Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s Saturday so time for the latest instalment of ’This Week in Wrestling’. Today, in part 18, Craig discusses the Intercontinental title, #WWEGlagsow and looks at the results of this week’s blog polls while Brian shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.
A re-emergence for the Intercontinental Title?
The belt that has historically proved to be a transition to the WWE title, a journey the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Cold have all completed, has always proved alluring to me.
Perhaps recent decades haven’t been quite so kind to the IC title and it has, at times, felt more like a prop than anything. I’m a glass half full sorta guy so always had expectations that it would rise like a phoenix from the flames.
Such a hope received a very welcome boost this week as Raw finished with a triple threat match determining who would be the number one contender to face Dean Ambrose.
Now, the more cynically minded amongst you might suggest that this has less to do with the IC title and more to do with who holds the Universal Title. Whilst I have some sympathy with that position, I am grateful that the WWE if that is what they are doing, is using that as an opportunity to push the IC title.
When it made its way over to Raw in exchange for the US title, there was some concern that the WWE was swapping a hot title for a cold one.
There was some truth in that. Despite multiple, in fact too many, title changes, none of them have done much, if anything, to boost the prestige of te title.
It has, for many years, felt like a prop. The age old issue of seeing the gold as a way to get a guy over when it needs the guy to get the title over.
Although undoubtedly one of the premier acts on the Smackdown roster, the decision was inexplicably made to have The Miz lose the title and, although a favourite of mine, have Dean Ambrose run with the gold. For me, Ambrose has always been a talent that has impressed more on the chase for gold rather than during time he has carried it. It set alarm bells off. Add in the pseudo-comedian shtick he’s going with at the moment and you have every reason to believe that the IC title isn’t of much value in the WWE at the moment.
Perhaps, just perhaps, this past week’s Raw went a long way to disprove that.
After all, the WWE threw everything at it, on a Raw packed full of things to be optimistic about. But if you’re a fan of the IC division, the idea that The Miz, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins are all vying for the gold gives you a reason to be cheerful.
With the face dynamic of Ambrose, the Miz winning was the right choice and beating two such name acts to do so gives him a vital boost as he strives to regain the title. Throw in fact that the pair are a fun duo together and can work a solid match, then there’s reason for optimism.
Should the Miz triumph, and I expect he might, then the chance of programmes over the title with the likes of Rollins and Balor is an appetising option.
Fingers crossed for what lies ahead.
Smackdown Glasgow House Show Thoughts
Having finally experienced the spectacle of a live Raw and Smackdown, it’s probably fair to say that I went into the show with relatively low expectations. I mean, I knew it was a rank outsider chance of a title change with the best I could hope for being some tomfoolery from those in action.
Instead, what I got was a fairly solid evening of wrestling.
Starting with the highlights, the six-man tag pitting Wolfgang, Trent Seven and WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate against the trio of Pete Dunne, Tyson T-Bone and Joseph Conners was one of the best matches of the night. To absolutely no-one’s surprise, home-town boy Wolfgang got a tremendous reaction – one of the best of the night – but both Bate and Seven are absolutely excellent with huge levels of star power. The same, to be fair, can be said for the three they matched up with. Also, a nice moment for Wolfgang to get the pinfall in his hometown.
A surprise hit, for me, was Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper. This was an unadvertised match, a shame really, but was excellent. Gorilla Monsoon would have prefaced this with remarks about not expecting too many drop toe-holds and arm drags, and he’d be right. This was two giants slugging it out for the allocated time, hitting each other as hard as they could manage. I’d like to see this one again, and wouldn’t be too surprised if I did.
Thursday night’s show also presented me with the first chance to see Shinsuke Nakamura in action live. For me, there are few performers on the roster with such a strong mix of in-ring ability and charisma as Nakamura. Even the slightest movement is, at times, enough to generate a reaction from the crowd. From the music through to his hard-hitting style, via his entrance and way crowds react to him, Nakamura has insane levels of star power.
Some stuff, however, felt a bit a bit flat. Few seemed to treat Cara/Breeze/Fandango vs. English/Ascension as anything other than a toilet break whilst the inclusion of Mahal in the main event, I think, spoiled it. Certainly those around me, including myself, would have preferred a one-on-one match between Orton and Styles.
Still, though, it was an enjoyable show but, due to no appearance from Tye Dillinger, difficult to give it a perfect ten.
* SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi retained over Carmella, Becky Lynch, Natalya and Charlotte Flair
* Sin Cara, Tyler Breeze and Fandango defeated Aiden English and The Ascension
* SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos retained over American Alpha and the Colons
* Luke Harper bested Erick Rowan
* Shinsuke Nakamura won over Dolph Ziggler
* Wolfgang, Trent Seven and WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate beat Pete Dunne, Tyson T-Bone and Joseph Conners
* WWE United States Champion Kevin Owens retained against Sami Zayn
* WWE Champion Randy Orton retained over Jinder Mahal and AJ Styles with an RKO on Jinder
Poll Results from this Week
This week on the blog we hosted polls to get readers thoughts on WWE Payback, Raw, Smackdown 205 Live and NXT:
Good – 51.02
Average – 22.45
Bad – 10.2
Awful – 10.2
Excellent – 6.12
Best Match at Payback
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho – 33.33
Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns – 17.78
Hardys vs Cesaro & Sheamus – 13.33
Rollins vs Joe – 13.33
Wyatt vs Orton – 11.11
Neville vs Aries – 4.44
Bayley vs. Bliss – 4.44
Enzo/Cass vs Gallows/Anderson – 2.22
Good – 50
Average – 20
Awful – 13.33
Bad – 10
Excellent – 6.67
Good – 60
Awful – 40
Excellent, Average, Poor – 0
Good – 33.33
Average – 33.33
Excellent – 20
Poor – 13.33
Awful – 0
Good – 38.46
Average – 30.77
Excellent – 23.08
Awful – 7.69
Bad – 0
If The New Day ever came out with their own energy drink…
A cool pic of Vince McMahon shaking hands with Giant Baba.
This caption sells itself…
Curt Hennig was so perfect…he could pull off wearing the Intercontinental title as a hat!
The biggest lawsuit there is, the biggest lawsuit there was, the biggest lawsuit there ever will be…
The cover of Good Ol’ JR’s new, highly anticipated autobiography coming out!
If you think this guy looks a lot like Braun Strowman, you would be almost right. This is actually a pic of Strowman’s father. The resemblance is uncanny!
Michael Cole during the House of Horrors match this past Sunday at Payback!
Hulk Hogan in a Saudi Arabian commercial!
Last Week on the Blog
Last Sunday we previewed and predicted WWE Payback 2017; on Monday we had part 17 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; Tuesday had part 112 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; on Wednesday we had another ‘Tag Teams of Yesteryear‘ looking at The Dream Team; Thursday’s Top Five looked at performers lost in the post-superstar shake-up shuffle and we rounded off the week by asking ‘Whatever Happened to‘ Vivacious Veronica.
Next Week on the Blog
In tomorrow’s Sunday Sermon we ask if the House of Horrors bout was the silliest match ever; we have the latest ‘Wrestling with Sin‘, the next instalment of ‘The History of the Intercontinental Title‘ and much, much more.
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.