Breaking News: James Ellesworth released by WWE

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WWE.com announced a short time ago Smackdown’s James Ellesworth has been released by the company. Ellesworth had only been signed to a 1-year contract. WWE’s decision to not renew should be no surprise given how fast how was buried at the end of his feud with Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles last year. That was literally it with him.

Many questioned the wisdom in giving him a WWE contract at all but keeping it to one year was the smart decision. He was fed to Braun Strowman during the latter’s rise in singles competition not once but twice in Squash Matches. Later, he was brought back by WWE to help with the Ambrose/Styles Feud.

it didn’t take long for him to get Over with the WWE Universe as the ultimate underdog due to his scrawny stature. When Ellesworth Hell turned and attacked Ambrose, that was the end of his run. He was paired with Carmella earlier this year to help put her over prettymuch but did nothing else. WWE had no reason to renew his contract so…yeah.

Ellesworth will obviously return to indie wrestling. This time he has his visability from his WWE run that will ensure he will be able to find work elsewhere. I don’t see him returning to WWE unless WWE reaches out first though.

 

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Breaking News: James Ellesworth released by WWE

Emma, Summer Rae and Darren Young released by WWE

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WWE.com broke the news this past Sunday 28 year-old Tenille Dashwood, known in WWE as Emma has been released from her contract. She last worked with Asuka at TLC and RAW last week, losing to her in both matches.

I’m assuming the decision was made in advance, mostly because she put Asuka over on her way out. WWE tried alot of things to get her Over but nothing seemed to work. She also had the bad luck of getting de-pushed or putting someone else over.

Her last two matches were clearly WWE’s way of helping her find work in another promotion. They certainly weren’t squash matches and were perhaps her best matches outsude NXT. She could certainly make a name for herself on the indie circuit or even return to her native Australia and do something else.

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Darren Young will always be remembered from his days alongside Titus O’Neil as the Tag Team PrimeTime Players. D-Young made news two years ago when he came out on Social Media, making him the first openly Gay Wrestler. WWE took took the high road and did what they could to support him then and since.

Injuries denied him Tag Team gold and likely at least one Intercontinental Championship run as a singles competator. When he re-debuted as a singles competator alongside WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund, things looked good. An injury sidelined him right when he was getting pushed and that was likely whas cost him his WWE run. Young also spent a large chunk of the last few years doing promotional work for WWE, likely in part because he is wrestling’s first openly Gay wrestler.

Young probably will join Emma on the indie circuit but I can see him returning to WWE at some point in the future.

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Summer Rae is perhaps the only release no one is surprised by. She was kept around only because she’s eye candy. Cj Perry–Lana in WWE–has the same problem but WWE knows how to use her. WWE tried with Summer what they tried with Emma and Lana: Everything.

…Unlike Lana, she didn’t have another Superstar she could be paired with after she split with Fandango. Shane’s dig on Lana last week in reference to her lack of in-ring skills could be said about Summer as well. Plus it didn’t help she hasn’t been around in over a year. I don’t remember seeing her after the brand split actually.

 

Emma, Summer Rae and Darren Young released by WWE

The Bella Twins give a timeline for their in-ring return

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Total Bellas’ season finale this week took viewers into the delivery room as Brie and D-Bry welcomed their daughter Birdie Joe Danielson (reminder: Daniel Bryan’s real name is Bryan Danielson so his on-screen name is basically his name reversed) into the world. Of course, she was actually born several months earlier. In addition, Brie chronicled her pregnancy via Social Media.

With fans clamoring and wonderng when and if Brie and her sister Nikki would return to the Squared Circle, they briefly addressed the subject while discussing the season premeire of Total Divas. Nikki announced earlier this year when asked she would only return when her sister was ready. She also hinted her wedding plans will be “small and moved up”, hinting she wants to make sure both she and her sister are ready to go at the same time.

The twins have tenatively set their return for “sometime” in 2018. In addition they hinted they may make a cameo appearance at Wrestlemania 34. Brie revealed she has already starting working out and is preparing for her return to in-ring action. She also stated she and D-Bry are going to try to have another baby in the near future, possibly as soon as this time next year or early 2019. So, her in-ring return will last until then at least.

