The Wrestling 9 Deuce September 19 and 20, 2016
Hi everybody. (Hi Dr. Nick!) This is the week before Clash of Champions, a PPV that would be smarter as a combined PPV, but let’s not get me going quite yet. Did WWE follow up on a well booked set of shows from last week, or did we start reverting to the mean? Math! Speaking of math, joining me as always is the only true mathemagician that I know, Russ, and a girl that tolerates me, Keri. Welcome. We will be recording our podcast this week and hopefully everything will be up by week’s end so you can hear our amazing voices. You will receive a graduate school Kentucation, and then you will tell all of your friends just how Kentertained you were. You know the format: I ask 9 questions relating to RAW and Smackdown and then I ask 2 bonus wrestling related questions. Let’s have some fun. By the way, how great was Rowan’s mask this week?
- Well, Seth’s BIG punishment was facing the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev. Creative finally acknowledged the women’s double pin from last week and instead of having a logical rematch this week, they were just like, eh fuck it, Bayley, you’re in too. Which one of these was a worse job by creative?
Russ: Did somebody mention Seth! I was looking forward to some form of punishment being dished out on Seth after ignoring Mick’s request to not interfere in the match last week. Unfortunately, WWE really botched this. How is a fight against Rusev a punishment? I guess you could say a competitive match 6 days away from your ppv match could be harmful, but it ended in a no contest anyway and KO had a much more grueling match at the end of the night. This was the equivalent of a feather being used to slap someone across the face and demanding satisfaction! WWE should have given KO the ability to choose a stipulation for their match, so when Seth eventually loses the match the stipulation can be to blame, giving KO his heel heat and Seth sympathy.
Keri: I’m going to skip the Seth Rollins part of this question because quite frankly Russ covered that in great detail. I don’t have anything to add there except to say ditto. As for the women, I have to say finally addressing something after a week is bad form and worthy of creative losing those stars that I like so much. This somehow should have been address in last week’s show. At this point it just looks like they are covering their asses because the fans on the internet called it out. But the highlight of this mess up and the best thing about the change to Sunday’s match, is we get Bayley in her first official main roster PPV match (Battleground does not count). So there is your silver lining, all you huggers out there. (Kent: Russ is a hugger of a different sort, towards Seth’s nuts.)
Kent: Knowing Russ like I know him, he has an opportunity to talk about Seth, so he’ll tackle that. I’ll pick the women. Seriously, they should have addressed it last week after commercial. They could have addressed it on wwe.com and said that there will be fallout from it. Maybe announce a rematch between the 3 girls. Something. Instead, it was like such a small thing. A real bummer.
- Did having Jericho out there with all of the tag teams help or hurt the division?
Russ: Jericho made that segment. Seriously, anything he has a hand in turns into something worth watching. This was no exception. He was brilliant out there with his list! The others did serviceably, New Day was good in their part and of course Cass and Enzo shined. That being said I’m not sure how RAW is just so awful when it comes to booking the tag division. They have the better teams and yet I care way more about Smackdown’s Tag division than RAW’s and that is criminal.
Keri: Jericho CANNOT hurt a segment EVER regardless of what it is and who it is with. I love the List of Jericho concept. It’s fantastic. It really made me care about the segment. I hope they keep it going so we get a long list and he hijacks a segment to read through it (think that great 1004 holds segment in WCW). Right now, I feel that the guy really can do no wrong. And if you don’t agree with that, then you don’t get it….IT.
Kent: You know the WWE has thrown it’s hands up at their RAW tag division when they just give Jericho a mic and tell him to try to make the segment entertaining. I would say that it helped as I am unsure how much I would have paid attention to the segment without him out there, so I had to drink it in.
- Aside from the Cruiserweight match, what was the best RAW match of the night for you?
Russ: I’m going with Cesaro vs Sheamus as the match of the night. I know it was a for gone conclusion that Cesaro would win and the final match would be at Clash of Champions, but this match did one thing for me that is important. It made me see that the seventh match is going to be great between these two! (Unless they relegate it to the pre-show in which I would say FUCK you WWE.) The RAW match had a good story and some spots that when combined with the thought that this next match is do or die make for an even better story in the ring. I feel that this best of seven match is the only match going in to Clash that has a worthwhile story.
Keri: I’m in agreement with Russ. Cesaro vs. Sheamus was match of the night. It was the first time, I believe, ever that I was interested in anything involving Sheamus (TMNT movie included). This match had that big fight feel that the previous ones, I feel, were lacking. I can’t wait to see how this wraps up and I hope it’s with Cesaro winning.
Kent: In a night with some good, lengthy matches, I simply gave zero fucks about the matches. I’ll go Braun vs. Sin Cara because it was quick. For quality, probably the Roman and KO match, and that’s only because when Rusev came out, KO was yelling “Maschka something!” to him. (Russ: Is this because the stories aren’t connecting the matches for you? A discussion for the podcast?)
- Out of the 4 guys in the cruiserweight match, who do you think has the best chance to become a legit star in the company? The choices are: Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, or THE Brian Kendrick?
Russ: I think Rich Swann has a legitimate chance. He has charisma in and outside the ring and he can wrestle always a good mix. As for the others I believe they all have a chance. I feel that this could be a great resurgence for Brian Kendrick and he will revitalize his career. He looked good as the bruiser and mean heel out there. I haven’t seen enough of Cedric to get a feel for him, but from the match I can tell he will have great ring work I just feel he might fall into the WWE’s not knowing how to work with him outside the ring. Gran Metalik looked cool, but he was the least impressive to me.
