WWE Not Banking On Sasha?

 

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“We want Sasha.”

How many times have we heard that chant in WWE since July 2015? Almost every segment  involving a woman. When Charlotte comes out? We want Sasha. When Becky Lynch wrestles? We want Sasha. When there’s a segment involving the Total Divas? We want Sasha. It’s the same process for almost every women’s segment not involving Sasha. What does that tell you? What’s the secret behind this chant? Why are the WWE fans chanting this and not chanting for Charlotte? The answer is quite simple… THEY WANT SASHA!

The WWE is a very weird company in the sense they expect you to get over, only if you have a specific look or a specific set of skills that others lack. Zack Ryder was never meant to get as over as he did, which forced WWE’s hand. After having him win the United States Championship in 2011, they did everything in their power to send his career in a huge downward spiral and they succeeded. With the exception of his big WrestleMania 32 victory, Zack’s never been in the same realm of popularity that he was in 2011. And funnily enough, there was a “we want Ryder” chant which was prominent throughout the shows in the same way that “we want Sasha” is prominent in 2016.

Sasha’s chants are not like the whole Daniel Bryan deal, which completely hijacked shows. However, these chants have been hijacking nearly every segment on RAW involving women. They’ve been pretty powerful chants and even after WrestleMania 32, where they got Sasha Banks in the Women’s Championship match, Sasha is still the woman the fans want to see. I’m pretty sure that if any one of the women are huge draws in terms of merchandise, it’s Sasha. She is a marketing company’s fantasy. She’s got the look, the fashion sense and the personality of an entertainment superstar. In fact, she’s actually related to an entertainment superstar in Snoop Dogg!

Despite all of this, the WWE are still banking on Charlotte to be their top woman in the women’s roster and the big guy calling the shots is now reportedly putting Sasha on the back-burner. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Sasha is getting a reputation from WWE management for being injury-prone. Vince McMahon has reportedly told officials that Sasha only knows one speed in the ring and that is to go all out.

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Now there were reports in the past of Vince comparing Sasha to Daniel Bryan in the injury-prone and work-rate categories, which are actually pretty absurd comparisons to make. Long before his run in WWE, Daniel Bryan tore his body apart while wrestling around the world. Daniel’s even admitted that he and several independent guys like CM Punk had that old-school mentality of leaving it all in the ring no matter what. Whether Sasha has that much of a similar mentality of Bryan and Punk is up for debate, but I don’t see Sasha going all out THAT much. She does perform well but it’s really the big matches were she actually goes all out there. I don’t remember seeing a lot of RAW matches where Sasha went all out. Maybe it’s a different story on the house shows.

Not to mention that her most recent injury was actually just a legitimate freak accident involving a referee at a house show, who accidentally kneed her in the face and gave her a concussion.  It’s not like it’s a recurring injury for Sasha and this is the first time which I’ve seen Sasha out of action with injuries this often. I don’t think that makes her injury-prone. I would hardly call any of the WWE superstars injury-prone, with the exception of a small few. For those that are deemed “injury-prone,” I feel that it’s mostly due to the intense WWE schedule that sees the talent on the road for 300 days a year. Not to mention that outside projects with the WWE Network as well as other endevours will also not doubt be taking their toll. The wear and tear they get from the ring as well as other things will all build up, leading to them striking out eventually.

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Let’s take Nikki Bella for example. I know there’s not a great sense of respect for Nikki from a lot of fans, but I do respect a lot of aspects about her record-breaking Divas title reign. Think about it. She was working for months with an injury, which all lead up to neck surgery once she dropped the belt. During those months, she’d been working out like crazy (as her Instagram will prove) and taking bumps for nearly a year as the heel champion. Imagine how much strain every one of the Rack Attacks that Nikki did as she hoisted woman after woman onto her shoulders, only to drop them down. Not all of these women are easy to move either. Think about tall women like Charlotte or muscular women like Natalya. All of those strains eventually built and built to the point where Nikki’s career is looking in serious doubt.

It’s an essential part of professional wrestling for injuries to occur. After all, you’re putting on shows where the aim of the competitors is to hurt each other as much as they can. That’s the kayfabe goal of these workers and that involves people taking hits and taking punishment. It’s all part of the gig.

I kind of understand WWE’s mentality for not pushing the wrestlers that they think are “injury prone” as guys like Wade Barrett were hardly pushed again when they kept picking up injury after injury. However, this is Sasha Banks. She is still a brand new face in the company, particular as the top female on the roster. Guys like Wade Barrett, Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry have had opportunities in the past, making these decisions make a lot of sense. For Sasha though, it is upsetting to see her black-balled like this.

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Despite this, I believe that there is a lot more to this story than “injury-prone” concerns. I actually think RAW this week actually confirmed my suspicions. Remember on RAW two weeks ago, when they had the segment with Stephanie McMahon slapping Ric Flair? If you don’t, then no worries as I did write a review of the entire episode (that you can see at this link). There was a shot of Charlotte getting angry at Stephanie as she was supposedly about to charge her until Natalya cut her off. This was a tease of a confrontation between Stephanie and Charlotte.

Following this RAW, I mentioned that I believed that we are more likely to get Charlotte vs Stephanie at Summerslam than Charlotte vs Sasha (which was the reported plan for Summerslam for weeks). Then they did a segment on this week’s edition of RAW. In a backstage segment, Stephanie berated Charlotte in a babyface manner in order to add fuel to the fire. If this segment didn’t show that they are looking at other options, think again.

I don’t think that Charlotte vs Stephanie is the right move for Summerslam, but I’m still convinced that WWE would put more effort in promoting  that match as opposed to a potential Charlotte/Sasha match. Stephanie is doing her memoirs and her public perception is a big factor. Stephanie wrestling for the women’s championship one more time is a more appealing option to WWE than for Sasha to get her big title victory. Unfortunately for fans of The Boss, I don’t see a title reign for her in the near future.

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It’s a shame because Charlotte is not the woman that the WWE Universe want to see as the champion right now. The months and months of chants have given the WWE a fresh insight into the mindset of the fans. Sadly, it’s not strong enough to convince Vince to change his mind. My advice for wrestling fans that are hoping for a Sasha title reign to just keep up the “we want Sasha” chants. Just keep it up. At the end of the day, they’ll EVENTUALLY listen if things get crazy. If they did another main event women’s segment and these fans are chanting for Sasha, maybe that could be the deciding factor. The WWE will eventually listen… and you can take that to the bank.

