Dean Ambrose turning Heel was clearly intended for a later time

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Dean Ambrose joins Bobby Lashley, The Bella Twins and (likely Ember Moon soon) as the latest Babyface on RAW to Heel Turn this month.

It’s pretty obvious Ambrose turning Heel was teased for weeks but they weren’t planning to pull the trigger yet. Roman Reigns suddenly being forced to step away from WWE moved up his Heel turn. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vince and Stephanie made the call just before the tag team match. It will likely be explained as Ambrose felt he was forgotten while he was out and felt like the third wheel when he returned.

This coming RAW just got a lot more interesting!

 

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Dean Ambrose turning Heel was clearly intended for a later time

Tonight’s RAW makes it obvious: The Hounds of Justice will Reunite!

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Come on, we all know WWE was just waiting for the crowd to get behind Reigns again. It took Reigns being put over by John Cena at No Mercy last week but now things are set and primed. In comparison, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had a more straightforward path to this point:

 

  • Dean Ambrose was the only one of the three who remained a babyface after The Shield split up back in 2014. He is also the only one of the three who didn’t miss time de to injury (Rollins) or suspension (Reigns).  Ambrose teamed with Reigns at first during their feud with Rollins and The Authority through the rest of 2014 before he went solo. He would be involved in the Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 31 (which Daniel Bryan won) for the Intercontinental Championship but would win the title himself later that year. Ambrose would win the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash it in on the same night to become the WWE Champion. He would retain the title before being sent to Smackdown after the brand split later that year. Ambrose, alongside AJ Styles would carry the Blue Brand untii Ambrose was sent to RAW with the Intercontinental Championship earlier this year. Ambrose recently made up with Seth Rollins and the two are now the current RAW Tag Team Champions.
  • Seth Rollins Heel turned after he turned on Ambrose and Rollins, He became the first superstar to be WWE Champion and U.S. Champion at the same time after beating John Cena for the latter title in 2015. He would later defend both championships in the same night a month later, also a first. Rollins was forced to vacate the WWE Championship after suffering a devastating knee injury that sidelined him for 9 months. When he came back, his benefactor–Triple H–turned on him and gave the new Universal Championship to Kevin Owens. This also marked the beginnig of his Face Turn. Brock Lesnar winning the Universal Tile effectively took him out of the title picture for the forseeable future. So, WWE piulled the trigger on having him make amends with Ambrose. The two are now the current RAW Tag Team Champions.

 

…As of this week’s episode of RAW, The Shield is officially back together. All 3 men became WWE Champions after they split. Reigns won gold 3 times, Rollins twice and Ambrose twice, having quite the impressive run on Smackdown Live. On one night, all 3 of them was the WWE Champion: Reigns went in Champion, Rollins won the title and then Ambrose won the title from Rollins by cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. It was quite the night!

We know the reformed Shield will have their sights set on The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro going into TLC. Beyond that, we could see The more experienced Shield cut a path of destruction through the RAW roster leading into the Royal Rumble.

 

 

 

Tonight’s RAW makes it obvious: The Hounds of Justice will Reunite!

John Cena addresses his critics on 12/27/2016 Talking Smack

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It was obvious during Smackdown Cena had alot more to say than what he did at the beginning of the program. So, he came on Talking Smack (which now starts after 205 Live on WWE Network) to set a few things straight.

In short: He’s far from done.

Weather or not he will tie and then break Ric Flair’s all-time record of 16 title reigns remains to be seen. He’ll get his chance to tie Ric Flair when he faces AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble next month.

Cena didn’t shy away from what fans called the Super Cena Era during his comments. That was that period of time in which Cena racked up most of his title reigns because there was literally no one other than Randy Orton who could work with him long enough to get a decient feud going.

Why?

Because superstars were getting suspended left and right due to PED violations. WWE was forced to aggressively punish superstars who took PEDs after the Chris Benoit incident. Being the only superstar available to carry the company doesn’t automatically make you the best. I don’t know why his critics think he felt that way but the man never did feel that way himself.

It was also during much of that time Lesnar (to UFC), Batista (Hollywood), Goldberg (retired) and Bobby Lashley (TNA) all left. ‘Taker, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry and Shawn Michaels all stuck around (though HBK would get retired by The Undertaker at Wrestlemania a few years later) but they weren’t used to put other superstars over (because of poor booking).

It’s worth noting Cena pointed out the fact he’s one of several superstars who’ve done acting gigs. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Triple H have all appeared in movies (though in most of them, they were in movies produced by WWE Studios). Hulk Hogan (Rocky III), The Big Show (Jingle All The Way) and of course The Rock (too many to list) all have hollywood experience.

