The usually bland, storyline stalling event looks exciting this year.
The epic event will see Brock Lesnar defend his WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman. Also on the card is a match that is worthy of WrestleMania. John Cena will be taking on Roman Reigns. Two matches that are considered dream matches for WWE fans have been made on the No Mercy card. The rest of the event could be trash yet these two matches could save it. That's how powerful these two matches are.
After Monday's vicious promo battle between John Cena and Roman Reigns it's safe to say this feud could be long term or even over arcing. Similar to when The Rock was a part timer in a feud with John Cena. They still were in a feud even though The Rock wasn't there. I feel like this is going to happen with Cena and Reigns. I'm all for it. When two performer blur the lines of what is real and what is fake. It makes for entertaining television. We have seen this in recent weeks with The Miz cutting a heartfelt promo on RAW. The product is so much better when they blur the lines. It becomes fascinating to watch.
Other developments on RAW include Alexa Bliss feuding with former friend Nia Jax. The purple division is once again a must watch due to the antics of Enzo Amore. Will he be getting a shot at Neville? The booking of the battle royal was smart.
Jason Jordan not winning protects him in the long run. If he gets rushed to the top without a pop then he will fail. There is no need to have him fail. The Miz will now get to defend his title against a worthy opponent in Jeff Hardy. See all these recent development are from RAW. Some of these might not even last until September 24th when No Mercy takes place.
I just think the card looks promising with the two matches already booked. What is usually a "whatever" event has become a must watch event. WWE needs to utilize this surprise more often. Like fans complained when WWE gave away Nakamura VS Cena on free TV. The move was smart because I'm not a typical viewer of SmackDown and I watched SmackDown. Same thing may happen with No Mercy. Usually I wouldn't care if I missed a minor event like No Mercy but now I'm making sure I watch it.
Not every match needs to be saved for WrestleMania. As long as it's a exciting match we will tune in and watch. WWE needs to keep up the surprises and storytelling. There is too much talent on the roster to be screwed up.
Will see what happens in the following weeks of RAW but No Mercy looks promising.
ZWrestleTalk's Triple Z and Dom Bouchard give their State of the WWE for the month of July.
Triple Z: The month of July has been a crazy month for WWE. Currently we are in a big transition month before SummerSlam. We had two PPV's this month. We had the surprisingly good WWE Great Balls of Fire and a solid WWE Battleground. Are the fortunes changing? Is RAW becoming superior to the SmackDown brand? SmackDown has been the more creative brand since the split. For example, Jinder Mahal as a main eventer. That would never of happened on RAW. It's SmackDown's creativity that makes it more watchable than RAW. Especially now that SmackDown's roster is loaded.
I'm bringing back my classic bullet point style of writing for this article.
That's my State of the WWE.
Dom Bouchard: State of the WWE July 2017
The flagship show is loaded up with talent and the main event players are on a roll. The problem lies with the totally awfully booked mid carders.
Solutions: Let's start off with Apollo Crews. The poor guy is a truly amazing athlete but he lacks the charisma to engage the crowd. His association with the Titus Brand makes the situation even worse. With the recent news that WWE is about to send main roster wrestlers to NXT, it would really help Apollo ,Darren Young, Goldust, and Kalisto.
Tag Team division: With the return of The Revival, the addition of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, Sheamus and Cesaro ,The Hardy Boyz, Heath Slater and Rhyno, and The Club. We are looking at a pretty solid group. A few more mid- card teams would help. TM61 could be a nice addition.
Main Event Guys: This is where Raw's strength lies. Roman Reigns ,The Miz, Braun Strowman ,Finn Balor, Samoa Joe. Just to name a few. With Brock Lesnar holding the Universal title and Miz as The IC champ. It doesn't get much better than this. Maybe adding Cass and Bo Dallas to the mix could make things even more interesting.
Loaded main event scene and a very solid mid-card division. The Tag Team division is now decimated. Especially with American Alpha and The Colons gone. There is only Breezango, The Usos, The New Day, The Ascension, and the Hype Bros.