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Wrestling Flashback – The CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee Love Triangle

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Lighting up WWE television in 2012 was the “mentally unstable” AJ Lee, becoming the most popular woman on the roster since her major push began as she was the squeeze of World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. AJ was the neglected girlfriend of the World Champion, who had started to become cocky following his World title victory at TLC 2011. Despite this, AJ still continued to stay with Daniel and even accompanied him to ringside for his big WrestleMania 28 title defense against Sheamus. Daniel requested a good luck kiss from AJ after the bell ran. After the kiss, Daniel walked into a Brogue Kick by Sheamus who pinned him after 18 seconds.

Deeming the kiss as the “kiss of death” Daniel dumped AJ, leaving her heart-broken. AJ began becoming psychologically lost in the ring, with the end of her relationship taking a major toll on her. In one particular match on SmackDown!, Natalya attempted to console AJ during their match. AJ suddenly snapped and attacked Natalya, with the match thrown out due to AJ being unable to control her emotions.

This lead to a major angle involving three men “vying” for the affection of AJ,  with one of those men happening to be the WWE Champion CM Punk. Her ex Daniel as well as the “Big Red Machine” Kane were feuding with CM Punk over the WWE title, with AJ becoming the puppet-master. These tactics included kissing Kane in order to win herself and Punk a tag team match on RAW and even dressing up like Kane. After No Way Out 2012, Kane distanced himself from the feud, even calling AJ “mentally unstable.”

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Punk and Bryan continued to fight for the WWE Championship, with AJ doing her best to gain the attention of both men. AJ’s antics included kissing Punk and pushing both men through a table and even proposing to CM Punk on RAW. AJ was the special guest referee during Punk and Bryan’s no disqualification match at Money In The Bank. AJ continued to play both men before Punk eventually picked up the victory.

I really enjoyed this program between AJ, Punk, Bryan and Kane. How none of their matches never got a pay-per-view main event is beyond me, but AJ became the first diva in years to become a major part of a main event program. The thing I really liked about AJ and this program is that everybody’s actions made sense – EVEN AJ. AJ was playing as the puppet-master all along, manipulating the situation initially to get the affections of CM Punk. Punk did console AJ as soon as Bryan dumped her, so it made sense for Punk to be of AJ’s interest. Even CM Punk’s actions make sense, doing what he thought was best for AJ. He didn’t love AJ but he liked her enough as a close friend in order to take whatever craziness AJ had in store. Punk was not really made to look like a fool, as his main intention above all was to still be the WWE Champion. This mindset actually played into Punk’s heel turn at RAW 1000, with Punk doing whatever it took to protect his title reign.

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Unfortunately for Kane, he was the bumbling boob of the entire story. Kane was initially brought into the program by Punk and Bryan, in order to play them off against each other in matches on RAW. Following this, Kane interjected himself into the WWE title picture. Then AJ started messing with him, which leads to Kane eventually stepping his foot down after No Way Out. The main focus of the feud was Punk, Bryan and AJ, but Kane played a small but necessary role in this storyline. Finally, there’s Daniel Bryan. Daniel’s character in this storyline was really well written. Bryan broke up with AJ due to his selfish desires to become champion. When AJ gets involved, Bryan still insists that he has no feelings for AJ. Despite this, he still continues to try and stir the pot with Kane and Punk. Bryan’s main concern is becoming the WWE Champion, so why not mess with the guys that AJ has feelings for?

When AJ is made the special guest referee for Money In The Bank, Bryan must change AJ’s perception of him in order to try and win her influence. He gets her roses, shows concern and even proposes to her himself. At the end, Bryan’s efforts are unsuccessful as Punk retains. Bryan’s main goal was to become WWE Champion. Punk’s goal was to become WWE Champion but also support AJ. Kane’s goal was to cause destruction, with everybody else using him as their “hired gun” if you will. AJ, on top of all of this, is messing with EVERYONE but not totally evil. She’s just… mentally unstable.

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Leading into RAW 1000, Daniel still continued to court AJ and proposed to her once again. She accepts and the wedding is set for RAW 1000. However, it is revealed that AJ has accepted a proposal from Vince McMahon to become the general manager of RAW. At the end of the day, AJ gained power and now can mess with Daniel Bryan officially as his boss.

Overall, I think this was a great program. I have more Wrestling Flashbacks planned with regards to AJ but I will state that I believe that this was the best that AJ was ever written by WWE. I’ll have a lot to say as AJ’s character is so badly messed up in the last few years of her career when thinking about it in hindsight. What her character would become is nowhere near as detailed and fleshed out as what her character was like in this storyline. This storyline gained her insane popularity and it’s not like she was playing your average crazy diva. She was a sweet but calculated master manipulator… that the fans still cheered!

AJ Styles Vs Chris Jericho II On SmackDown!

 

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AJ Styles was a phenomenal signing for WWE. He was so phenomenal that WWE decided to put AJ on the main roster as soon as he arrived. Think of all the stars that have wrestled on NXT before appearing on the main roster. Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe and even Jushin Thunder Liger have all appeared on NXT instead of first debuting on the main roster. Imagine that you’ve got a star like AJ in your ranks.

You’ve got a man that was a major part of the development of TNA, which had been the second top wrestling promotion in the world for years. You’ve got a man that was the IWGP Champion just before he left. It’s the same title held by the likes of Brock Lesnar, who is considered a very special attraction for WWE. You’ve got a man with phenomenal skills in the ring and could give you a new legitimate star in your ranks. Less than a month into his career, AJ’s promising career in WWE has already been ruined in the exact same way that so many new stars could have been created. 50/50 booking.

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In case you missed SmackDown!, AJ Styles lost his first WWE match and he did it clean. He lost his big rematch against Chris Jericho to a simple codebreaker. How does this do either man ANY favours? How does it do Chris Jericho any favours? He’s not exactly going to have a big part in the future of WWE. He’s coming towards the end of his career. He should not be beating guys like AJ Styles so cleanly. Wouldn’t it make more sense for Jericho to lose to AJ again and have him keep losing until the end of the feud? Each time Jericho loses, he gets more and more annoyed with himself. It’s a simple feud which will elevate AJ whether he loses the final match or not. It doesn’t do too much damage to Jericho as he still would likely win the final match.

