Roster cuts strike the WWE before Extreme Rules.
Coast 2 Coast is co-written by Josh Rebuck.
Post-Wrestlemania releases, match stipulations and new debuts are part of this week’s Coast 2 Coast grab-bag. What do our resident pro wrestling gurus have to say in the week that was WWE?
1) We just saw the annual post-Wrestlemania roster cuts, with some more likely on the way. Who are you most surprised to see go?
Corey: Two words. DAMIEN SANDOW. I cannot believe WWE let a diamond like him go. He can literally make any gimmick work. He’s great in the ring and the crowd loved him. I’m still in shock. Honestly I think this was one of the of the worst releases I’ve seen in awhile.
Josh: Damien Sandow is definitely the one most fans are sad to see leave. Great worker, lousy gimmicks that somehow he got to work. But I’ll point to another guy in Alex Riley who WWE could have done more with. His recent work in NXT was a solid use of him and he was closing in on a good gimmick that would connect with the audience. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land in NJPW or ROH soon.
Image from bleacherreport.com
2) WWE has apparently named the trio of Gallows, Anderson and Styles as The Club. Good name or bad name?
Corey: Hopefully they’ll make it the Balor Club later when Finn comes to the main roster because just calling it The Club doesn’t grab me like it should.
Josh: Not good, it sounds like a bad create-a-stable from the 2K games.
3) The Shining Stars debut next week (formerly Los Matadores/Primo and Epico/The Colons), what should be their (re)introductory feud?
Corey: They could have them feud with New Day as well. I’m curious to see how this gimmicks works because the Los Matadores gimmicks was awful.
Josh: Based on the vignettes I’m going to assume they’re a heel team. With that assumption in mind I think the best feud might be with Enzo and Cass (once Enzo is healthy again of course). This also might be a good opportunity to pull the trigger on the Hype Bros (team of Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley). Let the Colons bust up Zack Ryder for a few weeks and then Ryder can bring in Rawley as his equalizer. The tag division is stacked with talent, but finding right matchups for heels and faces is definitely a challenge going forward.
4) Pick a match for Extreme Rules – what should be the match stipulation?
Corey: I would LOVE to see a Last Man Standing match between Rusev and Kalisto. Watching the underdog struggle to keep the brute down for a 10 count would be amazing because I know Kalisto would have to do something as crazy as he did at last year’s TLC pay per view (still in awe btw).
Josh: Let’s put a steel cage around the Styles and Reigns match for the WWE title. This serves two purposes: 1) It creates a story driven environment to work the Usos and Club (I hate even typing this name) in the match without it devolving into an exceptionally messy finish. 2) It enables Styles to look really strong and not suffer a pinfall loss in his third straight PPV. Plus, incredibly, cage matches are actually an underutilized match stipulation at the moment. When’s the last normal cage match we’ve seen to main event a PPV? WWE could also tie some legacy to the match with running vignettes of other great WWE title cage matches to boost the prestige.
5) Bob Backlund is going to make Darren Young great again. What’s exactly happening here?
Corey: I don’t know what is happening but I’m 100% interested! This could be something really great or it could be one of the biggest flops we’ve seen in years. Hopefully it’ll be great because I’d love to see Young show some more personality.
Josh: It’s insane that this idea was pitched apparently ages ago and it wasn’t until a podcast where the story came out that it’s now come to fruition. There’s wonderful presidential election tones. Bob Backlund is a madman in the best possible way. I’m all in! Let’s make Darren Young great again!!!
Image from foxsports.com