29/08/16 RAW Review – Kevin Owens Wins The Universal Championship, Triple H Turns On Seth Rollins

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. Guess what? We’ve got a lot to talk about regarding the August 28th 2016 edition of Monday Night RAW. Indeed this will go down as an historic edition of the “flagship” WWE show, as a new Universal Champion was crowned in a shocking manner.

We had the fatal four way elimination match involving Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Big Cass and Kevin Owens. Big Cass was eliminated after several moves to put the big man down, followed by a big frog splash from Kevin Owens for the clean pin over Cass. Then we had the finish, with an awesome three way battle between Rollins, Reigns and Owens. Reigns had the upper-hand and hit the spear on Seth on the outside, when TRIPLE H came from out of nowhere to give the Big Dog a pedigree on the floor. Triple H rolled Rollins and Reigns into the ring, and Rollins pinned Reigns to eliminate him.

This came down to the two heels in Rollins and Owens. So Triple H rolls Owens into the ring, picks up both men and hits ROLLINS with the pedigree. Owens, with a shocked look on his face, scurries over to pin Seth Rollins and become the champion. Triple H raises Owens’ hand as the fans chant “you deserve it” after Rollins and Reigns were both screwed! Kevin Owens is the new Universal Champion.

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Suffice to say that I was extremely shocked at this outcome. Literally the day before RAW, I told everyone that would listen on Twitter that Kevin Owens would not win and that Seth Rollins would become the champion. I ignored all of the reports of future plans and all that jazz, and stuck to my gut feeling. I thought to myself that there was no way they’d put the belt on Kevin Owens right now. Well low and behold, Kevin Owens is the champion and Seth Rollins was turned into a babyface due to the betrayal of Triple H.

What’s funny about all of this is that WWE posted an interview with Kevin Owens on social media, and Owens seemed so out of character when talking about this being the biggest night of his life. It was not like he was the boastful Kevin Owens character. He was calm and relaxed. During the opening talking segment with all four contenders on RAW, Owens seemed like the only one that was not his usual self. It made me think that possibly something was going to happen, but I still was going with Rollins.

As it turns out, I was wrong. Apologises to everyone on Twitter for me getting this one wrong, although this is one of the situations where I was kind of glad that I was wrong. They did pull off the title victory and the Rollins babyface turn really well. I was so shocked at what I was seeing and the fans were really into the main-event match. As far as the presentation of the whole thing, WWE knocked it out of the park.

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Now let’s ask the million dollar question… was this the right move? Somebody asked on me on Twitter last night about who I thought was going to win. I looked at every one of the challengers and I thought that nobody was really IN a good position to win the title at all!

Big Cass is clearly not ready to be wrestling at that level, although he did fit in and get pretty over last night. No complaints on how he was used and he didn’t seem out of place to me at all. I really didn’t want to see a Roman Reigns title reign right now, as I still feel that he should be as far away as possible from the world title at the moment so he can build himself up again. The Rusev stuff did help him out and to put the title back on him would be unwise at this point, so I ruled him out. As for Kevin Owens, I really didn’t think he was in a good position either. Considering that he’d been doing comedy segments with Chris Jericho for the last month, the idea that he’s suddenly supposed to be the top man in the company is a little far-fetched. Of course, Finn Balor’s injury did change plans for WWE. However, with the knowledge of hindsight, WWE should have used Owens better leading up to the title win. He didn’t even beat Neville clean last week!

Finally, Seth Rollins was also not in a good position either. Seth won the WWE World title at Money In The Bank but was quickly robbed of the title by Dean Ambrose following a cash-in. In Rollins’ title match on the RAW before Battleground, it ended in a draw. In Rollins’ title match on the SmackDown! before Battleground, he got beat clean. At Battleground itself, he was unsuccessful again. At SummerSlam, he got beat clean by Finn Balor. Him winning the title right now would not have made a lot of sense to me.

Then a report came through, before the show, suggesting that Seth was going to turn into a babyface. I thought about it and, with the exception of Money In The Bank and Battleground (where he wasn’t the one pinned), there was no real reason to want to feel sympathy for Seth up until this point. The injury that Finn Balor sustained during Seth’s powerbomb to the barricade spot also didn’t help out. Trying to get across the idea that Seth is now somebody to root seemed strange to me, considering everything that happened.

I still think that Seth will make a really good babyface, but I think that they really should have done this turn sooner rather than later. All the buzz about Seth following his return has came and went to be honest, and it’s hard to find sympathy for Seth according to the story.

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Regardless of this, the fans loved the show last night as well as the conclusion. I would assume that it’ll be Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins at Clash Of Champions. I’m not sure where Triple H and Chris Jericho will stand during all of this. Maybe Owens and Jericho will go their separate ways, although there was nothing last night that would suggest such a thing. Triple H and Seth Rollins could be a match down the road at WrestleMania possibly. I’m not sure that Triple H will be a regular on-screen figure on RAW, as that would lead to three authority figures on RAW. Unless Foley is fired and Triple H replaces him as general manager or something, I’m not particularly sure how this will work.

I will mention one more concern I have for Kevin Owens. I couldn’t help but make this comparison but this title win reminded me of Sheamus’ title win last year. Owens just came off as the right guy, in the right place and at the right time, as opposed to a legitimate champion. Not to mention that Triple H was the one that essentially gave Kevin Owens the championship, according to the storyline. HHH pedigreed Roman and Seth, so it was HHH’s move that beat the two men and not Kevin. Kevin’s only claim to fame was that he pinned Big Cass clean. That doesn’t bode well for his future, I think. At least if he’d hit the pop-up powerbomb, you’d be putting over Kevin’s finisher.

