Since the Brand Split it seemed as though Kane was going to be given a more serious role with the company again as I presume they were trying to build him up a little as a way to erase the poor booking that he had endured for the last couple of years prior. For the last 20 years Kane has been a vital part of the WWE roster and to his credit over the years he has tucked away a lot of money.
Currently, Kane is on a hiatus from the company to run for mayor in his hometown and will likely be gone from television until later this year. But it's being speculated that the "Big Red Monster's" current contract is set to expire next year and that this could be Kane's last contract as a active competitor.
Kane has been a part of the WWE since 1995 when he made his debut as Jerry Lawler's dentist and though that didn't really last too long the man real named Glen Jacobs made an impact because he would be back again once more next year as Fake Diesel before becoming the character that'd make him a legend. The Big Red Monster joins his "brother," Mark Henry, and Big Show as the last active wrestlers from the period of Attitude. There is no doubt that Kane will become a Hall of Famer eventually, but can you imagine Kane as mayor that sounds like a WWE storyline. Good luck to Kane as he earned some time off!
Last year, the wrestling world was shocked when at the Money in the Bank PPV not only did Dean Ambrose win the Money in the Bank briefcase, but he also won the WWE Title in the Main Event from Seth Rollins on the same night. After the fact it became pretty clear that Roman likely only lost the World Title after his failed Wellness test. Dean would end up carrying the World Title from July through till October when he would drop the title to AJ Styles at No Mercy.
Even though Ambrose would only hold the title for around three months and defended the title against a small number of opponents. I am not trying to bad mouth Dean or his run with the title, but I am trying to say is that his title reign really showed a lack of faith in Ambrose. Following a lackluster match against Brock Lesnar at last year's WrestleMania it killed almost all of his momentum that he had built up to that point, which made his title win that July even more shocking.
Though Ambrose may not be looked at as a top talent or someone who could carry the company I think the perception is only that way due to the fact that they turned him heel as of yet. I have always felt that Dean was a natural heel and really can't wait for him flip for the first time as a singles wrestler. Dean's microphone work has always been comparable to a Roddy Piper, but I feel like his heel work was always better than his face work. In my opinion it isn't over just yet for Dean at the top of the card, but his booking needs to improve as the WWE has a bad habit of mailing it in when it comes to Ambrose. I have enjoyed his work since the brand split, but even though not everything has been amazing I feel like his work since his title win has been really good, but not his best.
I was honestly grimacing along with everyone else when the feud between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton began, because I thought that this was just going to be another feud for Bray to loose. However, as the feud began to develop things started to change and the feud slowly became one of the better ones that WWE has done in a while. Even though some of the things that have been done in the feud were questionable this has become one of the more anticipated matches at this year's Wrestlemania.
Back in the day companies would normally work out plans for talent months in advance were they would be able to know where they going feud to feud. WWE stopped doing that a long time ago, but this feud has had all the signs of an old school including a slow burn. Factoring in Randy's injury this program has been going on since I believe No Mercy last October which is a very long feud for the WWE nowadays. If it was me I would have liked for things to simmer a little more between Orton and Bray and even given them a longer run with the Tag belts then they had, but having them blow-off at Mania is the only logical way to end things.
Now if you look back to 2014 and the months prior to Wrestlemania 30 you would find a very similar feud going on between the Wyatt Family and Daniel Bryan. Part of me believes that this is how they wanted go with the feud between Bryan and Bray, but do to the rise of the "Yes Movement" plans were changed and I think they put a pin this feud idea. If you think about in late 2014 the Wyatt Family would dissolve anyway making way for lackluster singles pushes for Rowan and Harper, but had they ripped the family a part like they did in this feud then things could have been different for both Harper and Rowan.
Looking ahead to Wrestlemania I have nothing, but the highest hopes that the momentum these two have built and the story they have told will come to the best conclusion possible in Orlando. The Brand Split may have it's negatives, but this feud has been one of the many positives we should be able to take from the split. Seeing more feuds like this take place where it is given a chance to develop and become something more then a filler feud would be a breath fresh air in the WWE and invoke us all to have more confidence in the creative team.
