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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tagged under:

EOTR Retrospective: Why Kevin Owens Is The Perfect WWE Universal Champion

By @TrueGodImmortal


Did Kevin Owens Deserve To win the WWE Universal Title??

Let me keep this very simple. Yes. The answer is yes. He deserved it. He deserves it. He should have won the title previously. Now, I can end the article right here, but that's not the right call to make. Let's look at the history of Kevin Owens in WWE, and why he deserved to win the Universal Title and why he honestly should be positioned as the no. 1 wrestler in the business going forward. There's been a ton of criticism for him, and I think it's not warranted at all, but let's get into why Kevin Owens was the best choice for WWE Universal Champion.



The first thing is essentially the most important. The other participants in the match didn't need the title or the win. When Finn Balor got injured, to be honest, it truly positioned Owens in the perfect position, like it or not. With a fatal four way between Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Big Cass, and Seth Rollins to determine the new champion, many people were buzzing that it would be time for Owens to finally take it. The first pick for most would be Roman Reigns, due to knowing and understanding WWE and their terrible logic. Though Reigns would have been the worst choice in the whole match, it seemed like a given that WWE would take us back to the soul crushing status quo.

Big Cass was not going to be a serious choice for the title, for a few reasons. He's in a very popular tag team, but Cass isn't really the solo star type. He relies on Enzo mostly and Enzo is the more over of the two. Sure, Cass has the size, which Vince and Kevin Dunn are probably going crazy over as we speak, but he isn't ready for the title. He isn't ready for anything of that sort really. Cass has to show and prove that he's able to compete in a solo role more frequently before we even consider him in a main event singles role. Though Cass could have been a different and shocking choice to win, he just wasn't the smart choice. Working with a limited roster is tough for the WWE anyways, but if they would have gave Cass the belt, it would have been the 2nd biggest possible mistake they could have made in the match.



Reigns needs to be away from the title for months and months and months, maybe even a year or so. He's not working in his face role and Vince is so stubborn that he doesn't want to turn him heel. The forcing of Reigns has backfired every time and it still continues to backfire. Reigns went into that Fatal Four Way and he really had no business being in there. Rusev should have interfered in his qualifying match against Jericho and ran with that. Rusev cost him the match and then we have Reigns vs Rusev continuing. Regardless, Reigns was the worst choice here, as he had been the focus of the title picture off and on for the last 2 years and he's just not working. Why force him into a title reign that isn't going to work? Again? After the strange beginning to 2016 that saw Reigns enter the year as champ, battle HHH, main event Mania again to a crowd of indifference, and be Superman Reigns for so long, it's about time he takes a backseat. Not just for a few shows, but for a few months. He needs to languish in the upper mid card and not the RAW main event.



Seth Rollins would have been a fine choice, but he's been the focus of the title picture in some way for the last 3 months since returning. Seth is the no. 1 guy in the company essentially on a full time basis. Regardless of his criticism for being a dangerous worker, he is the MAN and should certainly get a feud and a title shot at Owens going forward and a tweener turn as well. Seth is a great heel, but no one really wants to hate him. He needs to be face. He couldn't have gone face or even developed his character some more if he won the title. For Seth to grow in a different direction, he needed to lose and get screwed over essentially. That's exactly what happened and it was the right decision. So, I told you why his opponents were the wrong choice, so why was Owens the right choice?



He deserved it. Simple. After the last 2 years since he signed with WWE, Owens has come out with match of the year candidates each year, whether on RAW, NXT, or live on PPV. His innovative offense got a chance to shine in NXT against Neville, his arch rival Sami Zayn, and Finn Balor as well. When he came to the main roster, he took John Cena to the limit with two straight classics and even picked up a clean victory on him. He should have been given the US Title for a while, but instead he was passed over for that distinction and moved down the card some to fight Cesaro. Cesaro and Owens put on consistently good matches, but it felt like both men were being wasted in the company already. This is where Owens all of a sudden beat Ryback to become the Intercontinental Champion and held the belt for a few months, before taking consecutive losses to Dean Ambrose to lose the title.  It was strange to see Owens misused like this, but once again, he led Ambrose to a near classic at the Royal Rumble this year for the IC Title. Ambrose and Owens made the IC Title feel somewhat important.

