rock has been an active full time competitor in the ring. At first The Rock was doing both wrestling and acting; this was the case until his role in The Rundown as he would walk away from a full time schedule in April 2003 following a loss to Goldberg at Backlash. As the years went by we would still occasionally see Rocky pop up from time to time including feuds with John Cena, CM Punk, Evolution and others. Also who could forget the times that we got surprising appearances where he verbally eviscerated his advisories.
By now I think that most fans know the history of Dwayne Johnson in wrestling and the legacy he will now be leaving behind. But I am sure not everyone knows why he has chosen to step away and the simple reason is insurance. With the schedule Rock has been keeping being extremely hectic it has been difficult to bring him in for a match when he's not attached to a movie which means a movie studio would have to insure him to protect their investment. Also according to a Forbes article published on July 19th, 2019, at this time The Rock is the highest paid actor in the world which basically killed any chance of him returning to the ring.
In my opinion, The Rock is one of the greatest ever on the microphone and no slouch in the ring, but the hands of time come for us all especially in wrestling. Sometimes though it's for a good reason, after watching for as long as I have I always prefer seeing wrestlers hang it up on their own accord as opposed to being to forced because of injury. Thanks for the memories Rocky you earned chance to sit back and enjoy the legacy you have built.
It's been a while since I've done one of these, but it's also been a while since there has been news like this that share a bit of a connection. With the arrival of All Elite Wrestling there has seemingly been a ton of non-stop discussions about the possibility of various underutilized WWE wrestlers making the jump to the new company and both Mickie James & Luke Harper specifically Harper were at the forefront of the discussion due to his dissatisfaction with the WWE.
Based on recent reports it seems like Luke Harper is officially back on the road with the WWE after a short vacation. Harper was one of a number of WWE stars to ask for their release earlier in the year as AEW prepared for their first event. As we know Harper's request was denied and he was forced remain with the company even though he wanted out. In my opinion, after both he and Rowan ended up on the injured list last year derailing their tag title reign he hasn't done much other than sit at home waiting for something to do. Harper is one of the most gifted big men in the business and has never gotten the opportunity to show it on the big stage. Hopefully with both Heyman & Bischoff in control now things might finally be looking up for Harper.
As for Mickie James, she has been the veteran of the division since her return to the WWE in a way took over the role that Nattie had as the veteran who occasionally wins but normally doesn't. James recently had surgery to repair her ACL and will miss the remainder of the year. In my opinion, upon her return she should be given one more chance to run for the Women's title just as a thank you run for all she's given to the company over the years. The reason for this would be it is possible she doesn't have too many years left as an active competitor and it's also possible she might not even return, but let's try and be optimistic. Get well soon Mickie!! We hope to see you in time for the Women's Royal Rumble next year and maybe you'll win.
Extreme Rules 2019
At this point no matches have officially been announced for the pre-show but I am sure something will be on the show.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship:
(c) Drew Gulack vs Tony Nese
These two are two of the most gifted men in the division and more than likely could be the next two that the company chooses to move up to either Raw or Smackdown like they have done with Buddy Murphy, Ali, and Cedric Alexander. I have loved the skills both men have in the ring for a long time as they are both two totally different competitors. However, Gulack has worked for to long to get to this point and will not be dropping the title just yet.
Aleister Black vs Cesaro
No doubting that this will be the match of the night and might peak at one of the best matches of the entire year. It is unfortunate what happen to Sheamus, but this is now Cesaro's opportunity to break out and show exactly damn good he is. In my opinion, Black was the most underrated NXT World Champion for the brand and this will be his chance to finally show what he can do. This is one of the only matches on this show that I am actually interested in at all. I would like to see a series of matches between these two capping off at Summerslam and for that I'd want the youngster Black to get the fist win.
