This past week we saw a landmark edition of Smackdown Live with the show holding it's 1000 episode ever and was it a spectacle. Looking back at this past January when the company held the 25th anniversary Raw event it was a cluster and that is an understatement. In reality I think that this show flowed a lot better then the other show which added to how successful the show was. One of the minor moments from the show we saw the return of Rey Mysterio who has been rumored to be returning for most of the year.
The one moment from the show that caught my attention based how messy the relationships had seemed between Batista and the McMahon family after his last run. Another rumor that has persisted for years is that Batista wanted to have one more feud with Triple H leading to a retirement match at Wrestlemania. During the show we saw the first appearance of Evolution on the blue brand and though it had been a while since they had been together it was almost like nothing changed. Yet once Batista took the microphone and might have planted the seeds for a return to the ring and getting the match he wanted. In my opinion it does seem like the company has set the stage for Triple H against Batista at Wrestlemania which is very interesting.
After last week's episode of Raw and the multiple issues I had about the amount of repetition the company is guilty of especially recently. However, this time around I will once again put that aside to finally have a more positive outlook after this episode based on some interesting side effects from the show. If you look up and down the card this week there was a lot of seeds planted for the future and some good build up to the Evolution PPV finally. Now don't get me wrong the WWE has done a terrible job of building up the Evolution PPV as was announced to be a spectacle and now is more like just another PPV. As they were more focused on promoting glorified house shows then the first ever all Women's PPV event which is crazy in my opinion. Look I understand why they are going to Australia & that other place, but isn't there such thing as over saturation and the company should have pulled it back a little.
Either way let's put that opinion aside and focus on the positives first of which was the segment including the Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey. So far I think that Ronda has taken to wrestling quite well and though she still has a ways to go this was a step in the right direction. Early on her matches have been formulaic similar to that of a "young lion" in New Japan, but to this point she never really showed much on the microphone. Though the Bella's have their critics truth be told both of them are very good at getting heat from the fans and are very good heels which made the lines that Ronda said on Raw even better. I don't think I can do the segment justice as I will go as far to say that it was the best Women's segment on Raw in a long time.
Shifting gears to another positive sight as Raw went off the air with Drew McIntyre standing tall and the "Monster Among Men" licking his wounds. Reality is that this is a sight we don't normally see as that was a sign of weakness from Braun which could really be a testament to how far the company plans to go with Drew. There have been rumors for months that Vince once again sees a bright future for the former "Chosen One" but it seems like this time around the future might be a little brighter from him then it was the first time around. The only thing I'm unsure about after seeing the ending to Raw is what exactly does this mean for the Tag Team champions if Drew will move into a feud with Braun in the near future. Overall I think we will have to wait and see what will happen next.
At first most fans didn't think much of the Lashley attack on Kevin Owens from last week's episode of Raw other than maybe WWE would finally allow Kevin to turn face & Lashley turn heel. I for was one of those people who was excited about Kevin finally getting a run as a good guy. Unfortunately it wasn't long after the episode finished that we found out the real reason that Kevin got written off television. The reason for those who may not know is that Kevin is actually injured with an undisclosed knee injury that will require surgery. Early reports point to a 6-8 month recovery time for the star, but this does mean that he will in fact miss WrestleMania next year for the first time since he arrived on the main roster.
In recent months nobody has had more "hardcore" moments then Kevin Owens who has been put through tables from various heights, slammed on the floor and who could forget thrown from the top of a cage. Kevin has done more in the last few months to look like a good guy and someone who puts his body on the line for the fans then any other time in his career. Knowing that at this point we could possibly not see Kevin until around WrestleMania of next year that being early April it will be highly unlikely that he doesn't return as a good guy. Now I know keeping his Spring 2019 recovery in mind I do think that he could be back before Mania, but I don't think the company should or wants him to rush back as this could be an injury that could keep him out longer if not given the right time to heal.
Overall if it was me I would now start a massive heel run from Lashley as he has now "taken out" Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. This could not only find him his next feud, but could garner him a ton of heat as both these guys even as heels had some fans cheering them week to week. Plus the reason you give Lashley a massive push is to give Owens someone to topple upon his return from the injury. Either way though the question is if the WWE will do anything like this and I think we just have to wait and see. Speedy recovery Kevin Owens!!
