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  • I really enjoyed Smackdown. While I'm not a fan of Ricochet and that style of spot wrestling, to have his match vs an over heel to kick off a show is really smart. The crowd reacted well to both men, and Corbin wasn't hurt by the loss at all. It reminded me of WCW cruiserweights opening Nitro regularly to get the audience hyped for the next couple of hours.

    The women's gauntlet wasn't perfect, but it did accomplish two important things in getting over Raquel and Shayna. I can't say where the SD women's division goes from here, but the booking on SD proved that new and credible challengers can easily be found and rebuilt. Both Raquel and Shayna have been removed from any focus, but both got a good jump with their accomplishments in that match. With Charlotte and Ronda still possible at any time, and the rumors of Sasha and Naomi possibly returning, Smackdown could have a very crowded title picture soon enough.

    And the Kross return was executed perfectly. First I popped for the music and the production going black and white. Kross attacking Drew was a nice start, but the focus changing to Roman was even better. The Scarlott hourglass part made me mark out a second time. We went from thinking Kross was being a heel when attacking Drew, to not knowing what he'll end up being.


    I mentioned this in the discussion about Jordynna Grace/women's roster in the other thread, but one thing I hope WWE quickly adjusts to is explaining the new rster members to the main roster audience. NXT does a great job, but it's obvious that one weakness we've seen from all NXT graduates since 2012 has been improper debuting angles/establishment of character. Putting Iyo in the ring without any background into who she is was hard for me to enjoy, and I've seen all her NXT work from day one. Even a deeper explanation as to why she's joined Bayley would be great. I understand that it seems to be about people who were ignored, but Iyo really wasn't. She was a star in NXT. And obviously the hint is that because she's been off TV for months means she was ignored, but there should be more of a storyline purpose explained to us. This isn't really hard to accomplish. Bayley is strong enough on the mic that a good promo from her could do wonders. But when people list off NXT success vs NXT failures, the main commonality I find is NXT graduates who get established to the audience , vs those who don't. And it isn't an immediate thing either. Big E and Bayley are two NXT graduates who didn't really connect right away, but eventually found the right character or story to get the crowd to accept them. But EC3, Karrion Kross v.1, Keith Lee, Sanity.... the list is endless of people that were brought up to NXT and floundered, and it feels like all or most of them were expected to succeed off the idea that their NXT reputations were enough. The best success stories of people from NXT succeeding on the main roster are those that had a strong debuting angle or a push where the character was explained to the audience.

    So on the next SD, Kross or Scarlett need a microphone. Let us know why they are back, who they are, why they feel they can attack Drew and threaten the WWE Champ. Bayley needs to carry some mic work for Dakota and Iyo so that they can matter (likely in the women's tag title tourny) . The production team needs to use the efforts they put into the Summerslam videos for KO and Charlotte, and do that for anyone who will be featured on Mondays and Tuesdays. Start with Ciampa. Whether he's only getting his push because of HHH or not, it'll be an uphill battle if all the Raw audience knows about him is that he tags along with The Miz. That duo has not been explained, and anyone who knows Ciampa from NXT needs that connection even more in my opinion because the current version doesn't fit what we know of the former Tommasso.

    This is where the 2.0 show is more impressive than the black and gold NXT. Tiffany Stratton needs a lot of work, but her character is obvious. Same for Tony D'Angelo, Joe Gacy, Andre Chase, Robert Stone, Solo Sikoa...etc. I must add, I'm not saying they are all great characters, but anyone who watches 2.0 knows how they differ from the rest of the roster. This type of attention is needed on the Raw and Blue brands.

    Comment


      • WWE United States Championship Match: Ciampa vs. Bobby Lashley (c)
      • Finn Balor vs. Rey Mysterio
      • Women's Tag Team Championship Tournament

      I've probably said it before, but one of the great things AEW does is hype up their shows in advance. Cards are announced in advance, with special edition shows well hyped. Not sure if we'll be getting Raw Roulette or ay themese on Mondays, but at least they've shown improvement in booking matches at least a week in advance. Some good stuff tonight.

      Any ideas on teams for the women?
      • Doudrop/Nikki
      • Sasha/Naomi
      • Iyo/Dakota
      • Toxic Attraction
      • Alexa/Asuka
      • Other NXT call ups
      • throw together teams
      Another thing I've likely posted before is how a tournament is a great way to launch new teams. In NXT, the Dusty Cup has done that a couple of times, so this has potential to help the women on the main roster as well. Go for the vet/rookie combo, with Natalya calling up Cora Jade as a partner for example.

      I don't think the "HHH taking on Creative" news itself is what's making WWE more exciting, but I can't deny that the last couple of weeks of WWE have been much more intriguing and made the shows feel much more "must see" than recall in a long time.

