I know that normally I would PPV predictions, but as it happens I missed the show due to me being busy today in real life. With that being said I figured me giving my thoughts on the event would be just as good. I skimmed through the results and was very surprised to see a few of the results, but at the same time I was disappointed due to the shortsightedness that the company has in place by using Money in the Bank to help build the Saudi show in two weeks. It is possible that Brock holding the briefcase wont last very long, but either way this is a tough road for the company knowing that most fans don't want Brock holding the title again.
Either way let's focus on the best news coming out of the show, because for the first time since she debuted on the main roster Bayley finally seems have found the light at the end of the tunnel. Bayley has been underrated & lost in the shuffle for the last few years without a clear direction. The starting and stopping for her different feuds & pushes killed any chance for fans to invest in the "Hugger." However, with the slightest glimpse of hope and it being unclear when or if Sasha Banks will return I think this is the company's chance to really give Bayley the ball and let her run with it. For once maybe they do have a long term plan for someone now if I could only get past the idea that she will loose it very soon to Charlotte. I guess we will have to see either way though a solid show tonight & a very deserving victory for the first Women's Grandslam champion in WWE history.
The last part of the never ending serious continues with the last one wrapping up with a discussion on the importance of why WWE needs to repair their championships. In my opinion, the company would be able to get rid of half of their championships and nobody would miss them. For the most part the titles have so little meaning at this point that they are just props and really need to be repaired. Like I mentioned before the company needs to sit down with their current champions and ask them who they think they could have the best matches with and use that to help formulate the length of title reigns. This would allow someone like Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, or Hawkins & Ryder to spend months as champions establishing themselves & reestablishing the championships.
Following the "meeting" the next step in the process would be to work with the other non-champions to set aside some of them as potential challengers for the current champions this way we know who needs to have something to do and who could stay off TV for a little while. This would also help give some talent time-off as we rehab some talents images, send some people to NXT and shift gears to again depend on local jobbers matches a little bit more.
In my opinion, it doesn't seem like the WWE know where they really want to go with anything and are seemingly just moving week to week with everything. The company needs a plan and I think the best thing for them would be to go back to the drawing board and think about what has worked in the past. I am not saying that they should reuse things from the past, but they should remember that wrestling has always worked when they could simplify the process and didn't try to over complicate things. The reality is that WWE has always had a very difficult time letting this process be as simple as it could be or it use to be. Again the amount of importance that needs to be placed on patience to let the process work, but I don't believe the company would have the patience to believe in the process like they have before, because times have changed.
With the first week of the Wild Card now behind us it's time to look back on how things effected the company. In reality it did help the ratings for this week, but it will be fleeting because this isn't the right way to fix the promotions current issues. Much like the trouble that World Championship Wrestling was having near the end the only way to fix the WWE's programming crisis is with time. Patience and a long term direction is the best way to fix wrestling programming, because trying to piece together a fix is just putting a band aid on things that will always bubble to the surface after a while.
As I mentioned in part 1 the company has seemingly forgotten how to establish a new star as a flag bearer. I know that Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, and other talent are top stars but they aren't on the level of stars from an era gone by. The reason for the health of the WWE right now is because well Vince put a glass ceiling on how popular his talent was allowed to get and now he is paying the price for it. In my opinion, another reason is based on the fact that previously Vince had allowed talent to have a bit of freedom to speak for themselves and have some control over promos. Nowadays though most if not all of the promos we see on television reek of memorization and writers speaking for the talent. One of the main reasons we were able to get invested in talent of the past is because they were allowed to speak in a way that sounded genuine rather than sounding fake.
I mentioned in the previous part about how it might be time to rebuild the WWE which is something they have done many times before specifically in the "New Generation" and at the beginning of the Hogan era. However, in recent years it has seemed like they have forgotten how to rebuild their roster and find role players to fill in depth. To start in my opinion, the WWE needs to sit down a figure out which championships actually matter and work to reestablish the importance of the gold that is now no more than props.
The second part of this process should be allowing the best talent to be given the championships to help rebuild them. The last part of the process would be picking an event to work toward and to book backwards this would allow the company to be aware of where they are going before they get there and also be aware of who they need to keep on television for them to either build momentum or keep on the minds of fans. I know that some fans might question why this needs to take so long, but it is a process that takes time to fix and this is the start of the process. However, this isn't the only way to fix the company as this is really just step one of a very long process that would take years to help the company find stability. We will get into the other parts of these steps in the next part coming next week.
