Raw Review 3-7-16

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.
                                                          

                                                         Shane McMahon Promo
Shane talks about the match and its implications. The people are very hot for Shane to take over Raw. It’s neat how he’s implementing things that people say in real life about the business in his speech to make it seem like he’s really trying to fix problems people see in the business. That’s a good way to cater to fan interest.

They tease Undertaker coming out just for Vince to come out. Vince continues his diatribe from last week and breaks a picture of him and Shane on the ground. Vince has security escort Shane out of the building but instead Shane fights them off in what looked like the fakest fight scene ever. This kinda showed how much of a non-performer Shane is when it comes to the actual fighting part.
                                                              Kevin Owens vs Neville
Mate is an Australian term not an term used by the British no ? This was a great match both these guys are excellent wrestlers with excellent chemistry. They had the closest three count for Neville I’ve seen in awhile it was awesome. Kevin Owens gets a quick rollup for a win and clutches his title like only he can.

Neville had a great rebound when he jumped over the top rope and was able to land on his feet after doing a flip when Kevin Owens moved out of the way. Neville’s high flying maneuvers are just breathtaking he is a daredevil like no other. I hope he gets a push for at least a midcard title very shortly after WrestleMania he deserves it.

After the match Kevin Owens attacks Neville until Sami Zayn comes out for the save. This is the first time we’ve seen Sami since the Rumble a lot of people have been waiting for him to make his main roster debut for awhile now. Zayn and Neville send Kevin Owens packing.
                                                  HHH Dean Ambrose Recap
They recapped last Monday’s interaction and fight between HHH and Dean Ambrose. I hope they allow Dean Ambrose to look good at Roadblock this weekend.

Dolph Ziggler and Stephanie McMahon had an interesting encounter backstage rehashing the Survivor Series Match from a year and a half ago. I always thought WWE dropped the ball when they didn’t let follow that win up with a push for Dolph Ziggler but maybe they’ll finally do that. I’m guessing this will just lead to the 1v3 match she set up instead.
                                              Brie Bella vs Summer Rae
This was a very short match. Brie Bella had the match in hand when Lana appeared distracting Brie long enough for Summer Rae to execute the worst rollup in history for the win.

After the match Lana attacks Brie and gives her a facebuster. Looks like we might finally get to see Lana wrestle a match. I don’t understand why she no longer comes out with Rusev.
                                                       Dean Ambrose Promo
Dean Ambrose comes out promoting the match at Roadblock trying to convince people he has a chance of winning the title. I love Dean when he talks he’s such a smartass it’s really funny.

HHH comes out to banter with Dean. He told HHH to suck it that was great. This battle of words leads to a match between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt later in the evening.

It’s interesting that they are giving him this chance in the spotlight while Roman is out because they are really showing why people like him more than Roman Reigns. As much as I love Dean getting this spot right now if the plan is to make Roman Reigns the face of the company over Dean they are not helping him out any at all.
                       Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus Wade Barrett and Rusev
As much as I do like a lot of the individual talent in the League of Nations they just don’t seem to mesh well together. Wade Barrett was the first elimination by Dolph Ziggler. Shortly after Sheamus brogue kicks Dolph and pins him.

They are obviously still treating the League of Nations like a joke. Even though they won there’s no reason Dolph should have been able to pin anyone in that match.
                                        Shane McMahon Career Highlights
They showed a lot of the past crazy moves Shane McMahon is known for showing us why we should give him a chance in his match with The Undertaker.

Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch had a backstage encounter where Becky called out Sasha for having a Nicki Minaj attitude. That was funny.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch vs Naomi and Tamina
This was another extremely short match for the women. Sasha gives Naomi the backstabber into the bank statement for the win. Charlotte comes out after and attacks Sasha and then takes out Becky Lynch.

This was a quick way to establish Charlotte as a vicious predator it was sad that it was at the expense of Naomi and Tamina looking bad in a short match.

It’s funny to see R-Truth, after weeks of denying Goldust advances, be the one trying to convince Goldust to be his partner. To bad Goldust butt would explode if he ate that pizza it looked very good. Mark Henry was there to benefit from Goldust not wanting the pizza.
                                    The New Day vs Y2AJ Tag Title Match
This was a great match even better than the last one they had together. The match was close with a lot of near falls. You thought the whole time either team could win. After a hard fought match The New Day wins a clean match.

