With the biggest Wrestling weekend of the year out of the way, WWE and the industry are setting up for the beginning of a new calendar year. With that I would love to chat more on my blog about my thoughts on the different wrestling shows I watch which I want to pen entries for every now and again. So without further ado here is my Thoughts About Wrestling!
The RAW after Mania
The episode of Monday Night RAW after Wrestlemania has become almost as important as the night itself in recent years. With a typically super hot crowd, it shapes the feeling of the fans post-Mania and always provides a few shock bookings, including debuts. I liked a lot of what I saw on this year’s show.
First of all, after almost killing himself jumping from the heavens, Shane McMahon returned to run the show in place of Vince (even though his losing stipulation in his WM match was not controlling RAW). It’s a temporary gig and I’m still unsure if Shane will stick around for much longer. However he did promise to push newer, hard-working talent and we got a lot of that in the booking on the show.
In the main event we had a number one contender’s fatal four way match for *boooo*’s WWEWHC belt that he boo’d from Triple H last night. Jericho made his way to the ring (awesome), followed by AJ Styles (very awesome). As Kevin Owens’ music hit, I fell out of my chair. And when Sami Zayn’s music hit, I didn’t get back up. Four legitimately over and exciting talents, pushed to the main event picture. It’s marvellous. And although Sami wouldn’t make it to the end of the show, it was a good test for WWE to see if the crowd could dig him being there. Could they? Absolutely! Taking his place was the returning Swiss Superstar himself, Cesaro (see amazing gif above).
The match itself was tremendous and I couldn’t call a winner at any point. All four could go against *booooo* for the title and it would make sense. Styles got the win, meaning after debuting in January this year, AJ is in the title picture already! I love it Maggle!
After losing to The League of Boo…Nations at Wrestlemania last night, The New Day looked strong defending their tag team titles which I was happy with. It’s always a bit frowned upon to have a title on somebody for such a long period of time as near 230 days but The New Day are not slowing down on how exciting they are so why even flirt with the idea of them losing the belts. I’m glad too that Mr. Woo Woo Woo’s time was at Wrestlemania but only at Wrestlemania. The prestigious Intercontinental belt being on The Miz still feels bland but at least bringing Maryse back into WWE gives The Miz a much-needed reboot to his character. Baron Corbin continued to showcase how tall he is, this time against Dolph Ziggler whose hilarious new comedy Countdown is out now!
That was the blergh to okay stuff. Now for the NXT fun!
Enzo and Cass, How You Doin!
Yes finally after months of speculation, it was indeed the RAW after Wrestlemania that blessed us with the debut of the company’s hottest tag team. And it looks like they’ll be taking on The Dudley Boys for their first feud in the company. The prospect of Bubba Ray and Enzo cursing each other to shreds on the mic is mouthwatering.
As well as the realest guys in the room, we also were treated to the shock debut of Apollo Crews, the man with the best Standing Moonsault in the bizz. Sadly Tyler Breeze was the squashee but it’s good to have Apollo on the main roster.
Something intriguing is who was missing tonight. The Authority were not present with Triple H tweeting “All Hope Is Gone” earlier today. If he’s decided not to challenge for the belt anymore then that is indeed true as he’s been nothing but gold since Royal Rumble.
Also missing, annoyingly, was Dean Ambrose. After nauseating booking leading into Mania and against Lesnar at Mania, Dean for me is in no mans land. I have no idea what’s next for him but he’s so loved by the WWE Universe that it needs to be something good. He’s been the real star of the show since we lost our Crossfit Jesus Seth Rollins, so I worry that he was not present. There was also no mention of Kalisto or the US Title on RAW but my hope is that Smackdown will give us more answers on the Dean and Kalisto fronts. Also on Smackdown this week is Vaudevillains debuting which is super exciting. Less exciting but somewhat amusing was this vignette for the impending return of Primo and Epico.
Setting up Wrestlemania this weekend was Friday night’s NXT Takeover event which was a five match card. The opening saw a fan payoff with American Alpha pick up the win on Dash and Wilder (inside joke for UK NXT fans). The chants for Gable and Jordan have become synonymous with Wrestling fans and I even heard some on Monday Night RAW too, so it’s great that they got the victory they’d been working so hard for. What would be Baron Corbin’s last NXT match was on next against the debuting Austin Aries.
Unfortunately whilst the match was good, neither got the time to shine, with Aries picking up a roll up win. We had a great match with Asuka and Bayley which in my opinion doesn’t conclude their saga by any means and to finish the show a bloody Samoa Joe gave it all but fell short to Finn Balor in an excellent match-up.
However the show stealer was the debuting NJPW star Shinsuke Nakamura who took on Sami Zayn in what might be Zayn’s last NXT bout. It took about five seconds for Nakamura’s infectious charisma and character to win over the NXT audience as you can see.
This weekend I also had the chance to attend my third ICW show.
Insane Championship Wrestling is, in my opinion, THE UK indie promotion. It has really intense and well built storytelling and features so many great characters. At present they are building up an overarching story creating two factions between the two owners of the company. Team ICW has world indie star Grado as well as the company’s most over team The NAK aboard whilst The Black Label is home to ex WWE superstar and current TNA champion Drew Galloway.
If you get the chance do check out some of their fighters, especially the singing Joe Hendry, the Ironman Joe Coffey, the Beast of Belfast Big Damo and last but certainly not least, Global Cruiserweight headed Noam Dar.
Speaking of Global Cruiserweight, I have five words to finish this first post with.
ZACK SABRE JR IN WWE!
Thanks for reading,
BONUS: Here I am being Bray Wyatt in H&M looking for a new straw hat 🙂