WWE crashes headlong into the final PPV of the year.
It’s the final PPV before the new year with Raw’s Roadblock. The December PPV is usually pretty tame, but there’s a few very interesting matches that will close out the year. What’s going to happen? And what other interesting news has percolated from WWE this week?
1) This has been a pretty interesting week in the WWE especially with the announcement of the WWE United Kingdom tournament along with the inclusion of Nigel McGuinness on the announce team. What are your thoughts?
Corey: If you ever want me to be interested in anything all you have to do is mention a tournament and I’m instantly intrigued. Now with the last tournament that WWE did, the CWC, I’m more excited than ever. As for Nigel McGuinness being part of the announce team, I couldn’t be happier! He is an amazing talent who was also great in the ring but unfortunately due to injuries had to retire but if you have the time check out some of his matches against Daniel Bryan from the mid 2000s. Brutality at its finest.
Josh: I’m super excited about this UK tournament. I can’t say I’m familiar with all of the competitors, but guys like Joseph Connors and Wolfgang are excellent in-ring talents and will bring a style to the WWE network that isn’t really seen outside of Europe all too often. Plus, putting Nigel McGuinness in the booth with Michael Cole is a masterstroke of genius. He in his own right was a world-class wrestler and it’ll be great to see occupy the booth with his deep knowledge of the UK wrestling scene.
2) As of Monday The New Day are officially the longest reigning tag team champions in the WWE. What should be next for them?
Corey: Personally if they can still keep their popularity where it is I would say let them carry the titles to WrestleMania and then drop them to Enzo and Cass. If not then once their popularity starts to dwindle then let them turn heel again and see where they can go from there.
Josh: I think the obvious stroke is to have them drop the titles at Roadblock, but I’d much rather see them do a slow heel turn. It’s one thing to break a record, but it could be a really neat story to have them carry the belts for another six months to a year — just slowly watching them do everything in their power to keep the titles and demolish Demolition’s record.
3) This past Tuesday Dolph Ziggler won a fatal-four-way to become the new No. 1 Contender for AJ Styles WWE Championship. How do you see this feud going?
Corey: I’ve made it very apparent that I’m a huge fan of Dolph Ziggler and as far as a match with AJ Styles, if they are given 15 to 20 minutes then these two are going to steal the show. Period. But do I see the title changing hands? Unfortunately for Dolph, no I don’t think so. This match is probably just a place holder until AJ gets set into his feud on the road to WrestleMania.
Josh: This is a good stop-gap match. It’s sort of the perfect Royal Rumble championship match. You want something that’s entertaining, but also provides just enough intrigue to get you thinking that they could do a could title switch before getting to WrestleMania. I’m glad that Ziggler isn’t just getting lost back down the card after his incredible feud with Miz, even if these feud with Styles is only going to last a month or two at most.
4) Smackdown crowned the next No. 1 contenders for the tag team titles in The Hype Bros — Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley, but in the same night it was later found out that Zack Ryder suffered a knee injury. What happens next for the tag team title scene on Smackdown?
Corey: I’m sad to hear about Zack Ryder’s injury. I hope he gets well soon, but the plus side is we hopefully get to see less of Mojo Rawley. Just not a fan of his. But as far as what’s next there’s already a lack of depth in the tag team division on Smackdown so it looks like the only viable contenders would be American Alpha, but WWE most likely wasn’t planning on putting those two teams against each other until later down the line.
Josh: That’s a really tough break for Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley. I imagine they’ll try and give Mojo a small singles push to test the waters and see where he’s at. I kind of like Mojo and his over-the-top enthusiasm and I know WWE is big on his personal connection with Rob Gronkowski. The tag team scene on Smackdown is already getting a reboot as they try to rebuilt teams like Ascension and Breezango (whose fashion police schtick is quietly kind of amazing). Is American Alpha ready to take center stage against Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton? And if they lose will it kill any credibility and momentum that team currently has? That’s why I think a more clever solution would be to team the a returning John Cena with Dean Ambrose and have them feud for the titles. Build that to an eventual match with Cena and Ambrose squaring off, and I think you have something fun that feels like it belongs in the main event and builds credibility for the Smackdown tag titles.
5) Sami Zayn finally has his chance against Braun Strowman at Roadblock but its only 10 minutes. What do you make of this?
Corey: With the short time limit it actually helps both men. 1) Braun is still new and works a slower pace being a big guy so a 10-minute time limit is great for him and for Zayn it makes the match about desperation so he’s going to wrestle with a sense of urgency.
Josh: It’s a great way to book a non-finish that still ends because Sami Zayn survives and ‘wins’ but he still doesn’t really defeat Braun Strowman — who honestly shouldn’t lose a match for a full year. In a larger sense, I honestly wonder why WWE doesn’t reintroduce the time limit to matches. A) It sounds cool when an announcer says how long a match is scheduled for and B) it adds another way for matches to end that if not used in overabundance can add drama to matches that wouldn’t otherwise have them. It has a built in reason for return matches so you can do the same match a few weeks in a row, which would be especially helpful with the split in the roster. How much better would the Sasha Banks and Charlotte feud have been if just a few of their matches ended in time-limit draws?
– The road to WrestleMania is right around the corner and I cannot wait to see what the WWE has in store because at the current time other than AJ Styles being champion, literally ANYTHING could change between now and WrestleMania.
– I really hope they save the Sasha Banks vs Bayley feud for WrestleMania. I would LOVE to see that match on the grandest stage of them all.
– The participants for the United Kingdom Tournament have been announced, but other than Wolfgang I’m not familiar with a lot of them so I’ll have to do some research but after the type of matches we got after the CWC I’m positive these men are going to give us an amazing show.
– I’m definitely ready for the Ironman (woman) Match at Roadblock between Charlotte and Sasha Banks. I questioned a lot about this feud over the weeks, but WWE has really shown a knack for longterm storytelling with this feud.
– Big Damo made his first appearance in NXT a few weeks back and he looks to maybe be a part of the Sanity faction. Another wrestler from the UK scene, he could be a major player for WWE in a few years. Think Rusev, but from Northern Ireland.