It’s been a strange week within the WWE. Unexpected number one contenders, Returning stars and new arrivals to NXT, Secondary titles treated as main belts. Plenty to talk about and there has been plenty of reaction to some of the larger newsworthy events within the WWE the past week. I have to openly admit though, this week I did not watch RAW or 205 Live. I made a start with RAW and got as far as The Good Brothers vs Enzo & Cass but switched off. By all accounts after reading impressions of RAW I made a mistake and should have stuck through it as there were some apparently good segments further on. I did enjoy the bits of Braun I saw before switching off too.
There was also the saddening news that former WWE Tag Team Champion and member of the Anoa’i wrestling family “Rosey” passed away at the age of 47 on the 17th April.
WWE Championship Number 1 Contenders Match: Smackdown is in a weird place right now. It’s still great, it’s acquired some incredible roster members from the superstar shakeup, but boy is it bizarro world right now. In the latest episode of Smackdown, 6 of the roster squared off with the prize being a shot at the WWE Championship. There were some large SD roster members missing though such as AJ, KO, Corbin and Nakamura. But this is just some further examples of bizzaro world in effect as AJ and Corbin continue to feud over becoming Number one for the US Championship? Yeah, the US title is currently contested with the largest roster talent. It’s awesome. But I digress from my point. The 6 guys in the number one contender match consisted of Luke Harper, Sami Zayn, Eric Rowan, Mojo Rawley, Dolph Ziggler and Jinder Mahaal. All 6 guys put on a great display in this match, Each of them had a nice bit of time to shine individually and showcase their talent. There were some great spots involving all 6 guys too. The result was something, that’s for sure, but the match was overall very awesome doing a great job of giving of the participants a moment to look strong and build their stock up.
Kevin Owens – The face of America: It would appear that KO is going to be the top heel on Smackdown Live, and his new entrance is a brilliant addition to his heel persona. Sometimes though you can get a little tired of the ‘Foreigner winning the US title and making fun of Americans’ bit, but I think that Owens can generate a lot more reaction in this gimmick that others could. His mic abilities and promo work will ensure that he really does rub the audience up the wrong way. I also highly anticipate seeing AJ Styles and Owens clash over this title.
Dean Ambrose vs The Miz: This is pretty annoying. I don’t dislike either of these guys, quite the opposite in fact especially in the case of The Miz. These guys feuding on Smackdown Live over the IC title or for whatever other reason is fine as they were both initially drafted to that show last year, so that’s fine it makes sense. We had them feud and it was good. Now they’ve both been swapped over to RAW do we need to see them feud again. The point of the shakeup was the get fresh feuds and rivalries. Charlotte going to SD was perfect to keep her away from Sasha and Bayley for a while, and same for Alexa going the other way. So you’d be hoping that Ambrose would be putting his IC title on the line against the likes of Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins etc while they are away from the Universal title picture, but nope, it looks like Ambrose first feud on RAW will be one he’s already had on SD. I guess i’ll be cool with it should The Miz take the title back and continue the good work he did with it last year.
2 Superplexes followed by a sunset flip – Smackdown Live – 18/04/2017: During the WWE Number one contender match, there was a spot involving all 6 participants at once as 2 wrestlers were superplexed from the top rope, followed by Sami Zayn delivering a sunset flip. Was a great segment.
I’ll burn it down all the same – Smackdown Live – 18/04/2017: As Randy Orton is out addressing the WWE Number one contender after the match, Bray interrupts on the titan-tron and continues the build for the house of horrors match. Randy’s response was very cool. “I don’t know what a house of horrors is, but if it’s anything like the last house you brought me to, I’ll burn it down all the same!”
We will not see Roman tonight – RAW – 17/04/2017: Braun Strowman announces to the WWE universe in the ring that he is “Damn proud to announce that Roman Reigns will not be here tonight!” to which the crowd respond… “Yyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy”. Probably not the intended reaction.
I didn’t watch the whole episode because I’m a stupid idiot: That said though, I did watch a few highlights online, and I’m pretty intrigued in watching the whole Jeff Hardy vs Cesaro match. The parts I saw did look pretty decent.
WWE Championship Number one contenders match: Undoubtedly the highlight of the night. AJ Styles vs Corbin later on in the night was also good, as was Charlotte vs Naomi, in fact SD was pretty decent in general despite lacking Becky or Nakamura. But that 6 Pack challenge was class.
Hideo Itami Returns: NXT had a very glorious opening with Bobby Roode out effectively holding himself responsible for finishing the old guard of NXT off and suggesting that with beating Nakamura he started the new better NXT with him as the leading man. It’s a pretty decent promo and makes sense when you think of the callups as of late and the golden generation of Zayn, KO, Finn, Samoa Joe etc etc all on main show. All of that generation apart from one man, Itami! He came to the ring and didn’t say a word, he just slapped Roode. An angered Roode took his jacket off, undid his shirt sleeves and rolled them up, took off his expensive watch all the while mouthing off at a stone cold looking Itami, And then….. BOOOM… GTS and the Full Sail crowd erupt. I’m happy to see WWE haven’t forgotten about Itami, and from reading some taping spoilers (I’m a stupid idiot) I’m very excited for the shows coming up.
I didn’t watch because I’m a stupid idiot.
Jinder Mahal is WWE Championship Number 1 contender: Wow, where did that come from. From the participants in that match I genuinely would have put Jinder down as the least likely to win this. Yeah even Eric Rowan seemed more likely, but wow. This result has certainly caused a stir and people are arguing that Jinder is nothing more than a jobber that does not deserve this push. I agree, Jinder is a jobber. But isn’t it a refreshing feeling having someone completely left field and new challenge for the top prize. Jinder will not win the championship, no chance. So I don’t understand why people need to be upset. What this does is give WWE more options in the future for mid-card feuds. As Jinder is commonly known as a jobber, this little bump escalates him to at least mid-card status now. While Zayn or Harper are of course the ideal people to have won this, they will get a shot at the WWE title down the road, and they’ll probably get multiple shots at it too, not to mention they’ll also probably hold other WWE gold too. Jinder is getting this one shot, it’ll be his only shot, and he’ll be away from it after his loss. It’s a good way to increase his value a little bit, to ensure he can be called upon for any future mid-card feuds to fill slots and even help the likes of the upper mid-card talent go over. If Jinder should win the title though…. wow?
RAW IS BRAUN: Seriously who is this guy? Braun Strowman was once ridiculed as nothing more than a big man. He was destined to be nothing and forgotten about. The initial brand split having Braun on a different show as seen as the death of Braun. Nope!
Smackdown Live reinvigorated a lot of people after the split and made stars of unexpected individuals. Miz had one of the best runs he’s had for ages and Baron became a stop roster member. RAW wasn’t so hot in that front with the likes of the Club,Zayn and Rusev all just left to be. What’s happened though is Braun has become one of the examples of the brand split working for a roster member on RAW. Of course his physique plays a massive part too as he’s destined to now be in main event scene purely from size as well as wrestling ability. But it seems just about everything about Braun has improved leaps and bounds since flying solo. His menacing big guy persona, his in ring ability, his mannerisms when not saying anything and his actual mic work has improved. It’s odd to say that he is now one of the highlights of the show, and he’s getting over with the fans, especially in this program with Roman. Hopefully we don’t get a similar treatment here though, as in, let’s hope that Braun isn’t shoved in our faces as fast as Roman was, as this hard work could crumble rather quickly.