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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Do Triple H And Stephanie McMahon As Heels Make Sense?

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I love a good old heel dictatorship being in charge. It gives the heroes an authority to rebel against. For every ying, there’s a yang. For every hero, there’s a villain. Stacking the deck against the good guys is supposed to help the careers of those put against the bad guys. Every win for the good guy is meaningful and every win is a win for the fans. However, does the Authority truly make sense as a heel faction and have they actually hindered the rise of babyfaces more than it’s helped?

The whole dynamic of Triple H and Stephanie as heels is very confusing in itself. Sometimes, this leads to the Authority being more balanced in it’s decisions therefore damaging the image of them as a evil dictatorship. When Randy Orton and Seth Rollins were both the hand-picked champions of the Authority, little was done to actually help them remain champion. The only time Triple H ever got physically involved to try and help Randy was at Wrestlemania 30 and he failed. Triple H and Stephanie never did anything to help Seth Rollins, even when he was against Sting who they clearly didn’t want as champion… or did they?

That’s the whole issue. On the night after Summerslam when Sting returned to WWE to challenge Rollins, Triple H was very angry over it. He was so mad that he gave Sting a WWE World title shot. As amazing as it sounds, that’s not the big thing as this could be passed off as Triple H making the decision in the heat of the moment. However, Hunter and Steph don’t seem to lift a finger to help Seth in his fight against Sting. In fact, they actually helped the good guy Sting at Night of Champions by putting their chosen champion Seth in a second match that night with somebody else!

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The Seth Rollins stuff is sort of passable if you want to go with the storyline that Triple H was just testing Seth the whole time. However, look at Seth’s opponents when he was champion. Randy Orton betrayed the Authority’s trust and attacked their golden child Seth several times. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns have been constant enemies of the Authority since they attacked Triple H on the night after Wrestlemania 30. Brock Lesnar defied the Authority several times and violated Stephanie’s orders when he attacked EVERYONE on the night after Wrestlemania 31. John Cena helped to get the Authority out of power! Sting played a pivotal role in getting the Authority out of power as well and has feuded with Triple H. Kane was trying to work the Authority and Seth Rollins with the split personality deal. Everyone of these men would give the Authority reasons to help Seth, but neither Triple H or Stephanie made any effort to do so. It just creates a lot of plot-holes as the Authority shouldn’t want any of these men to be champion.

The reason for that is Triple H and Stephanie are trying to portray a two-faced authority figure that plays a corporate good guy but are heels deep down. That balancing act is detrimental to their character and the product itself. For example, on RAW the Authority teased a WWE World title match. They swerved the paying crowd by saying they’re going to get that match, but not that night. Lance Storm made a great point on Wrestling Observer when he pointed out that when the Authority teases the crowd for not getting more than they paid for, they go home disappointed. It’s almost like a giant middle finger to the paying audience that made the effort to come to your television show and it’s telling them to save up their money and go to bigger shows in the future where they might get more then they paid for. That’s detrimental to your live television show ticket sales as it turns a live audience off from ever coming back.

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A lot of you might be thinking “But Tom, they only say that to get some heat from the audience.” However, Triple H and Stephanie are both very active in making public appearances. They have to go to schools, conferences and sporting events and these promotional events are important in keeping up the image of the company. They are on the RAW segments talking about Susan G. Komen and talking about inspirational fans which is also confusing. Alright, I understand that there are certain times when the fans are supposed to tell the difference between kayfabe and reality. However, if these fans that you’ve told no to in kayfabe are the same people you have to encourage to donate to charity, it’s just going to send off the wrong message.

In the public eye, Triple H and Stephanie are well received and have a good reputation. On RAW, they are both going out of their way in segments to convince wrestling fans that they are assholes. However, in order to portray the two-faced gimmick mentioned earlier they still stack the deck against the heels. All of this makes their characters very difficult to understand. One week, they are mocking the fans and their favourites like Daniel Bryan. The next week, they are putting heels like Seth Rollins in tough situations. It’s almost like a guessing game every week over whether they’re faces or heels, which is not what they should be doing.