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      • What about Rhea and Bianca as a team? They get thrown together and win the Tag Titles, only for them to break up leading to Rhea vs Bianca at WM?

        It looks like we are getting a Bianca vs Bayley program for a few months, probably culminating at the Rumble, and I still think that Rhea vs Bianca could be another Rock/Austin or Orton/Cena long term feud for both.

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        • Rhea vs Bianca will happen, but there's no need to rush. Rhea just turned heel. But, with that in mind, Judgment Day might add a female to the stable to create a tag team with Rhea, and I like that idea.

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          • Who would be the female to join?

            A renamed and better heel Dourdop comes to mind.
            Xia Li, also could be a good fit.

            BUT...even Alexa Bliss said she needs a gimmick change....so.....

            From NXT:
            Ivy Nile or Zoey Stark

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            • Doudrop is with Nikki, so no.
              Xia Li is on SD, so no.
              Alexa is face and has been with Asuka lately, so no.

              The rest of the Raw roster would be Carmella, Dana Brooke, Zelina, and Tamina. It wouldn't shock me if Zelina and Carmella join up again, if they are healthy. I think Dana would be the freshest option, though Tamina could also work. Neither are really exciting, but I'd vote Dana of this group.

              From NXT, it won't be either Nile or Stark. Stark just returned to the title picture, and I think she's taking the women's title from Mandy so that stable can move to the main roster. Nile is still way too green, and I don't think they'll touch Diamond Mine right now.

              Who else from NXT might be ready to be called up? Most are green (Stratton, Lash, Cora, Fallon, Ivy, Lyons, Paxley) or involved in stories that will likely keep them on Tuesdays for now (Lopez, Katana/Kayden, Zoey).

              But there are two options that might be ready, aren't in stories, and would fit well in Judgment Day. Indi Hartwell or Alba Fyre. Of the two, I think Fyre is the better option, but Indi might just need a good direction/angle to really showcase what she can do.

              So I vote Alba Fyre and Rhea to become a team.

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              • I assumed the tournament for the Tag Titles would consist of:
                Kai & Sky
                Alexa & Asuka
                Doudrop & Nikki
                Carmella & Vega
                Dana & Tamina
                Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah
                Natalya & Xia Li/Shotzi
                And a team from NXT or a fresh call-up to team with Li/Shotzi.

                I believe they've already announced the finals for Clash at the Castle where you'd presume it'll be Kai & Sky vs. Alexa & Asuka and the winners, probably the former, will be confronted by the returning Banks & Naomi. Or they'll be added to the match to make it a 3-way.

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                • Lyons/Stark.... I don't think anyone could have predicted that combo.

                  Raw Brackets:
                  Tamina/Dana vs Dakota/Iyo
                  Alexa/Asuka vs Nikki/Doudrop

                  SD Brackets:
                  Raquel/Aliyah vs Xia Li/Shotzi
                  Lyons/Stark vs Natalya/Deville


                  The Raw side is much stronger. Hard to predict who will make it through the SD side,though I think Xia/Shotzi seem to have the best cohesion in terms of look/gimmick?

                  Not sure about the tournament ending at Clash at the Castle since they booked the 6 woman tag for that show, though I guess it's possible the top 2 teams (in my opinion) will be eliminated.
                  Last edited by PEN15v2; 08-08-2022, 10:34 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
                    Not sure about the tournament ending at Clash at the Castle since they booked the 6 woman tag for that show, though I guess it's possible the top 2 teams (in my opinion) will be eliminated.
                    My guess is that Iyo/Dakota/Bayley cost Alexa/Asuka their first round match, and then Alexa/Asuka/Belair cost Iyo/Dakota their second round one. WWE have essentially booked themselves an out for both of their matches - it's equally possible that we end up with that happening in both first round ones and we get Tamina/Dana vs Nikki/Doudrop, I guess. Either way, I see Nikki/Doudrop getting through to the final, because there's nothing more we love here in Britain than people being British.

                    I'm assuming Lyons and Stark will be a short-term call up just for this tournament and not permanent roster fixtures - Stark is in the middle of stuff with Rose in NXT, and Lyons is kind of starting to put it together but not quite there. Speaks to a, frankly, disappointing lack of depth that this *gestures at the brackets* is it. I get that they've not got Naomi/Sasha currently, and wouldn't put Charlotte and Lacey together as the former's return, but those names plus Liv and Shayna is essentially the whole Smackdown women's roster right now.

                    Shayna should beat Liv, by the way. Not for any reason, I just want Shayna to be champion.