Last year we saw numerous sights that we as fans never thought we'd see from AJ Styles in the WWE to Goldberg making his return. But another thing that made last year unlike any other was that wrestlers were actually standing up and asking to be let go rather than waiting for it. Names like Ryback, Cody Rhodes, and a variety of others asked for their release from the WWE last year which is something we never see. Recently news broke that Jack Swagger joined the list of talent to ask to be released and at first the WWE said no, but then as of earlier this week the WWE accepted his request and officially made Jack a free agent.
Swagger signed with the WWE in 2006 and to show how much things have changed when Jack signed the developmental territories were Deep South Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling. Jack was assigned to DSW until the company folded and then was moved to OVW in early 2007 and didn't really last too long there before being reassigned to FCW. Jack would become one of the many developmental stars to make an impact on the ECW brand and used it to make a name for himself on the main roster.
Looking back on the career of Jack Swagger in the WWE we can compare it to that of Cody and Ryback as all three men now leave the WWE with untapped potential. Though the rumors of Swagger being his own worst enemy and that being the reason for his lost push that still doesn't change the fact that I believe Swagger has potential that he didn't reach in WWE. Either way I would like join the WWE in wishing Jack Swagger the best of luck in all his future endeavors.
The countdown to WrestleMania continues with around three weeks to go before the biggest event in the calendar year for the WWE. Every year the night before WrestleMania the WWE holds the Hall of Fame induction ceremony where they honor the wrestlers of years past. This years class is full of deserving names of people who have belonged in the Hall of Fame for a few years including Rock N Roll Express and Rick Rude two name to people. I have included Demolition, Jushin Liger, Joyce Grable, and Rick Rude in what would have been my chosen class for the Hall of Fame thus far.
My next choice for the Hall of Fame would be actually one of the names that the WWE chose to induct this year as well and that is Teddy Long. Fact of the matter is that Teddy has been a part of the wrestling business for over the last 30 years and has done basically everything that there is to do from managing to refereeing to authority. Teddy got his start back in the 1980's as referee in Jim Crocket promotions before making the move to become a manger following the company changing names to WCW in 1988. While in WCW Teddy would manage talent like Mark Callous (The Undertaker), Doom, Marcus Bagwell, 2 Cold Scorpio, Johnny B Bad, and variety of others. In late 1998, Long made the jump to the WWE and as they say the rest is history because he would join the company and never truly leave again. Much like his tenure in WCW started he would begin in the WWF as a referee before once again becoming a heel manager for the likes of Mark Henry, Mark Jindrak, Jazz, Rodney Mack and others. Following the end of his managerial career he would move into the position we all know and love him for and that is as Smackdown General Manager.
Overall I don't think there is any doubt to the fact that Teddy deserves to be a Hall of Famer after 30 years of being a company guy and doing everything under the sun. Teddy fits the saying of "Started from the Bottom Now He's Here."
WWE Fast Lane 2017
Brian Kendrick & Noam Dar vs Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa
Interesting to see a tag team match for the cruiserweights rather than just a random six man match. Especially with the developing feud between Tozawa and Kendrick; with the more meaningful matches for the cruiserweights it'll help them get over more with the fans which would help the division overall.
Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
The rematch of the Royal Rumble between the undefeated Jax and the Underdog of Banks. In my opinion it is getting to the point where Nia is running out of challengers to face and even though she may not be undefeated anymore but still Sasha has seemingly been struggling with the win column. Also with her being almost crushed at the Royal Rumble by Nia it is pretty clear that Banks could get the win and open the division up for a big match at WrestleMania. I would wager a guess to say that Sasha needs the win and it would be pretty easy for Nia to get her heat back even with Banks getting the win.
WWE Tag Team Title Match
(c) Anderson & Gallows vs Enzo & Big Cass
After months of feeding them to the New Day and showing their weakness with comedic segments and a poor doctor gimmick. Starting with the feud they had with Cesaro and Sheamus we have seen almost all of their stock back up to a positive place. After months of being seen here and there a feud with Rusev brought some momentum back for the team, but I do think that they are still next to bullet proof. Considering the fact that Enzo and Cass have yet to hold championship gold on any level in the WWE I don't see there first win comes this close to Mania. With that being said Anderson and Gallows will get the win and retain the gold.
