Now we move to the next number on the list with Adam Cole fitting in at number nine on the list of top 10 wrestlers from 2018. In recent months I have found a consistent schedule for Friday's for the most part by looking at this week's Smackdown and I will still do that, but it will be sliding back a few days. Either way though looking at the last twelve months I think that Adam Cole has really found his place in the WWE specifically as really a very special competitor. Next to Tomasso Ciampa I do believe that the Undisputed Era is among the hottest acts in not just NXT but the WWE as a whole. In my opinion the reason I feel there is proof of this is that the Undisputed Era is the only team to compete in both War Games.
Looking back it the Undisputed Era is one of the top stables in wrestling today and in a way is a throwback to stables of the past much like a Four Horseman type group. Even though some fans might think that this is an unfair connection, but I do believe other than maybe comparing Adam to Ric Flair being unfair I don't think it's that bad of a comparison.
From his feud with Ricochet to his inclusion in one of the top matches of the last twelve months to crown the first ever North American Champion. I think that Adam Cole has really found his place in the company at least for the time being and in my opinion I don't think he needs a run with the World Title before moving up to the main roster, but I guess we shall see what comes around. The scary part is though that Adam is still only 29 years old and keeping that in mind he will have a very bright future ahead of him in the biggest company in pro-wrestling.
For anyone that saw this week's episode of Monday Night Raw would probably agree that seeing Finn Balor move into the spot once occupied by Braun Strowman was both a positive and negative. Since his arrival onto the main roster and subsequent victory over Seth Rollins to become the first Universal Champion most fans have been hungry to see the "Demon King" back on top of the red brand. However, an injury derailed his early career and he never really recovered even after he returned his momentum never came back as the creative team never got a clear picture for how to book him.
Recently we saw just how different his career was down in NXT when he appeared on the first ever NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool. The sight of Balor having his old entrance with the fans incredibly into his presence giving a glimpse into what his career could be on the main roster. At point Balor was a top star and the reality is that he has always shown the capability to be a top star like he was in New Japan as well. The best way to put it though is like Finn said on Raw it is clear that Vince has never truly believed in him and that's really why he has his standing where it is.
Brining the Braun Strowman situation into the picture now a lot of people are questioning why exactly Braun has been removed from the title match at Royal Rumble. From what I understand Braun was removed from the match due to him not being completely healed from the injury he sustained late last year. Strowman was also apparently removed from the match based on the fact that they had no intention of letting Braun beat Brock and didn't want him to loose for a third time to Brock. Now I know that some fans might look at this as Finn Balor being set up to do a job for Brock Lesnar.
However, think about it like this as a test for Balor in a big spot especially one against the top draw for the company in Brock Lesnar. I know that some people might think that Balor should win, but I'd rather have the next time Brock loose be his last match in the company and where he doesn't comeback. Though some fans might not agree with me in my opinion Brock Lesnar is the measuring stick for WWE and that if you can good match out of Brock you will have a bright future. Overall there is no doubt in my mind that the WWE need Finn Balor in a top position to help a lacking baby face roster. I do worry about Braun, but am excited about the future that we could see for Finn Balor in 2019.
With another solid episode of Smackdown Live in the past we have somethings to look back to what exactly happened on the blue brand. Since the announcement of the WWE's new era we have seen a number of solid Smackdown Live episodes. Unfortunately of course though the WWE has still not changed certain aspects of their booking styles especially when it comes to the tag team division.
One aspect of the creative process that WWE still drives fans crazy with is that the company really doesn't bring the other teams on television. The Good Brothers, Colon's and Sanity are still with the WWE but never really appear on television. After a solid first feud with the New Day we haven't seen Sanity gain too much momentum since their arrival on the main roster. The same could be said for the Good Brothers and The Colon's, but the real question is why the WWE aren't seemingly willing to allow some fresh teams to contend for the championship. Also the tag team division isn't the only issue with WWE as the Untied States Championship has had it's issues in the last year with the company booking the title as something that has very little importance.
One positive to take from this week's edition of Smackdown Live is the continued incredible work of the "New" Daniel Bryan. Since the heel turn nobody saw coming we have seen the incredible work of Daniel Bryan which nobody really saw as something that could happen. Daniel has shown some fantastic work as a heel which is something we haven't seen since his time as ROH World Champion in 2005. I remember seeing old footage of Daniel screaming "I have until 5 ref" using that as his catchphrase, but now it has been taken to the next level. I have very much enjoyed everything that Daniel has put out thus far since turn and I will most definetly be keeping my eyes on the WWE Champion.
It is hard to believe that only a few days into the new year and we have lost one of the greatest, most talented, lovable personalities in all of wrestling. The one name that was brought to the WWF very early on in the national expansion when Vince McMahon first began to go national and "Mene" Gene would become part of the WWF's brand from his debut with the company in the 1980's all the way through to his departure in 1993. During his time in the WWF he become a man of many talents which included interviewing, hosting, announcing, and even wrestling. For those who may not be aware Gene actually teamed with Hulk Hogan in 1984 against George Steele and Mr. Fuji, this would be the only match Gene's career.
