Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition Craig talks about what the WWE got right, and wrong, in the draft this week while Brian shares some of the more interesting pictures he’s stumbled upon this week and more.
The Draft – What the WWE Got Right, and Wrong
An reality, there was only one story this week: the WWE brand split. It had been the talk of the wrestling world for weeks. It had left the company with a feeling of being stuck in limbo but had allowed commentators, both professional and amateur, to pontificate over what the draft would mean, what pitfalls the WWE should avoid and, more common of all, fantasy book the draft.
Rollins and Ambrose were rightly drawn first, Finn Balor was called up from NXT early and, bar the Wyatts, the WWE tended to keep the main teams and stables together. Throw in the fact that Heath Slater is a “free agent” of sorts and you have a lower card angle going on too.
I do think, however the WWE shouldn’t have drafted Roman Reigns. After all, he was still officially suspended when the draw took place. But I’m not saying it’s to do with that. More that he could have been a free agent also heading into Battleground. It could have created a storyline involving a bidding war for Reigns, especially if he was to triumph tomorrow night at Battleground.
Some people have suggested one of the balls dropped by the WWE was to not draft Shinsuke Nakamura. I love Nakamura as a performer but I do believe those people are wrong. The split will create a new dawn on both Raw and Smackdown and fresh starts for many of the performers. Based on recent examples of NXT stars joining the main roster but being lost in the shuffle, I’d hate for that to have happened to Nakamura. In the end, Nakamura, and Bayley, will be main roster stars. Both their debuts will be huge deals. I think it’s best for both that those debuts are standalone events rather than folded into the post-split drama.
In the end, the WWE did virtually everything right and the draft went as well as could be, really. The new rosters through together some existing combination of wrestlers that works and some combinations that are likely to work well going forward. And that’s the whole point.
But this new dawn should be treated as just the beginning by the WWE and not all that’s needed to get the TV products back on track. The company shouldn’t fall into believing the roster draft is enough on its own.
My Week in Wrestling
I thought Raw was dreadful – due to brand split, was always going to be a filler show. It would have been even worse if Battleground wasn’t coming up but due to that show, Raw was able to feature preview matches for Battleground. Smackdown was a bit better but no one will really remember anything except the brand split.
Have to say, NXT was an absolutely stacked card: Samoa Joe vs Rhyna, Authors of Pain vs American Alpha and Bayley vs Nia Jax – that’s not too bad at all.
Listening wise: Terri Runnels on JR’s podcast and HBK on Ric Flair’s.
A sad day indeed as Abdullah the Butcher’s House of Ribs and Chinese food is no more…
I didn’t know this existed…a WWF President Jack Tunney doll!
This picture says it all about Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns recently… ALLEGEDLY
The evolution of Shinsuke Nakamura…
How’s this for a faction? The NewDay meets Cryme Tyme. The New Tyme? The Cryme Day?
A little food for thought about the Undertaker’s streak and how it eventually ended…
Kevin Von Erich as a high school football player
An ummmm interesting way to see if Velvet Sky has a foreign object in her trunks….
A classic WCW merchandise commercial
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we discussed whether Dean Ambrose will retain the WWE title at Battleground; ‘Icons of Wrestling‘ made a welcome return on Monday, looking at Adam Bomb; on Tuesday The Undertaker got the ‘Book or Cook‘ treatment; Wednesday saw the return of ‘Well That Didn’t Work‘, looking at Radio WWF; Thursday’s Top Five looked at the best in-ring attire in wrestling; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.