I really don’t understand the logic of having Jericho suddenly being booked as one of the best wrestlers in the company again. Jericho is 45 years old and has not won a championship since 2010. The idea that he is on par with the top stars in the company in 2016 is just absurd. He even lasted 50 minutes in the Royal Rumble match. How bad does that make the rest of the wrestlers look when Jericho is leaving them in the dust?

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I get that Chris Jericho has historically been a top star in WWE but you can’t be booking him so great right now. My idea earlier about having Jericho getting more and more angry at himself for not being able to put AJ away would actually be a great bit of character development for Jericho, as it would be Jericho questioning whether he could still hang with the best any more. You can’t go from having Jericho putting over guys like Fandango to beating AJ Styles in an instant as it just seems unbelievable. You’ve had Jericho putting over younger stars for years, so it’s going to be hard to convince the casual viewer that Jericho is as good as everyone else after not accomplishing a great deal in the last five years.

WWE’s sudden insistence on putting Jericho over as a top star in 2016 is just infuriating to me. It was like the Highlight Reel segment a month ago, when Jericho said that he, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were the three favourites to win the Royal Rumble. Again, it makes everyone else look bad.

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I’ve been talking about Jericho for a while but the one that will likely ne most effected by this match is AJ. Now AJ Styles is in the same position as everyone else on the roster. He is beatable after just a few weeks. I’ve seen everyone get beaten eventually. There’s never been a professional wrestler that has never lost a match. That’s just how wrestling works. They beat Goldberg. They beat Brock Lesnar. They even beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. However, a new star should always be protected when he/she enters your company. AJ Styles, in particular, should be promoted as one of the best you have to offer. He should be one of the wrestlers that you should be protecting as he’s just arrived in an emphatic way. Now though, he’s been subjected to the same detrimental booking as everyone else on the roster.

WWE’s idea of “50/50 booking”, to make sure that they don’t upset any particular fan bases, is just going to kill any attempts at creating new stars. That will result in the fans only showing a great deal of interest in the likes of Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and John Cena. Therefore, the fans will only be invested in those characters.

In a time where stars need to be made, there has to be a lot more wrestlers exempt from this booking and AJ Styles is someone that should have been spared this. This was a poor decision by WWE to have him lose to Jericho and to have him lose this early into his WWE career.

WWE Night Of Champions 2015 Predictions

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Welcome to the Armbar Express’ Night of Champions 2015 predictions. This is very important PPV for WWE. Coming off Summerslam, the pressure is on for WWE to deliver. It’s not that they’re lacking in star power either. Usually, it’s the case where the WWE programming takes a hit as all the stars are off television. While WWE are without the likes of Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, they’ve got the talent to put together a quality show. The Dudley Boyz have returned to take on the tag team champions and they’ve got a legend in the running for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Many questions will be answered in Houston on Sunday. Will Nikki Bella’s historic title reign come to an end? Will the Dudleyz end the glorious title reign of the New Day? Will Kevin Owens capture his first title as part of the main roster? Will the Rusev and Dolph Ziggler rivalry finally come to an end? Who will Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose’s partner be for their six man tag team match against the Wyatts? And lastly… how many titles will Seth Rollins have by the end of the night? Will Sting make history at Night of Champions?

Rusev w/Summer Rae vs Dolph Ziggler

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Background: Dolph Ziggler returned on RAW to challenge Rusev for a match at Summerslam. The match ended in a double disqualification as a brawl developed between Summer Rae and Lana. Their rematch on RAW eight days later ended pretty much the same way, except that Dolph Ziggler won by disqualification. After the match on RAW, Summer Rae would go into Dolph Ziggler’s locker room and come out screaming as Dolph Ziggler had his towel on. Summer claimed that Dolph had come onto her but Dolph denied it. This led to a MizTV segment on SmackDown! where Lana and Summer brawled once again. Lana ended up getting a legitimate injury as Rusev forgave Summer Rae and blamed Ziggler on television. This would lead to a rematch being announced for Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: I’ve talked about this angle so many times. I’m not a fan of it AT ALL. If you want to read my thoughts on it, click on this link. The biggest issue is that it’s not helping the careers of Ziggler or Rusev. Therefore, there’s not good reason for having it on television anymore as no one is benefiting from it (well except Summer Rae I guess). I’d pick Rusev to win this match and I hope this storyline is wrapped up. If it were me, I’d have it somehow revealed that Ziggler and Summer didn’t do anything. If Lana will be at the PPV, I hope it’s revealed that LANA actually had an affair… with RUSEV! That way, Rusev and Lana are back together and Lana gets a load of heat off the turn.

What Will Happen?: I don’t think this storyline will end at Night of Champions… sadly. I heard that WWE are planning to keep this storyline going until Lana comes back. I REALLY hope that’s not the case. If that’s the case, then WWE would have to try and keep this storyline going for an additional FOUR MONTHS (which is how long Lana is expected to be out for). I have no idea how WWE could possibly be able to keep this storyline interesting for four months until Lana returns. After all, the storyline started… BECAUSE OF LANA! I think Rusev will win but I think it will be by cheating of some sort.

Ryback (c) vs Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship

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Background: Ryback retained the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam while Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro. Kevin would then begin to target Ryback on an episode of SmackDown! Following a few confrontations and an actually decent segment last week on RAW, Kevin Owens vs Ryback for the title was announced for the PPV.

What Should Happen?: Ryback’s title reign has been hurt for a few reasons. He started feuding with the same people for three months when he first became champion. He was also injured in the middle of that program so Ryback’s really not had a chance to really establish himself as a top champion as he’s not had many challengers. I’d like to keep the belt on Ryback but Kevin Owens is going to look so bad if he loses clean to Ryback at Night of Champions. If it were up to me, I’d have Ryback pin Kevin but with Kevin’s foot on the ropes. This could lead to a nice little No Holds Barred match at Hell in a Cell where Kevin could win the title. If Kevin were to win, I’d like to see him actually chase the title. I think it’d make Ryback look crap if he were to lose to Kevin in his first title defense against him. Ryback wins, but due to a bad referee call.

What Will Happen?: Kevin Owens wins. I think that’s what WWE’s plans are for him in Houston.

