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  • Benjamin Button
    replied
    I saw a glimpse of Cena’s bald spot and was thinking It’d be a great heel and set up matches for Cena against top WWE baby faces. For instance, Cena could be talking with Kevin Owens, and when they’re done and Cena is walking away, the bald spot could say “fat piece of shit.” Owens thinks Cena said it, all the while it was the insufferable bald spot going into business for itself.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    Raw Preview - Go-Home Show for Survivor Series
    Matches:
    • Rhea Ripley vs Asuka - for Team Control of WarGames

    Nothing else booked so far, but I bet we'll hear of a couple of things added over social media throughout the day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Team Farrell
    replied
    I dunno man, I'm happy to see WWE moving away from some of that Vince McMahon silliness. Theory with the selfies was good for a while, worked really well and let him show off that he actually has personality, but it's definitely an underneath gimmick that he needed to lose to be a top star. I can't actually fathom why Vince would have changed Elias's name and everything (though I loved the look of his gear and wish he'd kept that) other than just suddenly deciding -- in stereotypical Vince fashion -- that he was over Elias.

    I also couldn't even begin to wrap my head around Max Dupri. You have a silly comedy manager under contract named Robert Stone, why take this incredibly charismatic guy with a unique promo and make him an effete manager of models? To me, that's like taking Roddy Piper and trying to make him Rick Martel, when you have a Rick Martel sitting right there.

    I'm hoping we see some of these people move away from being actors playing characters, and start becoming people with interesting tweaks made to their personalities. I think Triple H might have a little PTSD from being the Connecticut Blue Blood and doesn't want to inflict that on anyone else.

    There's always a place for more over the top, somewhat silly gimmicks obviously. But, I dunno, give them to the right people. You can make big money with Theory in a few years, and decent money with LA Knight now. But by all means, guys like Rick Boogs, ma.çé and mån.sôör probably aren't ever going to draw you any money so let them be Vince-style entertaining.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    Theory getting all serious kind of bums me out. I don't mean he won't be good at it, but I find it's the common switch that HHH has flipped with many people since the regime change. Kevin Owens, Ezekial back to Elias, Mustafa Ali, Butch becoming less manic, Giovanni Vinci dropping the smiling European gimmick, Max Dupri becoming LA Knight... It's not that they are bad decisions on their own, but when everyone is acting like a super ass kicker, many are going to pale in comparison to the Bobby Lashleys, Brock Lesnars and Roman Reigns of the WWE. Entitled millennial Instagram guy was a unique gimmick. Now he's even more like Randy Orton, circa 2009 vs HHH at Mania 25.

    He's still got a great future, and I'm sure this will work in the end. But too many people give me the same feeling now, and much like Drew McIntyre's face run has fell flat at times, Theory being more generic heel doesn't register my interest at this time. Frothing at the mouth while being overly aggressive has been done before by more interesting people, including the current booker man.


    As for Money in the Bank, I'll never agree with doing away with it. Failed or lame runs doesn't make an idea bad. If that was the measuring stick, the Tag Team, IC and US titles would be long gone too. But those titles have been rebuilt, and so can the cash in. The problem with MITB is execution. The excitement still exists, and will always generate reactions. Solid plans have to be put in place, because it feels like many winners who selected because they wanted to push them, but without a real strategy as to how. So, let Theory win it, and we'll figure it out a few months from now. That's unlikely to work, as we've seen. They just need to plan things a bit better. Bring back the WrestleMania challenge that Ken Kennedy proposed when he won. Or, if Theory is the babyface of the future, have him turn by attacking the Bloodline and saying "I'll see you at The Rumble", and plan a face turn accordingly. There will always be options.

    Where I do agree with you is the ladder match, which honestly isn't essential to the gimmick. If it's actually returning, ake the King of the Ring prize be for the briefcase. Or do a Championship Scramble match for it. Or a Battle Royal. Again, there will always be options.

    Leave a comment:


  • Team Farrell
    replied

    In a follow-up to last week: interesting move with Theory this week.

    Was it a full reset? Not really. But his reasoning for attempting a cash-in on Rollins was solid in my view. I think that they look at the enraged DQ as a way of building a heel and signaling that they're more serious, but I'm not big on that. I feel like if he's more serious, he'd be focused on winning, not beating someone up.

    I still would have liked to see him getting this push from the start, but if this means he's going to start winning WAY more than he loses, then good.

    I feel that Money in the Bank has run its course. Now that Triple H has done away with the Hell in the Cell PPV, I'm hoping MITB is next.