Erick Rowan and Luke Harper could be reunited ,and bringing Heavy Machinery could boost the division. Sending a few guys to NXT like The Ascension, Tye Dillinger, and Dolph Ziggler would rejuvenate their careers. Mike Kanellis should be able to find his niche. Shinsuke Namamura could very well be on the verge of winning the world title. Baron Corbin still has the Money in the Bank. John Cena is back and might face Jinder Mahal and Nakamura at SummerSlam. Kevin Owens ,Chris Jericho, AJ Styles are the real stars of SDLive. Sami Zayn is getting there too and hopefully Randy Orton will take time off.
With the addition of Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish and the amazing crop of talent already there. NXT is the real wrestling fan's dream place. Aleister Black is the future of the WWE along with Drew McIntyre. Bobby Roode is a world class athlete and perfect as the face of NXT. Roderick Strong is a guy that will someday replace guys like Ziggler on the main roster to be a consistent pro. The only problem in NXT right now is the inexistent tag team division besides the Authors of Pain. Johnny Gargano could be the guy that will eventually beat Bobby Roode.
205LIVE: Well there is Neville.The best wrestler in the WWE by far and after that it's pretty hard to distinguish another potential breakout star besides TJP and Cedric Alexander.
This has been the first ZWrestleTalk State of the WWE. Thanks for reading.
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Dom Bouchard gives his five superstars he would push and the five he would fire. Once again, Dom creates a controversial list!
Push: Tye Dillinger
The Perfect 10 is extremely over and is a really likable character. He can get down and wrestle too. He has the potential to be a mid card champion.
Fire: Randy Orton
Most overrated wrestler in history. Extremely lazy, slow, and boring. Not to mention he is bad at promos. I don't understand why he beat Bray Wyatt at Mania.
Push: American Alpha
Most athletic Tag Team on the roster and I would turn them heel. I would have them wreak havoc on the SmackDown Live teams. Gable is just pure awesomeness and Jason Jordan is a terrific athlete.
Fire: Dolph Ziggler
Hard worker but he has always had a bad attitude. He also complains a lot. He is talented enough that he can get a fresh start in Japan.
Push: Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas has it all. He has size, speed, and promo skills. I think it's time he goes after his brother.
Fire: Brock Lesnar
I'm tired of Brock Lesnar. I know this decision won't be popular for most people. He does the same old stuff every time. It's starting to get boring. He's lazy and just does the same thing. Honestly should just lose to Finn Balor and retire.
Push: Dean Ambrose
It's time to turn Dean Ambrose loose. Let him be the crazy character we have always wanted him to be. Everyone says he can be the second coming of Roddy Piper. There will never be another Roddy Piper. Good life advice is try to be YOU don't try to imitate someone. I want to see Ambrose like a "Joker" type character.
It's time to let the new generation take over. He can be a trainer in NXT.
Push: The Revival
Top guys and the best team in the world.They should dominate the Tag Team division for years. Old school rules!
For his own sake, this guy should be a top player yet he will always be the guy they use to get others over. He deserves a good run in New Japan and come back in a few years.
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ZWrestleTalk's new series "If I Was Running WWE" continues with Triple Z giving his thoughts on what he would do if he was in charge of the company.
This is my part one to the series. So I'm going to keep it short and simple. I will hit my first three key points and I will continue this concept later on.
Make PPV Matter Again, Add WWE Network Exclusives
WWE has the big four PPV's. They have Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. All these events are now four hour events. Sometimes they go longer than the four hours. Yet outside these four WWE lacks quality pay-per-view's in the brand split era. It feels with both shows having their own pay-per-views the build to them have become lazy. I would shorten the schedule. Although I would add more "WWE Network Exclusive" events. Similar to Beast in the East and WWE at MSG. WWE has been doing so many pay-per-views that they are naming them different things. Like "Great Balls of Fire" and I don't think any competing wrestling companies were going to steal that name. I would revolve the story lines around the big four PPV's. Yet have smaller PPV's gain importance. Money in the Bank would become a RAW and SmackDown PPV. So that we can have two Money in the Bank briefcases come into play. This would set WWE Creative for more options down the road.
NXT's Quest to TakeOver Would Continue
NXT has been cleaning out both Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling's rosters. Some could say they are going to go after PROGRESS and NJPW Wrestling also. If I was in charge of WWE I would continue this same pattern. I would make sure NXT's roster was so deep. If I had to specifically target people. I would go after Adam Cole, I would go after a veteran like James Storm. I think NXT still needs to stay true to its developmental purpose but I believe it could use WWE ready talent to keep interest high. It seems like WWE is following this idea still. At the most recent NXT taping Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly are now apart of NXT. These two were mainstays in Ring of Honor.
