Apologies for the week without Shoot Talk, but I was in New York City with my wife having the time of our lives. Absolutely loved the place and would go back in a heartbeat. So this weeks Shoot Talk will be a little less detailed than previous ones as I was not up to date with RAW or Smackdown that I missed during my stint in NY. And I’ve not watched since I got back to the UK on Tuesday morning as I’ve been playing catchup on sleep and work. That aside, Welcome to Shoot Talk.
New York, New York
So yes, I’ve been to New York. It certainly is the city that doesn’t sleep as there is always SOMETHING going on. Whether it be celebrities at the Knicks game in which I saw Luke Cage stars Mike Colter and Theo Rossi were in attendance along with lots of other sporting or TV celebs, or Nintendo superstar Shigeru Miyamoto at the Central Park Apple store promoting Super Mario Run for iPhone, you’re never that far away from a celebrity or event. And this was the case while I was in New York as John Cena was there hosting his first Saturday night live, and on the last night I was there, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in Times Square as they took over all the huge screens to premier the first trailer for the new Fast and Furious movie.
Away from the WWE contingent taking over New York on separate nights, I found other wrestling bits and bobs around the city. In Little Italy, they have an Italian American museum, and proudly in the window they display a tribute to the great Bruno Sanmartino. And on the transfer from the airport to our hotel within the first hour of being in New York I found a noodle bar named after current 2 time NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
I’ll stop talking about New York now I promise. But just to finish it off saying that the place was incredible. A green card and or job offer there would be taken up in a heartbeat.
Dolph Ziggler WWE Champion Number 1 Contender
No it’s not Summer 2016 again. Dolph Ziggler is number one contender again for the WWE Championship, this time to face AJ Styles rather than Dean Ambrose. I guess I can kinda see why they did this. To give AJ a new feud for the title as a filler opponent rather than a new entire rivalry program against a long time opponent. But still, damn it felt like the worst choice to take on AJ out of the fatal 4 way that took part on Smackdown consisting of Harper, Miz and Ambrose. Ambrose will be the main event scene of Smackdown for a long time, so It’s not too bad to see him away from the title picture for a month or two. It would have been nice to see Miz take on AJ for a champion vs champion angle like RAW is doing. Plus with the 2016 that The Miz has been having he completely deserves it and is definitely ready for the big prize again. Also Harper looked like an absolute beast and was a very pleasant surprise to see in this sort of title hunt. Bray has flirted with the title in the past but never got there, he now however does have his first title in WWE as a tag team champion. So Harper aiming for the big one, while leader Bray is tag champ is both odd, yet cool with regards to making the Wyatts look strong.
Ziggler will not be winning the title, I wish Harper or Miz got the shot that Ziggler did, but as mentioned I guess I can see why Ziggler is being used as a stop gap title chaser to fill a month till AJ has a new larger feud available.
New Day Rocks and set record while doing it
The New Day beat Demolitions 28 year old record of 478 days as champions this past week. And they did it in style by defending their titles twice on RAW in two triple threat matches against legitimately threatening teams. Undoubtedly stars of the show. But now that this record has been beaten, I think the time will be up for the reign of The New Day and can seem them dropping the titles in their very next PPV title defense at RoadBlock against Cesaro and Sheamus. If this does materialize it seems a shame for them to drop the titles to a make shift team put together to end a feud in Cesaro and Sheamus, despite them actually being pretty decent the past couple of weeks. It makes you wonder what ‘The Club’ have to do to be taken seriously in WWE after their impressive and brutal debut, they’ve just been used in some random and embarrassing storylines (remember they collected balls… like… tag team members balls?). One thing that did get me pretty excited to see was WWE’s salute to the troops special in which we got a little teaser of The Shield, The Club and The New Day all eyeing each other up.
WWE UK Championship
This week Triple H held a press conference live from London announcing a 2 night tournament taking place in Blackpool featuring 16 British wrestlers. The winner will be crowned the WWE UK Champion. It was completely out of nowhere. The announcement has left some British wrestling fans a little frustrated as the British indie wrestling scene has been massive as of late, so some are worried that this is WWE’s attempt at crushing this and taking the momentum away. It also appeared to be a somewhat retaliation to ITV’s one off world of sport that takes place on New Year which has been rumored to come back as a full time show.
I can see why there is a worry about how this will effect UK wrestling as this event will actually impact Progress Wrestling’s event that takes place in Birmingham as 3 of the participants in the WWE tournament are champions within Progress and don’t sound like they’ll be taking part. Just how the contract situation is we don’t know. HHH did mention that the plan is to have a weekly show of British talent. It’s been noted that as of late WWE has been building relations with Rev Pro and Progress Wrestling, so perhaps this results in the talent being shared across WWE and the other indie scenes rather than exclusively to WWE. We just don’t know yet.
One thing for sure is that the belt that was revealed looks really good. It’s an exciting time for British wrestling and I’m really looking forward to see what this means going forward for WWE and their potential territory plans.
Book It Vince
I was away during TLC, but the predictions went very well for me, scoring a perfect 6 from 6. We’ve also got our predictions ready for RoadBlock. First up here’s how our predictions and scores went for TLC.
Which left the standings looking very healthy for me.
And here’s our RoadBlock predictions.
I’ve gone with Sasha breaking Charlotte’s PPV win streak and retaining, Kevin Owens will lose to Reigns, but I feel that it’ll be due to some fuckery from Jericho kick starting the fallout of the best friends storyline. Also as mentioned above now The New Day are the longest running Tag Team Champions, I think that they’ll drop the titles to Cesaro and Sheamus.