We celebrate 20 years since the first formation of DX!
Plus, we’re also digging into the week of matches in the build towards SummerSlam. Bayley is out and either Sasha Banks or Nia Jax will be in, Braun Strowman is a professional office chair thrower, and where in the world is Dolph Ziggler.
1) This past week on Raw we saw Sasha Banks and Nia Jax both get victories setting up a match for the upcoming Raw to determine who will be the new No 1 Contender for Alexa Bliss Women’s Championship. Who do you see coming out as the victor here?
Corey: I’m going to go with Sasha Banks. This is SummerSlam we’re talking about so the money match is definitely Sasha but don’t get me wrong I still like Nia. Plus, I also think WWE is going to try and capitalize on the real life feud between Banks and Bliss.
Josh: Definitely Sasha Banks. It’s the money match-up and the one fans most wanted to see. Nia Jax is a future champion and will get her time as the top heel … just not yet.
2) Word is that the reason we haven’t seen much of Dolph Ziggler on tv in a while is because at the moment they don’t have anything for him as well as the fact they plan on repackaging him. What are your thoughts?
Corey: At the time I don’t see anything that he could involve himself in that would make sense so I’m ok with the decision to keep him off. I am happy to hear that he’s getting repackaged especially with him being one of my favorites. I think WWE knows he’s still an amazing talent and that there’s still something else he can give to help better the product.
Josh: Smart, WWE seems to acknowledge that Dolph Ziggler is a valuable asset and so they are depreciating his value by having him lose meaningless television matches. I’ll believe the repackage when I see it because he’s kind of gone through it before and really they just reverted to a slightly altered version of his existing character.
3) Next week on NXT we will be getting Roderick Strong vs Drew McIntyre. What do you think of this match?
Corey: I’m pretty excited about it. This is definitely a pay per view worthy match and to get it just a few days before TakeOver feels like a mini Christmas.
Josh: Thrilled to see these two lock it up. I’m a big Roderick Strong fan and I’ve really enjoyed Drew McIntyre on his recent run in NXT. Strong is a clear work in progress as his promos still come across a bit stiff, but seeing him regularly work with guys who are at the top of their game in Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre will only improve and elevate Strong.
4) This past Monday we also got the Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns Last Man Standing Match. What did you think of the results?
Corey: First off can we address Braun hurling that chair at Reigns like it was nothing! The chemistry they have is just amazing. As far as the result of the match I’m completely ok with Braun going over via interference. It helped pushed the fatal four way match at SummerSlam but I’m calling it now their blow off match is going to be Hell in a Cell. Count on it.
Josh: Loved the match, thought the last two seconds of the match were a little hokey. I like the interference, but Reigns was definitely still on his feet for longer than a few seconds so shouldn’t he have technically still won? Yes, I’m aware this is nitpicking, but it still struck me as odd. Also Strowman went from totally prone and ‘unconscious’ to on his feet in an raising his arms in victory in about a second and half. So yea, slightly hokey.
5) The last week we hit the 20 year anniversary of the formation of Degeneration X. How influential would you say this group was?
Corey: These guys, along with Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rick, Undertaker, Kane, and Mankind were the heartbeat of the Attitude Era. If you grew up in the 90s then there’s a 9 out of 10 chance that you remember giving someone a crotch chop or going around telling people “Suck It!” And not even knowing what it even meant. Their original incarnation with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna, (and briefly Rick Rude) had some amazing moments but they didn’t hit the height of popularity until Michael’s went down due to a back injury after Mania 14. Triple H revitalized the group with the addition of the returning X-Pac the following night on Raw and then ended the night with the addition of Road Dogg and Bad A*s Billy Gunn also known as the New Age Outlawz. For the next year they had almost all of America throwing up Xs and happy to be Degenerates. There were a few other incarnations over the years but the 98-99 version was my all time favorite. I even got a few detentions from telling people to “Suck it!”
Josh: It’s interesting because I’m actually in the midst of a ’98-2002 rewatch of every Raw, Smackdown and PPV during that period (I’m about to finish up 1999) and when you look at what DX was during that period and slightly before with Michaels, and how we remember them it’s two radically different things. DX moved a ton of merchandise and participated in some huge moments for WWE during that period, but in the grand scheme of wrestling storylines the group wasn’t really that important. That feels weird to type so let me try and clarify. DX as a group wasn’t the focus of many wrestling angles, but the individual players were all over the Attitude Era. There was a HHH storyline, a Chyna storyline, a New Age Outlaws storyline, and X-Pac had a thing going with Kane for a really long time. None of them were really centric to the group dynamics and often they didn’t even interact with one another outside of Chyna accompanying HHH to the ring. The group wasn’t even really together for a large chunk of 1999 and while it finished out 1999 as a solid group it was gone again by mid-2000. But I think this is also what made it so successful. The group didn’t always have to be together for it to feel like it was unified.
– Every week that goes by I’m more and more assured that we will have a Shield Reunion by Survivor Series. I’d love to see them vs the Club but with Styles, Finn, and Kenny Omega. But for obvious reasons that won’t happen with Omega in New Japan and Styles on Smackdown but I can dream can’t I?
– There’s some renewed vigor in the women’s division on Raw and while we saw the matchups we were expecting, with Bayley’s injury there’s a clear spot for one of the other women to step and assert her place in the division. My money is on Emma to take that next step.