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match:
(c) Neville vs Jack Gallagher
The division has had a rough time since the beginning of things back in September, but we seem to be getting on more stable ground right now with names like Neville and Jack Gallagher really getting over with the fans. I'm going to keep this one short by saying that the best way for the division to continue moving to stable ground us allowing a credible heel to carry the title for a long time. Which means that I think Neville should walk away with the title tonight.
Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn
I have big hopes for this match with such talent in this match and even though I don't have much to say about this match, I will say that this match has me most excited for any match on the show and even though I have not see much of this feud over the last few weeks. But either way I do believe that giving Samoa Joe the win in his first big match on the Main Roster.
WWE Women's Title Match:
(c) Bayley vs Charlotte
Well here we go again it's time for the Raw Women's division to have another title match that we all may know the ending to and that's an unfortunate turn of events for the division that is really losing fanfare with every PPV. I would like to think that the WWE will not go with the predictable choice, but more so go with the logical choice of Bayley. In my opinion Bayley should be the choice to win this match tonight.
Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
Honestly, I have really liked the build for this feud and so far it has done well for both talents over the last few weeks. Since the start of the brad split we have seen quite a push for Braun as an unbeatable monster heel and one of the better parts of Monday Night Raw. Roman has been bullet proof for three years at least and could afford a loose, but Braun has also almost been bullet proof for nearly a year since he debuted. The links provided go through Braun's push and Roman's problems as well. I have loved the development of Braun's push and am firm believer that an undefeated streak is suppose to end a certain way. With that being said I believe Braun should get the win tonight.
WWE Universal Title Match:
(c) Kevin Owens vs Goldberg
The match that I never thought I would see ever!! For the last 12 years most fans have just wondered if Goldberg would ever be able to be inducted into the Hall of Fame due to his tumultuous relationship with Vince and the WWE. Well that was all put to bed late last year when "Da Man" returned to the company to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series last year. With a side track from the big picture that being his feud with Brock we are about to see Kevin get his biggest challenge yet. Though his age maybe a factor for most fans I am thinking of it as a win for Goldberg would bring much needed value to the Universal title and would give a marque match for the title at WrestleMania. Not saying that Owens vs Jericho wouldn't be, but Goldberg vs Lesnar would be a bigger match which is needed for the title. Honestly, I would love to see Owens shock the world and defeat Goldberg, but I don't see that happening. Goldberg will get the third World title of his career tonight with a win here.
Since his debuted at the 2012 Survivor Series, with the other members of The Shield the three of them have been the talk of the WWE. Over the last few years Dean, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns have really become the first new faces to really take off in the WWE and even though their have been bumps in the road for all three of them they really have caught on, and are just another example of how good WWE are at creating new talent. Though it really didn't begin till closer to the end of The Shield's run when we started to see the WWE really begin to protect Roman in every way possible.
In my opinion it was at the 2015 Royal Rumble when everything started to switch as far as the fans go and their hatred of Roman. Then the booking for the remainder of the year didn't help matters because he was still protected. I will say that at the end of 2015 things started to look up for Roman as the WWE was actually booking him quite well and when he finally won the World Title from Sheamus the fans actually liked it. Sadly the good booking of Roman didn't last and the problems came back again.
The biggest comparison people do is when they compare Roman's current booking to how the WWE used to book John Cena. Unfortunately for Roman he is going through the same tough time that John had gone through because the WWE never bothered to humanize Roman to allow the fans feel sympathy for him and seeing him have to fight against the odds. Seeing him come up short in a feud or losing clean a few times would help not just give some fresh ideas for him, but would allow Roman to have to work his way back up.
It's really simple the reason why the fans don't like Roman is because of how rarely he loses or looks human. From his robotic promos to how rare it his he actually suffers a clean loss really doesn't help his case to be looked at as someone that the fans can invest in and like. I don't think that the WWE need to turn Roman heel and even though I do think he would be more comfortable as a heel I don't think it's necessary as they could accomplish the same thing, but letting loose a big match or two clean instead of always being protected. Looking at his booking all the WWE need to change is instead of booking Roman like a "Super Human" they need to let him be booked like a human where he comes up short or doesn't get his way like a normal person.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present