The impression I got from this was that Triple H was viewed as SO superior to everyone in this match, as it was his move that beat the two favourites going in. It’s not necessarily the end of the world for Kevin, but I feel that big wins on RAW and in pay-per-views are needed for Owens to legitimatise himself.

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I’m not sure what the plan is for RAW at the moment, although there’s rumours going around that Lesnar will be challenging for the Universal title at the Royal Rumble. Whether Owens makes it that long as champion remains to be seen but if there’s a chance he’s going up against Lesnar at the Rumble, he needs to get some serious victories under his belt.

Overall, I think this was a shocking start to a brand new storyline for the RAW main-event scene. I’m very thankfully that there’s some new blood in the title picture now, as we’ve really seen enough of Roman vs Seth for the time being. Maybe Roman can challenge Owens down the line but it looks like they’ve got some kind of plan for Owens, Rollins and HHH. I know Balor did get injured but in the week since last week’s RAW, surely they’ve got something in the works.

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Let me know by tweeting me @TomRobinson5199, @ArmbarExpress or by leaving a comment of what you think about the new Universal Champion. Is it the right time for Kevin to be champion? Should Seth’s babyface turn have been done sooner? What do you think will happen in the next few months! Let me know and let me just say this… RAW put on quite the show for SmackDown! to compete with this week!

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How I Would Book… Undertaker vs Roman Reigns (Wrestlemania 32)

How I Would Book… Undertaker vs Roman Reigns (2014)

Undertaker vs Roman Reigns is a How I Would Book match that we have done before. We’ve discussed how these two could have had a corker of a match at Wrestlemania 30, with Roman Reigns’ elevation to the top taking a huge step forward. Now though we are on the road to Wrestlemania 32 with no clear indication about what the Wrestlemania card is going to look like. With that in mind, then there’s no harm in throwing out a number of ideas. Roman Reigns is still in a position where he needs that extra push towards being a true star. Why not give him a top Wrestlemania match with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32?

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Before we begin, let me just get this out of the way right now. The Undertaker MUST win this match considering that Wrestlemania 32 is being held in Dallas, Texas and having Reigns beat the home town hero Undertaker could cause an even bigger backlash then when Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble. Unless you were to turn Reigns heel before or during the match, there’s little chance of you being able to pull of a Reigns victory without upsetting the masses too much.

Although it’s seemingly like a weird tradition in WWE for the home town hero to lose, you cannot possibly get away with it when it comes to the Undertaker. Wrestlemania has been held in Texas twice before. In those two matches, Undertaker defeated Triple H in a really good match at Wrestlemania X7 and Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels in their Wrestlemania 25 classic. To go from Undertaker beating those men in classics to losing to Roman Reigns is quite a step down, whether Roman would be doing it as a face or a heel. This is not like if they had John Cena beat The Rock at Wrestlemania 28 in Miami where there’s a slight possibility that WWE could have gotten away with it. Many fans are wondering if Wrestlemania 32 will be the Undertaker’s last hurrah. If Taker loses to someone the fans are against before riding off into the sunset, what a huge backlash that would cause.

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If this match was to go down, who should be the face and heel? For the record, I would be hugely against both men being faces going into this match as I’d prefer to have the good vs evil dynamic. If Undertaker had not “turned face” again to go up against the Wyatt Family, I would have liked to have seen him be the heel in the situation. Think about it. Undertaker helped the Authority out (whether intentional or not) when Seth Rollins went up against the Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns is currently the Authority’s biggest enemy. So the logical solution would be to have Taker bail the Authority out again by costing Roman the title either at TLC, Royal Rumble or Fastlane. Nice and easy.

However, the fact that Taker did go face again really does change things. Having Taker use dirty tactics to go up against Lesnar, then having him turning face and then to turn him again would be a little too much considering that Taker had been a face for 12 years before Battleground. I’m sure you know what I’m hinting towards and this is something which I feel WWE should have done a long time ago. If anyone needs to be the heel, it’s got to be Roman.

I would have preferred the face Reigns vs heel Taker dynamic but to play it safe, Roman’s got to be the one that turns. Because of Taker’s program with the Wyatt Family, Reigns turning is the only turn which sort of makes sense. He’s been the subject to a great deal of heat from the WWE Universe and has been constantly screwed out of the WWE World title over and over. Let that be the catalyst for the program. Here’s how I’d get it done.

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Currently, the main event of TLC is Sheamus defending the WWE World title against Roman Reigns in a TLC match. For this scenario, that works perfectly. In a match where the League of Nations and Roman’s crew all get into a huge brawl during the match (like when the Wyatts and the Usos beat each other up during Cena’s Last Man Standing match with Bray Wyatt at Payback 2014) which ends up with Roman standing on top of the ladder. Suddenly, a bolt of lighting strikes at the top of the stage. This catches Roman off guard, giving Sheamus the opening he needed to take out Roman and retain the title.

Now the question arises over who was responsible. I personally believe that the lightning bolt itself is not going to give away anything. The Dudley Boyz has a firework like that for their intro so it could easily be anyone that has access to pyro. Roman questions both the League of Nations and the Authority but both of them deny having anything to do this. They tell Roman to focus on the Royal Rumble while a new challenger has emerged for Sheamus’ WWE World title. That man is the Undertaker.

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Undertaker vs Sheamus is a match I’ve always wanted to see and I feel the two styles could click if given the opportunity. Undertaker takes on Sheamus while Roman is scheduled to be in the Royal Rumble until the RAW before the event where he is taken out with a chair lying next to him. He’s out of the Rumble match as Taker goes up against Sheamus. Taker is about to close the deal when the ref is knocked down. The League of Nations come out when Roman comes out. He takes out Barrett, Del Rio and Rusev and then stares at Sheamus. As Taker is going up for, Roman hits the spear on the Dead Man. Roman yells “I know it was you,” before hitting two more spears. This is enough as Sheamus picks up the win when the ref gets back up.