I’m surprised that they won clean I thought for sure Chris Jericho would turn on AJ mid match and turn heel and that would be how the match would end but instead they had Chris show his frustration after the loss and attack AJ. It’s interesting that he would get mad considering he’s the one who lost the match but they’ve been hinting at this heel turn for awhile now so it was no surprise to see it happen.

AJ had a few breathtaking moves during the match he proved tonight why he deserves to be a main event player in WWE. It was great to see Chris Jericho stuff that shirt in AJ’s mouth that was an awesome heel move. It’s very refreshing to see Chris change his attitude he’s much better as a heel than he was as a face recently.
                                                     Kalisto vs Tyler Breeze
This was a quick match establishing Kalisto as worthy of holding that title. After the match Kalisto was giving a backstage interview when Ryback interrupted. The speech he gave was more like an angry face than a heel so maybe they’re slow-burning his heel turn instead of jumping him into being a heel.
Ryback vs Curtis Axel

This was another short match. Ryback came out beat up Curtis Axel and then left. If they are going to turn him heel it’s time for him to do something bad. At this point he seems more like just a mad babyface.
Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt
This was an entertaining match but not as good as some of their previous encounters. Just as you think Dean Ambrose is going to win the match the lights go out and the Wyatt Family appears on the ring apron. They attack and take out Dean Ambrose allowing Dean to win by disqualification.

After the attack out comes HHH while The Wyatt family looks on. As HHH stands over Dean Ambrose Bray Wyatt gets in HHH’s face and stares him down. The crowd eats this up showing how big of a babyface Bray Wyatt could be. Bray rubs the belt as if its what he wants and he walks away.

Bray Wyatt has long deserved a shot to be in the world title picture I hope they finally push him that way. This segment showed how much the crowd would love to see him there.

HHH teases throwing Ambrose through a table but gets hit with dirty deeds instead. Dean Ambrose holds up the world title as HHH lays fallen and the crowd erupts.
Review

This was a good episode of Raw with a few great matches and interesting segments that geared more towards promoting Roadblock instead of WrestleMania. The best match of the night was the Y2AJ vs New Day match. If you have a few hours to spare definitely check this out.

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Best Direction After A Shane McMahon Win Over The Undertaker

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.
This WrestleMania has a match between Shane McMahon and The Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell. If Shane McMahon wins he gains control over Monday Night Raw but if he loses he will be gone forever. This writer thinks that Shane McMahon should win and this article will discuss the best way to accomplish that while giving a compelling storyline direction for the WWE post WrestleMania.

Shane McMahon is not an in-ring technician, meaning The Undertaker is going to have to play ring general during this match while allowing Shane to hit his traditional big spots. Vince and Stephanie McMahon need to be ringside the whole time so they can glare on smiling as The Undertaker dominates the whole match with a few small comeback attempts by Shane.

Just as everyone thinks there’s no way Shane is going to win the match out comes Finn Balor decked out in his demon paint/gear. He should slowly crawl out shocking the world and and distracting The Undertaker. While he is distracted out from under the ring come Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, Finn Balor’s cohorts in the Balor Club, to take out The Undertaker while Shane McMahon stares down his dad and sister smiling.

Shane McMahon should get the win with the help of the newly debuting Balor Club. This would be a great way to debut the Balor Club. Not only would this debut the demon in Finn Balor opposite The Undertaker but it would show the Balor Club is here to dominate WWE which is exactly the spot they should hold. Finn Balor is a top tier talent and should debut as such.

This should be the last match of the night because we will have already seen HHH lose his title and now we’ll close the show seeing him lose his position as an onscreen authority figure with a win by Shane McMahon.

The next night on Raw Shane McMahon comes out talking about how he played everyone and used the Balor Club to take over his dads company. This would allow The Authority, which has been heel for years now, to turn babyface. This would also shake up WWE by debuting the most dominant faction since The Shield and giving us a new heel in charge in Shane McMahon.

What they don’t need to do is have him talk about or act like he’s The Authority. We’ve already seen that for the last few years they should go in a different direction with this new heel faction. He can still give guys chances and do all the things he said he would leading up to the match at WrestleMania that way he doesn’t seem a lot like The Authority. He’ll reveal he made a deal with The Balor Club because he wanted to oust Stephanie, Vince, and HHH and in returns he’ll give them extra special treatment.