Though there might have been some moments from this week's edition of Smckdown to write home about, but I think everyone is focused on one thing right now. At this point I don't know how many people would've thought that Smackdown would hit this number, but let's hope it's better then Raw 25. I do remember that six years ago when the WWE had the Raw 1000 episode that was a very special event and worked as a milestone event. Looking at all the names set to appear next week at the event it is really a whose who of legends in WWE history. One of the more interesting "guests" next week will be all four members of Evolution which will be the first time that all four members will be together on the blue brand.
In reality another attention grabbing announcements is that Rey Mysterio will be set to return full time next week on the very special Smackdown. During the Ruthless Aggression era very few people went more hand and hand with the blue brand than Rey Mysterio. Since his Royal Rumble return earlier in the year we saw Rey look in fantastic shape by far the best shape he has been in for over a decade. Rey has been floating around the wrestling since January competing for New Japan & had a match at the All In event. Overall the rumors have been all over for most of the year with everyone trying to determine when Rey would return and now it's set for next week on Smackdown. I have to say that I'm happy to see Rey returning back to WWE and am very interested to see who Mysterio will be feuding with upon his return.
Looking at this week's episode of Raw it was a solid show, but I still did have a few issues as somethings on the show were a little confusing as to the reason that they were even on the show. Now looking at last weekend it really proved how unimportant the show was based on the lack of continued storylines. I'm unsure about the announced match between DX and Brothers of Destruction based on the article that I posted last week. Even with that being an issue for me this week too I will be ignoring it to avoid sounding like a broken record and talking about the same thing back to back weeks.
The main problem I had with this episode of Raw is the repetition of booking from show to show with the same matches being shown most weeks. Specifically we have seen the Ascension and Gable/Roode compete against each other for the last month or so and it is really getting old. Sometimes it really feels like the WWE forgets that there are other ways to keep feuds going from week to week other than having them in matches. Now I know that a feud between the Ascension and Roode/Gable may not be something that a lot of people want to see but in reality how does the company actually know that, because it would be something very fresh.
Overall comparing Lynch vs Charlotte as a fresh feud for the women's division I do believe that seeing this tag team feud could be a very fresh feud for the Raw tag team division. But I am not going to pin all the blame on this tag team match as the Finn Balor/Bayley vs Jinder Mahal/Alicia Fox "feud" continuing, but being extremely one sided. I do love the Bayley & Finn Balor partnership and feel like Fox & Mahal could fit together, but both need establishing otherwise it will be just seen as a thrown together team that doesn't have a reason to be together. I will point out that WWE is once again guilty of 50/50 booking, but then again that is something that every traditional WWE fan should know that they are guilty of at this point. I understand the "feud" has come together because of the mixed match challenge, but they really need to add some more depth to both the partnerships and make it less one side to allow for some more investment.
Recently, news has broken that WWE veteran Matt Hardy has seemingly decided to call it a career after a mixture of injuries he has sustained during his career and some new injuries have caught up with him. I think that the best way you can look at things is that age might have caught up with him at this point and time. On social media we saw Matt mention that he was looking to spend more time at home and being a father for his two young sons. Though it could end up that Hardy isn't done, but really just needs a little time off from the road to heal up then again it is also likely that this could the end of his career.
Either way if this is the end then it has been an incredible career for the elder Hardy brother starting from an enhancement talent and would become a top star in the largest company in the country. Putting aside his pre WWE career for various reasons, we have seen every phase of his career including the dark days in TNA when he was battling substance abuse. But from one half of one of the greatest Tag teams in WWE history to Version 1 to a bitter brother then a Hardy Boys return. Championships aside we have seen Matt be apart of some of the greatest moments in WWE history and some first ever matches as well.
Now adding his time as a promoter with Omega and his second run in TNA when he found the Broken Universe to add new life to his and Jeff's careers. It was the right time for it and it finally showed just how smart to wrestling Matt really is as he found his way to become a top star and reach the level that everyone always put his brother. For once Matt had the spotlight and didn't have to share it because he was the man insanely over with the fans. Then in one of the more feel good moments from any WrestleMania this decade we saw the Hardy Boys return to the WWE for one more run. I will admit that the Hardy's last run was booked a lot better then the Dudley's, then again that doesn't say much.
Overall though if this is the end then I'm glad we got to see the Hardy's together in the WWE one last time before the end came. All and all though I firmly believe that down the road Matt will be a WWE Hall of Famer both singles & with Jeff in my opinion. But I also want to say thank you, Thank you to Matt for all the moments and memories over the years it was an amazing ride and I'm glad he can walk away with his health & now has the luxury of becoming a father. In true "Broken" fashion we would never delete the memories it has been a "Wonderful" ride.
