More questions than answers, but the WWE wheel keeps turning.
What could the WWE’s UK TV show become? What does the future hold for Emma? What storylines didn’t make it to WWE television? Is NXT as awesome live as it seems? The answer to the last question is definitively yes!
1) Just this past week WWE recently started tapings for WWE UK TV. What are your thoughts on this?
Corey: Right now it’s still early and it looks like they’re going to be doing two tapings per weekend which I’m not mad at at all along with the UK Title being defended at the next NXT Takeover. Right now I think that’s great. It still gives them the proper air time as well as it finally gives the audience to look forward to something on a weekly basis. I did find it interesting that some of the cruiserweight talent from 205 Live showed up but I’m all for giving the cruiserweights any extra time to shine.
Josh: Ultimately will be a good thing. It’s going to take a little time for the UK show to build some steam though. The nice thing is I don’t think WWE expects this to be a major third brand or anything of that nature. It fills out the Network and if it turns into something or if it’s a hit in the UK only it’s still a net win for WWE.
2) Recently Matt Sydal, formerly known in WWE as Evan Bourne, returned to Impact Zone this week. Do you see him adding anything to their current product?
Corey: I for one have ALWAYS been a Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne fan. He has perfected the Shooting Star Press to the point I completely forgot about anyone else that’s tried it and failed while at the same time hurting their opponents (Looking at you Billy Kidman). Now with all of that said I watched his return match to Impact and it does seem like he’s slowed down a bit and that he doesn’t get as much air with the press but it still looked good none the less. We’ll need to wait a while to see if he can add anything extra because as we all know Impact is great at ruining good things.
Josh: Nope. Not to say Matt Sydal is not a great talent because he is. Shame really his WWE run didn’t work out or that he isn’t a part of the WWE cruiserweight division currently. But really this comes down to expecting much of anything from Impact Wrestling at this point.
3) AJ Styles recently commented on the fact that Shinsuke Nakamura was called up to the main roster and is now on the same brand as him, Smackdown. When asked about the possibility of that match he says “at some point, it’s gonna have to happen”. What are your thoughts on this?
Corey: My thoughts are the same as anyone’s thoughts that saw those two go at it at Wrestle Kingdom 10 and that’s pure excitement. Personally I hope that WWE doesn’t pull the trigger too soon on this match up and understands this is a WrestleMania quality match and shouldn’t be on any other card than that. So like I said before I’m definitely excited, I just hope they can be patient.
Josh: Definitely going to happen and definitely going to be awesome! So here’s what I’d actually like to happen. Schedule this match for a Smackdown main event and just let it go for 45 minutes and let it end in a draw. Something like that could make Smackdown an absolute must watch for weeks just because people will be clamoring for a rematch. There’s merit in building a Smackdown around a single match so the following week’s show gets everyone else on the card additional exposure.
4) During a live even against Sasha Banks and Bayley we saw a returning Emma teaming up Mickie James. At one point during the match Emma took the corner double knee drop from Banks and Emma landed on her right shoulder wrong to where the referee threw up the “X” signaling there may be an injury. What are your thoughts?
Corey: I feel bad for her honestly. Hopefully it’s nothing too bad and something she can shake off. She just returned and for her to get hurt already really gives off the Hideo Itami feel.
Josh: It’s a real bummer if it’s anything that will keep her out of action for any length of time. Emma is really awesome and her matches with Paige in NXT really put women’s wrestling back on the map in WWE. If she is injured for a longer period of time, but doesn’t require surgery it would be great if they could find something for her to do as like a manager or she could employ a heavy for a couple weeks until she can return to regular action.
5) Former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck recently revealed one of the turned down storylines from a few years ago that he pitched. His idea was for Daniel Bryan’s plan to send AJ Lee to a mental facility to succeed and then take her off tv for a while then bring her back in a big way. She would have returned with her new boyfriend, Dean Ambrose, who she met while in the mental institution and then have AJ and Ambrose run wild on WWE being WWE’s version of Bonnie and Clyde. (Personally I think the two could have been a lighter version of Joker and Harley Quinn minus the domestic abuse). What do you think of that?
Corey: I instantly got mad that we didn’t get that when I read it. It would have been amazing but instead we got almost 3 months of AJ as the RAW GM and anyone that remembers it ironically remembers how unmemorable it was.
Josh: It’s a pretty wild storyline that could have been really cool. It really makes me wonder what other crazy storylines WWE writers have come up with only to get nixed. I need a book that’s just old WWE writers explaining the greatest/craziest idea they’ve pitched in a WWE writers room that didn’t come to fruition.
Corey: Now normally I would do additional notes but my fellow cohort Josh recently went to an NXT live event so I’d like to let him take the reigns from here on out.
NXT Live in San Diego
Josh: So part of my weekend was spent attending the very first NXT Live event in San Diego, California. NXT is absolute must attend event for wrestling fans if it ever happens to come to your area. It’s the best combination of indie wrestling, but keeps the quality of the WWE product. Bianca Blair who we spoke of last week as an up and comer in WWE’s talent development system wrestled in a tag match with some of the more seasoned female talent and really held her own. She’s every bit the athlete as billed and has a personality which was my biggest concern last week. She also has this crazy long braid that she whipped one of the babyface females with at one point and the crowd howled with laughter. Ciampa/Gargano are even more over live than they are on tv and whether they stay as a tag team or eventually split up they are going to be major fan favorites for a long time. Match of the night was probably Kassius Ohno against Oney Lorcan. Surprising? Absolutely, but both those dudes can go and they worked such a methodical pace to begin with that when they eventually went 1000MPH you really appreciated what they were doing. However, the highlight of the night was the tag team main event pitting Tye Dillinger and Hideo Itami against Bobby Roode and Andrade “Cien” Almas. They worked the crowd to perfection and the entire start of the match was basically dueling chants of “10” and “Glorious.” It was … damn I promised I wouldn’t do this, oh well … GLORIOUS! Also, this officially marks the end of Tye Dillinger’s run with the NXT roster. Yes he has already been on Smackdown for several weeks, but he was still touring with NXT up until this past weekend. Dillinger had a great closing monologue thanking the fans, the crew, the announcers, the camera people and basically every other unsung hero that helps put together a WWE show so they can go out and wrestle. It was damn near a perfect wrestling event and a great way to spend an evening.
Also special shoutout to No Way Jose because that guy probably opens every live show with a conga line with the fans and it was both ridiculous and looked exhausting. I love No Way Jose, keep doing you man!