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That’s not even the worst part of Triple H and Stephanie acting as “heel” authority figures. The reason Vince McMahon worked so well as the foil for Stone Cold Steve Austin is because in the end, you knew Stone Cold was going to win. He was the ultimate hero that rebelled against the tyrant Vince McMahon and Austin would always win. The fans knew that either Austin was going to get his hands on or outsmart the evil boss that everyone hates.

On the other hand, the Authority doesn’t work as strongly as Vince did because they rarely actually lose. When the Authority has been in a feud, how many times have they won the war? Who has actually flat out won a feud with the Authority? Daniel Bryan? Sure, he beat the Authority at Wrestlemania 30 to win the WWE World title. However at the end of the day, Daniel got hurt and the Authority got what they wanted. Dolph Ziggler and the rest of Team Cena at Survivor Series? Nope. A month later, the Authority was brought back into power making those victories seem meaningless. He who laughs last laugh the loudest.

It’s detrimental as you’ll struggle to make stars out of these babyfaces because you’re sending the message out to the fans that these good guys will never beat the Authority. You wonder why the WWE’s top three babyfaces right now are Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Kane? You wonder why the top three babyfaces are two men that have never won a world championship and a 20 year veteran? You wonder why it’s three babyfaces that have already lost feuds with the Authority? Because the good guys hardly ever win against the bad guys. Good promoters shouldn’t be beating the good guys that are making money for them through merchandise.

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What’s weird about all of this is that this whole issue could be easily dealt with if they were babyfaces. That way, Triple H and Stephanie can be promoted as strong as they are and it wouldn’t hurt the product as they are making the popular decisions for the fans. It’d make it easier for Triple H and Stephanie to cut these promos on how great Be A Star and Susan G. Koeman are as they’re the good guys. They can give fans more than they bargained for and it’d make sense. They can stack the deck against the heel champions and it’d make sense. I’d prefer Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as heels I believe they are better in that role, but it’d make a lot more sense if they are babyfaces considering how obsessive WWE are at maintaining their image. It’s just interesting when you look at it.

Seth Rollins Out Of Action For 6-9 Months, New WWE Champion To Be Crowned At Survivor Series

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with a bit of breaking news. It’s been confirmed that at a live event in Dublin, Seth Rollins suffered right ACL, MCL and medial meniscus tears during a No Holds Barred match with Kane. It was initially unclear about whether this was something Seth could shake off but now it seems that the injury is worse than we feared. It means that Seth will be out of action for around 6-9 months which of course means that the WWE World Title has been vacated. A new champion will be crowned in a tournament at Survivor Series.

I don’t even know where to start. It’s very heartbreaking to see as Seth has been such a star for WWE in the past few years. He’s been a prominent feature on the product, having main-evented nearly every PPV this year and being the top heel in the company. He also has the distinction of holding the WWE World title longer than anyone else after they cashed in Money In The Bank. He’s been an integral part of the show so to see him lose the belt like that is very disheartening.

It’s such a blow for WWE, especially with John Cena taking time off. A lot of people have speculated that Cena might be rushed back to win the WWE World title. I would respect Cena’s wishes and leave him off of TV, but I could see why WWE might want to do that.

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It’s going to be hard to see who will take the mantle as the top heel in the company now. I think WWE have booked themselves into a hard place by not having a back up top heel. Bray Wyatt could be considered their back-up but he’s embroiled in a feud with the Undertaker and just lost to Roman Reigns. The next two top heel singles stars are probably Alberto Del Rio and Kevin Owens, who are both holding titles at the moment. Either of those guys are not totally out of the question but it’s very unlikely. Who’s next? Sheamus? He holds the Money In The Bank but as I mentioned during my Wade Barrett article yesterday, he’s nowhere near in the position to cash in Money In The Bank. Him and Barrett just lost to the Lucha Dragons on RAW. I don’t think he’s ready yet. The New Day winning the WWE World title and all of them holding it with the freebird rule might be funny but WWE wouldn’t dare!

There’s only a few options now. Either Brock Lesnar has to come back and win the championship, taking a more active role which will mean WWE having to pay him a lot more or they have to turn someone. I’ve talked about Dean Ambrose winning the WWE title and turning heel a number of times. I’d like to see it happen. It’s very questionable whether now’s the right time as WWE were just about to line him up for a feud with Kevin Owens. You can’t turn Kane, who has just turned face0. Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Neville all aren’t ready. The only man left is Roman Reigns.