After nine years with the WWF the time came when his contract expired for Gene to walk away from the promotion and move onto a new home WCW. Gene would join the WCW in the fall of 1993 and other than one short "vacation" away from the company in 1996 he would remain a member of the WCW until the company was sold in 2001. Gene would become a staple of the promotion much like he did in the WWF years before providing "information" with his hot-line and a common presence for interviews every especially his with Ric Flair they were always a highlight.
Looking back it is funny to think how much of an impact Gene had on the product, because a good interviewer had the ability to keep your interest even during the non-wrestling segments. In my opinion if Jim Ross is the greatest wrestling announcers ever then "Mene" Gene is the greatest interviewer in the history of pro-wrestling. Nobody could help the wrestlers or ask the right questions to really keep your attention during segments that can be hit or miss. If you look at the interviewers of today they couldn't even lace a pair of Gene's boots and though the sport has changed a lot over the years one thing truly hasn't a good interview is nothing but helpful.
Thank you Gene for all the moments you were a part of and memories you helped make all the more special. You will be incredibly missed by everyone who had the pleasure to see you do what you loved with those that you loved for all the years you were able to do it. Now you will have the chance to give the wrestling event in the sky the greatest interviewer in history and just another reason that show is just so damn lucky. "You know something "Mene" Gene!" We will miss you, god speed!!
For the last few months there has been one question really absent from my mind and it's now shocking how little thought I gave to the idea. For most of 2018 I didn't really pay any attention to the whereabouts of one John Cena. The former franchise of the WWE has been mostly absent from the company since his appearance at one of the super shows I believe it was Australia where he teamed with Bobby Lashley. It is incredible to think about how much things have changed in the last few years knowing that the WWE is in fact surviving without John Cena, not triving at the moment but they are surviving.
Last year was really going to be the year when new faces took over Cena's post as the franchise of the company and even though some attempted to bad booking was mostly the thing that stopped anyone from doing so. Well expect Roman Reigns as nobody expected, or anticipated the events that happened to take place and I for one do wish that Roman was still on Raw every week. Either way though this week's Smackdown gave us a sight that I don't think any of us really ever thought we would see when Becky Lynch stood in the ring with John Cena.
Now don't get it twisted I am not saying Becky was never capable of standing in the ring with John Cena, but too many the segment they had together looked a little bit like a passing of the torch type situation. In a way it seemed like Cena was giving Becky the spotlight and the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage then she had been before. Not to say that this run she has been hasn't been great, it's just that the company doesn't have a lot of mainstream stars anymore so when a former star comes back and gives current talent a rub. This in my opinion is how the company should use former/nostaglia acts to benefit the current crop of talent, because if former stars won't be there every week they should be used to help get the current talent even more over then they were before.
At the end of last year the WWE announced a creative reset for all programming we were then given a vignette to promote the debuts of a number future NXT stars. Though it will be exciting to see the new NXT stars on the main roster to mix things up and give us some fresh feuds. However, the upcoming NXT talent aren't the only talent to be excited about as the WWE has been keeping some stars very strong. Names like Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Elias, and others have been booked very strong in the last few months which I think only means bigger and better things for them in the upcoming twelve months.
In reality I know that with the ascension of Drew McIntyre we have also seen the fall of Dolph Ziggler, but I think we all knew this was coming from the start. Now don't get me wrong Dolph is a tremendously talented competitor, but his time to become a star in the WWE has come and gone with only memories to look back on of what could've been. Since his arrival on the main roster last year following the "Superstar shake-up" it has been clear that Drew McIntyre will have a very bright future in the WWE and that he found the potential some thought he had the first he was in the company.
Overall I am excited for the upcoming year and very excited for Wrestlemania season, because WWE always has a way to make programming this time of year a little bit more watchable then it is at other points during the year. With the Royal Rumble coming around the corner, I think that the "New Era" of WWE will slowly begin to take shape and we will hopefully see the indication of the future of WWE in this years Royal Rumble. Also if things don't get better there is always All Elite Wrestling now for wrestling fans to eventually turn to in the future, but let's be optimistic.
Two weeks ago the WWE hit the reset button for the creative side of the company. Things have really started to look up on Smackdown as they have been very positive in recent weeks. The one thing I have been saying is that the WWE has had problem with there formula showing it's age and really needing a shot in the arm to change things a bit. Though there are some mistakes about this reset like in my opinion every feud should've ended and allowed for everything to be given a fresh outlook.