Fix the Cruiserweight's
It's a very differing complication the purple division is facing. The division has two struggles.
If I had to rework this division here would be the immediate changes.
These would be my first three minor decisions if I ran WWE. More to come in later posts. Thanks for reading and comment below.
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Dom Bouchard gives 21 reasons on how he would change the WWE if he was running the famous wrestling company. This is the first part in a ZWrestleTalk Series.
1. Commentary Change
I would change the commentating team on Raw and SmackDown. On Raw I would have Corey Graves and Michael Cole with total free reign. No yelling in the headset. On Smackdown I would have Mauro Ranallo and Booker T. On 205 I would have Byron Saxton and Mauro. So If I was running WWE keeping a refreshing voice like Mauro Ranallo would be a top priority. Also shrinking the commentary table would allow fluid and better commentary.
2. Fix 205 Live
I would change 205 Live and have it taped in Orlando in front of pro wrestling fans. Not WWE Entertainment fans. These talented competitors would no longer compete on Monday Night RAW instead they would be joining the NXT brand until a call up. The title could be defended at NXT TakeOver's.
3. Neville Escapes Cruiserweights
I would immediately send Neville to SmackDown. This would allow him to dominate the show. Similar to how guys like Owens, Dillinger, and Nakamura are taking over the show.
4. Out With The Old
I would never ever put a world title on part timers. I also wouldn't put the title on tired acts such as John Cena and Randy Orton. They no longer need the world title. This is a new era.
5. Road Agents
I would retire Goldust, R-Truth, Mark Henry, and Big Show and keep them as road agents.
6. Matt Bloom Gets Help
Curtis Axel would become Matt Bloom's (known to fans as A-Train, Albert, or Lord Tensai) right hand man on NXT. Axel has helped guys like Goldberg and The Rock get back into in-ring shape. His experiences of feeling highs and lows could help out the hungry NXT recruiting class.
7. Bo Wyatt
Bo Dallas would leave his stale gimmick and join his brother Bray Wyatt. This would eventually lead to Bo feuding with Bray.
8. Long Reigns for Strong Style
I would give Shinsuke Nakamura a two-year run with the WWE World Championship. Nakamura has been one of the most refreshing acts since arriving in NXT. His unique persona mixed with his strong style has given him fan support. In this new era of WWE it would be cool to see Nakamura be the top guy. Holding the title for two years is also very rare and it could legitimize a career.
I would allow the guys to have a little more freedom on their characters and promos.
10. A Return
I would only bring back Cody Rhodes. No more bringing back nostalgia acts.
11. The Chosen One
Drew McIntyre would be WWE Universal Champion at one point in 2018.
12. Heel Roman Continues
I would not do anything different with Roman Reigns. He is already the biggest heel in the company.
13. Let Dean Be Dean
I would let Dean Ambrose do whatever he wants. His character can sometimes be wasted.
14. Heel Turn
I would turn Seth Rollins heel again.
15. HHH Done
I wouldn't let Triple H wrestle again. The last couple times he wrestled he has put the audience to sleep.
16. No More Steph
I wouldn't let Stephanie McMahon in the ring again. This makes sense because if I did run the WWE. The McMahon's wouldn't be in control anymore. So why would they show up?
17. One Exception
I would only allow one McMahon to come back and do whatever he wants. That would be Shane O' Mac. I would let him be a General Manager or he could even compete. Whatever he wanted to do. He entertains the audience.
18. Risk or Reward
I would let Daniel Bryan wrestle.
Even though I love CM Punk. I would never make it a priority to get him back into a WWE ring. In my opinion he disrespected the WWE too much.
20. Final Bow
Kurt Angle would wrestle a retirement match at WrestleMania against John Cena. Talk about coming full circle!
21. Main Event Guys
My main event guys would be Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens ,Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, Tye Dillinger, American Alpha, The Revival, DIY and Drew McIntyre.
More to come...
Well this was Dom's first part in "If I Was Running WWE' similar to his controversial and exciting greatest ever lists. Dom takes a "NXT" approach to running WWE. He embraces the new era. I will be chipping in on this series myself. You can look forward to seeing my piece on this soon. Many other guests will be writing pieces too!
