This week we’re digesting one of the better episodes of RAW since the brand split, how the woman are booked on each show and a little bit of attitude over the past couple weeks of RAW and Smackdown. Oh and we’re predicting TLC.
I also have some good and bad news. First the bad news. Next Friday there will be no Shoot Talk. So we’ll be predicting TLC, but won’t get to see a points tally until Friday 16th December. The good news however is, there’ll be no Shoot Talk next Friday because I’ll be in NEW YORK CITY BAYYYBEEE. Welcome to Shoot Talk.
Roman Reigns & His Universal Championship Shot while US Champion
This past week on RAW the best friends Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho opened the show as their usual selves targeting Seth Rollins for their barrage of heel abuse. Roman Reigns music hit and he entered the ring and cut a pretty entertaining and strong promo, much to the distaste of the crowd. He got himself a match later on in the night against Owens with the stipulation being should he win, he gets a title shot at Road Block. Again the crowd weren’t exactly thrilled about this development as you kind of already had the idea that Reigns was winning this.
Well he did do just that. He won later on in the night cementing his title shot against KO at Road Block.
So…How do we feel about that?
Personally for me I don’t despise Reigns at all. If you browse through previous Shoot Talk and other WWE articles I’ve posted I’ve never flat out had a problem with Reigns. I feel he’s a little unlucky in that him being ‘The Guy’ is by no way his fault, but back stage’s fault continuing to try and get him over at the expense of anyone else.
I will however criticise him as the United States Champion. They’ve had the angle of the WWE Champion vs the US Champion before with Rollins vs Cena. On that occasion Rollins won and became the double champion. I was okay with this, the WWE Universe were also okay with this as it was Cena that dropped the title. I can actually see Reigns winning the Universal title at Road Block too. There are a few rumours going around that this idea is popular so Reigns can be labelled as a double champion. Also it would clear Owens and Jericho up for a feud with no title in the way.
I want to see Reigns defend his US title more. If WWE want to try and get Reigns over then have him follow what Cena did and defend that title each week against the other guys on RAW’s roster. Sami Zayn is about to enter a program with Braun Strowman which will be great for both. But have Zayn take a shot at the US title one week and put on a spectacle with Reigns. Cesaro and Sheamus appear to have reconciled their differences, but why not have Cesaro vs Reigns one week, then next week Sheamus vs Reigns.
And here’s another option, turn Reigns heel dammit. Imagine having Reigns defend his title against Zayn but wins it by flat out brutalizing Zayn with foreign objects, or by getting DQ’d so Zayn gets the win but Reigns retains.
Imagine Reigns battling Sheamus for the title, and he does something to signal that Cesaro who’s at ring side wants him, Sheamus turns around to see what Reigns is signalling only to see Cesaro look back at Sheamus with a clueless face and a shrug of “what are you doing?” and have Reigns win via a cheap distracted rollup.
His next defence against Neville, Roman could actually win the match clean and as a successful clean title defence, then just have him continue to pulverize Neville after the match is over because he IS A BAD GUY!
Another idea to try get Reigns over as a hungry powerful guy, which admittedly could potentially backfire and give him more boo’s is have Braun Strowman take the US Title from Reigns in a pretty brutal fashion. Then have Reigns follow a similar path of destruction to what Samoa Joe did on NXT. Joe kept interrupting matches completely unrelated to him demanding Namakura or the NXT title back. Have Reigns follow something like this. Someone comes out to face Braun for the US Title, have Reigns come out and attack that person preventing the match claiming they’re not fit to challenge for the title. When Titus O’Neill is in the ring against Darren Young for their 400th fight of the year, have Reigns run down and simply obliterate both guys get on the mic and call out Strowman.
Just try something other than having him, our current US Title with only 2 defenses to his name since winning it and being rocketed back to main event title contention without giving a damn about the US Title.
The Woman’s Revolution
It’s been 12 years since Lita and Trish main evented RAW for the first time. 2016 has seen RAW main evented twice by women and a main roster PPV main evented by women. They’ve also been breaking more ground with the first women’s Hell in a Cell match, the first women’s championship defended in a falls count anywhere match and the first Tables match will take place at TLC this weekend.
The revolution is definitely happening and at its best state. Smackdown Live lead the way with their roster of women all becoming vital to their weekly shows. Carmella and Alexa Bliss have really come into their own since their call up. Carmella especially.
Her association with Enzo and Cass helped her during her tenure at NXT, but when she was drafted to Smackdown Live away from them both I was worried for her and feared she could be in line for the list of released talent 2017. But she’s improved leaps and bounds both in ring and in her confidence in promos on Smackdown. She’s become one of the integral women of the show and her feud with Nikki is continuing to improve her abilities while keeping her relevant while the title is contested by Becky Lynch and Alexa.
What I like about Smackdown live is that each of their women can be taken as serious contenders for the Smackdown woman’s championship due to the way they are treated and booked on the show. It doesn’t just feature on the 2 main women in the title fight, but ensures we still see the rest of their talent on the show.