I personally believe that there is no better time to put the title on Roman Reigns, whether he’s a face or a heel. I wrote about this for SLTD Wrestling. Leave it too late and Roman might not be over enough. Roman’s hot at the moment and it could work well. It could work even greater if he turns heel. He could be the answer to WWE’s prayers for a new top heel.

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Again, heartbreaking to see such a long WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign end like this. My thoughts go to Seth and I wish him a speedy recovery. Someone just messaged me saying that he hasn’t missed a RAW since 2012. That’s pretty incredible. He’s been an incredible worker since he joined the main roster. Let’s all wish him the best.

24/02/14 RAW Review – Undertaker and Hulk Hogan returns as all eyes are at Wrestlemania XXX

Tom Robinson’s RAW REVIEW!

Hulk Hogan’s Return

Whatcha Gonna Do Brother?

Whatcha Gonna Do Brother?

HUGE moment here with the return of the Hulkster. I love how Hogan just, and I said this in a recent NoDQ.com column, oozes enthusiasm and charisma about him just being there. The fans were still popping like crazy for the Hulkster. It’s funny that the so-called “modern-day Hulk Hogan” John Cena is still hated worldwide, and yet the original comes back and gets the biggest reaction of the night. People just see Hogan and pop and that’s incredible to see. He’s someone who appeals to everyone in a weird way. He appeals to fans from back in the day to even the new PG audience. He had the crowd at the palm of his hands and he delivered a quality promo as usual to hype up the WWE Network… and Wrestlemania 30!

Batista vs Alberto Del Rio

DEAL WITH IT!

DEAL WITH IT!

The rematch from last night’s Elimination Chamber wasn’t exactly the greatest of sights. Interesting thing to note that Batista was acting very heelish during his entrance and the match itself which now makes it seem absolute clear that Batista is now in a tweener role in WWE which does seem kinda strange. Especially with the promo he cut post-match. Randy Orton distracted Batista to allow Del Rio to win (which was quality to see). Orton cut a decent promo on the Animal talking about how the fans were booing him. Batista’s “comeback” wasn’t anything special but from the way he was sounding and acting, this promo all but cemented his status as a tweener. It’s weird thinking that at the main event of Wrestlemania 30, we’re going to see a heel taking on a tweener in a match for the main title. It’s just goes to show what a strange era we are in. No longer is it the era of the good guy vs the bad guy. What Vince McMahon supposedly said about having no more faces and heels in WWE anymore is starting to ring true. Hmmm.

Big E Langston vs Antonio Cesaro

Time To Go Swinging

Time To Go Swinging!

A better than average match, but nothing near to the Jack Swagger vs Big E Langston match from last night. These two wrestlers are very great in-ring performers but the chemistry is not really there yet. This could easily be worked on if a feud is in the works. However, this match seemed rather stale but the fans were into it which is an important factor to take into consideration. Jack Swagger got Cesaro DQ’d after attacking Big E which is starting to cause cracks within the Real Americans camp.  When Big E got revenge, Cesaro levelled him with a sick looking Neutralizer which looked like it could’ve broken Langston’s neck. Of course lifting someone like Big E for a move like that is easier said than done, but it would be best to take better care when doing moves like that to big men.

John Cena Attacked By The Wyatts

Follow The Buzzards!

Follow The Buzzards!

John Cena was all business on RAW as he demanded answers from the Wyatts. He talked about the future needing to get through him to step into the limelight in WWE, which drew out the family. Bray Wyatt cut a promo about Cena being a liar and being a man with empty promises. His promo resulted in a scrap between the Wyatts and Cena. This beatdown was rather weak but it got the job done. Of course, it probably was booked to be a bit worse considering they had a stretcher already for Cena. Cena looked liked he tweaked his leg during the beatdown when Eric Rowan got his leg to take him down.