Dom Bouchard gives his top 15 current WWE Superstars.
15. Luke Harper
A big man with a unique look and impressive agility and strength. He can have good match against anybody. A littlle tweak lately has him looking rejuvenated and younger looking. He has the ability to hold the US title or reform a team with another talented big dude.
14. The New Day
Still extremely over with the crowd this team has it all. A big strong man, a high flyer, and a charismatic mouthpiece. They can return to the top on SmackDown Live. Still a lot of mileage in those guys. I don't think Big E on his own could reach a high level.
13. Mojo Rawley
This big and impressive athlete has everything you want in a Superstar. Very charismatic and I could see him reaching solid mid-card status soon. He's truly a diamond in the rough.
12. Sami Zayn
The underdog is about to become a major player on SmackDown Live. He may be the most energetic and innovative wrestler on the roster besides Neville. A WWE Championship reign is definitely in his future.
11. American Alpha
These guys are so talented it's scary. Is it possible they got a little too arrogant and their recent derail is to put them in their place? I hope they keep having the opportunity to put on amazing matches but the short slots Tag Team wrestling gets on the main roster. I am scared it won't happen. Hope WWE realizes that Tag Team wrestling is the best in the world and is entertaining for the audience.
10. The Revival
Old school is new school again. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder are the best tag team in the world. I'm excited to see The Revival dominate the RAW Tag Team division. It's unfortunate that Dash Wilder got a broken jaw so early on.
9. Kevin Owens
Best heel in the world. Kevin Owens is a trash talking master. Solid mid carder is his ceiling now unfortunately. I hope that I'm wrong about that. Owens is an amazing wrestler and he's also very old school.
8. Chris Jericho
My all time favorite WWE superstar is on his last legs in a storied career. He is the most unselfish wrestler of all time. Jericho is a class guy and a promo god. Please never retire.
7. Roman Reigns
The big dog can do it all. He could incorporate a few new moves to his arsenal though. I think he will remain a main event player for a long time whether we like it or not.
6. AJ Styles
Best wrestler in the world right now. He can make anyone look good. Such a master ring psychologist. He can talk and walk the walk. Still a few world titles left for the phenomenal one.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura
A potential face of the company, this guy screams superstar. From his theme music to his mannerisms he is absolutely amazing. Strong Style wrestling and can sell like a champ.The language barrier won't be a problem.Future face of the WWE.
4. Finn Balor
The demon is back and he will soon be back in the main event scene. A great all around performer. Extremely charismatic and cool. A potential multi time world champion.
The King of the Cruiserweights.In my opinion is the most exciting wrestler in the world. He will be back on the main roster soon and challenge for one of the World titles. Could you imagine the possibilities of Rollins VS Neville or Neville VS Balor?
The Swiss Superman is sensational and if he captured the WWE Championship it would be like when Eddie Guerrero won it years ago. He is the strongest guy on the roster, and can wrestle anyone and have a five star match.
1. Seth Rollins
The myth, the legend. Rollins is the complete package. Rollins is a stellar athlete. He can fly, ground and pound, and fight anyone. The future is now with Seth .He will be a five or six time world champ by the time his career ends.
Close to Top 15
Fun Fact: 12 of Dom's Top 15 come from NXT. It's interesting to think about where WWE would be without NXT. FCW never produced talent like this.
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10. The Hardy Boyz return at WrestleMania and win the RAW Tag Titles. Unexpected and very cool since they can still perform.
9. AJ Styles and Shane McMahon steal the show at WrestleMania. It was truly an awesome match.
8. Neville and Aries perform at a high level and don't complain about being on the pre show.
7. Tye Dillinger makes a "Perfect 10" debut on SmackDown.
6. The Revival destroy The New Day on their Raw debut.
5. Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin have a great match on SmackDown after a boring one at WrestleMania.
4. Goldberg and Brock have a wonderful five minute match at WrestleMania. It was absolutely brutal.
3. Finn Balor is back better than ever.
2. Shinsuke Nakamura makes a memorable debut without saying a word.
1. That crowd and then Roman coming back with five words. "This is my yard now."
WrestleMania week is my favorite week of the year. From the Raw and Smackdown "go home" shows, to the Hall of Fame ceremony, to the NXT Takeover, to WrestleMania, to both Raw and Smackdown after Mania. It's a rollercoaster and a thrillride that is absolutely amazing. The Hall of Fame ceremony was my favorite one ever. I was so proud of DDP is a mentor and a wonderful man. He shined bright and was absolutely incredible recounting his amazing journey to the top of WCW. Rick Rude's son was really cool. Teddy Long was funny. The Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle was the star of the show. He was as great as he ever was. Funny, engaging, genuine, and unique would be the words to describe Angle.