Finally, this bring us to the question of which brand they would be on. Brie would be fine on either brand but we could see her put on RAW to work with Asuka and Ronda Rousey when the latter officially signs with WWE. Or we could see her put on Smackdown where her husband is General Manager so they can travel together. This feels like the more likely outcome to me personally. Nikki was on Smackdown before she left after Wrestlemania 33 and would presumably return to the Smackdown roster. Assuming both Bellas are on the same roster, they would definitelty be reintroduced as a Face.

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…In related news, there is renewed speculation D-Bry may leave for Ring of Honor Wrestling (ROH) when his contract with WWE expires next year. For those who need a refresher, D-Bry’s in-ring career in WWE came to an end after he reinjured his neck next two years ago during a spot with Kane. WWE understandably refuses to allow him to wrestle for liability reasons but he is being paid a Superstar salary despite the “no compete” clause. Mind you, at the time the career-ending injury happened, he’d just married Brie.

In the unscripted promo he did with The Miz on Talking Smack last year he flatly said “They [WWE] won’t clear me wrestle.” to which The Miz suggested he go to another ptomotion. On that note, ROH seemed to hint when asked in an interview earlier this month they think D-Bry will return to indie promotions when his WWE contract expires and “they will be happy to have him”.

To those who would rather he suffer a life-threatening injury just to see him wrestle again, think about this: D-Bry fought WWE’s findings and searched for a doctor who could help him get back in the ring. What he found instead was the injury was alot more serious than he thought and no amount of time will change that. More so now that he is a father. He is alot of things but he won’t do that to his family.

His wrestling career may have ended early but it’s the fans, not D-Bry who need to accept that reality. Sure, another promotion would clear him to wrestle. Clearly both ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) would. The more important question is “Should he?” The answer is obviously no or he would have asked WWE to release him two years ago.

It makes more sense for him to stay on as a personality in WWE than go elsewhere. He’s got financial security and could easily transition into another role within WWE. He will be given that option if he renews his WWE contract. More so since his wife and sister in-law will be back by then.

 

The Bella Twins give a timeline for their in-ring return

Champion vs. Champion matches are the theme of this year’s Survivor Series PPV

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RAW GM Kurt Angle announced on this week’s episode of RAW what 6 of the matches will be at Survivor Series:

  • RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos
  • RAW Womens’ Champion Alexia Bliss vs. Smackdown Womens’ Champion Natalya
  • Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. United States Champion Baron Corbin
  • Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal
  • Womens’ Team RAW vs. Womens’ Team Smackdown Survivor Series Match
  • Mens’ Team RAW vs. Mens’ Team Smackdown Survivor Series Match

 

…What’s crazy: There WILL be more matches added to the card. It’s unlikely any of the titles will change hands leading up to or at Survivor Series with one possible exception: It IS worth keeping in mind Carmella still has her Money in the Bank Briefcase. Could we see her cash in during Survivor Series? Imagine Carmella cashing in on Alexa and not Natalya!

Survivor Series will likely be as long as Wrestlemania or Survivor Series is what I’m saying. I see at least 4 more matches being added to the card.

Anyway, these are the likely the additional matches I think we could see:

  • Kane vs. Braun Strowman vs. “The Demon King” Finn Balor vs. “Sister Abigail” Bray Wyatt Fatal 4-Way: Let’s be honest, this is likely what is being set up between TLC and this week’s RAW. More so given Kane is only booked to be back “For a short time”. Balor and Wyatt have unfinished business with each other while Strowman will obviously be seeking revenge against Kane.
  • Jason Jordan and Apollo Crews vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin: Let’s be honest, this HAS to happen. Gable and Jordan were partners as American Alpha on Smackdown so…yeah. It would be a missed opportunity to not do this match at Survivor Series.
  • Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles: It could see this match being built with a mini reunion of AJ Styles with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson opposite The Shield in their corners.
  • RAW General Manager Kurt Angle vs. Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon in a No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere Match: At TLC, Kurt Angle showed he’s still got it. Shane being back two weeks after Hell in a Cell seems to prove he REALLY is indestructable. It is worth remembering IF this match happens…well, let’s just say they have a history in the ring. After Shane led a dozen Smackdown Superstars in an invasion of RAW this week, I will be shocked if this match doesn’t happen.