In all honesty I think the one way that Vince Russo does have it right when it comes to booking is that you need to give the fans a reason to come back next week. The ending of Smackdown Live this week did exactly that in my opinion seeing AJ Styles punch out Vince McMahon is really something that could bring fans back wanting to know what happens next. In my opinion one of the ways that the company use this reset to bring a fresh idea into the fold would be to have Vince show up on Smackdown every so often. Vince's has always had his focus on Raw and never really appeared on Smackdown and I'm not saying let's have him pop up every week but seeing him a little more often on Smackdown wouldn't be the worst idea.
Overall looking at Smackdown up and down I think they have ended off 2018 in a lot better position then Raw has with a little more fan interest in the blue brand then red one. I mean really who would've thought that Mustafa Ali would not be a member of Smackdown Live, but have a victory over WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Also I don't think anyone would've thought that Daniel would have become WWE Champion this year let alone active again.
One thing we have been waiting for since the Revolution event back in October was the appearance of the WWE Women's Tag Titles. Recently with the WWE going through a creative rehab they have seemingly chosen to bring the titles into the picture now which will make the early part of next year all the more interesting as you'd expect a dual branded tournament to crown the first champions. This would also explain all the extra tag team matches that we look at as meaningless as normally they are pretty pointless. However, I think that the creation of tag titles could help give some talent something to work toward or keep busy with other than trying to fight for the World title.
Overall I know there is a few things you could select from this week's edition of Raw like the sudden ascension of Finn Balor. But due to the company still being WWE and me being insecure if the WWE would actually push Balor I chose what I thought to be the more interesting subject of the two. I do think that the Women's tag titles fall into the category of the six man tag titles where a lot of fans expected the titles sooner and may not have the same amount of interest in them right away as they have with other gold.
Either way though I think that now could be a great time to attempt to crown the first Women's Tag Champions in over thirty years. Yes! This isn't the first time the WWE has brought out the Women's Tag Titles and in reality this just shows how much things have changed in recent years to allow the Women's division to gain another championship. I'm mostly excited just to see what happens next for the women's division as they continue to make steps forward in changing the perception of the division in American wrestling.
Now I don't know much about the National Football League, but I do know that most leagues that have attempted to compete with the NFL have failed. The reality is that the first incarnation of XFL was a cluster**** and didn't really workout. First time around the XFL didn't last mostly partially due to the financial issues, but also the partnership with NBC didn't last at all as NBC would back out of the partnership first. The league would officially fold in May of 2001; but now things comeback around.
It has taken a little bit for the teams to be announced, but now it is becoming a reality. After nearly twenty years the new XFL has two years to still prepare for the relaunch and continue to take the steps forward. Currently the teams are announced which include: Dallas, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Tampa, St. Louis, Seattle, and Washington, DC. It will be very interesting to see how the XFL and NFL co-exist considering the fact that some XFL and NFL teams will be sharing home stadiums.
The next step for the football league will be announcing the names of the team and head coaches leading each team. I know that the next big step for the league is finding the players for each teams and how everything will fit in with the NFL. One of the main differences this time around though is that all of the teams will be owned by the league and I think they are doing this a way a way to save money and also fund money back to the league. Overall I think that this is a much better time for the XFL to return as I think that the interest level in the NFL is at a low, but I think they can't really be too different from the NFL as they don't really need to be. Take a look at the team revel video below:
Credit to for XFL information
I thought that it would be fitting to continue the discussion about the creative reset the WWE is currently going through at this point. For the first time that I remember the WWE actually admitted they did something wrong and will begin to start fixing the problems facing the current product. Though nothing will change for the foreseeable future and it will likely be a progression after time. Now I would like to point out that in recent weeks Smackdown Live has been much better then Raw has been in recent weeks.
In recent weeks we have been wondering when the company fix issues that have been plaguing programming, but Smackdown Live has different problems then Raw. One of the main problems that has been hurting Smackdown is the overuse of the tag team division. In recent months the tag team division on Smackdown has really consisted of only three teams that being The Bar, The Uso's and New Day which caused things to get very stale on Tuesday Nights. It is extremely puzzling to think that they have really been ignoring the likes of Anderson & Gallows, Sanity, and even The Colon's for the last few months to focus on just those teams mentioned earlier.
However, with the return of both Anderson & Gallows and Sanity this week it seems like some fresh teams might be entering the title picture. As I mentioned in the predictions for TLC it'd be the best idea to give The Bar a decent run with the gold and have them collide some fresh talent instead of The Uso's or New Day.
Overall though seeing Mustafa Ali arrive on Smackdown entering into a feud seemingly with Daniel Bryan is amazing as Ali is one of the most underrated talents in the company. With the spotlight that the WWE has been giving to the cruiserweight division this year has increased the status of the extremely talented lightweights that didn't really have a place in the company this time last year. The one thing I don't understand is exactly why they chose to move Ali over to the blue brand. I do like the idea of giving some crusierweights the opportunity to stick out like they are doing with Ali and maybe will do more depending on how this experiment goes.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present