Our inaugural addition looks at what’s ahead for the WWE after Wrestlemania.
Coast 2 Coast is co-written by Josh Rebuck
In honor of Shane McMahon and one of the coolest moves in wrestling, welcome to the first installment of Coast 2 Coast, a weekly pro wrestling recap where we take five questions in the world of pro wrestling and attempt to answer them.
1) Biggest takeaway from this week’s Raw?
Corey: It seems that the WWE truly is trying to shake things up within the company. They are getting back into planning out their storylines and not just going week to week. With the announcement of the Tag Team tournament for the No. 1 contendership of the tag titles the WWE has already provided at least two to three weeks of programming. Also throwing in the debut of Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, who will clearly have a significant presence in the tag title scene, they could end up having those two interfere with the title match at the next pay per view, PayBack, or they could be the next contenders following the conclusion of the title match at Payback which could lead to at least two to three more months of programming for the tag titles alone. I’m also starting to get the feeling that the WWE is finally going to stop acting like Reigns isn’t getting a significant amount of boos. Even JBL said on commentary regarding Reigns “but a lot of people don’t like him.” Along with Shane McMahon hosting Raw again for the second week in a row as well as teaming up known rivals Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt for the main event, it truly feels like WWE is trying to make changes for the better with their product.
Josh: WWE is capable of putting together three solid hours of television. The three hour long Raw always seemed like a bad idea and in recent memory it’s proved to be true. But Monday’s program was well paced, well thought out and featured excellent in-ring action for the majority of the broadcast. It felt different and because it felt different it also had a more invested live audience which helps the audience invest in the product at home as well. Payback, which is typically a rehash of Wrestlemania feuds, is also putting together a nice little card with new matchups — or at least matchups fans want to see. Might just get some of those WWE Network subscribers from Wrestlemania to stick around.
2) The state of women’s wrestling is:
Corey: Honestly I believe that women’s wrestling, as a whole, is the best it has been in years and that can clearly be seen in what can arguably be called the match of the night at Wrestlemania 32 where Charlotte defended her Divas Championship/New Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch in a triple threat match which was absolutely amazing. The caliber of the matches that the women are putting on ever since Stephanie McMahon first mentioned a Revolution for the women’s division. I’m heavily invested in Charlotte’s heel title reign but at the same time I can’t wait until Sasha or Becky Lynch get to have their run with the title as well and maybe, just maybe, we may finally get a Natalya reign as well. She has shown multiple times that she can go in the ring with any woman on the roster so hopefully she gets her shot at some point as well. The women’s division is headed exactly in the right direction.
Josh: Trending upwards is best description I have for it. The injection of new blood into the women’s division has certainly livened up the crowd, and WWE seems committed to giving the fans and their female competitors more from the division. What I’m most excited for are the potential matchups six months down the line. Bayley’s eventual call-up coupled with the mixing of current talent presents a strong division and multiple storylines worth pursuing for the long haul.
3) Which main roster debut (post Wrestlemania) will capture a WWE title first?
Corey: The one to most likely carry one of the belts first will be either Apollo Crews or Baron Corbin. Corbin just has the look and the ability to be a monster heel and Crews is a big man that can work so I’m all for it. But even though I’m torn between the two I feel as though the WWE will go with Corbin with a title before Crews just because WWE is in serious need of legitimate heels.
Josh: If I were to bet money on it I’d go with Apollo Crews. Great look, excellent athlete and is probably one of the best pure babyfaces we’ve seen in a while. The WWE needs more African-American stars and I think Crews is a perfect candidate to strap the proverbial rocket to his back. Honorable mention goes to Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows who could capture the tag titles in a month and go on a tear for the rest of the year.
4) Roman Reigns will carry the WWE title until?
Corey: I think Reigns will carry the title until SummerSlam at the very least. Regardless of fan reaction, which is in part due to booking, the WWE has invested quite a lot of time into Reigns so I can’t see him dropping the title at any event other than one of the Big 4 (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, and Survior Series).
Josh: This goes one of two ways: Either Reigns holds the belt until Survivor Series as the pseudo-heel or he drops it in two months to another competitor creating the chase for the next major summertime story angle. I’m expecting something major to happen in the next month that sets up for the summer storyline so I’m sort of cautiously optimistic for the latter.
5) Most interesting post Wrestlemania feud?
Corey: The most interesting feud so far is the Kevin Owens building to another Sami Zayn feud. And yes I know they feuded back in NXT but now they’ll be able to do it on a bigger platform to a much bigger audience. Also knowing the type of workers that Zayn and Owens are, they aren’t ones to repeat any of the things they did previously in NXT. I will say Ambrose and Jericho is a close second just because of how good of a worker and talker Jericho is as well as the unpredictability of Ambrose, which guarantees for an entertaining feud.
Josh: The Charlotte and Natalya feud potential is excellent for a post-Wrestlemania dalience. Given the proper time this could turn into something really special and watching Ric Flair strut about pulling dirty tricks to help his daughter retain match after match is amazing. I’d also like to see Bret Hart or Jim Neidhart get brought in as the feud progresses to operate as foil to Ric Flair’s underhanded ways. It’s a great way to showcase the best in women’s wrestling while also dipping into the legends pool to bring in the more casual fan and get them invested.