 

Those matches took into account the 20 Superstars who probably will be involved in the Mens and Womens 5 on 5 Survivor Series matches. Of course, that can change.

AJ Styles’ RAW appearance was a nice surprise but as I mentioned before, it turns out he wasn’t the only Smackdown Superstar who made the trip back in time for this week’s episode of RAW. THAT is how you hype cross-brand Pay Per Views. Team Blue laid waste to everything in their path backstage though aside from Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (both 2-time WWE Champions), the top tier talent were “spared”.

The brand invasion promo hasn’t been seen since Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton did last year to build their match at Battleground. I look forward to seeing how Kurt Angle responds Tuesday night on Smackdown!

 

 

 

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Champion vs. Champion matches are the theme of this year’s Survivor Series PPV

This week makes the case there should be a roster swap after Survivor Series

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Survivor Series is just next month. RAW’s TLC is the Sunday after next and Smackdown’s Starcade is two weeks later. We’ll get to those two PPVs in a bit but between Asuka’s RAW debut at TLC, Paige’s Smackdown debut (likely before or at Survivor Series) and the possability of Samoa Joe returning in time for the Royal Rumble (Reminder: He got hurt at Summer Slam), the time for roster shakeup is after Survivor Series. This is aside from the rumors Kevin Owens may be moved to RAW BEFORE Survivor Series.

Here are the Superstars who would benefit the most from a roster change:

  • Darren Young (RAW): Aside from the push he got when he returned from injury last year with Bob Backlund, not much has been done with him. A move to Smackdown would allow him to develop in the midcard level.
  • Bray Wyatt (RAW): I think we can all agree at this point the experiment was a massive failure.
  • Sasha Banks (RAW): Given things are being set up for Charlotte Flair to feud with Ronda Rousey, it makes sense for Sasha to be sent to Smackdown to reuinite the Four Horsewomen. Asuka will dominate RAW out the gate (and will obviously debut as a Babyface) so it makes sense for her to move. There’s not much left for her to do on RAW and besides, Team Red can afford to be without her because of Asuka.
  • Bayley (RAW): Given things are being set up for Charlotte Flair to feud with Ronda Rousey, it makes sense for Bayley to be sent to Smackdown to reuinite the Four Horsewomen. Asuka will dominate RAW out the gate (and will obviously debut as a Babyface) so it makes sense for her to move. Plus there’s the interesting tidbit Bayley dropped in an interview she may Heel turn soon.
  • Dolph Ziggler (Smackdown): Honestly, he needs a real title run. The token Intercontinental Title win last year off the Miz, then losing it the following Smackdown was just dumb. Having him win the U.S. title on RAW could help rebuild him given Dolph hasn’t been in the title picture for years and it’s clearly hurting his potential.
  • Naomi (Smackdown): Assuming Sasha and Bayley move to Smackdown, it makes sense for Naomi–a former 2-time Smackdown Women’s Champion–to be moved to RAW to clash with Asuka and Alexa Bliss.
  • Natalya (Smackdown): Assuming Sasha and Bayley move to Smackdown, it makes sense for Natalya–presumably then the former Smackdown Women’s Champion–to be movedto RAW to clash with Asuka and Alexa Bliss.

…There is also talk WWE might bring back ECW as a third flagship show. The reason the dirtsheets are saying this is there haven’t been large roster releases like there have been in recent years. Former Superstars leaving on their own or asking to be released are the likely reasons we haven’t been seeing mass layoffs in a while.

Speaking of:

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The rumors are RAMPANT Neville is quitting WWE after he walked out an hour into last week’s episode of RAW. The reason should be obvious: Enzo’s Mega Push after the latter’s breakup with Big Cass a few months back. The day after Big Cass got injured, Enzo’s surprise debut on 205 Live happened.

You have to keep in mind Neville is a workhorse. When the Cruiserweight Division relaunched two years ago, they lacked star power. Neville, who was already known from his years on the main roster took the opportunity to reinvent himself as a Heel for the first time in the Cruiserweight Division.

