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  • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    Austin Theory - Online complaints about his losing streak are hilarious to me. No long term MITB contract holder has had a great record before cashing in. Edge, Punk, Dolph, Miz.... they all lost big matches before successfully cashing in. Heels don't need wins to get over. I'm not saying losing can't hurt him, but losing hasn't hurt him so far. He can be booked for a match vs Drew McIntyre tonight, and it would still be a 50/50 bet on who might win. Theory is fine. He's not riding the same push as he was before HHH took over, but the amount of people who have been pushed really well since then more than averages everything out. Plus, he's not hurt by the attention being elsewhere. He's plateaued, or been stagnant. That can be bad, but in this case can be fixed easily. Seriously, one big moment or win on TV rights that ship without issue. That's the gift of a heel's push. He can attack Roman from behind tonight, and run away through the crowd without any promo time, and he's immediately back where he was.
    I think that's a big part of the problem. MITB worked for a guy like Edge because he'd been established in the company for 7-8 years featured strongly beforehand, and most of the year leading up wasn't all that bad for Edge.

    If you're going to win the belt, you can lose matches along the way to set up obvious challengers when you're Champion, but overall you should be beating most people on the level of the current Champion and below. Especially when you aren't as well established.

    They've got a potential next top star on their hands, and overall he probably shouldn't be losing to people like Johnny Gargano who will never have that level of upside, whether he could potentially cash in MITB successfully or not.

    Yes, they could just strap a rocket to Theory tomorrow and "all is forgotten", or have him win the belt from Roman in Saudi Arabia after his match with Paul and most of their current fans would just roll with it because that's how they've trained fans for 15 years. But he'd be in a better place when he reaches the destination if he were winning, pushed and featured as a guy steadily working his way to the top, as opposed to putting over Gargano.
    Last edited by Team Farrell; 10-31-2022, 07:33 PM.
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    • My point isn't that the booking has been perfect. Merely that it's not the doom and gloom the extreme side of the IWC tends to panic with.

      Everyone, including Roman, could be booked better/stronger. But we've seen the negative side of halting the momentum of upcoming talent quite often during the runs of Cena and Reigns. I think it's genuinely really hard to pinpoint a time where the overall booking for the main event talent has been better than right now (an argument could be made for the Attitude Era, but I would say that era got weakened by having the title moving to too many people too often). Despite two years of dominance, there's still more than a handful of credible new champions of the trigger is pulled. That includes Theory. There's no doubt that MITB runs become dependent on weakness until the eventual successful cash in, but they still work out more often than not.

      I also think it's funny that the theory is that HHH thinks of Gargano as a real HHH project, despite Theory also being a HHH/NXT project.

      Gargano as a babyface is really hot right now, but I think most of us know there's a time limit to how long a white meat underdog babyface without a character will succeed. Theory is the real long term project. Gargano gets the short term push, while the long game is played with Theory.

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      • What would stronger/better booking look like for Reigns?

        Twitter: @libsuperstar

        Comment


        • I guess I just feel a little concerned that despite Triple H being an "old school NWA guy", he's also been learning from Vince for 25 years and god knows Vince hasn't been able to get people over worth a damn for a decade or more. He finally made it happen with Roman, but goddamn was it ever a trek to get there.

          Theory would be a guy that should probably be beating everyone right now. He should probably be getting a touch more serious right now, though his age still allows him to pull it off. Roman is 37 and already doing the part time thing. He might be fully retired by 45. Theory is a guy that you could be anointing in the main event of WrestleMania three years from now, but that process should be starting now. They should be getting his ass over, without shoving him down peoples throats.

          He'd be a great candidate for a program with Edge, where maybe he doesn't win out in the end but he picks up some victories along the way and establishes that he's Edge's equal. Maybe he gets that match with Cena, and steals one just barely. He wins, but they're not trying to get you to buy that he's "better" than Cena...yet. He should probably even be mixing it up with guys like Kevin Owens. It's a shame that Orton isn't around, because he'd be a great guy to work with Theory -- again, maybe Theory doesn't beat Orton clean in the middle at the end of it all, but just keep establishing him as able to go toe-to-toe with the biggest stars.

          I'm a little worried that because Theory is a Vince project, and Triple H is bringing in all "his" guys (not a critique either, that's exactly what you'd expect a new booker coming in to a territory to do), that Triple H is going to use Theory to try and get over guys that'll never have a fraction of the upside of Theory, assuming he can go back and undo it all later but he might not be able to.

          He might be able to enough to get the current fanbase on board, but not enough to make the next John Cena. I see Cena potential in Theory.