So now Roman has already came to his own conclusion about who was responsible for the TLC incident and the attack on RAW. Undertaker is known for his usage of lightning in the past, which was the first clue. If Roman was taken out of the WWE World title picture, this would have given Undertaker a chance to get into the mix. According to Roman, Undertaker knew that Roman presented the greatest threat to him in the WWE. If Roman would have won the Rumble and if Taker would have won the title, Taker’s title reign would have ended at Wrestlemania in Roman’s mind. He believes that Taker was afraid that Roman was going to put an end to his plans to leave Wrestlemania as WWE World champion.

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These accusations eventually wind up the Undertaker, who turns it into a major brawl at Fastlane. These two come to blows with the rest of the locker room struggling to break up a ten minute brawl around the arena. The anticipation for these two to get it on at Wrestlemania has risen as the match is officially made by the Authority.

At Wrestlemania, Taker wins. Roman kicks out of everything, including a tombstone piledriver. However, a second piledriver is enough for Taker to pick up the win. As Undertaker does his kneeling celebration at the end of the match, Roman smacks Taker in the head with a sledgehammer. During a segment which is considered sacred, Roman attacks the Undertaker giving him so much heat. This also the catalyst and a foreshadowing for Roman becoming a member of the Authority, which I would have done the next night on RAW. I believe that would be what’s best for business.

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However, that wraps it up for us with this edition of the How I Would Book series. I was very hesitant to put Taker over as I’ve made a big deal over how WWE needs to make new stars rather than putting over the older ones. However, I think I’ve had him get beat in such a way that he could actually gain more from defeat then if he won. Let me know what you guys think but I think I’ve found a great solution to the Roman Reigns problem and you can believe that.

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!

NOTE: If I was to keep Roman’s storyline in this scenario going, it would be revealed that the Authority was responsible for the attacks on Roman along! However, I think I’ll leave Roman Reigns joining the Authority for another time!

How Survivor Series Is Becoming A Major WWE Event Once More

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A series of unfortunate events has caused the whole Survivor Series scene this year to be changed. Initially, it was business as usual for Seth Rollins as he was scheduled to defend the WWE World title against Roman Reigns. However, Rollins with struck with an injury which will sideline him for at least six months. This obviously put WWE in a VERY VERY sticky situation. Of all the times that a champion could have been injured, now was not really the most convenient with John Cena, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan all out of commotion too. As soon as the news was broke by Jonathan Coachman, we got word that the new WWE World Champion would decided in a tournament. While it’s unfortunate for Seth, this could actually work in WWE’s favour in terms of turning Survivor Series into a true mega event once more.

Once, it was part of the “big four” of WWE PPVs. Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania still continue to be crucial events for WWE but Survivor Series had slipped in the background. In 2009, WWE were even considering slipping Survivor Series out of it’s PPV schedule for good. The PPV was saved but it was still not really able to get even close to the significance of the other three PPVs. That was until Survivor Series 2014…

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With no really major stars and no WWE World title match, the PPV was hurt to a degree. However, what was missing was made up for by the five-on-five survivor series elimination match. The five-on-five was the PPV’s trademark match so it was only fitting that it was the main event of this particular show. The Authority going up against Team Cena with the Authority out of power if they lost. This was the biggest Survivor Series match that they’d done in years and it had major implications for the WWE storylines. Triple H and Stephanie’s power in the company was in danger. This match performed in more ways than one. It gave Dolph Ziggler a truly historical moment to savour and it even debuted WCW Legend Sting. This was a special PPV in 2014.

One match can really make the difference in terms of how great or memorable a PPV is. The Royal Rumble is a prime example of this. One match would be enough to peak your interest and if it delivers, you rake in the rewards. Now, there’s no big five on five elimination match as of yet. However, WWE did introduce something which once again made the PPV out to be a special attraction. The WWE World Title tournament.

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What I think this does is give it a special niche that can help the PPV go down in the history books. This was the one with the big tournament final for the WWE World title. Everyone likes a good tournament and it’s not like they’re just doing it on a show like Payback. The timing was right for this sort of tournament to take place as it can help build the prestige and importance of the Survivor Series show.

It does annoy to a degree that they didn’t do a one-night tournament but I could see why they went with just having the final at Survivor Series. They can ill-afford to have their champion risk an injury by wrestling three or four matches in one night! Not after the recent injury to Rollins! Even WWE has to have limits. The tournament final is also backed up by the appearance and 25th anniversary of the Undertaker which also helps make the event feel special. It’s true that Undertaker is going through a particularly healthy stage right now, but any Undertaker appearance at all is rare. If it’s on RAW, Survivor Series or the Jimmy Fallon show…

All of these weird set-backs and swerves have actually led to an opportunity for Survivor Series close the gap on the Rumble, Summerslam and Mania to truly becoming a major show once again. The question now remains… can WWE take advantage?

How I Would Book… The Rock vs John Cena III

The Rock and John Cena squared off in the main events of two Wrestlemanias in a row. The Rock won the first match at Wrestlemania 28 and John Cena won the rematch AND the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29. Many will argue whether WWE should bother settling the score between John Cena and The Rock with a third match. However, the financial potential of a third match might make WWE consider it. If WWE were to do a third match, how would you do it? How would book The Rock vs John Cena… Part Three?

I know this fantasy match-up is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The first match took a year-long build and led to an alright main event which saw The Rock pick up the victory. To many, the wrong man won the first round. However, John Cena would get redemption. After winning the 2013 Royal Rumble, Cena beat The Rock in a rematch at Wrestlemania 29 to win the WWE Championship. As discussed before in the How I Would Book series, Rock vs Cena probably shouldn’t have been the actual main event. To be fair, it made sense to have the Wrestlemania 29 main event being one of the biggest rematches of all time. However, the execution and generally build were a little disappointing. There’s never been any real plans for The Rock and John Cena to have the rubber match. The Rock has not actually wrestled in WWE since Wrestlemania 29. Although there were plans for him to go up against the likes of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, Cena’s name was never thrown into the mix.