You can’t help but feel for him as his career was stale for a while until he went to the Cruiserweight Division. I would stop short of saying he’s geting buried in exchange for Enzo’s (clearly undeserved) Mega Push though. You have to be mindful Neville did everything he was told to do and literally carried the Cruiserweight Division after becoming the Champion a while back.

WWE was quick to deny Neville quit after he walked out on RAW but they need to find a way to make this right by him. They can’t afford to lose a man of his skill to ROH, NJPW, Impact Wrestling or another promotion who would LOVE to take him in.

It was just last year Cody Rhodes (along with his wife, who worked as a ring announcer) left WWE due to disagreements over his Stardust Persona. He felt it was time for him to revert to Cody Rhodes but the creative team ignored him for months. Finally, he left in frustration a few weeks after his father Dusty Rhodes passed away. His older brother Dustin Rhodes (Goldust) is still with WWE.

Cody has been THRIVING since going to the indie circuit and reinforces the strong case hard work, dedication and loyalty to WWE isn’t always rewarded. Especially due to the favoritism of some Superstars over others.

 

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Let’s move on to RAW-related stuff from last week:

  • Unsurprisingly, The Shield officially reunited last week. Weather it’s long term or short-term, it will be fun to watch them together for now. As a reminder Ambrose and Rollins are the RAW Tag Team Champs while Reigns is clearly being set up to win the Intercontinental Championship from The Miz.
  • Another week without the Universal Champion making an appearance. I get it now why some people said Brock Lesnar is holding WWE hostage a few years ago: He negotiated a massive contract extension and can basically make appearances when he feels like it. Of course, there were the longtime part-timers for years like ‘Taker and Kane. The difference is Lesnar doesn’t like selling matches and putting people over unless he has something to gain from it personally. This was likely why Lesnar lost the title at Wrestlemania 31 in a Triple Threat Match without being pinned. He doesn’t take clean losses unless he will be compensated in some way. This was why his losses to Goldberg at Survivor Series and the Royal were “allowed” plus they’re actually friends in real life.
  • So we know Emma will be Asuka’s first opponent on the main roster. The timing couldn’t be better since almost all of the new talent introduced on WWE are themselves NXT Alumni. Kairi Sane, who won the Mae Young Classic (and is also Japanese) will likely succeed her as the new face of NXT’s Women’s Division.

 

 

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Now to Smackdown-Related stuff from last week:

 

  • The Usos got emotional coming off their brutal match with The New Day, which went down as one of the best Hell in the Cell Matches in recent memory and the best Tag Team Hell in the Match ever. Just as the Usos declared a truce with The New Day, the other tag teams came out to challenge The Usos. The new Smackdown Tag Team champs tore into all of the other teams except Breezango (‘cuz they’re cool), even taking a very pointed shot at Mojo Rowley of the Hype Bros. A Tag Team Battle Royal was helld to decide who would next challenge the Usos, which Gable and Benjamin won.
  • After failing to win the Tag Team Battle Royal, there was a backstage promo in which a full Heel turn by the Hype Bros was teased. Rowley’s frustration with their losing streak since Zack Ryder came back from injury a few months back led many to believe they’re gonna split. Now the team Heel turning seems more likely to happen and it would be good since the Usos clearly Face turned on Smackdown last week.
  • Speaking of Tag Teams: Luke Harper and Eric Rowan were re-introduced in a clearly awkward yet interesting promo. They’re thankfully coming back as a Heel Tag Team, which Smackdown sorely needs. Both had forgetable and poorly booked singles runs on separate occasions. The duo needs to prove they can find success without Bray Wyatt and this could be their opportunity to do it as a tag team.
  • Noticably absent from last week’s Smackdown was the WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal. He flew out after Hell in a Cell to resume promtional work in India and yes, this was why he was booked to retain the title. WWE will need to be careful not to overbook Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura with the latter losing. At this point, Nakamura’s momentum is in danger: He’s failed to win the WWE Championship 3 times in a row. Having him feud with Baron Corbin for the U.S. title could help. In exchange, the time is right to have AJ Styles feud with Mahal and help put him over like he did for Corbin.
  • Ziggler and Roode…clearly they’re both a work in progress. Both will be out of either title picture for the rest of the year so…yeah.