Then, he continued his saga with Sami Zayn on the main roster, and put on two classics at Payback and Battleground with him. Still, it felt like he wasn't being used properly. Then, they stuck him with Jericho in a tag team and they instantly became over, as expected. For a company with so much talent at their disposal, WWE doesn't know how to use them effectively at times. In this case? They were wasting both Owens and Zayn, and Owens seemed to just be content in his role with Jericho as a team. Then Finn got injured. And it all seemed like the perfect storm. Owens, who had been misused and not promoted fairly in the company, would help build the fatal 4 way perfectly and let it be known that he was ready for the task at hand. Owens walked into the Fatal 4 Way as the most gifted performer in that match (he's better than Seth IMO), the most gifted talker, and the most relatable of them all. Labeled as a prize fighter, Owens just wants to feed his family and taste success. Who in America couldn't relate to that? He's not an architect. He's not superman. He's not 7 foot tall and a giant. He's your everyday guy with extraordinary talents that busted his ass for a decade plus to get to this point in the wrestling business.



Vince Russo, Jim Cornette, and the usual babbling idiots have criticized the decision to put the belt on Owens, saying the business is suffering if this is what they do. Well, Russo is an idiot. Cornette is too. Owens has always been a top merch seller in WWE since arriving, he is likable but also easy to hate, and he has all the tools to be an epic heel if need be. That's what makes him the right choice. He could give you what you need and want in that ring and then some. Night after night, Owens busted his ass and pushed forward to make things happen for the company and entertain the audience as best he could. Sure, Triple H helped him. Sure, a lot of questions haven't been answered, but with Triple H returning and aligning with Owens so to speak, this could he the beginning of a career year and huge moments for Kevin Owens going forward. When you look at the RAW roster, no one deserves this title more than Kevin Owens. Now, let's sit back and watch The Kevin Owens Show and where it goes from here. Congratulations Kevin.

-True

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tagged under:

ROH TV Review 8/27/16

By @Headliner5


Hello everyone and welcome to another ROH TV review, it's time for your weekly dose of honor as Death Before Dishonor is officially in the books and we have a new world champion in Adam Cole Bay Bay.

The show featured Matt Taven on commentary this week, which is great because he's really entertaining in the position, so I hope that this will continue and hell when he begins wrestling again, I hope he wrestles matches with a headset so he can do commentary on his own matches because that would be totally amazing.

Anyway, let's get to the action beginning with the first match of the night.

Match 1
Keith Lee and Shane Taylor vs. War Machine

Thoughts:
Okay so confession, but I don't know who is Shane Taylor and who is Keith Lee, does it even matter? The match begins and all four guys begin brawling almost immediately after the bell rings. On the outside of the ring, Shane runs headfirst into the guardrail, as Hanson is able to move out of the way. Back in the ring, Hanson kicks Taylor in the face before delivering a bodyslam to Lee. Some miscommunication occurs as Rowe accidentally hits Hanson with a shotgun knee in the corner. Lee and Taylor hit Rowe with a powerslam splash combination to get a near fall. Rowe recovers and slams Lee before tagging in the much fresher Hanson. Lee recovers and slams Hanson in the middle of the ring. Rowe gets a running head start and dropkicks Lee while he is holding Taylor to get a near fall. Hanson comes off of the top rope, but gets caught by the throat as Lee and Taylor deliver a double chokeslam. Hanson and Rowe hit a springboard clothesline/German Suplex combination for a near fall. Rowe follows it up with another sit out powerbomb for a near fall. The match ends when Lee and Taylor defeat War Machine after a sitout powerbomb on Hanson from Shane Taylor.