Raw Tag Team Championship:
(c) The Revival vs The Uso's
I am going to make this easy if the company ever wants to look at one of the main reasons the ratings were sinking then look no further than how they were booking The Revival. Nobody wants to see pointless comedy as it isn't entertaining at all, comedy does have a place but only if it's entertaining. With that being said I want them to book this like an old school match because that plays to the strengths of Dash & Dawson who are an old school tag team. Neither team should get the win I want a draw finish in this match to give the feud a different feel. I know this won't happen, but it would be something different so I'm sticking with it.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship:
(c) Daniel Bryan & Rowan vs New Day vs Heavy Machinery
In my opinion, this is best way the company could've chosen to book Daniel after he lost the WWE Title at Wrestlemania. This way he stays on television and gets to be a champion that makes sense and it gives us a break from seeing him in the title picture. Bryan and Rowan have been a welcome addition to the tag team division on Smackdown that needed a face lift, but now they have competition. Normally it's Kofi & Big E as the team for the New Day so seeing Woods and Big E will be something a little different for the trio and this is the biggest test yet for Otis and Tucker since they arrived on the main roster. The benefit of a match like this is someone doesn't have to be pinned which then allows for the feud to continue and another match to happen. With Summerslam right around the corner WWE will likely hold off on some title changes till then and this will be one of them. Bryan and Rowan retain with Woods taking the fall allowing Otis and Tucker to be the challengers at Summerslam to continue their push.
Smackdown Women's Championship:
(c) Bayley vs Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
First off I am extremely happy to see Alexa getting back in the ring and seemingly having a clean bill of health after such a long time on the IR list. Bayley as champion has been a welcomed surprise since her win at Money in the Bank and Nikki being involved has been a breath of fresh air for a lacking division. I know that some think Sasha will return during this match, but I don't see that yet. I do see her coming back to even the odds, but just not yet. Bliss will get the win tonight and will begin to have a reign with Nikki as her lackey and an eventual challenger.
Last Man Standing Match:
Bobby Lashley vs Braun Strowman
I don't get it!! Braun was at one point the hottest wrestler in the company and they let it all drift away in one fell swoop. Now he is on par with Bray Wyatt as someone who could've been a bigger star then they are currently. Unfortunately that's something he has in common with his opponent as it seems like any time Lashley gets momentum it's gone within a few weeks. Right now Lashley deserves the win, because we need a break from the unbeatable Braun Strowman and Lashley would be someone new for Rollins to fight against.
United States Championship:
(c) Ricochet vs AJ Styles
Considering the fact that AJ has become a heel once again and realigned with Anderson and Gallows like someone should've been. This brings up the question will Styles continue to garner momentum or will this be another stop start feud. In my opinion, either a DQ finish with Anderson & Gallows getting involved or Styles winning tainted should be what happens. Either way though a post match beat down is a must this way we can keep feeling bad for the underdog. Styles gets the win this way Ricochet can go on the chase for the US Title.
No Holds Barred:
Roman Reigns & The Undertaker vs Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre
First off who thought giving Shane McMahon such a big push as oppose an active wrestler was a good idea should be put under evaluation. Second off I was just as shocked as everyone else when The Undertaker of all people was the one to save Roman Reigns from Drew and Shane a few weeks ago on Raw. Then again it's possible that Undertaker wants to redeem himself after the match he had with Goldberg last month. Now I am not sure where they are going with Taker for Summerslam, because there are some options. I'd give Roman and Taker the win tonight with a little assistance from Kevin Owens to protect Drew McIntyre. Undertaker vs McIntyre at Summerslam is my guess!
WWE Championship Match:
(c) Kofi Kingston vs Samoa Joe
That is one match I never thought I'd write especially with Kofi being the defending champion which makes this match even more surreal. I know that last year Joe fought Styles in a lackluster feud for the gold but they burned threw that one like the Dudley's use to burn threw tables. Though this feud is only a few weeks old it seems like they have a lot of tension that needs to keep building as like I said in another article this could be a career making feud for both men. Kofi needs a feud as champion to make his reign a success and Joe needs a top feud to make him legitimate. Even though the ratings have been down it seems like Joe is consistently one of the only bright spots weekly for the company and he should be rewarded. Now I know what I would do, but I am not WWE and even though they do have options there is only one way to end this match. Joe wins via submission and Kofi doesn't tap he passes out. This opens the door for a new story that being how Kofi can conquer Joe.
Winners Take All for the Universal and Raw Women's Championship:
(c) Becky Lynch & Seth Rollins vs Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans
I don't mind that they are allowing life to imitate art with Rollins and Becky's relationship being included in the feuds. But that type of booking has a shelf life and won't last long term eventually they will need to have separate identities once again. For now though it's an interesting way to give their respective feuds a twist to keep them going. I also think a tag team match would be the best way to cover for Lacey being extremely green and needing of more time before she moves up to the top of the division. As for Corbin I think he is one of the best if not the best heel in WWE right now and has been the perfect foil for Seth since winning the title. However, it's time for them to move onto new challengers and that's what will happen tonight with Becky likely getting win this way Lacey can take the fall. That does leave it open for Rollins to fight Corbin again, but like I mentioned earlier if Lashley does win he should be #1 contender for Rollins heading into Summerslam.