 

…As attention shifts to the RAW-Exclusive TLC this Sunday, the cross-brand Survivor Series will be here before we know it ^_^

 

 

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This week makes the case there should be a roster swap after Survivor Series

Hell in a Cell: A Lesson in Brutality

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…Truth be told, It’s been some time since we have seen a quality Hell in a Cell match. At least not since the match between The Undertaker and Edge at Summer Slam 2008. The HIAC matches we’ve seen since then were tame in comparison. Even the one between ‘Taker and Shane ‘O Mac at Wrestlemania 32 fell far below expectations despite Shane’s memorable dive off the top of the cell.

The match involving Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins did offer glimpses of what we may see at this Sunday’s outing: A return to the brutality the WWE Universe has come to expect from a match titled Hell in a Cell.

 

Let’s look at 8 of my personal favorite Hell in the Cell matches up to now:

 

8. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack

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Ah, Mick Foley’s retirement match. It would be a travesty for this to not be mentioned. It was Championship vs. Career as Triple H battled Mick Foley in the match the latter made famous two years earlier. Just like back then, Foley was put through the cage. The difference was his time it was clearly pre-planned.

7. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair

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Charlotte and Sasha made history last year as the first women to compete inside Hell in a Cell with the RAW Women’s Championship on the line. I commented on this last year but the beatdown Sasha took before the match officially started ruined it. You already knew at that point the outcome had been decided. Charlotte was a Heel but I agree with the critics she could have won without the pre-emptive attack.

The reason this made the list is simply because it opened the door to more HIAC matches involving the Women’s Division.

6. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

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Dean Ambrose had me believing we may see a return to the brutality that has been absent from the now HIAC matches for almost 10 years now. This match took place a few months after The Shield broke up. Ambrose channeled his inner Mick Foley and put on a classic in this battle against The future King Slayer.

 

5. The Undertaker vs. Edge

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Ah, the first of 4 matches on this list featuring The Undertaker ^_^

This was a grudge match made in hell between The Rated-R Superstar and The Phenom who made the match famous. The Undertaker gave Edge a personal lesson in pain after the match was over: After winning the match, he chokeslammed Edge off a ladder through the ring straight into hell.

4. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

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…I only just watched this match for the first time on WWE Network today. Afrer seeing how brutal it was, I had to put it on this list. Holy hell. This would be higher up if not for the participants involved in the Top 3.

The match lasted almost an hour.

You would have thought both men were trying to outdo their previous HIAC matches with the brutality they inflicted on each other. By the time it was over, both men were laying unconscious in the middle of the ring.

3. Kurt Angle vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H vs. The Undertaker vs. Rikishi vs. The Rock

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This was a star-studded HIAC at Armageddon 2000 for the WWE Championship. The match involved all of the company’s top talent. As you can probably imagine, there was a number of memorable moments from Triple H being Suplexed onto the hood of a car to The Rock overselling The Stunner in the middle of the ring.

The above picture stands as one of the top moments in HIAC history: Hall of Famer Rikishi being pushed off the top of the cell by The Undertaker into the back of a flatbed truck filled with wood chips. ‘Taker DID warn Rikishi if he wasn’t careful, he’d make him famous.

Kurt Angle retained the title by taking advantage of some confusion in the ring.

2. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

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Ah, the very first Hell in a Cell match.

Tomorrow makes it 20 years to the day The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels stepped foot inside what would come to be known as The Devil’s Playground for the first time. The only thing more shocking than the horrors The Deadman inflicted on HBK was the Kane’s shocking first appearance in WWE.

‘Taker literally did everything he could think of to HBK from throwing him around like a rag doll to using him as a human battering ram against the side of the cell. He even made him fall off the side of the cell and crash into the announcer’s table. Despite the brutality, it’s agree the abuse he took in his HIAC match with Triple H 7 years later was far worse: At least HBK was able to leave the ring.

Even so, there is a reason this is #2…

1. Mankind vs. The Undertaker

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…There will never be a match like this again. EVER.