Match Result: Keith Lee and Shane Taylor defeat War Machine via pinfall after a sitout powerbomb on Hanson from Taylor

Match Rating: **

From there, we go to the next match of the night

Match 2
David Star vs. Cheeseburger vs. Tough Tim Hughes vs. J Diesel

Thoughts:
So this match wasn't really a match, the only thing that really happened was that J Diesel picked up Cheeseburger for a bodyslam and throws him to the outside onto both David Star and Tough Tim Hughes. After that the lights went out and Punisher Martinez appeared in the ring and destroyed everyone.

Match Result: No Contest

Match Rating: N/A

So Punisher Martinez is a total badass and he saved me from having to suffer through a match involving Cheeseburger, therefore he's cool in my book.

We go to the next match of the night.


Match 3
Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. The Cabinet

Thoughts:
The match begins and Dalton starts by headlocking everyone in the match. Dalton hits Coleman with a variation suplex. Dalton starts throwing all of the cabinet members onto each other. Dalton hits Rhett with a German suplex to pick up a near fall. The Cabinet gets the advantage and eventually picks up the win via pinfall after a leg drop splash combination off of the top rope.

Match Result: The Cabinet defeats Dalton Castle and The Boys via pinfall after a leg drop splash combination from the top rope.

Match Rating: *1/2




Main Event - Match 4
The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction

Thoughts:
I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be cheering for the Young Bucks to win a match, but here we are. They are the lesser of two evils because I'm not a fan of either of the teams in this match. The match starts in the entry way as all four men begin brawling. Kazarian clotheslines both the Bucks on the outside of the ring sending them to the concrete floor. The Bucks hit Kazarian with a superkick on the outside while he has a ladder positioned around his neck. Nick kicks Kazarian's face off with a Super Kick and he then springs into the ring and hits an X Factor before moonsaulting onto Daniels, who is on the outside of the ring in a pretty cool sequence. Matt hits an apron DDT and follows it up with a splash on Kazarian for a near fall. Daniels hits Nick with a superkick before he gets kicked in the face by Matt. Sabin runs into the ring and hits Matt with a steel chair to allow Daniels to get the pinfall victory and the Addiction pick up the win.

Match Result: The Addiction defeat The Young Bucks via pinfall after a chair shot to Matt Jackson from Chris Sabin.

Match Rating: **1/2

The one time I cheer for the Young Bucks to win a match they end up losing, just my luck huh?

That however will do it for me for another ROH TV review. A mixed bag of stuff this week as there were technically four matches on the show. We are in a bit of a transition period now, but we shall see where it goes in the next few weeks.

-Nathan

Friday, August 26, 2016

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EOTR Fantasy Booking: Finn Balor vs The Undertaker

By @SteveSignore 


I'm going to come out and say this right off the bat, the idea of a Finn Balor vs. The Undertaker doesn't excite me if it was going to take place during the deep Twilight of the Undertaker's career. If you told me the WWE was planning on a Balor/Undertaker confrontation at next year's WrestleMania, I'd most likely be disappointed.

But, if you told me we can put the Undertaker in his prime, I'm more than interested. There's something about that supernatural aura that's gone away in my opinion, in regards to the Undertaker. I see a man who doesn't really need to be there at this point. The streak is over. I'm the guy that whines when Undertaker's name shows up on the Wrestlemania card these days. I'm sure I'm in the minority!
Whoops, I'm straying from the subject, which is the dream match of the Demon King (no, not the Demon "Kane) and "The Phenom" The Undertaker.




At the conclusion of Sunday's SummerSlam, Balor was seemingly about to take that ride to as the first ever Universal Champion of the WWE. Of course, and really as no surprise, Balor was injured much like a number of WWE superstars over the past year.