What do you guys think ? Should the Balor Club align themselves with Shane McMahon to debut with a vengeance or should they debut after WrestleMania as faces ?

Austin Podcast With The Big Show Review

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.

I love how Stone Cold starts off the podcast by taking a few moments to give a heartfelt speech about the current situations of Daniel Bryan and Bret Hart with the most serious look on his face. Even when he talks about having a tear in his eye because of their situations he looks like he wants to stomp a mudhole in somebody, I love it. If you decide to watch any part of this podcast at least watch the first few minutes because he is absolutely hilarious.
                                            Interesting Key Points
He thinks he has two more years left in the business.

After 20 years in the business it’s still fun for him.

He is naturally intimidating because of his size so he developed a super nice guy personality because he didn’t want people to be scared of him.

Jim Ross offered him a contract with WWE while he was still under contract with WCW. He turned it down showing integrity in finishing his current contract before signing another contract with someone else.

Stone Cold said working with The Big Show was like working with a grizzly bear. He will manhandle you.

He thinks he has been booked horribly but blames himself because he was just being a team player willing to do whatever was asked of him.

He told Floyd Mayweather to break his nose which is borderline insane.

He cried on the show when they showed a picture of his dad. You can tell he has a big heart, no pun intended.

Hulk Hogan told him to wear the title through the airport. He was so proud while doing it until Sting told him he looked like an idiot. That is when he realized they were playing a joke on him.

The reason he has had a million face/heel turns over the years is because he’s such a good hand that he can play any role at any time.
Interesting Stories
The Big Show was diagnosed with acromegaly, or gigantism, when he was 19 years old. Acromegaly results from an abnormal amount of growth hormone in the body which generally come from tumors. This is what caused his massive growth at early ages in his life.

When he was 5 years old he was 5 foot tall and weighed 100 pounds. When he was 12 he was 6’2 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds. The parents of kids his age were afraid to let him play with their kids because they all thought he was so much older.

Being a giant has its rough points. He can’t fit in airplane seats and bumps his head every time he turns around. He has to get special clothes because most don’t fit him. He can only fit in certain cars because a lot of them are to small. Being a giant also is a big part of him getting his first real opportunity in life.

The Big Show had a real tough time during his college age years. He went to Wichita State to play basketball for a coach he adored only to see that same coach get fired halfway through the season. He had to deal with the death of his beloved grandfather. He had to deal with the the surgery to remove the pituitary gland that caused his condition. He had no money, no opportunity, and no idea what to do for a living.

It was during this time that he met Hulk Hogan and got his first opportunity in the business in WCW. In WCW it was very easy. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash came in changed the business and the locker room atmosphere.

In WCW no-one was in charge because everyone was in charge with so many wrestlers having creative control. It created a ticking time bomb that eventually bankrupted the company.

He signed with WWE in 1999 and saw a completely different atmosphere. In WWE everyone was hungry to be the best. It was a highly competitive atmosphere where everyone dared each other to be better.

He wasn’t well received by the WWE locker room at first. The Undertaker was very hard on him and very direct when he spoke to him. He was trying to push The Big Show hard to make him better because he saw a lot of potential in him. He appreciates everything The Undertaker did for his career even though he doesn’t feel like he deserved it. He came into the WWE with the right attitude. He wanted to learn, get better, and was very humble.

He was working with Stone Cold for two weeks in Europe in preparation of working with Brock Lesnar. He goes to throw Stone Cold back in the ring during a match and when he grabbed his tights he pulled them up so high you could see his bare, super white butt. This made Stone Cold so mad he starts hitting him hard and cussing at him. The Big Show, angered by the shoot, grabs Stone Cold by the neck and runs him into the turnbuckle cussing back at him and showing fire for first time. This got Stone Cold excited and that surprised The Big Show. This was when it all clicked for him and turned his career around. He learned to be a giant that day.

This was a compelling look into the life and career of The Big Show. He shows us that you can overcome adversity. He wants to be remembered as someone who loved the business and is respected by his coworkers and his boss. You can see his passion for the business during the podcast.

After watching this I don’t see how you can still chant please retire to the man. He hasn’t been burying the younger talent; he has lost more matches than he’s won over the last few years. He wants to put over the younger talent and have them succeed. He shows true passion by continuing to work hard every day in spite of wins or losses.