The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship

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Background: The Dudleyz returned on the RAW after Summerslam and took out the new WWE Tag Team Champions New Day. The New Day would begin a campaign to “Save The Tables”! The Dudleyz would beat the New Day in a non-title match and would tell the group that they’d defend the titles at Night of Champions against them… if they retained the titles against the Prime Time Players on RAW. The New Day retained, meaning that the Dudleyz vs the New Day was set for the PPV.

What Should Happen?: THE NEW DAY WIN! I don’t care if it is the Dudleyz they are up against. The New Day are the hottest thing going in WWE right now and it would be a shame to see that title reign end at Night of Champions. I love the Dudleyz but they really came back at the wrong time to be in line for a tag title run.

What Will Happen?: The New Day retain. I sense a DQ finish in the works, because I don’t think the WWE want the Dudleyz beaten clean in their first PPV match back.

Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and ??????? vs Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman

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Background: Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns beat Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper at Summerslam. However, Bray brought in the Wyatt Family’s “Black Sheep” in order to turn the tide in their favour. Braun Strowman was introduced and attacked Reigns and Ambrose. A six man tag team match was made for Night of Champions with Dean and Roman needing to look for a partner. On RAW, Roman confirmed that they’ve found their partner and that they were going to kick their asses.

What Should Happen?: It’s been rumoured that WWE are planning on rushing Erick Rowan back so he can be the mystery partner. I hope that’s not the case. Firstly, I’d rather Erick come back when he’s 100% rather than him coming back and working hurt. Secondly, it wouldn’t make any sense for Dean and Roman to pick Erick as their partner. The last time Erick was on TV, he was teaming with Luke Harper. Wouldn’t Dean and Roman suspect that Erick could turn on them if he was the partner? If I had to pick who I think should be the third man, I think it should be someone from NXT like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe or Sami Zayn if he’s ready. Sami would be a great pick.

Regarding the result, I think the Wyatt Family need to pick up the win. They lost at Summerslam and it wouldn’t make them so weak if they were to lose two PPVs in a row.

What Will Happen?: I don’t see the Wyatts picking up the win with this mystery partner business. Roman and Dean’s team win.

Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte for the Divas Championship

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Background: Stephanie McMahon called for a Divas Revolution in July, as the NXT women Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks were called onto the main roster. Charlotte and Becky teamed up with Paige to form the PCB and won a three team elimination match at Summerslam. According to Michael Cole, Stephanie McMahon said that the winners of the three team elimination match would get a chance at the Divas title. I can confirm that Stephanie never said anything like that. However, all three members of the PCB took part in a Beat The Clock challenge on RAW. Charlotte won the match to earn a title shot. She was given a title shot on RAW but lost via DQ. The Bella Twins had tried Twin Magic which ended up with Charlotte pinning Brie. However, Steph reversed the decision and Nikki retained the title. This meant that Nikki Bella would break the record for the longest Divas title reign of all time. However, Charlotte still has a title match at Night of Champions. If Nikki Bella gets counted out or disqualified, she will lose the title.

What Should Happen?: Nikki Bella retains and read my article on Charlotte at this link to see why.

What Will Happen?: Charlotte wins the title. From what I can gather from online reports, I think the plan still is for Charlotte to win the title. If that’s the case then WWE should have Nikki retain and make Charlotte chase for the title. However, I don’t see WWE doing that. I don’t think they have the patience to do that.

Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena for the United States Championship

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Background: Alright, here we go. Match #1 for Seth Rollins. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth beat John Cena for the United States Championship after interference from Jon Stewart… which still annoys me to this day. John Cena would come out two weeks later on RAW to invoke his rematch clause for the US title. This announcement meant that Seth would have to defend both the WWE World and US titles at Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: John Cena wins. I left a comment on an article for SLTD Wrestling about this. John Cena is best served reigning as US Champion. If he regains the title and the John Cena invitational begins again on RAW, then it’s going to benefit everyone that challenges him for the belt. Cena needs the US title a lot more than Rollins.

What Will Happen?: Cena wins. No doubt in my mind that if Seth’s going to lose a championship, it’s going to be the US title.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Sting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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Background: Sting returned on the RAW after Summerslam, declaring his intention of winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Almost immediately, Triple H announced Seth vs Sting for Night of Champions. Sting talked about the WWE World title being the one title that has he’s never won. Sting also stole a statue dedicated to Seth Rollins and ended up breaking the statue. On last week’s RAW, Sting would make Seth tap out in a tag team match and gets all the momentum heading into Night of Champions.

What Should Happen?: Sting wins… via disqualification. Seth Rollins retains the title. I think Seth should be champion for a long time. It’s not going to hurt Seth that much if he loses. However, I think WWE have to build to the moment of Sting winning the WWE World title if that’s what is going to happen.

What Will Happen?: If Seth retains the US Championship, Sting wins the title. If Cena wins the US Championship, Seth retains the title.

That wraps things up for the Night of Champions prediction. I expect this to be a big PPV for WWE. I really hope this does well as it has all the ingredients needed to being one of the best PPVs of the year if done right. If not, Houston… WWE might have a problem.

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How I Would Book… Kurt Angle’s Return To WWE

A few months ago, Kurt Angle stated in an interview that WWE weren’t interested in rehiring him after he enquired about rejoining the company last year. This got me thinking because Kurt Angle hasn’t been with WWE for nearly a decade now. It’s really hard to believe that Kurt has not been with WWE for so long but yet very active in professional wrestling with TNA. With that in mind… how would you bring him back? How much would he appear on television? How much of an impact would the former TNA star have on WWE programming a decade after his depature? How Would I Book… Kurt Angle’s return to WWE.

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Now it’s important to note that we have to be a bit realistic with Kurt’s conditioning. Kurt’s stated in a number of “shoot” interviews that the perks of his run with TNA is that the scheduling for him is a lot less intense than if he were to be working full-time with WWE. Also, he’s getting paid a lot more to do a little less. So the idea that we should have Kurt Angle back on television full-time for the foreseeable future is out of the question. There’s no way Kurt could be fit and healthy enough to maintain a full-time schedule with WWE. Ask anyone who’s had to work full-time on the road for 300+ days a year for WWE. It takes such a mental and physical toll on your body. Kurt Angle is 46 years old for god’s sake. How on earth could he possibly work such a demanding schedule?