          It's also not insignificant to note the difference in how Reigns was treated early on and how Theory is being treated. When he was a heel that was kicking ass, people got behind Reigns (and then they fumbled it for a few years). But if they'd brought him in as the guy who's obviously got the star potential, but loses more than he wins despite having a gimmick to hang his hat on, he probably never would have reached that initial status that made them push him as a big single babyface to begin with.
          Last edited by Team Farrell; 11-01-2022, 02:54 AM.
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          • Originally posted by LibSuperstar View Post
            What would stronger/better booking look like for Reigns?
            Clean wins instead of Bloodline interference, more dominating wins instead of close fights,


            Originally posted by Team Farrell View Post
            I guess I just feel a little concerned that despite Triple H being an "old school NWA guy", he's also been learning from Vince for 25 years and god knows Vince hasn't been able to get people over worth a damn for a decade or more. He finally made it happen with Roman, but goddamn was it ever a trek to get there.

            Theory would be a guy that should probably be beating everyone right now. He should probably be getting a touch more serious right now, though his age still allows him to pull it off. Roman is 37 and already doing the part time thing. He might be fully retired by 45. Theory is a guy that you could be anointing in the main event of WrestleMania three years from now, but that process should be starting now. They should be getting his ass over, without shoving him down peoples throats.

            He'd be a great candidate for a program with Edge, where maybe he doesn't win out in the end but he picks up some victories along the way and establishes that he's Edge's equal. Maybe he gets that match with Cena, and steals one just barely. He wins, but they're not trying to get you to buy that he's "better" than Cena...yet. He should probably even be mixing it up with guys like Kevin Owens. It's a shame that Orton isn't around, because he'd be a great guy to work with Theory -- again, maybe Theory doesn't beat Orton clean in the middle at the end of it all, but just keep establishing him as able to go toe-to-toe with the biggest stars.

            I'm a little worried that because Theory is a Vince project, and Triple H is bringing in all "his" guys (not a critique either, that's exactly what you'd expect a new booker coming in to a territory to do), that Triple H is going to use Theory to try and get over guys that'll never have a fraction of the upside of Theory, assuming he can go back and undo it all later but he might not be able to.

            He might be able to enough to get the current fanbase on board, but not enough to make the next John Cena. I see Cena potential in Theory.

            It's also not insignificant to note the difference in how Reigns was treated early on and how Theory is being treated. When he was a heel that was kicking ass, people got behind Reigns (and then they fumbled it for a few years). But if they'd brought him in as the guy who's obviously got the star potential, but loses more than he wins despite having a gimmick to hang his hat on, he probably never would have reached that initial status that made them push him as a big single babyface to begin with.
            I still don't see how Theory was a Vince guy. Theory was first in NXT, which is the HHH project. Then he was called up by Paul Heyman during the short time he ran Raw. When Vince took Raw back over, Theory was dropped back to NXT and again became a HHH guy. Theory got called back up by Vince later on. There is way more of a connection with HHH than Vince, and I think people are conflating the kayfabe angle of McMahon mentoring Theory as more legitimate than it was. Obviously Vince saw something in Theory, much like you and many do. So why wouldn't HHH see it also, especially since he signed him before Vince ever saw him.

            There's absolutely nothing to be worried about. Theory has mixed it up with Kevin Owens, and last night with Seth Rollins, and been booked to be just not quite ready to be at their level. Very similar to how Cena was booked in 2003, who lost on PPV to Brock, Undertaker, and Angle.

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            • Raw Preview
              Crown Jewel Fallout:
              • Bobby Lashley lost to Brock Lesnar
              • Damage CTRL won back the tag titles, while Bayley lost her chance at the Raw women's title
              • Judgment Day defeated AJ and the Good Brothers
              • Omos lost to Braun
              • Though they spend most of their time on Smackdown, Bloodline might have some involvement leading to Survivor Series


              I think it's pretty obvious that we will be getting Rhea vs Beth pretty soon. I'm guessing at a grudge match at Survivor Series.

              For War Games, I think Nikki Cross is aligning with Damage CRTL, but they'll need a 5th. Same for Bianca, Alexa, Asuka, and Candice.





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              • I see a couple of ways they could go with the Damage CTRL vs Good Guys WarGames. It seems clear now that Cross is going to be on the Damage CTRL side, so it is just that fifth member.

                Based on last night's Raw and the new addition to The OC, it could be that Rhea goes on the DC side, and the new face on the good guys side (trying to keep spoiler free...) to make it 5 vs 5.

                Rhea vs Beth would be logical, but I'm not sure it's going to happen soon.

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                • Who is the 5th good girl?
                  Bianca
                  Alexa
                  Asuka
                  Mia
                  ????