Then Saturday night we had the wrestling part of the weekend, NXT Takeover. I can't explain how or why but NXT Takeover makes me feel so good and so happy, it is an indescribable feeling. From the awesome opening match with Tye Dillinger and Sanity that really got the crowd going. Moving on to Andrade "Cien" Almas squaring off against the very unique Aleister Black. This was a very good fast paced match. The women's match was good too. Then the Tag Team match pitting the champs The Authors of Pain with DIY and The Revival. It was an absolutely memorable 5 star classic. The Revival is without a shadow of a doubt the best tag team in the world. Then Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode had a very good solid main event. Overall this was a five star show for me.
WrestleMania was grandiose and the rampway was absolutely stunning. Neville and Austin Aries had a very good preshow match. The Andre the Giant Battle Royal match was very forgettable except for the upset winner Mojo Rawley. Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin move to the preshow seemed to demoralize both guys.That was a one star match. Then we had one of the best opening contests at Mania in years with AJ and Shane O Mac. Shane can go and AJ is one of the best in the world, it was very entertaining. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho delivered a very good match. My favorite part was the finger of doom by Owens. KO needed the win. The women's match was as boring and predictable as I said before. Bayley winning here is okay. The tag team match turned into a 4 way with the addition of the Hardy Boyz. Enzo and Cass are over, as Cesaro and Sheamus. Gallows and Anderson did a good job as the only heels in that match. The Hardy Boyz winning was the nostalgia moment casual fans long for at WrestleMania. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton put us all to sleep. I don't know what the point was to make the most boring character on the show beat a guy who was finally getting a lot of steam. Brock and Goldberg was that best five minute match I have ever seen. What a great hard-hitting contest that had me on the edge of my seat. Brock winning was the right move. The Miz and Maryse vs John Cena and Nikki Bella was okay. The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns was like watching an NFL team facing a CFL team. I said it earlier and in my podcast Taker should have retired after his last match against HHH. It was sad to see him looking like a 70 year old man ,and sad to see Roman having to try to make sure he would not break him in half.
Then Monday we had an amazing Raw. The debut of The Revival was awesome. As was the return of Finn Balor and Kurt Angle as the new general manager. He is already golden and his interaction with Enzo and Cass was pure gold. Seth and Finn teaming against Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe was a great main event.
SmackDown also was absolutely incredible. The debut of Tye Dillinger was a perfect 10, as was the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. I believe that Nakamura will be the new face of SmackDown.
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WrestleMania 33: The Hardy's Rise Again, Seth Slays the King, and The Deadman finally dies.
How do I even begin this?
This show was great. If you didn't like this show then your simply not a fan. The show had everything. Action, drama, and surprises. Everything that makes a good wrestling card. The title of this review is "Way Better Than 32" and that's because this show was lightyears ahead. I'm going to go over the WrestleMania 32 card and explain that atrocious disaster last year.
Kalisto VS Ryabck- Even though it was on the pre show. I totally forgot this was on the card. The match sucked and was awkward.
Total Divas VS Team BAD and Blonde- This was fine for what it was. Definitely a pre show match.
The Uso's VS Dudley Boyz- Short match and a waste of the Dudley Boyz talent.
Intercontinental Championship Ladder- Solid match with a great ending.
Jericho VS Styles- Solid contest but wrong result.
League of Nations VS New Day- Horrible.
Lesnar VS Ambrose- Short and absolutely no chemistry between the two.
Charlotte VS Sasha Banks VS Becky Lynch- Overhyped and only had a few good spots.
Undertaker VS Shane McMahon- Awkward when the non-wrestler has to carry the wrestler? Eh?
Andre the Giant Battle Royal- Corbin winning was a neat surprise in a boring night.
The Rock's Gimmick- Wasted tons of time. Then we finally got a mach.
Reigns VS HHH- A boring and tiring match.