My favorite thing is that he doesn’t what if his career all the time. He is humble and thankful for what he’s been given. This is a lesson that we can all learn. How can you still say please retire after listening to The Big Show talk about his career? The man clearly is very passionate about his work and wants to do what’s best for his peers and the company which is very admirable. This was a very interesting look at The Big Show the person not The Big Show the character. I recommend this podcast to all.

Please feel free to comment and start debates below.

Smackdown Live Blog 3-3-16

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.

                                                                 Opening Segment
Listening to this promo has me thinking about the prospects of combining the Dean Ambrose Brock Lesnar feud and the Roman Reigns HHH feud into one fatal four way match. Honestly I can’t decide which would be better. Seeing Ambrose and Lesnar 1v1 would be awesome and the story between HHH and Reigns does need a 1v1 match however thinking about the magic these four could put together in one match does have me very intrigued.

Kevin Owens comes out trash talking Dean Ambrose proving why he is one of the best talkers in the WWE right now. He tries to take a cheap shot on Ambrose but he turns the chairs on Owens and knocks him out of the ring sending Kevin to the back.

This was an entertaining segment for what it was but it didn’t further any stories. We’ve already seen months of a rivalry between the two not to long ago so it would’ve been nice if they would’ve just went with something else here. Having Ambrose cut a promo by himself would’ve been just fine but I get they were setting up the main event match like a traditional Smackdown opening segment does.
                                                The Usos vs The League of Nations
You can tell they are trying to build back up the League of Nations so that when they face The New Day at WrestleMania for the tag titles they seem like credible contenders. They’ve been treated like afterthoughts for months so it’s interesting to see them be so dominating now.

The match was just okay. It’s interesting to see The Usos playing the stepping stone role a lot as of late. If they wouldn’t have teams lose so much for weeks and months then they wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to build them back up as credible contenders to titles.

Out come The Dudley Boys after the match to attack The Usos. It’s funny how they went on a tirade about not bringing out the tables anymore yet they’ve done it several times since then but that is a very heel like thing to do. I love Bubba Ray as a heel they should give him more of a forum to talk he is very compelling as a bully.
                                                     Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
Another extremely short pointless match. Dolph wins in the exact same way as The Miz did the last time they faced. I’m not sure I see the point of trading quick pin wins but maybe we’ll see if it actually leads to something although I doubt it will. If they are building these two guys up to be in a multi man Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania then these matches don’t help; they just make these two guys look like jokes.

Goldust looked so sad so R-Truth tries to console him. Truth finally agrees to be in a tag team with Goldust but this time Goldust thinks Truth is playing with him and walks off. I love their backstage segments together but if they are going to become a tag team then it’s time to go forward with those plans.
                                                     Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
I love how when Charlotte comes out they both stop and stare at her. If I were a competitor I would be 100% focused on my competitor at all times regardless of whether or not a rival or anyone came out. If she interferes it’ll be a disqualification regardless if you saw it coming or not. That would’ve been a perfect time for either Becky or Sasha to get a jump on the other when they weren’t paying attention to the other.

You can tell these two have really good chemistry as all their matches are really entertaining to watch. They finally did what I said they should’ve done Monday and have the disqualification come by interference by Charlotte. This was a much better way to set the triple threat match at WrestleMania that we all want to see. I think I could’ve done without Ric Flair’s weird dance and wooing over the ladies but seeing Charlotte be vicious and destructive was nice.

She should’ve cut a mini promo walking up the stage saying something about how no-one’s good enough to face her at WrestleMania and she’s just gonna defend the title against no-one. The did semi-correct that by having a backstage interview allowing her to talk where they introduced the triple threat match.
                                                         Kofi Kingston vs AJ Styles
The New Day promos are so dumb I just can’t help but laugh. I wonder what they would be like as babyfaces. The New Day seem to get a promo opportunity every show even before every match; that makes me wonder if they’ll ever get a main event push I think they deserve a chance.

AJ Styles wins a very entertaining match. I do think it’s interesting that team Y2AJ has a tag team championship match against The New Day soon yet Chris Jericho didn’t want to be out there at ringside in case The New Day decides to jump AJ ?

Bray Wyatt cuts a promo on Brock Lesnar that makes me sad we didn’t get to see the long term WrestleMania feud with him and Brock. Thinking about the promos between Paul Heyman and Bray Wyatt get me very excited.
                                                 Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens
These two guys always put together a good match between one another but it’s something I’ve seen a lot of recently so that dampers my excitement a little. I do wish that they’d stop making Kevin Owens look like a fool and lose so much; I feel like he’s better portrayed as a dominating force. I get that he’s a heel and heels need to get their come-uppance but not every week; you build up to those kinds of things.
Review
This was a good episode of Smackdown the first two matches were just okay but the last three really picked up the pace and were very entertaining. If you have a free hour and a half I’d suggest checking out this episode.

NXT Live Blog 3-3-16

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.

                            The Vaudevillains vs Hugo Knox and Tucker Knight
Ive never seen Hugo Knox or Tucker Knight before but this Hugo Knox guy is jacked. He looks like a prototypical WWE guy we’ll have to see though if they ever give him a chance to develop his character because a good look isn’t everything.  Tucker Knight looks like a large man out there I could see him as a powerhouse brute as well depending on how his personality is able to be developed.

The Vaudevillians pick up an easy win against a pair of guys very low on the totem pole at the moment. It was a very short bout set up to remind us that The Vaudevillains are still a formidable tag team. They have an interesting gimmick but I’d like to see them add some more depth to their characters.
                                                       Santana Garrett vs Emma
Emma wins via tapout in what was practically another squash match. They seem to like to continue to remind us how good Emma is when she faces low tier talent but when she faces someone high on the totem pole she always loses. She’s to talented to be used as a stair step for the women NXT really wants to push.
                                                                  Austin Aries debuts

He doesn’t even make it all the way down the ramp before Baron Corbin runs him over and beats him down. I loved Baron Corbin throwing that shirt at William Regal I think he is a compelling bad guy who will be NXT champion by the end of the year and a great addition to the main roster as soon as next year. This was a very short segment but sets up a nice feud between Corbin and Aries and shows Corbin as a destructive force in NXT. This feud will show that Baron Corbin is ready to be the man in NXT after they call up Finn Balor. I definitely wouldn’t want Baron Corbin being my welcoming committee.
                                                 Steve Cutler vs Elias Samson
I’ve never seen this Steve Cutler character before. I’m usually a guy who likes the villains more than the babyfaces but Elias Samson just doesn’t click with me he doesn’t really do anything that stands out. I’d really like to know what the guitar has to do wtih his gimmick I don’t get it. When he played the air guitar was just kinda dumb. He picked up another easy win in another squash match. This is the only type of match we’ve seen him in it’s time they let him face more established stars because his matches are boring.
                                                            Neville vs Finn Balor
This was a great match with a couple moves that were awesome to watch. Seeing Neville do the Red Arrow and land on his feet was crazy. It wasn’t surprising to see Finn Balor win though considering usually when they bring a main roster guy back to NXT it’s to put over an NXT star.

This match shows us how Neville is being so underutilized on the main roster. Neville is a spectacular performer who reminds me a lot of a young Rey Mysterio in the way he flies around the ring and is so innovative with his high flying moves. The Red Arrow blows my mind every time I see it. Neville would be the perfect person to reignite the cruiserweight division on the main roster. Even if they didn’t want to bring back that title it’s time that he at least be in the hunt for one of the midcard titles. He may not be the greatest yet on the mic but if they’d allow him more lengthy feuds with guys who will challenge his mic skills you never know what he could accomplish.

They’ve been showing Balor Club for awhile now it’s time that they actually give him some members and turn him heel and let him start a heel faction. Finn Balor is an amazing showman and excellent in the ring but I think a heel turn and receiving a faction will allow him to add more layers to his character and be a great way to showcase him as a main event player as soon as he comes to the main roster. They could really shake up Raw and Smackdown by allowing the Balor Club to debut and dominate. It would guarantee a boost in ratings.

Raw Live Blog 2/29/16

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.

                           Opening Segment – HHH and Dean Ambrose Promo
HHH started off with a promo that was a little bland.  It wasn’t terrible just wasn’t really that memorable. I normally really enjoy the promos HHH gives but it almost seemed like he was just biding time for Dean Ambrose to come out it was definitely not high on his list of great promos.  I think they should keep Dean Ambrose story separate from Roman Reigns for once especially since he has his own beef with Brock Lesnar but without Brock there every week and now Roman Reigns not there this week I suppose it’s not the worst thing to happen. I thought the bromance joke was pretty funny amongst a few other comments. I really enjoyed the interaction between the two and it shows how much people would rather see Dean Ambrose in the main event spot over Roman Reigns. I’m not sure though how that benefits Roman Reigns being pushed as the top babyface it seems like if they want people to like him they shouldn’t tease putting other people they’d rather see in his spot.
                                   Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch #1 Contender Match
You could tell a lot of people were torn on who they want to win. Becky Lynch has really grown her star power over the last few months and Sasha Banks has been over since day one so it’s really sad that only one can hold the divas title as I think both are deserving of a run with it. I thought the match was just okay but it wasn’t very long. I thought that the ending wasn’t very good it just didn’t seem like the move that resulted in the double pin should’ve really kept them both from kicking out. I think I would’ve enjoyed the result a little more if NXT hadn’t just did the same thing recently it almost seems like they are just copying that. I think they should’ve just went with the old fashioned way of creating the triple threat match by having Charlotte interfere leaving us no winner.
                                                         Bray Wyatt Promo
I love Bray Wyatt’s promos I just wish they’d finally let him back up his words and not lose all the time. The family’s loss at the Fastlane ppv seemed completely pointless to me. It’s time they give Bray a main event push. I think he could be a stellar main event heel he is a one of a kind performer.
Miz vs Dolph Ziggler
I blinked and this match was over. I’m not really sure what the point of this match was I don’t watch the pre-show so I didn’t know about their interaction last week until right before the match. It kinda seems like they are creating seeds for a multi man intercontinental championship match at WrestleMania this year again by creating tension between several superstars. I don’t mind short matches sometimes but when it’s between two stars that haven’t had much interaction lately it seems pointless. If they are going towards a Dolph Ziggler heel turn that would be great but they’ve teased that to many times recently to believe it will actually happen.
                                                    McMahon Family Recap
The production quality of WWE’s recaps are very good and entertaining and I can see how it’s great for people who don’t watch every week but for us who do watch every week I don’t think we really care to see what we saw last week. I think they could’ve used this spot to further the story not retell what we already saw.
                                                     Stephanie McMahon Promo
I like how she comes out with that trophy again as if anyone cares that she got it. I wonder if she’ll keep carrying it out week after week. She is a good antagonist but I’m failing to see the point of this segment.  I think it would’ve been much better if they would’ve had her banter with Shane present.
                                                 Lucha Dragons vs League of Nations
I think Kalisto is absolutely electric in the ring he makes me yearn to see the cruiserweight division a regular part of WWE programming again. Could you imagine Neville and Kalisto heading that division right now ? It would be so awesome. The match was pretty uneventful seemed like just a reason to give the League of Nations some steam heading into a tag title match at WrestleMania. I’m just glad they had Del Rio sit this one out I’ve seen enough of his feud with Kalisto for awhile.
Side note what a shameless Subway plug afterwards by Natalya. Another thing I’m not a fan of is when they recap something I saw an hour ago. I haven’t forgotten yet trust me.
                                                          Ryback vs Adam Rose
Pretty quick match they’re obviously trying to push Ryback as a dominant superstar again this time as a heel. Hopefully they won’t follow the squash match formula for to long this time like they did when he first debuted years ago. I think Ryback makes for a much better heel than face because of his intimidating frame and look. Hopefully they’ll give him a chance as a top heel I think he has a lot to offer. I think it’d be good if they’d give him a mouth piece too.
                                                    The New Day vs Y2AJ
I love The New Day’s promos. They are so stupid and ridiculous it’s almost just funny no matter what they say.  AJ Styles doesn’t need to be in a tag team at this point in his WWE career. I really hope that they’re doing this as a lead in for Chris Jericho to turn heel on him and have one final match at WrestleMania. I think that they should set it up as a three way with The Miz since we’ve already seen Y2J and AJ three times and it would give The Miz something to do at WrestleMania too. I’m really enjoying AJ’s run so far in the WWE I hope they continue to put him in entertaining feuds/matches.  I enjoy watching all the competitors involved so I thought this was a very enjoyable match.  I do wish they’d let Xavier Woods wrestle a little more. He’s a really good mouthpiece but if they want him to be able to break off on his own one day he should get some more experience wrestling on tv. Y2AJ is such a stupid name for a tag team even though it does make sense. It is kinda odd how buddy buddy these two guys seem after Chris Jericho disrespected him so much leading up to their match at Fastlane. They just seem a little too happy together to have been at odds with each other just a few weeks ago.
Side note – Booty-O’s cereal …. let’s make this happen WWE !!!
                                        Vince McMahon Undertaker Segment
Over twenty years later and The Undertaker still has the best and most mesmerizing entrance in WWE history. The song meshes so well with the character and he looks so scary walking down the entrance ramp. Watching him just makes me wonder how memorable they could make Bray Wyatt if they would actually push him in his career like they did for The Undertaker. I love how they had The Undertaker grab Mr. McMahon by the throat but I do think it’s funny how they suspend Titus Oneil for grabbing his arm yet they don’t do the same tonight when The Undertaker grabs his throat ? Consistency WWE or it makes no sense. I was hoping to hear The Undertaker share more of his thoughts about the contest with Shane and how he feels about it but all he really said was I’m gonna kill him and that was it. They definitely got real personal real quick after he left.
                                                  The Usos vs The Dudley’s
I’m surprised that they didn’t save this feud for a ppv after The Dudley’s turned on them but it looks like they may be wanting to have them both in a multi man tag match at WrestleMania.  Another short unmemorable match. I’m surprised that they had The Usos lose so easily considering their pedigree. The table spot was really cool.
Side note – I think the R-Truth Goldust segments are hilarious but I’m ready for them to start doing more than just backstage segments. The tag team division could use them. Goldust looked so sad after he was rejected for the millionth time it’s a surprise that he’s still trying.
                                                     Kevin Owens vs Big Show
Normally I don’t like seeing the same match two weeks in a row like this but it makes sense that Big Show would want a rematch after the way the match ended last week.  I love Kevin Owens he’s my guy right now. I think he’s the best heel in the business other than Bray Wyatt and I really hope he gets a main event run by the beginning of next year.  I’m not really sure how it’s beneficial to anyone to have the same ending again just with the other guy losing but maybe we’ll see where this is going over the next few weeks.
Side note – not sure what the point of having Lana interrupt Brie Bella considering the lack of past interaction but maybe they’re actually gonna have Lana start wrestling ?
                                                      Naomi vs Brie Bella
That dancing kick thing Naomi does is really dumb she should scrap that ASAP.  The ending segment looked kinda botched. The match was kinda short and uneventful.  They had Lana come out after the match and then cut to a commercial ? Seems confusing to me.
Side note – I really enjoy Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks interactions backstage.
                                             Alberto Del Rio vs Dean Ambrose
I love how they start the main event matches like ten minutes before the show is over pretty regularly. Seems to me like you would have the main event match be one of the longer matches on the show?  This was a really good match anything Dean Ambrose is in usually turns out well and I think Del Rio is much better than people give him credit for.  It’s no surprise that HHH came out during the middle of the match because it didn’t really need a winner. I liked that they gave Ambrose an opportunity to get a little fight in before he was put down.  I’m not sure though why he’s getting a title match being that he’s in a complete other feud right now but I can’t say I’m disappointed I’ve been waiting for Ambrose to get a main event push for awhile.  It seems like he’s been on the cusp for awhile but hasn’t been able to get the title yet.
Side note – I’m still waiting for the big Rusev announcement and Raw is over now ?
                                                                    Review
I thought this episode of Raw was average at best. The best match to me was the Y2AJ New Day match. I hope we start seeing more build for more WrestleMania matches soon.  You can’t build up to a match that I don’t know exists yet. The Undertaker segment was to short to enjoy.  I’m really surprised HHH gave Dean Ambrose a title shot seems like a non-title match would make more sense.  Why give away a title match to someone who just lost a #1 contender match?  These were my thoughts as I was watching Raw tonight. I’d suggest if you haven’t watched it yet just skimming through it.

Why the WWE SHOULD go forward with the brand split

By Byron Evans – @Bevans1985 Follow me on twitter so you don’t miss any of my articles. I post podcast recaps and original content daily.

There has been a lot of speculation recently about splitting the Raw and Smackdown brands and I think they should do it. It was absolutely thrilling to see which superstars would switch brands and all the new rivalries that could be forged as a result. One of my favorite surprise moments was to see John Cena get drafted to the Smackdown brand for the first time in many years only to get drafted back to raw at the end of that night.

A lot of people think that there aren’t enough main even stars right now or enough roster depth to do the brand split but I disagree. There is a lot of talent that has never been main event talent that if booked properly could become that. There are also several guys who had a main event run who haven’t been given much opportunity lately.

Twenty plus years ago WCW raided a lot of the established stars the WWE had created at that point which resulted in a few years of some of the lowest ratings in WWE history yet they survived that. With their backs against the wall they created new main event talent and enjoyed some of the best years in company history.  The ratings have been at their lowest points in twenty years recently so what do they really have to lose ? Worst case scenario the ratings stay low but the best case scenario is they could have the opportunity to create the new stars that people have been clamoring for and enjoy another success period like they did twenty years ago. Is it possible the brand split could go so horrible it could bankrupt the company ? I’ll never say never to anything but I think it’s highly unlikely. It’s not nearly as big of a gamble as creating the first WrestleMania or the new WWE network and it’s not like if it’s failing that bad they can’t change plans.

The brand split could force the WWE to push midcard guys that people have wanted to see have a run at the top, people who have had failed main event runs in the past could have another opportunity to see if they could do better this time, and newer faces that have just gotten started could get more opportunities.

You have several potential top of the card heels in Rusev, Bubba Ray, Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt. Any of these guys could be legit top of the card heels that either brand could be built around. Rusev was a dominant monster heel during his first year in the WWE. Kevin Owens has been the best heel in WWE since his arrival in my opinion. Bray Wyatt could be one of the most intriguing heels in WWE history if booked properly. A lot of people may not have seen it but Bubba Ray was one of the most compelling bully heels during his main event run in TNA. There is a lot of talent that could potentially be main event heels as well such as Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Randy Orton, and the Miz.

You could finally push Dean Ambrose as a top babyface and still have Roman Reigns be the face of the other brand. There are a lot of other potential top babyfaces for either brand such as Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, John Cena, and Randy Orton. There may be guys who have been pushed as main event talents in the past that haven’t been given much of a run lately like the Miz, who has been much better as of late, and Ryback.

More time for talent means more opportunities for guys who haven’t been getting it which would make a lot of people happy. What about guys like Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Neville, and Cody Rhodes/Stardust?  These are all guys people have been clamoring for years to be given more opportunities..  Has anyone seen Damien Sandow lately ? He can’t even get on tv yet when he does he seems super over. Maybe a run with him could propel him to another level. You never know what a guy can do if you don’t give him a chance. I think the success of the superstar is dependant as much on the stories they’re given as it is what they do with the story especially nowadays where everything is so micromanaged.  What about giving The New Day an opportunity as a main event faction and you could have Big E or Kofi pursue a main event title ?

They can always sign more top talent from other organizations. The WWE has gotten a lot of its top stars from organizations in the past such as Booker T, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Stone Cold, Mankind, Seth Rollins, etc .  Not everyone is homegrown and that’s okay. This is a system that can keep working in the future.

They can promote talent from NXT because the strength of the WWE brand is more determined by Raw and Smackdown not NXT, so if NXT suffers for a short time while they build new developmental stars it will be okay. Everyone needs to remember that NXT is the DEVELOPMENTAL brand. It’s sole purpose is to create stars for Raw and Smackdown not to create stars to stick around in NXT. Once NXT guys become stars its less beneficial for WWE to keep them there than it would be for them to be used on the main roster. Guys like Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn, Austin Aries, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Hideo Itami could all add a lot of depth to the roster right now.  What a perfect time to call the balor club, former bullet club guys, up to one of the brands to dominate. Would NXT be okay if Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews led the way for awhile ? You could debate either side but one will never know if they aren’t given the opportunity to take the ball and run with it. Remember Solomon Crowe ? He never really got a real shot to do anything because the NXT roster was so crowded with guys who could’ve just been promoted. This would open the opportunity for more talent to be evaluated in the developmental system.

Yes there are some guys who are injured right now and maybe it would be better to craft a story for the brands to split at SummerSlam or Survivor Series instead but there’s no reason to wait any longer than another year. They could really craft a story that the whole next year could be built around that would lead to the split.

It’s all about proper booking. The WWE may have neglected people in the past but with proper booking they can correct any issues with talent and turn them into what they want them to be in the future. You’ll never know what guys are capable of until you give them a run. Split the brands again WWE and give the talent more opportunites to succeed and I’ll bet you won’t be disappointed.

Check back as I plan on creating the story behind the split and drafting a roster for both brands. Feel free to comment and start a discussion below.