There's one thing Balor did accomplish in his sample size on the RAW roster, he got the Demon King over at the snap of a finger. I'm not counting his run as champ in NXT because it's, for the most part, a different fanbase. While I thought it was a mistake to bring out the Demon King the RAW before SummerSlam, it received a thunderous ovation. The WWE crowds, filled with children and casual fans love those supernatural entrances, which have been extremely rare throughout the history of the WWE. Bray Wyatt's entrance was, maybe, a very distant second to Undertaker's before Balor came into the picture. Mordecai? Glacier? Well, maybe not those guys. Obviously, the king of the mountain is the Undertaker.



Do I believe Balor would have a chance if we sent him back in a time machine to face The Phenom? Not really. If we brought mid-nineties Undertaker to this day in age, Balor's chances go through the roof, especially in the age of 50/50 booking. The match is predictable in the sense that Balor would have to chip away with every move in the book after capitalizing on an opening. He'd have to rely on a relentless attack with his aerial moves and quick strikes. Thinking about a finish, it would probably take four or five Coup De Graces for Balor to get the win. I'm sure you'd see Balor escape a Tombstone or two, before Undertaker planted one after catching a poor Pele' kick. Seems farfetched, but it's a fantasy scenario!

-Steve

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tagged under:

Retrospective: The Kane-Lita-Matt Hardy-Edge Saga

By @BMDontCheat


2002-2007 was without a doubt a weird era in wrestling if we talking strictly WWE. While Smackdown had its bit of strange moments.....


Raw without a doubt takes the cake for the most bizarre storylines/moments between the two brands. From the dreaded Katie Vick angle to Scott Steiner matches to Badd Blood 2003, Raw was pretty disturbing.

Despite the inconsistent dreadful booking, you can't pin the ENTIRE blame on the writers because sometimes the fans may play a part in the role of where the direction of the storyline goes. A good example of this is the controversial raunchy Matt/Lita/Kane/Edge storyline.

Shortly after a feud with Victoria for the Womens title, Lita, who was in a relationship with Hardy, began to be stalked by Kane. As if WWE didn't learn their lessons in stalker angles prior....


Lita was harassed and seduced by Kane every week. You know, Kane, the guy who "didn't" kill nor rape Katie Vick.... Great way to represent him WWE. Seriously I feel bad for dude cause I feel he gets stuck with the crappiest contradicting storylines. Anyways, it reached a boiling point where Lita became "pregnant" and it turned out the father wasn't her boyfriend Matt, but rather Kane himself. I guess at this point it's safe to assume that Kane forced a sexual relation on Lita.... Does WWE ever learn their lessons?


So Kane gets into a match with Matt Hardy that is labeled Til Death Do Us Part, where if Kane wins he gets to marry Lita..... judging by the title of the match alone you already know this feud was trash. So you think with WWE already crossing the line and Hardy being well over as a face you think WWE wouldn't dare allow the storyline to continue further and allow Hardy to rightfully win thus end the feud there right?

Nope!

Kane shockingly wins! So Lita and Kane get married on Raw, which ends in a catfight with Trish and Hardy getting tombstoned and put out of commission. Kane and Lita would then spend a month in a series of uncomfortable segments and after a random feud with HBK, things got..... worse.


Kane would face newcomer Gene Snitsky and would try to injure Snitsky except Lita gets in the way and well.....Snitsky pushes Kane into the pregnant Lita and she suffers a miscarriage. Oh boy....

During a feud with Snitsky, who became heel despite clearly not really being at fault, in which he would get the annoying entrance of him reiterating that it "WASNT MY FAULT", Kane became babyface and seemingly gained the admiration of his victim... err I mean "wife". Well....

So skipping the rest of the Kane and Snitsky feud, Kane would get involved in Lita's feud with Trish and they became a happy couple.... or so it seems. During the Gold Rush tournament to decide the number 1 contender for the WHC, Kane gets double crossed by Lita in the second round against Edge. Lita then revealed she was seeing Edge behind Kane's back and sought retribution against Kane for the rape and torture she was put through.


Now while this was a great perfectly justifiable reasoning, here's the problem.... Remember when I said sometimes the fans may influence the direction of a poor booking decision? Well as it turns out, Lita becomes the heel perpetrating slut while Kane becomes the sympathetic babyface! It makes sense to some maybe, but then to me it's like WTF!