Recently, it has been very public the issues that have been plaguing WWE especially the slouching ratings that really seemingly just keep going down every week. The days of solid ratings seem to be gone for the WWE as they really ran whatever momentum they had into the ground and now need to rebuild it, but forget how to do that. In the past Vince had rebuild after the Hogan era came to an end, also when the Next Generation era ended & they moved into the Attitude Era. The last time that the company had to rebuild was following the departure of Steve Austin, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar this would lead Vince to want to build around people who would stay.
Vince would build the company around John Cena, Edge, Batista, and Randy Orton as he felt like they would stick around for the long term. John Cena would become the figurehead of the promotion & be the flag bearer for the company for over fifteen years. However, John has all but walked away from the wrestling business at this point only working one match this year so far with no return in sight. At 42 years old father time might've caught up with John which happens to even "Superman" and with how headlong he has been for almost twenty years it no surprise that injuries and age has caught up with him.
Looking back one of the reasons previous periods worked is because of the intriguing storylines, amazing in ring action, and gimmicks that actually fit the talent. However, one thing that really has been ignored especially recently is that the roster had so much depth & stability that the veterans on the roster provided. Names like Hardcore Holly, Finlay, Undertaker, Kane, William Regal, and others always gave the company stable in ring performers every night & talent you what to expect from, but time catches up with everyone.
At this point though the company has struggled to replace the stars of the past which is why they attempt to rely on the stars of the past now. The company has seemingly forgotten that the past is supposed to be used to help get over the future instead of letting the past stay on top even when some of those workers are well past their primes. This however is just among the rough problems that have been plaguing the major sports entertainment promotion in recent years, It is time we take a look into these problems piece by piece and see where this takes us. Part 2 will be coming soon!!
Recently, in WWE there seems to have been a lot of tension boiling over specifically with talent on the red brand and so I thought it'd be fitting to focus on the newest reports. Seemingly from out of nowhere it seems as though Lio Rush has developed a crazy ego and a worse attitude then Enzo Amore. Since the early days of his run in WWE he has had his issues, but for the most part it was a one and done thing that could be put aside due to his talent. In my opinion, Lio does have potential to be something more than a manager, but his current role showed just how annoying he can be as a heel if only he kept the ego on camera.
Upon his return to the WWE it was clear the company still didn't have a clue the best way to handle Bobby Lashley and maybe it would've been better if Lashley had stayed with Impact or went to MMA. Then the company partnered him with Lio Rush and turned him heel all the problems seemed to be fixed. They had the built-in feud with Lashley if they chose to flip Rush baby face once the partnership ran it's course or they could've just tried to give it a chance and see how far things would go.
It is disappointing that Lashely only reached the Intercontinental Title, but at least it's something and it is possible now that Lashley might be suffering with Lio Rush by his side. Overall I think Lashley could benefit from some time away and a repackaging while they figure out this Lio Rush situation. The more Rush runs his mouth backstage the more likely it is he will not be in the WWE much longer and unless he tones it down he won't be in many other places once the WWE goes away. It is possible that Rush is just acting like an egotistical, delusional jerk to get out of WWE, but it's more likely that being on WWE programming might've gotten to his head and someone needs a bit of a reality check in my book.
The never ending list of Top 10 Wrestlers continues as we hit number five who is one name that I never thought would've been on the list of active wrestlers. I know at this point I have written about Daniel Bryan and how unlikely it was that he'd ever back in the ring before last year, because it was extremely unlikely. However, the sight of Bryan being able to walk down the ramp in the same arena he won the WWE Title in again is a surreal moment that will go down in Wrestlemania lure.
Taking out his return though for obvious reasons there is nobody that expected to see Daniel defeat AJ Styles to win the WWE Title. To add to it not only did Bryan win the title but he became the top heel in WWE after the fact becoming a totally different person than the one he was before. Not many people could've made it on the list just based on two months, but when you are told you'll never return only to return and win the World title within the first year after coming back. Bryan hasn't lost a step in the three years since he retired and it looks like well when Shawn Michaels cameback in 2002.
Overall I have been a fan of Daniel since his days in Ring of Honor and have loved watching his rise through the WWE. Though maybe I ranked him a bit high the unexpected nature of his return I think justifies him falling this high on this list. I hope that his current injury turns out to be nothing serious and that we can continue to see one of the best do what he does best. Where does Daniel Bryan rank on your Top 10 of 2018?
After seeing some reports about the reason that Kevin Owens turned on the New Day this past week on Smackdown I will still admit that it doesn't make sense. I understand that Daniel Bryan sustained an injury and was suppose to be Kofi's first challenger, but to say Kevin Owens was the only person Kofi could've fought is total crap. Looking at the Smackdown Live roster one name jumps out at me from Kofi's past that being Randy Orton who would've been a very interesting opponent for the new champion.
For any fans not aware of Orton & Kofi's past just do a google search and you will find stories about their old feud from 2009 that I won't go deep into now. Either way though letting Kofi & Orton feud would've allowed Kevin to stay a baby face and hold off on having him turn on the New Day for a few months instead of rushing into it so quickly. This just shows that WWE doesn't have a back-up plan for top feuds when someone gets injured are still so quick to pull the trigger on a feud that they could've waited on doing simiarly to the Rollins vs Styles feud on Raw. It's unfortunate because I think if they waited it could've been on par with the Owens & Jericho split from a few years ago.
Also I just want to point out Owens competed for the WWE Title at Fast Lane even though it was a triple threat he still came up short & I think that waiting a bit longer for his next challenge would've benefited us all. Especially if it meant seeing a baby face Kevin Owens for a few months.
One of the main reasons that I am a major supporter of the brand split is, because top stars like AJ Styles and Seth Rollins have never feuded with each other. For the last three years AJ Styles has been a member of the Smackdown roster and Rollins has been on the red brand both coming into their own as top talent flag bearers for the company. Starting on this episode of Raw they set up the first new feud following the "Superstar Shake-Up" as this is one of the reasons that the brand split is a good thing as I mentioned, but I don't know if AJ Styles should've been given the chance to be Seth's first challenger.
Now don't get me wrong this is a fresh feud which is something that the company surely needed with the ratings problems they've been having recently. However, I think that holding off the AJ Styles match until maybe Summerslam or another event instead of jumping to it right away. In my opinion, after defeating Kurt Angle I don't see a reason that Baron Corbin couldn't have been a perfect first challenger for Seth Rollins to get it out of the way. Corbin has more momentum then he really ever has and plus I don't think that most people would enjoying seeing a long feud including Corbin and Rollins.
Plus this allows sometime between AJ Styles in the title picture and getting accustomed to him being on a new brand. Overall it's going to be a good feud, but I Just think that waiting on the feud would've been a better decision then going right for it to start.
As seen on Smackdown this past week current Intercontinental champion Finn Balor has officially moved over to the blue brand through the Superstar Shake-up. The main question that this brings up is does now have no mid-card title. Even though at this point neither championship carries much significance and in all honesty it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to see the US & Intercontinental champions feud to a unification match. This would be incredible to considering this would mean Finn Balor & Samoa Joe could have a feud together, but at this point I see Balor fighting Andrade next week and dropping the title.
In my opinion, Balor does fit better on Smackdown and has needed to move for at least a year to refresh his character and see if they can hit his stride on the blue brand. After this past Monday the only possibility for me is to see is to see next week as a "farewell" week of sorts or they have a rematch between Balor & Andrade in Saudi Arabia at the end of the month which would finally allow Raw to have a mid-card title again. I also think that after the recent performances Andrade has been given with Mysterio and the year he had last year letting him build more momentum be gaining a championship would be a great step in the right direction for the former NXT Champion.
Last year when the Superstar Shake-up came around it was a little bit shocking when so many top stars made the move over to Smackdown Live as it left Raw very weak. Looking over the last twelve months we saw one of the worst years overall for the WWE in history and now is the company's chance to hit the reset button to move forward. In my opinion, both Raw and Smackdown have talent that really need to switch brands and have some fresh eyes on them because they have been in the same place since the start of the split three years ago.
Seeing names like AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, The Miz, Viking Experience and others move to Raw is sort of the type of shake-up I for one expected to see last year and was dumbfounded when it didn't happen that way. As I mentioned earlier AJ Styles was absolutely one of those top stars that was in desperate need of a change as he has been on Smackdown since the start of the brand split three years ago. It is crazy to think that we haven't seen AJ Styles on Raw for the most part since 2016 and that for me is the reason why the brand split is such a good thing for the company. I also want to point out with Miz being a baby face now it would be a refreshing sight to see him have a deeper roster of heels to go against then he did on Smackdown.
Speaking of Smackdown Live I know that a "Big Dog" made the switch which was expected after AJ made the jump to the red brand. However, I think some other top stars will make the change to a fresh crop of talent onto the blue brand ahead of their big move to Fox this fall. They want to start building things up on Smackdown before October and this is their only chance for that in my book.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present