The problem Cena basically said “I don’t give a fuck” on is he’s getting a pass on putting people over. AJ Syles wasn’t wrong when he broke kayfabe and said Cena does the burying not put others over. Remember: The Rock was brought in to put Cena over at Wrestlemania a few years back. Twice. That should tell you all you need to know about WWE’s decision to put Cena on Smackdown instead of RAW.

I predict Cena will at least match Flair’s record if not break it in 2017. It’s just a matter of time at this point. He tells Vince McMahon to jump and the response is “How high?” There are only 6 other superstars who can basically do whatever they want: Lesnar, ‘Taker, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry and of course, Triple H.

The only thing he said that I disagreed with was when he said he’s a Underdog now. He’s John Cena. He’s never the underdog. LOL.

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The other big story involved Dean Ambrose and Renee Young, whose relationship became the subject of controversy as of late. As I noted in my previous post, Ambrose and Young are in a relationship. The couple didn’t back down from the potential conflict of interest–her being a reporter and he being a WWE Superstar–as they discussed their feud with The Miz.

Could be interesting as there have been rumors Young has been looking into getting trained for in-ring action like Lana and Maryse recently did. Given all the undue disrespect she’s been getting from basically everyone, it could be real interesting.

John Cena addresses his critics on 12/27/2016 Talking Smack

This week demonstrates why Smackdown shouldn’t be underestimated

Important Note: Meant to post publish this three weeks ago. It’s dated but still relevant. Just read this as if you were reading it on September 14.

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…The AJ/Cena feud being randomly restarted this week aside, I almost got goosebumps when I saw the Ambrose/Cena feud being established.

BRILLIANT!

Ambrose and Styles were both talking some SERIOUS shit to Cena during their promo at the start of Smackdown. Cena vs. Ambrose…we’re talking Wrestlemania 33 right there for the WWE Championship. I think Cena will tie Ric Flair’s record by the end of the year but the record-breaking win should happen at Wrestlemania 33. Flair has already given Cena his blessing to break the record so…yeah.

After Cena, Triple H has 13 title wins (most recently at the beginning of 2016). Triple H has plenty of gas left in the tank to catch up to Cena if he really wanted to. I don’t think he will, though. Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns are all clearly being set up for multiple title reigns: They have 7 title runs between the three of them since The Shield split up.

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Jack Swagger being shipped to Smackdown from RAW was clearly done to replace Alberto Del Rio, who was released by WWE last week. Swagger was immediated positioned to feud with Baron Corbin, which could be interesting. The midcard needs a vet who can help put new talent over and with Swagger there, now the Miz has some help.

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Speaking of The Miz: It’s clear his feud with D-Bry from a few weeks ago is being capitalized on and escalated. This week, it was suggested The Miz’s contract with Smackdown is due to be renegotiated soon. Given his new partnership with new WWE Champion AJ Styles, it goes without saying the IC title stays on Smackdown. The Miz needs someone to feud with since it’s clear the feud with Dolph Ziggler isn’t working. Apollo Crews or Baron Corbin should be pushed to feud with The Miz instead.

If the Miz does go to RAW, the fair question to ask is “who is going to Smackdown”? I’m looking at another vet being sent over. I’m looking at Mark Henry or The Big Show. The Big Show announced he will be retiring after Wrestlemania 33 so it would make better sense for Mark Henry to go to Smackdown.

 

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This week demonstrates why Smackdown shouldn’t be underestimated

No titles change hands at Battleground 2016

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…The WWE Championship will remain with Smackdown. After a battle that lasted nearly 18 minutes, Dean Ambrose (Smackdown) hit Roman Reigns (RAW) with Dirty Deeds to pick up the victory. The question that was at the back of everyone’s minds was weather or not Ambrose and Reigns, who remains close friends after The Shield broke up would hold back on each other. The answer was an umemphatic no when Ambrose and Rollins (RAW) powerbombed Reigns through the Spanish Announcers’ table.

With Ambrose gaving retained the WWE Championship for Smackdown, this means RAW’s new top title should be announced Monday night. This also allows the Rollins/Reigns rivalry to continue right were it left off before the latter’s suspension.

The Miz (Smackdown) and Darren Young’s (RAW) match for the IC Championship ended in a no contest and the Miz retained the title for Smackdown. Rusev (RAW) also defeated Zack Ryder (Smackdown) to retain the US Title for RAW. The Women’s title (Charlotte, RAW) and the Tag Ream titles (The New Day, RAW) were not contested.

This leaves Smackdown with one mid-tier title (IC Title, The Miz) and the WWE Championship (Ambrose) while RAW has one mid-tier title (US Title Rusev), the Women’s Championship (Charlotte), the Tag Team titles (The New Day) and a vacancy in the brand’s yet to be announced top title.

New rivalries are sure to be introduced this week on RAW and Smackdown. You can believe that!

No titles change hands at Battleground 2016

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