After listing my grievances with WrestleMania 32. It's time to show the amount of improvement we got from WWE this year. Literally after last years disaster. WrestleMania 33 provided entertaining matches. The pre show kicked off with a Cruiserweight division match. Neville and Austin Aries had a thrilling contest. It's still surreal to see Austin Aries in a WWE ring. Despite Neville trying his best to break Aries neck. The contest was thrilling and had a great finish. WWE no long wants to play "hot potato" with the Cruiserweight Championship. Neville is now their guy for this division.
The Andre the Giant Battle Royal wasn't predictable and that's good. Mojo Rawley winning was very smart. We also got GRONK doing spots. Maybe we get GRONK VS Jinder Mahal in the future. The battle royal was exciting except for Dolph Ziggler doing his typical spots. Ambrose VS Corbin was fine. Should've been a fork lift match. Maybe they are saving that for a SmackDown exclusive PPV.
AJ Styles and Shane McMahon started the night off right. Shane is incredible for not being a true wrestler. AJ Styles is just a great performer. These two had a phenomenal match. I just wish it would've been a hardcore match. That would've truly been in Shane's wheelhouse. The match was 20 minutes but it deserved the whole 20 minutes. Shane can still jump and he brings new moves into his arsenal each time.
Kevin Owens VS Chris Jericho was another solid contest. I was mostly reading Twitter during that match but the parts i watched were very good. I wonder if Jericho is going to go on another break?
The Women's Championship match for the RAW brand was okay. The true match should've been Bayley VS Sasha Banks. The match had some fun spots but it was just not meant to be.
I can see why they saved the Tag Team match for the mid-card instead of it opening the show. The match was going to be awesome anyways. Then the New Day comes out. I thought for sure that The New Day was going to enter the match. Yet I had that "What if" thought. My "What if" thought turned into a major mark out moment. The "Broken" Hardy Boyz returned to WWE. Fans are still really stupid. Yeah they came out to their old music. So what? That's how we know it's the Hardy Boyz. You expect them to play his TNA theme? Nobody knows his freaking TNA theme. 13 people probably know his TNA theme. Also fans were groaning saying "They're not broken anymore!" and that's completely false. Matt Hardy wouldn't of done his delete chants. The whole crowd got into the "DELETE" chants. I can't wait to see the crowd tonight get into the "DELETE" chants. Plus the Hardy Boyz were in their BROKEN personas on WWE's snapchat.
Cena and Bella VS Maryse and The Miz was a harmless match. It was predictable but the feud build up was terrific. The match was fun and wrestling is suppose to be fun!
Seth Rollins and Triple H was fine wasn't spectacular. The in-ring psychology was good. The outcome was perfect. The final bump with Steph was great. Yes it was the longest match of the night. That's because Triple H always has slow, long matches. The match was still very good.
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt had a solid match. Orton winning makes sense from a storyline purpose. The feud is going to continue. Nobody cared when Wyatt predictably ended Cena's 16th reign. The match also showcased WWE's weird special effects.
Brock Lesnar VS Goldberg was a really enjoyable four minute match. The wicked spears and the wicked suplexes. The match was fun and if it was Goldberg's final match. It was pretty good match. I'm excited to see the reign of Lesnar. The first four Universal Champions are Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Goldberg, and Brock Lesnar. The title is already gaining prestige.
Then we got the SmackDown Live Women's Championship match in the cool down spot. They could've had more time on the pre show…. Yet WWE fans are sensitive whenever something happens to the Women's division. They could've gotten more then five minutes. They could've received that ten minute slot taken up by Corbin/Ambrose. The match was fun and showed promise. Naomi winning isn't a surprise. I don't think she will be holding that title for that long though.
NOW ONTO THE MAIN EVENT.
Roman Reigns ended the career of The Undertaker. The Deadman died. I predicted it in my ZWrestleTalk WrestleMania 33 BreakDownZ. It was sad to see this once intimidating figure become a shell of his former self. The two comparisons I had throughout the match were that Undertaker was Old Man Logan. Wolverine from Marvel Comics. Taker was trying his best to fight but his body couldn't handle it. The saddest and most exciting part of the match was when Taker attempted to do his signature pop up and he fell right over. That was the signal that Reigns was in total control. Taker showed some hope. The kick outs got me excited. Thinking that The Deadman would be different. That he would win his final showdown. Instead he was beaten and beaten badly. The second comparison I made during that match was that Taker was Randy "The Ram Robinson" from The Wrestler. Taker was leaving it all in the ring. His mind was there but he just couldn't do it.