Talking about Smackdown Live recently there is only two feuds to be talking about which is the ones between AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe and Becky Lynch vs Charlotte. This time around we will be focusing on the feud between the women as I feel like Smackdown is extremely better then the way things are on Raw. I do think that the Smackdown side does have a lot more talent on the roster. Especially since Becky has been missing from television for the last couple month before they started this feud with her and Charlotte.
Now I know that most people are focused on the idea that Becky turned "heel" at Summerslam, but in reality has become more of a face then she was and Charlotte. It is also very interesting seeing how different the company books Charlotte compared to other women because she has really been the best booked women on the roster this year. In saying that I would hope that the company looks to use Charlotte's momentum to help the other women in the division. Overall this feud is something that was needed for the division as a breath of fresh air and something new for the fans to see, in my opinion so far this is what fans wanted from the Sasha Banks vs Bayley feud that never happened.
Fact is that in recent years we have seen the WWE increase their dependence on older stars rather than focusing on building the new core. Now don't get me wrong I am one for nostalgia, but when more attention is given to part time talent as opposed to those names that are always around. The idea that the company has invested in promoting a feud that sold during the "Attitude Era" as a way to build to a super show event. Answer this question why is the company going with Undertaker when he worked a three minute match at WrestleMania and then a squash in Saudi Arabia. The reason is because even if Taker can't work for as long as he use to he still sells tickets and with Triple H at the top of a billing it gets attention.
The problem with that is both Triple H & Undertaker are past their prime and are now hitting a point in their career where it might be time to think about not coming back to the ring. A few months ago I mentioned how much things would change when Brock Lesnar walked out the door for UFC with the Main Event spotlight on Raw spreading to be able to include more names.
In my opinion the best segments on Raw on a week to week basis in recent weeks has been the stuff the company has done with Kevin Owens & Elias. Now Elias has been an incredible talent for at least the last year or so, but has hit a ceiling for the most part for whatever reason and the same can be said for Owens. The reality is in my opinion that Kevin Owens, Elias, Finn Balor, and many other names could be among the talent that could really carry the company into the new generation especially with the reactions that Owens & Elias get weekly. However, the company still seems to be looking to keep those stars of the past in a prominent role questioning how the future will look for the company outside of AJ Styles.
For the longest time most fans believed that when Ambrose returned from his injury he would either feud with Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns but either way he would be a heel. In an interesting twist though the company brought Dean back as a good guy instead to reunited him with Roman and Seth to give us The Shield reunion we lost out on last year when Roman and Dean got injured. For me this has brought up the question since his return when will Dean switch sides or do they intend on keeping him as a good and not turning him even though he does need it.
As you can in the video The Shield's opponents for the Super show in Australia next month has started to plant seeds of deception between the brothers. In my opinion I do believe that this is just teasing things as opposed to anything set in stone. The reason for this is because it would be too soon for them to do the turn and they should let things build up. I think that if they do it right then the build should hit it's peak on the "Road to WrestleMania" setting something up for Ambrose against either Roman or Seth Rollins for WrestleMania next year. However, though I do question the foresight of the company as recent years have seen them lose the ability to book across the long term. Either way I think that it would be best for us to just wait and see what happens between now and next spring.
At first thought I figured that I would focus on the current picture within the Universal Championship. However, after the episode of Raw my idea changed with the focus shifting to current Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins. Now Rollins has really picked up where Miz left off reestablishing the prestige of the once prestigious championship. In reality Rollins would be pushing on the first 100 day reign in over a year with The Miz being the last name to hold the title for that long. In the past the company really relied on hot-shooting the championship instead of giving the champions long reigns.
Following his match with Dolph Ziggler on Raw the thought came to my mind that maybe Dolph would now move on from the Intercontinental title. The question would then move to who would challenge Seth for the title and I do hope that someone does, because the momentum can't stop here for the title. Especially now with Dolph & Drew becoming the Raw Tag Champion that should in directly take them away from the singles title picture. This could open the door for various names to make an impact in the title picture trying to bring a fresh name on television.
The one name that really jumped out for me was Apollo Crews, because if the company are on the idea of breaking a part "Titus Worldwide" then the best thing way to get Crews some consistent time is placing him in a feud with the IC Champion. Now I know that this feud might not get over as well as it does in my head, but in reality that's because I book a little more wrestling and less sports entertainment. Basically I'm more the NXT booker then WWE either way though I do hope that we can move on from Rollins vs Ziggler for a little while after this past Monday and give both Rollins & the title some fresh challengers.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present