Shoot Talk #26

And here we are again, It’s certainly been an eventful week in the world of wrestling on TV and err… off TV and on the internet. Unfortunate privacy breaches for some current and former WWE superstars have left the wrestling world in a bit of a confused state. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss. We’re getting ever closer to Wrestlemania. We’ve got just one episode of RAW, Smackdown, NXT and 205 Live left before Wrestlemania Axxes next Friday which will feature ICW, PROGRESS and the British WWE roster and titles in action. In other sad news former WWE commentator and legend JR lost his wife from the result of a tragic accident which saw the wrestling community come together to express their sympathies to JR.

Cesaro & Sheamus say farewell to Mick Foley: So Mick Foley’s tenure as General Manager of RAW comes to an end as he was fired on the 20th March episode. I guess it was a long time coming and there have been plentiful rumours of Kurt Angle potentially filling in as a GM role after Mania. Foley did really did make a difference on RAW despite how critical I might be of RAW, and surprisingly one of his more genius moves was the best of 7 series with Sheamus vs Cesaro. At the time I hated it, and thought it would be boring. But the result of having Cesaro and Sheamus as a tag team has been nothing short of genius. Sheamus was always under the radar for me, never particularly a fan, yet complete opposite feelings for Cesaro, always wanting more for him as it’s evident how talented he is. The teaming up of these 2 by Foley has rejuvenated both of them and I love the pairing of them. They have one of the best entrances in WWE right now and are at the best they’ve been for a long time. The moment backstage where Foley bumps into them while leaving and getting goodbye’s and thank you’s from Cesaro and Sheamus was to me awesome, as it was a reminder of that despite alot of the bad that RAW’s had since the brand split, Foley really did give us some good too.

New Day’s promo after the privacy scandal: This week’s WWE programming was always going to be difficult. The leaks of various WWE superstars private lives was always going to be brought up by fans in some way. And that would be the case on RAW with the crowd chanting that they wanted Paige during a women’s match up. In fairness that’s alot nicer than I had thought would be chanted. It could have been worse. Now New Day seem to be not involved in matches as of late, letting other tag teams take the spotlight in the ring, but to keep them on our TV’s we are getting backstage segments and promo’s about them hosting Wrestlemania. So when the moment arrives we see New Day backstage with Xavier Woods stood in the middle of Kofi and Big E looking a little distressed with Kofi and Big E staring at him with cheeky smiles and eyes displaying the sort of “you fucked up” look. Big E ask’s Xavier “Is there something you want to tell us?” To which Xavier replies flat out and instantly….”WRESTLEMANIA!”, in which all 3 then proceed to big up the event. It was well played by WWE to not flat out ignore what had happened, but quickly swat it away and Xavier seemed his normal self.

Should also be noted that during this promo we found out that Big E can do an incredible Paul Heyman impression when shouting “Broooocccckkkkk Leeeesssssnnnaaaarrrr!”. And another highlight was when they discussed Smackdown’s side of the show the match between Randy and Bray was mentioned with Kofi closing it off staring at the TV and saying in a serious but somewhat hilarious manner “You can’t ever trust a viper!” Good segment all round considering the events of the week.

Total Bella’s Bullshit: Nope not a typo. Smackdown aired some apparent lost footage of the new TV show Total Bella’s. It was in fact The Miz and his wife Maryse impersonating John Cena and Nikki. Each part was absolutely brilliant with Miz’s portrayal of Cena’s movements scarily accurate. It was a nice addition to this ongoing feud between the power couples. Although it all seems to point towards Cena proposing to Nikki in the ring at the end of the Mania match based on how much piss taking there is of Cena flat out not proposing to Nikki in their sketch of Total Bella’s. Very entertaining stuff in this feud.

Dana’s back in her place: So last week I was hyped that Dana Brooke had snapped and attacked Charlotte. Well after that impressive and aggressive display last week, Dana had her match with Charlotte to be squashed within 3 minutes. I guess they aren’t going to have Charlotte lose 2 weeks out from Mania, but it would have been nice to see a little longer match between the 2 and at least have Dana looking a little bit stronger even if Charlotte was going to win. Shame as last week looked like it could be a good break for Dana, shame for her to fall to a quick and easy loss.

RAW was replay after replay after replay: RAW was pretty weak this week with the bulk of the show being made up from replay packages of previous RAW’s and PPVs at the back end of 2016. We had replays of the shenanigans between Reigns and Strowman scattered throughout the show from the Royal Rumble, to Strowman pushing Reigns into the ring post when it broke. Goldberg vs Lesnar had a hype package that was split up into sections which were again scattered out during RAW in spots to fill time. We then had numerous replays of Rollins beating from HHH and Samoa Joe all those weeks ago. In terms of match times, one of the cruiser weight matches was given 3 minutes. Dana vs Charlotte was given just about 5 minutes. They could and should have had more time. Cruiser’s are getting a bit shafted and seem to be struggling to build momentum. The division they have is certainly capable of putting on classics like we saw in the tournament if given time. 3 minutes sure isn’t going to help. I get 2 weeks before Mania you want to build that card up. But a 3 hour wrestling show and you give 3 minutes to one cruiser match and 5 minutes to your former WWE woman’s champion against her former follower who looks to be getting a little bit of momentum. Come on.