Roman Reigns is now a megastar. He just defeated Pro Wrestling's greatest character. He just beat the man who is synonymous with pop culture and pro wrestling. Reigns and Taker put on a good match. This main event was better then last years. Reigns has now headlined three WrestleMania's. This one was by accident but it's still cool. When it comes with Roman Reigns we just have to trust the process. Reigns VS Lesnar is the plan for WrestleMania 34. The Undertaker had an emotional post match. It was sad and crazy to watch. The man that we though would never retire just retired.
Having Jim Ross, JBL, and Michael Cole on commentary was a nice touch. It's just unbelievable that an era in pro wrestling is now over. A WrestleMania without The Undertaker? Strange. Taker decided to go out on his back. Despite disagreeing with that decision. I still admire all that he accomplished in his career. Plus the countless memories he has given us WWE fans over the years.
Well that's it for my WrestleMania 33 review. The show was definitely better then last years event. The show is still wicked long but it's worth it. I'm excited to see what happens on RAW tonight.
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P.S: WrestleMania events that take place in Texas suck. 25 and 32 both sucked. WrestleMania's that take place in Florida are awesome. 24 ,28, and 33 were spectacular events. That means that next years event in New Orleans will be good if WWE sticks to booking by geography. WrestleMania 30 was good and 34 will be good too.
In his first piece for ZWrestleTalk, Marc Madison discusses if loading up WWE RAW is the answer. As SmackDown Live dominates the creative scene of WWE.
The names that are on the WWE Raw brand certainly suggest that it is a rather rich brand. Smackdown Live also appears to have a fairly competitive roster with a great deal of talent. When one looks at the names that are suggested to go to Raw in 2017, it suggests that they really want to create a roster with depth and options. However, if there is an issue with Raw, it is that the storytelling has been suspect to say the least. What they more than likely want to ensure moving forward is that they provide enough surprises for fans to look forward to, and with many potential combinations for feuds as well.
A concern, however, is that regardless of who may be added, are these additional male and female wrestlers what the brand needs to succeed? If we consider names such as Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura, who are rumored to be moving up, along with the possibility of Kenny Omega coming in from New Japan Pro Wrestling, it's hard to see why they would be moved up, and which brand they would be a part of. While depth is always a good quality to have, they really aren't short on talent. Consider that they have an entire Cruiserweight division that isn't being used very well. Is more the way to go, or can they achieve more with less much like Smackdown Live?
Yes, it's what they need to put on an entertaining program weekly.
Time is money, and when you are a multi-billion dollar promotion you realize that the more time lost, likely the more money lost as well. Are we suggesting that the WWE is losing money because Raw is poorly written? That isn't necessarily the case; if the company is losing money it could be because of a lack of content available. The idea of adding more talent may be good in theory, but does that mean it would be the best option? Samoa Joe vs Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chris Jericho. Chris Jericho vs. Finn Balor. Those are some potentially very exciting matches that appear to be on the cusp of happening. Would fans be more likely to watch a program that involves the names included above? They very well may be.
A rich talent pool sets up a number of promotional and marketing possibilities. As seen by the company's ability to elevate NXT in Japan by having Shinsuke Nakamura re-capture the NXT championship there by defeating Samoa Joe, the build and long-term booking worked, as a victorious hometown talent brings in more money. Strengthening the Raw brand overseas is also an important goal.
A deeper roster also means that the mid-card can be strengthened, and the United States Championship will regain the value given to it when John Cena held it, not to mention its prominence in the NWA, and later WCW. While those years are behind us, it could still be booked in a way that it has real value. While the Intercontinental Title has featured in notable programs on Smackdown Live, the US Championship hasn't appeared to be as valued, regardless of whether it was Rusev or Reigns holding the title. During Rusev's previous reign as champion, the booking of having the anti-American capture the title worked. In his second reign it was held with less regard, which is unfortunate.