There is Hell in a Cell and then there is The 1998 Hell in a Cell match between The Undertaker and Mankind at King of the Ring. Do yourself a favor: Watch the full match on WWE Network if you’ve never seen it.

Let me give you a bit of background info on this legendary match: Prior to the start of the match, ‘Taker had concerns about competing with a nagging foot injury. The match starting on top of the cage was Mick Foley’s idea. Little did they know when they were both up there, this match would cement their place in Wrestling History.

When Foley is thrown into the announcer’s table, he breaks his left arm and fractures bones in his spine. ‘Taker would later say he was legit concerned since they both knew Foley would have to carry the match since he was competing with an injury. Despite that, Foley would refuse medical treatment and continue the match. Unlike Foley’s match with Triple H, the fall through the cell was not planned. Foley blacked out for 2 minutes from the impact of hitting the ring. It’s said later Foley suffered a ruptured spleen and a concussion from the second fall.

Since the second fall was a legit freak accident, ‘Taker’s shock seeing Foley hit the ring below was legit. With things now gone to hell–pun intended–you’d think things couldn’t get any more over the top. But it did: Foley introduced THUMBTACKS. Then he was dropped and chokeslammed on a bed of them. TWICE. You literally have to see it to believe it.

…Never before and never again.

The only thing even more crazy: Both of them ran interference with the match that followed involving Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Unbelievable given Foley was legit hurt and hurt bad.

…I left this out until now but what made the top 2 matches so memorable was Jim Ross calling the matches.

A few matches worth getting an honorable mention:

  • Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker: Their first Hell in a Cell match in 2002 had originally been booked for ‘Taker to win but since ‘Taker had a broken wrist, he had to take it as a loss to put Lesnar Over.
  • Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker: Their second, more recent Hell in a Cell match in 2015 had all the makings of a classic. It packed the grudge factor like their first HIAC match only both men were healthy. The Beast took The Undertaker to Suplex City, ending the rivalry in convincing fashion.
  • Mankind vs. Kane: This 1998 match is underrated since it was the only HIAC Match that took place during RAW. It was also Kane’s first venture in HIAC in which he destroyed his then tag team partner Mankind.
  • Triple H vs. Kevin Nash: Holy hell, you’d have thought Triple H was legit trying to kill Kevin Nash. It took everyything The Game had to put his best friend down for good.
  • Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan: The only reason this gets an honorable mention is because of how it ended: After Daniel Bryan punts Triple H out of the ring, Special Guest Referee Shawn Michael drops D-Bry with Sweet Chin Music, allowing The Viper to win the match and the vacated WWE Championship.

I have my fingers crossed Shane vs. KO delivers on the brutality it’s being built to be. We will find out for sure this Sunday.

 

Hell in a Cell: A Lesson in Brutality

Awkward promo involving Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey highlights the need for change in the Women’s Division

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I’m just going to assume most of you are familiar with or have seen the promo that nearly broke Twitter over the weekend:

 

…The obvious problem being how awkward and stiff RAW’s Bayley and Smackdown’s Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair looked during the promo, which sucks given their suprise appearance earlier inside the area. Thankfully, they didn’t say anything and quietly walked away. No doubt they all realized they botched the promo to hell. A do-over will be necessary and hopefully sooner than later.

Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and the absent Sasha Banks made up The Four Horsewomen of NXT. They were main draws not just for NXT’s women’s division but NXT itself. All four superstars have gone on to have multiple title runs since moving to RAW and Smackdown over the last two years, Bayley coming to the main roster before the brand split was announced last year. Charlotte would become the inaugural RAW Women’s Champion, retiring the Divas Championship at the same time at Wrestlemania 32. She would go on to have two more title runs before being moved to Smackdown earlier this year. Sasha Banks famously debuted on the main roster while still the NXT Women’s Champion.

Speaking of Sasha and titles, the reason she was absent from the above promo is because she is involved in an ongoing feud with Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship. I agree with many folks who say Sasha will likely be pulled out of the title picture to join Charlotte, Becky and Bayley to complete The Four Horsewomen.

