The UK Tournament is here!
Two-days of great British wrestling? Yes please! Also we dive into the Road to WrestleMania and Jericho notching another title victory to his impressive resume.
1) Today begins the two-day United Kingdom Championship Tournment. Who is your pick and why?
Corey: I started to do a little research on a few of them but I wasn’t able to get to everyone, but right now I’ll go with Trent Seven. He just really entertains me. Jordan Devlin looks like he could be Finn Balor’s little brother which is ironic since he was trained by Balor as well. If he can perform at the level that Balor does then he may be able to get the win as well.
Josh: I’m going with Wolfgang. There’s a lot of interesting characters in this UK tournament, but Wolfgang is the one I’m most intrigued by. He’s an interesting hybrid wrestler with a varied arsenal of moves. He’s someone the WWE brass can get behind and is well known enough on the UK scene that if he’s asked to carry a Network show based around British wrestling then he’s capable of doing so.
2) This past Monday Roman Reigns competed in a handicap match against Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho for the United States Championship in which we saw Jericho capture the championship for the first time in his career. What happens next for Jericho?
Corey: First I’d like to say that I have no problem at all with Jericho being the US Champion. He deserves a title run especially after how amazing his most recent run has been. I don’t see the reign being that long and it’s not even necessary that it is, but the obvious next step is for Jericho and Owens to finally have that match. Jericho may end up losing the title and then deciding that he likes being a champion and wants an even bigger prize to which he can then set his sights on the Universal Championship.
Josh: I think we’re all salivating at the possibility of a Jericho/Owens match in the near future and I’ve suggested as much if Jericho were to win this year’s Royal Rumble. However, with Jericho now holding the US Championship he might move into a role as the standard bearer for the upper mid-card. He could have a nice feud with Sami Zayn or a member of the New Day. Also let’s hope that Jericho does the most heel move possible and rebrands the US Championship as the Canadian Championship and slaps a maple leaf on the front of the title.
3) Dolph Ziggler has continued his heel turn even more after his loss to Kalisto on Smackdown by attacking Kalisto with a chair as well as attacking Apollo Crews with a chair as well. What are your thoughts on this?
Corey: Honestly I wish they would have had Ziggler lose by disqualification instead of a clean pinfall loss. That now makes it two weeks in a row he’s lost cleanly to two people who are essentially lower on the card than he is. I’m not sure where he goes next though just due to the fact that there’s already a main midcard heel in The Miz and with AJ Styles being a heel then there’s no reason they would do a heel vs heel feud. Either way I’m glad to see Heel Ziggler back.
Josh: It’s smart that they’re slow burning this heel turn out for Ziggler. He super kicks Kalisto last week, doesn’t say a word in a backstage interview segment and then goes berserk with chair shots to two babyfaces after he loses clean. I’m excited to see where it goes and really let that frustration boil for Ziggler until we see a drastic shift in his character.
4) Rumor has it that the original plan for the Raw Women’s Championship for Wrestlemania would be Charlotte vs Bayley, but now word is spreading that the match will be a fatal 4 way which will include Sasha Banks and Nia Jaxx because Vince thinks those two are too big to be left out of the show. Do you think the inclusion of Banks and Jaxx will change the outcome of the match?
Corey: Not at all. I still think that Wrestlemania will be the first pay per view loss that Charlotte has and it will be at the hands of Bayley, but if the rumors are true then I’m glad that Vince sees that Sasha shouldn’t be left out of such a high profile match.
Josh: Vince is definitely right that those two are far too big to be left off the show, but they need to be careful with the construction of the WrestleMania card. There’s a tendency to put too many multi-man matches on the card which creates a law of diminishing returns. If they keep it to a minimum it’s fine, but let’s not load up the card with these type matches.
5) For NXT Takeover: San Antonio the NXT Womens Championship match will see Asuka defending her title in a fatal 4 way against Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross, and Billie Kay. Do you see Asuka retaining here?
Corey: The only way Asuka doesn’t retain is if she is getting a call up to the main roster, but with us already on the Road to WrestleMania there really isn’t a place for her just yet so yes I do see her retaining but I have no problem with that because I absolutely love Asuka.
Josh: Absolutely Asuka retains here. Doesn’t seem like a good time to call her up and she’s too good of a champion to have her drop the title without losing it cleanly. Nikki Cross may be the one to take the title off Asuka, but not here and not now.
– I really hope after the Seth Rollins vs Triple H match at WrestleMania that Seth will finally get a new finisher and stop using the pedigree. He’s way too talented to use another established wrestler’s move who is still within the company.
– I really need Apollo Crews to get some personality. Him just smiling is starting to get annoying and history has shown that wrestling fans will eventually turn on you if the only thing you can do is smile, isn’t that right 1996/1997 Rock?
– Can we get a round of applause for the La Luchadora storyline on Smackdown? This is a great instance of calling back to something WWE has done in its past and repurposing it for a current storyline. Clever writing.
– Good to see NXT have another really strong show this week. NXT has historically lagged during the holiday season and it was true again this year, but man they came out of the gates firing for 2017.