I always thought ill of this since the first time I watched it. This brings out my inner feminism, like why is Lita going through such a defamation of a heel character of being a slut for getting revenge on the guy that accosted her and raped her. I mean I know this isn't real, but seeing the audience jeer Lita and praise the real BAD guy Kane was sickening and disturbing. Also why is WWE allowing this to happen, what did Lita do to deserve this?! You can see in her promos how uncomfortable she was having to act out her heel dialogue calling herself a slut as an attempt to create heat.

Kane would then feud with Edge, stalking him and Lita, ruining their marriage, tombstone a priest thus leading to a match at Vengeance between the two. Now you would think Edge, receiving a lot of heat as an heel and winning the tournament while being Mr. Money in the Bank would go over right?

Not a chance.

Kane goes over Edge for no logical reason and the feud ends there. Kane disappears from TV (likely to film to See No Evil) and stops bothering them. What a shitty storyline!



But it does not end there, as there is one more feud..... Matt Hardy returns! Hardy attacks Edge several times before revealing that the storyline with Edge and Lita is actually a real life affair! Wait.... wait.... WWE, this is real? This does some harm on Lita's reputation as she mentions that she began to receive threats and hurtful comments in reality due to this dirty laundry (Editor's Note: She deserves all the slander for cheating on her injured boyfriend with one of his best friends....).

Edge would feud with Hardy and face him at Summerslam with him beating the shit out of Hardy to the point of the match being stopped which pretty made Hardy look weak. I love Matt Hardy and even though Hardy would get even by beating Edge in a cage match at Unforgiven, outside of that match Hardy still looked pretty weak in this feud as he would lose cleanly on Raw to jobbers including Rob Conway.... Seriously though WWE? He would then receive a Twist of Fate from Lita as well....so much for "Matt Hardy Wont Die", because he looked like a bitch.



This clash would end in a ladder match at Raw Homecoming in a Loser Leaves Raw match. Of course, Hardy lost the match and lost his girl and job to Edge. Ouch.

Overall this feud was pretty tasteless and selfish on WWE's part for displaying a real life exploitation between the relationship between Edge, Hardy and Lita. Strangely enough that was the high point of the storyline as Edge and Hardy delivered two good matches, and though Hardy looked sort of weak, the right man went over as Edge would capitalize and became a successful heel and main eventer.

The low point was the Kane fiasco, I thought that was downright ridiculous! It didn't benefit anyone and made everyone look bad, especially Lita as she became hurt the most (Editor's Note: Once again, rightfully so). The only positive aspect was that it jumpstarted the Rated R superstar gimmick of Edge as he would go on to win several world titles and have several great matches. Lita would carry herself as a great heel as well, and she would earn herself another title reign before retiring.

Kane was involved in another shitty storyline after the other, which is the norm. Hardy went to Smackdown and became a midcarder.

Was this storyline really that bad? It was one big connecting piece that got worse with each moment. So yes. It was.

-Alex

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tagged under:

Retrospective: WCW Stars in WWE (Post Invasion)

By @__Doug___

WWE has had a history of taking guys from WCW and making them into stars, or in some cases, sustain their star power. This wasn’t the case with guys that came in during the Invasion (which was awful, but that will be a different article for a different day). Today I’m focusing on main event guys that came in during and after Invasion from WCW.