There are certainly pros for having a deeper roster, as it could get the company out of the dull rut that the program appears to be in. The on-screen leadership has been a focal point, and hasn't evolved into allowing the performers to be the focal point of storylines. Too often either Mick Foley or Stephanie McMahon has to come out and intervene in either a match that is still to come or has happened. While Mick Foley often is there to fight on the side of good, and wants to see the most made of an opportunity, at times it feels like filler. Would a deeper roster reduce the need for on-screen leadership? It's very possible that a deep pool of talent will eliminate the on-going problem of having much of the time spent on non-in-ring performers.
No, it isn't the best choice.
With a three hour program, the easy decision is to add more performers. However, the concern with adding more is that somewhere along the line something will get lost. Talent will simply be shuffled around with little to no direction, and when they are given screen time, there isn't any ultimate pay off for them. For example, how long have fans clamoured to have Neville included in the Cruiserweight division, or have Sami Zayn booked regularly, so the rest of the world can see what fans in NXT were fortunate to see?
An even deeper roster would run the risk that the talent already there would have even less direction, and even less reason for fans to invest time and energy in wanting to see them succeed. When Sami Zayn was able to last ten minutes with Braun Strowman, we were hopeful that it meant that he would move on to ultimately defeating Strowman by pinfall. However, once Strowman was able to get his hands on Zayn, the result was a storyline where Zayn was incapacitated and out of action. It took months for something of meaning to come Sami's way after his feud with Kevin Owens came to an end. One would think it would take even longer if someone else was booked in Zayn's place. As it stands, Zayn is already struggling to find a sustainable storyline.
While it would be nice to have a Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura or Kenny Omega as a part of the main roster that is just a gut reaction. What they really need to do is write more effective and convincing storylines to engage their audience. Tales of retribution and revenge, where things become personal, and fewer things that are unrealistic; they need to stick to the same formula. There has been too much ‘Heel leader laying down demands and employees need to follow.' There needs to be more self deprecating characteristics coming from Stephanie McMahon, and non-performers should be more in the background rather than at the forefront.
Several fans that enjoy Enzo and Cass may be a little off put by some of their antics, especially with how they are being presented as good guys when what they are doing at times is actually quite concerning. The Lana/Rusev storyline involving Big Cass and Enzo wasEnzo was supposed to help who exactly? It may have been intended to help Enzo and Cass and create a bit of a level playing field between Rusev and Big Cass, but when we get down to the bare bones of it, one man propositioned another man's wife. Regardless of whether it was a trap or not, the message sent really doesn't speak well for how the writers are trying to get attention.
A stockpiled group of talent is a bandage solution to an otherwise longstanding problem that Triple H has often discussed. The third hour of Raw is the hardest to program. It may not even be their fault, really. An overly long three-hour program will have high and low points. Despite financially being the best option for them, it suffers a great deal critically. Since it doesn't appear the third hour will be going away any time soon, we need to realize that it is that third hour that needs to be the show's crescendo. It really needs to pull the story together, whether through backstage segments, interviews or matches. There needs to be a reason to watch.
The writing on Smackdown Live has proven time and time again to be much better than the writing on Raw. While we could argue that the length the show could also affect its ratings, if there was much more passion tied to the storylines, then we would more likely be drawn to want to watch it. On the whole, Raw has lost steam, whether it is due to their own writing, injuries, or the amount of pressure to match past success. While it is hard to feel sorry for entertainment, fans don't want to see it fail. At one time, Raw was the must-see program, and wants to reclaim its place once again.
For years, Smackdown faced the fate of being simply a recap show, where matches that took place on Monday were simply repeated on Thursday. While that maintained storylines, it wasn't the most compelling or interesting wrestling program that WWE put on. They have seen the other side, and failure has a sour taste. The writing was meant to continue storylines rather than generate their own
Fans should want to check into Raw each week, but are less inclined to do so because there is little to no reason if the sequence is the same and the story being told doesn't evolve. Too often the champion loses a non-title match and squeaks by when it counts. That doesn't do him/her or the story being told any benefit. While a deeper roster could potentially provide some complexity to the cast of characters, it ultimately won't improve if how they are used doesn't reflect the emotion conveyed inside the ring. As 2017 has arrived, so has the opportunity to create a whole new perspective on Raw. The question remaining, however, is will that outlook be positive, or will they continue to spin their wheels?
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Creator of ZWrestleTalk. This page I give you my thoughts on the current state of the WWE product. I look back at the history of WWE. Sometimes even predict the future. If your lucky you get comedic articles too.