However, let’s say that WWE decided to go down that route for Wrestlemania 32. Previously on the How I Would Book series, we threw The Rock into a program with Roman Reigns. In that scenario, I turned Rock heel to help elevate the babyface Roman Reigns. With Rock vs Cena III, I’d go down the same avenue. Let me explain how and why this would go down.

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If this match were to happen, it’s important that there are hints towards it and foreshadowed in some way. In this scenario, I’d have The Rock make surprise appearances like he’s done before in the past few years. In all of these appearances, the heel teases The Rock about losing his last match in WWE. His last match… was with John Cena. The Rock would shrug these off with some witty comeback like only The Rock can. In one appearance, Cena himself would tease The Rock and hint at a third match to settle the score. Not a HEAVY build considering that The Rock’s WWE appearances are limited. However, it has to be teased to the viewers that The Rock has to win his last match before riding off into the sunset.

We go into the Royal Rumble with Cena himself being an entrant. The Authority targets John Cena as the biggest threat in the Royal Rumble and puts a $1,000,000 bounty on Cena, going to the one that eliminates him. Cena enters the match and everyone targets him. Cena makes it into the final five alongside Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens and Sheamus. You can really pick and choose who you want in this final five, but the biggest thing to note is that the heels outnumber the faces. Roman Reigns is put through the announce table by a powerbomb from Kevin Owens. This leaves Cena alone. They all hit their finishers on Cena but then bicker about the bounty. This is interrupted by The Rock’s music.

In shades of Royal Rumble 2015, The Rock makes a return to save the babyface. He lays out all the heels. He doesn’t eliminate anyone. He just takes them out. He lifts up John Cena… and drops him with a Rock Bottom! The crowd is stunned as The Rock throws Cena over the top rope to eliminate him. The crowd would obviously lose their marbles no matter what they do, but this would begin The Rock’s turn to the dark side.

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Since it’s The Rock, he’s not going to be taken seriously as a heel whenever WWE would decide to pull the trigger. That’s also true considering the face he targeted… is John Cena. You need to cement his heel turn the next night on RAW, where he hugs Triple H and Stephanie and confirms his partnership with the Authority. He’s not a member, but he’s a “friend” to the Authority. The Rock can be shown to be friends with Triple H and Steph, annoying the crowd. The Rock explains that he’s motivated by two things in life… money and success.

He attacked John Cena for two reasons… money and success. He attacked Cena to get the money (you’re probably wondering why someone as wealthy as The Rock would care about a bounty but just play along!) and he attacked Cena to achieve some success. The money part of it isn’t really the biggest reason for his turn anyway. He attacked Cena because he wanted to achieve his own redemption for Cena beating him at Wrestlemania 29. The Rock says that he will not allow the record books to show that The Rock lost in his last WWE match. He says that he especially does not want his match to be a loss against someone like John Cena. The Rock throws his usual insults at Cena, reigniting the feud between them. He challenges Cena to a match at Wrestlemania 32 to settle the score. Cena’s response is to run down to the ring and get into a brawl with The Rock. Cena accepts and the match is made.

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The match itself would happen at Wrestlemania and the winner… would be John Cena. I know the whole idea of the feud was for The Rock to try and end his WWE career as a winner. However, the chances are that this wouldn’t be The Rock’s last match in a WWE ring. So there’s plenty of opportunities for The Rock to complete his goals. If this was Rock’s last match, The Rock would go over. However, Cena would have to go over for me in this scenario considering that he needs the win the most. Rock doesn’t have as much to lose as Cena by losing this match. This is a short-term program so if you want Rock to turn face again, simply have him shake hands with Cena and cut a promo about his love for the WWE. It doesn’t take much for The Rock to be loved!

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!

Top Five Moments From WWE RAW (24/08/15)

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This week’s RAW was quite the show, following up a highly-anticipated Summerslam (my review of Summerslam can be seen by clicking at this link). RAW had to follow up strong work from WWE and the two controversial endings to the two co-main events. Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a very confusing finish to their epic rematch from Wrestlemania 30. Jon Stewart cost John Cena the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins. But what would happen on RAW the next night? Well, yours truly will select what I believe were the top five talking points and top five moments from this week’s RAW.
1. The Dudley Boyz Return

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The tag team division took a turn for the better at Summerslam, when the New Day regained the WWE Tag Team titles in a great fatal four way tag team match involving themselves, the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. The New Day were in action against the Lucha Dragons this week and beat them cleanly in the ring. But as they were celebrating, the Dudley Boyz arrived!

It was, dare I say… vintage Dudley Boyz here in Brooklyn! They took out all three members of the New Day, busting out all the moves that led to them winning 24 world tag team titles. The Dudleyz got an insane pop when their music hit. I marked out myself after seeing them come out! It looks like the Dudleyz are here to stay too as they were advertised for SmackDown! this week. This can only mean that there will be great things ahead for the tag team division.

2. Brock Lesnar KILLS Bo Dallas

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According to Wikipedia, Brock Lesnar actually did kill Bo Dallas on RAW last night!
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Paul Heyman addressed Brock Lesnar’s “loss” to the Undertaker in compelling fashion. Paul then made the challenge for the Undertaker to “bring his dead ass” out to the ring for one more fight. However, Bo Dallas would make his way to the ring. Bo told Brock to bo-lieve in himself. Brock responded by taking Bo on a trip to Suplex City. Not going to lie, I just started laughing as soon Bo got into the ring!