Booker T was the most successful crossover from WCW. While it didn’t start off on the greatest of terms with the Buff Bagwell match, he was the only person to actually come out of WCW and was able to last. Yeah, he didn’t look great against any WWF star during the Invasion, but that was the point. After that trainwreck, he did produce some entertaining bits with Stone Cold in a grocery store and a church. The Edge feud for WM was just a bit boring in a meh card. After temporarily joining the NWO, he enjoyed a career renaissance while teaming with Goldust and produced one of the few watchable things on Monday Night Raw during that time. The tag team did win gold and in the process, got fans behind him far enough to where once he lost the tag titles, he was able to go for the WHC. The feud was blatantly racist and HHH was just damn near unwatchable coming off of the Steiner feud (which I’ll address later on). There was zero legitimate reason why Triple H should have won, but he did. He did this despite the Harlem Hangover and HHH taking forever to pin him after a Pedigree. Later on, Booker did win the IC Title in a decent feud with Christian and traded the belt with him. RVD became his new partner in a forgettable run as tag champs even defending them at Mania. A trade to Smackdown did rejuvenate his career and had a solid best of 5 series with an up and coming John Cena despite losing. Later on, he had a few championship matches against JBL and fought valiantly in a losing effort. Skipping past the disturbing Kurt Angle feud and we reach Booker vs Chris Benoit in a best of 7 feud for the US Title, which was a throwback to WCW, but this time had the inclusion of Randy Orton and Orlando Jordan. He did win the best of 7 series, but would lose the belt back to that man later on. Skipping the Boogeyman feud, because I’ll skip anything Boogeyman related, we get into the King Booker Era, where he won the KOTR and feuded with Bobby Lashley for the US Title, which he lost, but eventually he accomplished something bigger and won the WHC from Rey Mysterio. After engaging in a feud with Batista, eventually losing to him, it was the beginning of the end. It was a good run for Booker, becoming a World Champ and one of the most popular guys in the company. Shame the same didn’t happen to the other guys.


Diamond Dallas Page’s run was met with mixed emotions. He came in with the worst possible storyline with him being the stalker of Undertaker’s wife Sara. Not really the best use of a star that fans actually cared about during the whole angle. The feud between him and Undertaker was just flat out awful to watch and ended up sullying him. On top of that, instead of being a participant in the 5 on 5 Survivor Series match, he ended up being part of a battle royal, where he was eliminated fairly early. The lone bright spot during his tenure was a run with the European Championship. Injuries ended up shortening DDP’s run, which should have ended sooner if we knew this was how it was going to turn out.


The NWO shouldn’t have been brought to the WWE. Even the reasoning behind bringing them back was very dumb regarding the fact that Vince wanted to poison the company. While the group did start off pretty well with a debut at No Way Out, it started to fizzle out fairly quickly. Hogan vs Rock was the only thing we got out of it (and should have main evented WM 18 instead of HHH/Jericho where Chris was just a second string player). Fans still wanted to cheer Hogan, which led to a face turn (probably the only smart decision in all of this). Hall vs Austin, which was the other marquee NWO match, wasn’t good. After that, they started to add in other members such as X-Pac, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, and Big Show during various stages, but it was too late and the group rightfully disbanded.

While Hall and Nash were failures for different reasons (Hall for demons, Nash for injuries), Hogan actually had a solid run back with the company this time around. While he was clearly past his prime, fans were still behind him and he ended up winning the WWE Title from HHH and also formed a team with Edge winning the Tag Team titles as well. From there, the wheels fell off fairly quickly. Between losing to Lesnar and Rock to put them over, the McMahon match and “Mr. America”, the ending was not pretty.



The only thing that they did right during Scott Steiner’s tenure was giving him a mic. Everything else was a trainwreck. Having him be a face was not a great idea since he’s a natural heel and that feud with Triple H was absolutely awful.  Between a weirdly shaped Triple H, a Steiner with zero cardio, and terrible gimmick contests, this was destined to be awful. The company must have not watched WCW during the dying days, because no reason exists where Steiner should be in the ring more than 5 minutes. Also he had a debate about the Iraq War, which I’ll let you look up at your own leisure for those soundbites. The last notable feud he had was the feud with Test, which again was a terrible idea as neither of these guys can be a face convincingly and the on and off again treatment of Stacy. This was a big flop.



The debut of Sting during Survivor Series 2014 actually fit very well with the character with him fixing the wrong that was The Authority (while it did get reversed a few weeks later, point stands). The fact that he couldn’t win at Wrestlemania was saddening since it should have ended HHH’s reign of terror. His run came to a premature end with an injury and a loss to Seth Rollins, and while that outcome was expected, it is disappointing to see him go out that way.