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                    • I've never made it a secret that I'm not a huge Shayna fan. I love her aura, but don't think she's all that great as a pro wrestler.

                      However, Shayna vs Ronda for the belt would be a program I'd be hugely into.
                      https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                      My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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                      • I haven't gone looking other than to the Clash wiki page, but you're the only source saying the tournament is ending in Wales.

                        While I'm enjoying these returns (Kross, Lumis) I really don't want the shows to be dependent on that. That well will dry out, or else we'll be asked to care about the returns of Bo Dallas and Alicia Fox.

                        COACH, I like Shayna a lot. I think the aura you like counts for more for my taste than it does for you. I like Becky, Alexa, Rey, and plenty of others in that style of presentation. But I think we'll always need people like Brock, Roman and Shayna to just be monster physical threats. And someone like Liv just doesn't work for me, so Shayna winning the title off her to change things up would be great. That being said, I don't know if that's what going to happen. Liv has something going for her, even if the audience was split last Friday, and babyfaces aren't easy to get over, so I see the logic in trying to keep her on top somehow. I just don't think they'll do it convincingly when such dominant women are chasing her down.

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                        • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
                          I haven't gone looking other than to the Clash wiki page, but you're the only source saying the tournament is ending in Wales.
                          I could have sworn they said it when announcing the brackets on Raw, but now I don't see it said on the WWE website so maybe I didnt catch it right. Would kind of make sense to have the finals there, to me, but maybe I'm imagining hearing things.

                          Agree with you about the surprise returns. They've been effective (I quite liked that - what I assume was - Lumis crashed a car backstage and it was just a thing in the background of various interviews without really being discussed or referenced) but probably need a bit of care taken over doing then too much right now.

                          Although I'd love Bo back. I always liked Bo.

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                          • Yeah I seem to remember hearing or reading about the tournament ending at Clash at the Castle but I really can't recall where so maybe it'll end on the Raw or Smackdown beforehand.

                            As for the surprise returns, I'm a bit 'meh' on them. Lumis only seemed interesting/entertaining during the InDex story, and I've been watching him since he debuted in Impact 8ish years ago, and debuting Kross right now in the way they are seems a bit random and scattergun. With Clash being such a big show I think they should put all their focus on Reigns vs. McIntyre as they've only wrestled once since Reigns returned as a heel and he needed help to win, and for the first time since 'Mania last year there's a real possibility he'll lose. Inserting Kross could undermine all that, although I'm hopeful in being proven wrong.

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                            • Hit Row without Swerve seems odd to me, but they'll bolster the tag division, and Top Dolla has potential for more. It still feels weird though.

                              I'm enjoying how they are using the midcard titles on each show. Well promoted defenses, in this case as the main event of Smackdown. Hype promo for the title itself each night, and then the story of the match told. Promos from all involved in the build up.

                              I believe it's something I've stated before, but the midcard title should be treated like TV championships. Save the WWE title for the PPVs, and use the US and IC titles (along with the women's and tag titles) to headline TV. I know it's not a common idea shared among online fans, but the main event title (or titles if they get separated) and the champion shouldn't be on every week. And they don't need to defend every month on PPV either. I'll dare say that the Royal Rumble should be like the Money in the Bank, and not have the Champ involved. I know it's unlikely, but unless there's a story beat that's needed, the title match is often just filler. My guess is as long as they are booking stadiums for the Rumble, the WWE Champ will defend. But if they ever return to an arena where there's no risk of not selling it out for a huge show like Rumble, then don't book the Champ.

                              Because one of the weird positives of this insane reign for Roman is that many of the early challengers are fresh again. If Braun or Bray return, they could be instant contenders. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are a Home contendership match victory away from another shot, and it won't feel like overkill. Once someone is reinvented, it's a possibility. Drew and Roman have fought a lot over the last few of years but this match in the UK still feels fresh.

                              Powder and I were talking about who else could challenge Roman at Wrestlemania of The Rock isn't involved. And i really felt that with the next 6 months to work, there were quite a few options, even if they are rematches. They might not feel Mania worthy at this moment, but 6 months is a long time to create something special with Owens, Rollins, Riddle, Orton, AJ, Edge, Theory, Gunther, Lashley (though I feel he's the least fresh option that will be on this list), McIntyre, Moss... And that's forgetting the return of Cody, and the extreme long shot of Big E. Lots of options, despite whatever Roman says about no one being left.

