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

Image result for WWE The Shield

 

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.

 

 

 

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

The WWE Universe gives John Cena a sendoff at No Mercy

Image result for John Cena and Roman Reigns

 

He wouldn’t outright say it despite breaking character during RAW Talk but John Cena is now clearly at peace with himself and has accepted Roman Reigns as the new top guy. Make no mistake, this was the end of John Cena’s career as a full-time Superstar. The difference is unlike The Rock, Cena’s roots with WWE are deep and he can come back at any time at the drop of a hat.

Weather you liked him or hated him, at least we will get from John Cena what we were denied from Stone Cold Steve Austin due to what ended up being a career-shortening neck injury: Future matches with new talent down the road. Many people still talk about how many dream matches we were denied over the last 15 years involving Austin 3:16 because the neck injury he suffered at the beginning of The Attitude Era shortened his career. Old Stone Cold would have what ended up being his final match against The Rock at Wrestlemania in 2000.

John Cena would make his debut just three years later. All we can do is talk about what could have been if Austin had been allowed to have 4 to 8 more years. The Super Cena Era wouldn’t have lasted as long but you can be sure he would have had alot of title wins. Would Brock Lesnar have left for UFC? Yeah, definitely. Would Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair have had their retirement matches against Stone Cold instead of The Undertaker? Probably.

The void left by the end of Austin’s shortened career, Lesnar leaving for UFC, Kurt Angle being released and The Rock leaving for Hollywood–all within the span of about four years actually–would end up being filled by Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and to a lesser extent Kane, Triple H, The Undertaker and Edge. Of those names, Orton is the only one left and shows no signs of going anywhere despite the bad booking.

We already know Cena is now going to focus his attention outside WWE, mostly in movies and TV. He is also engaged to Nikki Bella in addition to the two of them living with Daniel Bryan, Brie Bella and their newborn daughter. I don’t think we will see much of him until he’s booked to win another title. I don’t see that happening anytime soon including Wrestlemania. He will likely skip so the newer talent can have the spotlight, making Wrestlemania 34 the first one to not feature both Cena and The Undertaker on the match card.

 

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The WWE Universe gives John Cena a sendoff at No Mercy

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

The Undertaker retires at Wrestlemania 33

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…The rumors turned out to be true: Wrestlemania 33 would be Mark Calloway aka The Undertaker’s last match of his career. The 52 year old Superstar was clearly given full control for what would be his final match on the stage that made him a legend. When it was announced Thursday that Jim Ross would be coming back to call one match, we knew it would likely be for one of three matches. It turned out it was ‘Taker vs. Reigns, which itself turned out to be the main event on the card (The other two possabilities being Lesnar vs. Goldberg and Orton vs. Wyatt). The clincher was when the match was made the main event over the 3 title matches before them in which a new Champion was crowned. (Lesnar, Orton and Naomi).

Anyone who’s followed The Undertaker’s career knows the laundry list of accomplishments credited to him name, most of which involve Wrestlemania. I won’t go over all of them but of course. ‘Taker holds two records that will probably never be approached: Most Wrestlemania matches (25) and longest Wrestlemania streak (21). His only losses were at WM30 vs. Brock Lesnar, who ended The Streak and this year at WM33 vs. Roman Reigns, who comes from a family of Wrestling Legends (Rikishi, The Rock and so on).

It would probably be accurate to say Vince McMahon allowed The Undertaker to choose his final opponent and where. He did pick Lesnar to be the one to end The Streak, after all. The Deadman had expressed a strong interest in working with Daniel Bryan a few years ago but due to a career-ending neck injury after Wrestlemania 31, D-Bry was off the table. Choosing The Big Dog was very symbolic.

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As was the promo for their match, ‘Taker chose Roman Reigns to be the new cornerstone of Wrestlemania. While I don’t see Reigns donnning ‘Taker’s gear and coming out to his music, he will become the new standard of greatness at Wrestlemania.

Simply having competed against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania would raise his profile but actually winning the match? The Roman Empire will now rule Wrestlemania for years to come barring the unforseeable. While it’s doubtful Reigns will compete in 20 more Wrestlemania matches, he will have alot of big ones. Last year’s match vs. Triple Hfelt stale compared to his singles debut at Wrestlemania 31 vs. Brock Lesnar.

Speaking of: Alot of folks were apparently expecting Roman Reigns to Heel turn during this match just like last year vs. The Game. I don’t see him becoming another John Cena but I think he will Heel turn before the year is over.

Undertaker Retires WrestleMania

The Undertaker had his last match¬† but I doubt we’ve seen the last of him. I would not be surprised at all if he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year. It would be fitting. The WWE allowed him to go out in style and to retire with dignity. Who can forget how The Deadman had to be carted out of the ring after Wrestlemania 28? That was perhaps when The Deadman truly realized he was running out of time.

There were rumors his match with Shane was supposed to be his final match but due to post-show rumors about him, it’s likely WWE Officials wanted things to be more definite this time. Man, what a send off. The picture above says it all. The Undertaker is now free to disappear into the sunset.

…I will talk about other Wrestlemania news and results in two separate posts throughout today and tomorrow by brand. Later today, I will do one for RAW. Tomorrow, I will do one for Smackdown.

 

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The Undertaker retires at Wrestlemania 33

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

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]