The Fall of Tyler Breeze: Okay I will admit it was funny, but god damn you have to feel sorry for Tyler Breeze. And Fandango for that matter. Breeze was once a legitimate contender for the NXT championship. He featured in main events at their starting Takeover’s competing for that belt. Fandango while always a little further away from any title contention was once given a win at his debut Wrestlemania over Jericho. Now look at them both. Breeze was dressed up as Nikki accompanied the rather camply dressed Fandango. Then they both had to job to Cena and Nikki, yes, Breeze jobbed to Nikki. It must be humiliating for them both, and that’s no disrespect to Nikki. But to be one of NXT’s top talents and a bright future to squash matches dressed as a woman and tapping out to Nikki.

HHH’s final words to Foley – RAW – 20/03/2017: So as Foley is now fired, he’s making his way backstage saying his goodbyes to everyone. He spots The Game, HHH. HHH says nothing, walks to Foley and then shouts…“Have a nice day!” And walks off.

Y2J’s Highlight Reel – RAW – 20/03/2017: Jericho’s guest on highlight reel is the real Kevin Owens. Jericho shows a picture of a young KO wearing a Jericho T-shirt with a Jericho poster on the wall to the left of KO and a women in a bikini on the other side.His description of said women being a “Random chesty blond on the on the other side who isn’t half the sexy beast I am, you dig?”

Sheamus is the carrots! – RAW – 20/03/2017: As Cesaro and Sheamus are interviewed backstage about their bringing together and their current friendship they’re compared to peas and carrots. Cesaro responds while pointing to Sheamus’ mohawk with “He’s the carrots right?” 

Braun sells like a champ – RAW – 20/03/2017: Braun Strowman took a chokeslam from The Undertaker on RAW, Braun isn’t exactly the smallest guy and given Taker’s current physique and strength should never in a million years be able to chokeslam Braun. Strowman did all the work though and sold a chokeslam like a boss getting a good jump to ensure good height was given on the slam. Well done Braun.

Bray and his followers attack Randy – Smackdown – 21/03/2017: Backstage Randy is giving an interview and the lights start flickering. He instantly jumps to blaming Bray and calls him out. Next thing he is engulfed by men in sheep masks and pinned back. Bray then appears and begins to lay threats to Randy. This supernatural stuff is really pretty damn cool. It’s good to see some of these ridiculous kind of storylines featuring paranormal stuff that wouldn’t look out of place on RAW or Smackdown during the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression era’s.

Really not a lot to choose here. But Cesaro and Sheamus entrance before their handicap match was genuinely one of the highlights of RAW. Not because it was any different to their normal entrances, but because RAW was really lacking that much this week and because Cesaro and Sheamus entrance is one of the best in WWE right now.

Smackdown was the complete opposite of RAW, there was almost too much to choose as the best of. Uso’s vs American Alphha at the start of the show has to be the legitimate highlight though. Great tag action featuring high spots, near falls, great tag team saves that had the crowd chanting “This is awesome”, and rightly so.

Andrade Cien Almas vs Oney Lorcan: Andrade continues to progress towards the main event level performer that he can be on NXT. The darker and more aggressive Andrade is doing wonders for his NXT tenure.

Sami Zayn sticking up for Foley… makes no sense: Zayn comes to the ring to defend Foley as he’s fired. This makes no sense at all. Out of all people to come to Foley’s aid Zayn? Cesaro or Sheamus sure, any of the cruiserweights who Foley has been promoting, or even any of the women just coming down to give support makes sense for what he did with the women’s division. But Zayn, the guy that Foley said wasn’t good enough to take on Braun, the guy that Foley on a weekly basis would not book matches for and try to protect, the guy who said he was trading Zayn for Eva Marie (albeit to fire Zayn up) came out to protect Foley, and then got choked up backstage at Foley’s departure. It seemed weird to me.

Wrestlemania missing key people: Right now Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe are yet to have a match all though I guess they’ll feature in the Battle Royal. Finn Balor has had in ring action in dark matches and house shows so I’d guess is clear for Mania. It just adds more frustration to my point of AJ having a match with Shane when they could have had a cross promo match or something of AJ vs one of those guys.

Asuka confident run: Asuka squashed Priscilla Zuniga from start to finish in there match on NXT. Asuka toyed with Zuniga lifting her shoulders off the mat to stop a pinfall to inflict more punishment. The over confident and cocky character coming out of Asuka is a good thing and she should be like this going undefeated in her whole NXT career and becoming longest reigning NXT woman’s champion. But you can already see how this is going to end. The over confidence of Asuaka all but sets up her losing her NXT title to Ember Moon at Takeover Orlando. If it means Asuka moves up to the main roster though this is okay, as long as she doesn’t get eaten up in the constant yo-yo-ing of the RAW woman’s title between Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha.

Southpaw Regional Wrestling: WWE have started a new Wrestling promotion. Kind of. Southpaw Regional Wrestling is a mock on the nostalgic wrestling from the 80s and features current roster members portraying retro themed wrestlers. And it’s god damn hilarious. Rusev, Cena, Tyler Breeze and the Club all feature plus more. I can’t do it justice, just go to WWE’s youtube channel and take a look. From my last check there were 4 episodes no longer than 7 minutes.

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