It’s interesting now to see where Brock Lesnar will go from here. Will he just forget about having one more match with the Undertaker or will he go after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again?

3. The Wyatt Family’s Newest Member

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Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper may have lost their Summerslam match, but the Eater of Worlds had a trick up his sleeve for their rematch on RAW. This trick turned out to be a big one as the HUGE Braun Stowman emerged to lay out Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. It doesn’t seem that Braun possess much in terms of wrestling ability. However, a mysterious debut like this is always interesting to me. Sometimes they go south (e.g. Mason Ryan) but sometimes they can surprise you. It’s still early days so it’ll be hard to imagine how he’ll do just yet. He’s been at WWE’s developmental centre and made his in-ring debut at the end of 2014. He’s won a number of “strongman” competitions in the past, including the Summerfest Strongman in 2011. Where have I heard that before?


4. We’re Gonna Make This An EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH Playa!

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This eight man tag team match was a great little main event for RAW. It basically featured everyone who faced each other at Summerslam facing each other again in a BIG eight man tag team match. Randy Orton, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback vs Big Show, Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus. It was a pretty decent match. The kind of multi-man tag team match you’d expect on RAW. The miscommunication between the heel team caused the good guys to win. Rusev and Kevin Owens took their loss out on Big Show and beat him up. The faces then added to the beat down. We saw a quality little RKO from Randy Orton as Cesaro and Ryback lifted Big Show up to be dropped by Orton.

5. Sting Returns To RAW

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According to reports, the WWE were planning a “big angle” for RAW. Well WWE certainty didn’t disappoint with this corker. It was not a ground-shaking moment like CM Punk’s pipebomb or the Nexus invading RAW for the first time. However, it was a pretty quality moment. Seth Rollins was apparently set to have a bronze statue of himself to celebrate his win at Summerslam over John Cena. However, Sting crashed the party by attacking Rollins. Sting then hoisted up the WWE Championship, making it clear why he was back in the WWE!

It’s pretty great to see Sting be able to challenge for the WWE Championship like this. Sting should get this opportunity to have a WWE Championship match, whether it’s his only one or not. From my point of view, I’d love it if Sting were to actually win the title, even if he did hold it for a month. After all, he can still go in the ring and his TNA run proves he can work a full-time schedule if needed. Whether that’ll actually happen is up for debate. However, Sting vs Seth Rollins at Night of Champions sound like a corker to me!

WWE Summerslam 2015 Predictions

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Welcome to the Armbar Express’ WWE Summerslam 2015 Predictions. This year’s Summerslam event is very special. Firstly, it’s special because it’s the first PPV outside of Wrestlemania to feature the Undertaker since Bragging Rights 2010. Secondly, it features a WWE World Heavyweight title and United States title unification match. Lastly, it’s the first Summerslam event to be four hours long. The PPV itself is pretty stacked to meet the four hour demand. We’ve got phenoms, we’ve got beasts, we’ve got superheroes, we’ve got a revolution and we’ve got quite the show to go through in these predictions. So let’s get down to business…

Dolph Ziggler w/Lana vs Rusev w/Summer Rae

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Background: Rusev’s relationship with Lana ended on RAW after he lost an I Quit match to John Cena at Payback. In response, Lana kissed Dolph Ziggler the same night the relationship ended… because apparently it takes wrestlers a considerably shorter amount of time to get over a relationship. Rusev would wind up getting an injury before he could get revenge on Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler and Lana would eventually “go public” with their relationship on June 29th… which I don’t even know what that means. They were shown already on television as an on-screen couple. They were already a couple in the public’s eyes. It’s like if Spiderman was shown unmasked on television and then he revealed his identity in a press conference. What was the point of “going public”? However, Rusev would find company in Summer Rae. Rusev would then take out Ziggler with an attack of his own. Summer would eventually begin dressing like the “Ravishing Russian” Lana and they would shove their relationship in Lana’s face while Ziggler was out of action. Ziggler returned to confront Rusev on RAW this week and challenged Rusev for a match at Summerslam. Keep that in mind. This program between Rusev and Ziggler has been going on since May and they’ve not once had a single match…

What Should Happen?: This storyline promptly ends with Lana turning on Ziggler to helps Rusev get the victory. This storyline has been progressing so slowly that it amazes me that people still care about. The people might just care about Lana and Ziggler, I don’t know. Those two are the only ones getting reactions. But the two of them seem like the most unrealistic couple of all time. You’re not helping Rusev, whose been helped a lot more with his re-pursuit of the United States Championship on the side (which lasted about a fortnight). Dolph Ziggler’s not getting anywhere with this storyline either. Lana is the only one that’s gotten over from this storyline. Think about that. A MANAGER is the most over person in this feud. Someone who cannot wrestle is more relevant than Rusev and Dolph Ziggler… the two men that are wrestling this Sunday! To quote the great Bryan Alvarez… “This storyline…. sucks.”

What Will Happen?: Rusev wins after Lana accidently costs Ziggler the match. I don’t see WWE ending this program at Summerslam but I don’t see Ziggler going over. So I think they’ll go with the finish that they hope will preserve both Rusev and Ziggler but keep the focus on Lana. So this is what you’re going to get. Either that or Lana helps Ziggler wins the match. Either way, this feud is going to continue. Great….

Ryback (c) vs Big Show vs The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

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NOTE: A week ago, we pointed out that Ryback had been in violation of the 30 day title defense rule as he hadn’t defended his title since July 12th. However, Ryback has now been defending the title in house shows since returning to action. He’s been defending the title against Miz and Big Show in triple threat matches as a sort of preview to Summerslam.