Having said that though, Kurt’s still be working full time for TNA for last decade of his career. Granted, TNA’s schedule is a lot less demanding than WWE’s. However, Kurt’s still been able to work well and sufficiently enough to represent the company as it’s World Champion THIS YEAR! Watch his matches with Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Kurt can still go in the ring. So he can work in a competitive capacity.

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I would recommend signing Kurt to a part-time contract as it would be more suitable for the Olympic Gold medalist. He can pick and choose which dates suit him best and their would be less strain on his body. But the thing is… how do you re-introduce him to the WWE Universe?

Granted, the fans know that Kurt Angle exists since he can be seen on the WWE Network for just 9.99. He’s been an accomplished wrestler with WWE so he’s not unknown to the general audience. It’s not like Sting, who had never appeared for WWE before he joined in 2014. However, the WWE universe does need to get re-acquainted with Kurt just a little. He’s been away from the company for so long. So if he were to re-sign with WWE tomorrow, then I would propose re-introducing him to the WWE universe in a video game. More specifically… as downloadable content for the upcoming WWE 2K16 video game.

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Whether the developers could get Kurt Angle completed quick enough to be DLC is debatable. However, if Kurt re-signed today, then the developes could possibly get Kurt done in time for Wrestlemania 32. Kurt’s re-introduction to WWE through a video-game could create speculation about the PPV itself. The fans would start to wonder why the WWE would release Kurt as a video game character just prior to the biggest event of the year. They might start to believe that WWE is actually preparing a surprise return for Kurt Angle. However, he does not come back at Wrestlemania. If he did, Kurt would be among a star-studded roster appearing at the biggest show of the year. It’s not really fair for Kurt to return when there are so many others being featured on the card. So I would hold of his return until the next night on RAW.

I think my first opponent for Kurt to feud with would be Rusev. Kurt Angle vs Rusev would actually be a pretty decent match for Kurt to work. Kurt would play the Pro-USA character against the Anti-USA Rusev. However, it would not be a match about Patriotism…

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Rusev would (hopefully) be coming off a big win at Wrestlemania 32. He gets bragging and says there is not a man out there that could beat him. He therefore challenges whoever the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is to a title match later that night which the champion accepts. However, the champion should really be a face for this to work. Rusev gets DQ’d in their main event match but then attacks the champion. During the attack, he keeps shouting “Who’s going to stop me?” until we hear Kurt Angle’s theme song. Kurt comes out to stare down Rusev to end the show.

Kurt would come out the next week on RAW and declare that he’s here because he has something to prove. He’s been seeing a revolution in WWE with new stars from NXT and beyond coming to WWE and delivering like few others have. He then saw Rusev, who had been a powerhouse in WWE for years. He says Rusev is one of the nastiest he has seen and says that Rusev is someone he needs to prove himself against. Kurt’s says that he’s not fighting for America like he did in 1996 when he won Olympic Gold. He’s here to prove that after nearly a decade away from WWE, he can hang with the top stars of today. He challenges Rusev to a Submission match at Extreme Rules. Kurt says if he can’t beat Rusev, he will not appear on WWE television again. Rusev agrees and the match is made. In the match, Kurt makes Rusev tap out.

Rusev tapping out is rare. In fact, I actually think John Cena is the only man to do so since Rusev’s arrived on the main roster. But Kurt Angle making Rusev tap out shows that Kurt is just as good as he used to be. If Rusev’s won a big time match against a top face at Wrestlemania 32, then this loss wouldn’t be such a big deal. If you want to have Rusev get his redemption, simply have him win a rematch at Payback. I’d personally book a best of three in which Kurt ends up winning their third match at Money In The Bank. Much like Kurt’s feud with Samoa Joe in TNA, you’re not hurting either man to a great degree.

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Then if you want to, Kurt can come back to feud with the likes of Daniel Bryan (hopefully), Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and many more of the newest stars WWE has to offer. Because that’s exactly who Kurt would want to go up against. Kurt wants a challenge, so don’t have him feud with the likes of Triple H and John Cena because he’s already done that. Give him something new to work with. You’re also doing his opponents a favour by having them put on potential classics with a great worker like Kurt Angle. Who really loses?

There you have it. I would not have Kurt Angle come back and push him to the top or something. That would be pretty silly considering he’s 46 years old. However, given Kurt the freedom of working a less demanding schedule means Kurt can be utilized to help elevate your up-and-coming talent and make them legitimate stars. He’d be like Chris Jericho whenever he comes back. And it’s not like Kurt wouldn’t mind losing to these guys either. Just as long as you don’t give Kurt the same old stars from WWE’s past because no one wants to see that. Kurt can prove to be a valuable commodity in WWE and can help those he’s working with. It can also encourage other stars to step up their game considering what Kurt’s able to do at 46. Overall, Kurt’s return can have a positive effect on your roster and your television programming.

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

How I Would Book… Batista vs Brock Lesnar [PART 1]

Part Two

Yeah! Continuity lives on in the Armbar Express! More than a year ago or so, I did a blog post on how I would book a dream match that I’ve always wanted to see… AJ Styles vs Rey Mysterio. That was actually meant to be a one-off but after seeing a lot of traffic to my site from the Google search of Batista vs Brock Lesnar, I figured why not do it again! Let’s see how I would book “The Animal” Batista vs “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar!

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It REALLY surprised me that in the short time that Batista was here, the WWE never booked Brock Lesnar vs Batista for a big PPV main event. Perhaps they was leaving it for Summerslam 2014 until the Wrestlemania ending was changed, I dunno. The movie star Batista, in the height of his movie career with Guardians of the Galaxy, should have been in the ring with a top draw like Brock Lesnar. That’s MONEY right there but WWE failed to capitalize. Now with this fantasy booking, I’m going to be looking at TWO different booking scenarios.

  1. An alternative universe which is set after the 2014 Royal Rumble.
  2. A present day booking up until Summerslam 2015.

I wanted to look at both scenarios because when he was here, Batista vs Brock Lesnar not happening was pretty much missed opportunity by WWE. So I wanted to look at that. Plus, I do have a good idea about how I would get Lesnar vs Batista together if they were to hypothetical face off at Summerslam. Now we know that Batista last WWE run was not the greatest of times for Batista. But if the money was there and both parties were on the same page, I would never rule out a return for Batista. Now considering his filming schedule, it’s unsure whether a Summerslam program would be possible for Batista. Maybe Survivor Series in November, since his new Bond movie “Spectre” is out around that time. It’d seem like a smart money move to me to have him around that time to promote his movie. But for this particular scenario, we’re just gonna assume that Batista was available for Summerslam because that’s the next big PPV on our minds.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll begin with the first scenario, which takes place AFTER Batista won the Royal Rumble….

