So I have a confession to make, this week I did not find the time to watch NXT or 205 Live, so they will be neglected in this week’s Shoot Talk. It’s pretty difficult finding time to watch 7 hours of WWE a week. I do try, but other events and scheduled plans got in the way this week. But that aside I did catch-up with RAW and Smackdown so focus will be there, and we’re also putting our predictions down for WWE Fastlane. Welcome to Shoot Talk.
Samoa Joe & Cesaro Backstage on RAW: Samoa Joe & Cesaro are 2 of the hardest working and most talented wrestlers on the current WWE roster. So seeing them have a little exchange both mentioning how they’ve known each other for years before WWE was indeed awesome. But Samoa Joe bringing up old heat about Cesaro not being able to grab that brass ring while Joe came to the roster wearing it was a nice statement. Cesaro has been having a decent bit of spotlight with this teaming up with Sheamus, and seeing him square off with Joe for a rivalry would provide some damn good matches. Cesaro’s response to Joe coming to the roster wearing a brass ring by correcting him saying he’s carrying HHH’s jock strap was a nice retort too.
Nia Jax Looking Good: The women’s division had a lot of the spotlight on RAW with a nice lengthy match featuring Charlotte, Nia, Sasha and Bayley. It was a decent match showcasing all the women as very good, but Nia in particular looked really good in this match. She’s sort of the forgotten commodity of WWE RAW compared to 3 of the 4 horsewomen. But here she had an important victory getting the pin on Bayley and looked very strong in the process. It’ll be nice to see Bayley feud with someone else for the woman’s title other than Charlotte. I enjoy Charlotte as a champion, but the rate they yo yo the women’s championship she’ll be beating her dads record before the end of 2018. So either keep her as the champion without dropping it on RAW, or let her take a back seat now and feud with other people and give Nia a shot at Bayley for a while.
The Miz & John Cena Smackdown Opening: Wow, without a doubt one of the best openings to Smackdown I’ve viewed in a long time. The promo that Miz laid down on Cena about how Cena read the riot act to the Rock about being a part time champion and how Cena isn’t super Cena anymore was all excellent and laid down some credible foundations for seeing Miz vs Cena at Wrestlemania. But it only got better with Cena responding saying there are plenty of other people he’d rather be stood in a ring with right now other than Miz deliberately naming The Undertaker when making his case that he doesn’t get what he wants due to being the WWE’s apparent favourite. He played the crowd into this when the chants of Cena sucks and let’s go Cena started to show the Miz that he’s not everyone’s favourite and that’s okay everyone is entitled to believe what they want. Cena also named dropped Jericho and Daniel Bryan when ripping into Miz saying about his gimmick is built up on other stars. The final segments with Cena dropping the biggest threat of “You’re not the Undertaker, but if you press me again, you’re a deadman” Was fantastic. Maryse would react to the threat on Miz’s behalf and slap Cena, Cena laughing saying “You shouldn’t have done that” For Nikki Bella to come running to the ring and then with her absolutely incredible insult to Maryse “Mess with my man, I’m gonna break yah bitch, you hear me?”.
All of a sudden I actually want to see the rumoured mix tag match at Mania of Cena & Nikki vs Miz and Maryse. Well played WWE, But it’s all thanks to how incredible Cena and Miz are at promo’s that really pushed this.
New Day vs Rusev & Jinder II: And for 2 week’s running New Day find their selves in the Boring section of Shoot Talk, and unfortunately it’s due to who they’ve been booked to do battle with again. However it wasn’t just the match that was pretty annoying, the build up to the match was a piss take of the Oscars error. The wrong team came out to face New Day only for the New Day to be given an envelope and announce that there had been a mistake, and that New Day wouldn’t be facing Shining Stars (who came down previously), but that New Day would be facing Rusev & Jinder. It was a terrible attempt at prolonging the that segment. New Day need something more than terrible filler feuds.
CM Punk Chants: We like CM Punk, But he’s not going to be back anytime soon, so just drop the chants. But please do not chant CM Punk during a pretty serious promo. Seth Rollins was interviewed about his injury and seemed so genuine and looked incredibly distraught at announcing he wouldn’t be making Mania due to the injury. Then he had to pause before continuing as the crowd were chanting for CM Punk. Really? Just quit that. Chant “What” between what Seth had to say if you need to chant something, but CM Punk? Come on.
Dolph Ziggler vs Apollo Crews Chairs Match: Apollo Crews needs direction, but it isn’t losing to a heel Ziggler. And heel Ziggler is going absolutely nowhere at the moment. No idea how to get these guys into the limelight again, but it’s not this way that’s for sure. The only part of Smackdown I wasn’t fully paying attention to and ended up skipping a little bit of.
Kevin Owens Promo Blunder: In the opening segment of RAW, KO would respond to Goldbergs promo. His very first words were botched though as instead of questioning if Goldberg was in a good mood, he asked Goldberg if he was in a “Good Mule?”, this mess up was made all the better when the camera panned to Goldberg briefly who was visibly laughing and smiling.
Time Will Tell, Crap will Smell: After the backstage encounter of Samoa Joe and Cesaro, Sheamus wanted to go for Joe, but Cesaro cooled down Sheamus with some of the wisest words to ever be heard on RAW, “Time will tell, Crap will smell, water will always find balance…. We’re the water!”
AJ Styles Talking about Luke Harper: In the beginning stages of Smackdown AJ confronted Shane and Bryan about last week’s mix-up and the match between between himself and Luke later on. He’d begin to drop insults about Luke, not realizing he was stood behind him. The highlight was questioning if Luke Harper knew what a shower was and claiming that he “Smells like a toe nail!”
Dean Ambrose know’s bad ideas: In an address to Baron Corbin, Ambrose reels off a list of bad ideas, the highlights included “Rollerblading home from happy hour” and “Calling a certain build of women sturdy“.
Samoa Joe vs Cesaro: Unfortunately it looked like Cesaro picked up an injury, but despite this it was a decent match with both looking great. Cesaro if injured managed to pull of some incredible assault on a bad knee.
Luke Harper vs AJ Styles: Shorter match than expected, and a bit of a weird finish, but a decent match to determine Bray’s supposed Wrestlemania opponent.
Luke Harper Getting some attention: During the match of AJ vs Luke Harper, the crowd were split down the middle with chants for AJ Styles and “Let’s go Harper”. Sounded quite surreal to hear this, but it’s awesome that he’s getting recognition and some decent air time. Further proof of the brand split being incredibly beneficial for the blue half of the WWE Universe.
Bray to become stronger?: The ending of Smackdown was incredible, and tapped back into what Smackdown used to be like with incredibly over the top stories. Randy Orton burning the resting place of sister Abigail was meant to weaken Bray, But what if this only fired him up? What if the desecration of Sister Abigail’s resting place is the trigger to set Bray off to the full supernatural character that WWE have flirted with. We’re already sold on the fact that Bray is not quite all there. What if this move is the straw that breaks the camels back and we see full on psycho Bray now? More talking to himself, more aggression, more bizarre then he’s ever been? Plenty here that WWE can play with to make Bray become the biggest supernatural themed wrestler on the roster since the Undertaker or plenty here that WWE can play with to make Bray become the biggest damaged wrestler since Kane. It’s going to be interesting to see how WWE go with this. I just hope they don’t let this opportunity go to waste.
And now onto the final PPV predictions before Wrestlemania. It’s all very tight at the moment, Here’s how we’re looking currently.
And we’re going:
Matt’s not picking a winner for Roman vs Braun, he believes it’ll be a double count out. It’s a brave call.