It’s true, it’s true! Kurt Angle enters the WWE HOF.
Tons of news and rumors this week. Kurt Angle will enter the WWE HOF, ICW wrestling may be heading to the WWE Network, and several matches for the Royal Rumble were confirmed. Plenty to dive into so let’s get to it!
1) Sunday we saw the crowning of the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion — Tyler Bate. Do you think the right person won?
Corey: Definitely. I liked Bate right away and can definitely see him as a champion so I’m completely ok with this decision. But I will say the heelish ways of Jordan Devlin really stood out to me. I’d say keep your eye out for him in the future.
Josh: It was definitely a surprising move by WWE. Tyler Bate is 19 and it’s not often WWE entrusts the future of a brand or even a story to someone so young. However, Bate was super over with the UK crowd and the tournament did a great job of building Bate’s character. So yes, the right person won.
2) This year’s WWE Hall of Fame nominees are starting to roll in and one of the biggest names so far is Kurt Angle. What are your thoughts on this and do you think this could lead to a match?
Corey: A match is a longshot but if we get one I’ll be completely ok with it. Most likely it’ll just end up being a spot in the Royal Rumble. As for his HOF nomination I think it’s well deserved. As a kid I absolutely HATED Kurt Angle. But that’s because he was good at his job. Angle picked up professional wrestling like it was nothing and to this day he’s still one of my favorites. If you want a good example of how good Angle was/is go watch him vs Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 21. Easily a 5-star match.
Josh: Quick disclaimer here — Kurt Angle is my favorite wrestler. It’s a well-deserved honor and while I don’t think a match is likely to happen, just having Kurt Angle back in the WWE fold is a big deal. Also, Angle cuts a great promo so it could be he takes an on-screen role as a commissioner (Mick Foley is scheduled for hip surgery in the near future) sometime in the near future.
3) This week on Smackdown we saw the return the Jerry “The King” Lawler which in turn led to a confrontation with the now heel Dolph Ziggler. Where do you see this going?
Corey: I don’t see it going far at all actually. Personally I feel like they only brought Lawler back to help to get heat on Ziggler so the fans wouldn’t keep cheering him. Lawler hasn’t been on tv at all in months but he’s still a face and what better way to help with Ziggler’s heel turn than to have him super kick a legend in the chest after making fun of him for his heart attack.
Josh: The Lawyer segment with Ziggler was really well done. It was a great callback to something that happened years ago when Lawler had a a real-life heart attack moments after competing in a tag match with Ziggler as one of the opponents. Modern-day Ziggler then super kicking Lawler in the heart generated a ton of heat on Ziggler. There won’t be a match with Lawler or anything like that, but some babyface backstage will come out to defend Lawler’s honor or something of that nature.
4) Rumor has it that one of the first indie promotions that will air on WWE Network will be UK promotion Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW). Do you think this is a good move by WWE?
Corey: It’s an extremely smart move on their part. It’s a win-win situation. An indie promotion gets a major look from the world’s largest wrestling promotion, which will introduce their product to a completely new audience as well as WWE also gets the viewers that may prefer indie products to their own.
Josh: Absolutely it’s a good move. The more content that exists on the Network the better value it presents to potential consumers (and current consumers). Plus, as the Network has begun expanding into new markets offering wrestling programming that is from that region means they’ll likely have more people sign up. I’m really interested to see what this programming will look like. Will it be a weekly show? Will it be specials? We’ve already talked at length about the overwhelming weekly content WWE produces so at what point does it become unmanageable for fans to keep up with? Will we splinter off and watch only a few programs, and what would that mean for the programs that will need to be renewed?
5) Going on the the cruiserweights, Rich Swan vs Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship has been announced for the Royal Rumble. Do you think Swan will retain here?
Corey: Definitely not. The cruiserweight division was drowning due to poor booking and lack of investment from the fans, but with Neville’s return he’s the clear choice for Cruiserweight Champion to help get the crowd invested like WWE wants. Personally I would love to see Neville vs Cedric Alexander. Give them 15mins and they can steal the show.
Josh: Unlikely, WWE has really invested in the Neville character so him capturing the Cruiserweight Championship feels imminent. I really want to know what’s next. Who feuds with Neville when he’s champion? And is there anyone who will feel like a legitimate challenger?
– I really do hope the rumored Cena heel turn is coming. I still don’t want to see Cena tie Ric Flair’s record but if heel Cena were the one the do it then I’d be a little more ok with it.
– It’s impossible this is going to happen now because of the brand split, but I really wish we could have gotten a legitimate feud between Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt. The promos would have been amazing
– Gotta love the buzz that’s surrounding this year’s Royal Rumble. As opposed to the last few years where the winner seemed obvious, I’m not sure anyone has a really good grasp on who will win and head to WrestleMania. It’s an insanely stacked Royal Rumble!