Background: Ryback won the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber in a chamber match that was dreadful to be quite frank. The next night, Ryback was scheduled to defend his newly-won championship against The Miz. However, this was interrupted by the returning Big Show. Big Show knocked out Miz and declared his intentions on winning the Intercontinental Championship. Big Show would get a title match at Money In The Bank against Ryback, which would end via DQ. A triple threat match between Big Show, Miz and Ryback was scheduled for Battleground, but Ryback was sidelined with an injury so the match was postponed. Miz and Big Show would continue to bicker over a title shot until RAW two weeks ago. On MizTV, Ryback returned to take out Miz and Big Show. It was then announced that Ryback’s title defense against Big Show and Miz would now take place at Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: I think Ryback should win. I know his title reign has seemed kind of bleak due to a number of circumstances, but he’s still incredibly over with the fans at the moment. When he came back two weeks ago, people were still going nuts for him. People have been suggesting that The Miz should win it, but he’s had numerous Intercontinental title runs in the past and he’s not really went far with any of them. Give Ryback the chance to establish himself after this and you can also have him defend it against new challengers in the coming months. I don’t think it’s time yet to pull the plug on the Big Guy’s title reign.

What Will Happen?: I don’t see Miz or Big Show winning the title at all so the Big Guy retains the title.

Nikki Bella, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox vs Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte vs Sasha Banks, Naomi and Tamina Snuka in a three team elimination match

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NOTE: Nikki has also been in violation of the 30 day title defense rule. She had not defended her title since July 12th either. However, she’s still yet to defend her title. On the day of Summerslam, she will have went 42 days without defending her championship. That’s really not on for a company that’s trying to emphasis on a “Divas Revolution” in the company.

Background: After failing to win the Divas title on a number of occasions thanks to “Twin Magic”, Paige declared her intention on taking down Nikki and Brie Bella. Paige claimed that the Bellas have had their run of the division for years and it was time for a change. Paige tried to gain help from the other divas on the main roster, but nobody would join her cause. In fact, Alicia Fox actually joined up with the Bellas in order to be a part of Team Bella. The constant handicaps on Paige forced Stephanie McMahon to step in. She recruited Charlotte and Becky Lynch from NXT to help Paige spark a “revolution” in the divas division. Naomi and Tamina would want in on the action in the war between Team Paige and Team Bella as well. So Stephanie introduced another NXT star that would be more suited to Naomi and Tamina’s style… “The Boss” Sasha Banks. The war was on with “Team Bella”, Naomi’s group “Team B.A.D.” and Paige’s group “PCB” for dominance in the divas division. After a LOT of matches on WWE television, Stephanie announce a three team elimination match to determine which entity was best.

What Should Happen?: I really don’t think it matters who wins specifically, but I would prefer it if either “Team B.A.D.” or the PCB were to pick up the win. Nothing against the Bellas, but this “Divas Revolution” would be kind of wasted if the Bellas were to pick up the win at Summerslam. It would make all these call-ups to the main roster meaningless if the Bellas won like they always did. Personally, I hope we get to see a Divas title defense after this match! 42 days and still counting Nikki!

What Will Happen?: I’m going to go with Team B.A.D. with Sasha Banks being the last woman standing. Out of the nine women that have appeared in this storyline, I think Sasha has looked the strongest when it comes to wins and losses. I mean she just beat the Divas Champion on RAW. I think WWE have a lot of faith in the NXT Womens Champion Sasha, so I think she and her group will win.

Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

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Background: Former Shield member Dean Ambrose has had issues with Bray Wyatt before in 2014, but Bray began picking fights with another former Shield member recently… Roman Reigns. Bray cost Roman the Money In The Bank ladder match. The mind games by Bray onto Roman would eventually lead to Bray and Roman battling it out at Battleground. However, Bray picked up a cheeky win thanks to an old friend… Luke Harper. Luke re-united with Bray as part of Bray’s crusade against Roman Reigns. However, Roman had back-up himself in the form of the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose. In what is being dubbed as “Family vs Family”, the two teams will fight at Summerslam in what is sure to be a hard-hitting tag team match.

What Should Happen?: Roman and Dean should win. If Bray’s team won, then Roman’s stock would drop dramatically as it’s now been two losses in a row to Wyatt. Him and Dean Ambrose have actually not won a PPV match since Extreme Rules (Dean Ambrose did beat Seth Rollins via DQ at Chamber, but he didn’t actually BEAT him by pinfall or submission or anything). I think they need this big win at Summerslam.

What Will Happen?: Roman and Dean win. I don’t see Dean Ambrose turning heel during this (which is what’s being rumoured). I think WWE will want to give Roman that big event win that he was denied at Wrestlemania to give him a lot more credibility.

Prime Time Players (Darren Young (c) and Titus O’Neil (c)) vs The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xaiver Woods) vs Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando w/El Torito) vs Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

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Background: Then-WWE Tag Team champions the New Day began feuding with the Prime Time Players after eliminating them last in their tag team Elimination Chamber match (which wasn’t that great). The PTP got themselves a tag title match at Money In The Bank, which they won to become tag team champions for the first time. Young and O’Neil retained the titles in a rematch at Battleground. Following their title defense. The New Day would come out to interrupt The Prime Time Players during their non-title match against Los Matadores. The distraction cost the PTP their match with Los Matadores, putting the bullfighters in the title hunt themselves. However, Los Matadores would go on to lose to the Lucha Dragons the next week on RAW. It was then decided to have all four of these tag teams in a fatal four way tag team match for the tag titles to determine who really were the top dogs of the tag team division.

What Should Happen?: The New Day win. They’re the only team in this fatal four way that have a great deal of overness right now. I love the Lucha Dragons, I like the Prime Time Players and Los Matadores are OK. But the New Day really need to win the titles again. Otherwise, this group will end up going nowhere when it really does have the potential to be something really good.