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In actual WWE, Batista and Brock Lesnar’s first interaction took place on the RAW after the Royal Rumble. Lesnar interrupted both Batista and then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Paul Heyman gave RAW GM Brad Maddox an ultimatum to book Lesnar/Orton or Lesnar/Batista… or else. Maddox refused to give him either so Lesnar would attack Cody Rhodes and Goldust later on in the show. This segment stays because I always thought this was really well done. In fact, I wouldn’t change much in the build up to Wrestlemania. The main event of Wrestlemania would be turned into a triple threat somehow and Lesnar would take on the streak and conquer it. The biggest difference is that BATISTA would be walking out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, as I always felt he should.

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Daniel Bryan winning the title was a very heart-warming moment at Wrestlemania but having Batista winning at the Royal  Rumble only to lose at Wrestlemania totally undermined the point of the Rumble match in the first place, particular as Bryan was just entered into the match. In some way, I feel the same way about Roman Reigns when HE lost at Wrestlemania 31 but WWE were really booking themselves into a corner with Reigns anyway. To read more about my thoughts on Roman Reigns post Wrestlemania 31, click on THIS LINK to read it.

The Batista scenario is a very shocking ending to Wrestlemania, even if it’s not the popular one. When Batista almost won the title at the end of the triple threat, I was on the edge of my seat. Batista winning the title and the Authority embracing him at the end would make Batista look like a million dollars. But Bryan fans, don’t worry! Daniel will still get his moment as WWE World Heavyweight Champion and we’re still going to get Batista and Brock Lesnar as well…

As we know, Brock Lesnar was off TV again after Wrestlemania and Paul Heyman became Cesaro’s manager. Theoretically, the Evolution vs Shield stuff can still happen in this universe although I’d just limit it to ONE match between them at Extreme Rules. It would hurt Batista’s title reign if he goes two PPVs without defending the belt. The first six man tag would happen and then Batista would just defend against somebody else at Payback.

Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan’s still up against the Authority. He beats Kane at Extreme Rules and demands a rematch for the title at Payback. However, Heyman and Cesaro comes out cuts off Bryan. Eventually, this would lead to a match at Payback between the two of them for the number one contendership spot at Money In The Bank. You’d get a killer match between Cesaro and Bryan which would end in a botched interference by Kane which leads to Bryan winning. This would create heat between Heyman and the Authority and perhaps… Cesaro swings Kane at the end if he could.

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Too smooth things over between Heyman and the Authority, Cesaro is entered into the Money In The Bank ladder match. Cesaro is concerned about the Authority, considering their new member Seth Rollins is in the MITB match as well. Heyman assures Cesaro that if anything did happen, he had a Plan C.

So now the stage is set for Money In The Bank. Cesaro and Seth Rollins are part of MITB and it’s Batista vs Daniel Bryan in the main event. Firstly in the MITB match, Cesaro gets screwed by Kane and the Authority as Seth Rollins wins. Heyman angrily goes to the Authority and announces they’ve just made the biggest mistake of their lives and says prepare for Plan C.

Main event, ref bump takes Bryan out of the equation. The Authority come in to help Batista when Brock Lesnar’s music hits. Whether WWE would be willing to pay Lesnar for a surprise Money In The Bank appearance is up for debate. However, in the situation that they do, Lesnar comes out and F5s Batista and Bryan would pick up the win and the title. If not Lesnar, then Cesaro comes out or something. Either way, a Paul Heyman guy has screwed over the Authority.

So then we’re in a very VERY interesting situation. I would have said at this point, have the Authority fire Paul Heyman. However, with Brie Bella having “quit” at the Payback PPV, it would result in the “fired-employee” storyline being a bit over done. So Heyman still keeps his job somehow and is still managing Cesaro.

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Heading into Battleground, it is Bryan, Batista, Cesaro and maybe Roman Reigns for the WWE Title. Dean Ambrose would be feuding with Seth Rollins still, so there’s no need for Cesaro to fight Rollins and he could just go for the WWE Title himself. In the end, Bryan wins the match. The next night on RAW, Batista calls Cesaro out for a match on RAW (again, this is all assuming that Batista is wrapping up at Summerslam, which was reportedly the original plan). Batista and the Authority destroys Cesaro. Then Brock Lesnar would come out and destroy the rest of the Authority but Batista would be on the run. Lesnar challenges Batista for a match at Summerslam, with the winner getting a future WWE World title shot. The Authority books the match and at Summerslam, Lesnar beats Batista. Possibly at Night Of Champions or something, Lesnar wins the WWE World Heavyweight Title.

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And that pretty much sums up this storyline. I’ll admit, there’s a lot to take in. However thinking off storylines for the likes of Daniel Bryan and Cesaro were important in building up for this particular match between Brock and Batista, which was the end-game in all of this. I had to build up Cesaro to be a top guy and a potential contender for the WWE title because his role as the “active” Paul Heyman guy helps build up Lesnar’s eventual return. Bryan still won the WWE World title and it didn’t diminish Batista’s significance in the WWE either.

There’s also a lot of plausibility issues with this fantasy booking. Plausibility revolving around the schedules for both Brock and Batista. We’re assuming that WWE would be willing to pay Brock to appear at Money In The Bank and that Batista would be heading out at Summerslam rather than the night after Payback? Also, we would be assuming that Daniel Bryan would be fit and healthy all this time for him to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? I mean a potential butterfly effect could make all of this happen, but tweaks could easily be made here and there if certain situations show up.

However, what I think this storyline does is take advantage of the opportunity WWE were presented with. Brock vs Batista in the Summer was exactly the type of thing that would get buy-rates or WWE Network subscriptions booming. And while doing that, you’re also building up the talents that truly deserve it. In the end, everyone’s a winner and Batista can return to Hollywood with his head high… even if all the fans hate his guts at the time!

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Join me in part two as we bring things forward to the present a bit, as we book a potential Summerslam 2015 showdown between these two big guys!