                              AEW didn't create this formula, but they likely inspired HHH/WWE, because they had full screen hype ads for next week's Smackdown for 3 segments. AEW really nails that, and have since day one. I don't follow AEW at all, but I know the matches for the next dynamite because the cards are booked in advance and hyped for at least a week and then well shared online. They ended Smackdown letting us know that the return to Montreal will have another women's tag tournament match, Roman and Drew facing off, and the Viking Funeral. It's not much, but it's a great thing to do because even if one viewer who didn't watch all of Smackdown saw Nikkita Lyons and thought "I want to see what she can do next week", that's an extra viewer next week. Obviously Roman is the bigger draw, so that's important, but there's no reason to keep the rest of the card a secret.

                              ​​​​​
                              It's a good time to be a WWE fan. I get excited for each show now, and I devote more attention to them. I missed a lot of the Raw car accident backstage stuff because I'm so used to listening to promos. Once I tell things are going backstage, I keep the Bluetooth headphones on, while I go clean litter boxes or whatever. So I didn't didn't see any of the car stuff until after raw was done while seeing reviews online. So I paid more attention to Smackdown. In general, these shows have been more rewarding, despite the fact that the content hasn't really changed as much as has been hyped. There's definitely a different feel for the shows, but in the end WWE is still WWE. But, it feels different, and I'm really considering getting last minute tickets to raw in Toronto. I didn't care when they were announced. But now? Good times.
                              Last edited by PEN15v2; 08-13-2022, 02:54 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Hit Row without Swerve seems odd to me, but they'll bolster the tag division, and Top Dolla has potential for more. It still feels weird though.

                                I'm enjoying how they are using the midcard titles on each show. Well promoted defenses, in this case as the main event of Smackdown. Hype promo for the title itself each night, and then the story of the match told. Promos from all involved in the build up.

                                I believe it's something I've stated before, but the midcard title should be treated like TV championships. Save the WWE title for the PPVs, and use the US and IC titles (along with the women's and tag titles) to headline TV. I know it's not a common idea shared among online fans, but the main event title (or titles if they get separated) and the champion shouldn't be on every week. And they don't need to defend every month on PPV either. I'll dare say that the Royal Rumble should be like the Money in the Bank, and not have the Champ involved. I know it's unlikely, but unless there's a story beat that's needed, the title match is often just filler. My guess is as long as they are booking stadiums for the Rumble, the WWE Champ will defend. But if they ever return to an arena where there's no risk of not selling it out for a huge show like Rumble, then don't book the Champ.

                                Because one of the weird positives of this insane reign for Roman is that many of the early challengers are fresh again. If Braun or Bray return, they could be instant contenders. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are a # 1 contendership match victory away from another shot, and it won't feel like overkill. Once someone is reinvented, it's a possibility. Drew and Roman have fought a lot over the last few of years but this match in the UK still feels fresh.

                                Powder and I were talking about who else could challenge Roman at Wrestlemania of The Rock isn't involved. And i really felt that with the next 6 months to work, there were quite a few options, even if they are rematches. They might not feel Mania worthy at this moment, but 6 months is a long time to create something special with Owens, Rollins, Riddle, Orton, AJ, Edge, Theory, Gunther, Lashley (though I feel he's the least fresh option that will be on this list), McIntyre, Moss... And that's forgetting the return of Cody, and the extreme long shot of Big E. Lots of options, despite whatever Roman says about no one being left.

                                AEW didn't create this formula, but they likely inspired HHH/WWE, because they had full screen hype ads for next week's Smackdown for 3 segments. AEW really nails that, and have since day one. I don't follow AEW at all, but I know the matches for the next dynamite because the cards are booked in advance and hyped for at least a week and then well shared online. They ended Smackdown letting us know that the return to Montreal will have another women's tag tournament match, Roman and Drew facing off, and the Viking Funeral. It's not much, but it's a great thing to do because even if one viewer who didn't watch all of Smackdown saw Nikkita Lyons and thought "I want to see what she can do next week", that's an extra viewer next week. Obviously Roman is the bigger draw, so that's important, but there's no reason to keep the rest of the card a secret.

                                ​​​​​
                                It's a good time to be a WWE fan. I get excited for each show now, and I devote more attention to them. I missed a lot of the Raw car accident backstage stuff because I'm so used to listening to promos. Once I tell things are going backstage, I keep the Bluetooth headphones on, while I go clean litter boxes or whatever. So I didn't didn't see any of the car stuff until after raw was done while seeing reviews online. So I paid more attention to Smackdown. In general, these shows have been more rewarding, despite the fact that the content hasn't really changed as much as has been hyped. There's definitely a different feel for the shows, but in the end WWE is still WWE. But, it feels different, and I'm really considering getting last minute tickets to raw in Toronto. I didn't care when they were announced. But now? Good times.
                                Last edited by PEN15v2; 08-13-2022, 02:57 AM. Reason: Darn phone autocorrect, and then being flagged for spam when I correct it

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