Battleground, the new Raw and Smackdown Live (hopefully we can cut the Live thing soon) were all great shows. It’s a lot to keep track of, but that’s why we’re here. Check out the biggest questions from the week that was.
We’re diving in to the eight hours of live WWE programming from the week. Welcome to WWE’s new normal. Well wishes and extra coffee from our loyal readers is welcomed. Let’s get to it!
Coast 2 Coast is cowritten by Josh Rebuck.
1) What’s something you liked, disliked and would change from Battleground?
Corey: I actually liked the match placement for the show. It flowed really well. I REALLY loved Enzo’s promo. As I said before Enzo and Cass are the 2016 New Age Outlaws and that’s an excellent thing if you ask me. What I disliked about Battleground was that after Dean won they had the Usos holding up Dean and didn’t even address it in any form. Roman’s cousins lifting up the guy that just pinned him? That literally makes no sense whatsoever. And speaking of the Usos the only thing I would change would be them losing to Tyler Breeze and Fandango. The team that just won Tag Team of the Year (even though we know it should have been awarded to New Day) a few months ago is now losing to a gimmick team on the pre-show? Yeah definitely a little ridiculous.
Josh: Kevin Owens versus Sami Zayn was a legitimate match of the year candidate. Those two are magic in the ring together and even if you had never seen a promo or a match from them before that night you knew exactly what was happening and what it meant for Zayn to pick up the win. The Randy Orton promo went way too long. Orton isn’t a natural babyface so the segment was off-putting from the beginning. While the line about performance enhancers was an excellent dig, Orton isn’t exactly squeaky clean either. The whole thing was just a mess. Lastly, I’d change the booking for the end of the Darren Young versus Miz match. I get where they’re going with Bob Backlund’s tutoring turning Young a little crazy, but it didn’t read well on television and the live crowd was totally lost to what the match finish was. With both wrestlers going to different brands I’m fine with the double-disqualification finish. It just needed to come across better to both audiences.
2) Do you like the name WWE Universal Championship?
Corey: Definitely not. I think it makes it seem more comical. Maybe they called it Universal because eventually a woman could hold the title as well? If that’s not the reason then I’m going to need Vince to fire whomever is in charge of naming things.
Josh: In short … no. However, I also don’t have much of a better idea as to what to call it. You can’t call it the world title anymore since that’s already been done many times. They were right to build a new title from scratch and not attempt to tie its lineage to anything else. Maybe the WWE Legendary Championship … I probably shouldn’t be in charge of naming things either.
Rumor is the WWE Universal Championship may take inspiration from the old WWF eagle belt.
3) It’s Finn Balor versus Seth Rollins at SummerSlam for the Universal Championship, thoughts?
Corey: This is going to be a show stealer! I’m calling it now. Show. Stealer. And even though I’m a Roman fan I’m not against his punishment being what gets Finn in the spotlight. My only concern would be what he would do after the match and also are they going to let him use his NXT entrance.
Josh: Well they definitely strapped the proverbial rocket to Balor. I love it! It’s no secret we’re big fans of both these guys and expect nothing but great things from the matchup. I’m definitely curious what the outcome is going to be. Is WWE willing to pull the trigger on a Balor title run this early into his main roster debut? Could we see a possible double-turn? There’s a lot of interesting scenarios for this match which makes it all the more interesting.
4) Where did the Dolph Ziggler push come from?
Corey: I don’t know but I am excited!! Dolph is one of my favorites and I just don’t get why WWE never fully got back behind him after he won Survivor Series by himself a few years ago. Hopefully he turns heel as well because with the new brand split Smackdown is going to need some established heels with a legitimate name.
Josh: I think WWE just realized they were lacking some top talent. This might be a case of process of elimination. AJ Styles and John Cena are slated to face each other for SummerSlam. Bray Wyatt is seemingly starting a big singles push so you don’t really want him losing at the PPV. Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews are interesting options, but neither is quite ready to headline the event. That basically leaves Ziggler. And that’s not a knock on Ziggler, he’s a great talent who will put on a great match with Dean Ambrose. Hopefully this only elevates Ziggler going forward and if (as Corey mentioned above) he turns heel during the program then all the better. That would basically put him as the third main event heel for Smackdown which is not a bad place to be.
Could Ziggler become champion again come SummerSlam? Image courtesy of wwe.com.
5) Does Smackdown need to add a title to the brand?
Corey: Since WWE decided to bring back the cruiserweight division for Raw, I would love for Smackdown to bring back the Hardcore title. I may be alone in the matter, but I would love if they brought that back.
Josh: Probably. If they really are keeping all the titles separate to the respective brands then Smackdown is going to have to add a women’s and tag team titles to the mix. Otherwise you have a whole lot of talent with not a lot to fight for.