                  Comment


                  • Candice Larae seems most logical

                    Oliver, I was obviuosly wrong about Beth vs Rhea being soon. The hairdo jab at Crown Jewel seemed perfect for Survivor Series, but I guess it'll be at the Royal Rumble. And with the tease we saw backstage between Rhea and Bianca, that might be for WrestleMania.


                    Looks like they did a major US title revamp in one episode to help alleviate the damage of Theory losing the cash in on what has long been considered a midcard title. "Buried" will be used by the irrational, but this certainly changes gears on what to do with the young prospect. It seems that WWE knew Theory would have to lose against whoever the WWE champ would be, as Roman's reign won't be ended by a cash-in, and if Roman drops the title to someone by next year's MITB, that new champ shouldn't lose via cash in either. No win situation, so I understand changing something with the MITB.

                    BUT, having him lose it while cashing in on the US title.... We'll have to wait and see where that goes. I feel it's more damaging this way, and could have been better suited with a US title win for Theory (or IC or NXT titles). At least the Cash in would have been successful. Weird night for Theory, but I still can't see WWE losing faith in pushing him. Everyone and their mother sees his potential. It seems like they just decided upon a different, possibly more risky and slow burning, path.

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                    • The only (slight) negative I have about Theory cashing in is that Rollins is doing the open challenge thing. So why not just answer that for a shot at the title?

                      Obviously it's circumstantial because this was post-attack, so made sense in that way, but there is that odd little bit that struck me the moment he ran down. Maybe it'll lead to an open challenge from Theory at some point - after all, he lost in a pretty protected way.

                      I can definitely see Rhea vs Beth at the Rumble. I could also see Rhea winning the Rumble and challenging Bianca at Mania, especially as they have teased it a little bit. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but Bianca and Rhea haven't gone one-on-one since NXT, Takeover Portland, I think?

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                      • I'm negative on Theory losing for a number of reasons, obviously. I hope that they pull him off TV for a bit, and start him over. Maybe on SmackDown. Get him away from Raw and all of the people he's been both losing to, and the ones that he was made to look like a joke by associating with for the last year.

                        I'd have liked to see him hold off on the cash-in. I don't think he needed to win a cash-in, mind you, but you could have had him call his shot on Roman, gotten a PPV out of it, and had him lose in a surprisingly strong outing against Reigns. Maybe Sami costs him. Now you've got something to come back with down the line, and something with an established star like Zayn to run with for a few months.

                        Instead, Rollins got beaten down, then hit with a bunch of stuff from Theory, then Theory got beaten down himself and stomped. I'd take a clean slate with Theory and a dominant push starting next time he's on TV. Otherwise, I'm just going to assume that Triple H doesn't see it for some reason, and they've lost my investment in Theory.

                        Maybe a main event heel run on NXT and being the guy to unseat Bron Breakker would salvage him 🤷‍♂️​
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                        • So I just checked. Elimination chamber is after the Rumble. So for me it does seem likely that Rhea vs Beth will happen there and it is entirely possible that both Rhea and Beth will not pull double duty. There are more women on both main rosters, and NXT so Rhea does not have to win the Rumble. Rhea can win the Elimination Chamber.

                          Early Predictions: Sasha, Naomi and Charlotte all return at the Rumble. Sasha and Naomi will team back up abs face Damage CTRL for the tag titles at Mania.

                          Shayna Baszler turns on Rhonda setting up a match at the Rumble. Charlotte wins her second Rumble and faces Rhonda at Mania.
                          Last edited by Powder; 11-08-2022, 09:39 PM.

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                          • I hate...pretty much all of that outside of Rhea/Beth, actually. The only thing good is getting Shayna a bit of shine, but Ronda is running as a heel and I don't think a turn on her works to get either Ronda back over as a face - people don't like her, which is no big shock - or Shayna over as a face either for that matter. Charlotte vs Ronda holds no excitement for me now no matter the stage/stipulation. I don't think Sasha and Naomi are coming back, I think they've burnt their bridges regardless of the regime change.

                            The Smackdown roster is weak as heck on the female side. Without Charlotte they basically only have Ronda as a 'star'. Liv now sits as a bit of a failed experiment (I think largely because of the way they used her during her title run, sadly, rather than Liv herself doing anything particularly wrong). Emma and Raquel could get near the top of the card fairly swiftly, I suspect, but I'm not sure either screams 'brand champion' to me. Putting the whole thing in hibernation until Charlotte gets back means hardly anything getting done.

                            I'd run with Ronda/Shayna vs Dakota/Iyo for the titles as a feud after Survivor Series and let the former two win the belts and run with them. I'd even suggest echoing the Banks/Bayley thing and having Shayna get the title off of Bianca for a bit and let the two have all the titles. To be honest, outside of Rhea right now I can't see anybody that can go toe-to-toe with Bianca once this Bayley stuff is over, although they've got a couple of options that could definitely be put in that role in Alexa and Asuka (need to work out how they get there) plus there's a bit of shine being put on Iyo and Dakota by having them in and around four stars of the division that could put them in a strong spot coming out of things.