RAW on the other had has become a bit of a 2 lady show. I like Charlotte and Sasha and enjoy their rivalry, but it’s becoming a little bit ridiculous that both these women have 3 title reigns within 7 months of that belt being introduced. It’s also a little bit odd that Sasha and Charlotte who made their main debut rosters in July 2015 now have as many title reigns as AJ Lee did with the divas championship during her whole WWE tenure. RAW need to look into Smackdowns booking of the women and get the rest of their roster involved, because they don’t exactly have problem with their talent on board.
Dana Brooke was coming into her own on NXT and was looking like a legitimate leading lady there, now she’s a PA to Charlotte essentially. While she might need a little more work to brush up her wrestling performance, put her in the ring on RAW to get that experience. It seems that RAW forget that Bayley and Sasha had match of the year contention feuds in NXT. It doesn’t have to always be about Charlotte and Sasha.
As mentioned above, Yes Smackdown currently have 2 leading women for the championship picture, but they ensure the other women on that brand get TV exposure to develop there personas more and get more heel or face appreciation. RAW can by all means keep the title revolved around 2 women but maybe mix those 2 women up so it’s not Sasha and Charlotte all the time, and include the other women on RAW more. Throw Dana into a feud with Charlotte because Dana’s had enough of being her sidekick, have Nia target Sasha for the title. Emma is back soon so that’s another talented woman back who can be involved. Hopefully Paige’s injuries and personal issues result in seeing her back on RAW.
Last week on RAW we had Enzo Amore walking around backstage naked and wise cracking sexual innuendo with Lana. This week Enzo dropped more innuendo than he has usually and let us know he’d stuff Lana like a thanksgiving turkey.
Paul Heyman dropped the F bomb on an interview with Michael Cole that aired on RAW (although it was bleeped out).
A falls count anywhere, no holds barred, no DQ title match main evented RAW.
We had a car park brawl and a bar fight on RAW, and in that bar fight we saw people drinking alcoholic beverages, something that was once on WWE TV frequently with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the APA, but not been seen for a long time. And had a backstage brawl on Smackdown Live.
We had someone put through a table at a contract signing.
It seems that the past couple of weeks of RAW & Smackdown have got a little bit edgier, a little bit more ‘Attitude’. Could I be overthinking or could WWE be going to take this direction further forwards and push the boundaries a little bit more? I really enjoyed the bar scene with Cesaro and Sheamus, it was very reminiscent of old school RAW with shenanigans of the APA. I was pretty critical of the Cesaro and Sheamus tag angle, but this 5 minute segment did more to build their brotherly rivalry and characters than the best of 7 series weeks and the weeks following that as a dysfunctional tag team. All of a sudden I want Cesaro and Sheamus to stick around more. I want them to do more scenes of back stage story development. I want them to become the European APA.
We don’t have to go completely back to the days of the attitude era where the woman are back to eye candy in matches that expose them more than show off their actual ring talent. But lightening up a bit on the humour and storylines trying to get back to some of the ridiculousness of the past would be very welcome. Enzo Amore to take Lana hostage and marry her in Vegas anyone? Cesaro and Sheamus approached in a bar by Kalisto and hired to beat up Baron Corbin? Okay that’s cross brand so maybe not, but still.
205 Live & Talking Smack
We had our first episode of 205 Live air during the week. I was really looking forward to this as the CWC was phenomenal and we will finally get to see some of the talents that were on CWC back in the WWE ring like Tozawa and Gallagher. The crowd unfortunately was quite small for the show. It seemed the majority left after Smackdown finished. But the people that did stick around did eventually warm up into the show. The first matches for 205 live featured what I can assume will be some of the bigger players of the cruiser division in The Bollywood Boys, Jack Gallagher and Rich Swann vs The Brian Kendrick.
I liked that they did more of an effort on this show to give these once seemingly anonymous wrestlers individual introduction hype packages. We got to see who the Bollywood Boys really are and you can’t help but not like them after their intro package. Same for Rich Swann who I found out via Reddit a lot more of his personal story. I was already enjoying him in WWE, but now i’ll be behind him a lot more.
As for Talking Smack, The Miz was hosting this week instead of Daniel Bryan. I love Daniel Bryan’s honesty on the show, but god damn Miz is just turning everything he touches into gold as of late and Talking Smack is no exception as he completely owned the show. Surprisingly he was actually very fair and impartial on the most part of what was brought up. He was very complimentary of AJ Styles and shockingly Apollo Crews. He raised good points that the locker room as guys begging to get a televised match and athletes like Apollo Crews who has been MIA for a while yet there’s James Ellsworth featuring on main event matches and even was at Survivor Series where as other roster members have never been to Survivor Series. He used Zack Ryder as an example of this as SS 2016 was Ryders first appearance at this PPV who’s been on the roster for ages, yet Ellsworth was there within a few months of his first WWE appearance and actually played a large part in the men’s match with assisting with Brauns elimination.
He spoke a lot of truth and just gave another excellent account of himself as to why he’s been so incredible this year.
Book It Vince
So we’re up for the first Smackdown exclusive PPV since Survivor Series with TLC. First up here’s how the standings are currently:
And here’s how we’re predicting it go: