The Inhuman Feat of Strength everyone is STILL talking about

…And will be talking about possibly for YEARS to come =O

The video is cued to start just before the moment Braun Strowman shocked the WWE Universe:

…The trolls who commented on this video were quick to point out the fact a shadow can be seen exiting the back of the ambulance–probably Roman Reigns–just before Braun Strowman flips the Ambulance completely over. The camera momentarily shows you the back of the now closed rear ambulance doors (which was clearly a botch as they were open moments before) and confirms no one was in the back.

By the way, that Ambulance’s weight averages 5 tons. You usually see bodybuilders pull or push a vehicle of that size and bigger in competitions but Strowman went full power and flipped it over =O

Roman Reigns’ reported “injuries” afterward are clearly a work. He’s probably going to be taking some time off. The rumors are swirling between retiring The Undertaker and putting over Strowman with this segment Reigns will (finally) Heel turn. With Ambrose as a Face and Rollins a Face, it makes too much sense not for Reigns to Heel turn when he returns now that all three former Shield members are on RAW (Presumably intentional). Ambrose is too over with the crowd to Heel turn and doesn’t need it. Neither does Rollins, who became a Face when he returned from injury last year. Reigns, on the other hand does need it since he doesn’t have the mat skills and mic skills John Cena has that allowed him to not Heel turn since his early years.

As for Strowman, he is clearly being built to feud with Lesnar. Whatever doubts the WWE Universe may have had in regards to Strowman facing Lesnar were prettymuch answered with what he did on RAW. It’s going to be one hell of a matchup =O

The Inhuman Feat of Strength everyone is STILL talking about

Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

According to a few sources within WWE, The Phenom vs. The Roman Empire at WM33 is “prettymuch set”. Vince McMahon has reportedly wanted to book them in a match for some time now. This seems to match rumors I heard last year ‘Taker was originally going to be Reigns’ opponent last year.

It ended up not happening as we know for two reasons:

  1. The Reigns/Triple H feud was going unexectedly well even though everyone knew Trips was just putting Reigns over.
  2. The creative team had to scramble to write Shane McMahon’s sudden return to WWE after a nearly 10 year hiatus. Since Vince was personally involved, they had no choice but to book Shane with The Undertaker. The buildup fell flat but the match itself was unexpectedly good.

…This will be a match for the ages. The foundation for their match at Wrestlemania was laid when Reigns eliminated The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble (See above picture). It’s just a matter of when in regards to when the buildup begins.

What would make this matchup real interesting: According to an interview by Roman Reigns himself, he might Heel turn real soon. That would make the buildup believable and his character has been teasing a Heel turn for some time now.

I think it’s a safe bet the match is a done deal. Even though it won’t be a title match, this time we can expect to see a full match between the two titans of destruction =O

…This was obviously being set up to happen but due to Seth Rollins re-injuring his surgically repaired knee (The same one that cost him 9 months from fall 2015 to Spring 2016), he may be out for up to 8 weeks (!) which means he’s definitely missing Wrestlemania. Ouch! He has not been medically cleared to compete in any live events since the injury on RAW.

WWE has promised to provide an update in the upcoming RAW episode. Should Rollins be shelved, WWE’s creative team apparently has a replacement match set to go…

…The match alot of insiders thought was actually going to happen at last year’s Summer Slam believe it or not. For those who don’t know, there is legit…”tension” is the word I’ll use between Triple H and Shane. Triple H and Stephanie feel threatened by Shane’s return to the company after being away for 7 years. While Shane was away,

Triple H and Stephanie worked their way up the corporate ladder both on and off-screen (By the way, Triple H is the Director of Talent Relations and the Principal Owner of NXT). Triple H’s brain child NXT moved WWE out of the PG Era and helped kick off the rebranding of the Women’s Division. The story goes, it was Stephanie who convinced Vince to trust Triple H and cut back on his on-screen appearances, allowing the company to move into The New Era.

Their concern–more specifically The Game’s–is the possability Vince might hand the company over to Shane. Shane wasn’t lying when he said he “never lost his place in line” this time last year on RAW. As far as I know, Shane does not hold any executive positions within the company aside from being the Smackdown GM since his return.

Should Rollins be shelved–and I don’t think WWE will rush him back for the match–then they will start building this instead.

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…We could see what WWE had planned for Seth Rollins and Finn Balor last year: NXT’s best brawler vs. The Face of WWE. Could be crazy but it could also be real interesting. That said, as of right now we still don’t know which roster Samoa Joe will be on yet. I don’t think that’s been set in stone.

That said, I do think it could be an interesting match. They both have crazy stamina and both have impressive mat skills to boot =O

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I only just heard about this possible matchup this morning: Bray Wyatt is apparently the favorite to win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV later this month. He would then go on to face Randy Orton at Wrestlemania for the title.

Orton has been part od the Wyatt Family for the last three months. The Apex Predator is one of a handful of superstars who can be Over with the crowd weather he’s a Face or a Heel. We probably won’t see the buildup until after the Elimination Chamber match though.

 

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Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

We now know why Goldberg and Brock Lesnar’s Survivor Series match only lasted 2 minutes

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It goes without saying the match between Goldberg and Brock Lensar left alot to be desired with the way it was built.

As it turns out, my initial analysis when spot-on: Lensar put Goldberg over. According to multiple sources, it was actually Lesnar’s idea when the match was booked. Lesnar reportedly convinced Vince McMahon Goldberg winning was best for business. Turns out Goldberg signed a deal to appear at the Royal Rumble in January, setting up for Wrestlemania 33 where they will presumably have a rematch.

As for why the match only lasted 2 minutes, apparently Goldberg didn’t get enough training done in time for the match. Not only that, apparently he tweaked his shoulder during last week’s promo on RAW. So, WWE took the safe route and made it a squash match since Goldberg was in no condition to have a longer match. Goldberg was already booked to win anyway so…yeah.

It also helps Lesnar and Goldberg are actually close friends in real life. LOL. So, yeah. You can bet Lesnar’s looking forward to working with Goldberg again in the near future.

 

We now know why Goldberg and Brock Lesnar’s Survivor Series match only lasted 2 minutes

Smackdown Superstar Randy Orton invades Raw; Mixed Tag Matches Return

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…I knew when Lesnar’s promo was saved for last something BIG was going to happen. I knew from the last brand split cross-brand invasions were an inevitability. Even so, I never considered the possability it would happen so early. The only reason I can see it working is because of who’s involved: Orton, Lesnar and Heyman. Retaliation should be expected sooner if not later. LOL.

A man of few words, Orton RKO’d Lesnar and made his escaoe through the crowd before RAW Officials could touch him.

RAW kicked off with a mixed tag match–the first such match in a few years–involving Enzo Amore and WWE Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Chris Jericho and Charlotte. It was pretty obvious Sasha and Charlotte just wanted in on Enzo’s promo–How you doin’?

For many in the house crowd, it was probably their first time seeing a match between male and female superstars. As per the rules, competators compete against the same-sex opponents. When a tag is made it counts for both sides prettymuch. Chyna and Lita were two exceptions to this rule that I’m aware of: They could hold their own against male superstars in the ring.

I think we might see male vs. female matchups moving forward due to the talent available on both rosters. From the promo being set up, I thought we were gonna see Banks vs, Jericho until Enzo’s music hit. Now that Big Cass and Kevin Owens are involved in the rivalry, things could be very interesting on RAW next week.

…Roman Reigns’ next opponent has been chosen: U.S. Champion Rusev.

In doing this, you remove him from the Universal Championship hunt, allow the Rollins/Balor feud to build and keep Reigns a Face. Well played, WWE. The two have clashed in the past but this time, the U.S. Title wil be on the line.

An interesting fun fact: Roman Reigns will be the last member of The Shield to win the U.S. Championship. Dean Ambrose won the title shortly after the Shield came to WWE and Seth Rollins became the first superstart to ever hold both the U.S. Title and the WWE Championship at the same time last year (he dropped the U.S. Title to Cena at Summer Slam and vacated the WWE Championship due to injury a few weeks later).

…This isn’t a tag match: D. Young and Titus are facing off in singles competition. The former longtime tag team partners came close to winning the Tag Team Championship during their second run as a team a few years ago as the Prime Time Players.

The new rivalry between the former friends is a clear message their days are partners are now over. Since becoming a singles competator, Titus O’Neil has gotten close to winning the U.S. Title and the WWE Championship but came up short. D. Young also came up short in his recent failed bid to get the IC Championship at Battleground. Titus also turned Heel. Here’s hoping it isn’t just for their feud.

Speaking of, it will be very important for WWE to have their next opponent(s) lined up before their feud reaches its end. More for D. Young’s sake than Titus.

…Ah, the return of Squash Matches. A Squash Match is basically what you’ve been seeing Strowman and Jaxx do two weeks in a row now: A match against a local competator who has no chance against them. Said local competator is fed to their opponent but it does give them publicity for smaller promotions that might want to sign them.

It’s more handy for Jaxx than Strowman in my book: Everyone already knows what Strowman is capable of. I assume WWE’s building him for a feud with another big man. The Big Show, Mark Henry, Rusev, Titus O’Neil or possibly even Brock Lesnar. It could be fun.

Nia Jaxx will definitely be in the title hunt soon. It could be as soon as the Sasha Banks/Charlotte Rivalry runs its course or shortly before: Sasha Banks certainly will want to have someone handy to deal with Dana Brook. LOL.

 

Smackdown Superstar Randy Orton invades Raw; Mixed Tag Matches Return

WWE Draft 2016: Smackdown Results [UPDATED]

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Here are the first 30 draft choices in the order they were announced by brand on the first live edition of Smackdown. In parantheses are is the overall draft order. These rosters should be assumed set in stone after Battleground though as of right now, there is one cross-brand match on the card for Summer Slam next month (Lesnar vs. Orton).

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The Raw Commissioner is Stephanie McMahon. The GM is Mick Foley.

Superstars:

  • Seth Rollins (1st)
  • Women’s Champion Charlotte (3rd)
  • Finn Balor* (5th)
  • Roman Reigns (6th)
  • Brock Lesnar (8th)
  • Tag Team Champions The New Day# (10th)
  • Sami Zayn (11th)
  • Sasha Banks (13th)
  • Chris Jericho (15th)
  • US Champion Rusev w/ Lana (16th)
  • Kevin Owens (18th)
  • Enzo and Cass# (20th)
  • Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (21st)
  • The Big Show (23rd)
  • Nia Jax* (25th)
  • Neville (26th)
  • Cesaro (28th)
  • Sheamus (30th)
  • The Golden Truth# (31st)
  • Titus O’Neil (33rd)
  • Paige (35th)
  • Darren Young (36th)
  • Sin Carra (38th)
  • Jack Swagger (40th)
  • The Dudley Boyz# (42nd)
  • Summer Rae (44th)
  • Mark Henry (46th)
  • Braun Stroman (48th)
  • Bo Dallas (50th)
  • The Shining Stars# (52nd)
  • Alicia Fox (54th)
  • Dana Brooke (56th)
  • Curtis Axel (58th)

 

Announcers

  • Michael Cole
  • Corey Graves
  • Byron Saxton

* Drafted from NXT

# All existing members of the group were drafted together

 

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The Smackdown Commissioner is Shane McMahon. The GM is Daniel Bryan.

 

Superstars:

  • WWE Champion Dean Ambrose (2nd)
  • AJ Styles (4th)
  • John Cena (7th)
  • Randy Orton (9th)
  • Bray Wyatt (12th)
  • Becky Lynch (14th)
  • Intercontinental Champion The Miz w/ Maurice (17th)
  • Baron Corbin (19th)
  • American Alpha* (22nd)
  • Dolph Ziggler (24th)
  • Natalya (27th)
  • Alberto Del Rio (29th)
  • The Usos# (32nd)
  • Kane (34th)
  • Kalisto (37th)
  • Naomi (39th)
  • The Ascension (41st)
  • Zack Ryder (43rd)
  • Apollo Crews (45th)
  • Alexa Blizz* (47th)
  • Breezango (49th)
  • Eva Marie (51st)
  • The Vaudevillains (53rd)
  • Eric Rowan (55th)
  • Mojo Rawley* (57th)
  • Carmella* (59th)

 

Announcers:

  • Mauro Ranollo
  • JBL
  • David Otunga

 

* Drafted from NXT

# All existing members of the group were drafted together

 

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…There you have it. As I expected earlier, only the top talent were drafted first. Mid-Tier and Lower-Tier picks will be made on WWE Network after Smackdown. I don’t plan to say up for those picks so I’ll give you those 30 picks sometime tomorrow. This weekend, I will make a page with the full list of who is on which roster.

…You will notice Jerry Lawler’s name is not on either announcers’ list. According to a few sources, he was quietly released last week due to the legal trouble he got into a few weeks ago. There are two notable omissions to both rosters: Heath Slater, Luke Harper and Tamina Snuka. You can’t help but wonder a few things given Slater’s there to be fed to other superstars and the lawsuit Tamina’s father is a part of that was filed on Monday. Harper–the 4th member of the Wyatt Family is wrapping up production with a WWE Movie.

There were also a few more matches than I thought. Here are some highlights:

  • Darren Young unveiled the Chicken Wing submisssion maneuver on The Miz. It’s a move he obviously learned from his life coach, WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund.
  • Aj Styles showed off a Smackdown T-Shirt as he made his way to the ring with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in the first match of the night. AJ had been drafted to Smackdown but Gallows and Anderson were undrafted at that point.
  • Kane’s match with Kevin Owens never happened due to Sami Zayn’s interference. After getting double chokeslammed by Kane, Owens and Zayn were both drafted to RAW.
  • Unlike the night before, Dean Ambrose cleanly retained the WWE Championship vs. Seth Rollins heading into Battleground.

I will provide a more in depth analysis of what the new rosters could mean in a separate post.

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WWE Draft 2016: Smackdown Results [UPDATED]

Pre-Draft Updates and News

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…With the way RAW ended, among other things buzz is high going into tonight’s WWE Draft on the first Live edition of Smackdown, which will also be on Tuesdays starting tonight. Stephanie McMahon will be the Commissioner of RAW while Mick Foley will be the GM. Shane McMahon will be the Commissioner of Smackdown while Daniel Bryan will be the GM. Vince McMahon drew the battle lines last week on RAW.

Both shows will compete against each other and already RAW has two big advantages over Smackdown: Raw is one extra hour and it was announced last night RAW will host the Cruiserweight division. Assuming the Cruiserweight Championship is brought back (which I am here), it looks like both shows will have three titles.

Shane announced Smackdown, which has always been “The B-Show” embrace its current position of being The Underdog. RAW, which has always been the flagship show will now have some competition. As a reminder, WWE announced last month each brand will have its own PPV each month so there will be two PPVs a month after Summer Slam. Speaking of, I think we can expect the big four PPVs each year–Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Survivor Series and Summer Slam–to be cross-brand like they were during the first split.

…One other thing that hasn’t been said that I think might be in the works is a third show. WWE could certainly pull it off.

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A week removed from the shocking revelation Brock Lesnar failed UFC’s PED Drug Test a few weeks before his match a UFC 200, what this could mean for his return to WWE has been all the buzz in regards to the brand split. Bleacher Report announced this morning WWE has apparently decided to cut him from a scheduled appearance tonight on Smackdown for no apparent reason. He will be drafted to a roster either way, though.

Lesnar failing a drug test last month and apparently a second test taken a few weeks later has ramifications that’s become a PR nightmare for UFC. WWE will likely suspend Lesnar for failing the drug test as well. Remember: Roman Reigns is currently serving a 30-day suspension for violating WWE’s Health and Wellness policy.

At the very least, Lesnar is expected to suspended by WWE as well. If they decide to pull a Roman Reigns he would still be able to compete at Summer Slam. Reigns’ suspension is over as of today. As long as Lesnar’s suspension begins by Friday, he can still compete at Summer Slam against Randy Orton, which will be on August 21. Paul Heyman alone can promo the match so…yeah.

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…I think it’s safe to say last night’s match between Ambrose and Rollins ended in a no-contest. We will see an encore tonight on Smackdown. As a reminder, it doesn’t really matter who leaves with the belt tomorrow. It will be defended in a Triple Threat Match involving all three members of The Shield at Battleground on Sunday.

Speaking of the WWE Championship, that has become the belt’s name in recent weeks and WWE Champion for the title holder. That isn’t shorthand, mind you. As a reminder, when the brand split ended the belt was renamed the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That likjely means the other belt will be the World Heavyweight Championship.

It’s also become a bit obvious the Shield Feud and the brand split are connected: Whoever wins at Battleground wins the existing top title for their show. My prediction is Dean Ambrose retains and goes to Smackdown with Reigns while Rollins goes to RAW. They can immediately build the new top title on RAW the following night.

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…Before I list who I think will be the top Draft Picks, I want to say something I meant to say since I took over this blog last year. For those who missed it,  the PG Era died after the first brand split ended and while Triple H was building the Authority. WWE has been pretty overt about that fact in the last two years in particular–Assylum Match anyone? So for everyone who keeps saying “Get rid of the PG Era!” on Social Media, WWE got rid of it a long time ago.

We can expect things to get more wild and crazy after tonight ^_^

Now, here are my picks for who the top draft prospects will likely be:

  • John Cena
  • Brock Lesnar*
  • Roman Reigns
  • Seth Rollins
  • Dean Ambrose
  • AJ Styles
  • The New Day (3 People)
  • The Wyatt Family (4 people)
  • Sasha Banks
  • Becky Lynch
  • Charlotte
  • Paige
  • Nikki Bella (assuming she returns)
  • Brie Bella (assuming she returns)
  • Darren Young
  • The Miz
  • Sami Zahn
  • Kevin Owens
  • Cesaro
  • Titus O’Neil
  • Enzo Amore
  • Big Cass
  • Apollo Crews
  • Big Show
  • Kane
  • The Undertaker*

 

* Has a part-time contract and only competes in a few matches a year max

The Draft itself will likely take up most of the airtime. The only match I’m aware of on the card for tonight is the Ambrose/Rollins rematch. In addition, Steph announced RAW will get 3 picks for evey pick Smackdown gets. RAW will have a bigger by default. Some tag teams will be broken up–The Lucha Dragons actually split up ahead of the draft. The New Day and The Wyatt Family will likely stay together though.

Pre-Draft Updates and News

For those who missed it: AJ Styles turning Heel was teased in Club/Family Feud

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…He was just being built as credible to feud with John Cena is all. The first clue was the introduction of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The second was the formation of the club opposite Roman Reigns and The Usos.

Styles is going to be an amazing babyface heel. It also helps Seth Rollins is transitioning into a Face now that he’s back. He’s gonna get another title shot by the end of the year and thanks to the brand split, it may come soon. Count on it.

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This week’s RAW has seen the return of Teddie Long, who was released during last year’s roster purge. He cut a promo on the brand split and suggested a match for the upcoming Money in the Bank PPV. It’s not hard to figure out if he’s not the Smackdown GM, he will be working with whoever the Smackdown GM is. Personally, I think it’ll be Shane of Steph while the other heads up RAW. His return also brings a bit of hope we may see the return of other superstars who were recently released by the company.

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Getting back to Lesnar’s ESPN appearance earlier today. I’m sure that for those who’ve only seen him in WWE, it was their first time hearing him talk so much. It’s as he said on the Stone Cold Podcast a few months ago: He has his role to play and Heyman has his with their working relationship in WWE. No one in the business can cut a promo better than Paul Heyman so…yeah.

One thing that would be really cool if WWE and UFC made it happen: Paul Heyman promoting Lesnar’s UFC fight. THAT would be epic and it’s no secret UFC’s Dana White has tremendous respect for the former ECW owner. I doubt Vince McMahon would mind if Heyman expressed an interest in taking that on.

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Seth Rollins’ return has renewed speculation The Shield will reunite.  Given Dean Ambrose is involved in the Money in the Bank Ladder match, it’s certainly possible: Whoever wins that match will likely have to cash it in before the brand split. If Ambrose wins the briefcase, he can be expected to cash it in on Roman Reigns on Seth Rollins by or on July 19, which is when the brand split happens.

If The Shield reunites, they will regain their standing as the most dangerous group on the roster: They’ve had every title at some point between the three of them. When they were together, The Shield held the Tag team Titles until just before they disbanded. Same with Dean Ambrose’s US Title run. Seth Rollins never actually lost the WWE Championship and Reigns is a 3-time Champion. Ambrose also held the Intercontinental Champion.

If the Shield was to reunite…well, it’s doubtful anyone could stop them.

For those who missed it: AJ Styles turning Heel was teased in Club/Family Feud