    You can go back now six years (or more) and see that it's pretty much a pointless thing now:
    1. Baron Corbin lost his cash-in
    2. Braun Strowman lost his cash-in
    3. Brock Lesnar won it as a gimmick after not competing in the actual match
    4. Fucking OTIS won the thing, only for them to change course and put it on Miz, only for them to basically get it off the board by having him beat Drew and drop the belt to Lashley two weeks later
    5. Big E, the babyface, won after beating Lashley who had just wrestled Randy Orton, and had a decent run
    6. Austin Theory tried to cash in on the US Title, only to lose.
    I'm not looking at the Women's MITB because come on.

    To me, MITB made all the sense in the world from '05-'09 when you had a number of guys on the roster that were on the cusp of being legitimate top stars, and had MITB give them that little extra boost and get them over the top. Since then it's mostly been won by former Champions who didn't need a lazy crutch to be booked in title matches or win the belt, and thrice in the last six years (Strowman, Otis/Miz and Theory) it's almost as though they've realized they weren't going to do anything with the MITB and used it more just to get it off the board than anything else.

    It's time to kill the thing. Its original usefulness is not longer there, or at least not being utilized. There are better ways to elevate a star rather than that crutch, and ladder matches -- even multi-man ladder matches -- aren't special or interesting anymore to get attention for the event.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    Raw Preview
    Matches:
    • Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor - non title
    Segments:
    • Miz TV - with Johnny Gargano
    • Appearances from Bianca Belair, Matt Riddle, Damage CTRL's Bayley, Bobby Lashley, and Austin Theory
    Thoughts:
    • Women's WarGames probably needs some new blood. Bayley vs Bianca is solid, but after months of feuding, I believe there needs to be a big name added to each side. Talks of Rhea and Mia Yim joining can help with that, though I worry that Rhea will be pulled in too many directions. The secret to her ascent to a likely title shot is how little she's had to wrestle. But with the backstage tease with Bianca last week, Beth Phoenix likely returning for a marquee grudge match at some point down the line, and now Mia Yim evening the odds between the OC and Judgment Day, Rhea might lose some heat from too much exposure. If it does end up being Bianca, Alexa, Asuka, Candice, and Mia Yim vs Bayley, Kai, Sky, Cross, and Ripley, I think the focus should be on Mia to be the one to make an impact for the next 2 weeks. It's a subtle story telling point, but an important one.
    • Men's WarGames looks to be Smackdown focused, but there's only 4 on the side of the faces so far. I really felt the 5th member would be a specific member from Raw, but sources are sayign that won't be possible. Not sure if we'll see a change in direction tonight.
    • Miz vs Lumis/Gargano is starting to lose steam. Many haven't enjoyed it since it started, while others are finding the inclusion of Gargano as the voice of the voiceless to be a turn in the wrong direction. I think the "revelation" was a pretty lame fix. I think the common term is "retcon"? And it's a bad one. I think the Lumis character is great, and there's a lot they can be doing, but we need to get a match sooner rather than later. Whether it's Lumis vs the Miz, or Lumis vs anyone on Raw to earn a shot at Miz, we need to see more from Dexter, and hear less of Johnny Wrestling forcing a bad chapter into an already questionable story.Maybe this Miz TV segment can fix the retcon, but part of it is falling flat.
    • Austin Theory cashed in on the US champion... and lost. It's an odd move to say the least, but tonight might be when we see some clarity over this decision.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    Smackdown Preview
    Matches:
    • Usos vs New Day - Tag Team Championship
    • Shinsuke Nakamura vs Santos Escobar - World Cup
    • Liv Morgan vs Raquel Rodriguez vs Shotzi vs Sonya Deville vs Lacey Evans vs Xia Li - #1 Contenders Match

    Segments:
    • Roman Reigns and the Bloodline
    • Could the New Day be part of the War Games match vs Bloodline?
    • The World Cup is for an Intercontinental Title shot
    • Raquel is who I think is best to challenge Ronda, but it feels too soon for that

    Leave a comment:


  • The Cook
    replied
    It obviously depends on how well she's healing up from her shoulder injury but I'd say it makes the most sense to go with Becky Lynch returning as "The Man" to challenge Ronda at 'Mania, possibly in the main event of Night One, while Ripley beats Beth Phoenix at Rumble or Elimination Chamber and challenges Belair. As for what this means for Charlotte I have no idea, but I like the idea of her trying to get into the Becky/Ronda match again by challenging Becky at EC for her spot or something along those lines, although obviously losing this time so it can stay one-on-one.

    Leave a comment:


  • Oliver
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Oliver
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Powder
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Team Farrell
    replied
    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 🤷‍♂️​

    Leave a comment:


  • Oliver
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • PEN15v2
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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