What Will Happen?: I, for some reason, don’t see the Prime Time Players dropping the belts. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young are both gaining a lot of attention from mainstream media for one reason or another. I think WWE want to capitalize on that and keep the belts on the pair for a bit longer. Prime Time Players retain.

Stephen Amell and Neville vs Stardust and King Barrett

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Background: Stardust began a Twitter war with Arrow star Stephen Amell (that’s a series that I really need to start watching, I think :/). The Tweets went back and forth until Stephen appeared on RAW two weeks ago. He watched Neville take on King Barrett as Neville got the win with the Red Arrow… get it? Stardust immediately attacked Neville and then confronted Stephen on the outside. He shoved Stephen, which led to Stephen hitting the ring and taking out Stardust. Stephen demanded to team with Neville to take on Stardust and King Barrett at Summerslam. With Stephen vowing to sign any contracts that would not leave WWE liable for anything that would happen to Stephen, Triple H agreed to make the match for Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: I really wish King Barrett and Stardust would win ONLY because of that promo the two of them cut on this week’s RAW! I thought it was class! However, it would make sense for the actor and Neville to pick up the win I guess. I do admire Amell’s enthusiasm about WWE and getting into the ring. He’s one of the better WWE celebrity guests as it seems that he actually wants to be there.

What Will Happen?: Neville and Stephen Amell win. The Green and Red Arrow puts a stop to Barrett and Stardust’s evil schemes to uphold justice in the WWE… or something like that.

Cesaro vs Kevin Owens

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Background: Cesaro and Kevin Owens have been having issues since Owens had cost Cesaro the US Championship a few months back. However, things really did escalate following Kevin Owens’ loss to John Cena at Battleground. He attacked Cesaro on the SmackDown! after the PPV. Cesaro and Owens would trade wins back and forth in tag team matches with others as a singles match between the two was booked for Summerslam

What Should Happen?: It’s a tough call either way you slice it. Cesaro’s doing really well at the moment, so you don’t want to kill his momentum by having him lose to Kevin Owens. However, Kevin Owens’ stock took a huge hit when he lost to John Cena (which I went on quite the rant about on my Battleground Review). If Kevin loses again, then his momentum is really going to sink. Especially if he loses clean. If I were in WWE, I would put over the lad which I have more faith in to be the next top main eventer in WWE. If you believe reports on wrestling websites, not all of the “powers that be” in WWE are keen on pushing Kevin Owens. However, these would probably be the same guys that don’t think Cesaro is charismatic enough to become a top star either. So I really can’t make a clear decision about who I want to win, because I’m big on both lads. I could then suggest a no contest finish, but that would be a waste of everyone’s time as people want to see a winner and a loser. So I can’t really decide on a finish.

What Will Happen?: I think Cesaro is going to win. I think WWE are now really changing their minds about Kevin and I think that’s only going to spell disaster for him. Cesaro’s getting really over with the crowd at the moment, so why would WWE want to pass up the opportunity to capitalize on that just to preserve Kevin?

Sheamus vs Randy Orton

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Background: The two started feuding after Sheamus won the Money In The Bank ladder match. This led to Randy Orton beating Sheamus at Battleground which was actually a pretty good match. Weeks later, Randy Orton would challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on RAW. Orton would fail to win the title after Sheamus took out Orton. Sheamus tried to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase, but Randy Orton prevented the cash in from happening. Eventually, a rematch from Battleground was booked for the Biggest Party of the Summer.

What Should Happen?: Sheamus really should get a PPV win from this feud. Sheamus lost clean to Orton at Battleground, but now he must grab the win over Orton to build himself up a bit.

What Will Happen?: Randy Orton winning again seems very unlikely, so Sheamus gets the win.

Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and United States Championship

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Background: Seth Rollins did a bit of bragging on the RAW after Battleground, after retaining his WWE World title in a match with Brock Lesnar. This brought out United States Champion John Cena, who buried Seth’s title reign and the importance of the championship. John had been defending the US Championship every week in the US open challenge, and therefore claimed that he was the true top champion of WWE. So according to John Cena’s logic, apparently being a glorified Hardcore Champion is more important than being the World champion. Seth argued that a title shot for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship had to be earned, rather than just given out each week by John Cena. The two eventually had a match on RAW for Cena’s US Championship. Despite having his nose broken by Seth, Cena retained the championship by making Rollins tap out to the STF. Seth challenged Cena for a rematch at Summerslam for both titles. On an episode of Tough Enough, Cena accepted the challenge. Cena appeared on RAW last week to bury Seth Rollins again. Cena pointed out that although he was getting the “Let’s go Cena, Cena Sucks” chant every week, at least the WWE universe cared about him unlike Seth. Both men vowed to walk out of Summerslam with both belts, with Seth apparently being given a statue if he wins…

What Should Happen?: Seth Rollins wins. Not Cena hating, but there is no need for him now to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Hopefully Seth wins the US title, and then drops it shortly afterwards.

What Will Happen?: Seth wins the US title. I don’t see a clean finish. I also don’t see Sheamus cashing in just yet. Sheamus might try to cash in, causing a DQ finish or something. But I don’t see him winning the title considering the title match will probably be on both Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar II. Speaking of which…

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker 

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Background: Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania, becoming the one in 21-1. Brock used this momentum to conquer the WWE Universe, first by destroying John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at last year’s Summerslam. He would hold onto the title until Wrestlemania 31, when Seth Rollins cashed in the Money In The Bank contract. Brock Lesnar got suspended the next night on RAW, delaying his rematch for the WWE World title until Battleground. Just as Brock seemingly had Rollins beat, the Undertaker returned to exact his revenge on Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker II would be announced for Summerslam the next night on RAW, with both men celebrating the announcement with a massive brawl on RAW involving 25 wrestlers trying to break it up! This will be quite the rematch at Summerslam.