UFC’s verison is made up of Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir and Mae Young Classic participant Shayna Baszler. It goes without saying there is legit interest by both sides for Rousey to make the jump to WWE. Anyone she brings with her would be a cool bonus for WWE as well.

The question to ask is where should she start? Her in-ring skills are without question. The real questions would be around her mic skills. Some time in NXT could help her build confidence in that area but WWE could gamble on her name recognition and just put her on the main roster.

Let’s take a moment and revisit Rousey’s Wrestlemania 31 promo:

…Rousey throwing Triple H out the ring fueled speculation we may see the return of mixed gender singles matches. The business in general–not just WWE–dances around this, not willing to do anything further than mixed tag matches involving a male wrestler and switching so opposite-gender wrestlers don’t compete.

Lita and Chyna both won the Intercontinental Championship during their WWE careers, a male-exclusive title. Former WWE superstar Karma was a surprise entrant in the 2013 Royal Rumble, eliminating Dolph Ziggler during the match. Nothing like that’s happened since.

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…Back to the promo though. Many analysts believe the promo was intended to focus on just Charlotte and Rousey and it can definitely be marketed that way. Oh, let’s not kid outselves here: Survivor Series, which will be cross-brand happens November 17. If they wanted to make it a 4 on 4 match they would need to start building it after No Mercy (RAW-exclusive PPV) and Hell in a Cell (Smackdown-exclusive PPV).

The obvious drawback to this is for Sasha, Charlotte, Bayley and Becky they would need to be pulled out of existing feuds to help build the match. They don’t necessarily need to all be on the same show: They could just have Rousey and the others make cameos on both RAW and Smackdown to help build the match. A singles match between just Charlotte and Rousey would be easier to make happen and in less time, though.

Smackdown’s Women’s Division has taken a hit with Charlotte and Becky both out of the picture. Mostly because of the timing. Carmella teasing her eventual cash-in will only hold interest for so long. Other than her there’s Natalya (Current Smackdown Women’s Champion), Naomi and Tamina, the last of which is being paired with Lana to try rebooting their characters.

On RAW, Bayley is legit injured (shoulder) and weather or not she’ll be healthy and ready for Survior Series would be a big question. Take out Sasha and that leaves Alexia Bliss (Current RAW Women’s Champion), Nia Jaxx, Emma and Mickie James. Jaxx is clearly being positioned to win the title, parelleling fellow RAW superstar Braun Strowman.

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…As was reported, Asuka relinquished the NXT Women’s Championship after she defeated Ember Moon at NXT Takeover due to a collarbone injury she’d been dealing with for some time. It was announced during her sendoff this week on NXT that Asuka will debut on RAW or Smackdown once she recovers and the wait might not be too long. We could see her on the main roster as early as around Survivor Series in November or as late as around January’s Royal Rumble.

Either way there is only one Asuka.

NXT’s only undefeated superstar is beyond Goldberg-level over with the crowds. The international superstar is the most Over Asian Superstar in WWE history and I’m talking BEFORE she was signed to NXT two years ago. Known as Kana in other promotions, her real name is Kanako Urai and she is the biggest Asian Superstar in WWE History. Nevermind the plot armor that kept her undefeated in NXT, she is a legit in-ring performer.

Anywho, Some analysts say Asuka being undefeated during her NXT run hurt her character and NXT’s Women’s Division. Can’t say I can agree with that given most of the talent she feuded with over the last 2 years is now on the main roster. According to insider sources, Triple H reportedly asked Vince McMahon to keep Asuka on NXT, who’d reportedly been on Vince’s short list to be introduced during the Roster Shakeup after Wrestlemania earlier this year.

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Regardless of where Asuka goes, where she doesn’t go will need a new face of equal or greater value in their women’s division. If not Rousey then Ember Moon, who she defeated in her final NXT match to retain the title. Moon will likely get the title run she was denied very soon on NXT on that note.

In the meantime, WWE should feel the pressure to bring in both Asuka and Rousy as soon as possible. Rousey more so given we already know Asuka’s coming. With Rousey, we need to know she is definitely coming and the promos need to start picking up ^_^

Awkward promo involving Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey highlights the need for change in the Women’s Division