29/12/2014 RAW Review – John Cena Reinstates The Authority

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What’s up guys. Thomas Robinson here. With what is possibly the last post of the year for me. I was going to do this 2014 awards thing where I give out awards on wrestling. Pretty much, my own personal slammys. I did a NoDQ.com sponsored one last year, but I’ve really not had the time to do any this year because of university. Plus, I don’t write for them anymore, so there’s no real extra motivation to do it. If I am going to be doing one, it’ll be after New Year’s Day or something. Anyway… the last RAW of 2014.

The show was hosted by Edge and Christian which I was OK with. During this period of guest hosts, I like how most of them were wrestlers. Hardly any celebrities. It was just the wrestlers like Bryan, Jericho, Edge etc. booking the show.

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Edge and Christian came out. They were excited to be here and I was excited to see them. You rarely see these two on TV anymore. Edge is out once in a blue moon and Christian is normally out injured. By the way, during the show Jerry Lawler referred to Christian as retired. According to reports, this was in fact true. Due to the dozen or so concussions sustained by Captain Charisma, he’s kinda hung up his boots. It’s a real shame and an extra shame that Christian never really had a big send off from wrestling like Edge. After all the years of commitment to wrestling and all he’s done, he just quitely goes away. They were hyping up a retirement-like angle for Daniel Bryan later on, but Christian surely deserves some kind of thing. Hell, Santino got a send-off at a house show. I’m sure Christian needs one.

Edge and Christian were arguing about hosting their shows. They announced that they would be combining their shows to host the first ever Cutting Edge Peep Show… the C.E.P.S. Show! Seth Rollins would be the guest. They also said that he would be fighting Roman Reigns as well tonight and we could have a Champion vs Champion match. We would have Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler. They were about to do the five second pose when Brock Lesnar came out…

I can’t say that Paul Heyman SAVED the promo, because the promo wasn’t THAT bad to begin with. It was a nice little segment with Edge and Christian, even though it seemed watered down to what they used to do. Heyman and Lesnar added a sense of intensity to this comedy promo from E&C. He was threaten to paralyze the both of them when John Cena came out.

Cena suckered Lesnar in for an AA attempt but Lesnar ran away. Yes. Because when you’re hyping up your WWE World Heavyweight Champion that doesn’t appear every week, the best thing to do is have him RUN AWAY! That’s the thing that always pisses me off with WWE’s booking of Lesnar. WHY WOULD HE BE SCARED TO FIGHT JOHN CENA? He beat the shit outta him at Extreme Rules in 2012 and Summerslam this year. And… he’s the freaking champ! Please don’t book Brock like this!

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Ziggler got a huge pop as he squared off against the undefeated Rusev. I started laughing when after a couple of short elbow drops I thought Rusev was going to try Ziggler’s multiple elbow drop thing! This was a surprisingly good match considering the completely contrasting styles. Although I did find it tedious when Ziggler oversold Rusev stamping on his foot. Rusev stood on his foot… and Ziggler went flying in the air! You know I don’t mind overselling a lot of the time but… why did he need to oversell the foot stomp?

I also didn’t like the finish. Rusev locked in the Accolade on Ziggler on the ropes and wouldn’t break it up leading to a DQ. For a match that was actually good, for it to end in a disqualification was a damn shame. After letting go of the hold, then Ryback came out! Why did Ryback wait until after Rusev let go of the hold to make the “save” on Ziggler? Although Ryback did get a hell of a pop.

Before we go onto Ryback’s promo, I have to comment on Jerry Lawler’s jumper. You know I don’t want to be that guy that talks about how other people’s dress sense but what on earth was he wearing?

Anyway, The Big Guy cut a promo. This promo lasted MORE than five minutes! I think Ryback is genuinely a good-talker but why was five minutes of the show dedicated to him talking about his career? I mean I respect the hell outta Ryback, but there was no need to give him this amount of time for him to get to his point. His point being, I’m going to turn all the nasty things that have happened to me and eat them… just like what I’m going to do to Rusev. I thought this was going to lead to him entering the Royal Rumble because he was talking about Wrestlemania. I thought this promo was way too long. A quick minute interview could have done the same as what Ryback had accomplished here.

I don’t know if it was WWE time-wasting, but couldn’t they had wasted it some other way? Like dedicate it to more match time for a couple of matches. Perhaps have Dean Ambrose cut a promo (Dean never appeared at all on the show). Actually, now I’m onto Dean Ambrose. He did not appear AT ALL. Bray Wyatt appeared for a 2 minute promo in an ambulance (shorter than Ryback’s!). However, the most that appeared from this feud on RAW was a 2-3 minute video package summing up the feud over the last few months (which Cole said had been going on for the last few weeks). It was just the same promo they have been showing for the last few months ever since Hell In A Cell, but just updated a bit at the end. No wonder this feud is nowhere near as good as it should be. They have two top talents who had the potential to do wonders… and they just did not know what to do with them. Seriously, so disappointing.

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Yeah, so WWE have three hours to fill up every Monday. They dedicated FIVE minutes to the Ryback promo which led to nothing but somehow… the Nikki Bella vs Natalya non-title match lasted like a minute! So the top diva angle they had was given a MINUTE of television time! And all it featured was Tyson Kidd catching Nikki, Nikki giving Natalya a forearm and then hitting the Rack Attack. Now the Rack Attack did impress me considering Natalya is one of the bigger divas in the WWE. But these two are good performers… and this seemed to just kill this little feud of before it barely began. Seriously. Thumbs down on this.

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Now THIS was one of the highlights of the show. The Miz and Mizdow defending the tag titles against the Usos. Although I do have to mention this. During commentary, Michael Cole actually claimed that Christian Bale was dead. I’m not making this up. JBL was mentioning a number of actors including Heath Ledger and Christian Bale. Cole said they were all dead. This was the embodiment of how bad the banter of the Monday Night RAW commentary is. In a month where Jeff Jarrett’s promotion announces the commentary dream team of Jim Ross and Matt Striker, Cole claims that the man that portrayed Batman in the last decade or so in movies… has DIED. Thankfully, this match did an awesome job at saving the god-awful commentary.

This was a good match. I think good is fair because it was just a standard tag match which had an incredible ending. There was not a lot going on at the start. Usual stuff with Mizdow. I also liked how Miz looked like, near the start, that he was teasing a tag to Sandow… and the fans did not care. There was not ONE response. They did it again later on and it got a reaction, but I just wanted to point that out.