What Should Happen?: It really does depend on the plans for Brock and Undertaker in the future, more specifically their plans for Wrestlemania 32. If Undertaker is having his last match at Wrestlemania 32, then obviously he has to look strong going into that event. On the other hand, Brock Lesnar’s mystique and unbeatable monster role is very important to WWE too. If Brock Lesnar planning to regain his WWE World Championship or win the Royal Rumble, then obviously he has to stay strong as well. With that in mind however… I think the Undertaker should win. I’m a huge fan of Brock. However, preserving Undertaker is such a priority for WWE right now, having ended his streak at Wrestlemania 30. If the plan is for Brock to win the Royal Rumble, then maybe WWE can use this loss to the Undertaker to their advantage. They can play on the storyline of “Is Brock no longer a monster?” as he’s not actually won a match since Royal Rumble 2015. Then going into the Royal Rumble, Brock looks like a man on a mission. Therefore, his win at the Royal Rumble would seem a bit more meaningful. Again, we still don’t know what WWE’s plans are yet. However, Undertaker getting his revenge shouldn’t hurt Brock to a great degree.

What Will Happen?: Undertaker wins due to interference by Triple H. It’s a very BOLD prediction from me to predict that Undertaker and the Authority are going to work together to screw Brock Lesnar, but that’s the only way I really see this going down. Like I mentioned in my piece about Undertaker getting booed, Undertaker’s newest character development revolves around him doing whatever he needs to maintain his legacy. I think selling his soul to the Authority by helping their champion beat Brock Lesnar at Battleground was a big part of this final chapter of the Dead Man. Considering the boos on Monday night, I don’t see Undertaker winning cleanly.

What do you guys think is going to happen? Who will walk out with the WWE World and US titles? Who will score a big win in the Divas Revolution? Who will win the rematch of titans between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar? Tweet me your responses at @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below.

How I Would Book… Roman Reigns vs The Rock

The last time we had Roman Reigns on the “How I Would Book…” series, we put the “Big Dog” up against probably the biggest dog in WWE history… the Undertaker. However, I wanted to explore a completely different opponent for Roman Reigns. In fact, the story for this match-up is already there for these two individuals. What connects these two… is family. But what if these two had a family feud of their own? What if Roman Reigns collided… with The Rock?

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I think putting Roman in a program with The Rock would be a perfect solution to this issue WWE seems to have with getting Roman over. One of the positives from Roman’s feud with Brock Lesnar was the fact that it included someone who could do all the taking for them… Paul Heyman. With The Rock, he can do all the talking for Roman and himself for their feud, but also wrestle. Granted, he’s not on WWE television that much. However, I doubt it’ll be that big of an issue. All Roman Reigns needs to do, when The Rock is not on television, is simply beat people up. Roman does the fighting, Rock does the talking. Simple as that. But first, let’s talk about how this match would take place. What would cause this family to be torn apart? In my opinion, it could be something that has divided a lot of families in WWE history… Money.

Here’s how I imagine it playing it out. If the plan was to have Roman take on The Rock in this big match, then you need to make Roman look incredibly strong leading into it. So starting from his tag team match with Dean Ambrose against the Wyatts at Summerslam, Roman develops a winning streak. He then beats Bray Wyatt in a feud ending I Quit match. He battles the likes of Sheamus and Rusev on route to the TLC. At TLC, he wins a fatal four way Ladder match with Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Whether it’d be Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar or Sheamus, Roman rolls into the Royal Rumble on a roll. However, at the Royal Rumble, things come crashing down for the Roman Empire. The Authority tries to help the champion against Roman but in a case of deja vu from the year before, The Rock comes out the even the odds. But as the Authority backs off, The Rock delivers the Rock Bottom… to Roman Reigns.

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A heel turn for The Rock is something that few would see coming. The Rock’s popularity is on a level of it’s own, both in and out of wrestling. The man with 24.4 million Instagram followers and an incredible social media presence would be very hard to turn into a heel. How can you convince the WWE universe to root for Roman against The Rock? Well the truth is, you’re not to convince EVERYONE. That’s why this particular heel turn will be short-term. Because after all, this will be a short term angle.

The Hollywood fame and social media popularity is exactly the type of things that would help the Brahma Bull’s turn to the dark side. He can play the Hollywood Star heel that he played way back in 2003. And it’s not like he’s just done the Scorpion King, he’s done so much more. More positives to dwell on and brag about. It would also be the first time in 12 years that The Rock would be heel. It’s much needed new material for The Rock to work with.

The Rock’s reasoning for turning heel is pretty simple… he was doing a favour for the Authority. Granted, he and Triple H have had some run-ins in the last year. However, if The Rock said something like he was doing it for Vince McMahon, you can sort of explain The Rock’s differences with Triple H, perhaps setting up The Rock vs Triple H some time down the line.

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Back to Roman, The Rock would cut a promo the next night on RAW taking about doing a favour and telling Roman that he does not belong in The Rock’s league. Roman would come out to attack The Rock. If you’re going to have this match, play to Roman’s strengths. He is a badass fighter. Why not have him fight rather than talk? Because there’s no way that Roman could possibly out-talk The Rock. So let him do what he does best. When The Rock is on RAW, have Roman batter him.

At Wrestlemania 32, Roman Reigns goes over. It’s the biggest win of Roman Reigns’ career. It’s not like The Rock would be unwilling to job. Plus, Roman himself looks good having beaten The Rock at the biggest stage of them all. And if you want to have Rock turn face again, have Rock and Roman shake hands. It’s a true passing of the torch from family member to family member. If you want to get Roman Reigns over… that’s how you do it!

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!