At this point I have really had somewhat of a falling out with the WWE, but with the sudden change adding a new creative direction to the company has peaked my interest. In my opinion, since the ratings issues started last year Smackdown has still found a way to have some good shows during a lackluster period for the company. Comparing Kofi's feuds with Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, and Samoa Joe to AJ Styles feuds with Shinsuke Nakamura and Joe last year it's like the polar opposite as it seems the company remembered how to book. Now don't get me wrong the intensity was there with AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, but the booking was way to one sided and thus far Joe has seemed more like a bad ass and less like a stalker in his feud with Kofi.
I know this feud is still fresh and developing, but this WWE's chance to really set the right foot forward and focus on long term booking as oppose to continuing to burn through opponents like firewood. In my opinion, Dolph is an ideal early challenger for Kofi because of his status in the company and could be a victory to establish the reign. But with Samoa Joe the feud needs depth and a direction or it's wasting a golden opportunity for what could be a career making feud for both men. I know it might be a streach but just think about what having a competitive good feud could do for both Kofi and Joe at this point.
Overall I could see this feud going past Summerslam if done for the long term and it should allow Joe to become WWE Champion for at least some time even if it means Kofi getting the title back to keep things going. These guys could lead the company into the Fox generation and make for some very interesting television and could help lead the way for Smackdown becoming a brand on par with Raw.
At this point everyone knows about the creative woes that WWE has been suffering from since the fall of last year. We know that last year's didn't come to fruition for one reason another, but knowing what we know about those what the company be in any better shape then they are right now. It's hard to say one way or the other, but we do know is that they have tried everything to bring fans back and regain even a shred of positive but seemingly has worked. Over the last few weeks I have gone through somethings that I feel like WWE could do to help themselves regenerate interest in the product, but they did a complete 180 from what I expected.
I never thought that I'd see the day when Eric Bischoff would be working for the WWE in a creative capacity, but that day is here. A few days ago the news broke that Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman have been named executive directors of both Smackdown and Raw respectively which is something nobody expected. The main thing to note about the position for both Paul and Eric is that they report directly to Vince which in my mind means they have a similar position to that of a head booker. Clearly this is a direction nobody expected WWE to go in and in my book is a welcomed sight because of that and in all honesty I am very interested to see what comes of this massive change.
During his first stint with the company we saw Eric Bischoff become one of if not the most hated person on WWE programming. However, he was just a talent and had zero say or impact on the creative direction of the company. Heyman on the other hand has been a member of WWE creative in the past specifically during the early years of the first brand split and with WWECW until he left the company. Recently, Paul had been helping Ronda with her segments as well as doing his work with Brock and this is the reason I am not surprised that Paul moved to a creative role of some kind. In my opinion, I would've expected Paul to move down to NXT and Triple H take control on the main roster rather than what we got, but it is a welcomed sight either way like I said. The infusion of fresh ideas from two of the smartest wrestling minds still active is something that could really help WWE, but only time will tell.
One thing that isn't talked about nearly enough is how important it is having a reliable and referee in a match. Over the years that I have been watching one of things that is easy to forget is well the referee, because one thing that makes a good ref is that they are seen not heard. Even though having a good referee can make or break a match they aren't suppose to be the main focus of a match for the fans. The crowd is always suppose to be focused on the talent and not the referee.
In my opinion, this one of the main reasons that we forget how long some referees have been with the same promotion. It is insane that Mike Chioda has been a member of the WWE roster for 29 years and is still going to this day. The amount of classic matches he has been a part of over the years including Rock vs Austin, Lesnar vs Angle, Rock vs Hogan, Michaels vs Cena, and so many others you can lose count. Mike was the referee in the legendary 123 Kid vs Razor Ramon match which was when the kid got the name 1.2.3. To think that Mike has been seen names like The Undertaker, Steve Austin, Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, John Cena, and so many more come and go puts into perspective just how long he has been dawning those stripes.
Overall the referee is one of the unsung heroes in wrestling and just like the announcers they get a wink and nod but very little recognition. Thank you for all the work you have done, the travel, the stress, and any injuries you have endured to gives us all the moments and memories we hold dear. It wouldn't have been possible without you.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present