                            Originally posted by Team Farrell View Post
                            IMaybe a main event heel run on NXT and being the guy to unseat Bron Breakker would salvage him 🤷‍♂️​
                            I actually think this would have been perfect for Theory - to be honest I expected he'd cash in to end a Takeover.

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                            • Theory
                              The good side of it is that it's not too late to figure things out with him. I have no idea how this run went wrong, but I suspect the regime change is part of it. Theory will main event, but it's really hrd to see it happening credibly before the next MITB, so I get why he couldn't beat Roman. But like COACH said, a failed cash in on the biggest champion and championship would mean much more than a failed cash in on the slightly above midcard Raw specific title.

                              It's a bad time for a heel blue chipper. Roman is the only top champion (unlike when each brand had one), and is the most dominant in decades. Even someone like Cena had a chance to lose the title against most opponents he defended against. But at this point, no one currently active has any a kayfabe chance. Cody is one of the top options whenever he returns, and I'll always hope for the Big E return. At this time, Sami Zayn has made such an impression that he can be a possibility, but there's still way more story and character building that is needed for that to happen. I think KO is the closest to being there, but who knows where he will fit when he returns to Raw. Other names that can be a potential new champ, but would need work: Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre, Karrion Kross, Finn Balor, Matt Riddle, Gunther, Braun Strowman, and Bray Wyatt.

                              The reason I list these names is to point out that Austin Theory is still pretty far from belonging in that mix. He can feud with anyone here, and with a big PPV win, he can be among these names. But this isn't the era of Jack Swagger winning the briefcase and getting a trial run on the lower brand. Theory has a great future despite losing this odd cash-in that probably could have been handled in half a dozen better ways. But the end result was never going to be "Theory beats Roman." (it doesn't mean "Theory loses to the US champion" makes much sense though)

                              With or without the briefcase, Theory needs a feud. COACH compares him to Cena in terms of potential, but I see Theory more like a modern day Randy Orton. And Theory needs a Mick Foley or Edge opponent like Randy did in 2003-2004. Of the current Raw roster, I would say Theory vs Riddle would be the next move. I think AJ is a good option, but he's tied up with Judgment Day. Riddle is randomly associated with Elias, and Theory can find someone to join him, and we can get a hot feud between the King of Bros and All Day that involves teams if needed.

                              That being said, the US title is currently involving Rollins, Lashley, and Ali, and Theory can fit in there also. If he gets heated enough to chase anyone in this mix, it could help. I can't say who, because Seth might be turning face, and Lashley might be turning heel, while Ali seems like a weak choice in my opinion. If Bobby stayed face, Bobby vs Theory could work. If Seth becomes the face, I feel Seth is above a feud with Theory, though it could be good also.



                              Smackdown Women
                              Active Faces: Emma, Liv, Natalya, Raquel, Shotzi
                              Active heels: Ronda, Shayna, Sonya, Xia, Zelina
                              Inactive or unclear: Aliyah, B-Fab, Charlotte, Lacey Evans

                              Honestly, the SD women's division isn't as bad as it seems. Since SD has the World title much more often than Raw does, Raw promotes the women much more than they do on SD to make up for it. Especially right now with all the Raw women aiming for War Games, plus Rhea. So Raw definitely has a stronger division and more credibility, but SD isn't exactly dirt poor either. The problem is that with a champ like Ronda, almost nobody feels on her level. No matter if heel or face, no one outside of Charlotte or Shayna really makes sense to dethrone her. Raquel will one day be an option, but needs a real story to get her there.

                              With Rhea and Bianca being a strong possibility for the Raw title at WrestleMania, I wouldn't be shocked if a Raw woman wins the Rumble and crosses over to SD to challenge Ronda. I'm not predicting anyone in particular, but it would make sense to move one person from Raw to SD to help with the face side of things on the blue roster. Of course, Raquel could do well for the next 2 months, win the Rumble and become the top face of SD by Mania also.

                              So, I'm guessing the SD story for the next couple of months will be the 2 Woman Power Trip of Ronda and Shayna being complete beasts.

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                              • Maybe that's just it - maybe the problem is that Ronda is champ and a level above everyone, rather than the Smackdown roster being weak. To be honest, I think if Liv had retained and then had a new(er) challenger, it would probably be a bit more of an even mix and the options would look a little bit more balanced.

                                I'm quite excited for Shayna to get some shine in this Ronda team up, and hope she doesn't end up as a clear 'lackey' to her but instead an equal.

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