Ric Flair had moderate success in his return to the company. After the whole bad idea of co-owners ended as well as his match with Taker, he found his stride with Evolution. He became a Tag-Team champion with Batista and held the belts for a little bit. When Evolution officially ended, he was able to win the IC Title and had a decent feud with HHH. After that feud and dropping the title, things started to unravel until his career was put on the line. His career ended with a loss to HBK in a great match and a proper sendoff as well. His most recent return of being Charlotte’s manager was a little bit hit or miss, but it’s something. Overall I’d categorize his return as a success.



Goldberg was just bad, very very bad. His early feuds with Rock and Jericho were fillers and ended up trying to build Goldberg into a credible threat. Goldberg ran through everyone not named Kevin Nash in the Chamber up until HHH hit him with a Sledgehammer and pinned him. This was a letdown for the fans, despite him winning the belt later on. After that said feud, we have the other trainwreck known as the Lesnar feud, and while I do give them credit for building the feud for a while, these two did not click at all and were disinterested, just like the crowd was and both left with barely any sadness from the fans.

In conclusion, more of these guys are misses than hits. Some were due to age, some were due to injuries, and most were due to bad decisions by creative and the higher ups. Booker was the only one to have sustained success and even his track record had question marks. Compare this to the guys Vince was able to get before Invasion and see the difference. In the end, pettiness wins out.

-Doug

Monday, August 15, 2016

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WWE Summerslam 2016 Preview

By @TrueGodImmortal


It is almost time. The biggest PPV of the summer is creeping up on us and the card is stacked! Today, we look at the card for Summerslam 2016 and we see what's in store for the biggest event of the summer and what has potential to be the best event all year. Let's get into it.

Best of 7 Series Kickoff
*Cesaro vs Sheamus


-Now, don't get me wrong, I like Cesaro and Sheamus as far as chemistry goes, but this is unnecessary. Raw is only once a week. So this means we will only get Cesaro vs Sheamus every damn week for at least 7 weeks or so. I'm not entirely happy about this and seeing as to how Cesaro won the first 2 recent meetings, I'd hope he kicks off the best of 7 Series here with another win. Hell, Cesaro sweeping the series would be amazing. I don't want to see Sheamus win. Ever. So let's just go with that.

*US Championship
Roman Reigns vs Rusev 


-This is literally one of the only matches that I'm not sold on. WWE is in love with Reigns and Reigns gets worse and worse with each passing moment. This is furthered by the cringeworthy promo between Lana, Reigns, and Rusev on last Monday where Reigns had some of the absolute WORST jokes and stumbled on the mic. As a performer, I'm sure this match will be alright. However, Reigns winning is likely, as I'm certain Lana and Rusev will go on a long honeymoon and need a little time off. I'm not really sure how Reigns went from going at the WWE Universal Title to now wanting the US Belt, but my hope is that Rusev retains honestly. Reigns doesn't need any title, and the US Title should have gone to a fighter like Cesaro or a Sami Zayn even. Reigns just doesn't fit in this role well, but I guarantee that he regains momentum by beating Rusev, especially with the fact that WWE has forced Reigns down our throats as the main event or closing segment of RAW for the last 2 weeks, including this go home show. Fire all of the RAW bookers, this is atrocious.

*Intercontinental Championship
Apollo Crews vs The Mi

-I have no idea why The Miz is still the champion. He is not the worst heel, but he's just plain boring overall. I'm not invested in his work, and I hope the plan here is to give the IC Title to Apollo Crews and let him get a shot in this so called "new era". Miz already picked up a win against superior wrestlers like Owens, Cesaro, Zayn, and others, so I don't see any reason for him to keep retaining. He adds nothing to this brand for Smackdown. So I'm not really sold on his continuing his reign. Apollo is fresh, needs a big moment, and will definitely get over with the IC Title with the right competition.

*Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho 


-This is an exciting contest honestly. The makeshift team of Jericho and Owens is exciting and I look forward to seeing what could possibly be next for the two after this, but if I had to choose a winner here, I would certainly pick Jericho and Owens with a non clean victory over the duo of Enzo and Cass, but this match could go either way.

*John Cena vs AJ Styles


-The rematch we've been waiting for. This has the opportunity to steal the show and I suspect it will. Cena is taking some time off, and with Styles never having beat him clean, and being by default the top heel on the Smackdown brand, logic says that Cena should put him over clean in a classic. Now, Cena has a win over Styles and Styles has a win over Cena, so expect this feud to culminate with this match here. I see Styles winning and the end of the feud with him going on to challenge Ambrose for the WWE Title, which is quite frankly the biggest feud that WWE could really do at this point for the belt. Let Styles get the win and move on from Cena.

*Tag Team Titles 
The New Day vs Gallows and Anderson


-I'm not fully sold on this match personally. I love The New Day, but without Big E, and without a truly good tag team to feud with, I find this feud to be utterly stupid and a bit pointless. Gallows and Anderson are a bit boring to me and they don't entertain me as much as they did with AJ, so it's sink or swim for them in this. The whole "nuts and balls" aspect of this story is honestly stupid to me, BUT I definitely look forward to a New Day title retain, but wouldn't be shocked if Gallows and Anderson won also, though I don't see them as being able to carry the division like the New Day has for the last year. New Day Rocks and let's hope, New Day Retains and we get that New Day vs Owens and Jericho title feud.

*WWE Women's Title 
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte


-I am excited to see this one. A one on one match with Dana Brooke barred from ringside. This could be a sleeper on the night and a possible show stealer if given the right amount of time. A 4 hour event this year allows the women to get at least 12 minutes to craft a classic and show why they are in this position. With Charlotte about to take some time off as rumored, Sasha wins this one, but she should regardless of if Charlotte was going to be taking time off or not. This is the year of Sasha and her time to lead the women. Sasha goes over and retains her well deserved Women's Title.

*WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler


-This is the best built up match of Summerslam. Two guys who were passed up for opportunities over time are here in a big match at Summerslam. Oddly enough, if this match happened say 2 years ago with this build, it would be huge, but it feels like an afterthought on the card, which works very well for both of these men because they excel amazingly when they're doubted or slept on. I don't see Ziggler winning the title and he should at all, but this match could be absolutely great with Ambrose retaining the belt. Ambrose is having a damn good run with the belt and he's showing what it means to be a good champion. He'll continue to do so after this event as well I'm sure. Here's hoping for a classic.

*WWE Universal Championship
Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor


-This match is disappointing from a buildup standpoint. For some dumb ass reason, WWE hasn't given this match the proper buildup it needs and it feels a bit weaker than what I'm sure the match will be. Finn and Seth could put on a classic. They should be the headliners of RAW every week. They have the new championship on RAW and instead of opening or closing the show each week, they're nestled somewhere in the middle. This is my pick for match of the night and I can't wait to see what these two do. Brooklyn will be electric for this match and these two will blow the roof off. This match should headline, but since WWE is full of idiots, it probably won't.

*Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar


-This match likely will close out the night. Brock and Orton is a long time coming and it's one match I've always wanted to see Brock have. Now, Orton and Brock have done a decent job building this up even with Brock's limited schedule, and here we are at this point. Does Brock get yet another win or can Orton manage to get out of there with a victory? The logic says Brock gets the win, but it would be nice if Orton could get much offense in and look strong. Brock is barely there now and the smartest thing would be to let Orton kick his ass some if he is going to lose. That's what it should be, but maybe WWE swerves us all and Brock finally loses. We shall see. My money is Brock, but I'd not be mad if Orton won.

This PPV is shaping up to be special. If you have any thoughts on this show and the matches, post them below. We'd love to hear your thoughts for sure.

-True