Another thing I wanted to point out is that when Miz was going to lock in the Figure Four on Jimmy I believe, he worked on one leg and then twisted the other! That just seemed off to me. He worked on one and put the pressure on the less injured leg!

It had a great ending and a lot of cool near-falls. Jimmy went for a superkick on The Miz, but he threw Mizdow in to take the impact. He rolled him up but Jimmy kicked out. I thought this was a good little part that kind of built this tension between Miz and Mizdow and I thought the match was over at this point.

Then I think Jey Uso was tagged in. He tried the top-rope splash but Miz put his knees up. He hit the Skull-Crushing Finale but AGAIN… another kick-out. This was highly-entertaining. Two HUGE near-falls. In the end, The Usos hit the double super kick on Miz, hit the splash for the 1, 2, 3. NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!

That was a good match. I think the tag title loss for Miz and Mizdow indicates to me that they’re setting up a split-up between the two. I think the Damien Mizdow thing has run its course at the moment. But we’ll see because Mizdow has been doing this since September and he’s still one of the most over-people on the show!

The Usos cut a horrible post-match promo when they offered Jerry Lawler a chance to be at a party with the Usos. I don’t know how the Usos like to party, but I’m sure Jerry Lawler would not fit in ANY scenario! They said they had played Miz with the Naomi angles they’ve been doing (Naomi had hugged Miz earlier on). And that ends that feud…

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Next up was Cesaro in the ring. He cut like a shoot-like promo on how the WWE thought he didn’t connect with the fans and that he was being pushed down because of this. Cesaro said that he lets his actions in the ring speak for him and I thought that Cesaro had a cut a very good promo… just a shame it was interrupted by the return of BAD NEWS BARRETT!

I seriously doubt that Bad News Barrett will work well as a face (assuming that the WWE are going down that route) but he was very over. You guys know I’m one of the biggest Barrett fans out there… but why did have to return and beat Cesaro? Cesaro was cutting a really good promo and he’s just squashed by Barrett in a matter of minutes. If Cesaro doesn’t get the push he deserves in 2015, I will be incredibly steemed. But it is good to see Bad News Barrett back in the ring.

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Luke Harper and Jack Swagger had a very long, very dull match which the fans were not into at all. I think they were trying to get into it at the end but then Harper just won the match. Someone else was trying to get a “We The People” chant going but when nobody else was doing it… he just gave up! It’s really hard for two big guys to put on an exciting match but this match was just so slow. And these two aren’t exactly the slowest people on the roster. You would have expected at least something a bit more than what we got here.

I also wanted to point this out… FOUR people on this show hit superkicks. Ziggler onto Rusev, both the Usos onto Miz and Harper onto Swagger… GET YOUR OWN MOVES!

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Next we had Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins. The match started off boring. A lot of headlocks and it did improve over time and it was getting exciting. Then the Big Show attacked Roman Reigns and THREW him into the announcers! You have to give Roman credit for the way he sold that! He then legitimately BURIED Roman under the announce table. I really wasn’t paying attention to a lot of it. I laughed at the Big Show’s laugh when he was doing commentary. Actually, the one thing I didn’t like about this was The Big Show. He pretty much spent most of the match burying the WWE’s “SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR” on commentary and then beat him up afterwards. So this 40+ slow, injury-plauged giant just beat up the young, up-and-comer who is supposed to be the future of the WWE? Just… why?

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Daniel Bryan came out and cut a teary promo and hinted at retiring. However, he instead announced that he was going to be competing at the 2015 Royal Rumble match! Wow! A huge shocker with Bryan declaring himself to be competing at the Royal Rumble! There were rumors that WWE were planning this but I didn’t believe that Daniel would be ready for it. It’s good to see that he’s coming back for my favourtie match of the year! It’ll be interesting to see if he wins it or not because they’ve been preparing Roman Reigns to win it for so long. This might be making the change their minds! It wouldn’t be the first time!

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Edge and Christian had a pretty cool segment with The Miz and Damien Mizdow backstage and then gave them another match… with the Ascension! They got a good response. They got NXT chants… and they went over. Miz tagged Mizdow in right away and then Mizdow got the tar beat out of them. I think it was good they had the Ascension  debut by beating the former tag champions. They started off strong. I think this will lead to them beating the Usos for the tag titles at least before or at Wrestlemania. That’s my big prediction. I can see WWE really giving these guys the ball. But can they run with it and knock it out of the park? Only time will tell.

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Last segment. This was a LONG one believe it or not. This was around 20 minutes long. Seth Rollins was the guest on the Cutting Edge Peep Show. Seth talked about his respect for Edge and Christian, but they were just making fun outta him and didn’t believe him. He called out John Cena saying that Cena had something that belonged to him. He took out Christian and threatened to curb stomp Edge on the Money In The Bank briefcase. Cena came out and Seth ordered Cena to bring back the Authority. Otherwise he was gonna paralyze Edge by driving his head into the briefcase. And Cena… ACTUALLY DID IT!

He brought back the Authority and then tried to saved Edge as Rollins said he was going to “kill him anyway”. However, he was beaten up by Show, Rollins and J&J. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman then came out and shook hands with Rollins and this led to Triple H and Stephanie coming out celebrating with champagne.

I thought the segment was good, but the timing of this whole thing was just OFF by a landslide. They built up the Team Cena vs Authority match at Survivor Series like it was the biggest match in years. They had all these stipulations and the epic finish with Sting and Dolph Ziggler. The Authority was out of power…. and just a MONTH later, they are brought back? Look, I would much rather have the Authority in power than all these guest stars. Don’t get me wrong. But what was the point of the whole match if Cena was just going to bring them back a MONTH later. I mean they could have built up this “Rollins trying to make Cena bring them back” angle a little better. They could have done it where the stipulation of the tables match was, if Cena loses he must bring back the authority or something like that. But all it took was ONE threat to Edge and Cena caved in. Mr Never Give Up John Cena caved in after A MONTH!

 

I do think this was one of the best RAWs in the last couple of months. I know I sounded a bit salty throughout this article, but I honestly did like it! Loved the tag title match, a lot of great segments. And an important one… the Authority are back in power. Brock Lesnar was on the show. But I just think that the fans were worn out with everything that happened early on that it was hard to get back into it until the end, especially during Swagger vs Luke Harper. I thought it was good, but there was a lot of nonsense writing and booking involved here.