Cena looked bad during that beatdown after he tweaked the knee. It’s worrying for the WWE considering their plans for Wyatt vs Cena at Wrestlemania, but I still think that Cena could probably be OK for Wrestlemania. Cena’s a trooper and he’ll probably just go all out if he is properly injured. Also, I have a history of being completely wrong about Cena’s physical well-being. We don’t know yet just how bad it is so all we can do is guess. But I hope that WWE have a quality Plan B for the Wyatts if their worst fears are confirmed.

Christian vs Sheamus

The Irishman Delivers The Texas Cloverleaf On The Canadian!

The Irishman Slaps The Texas Cloverleaf On The Canadian!

A decent match between the two. The fans were so annoying during this match. These two wrestlers were putting in a decent performance and all they did was rehash the lame-ass “Randy Savage” and “Jerry” chants that was going on when Sheamus fought Randy Orton the night after Wrestlemania 29. You know, the one when they chanted everyone’s names? I mean if a match is actually boring, I’d understand. But this was actually decent if you were actually paying attention and not acting like a bunch of jackasses. Speaking of acting like a bunch of jackasses, the commentary booth really did do this match injustice, because they weren’t paying interest in this match either. Your job is to analyze the match, and all they were doing were making jokes about Christian. Come on guys.

Daniel Bryan vs Kane

BOOM! Head Kick Bitch!

BOOM! Head Kick Bitch!

After confronting the Authority backstage in the “pre-show”, Daniel Bryan was put in a match with Kane for tonight. Ironically this match was very boring and nearly put me to sleep, but the fans were going nuts for it. What the? Seriously… fan logic these days. I just could not get into this match but that didn’t stop the fans from chanting “YES!” all over the place as Bryan picked up the win. Bryan reasserted his request for a match with Triple H at Wrestlemania 30. You see, Punk? You see what you’re missing out on?

Emma vs Summer Rae

The Emmalock... And People Call Me Corny!

The “Emmalock”… And People Call Me Corny!

Two things that made this match not completely suck:

  1. Summer Rae just being there. Definitely a star in the making and looked rather stunning I must admit. 🙂
  2. Santino Marrella at ringside. He was actually quite funny at ringside!

Everything else… sucked. Pure and simple. I mean the Emmalock was applied really well but I honestly can’t think of any other positive things to say about it. I hate Emma’s stupid gimmick. I hate her dance moves. And I hate the fact that the fans are actually getting into it and doing the dances. What the? How can you actually get invested in this character? Someone please explain to me what it is about her? Surely not that dance because that dance has to be the worse dance I’ve ever seen. If you actually did that dance in Middlesbrough (where I live) you’d actually get knocked out clean because of how much of a twat you looked. -.-

The Usos vs New Age Outlaws

Not A Great Night For Road Dogg To Say The Least

Not A Great Night For Road Dogg To Say The Least

The Usos won… yey! Please just put the belts on them already!

Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt

SUPERMAN PUNCH!

SUPERMAN PUNCH!

What a difference in 24 hours. At Elimination Chamber, the fans were all going nuts for the Wyatt Family and The Shield and on RAW they just didn’t care about the Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt match. Granted, it wasn’t that great of a match  but it’s the Shield vs The Wyatts. At least show a bit of care about it. It ended up in a huge brawl when Dean Ambrose got Roman Reigns disqualified. I honestly hope if Cena’s injury is legit that they continue the Wyatt/Shield feud. Make it like an elimination or possibly do something different like an elimination chamber at Wresltemania 30! Why not?

Undertaker Returns – Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar Signed For Wrestlemania XXX!

There Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down...

There Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down…

What a chilling segment this was. Undertaker back in the WWE for Wrestlemania. And it is official that Brock Lesnar is his next Wrestlemania victim. After Brock Lesnar was given an open contract to fight anyone he wanted at Wrestlemania, Taker stepped up to the plate and stabbed Lesnar in the hand with a pen! You talk about a jaw-dropper! And then Taker sent Lesnar through a table with a chokeslam as RAW went off the air. Definitely the road to Wrestlemania is under way. However, I hope Undertaker takes care of his unfinished business with the Shield first!

Decent RAW with a star-studded line up! I love that the big stars are coming in now. Batista, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, The Wyatts, The Shield, Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker all in the same show! Hopefully things can get better from here!