Keri: So, I’m very behind on who these guys are (with the exception of The Brian Kendrick) since I was moving into my new house during the CWC. Therefore, my introduction to all four guys was during Monday night’s match. With that being said, all impressed me but I see Rich Swann or Cedric Alexander going the farthest out of all of them. They just have that it factor and good in-ring work to go far in the division (provided they get the right booking). As for The Brian Kendrick, I expect great things from this second chance. As for Gran Metalik, he’s not bad and is fun to watch. I don’t know. I just wasn’t feeling him.
Kent: I haven’t seen any Cedric Alexander matches, so this dude really impressed the hell out of me. Gran did nothing for me aside from a cool spots, the epitome of a spot monkey. Kendrick I knew was great from years past. Rich though is a guy that I have seen in NXT a few times now, and every time, I make mention that I really think he has a ton of potential. Then he got in the tournament. He’s basically everything we want Apollo Crews to be, minus the big muscles. Rich will be a big deal and remember, some of the all-time greats started at that weight like Rey, Eddie, Super Crazy, and Jericho. Rich is the next in line.
- If you could have either Chris Jericho or Heath Slater on your show for the next 12 months, you can utilize them any way that you want, who would you choose?
Russ: I’d have to go with Jericho right now! I’m a huge Slater fan (he is my Baron Corbin), but he can’t do what Jericho is doing right now. Slater has been a jobber most of his career and is now getting the proper push with great storyline that he deserves. He is good on the mic and can wrestle an entertaining match with a partner. At this point in his career Slater can’t elevate a new guy or put together an amazing feud with a guy to elevate the both of them. I’m not saying he won’t become that guy, but right now he isn’t there. Jericho on the other hand has taken his game, which was already top level, and upped it! He is a guy you can go to and ask: him to help guys who are struggling, run as champ, talk on the mic, and pretty much anything else you can think of for the company. Jericho in his current run has really started to move himself into legend status and that is what I want on my show. (Kent: Baron Corbin is my Baron Corbin. I just wanted you and everybody to know this….again.)
Keri: I’m going to stay with the theme here and say Jericho. The guy is amazing right now in everything he does which shouldn’t surprise anyone. As I said before, he’s at the point where he can do no wrong in my eyes. I enjoy segments and matches with him in them and I can’t wait to see what he will do next. Slater, on the other hand, now that he has the contract and given the fact that Rhyno is leaving to pursue his political aspirations, this storyline may be coming to an end. The guy is still extremely valuable and is doing all the right things. However, circumstances are what they are and I see him fading a bit in the future.
Kent: I would say Jericho. Right now, not even Heath can touch Jericho on the mic. Really, that’s what WWE is missing at the moment, elite mic guys, or girls. Jericho is diverse enough where he could win the World belt and defend it for 4 months, can get Neville and Zayn over, and trash talk Enzo and Cass, and EVERYBODY would be better for it. Heath, I’m not sure if he could help many folks, but boy, his meteoric rise if booked properly could be a HUGE deal, but that is a HUGE IF.
- Dean pinned Cena clean. What do you take away from this?
Russ: Well at first I wasn’t sure it was supposed to go down like that, because Cena looked genuinely confused afterward. Cena doesn’t lose cleanly on free TV, hell he doesn’t lose cleanly on PPV’s either. Yet in the past several weeks he has done both those things. However, I think they are trying to tell a nice long story arc for Cena struggling because he has become what he had hoped he wouldn’t a part-timer! Credit Cena, he can act decently enough to make me question what happens, but Credit Smackdown creative for trying to tell compelling stories that don’t just pay off in less than a month, but will drive a character for several months if not years. I see Cena start to fall losing more in the coming months (even though he is leaving soon to shoot his show) He will question himself maybe flirt with a heel turn, but he’ll get his groove back and at WrestleMania he is going to get #16 at WrestleMania against AJ. (Kent: Where I have I heard this before????)
Keri:I think Creative is starting to prepare us for life after Cena. Face it Cena marks, the guy is getting up there in age and quite frankly I think his interests are elsewhere now. Yes, as he says, he loves the WWE and that it is his home and his everything. But the guy has already started to go the way of the Rock in some of his extracurricular pursuits so I’m not buying the “I love this business” thing from him anymore. However, I’m in agreement that Creative may be building towards something with this Cena storyline. Keep in mind a discouraged Cena is a Cena that wins Royal Rumbles and then wins titles. However, this time it’s a date with the Undertaker and a final title run that are in Cena’s future.
Kent: Remember when Ric Flair was in his final run as a wrestler, and he kept losing, and then he had some story where if he lost again, he would retire? I think we get something similar where Cena eats some losses, not all in one big lump, but he will keep coming close but losing the big one. At Mania, I think he takes on Taker, and loses. Cena can lose his smile for a while, and really dance with a heel turn. Let Cena have another big title match at Summerslam, still lose, and have him lose his shit. This should all be a big lead up to him refusing the dark side in order to get the belt. I think you can have him go heel for #16 a year+ from now. Let him have a hell of a good story. Maybe he gets the IC title and builds it up some after whoever beats the Miz immediately ruins whatever Miz has done positively. Oh, and Dean is so not winning the belt next week, duh.
- Better women’s segment: Alexa and Becky talking or the women’s tag?
Russ: This is actually tough! However, I was floored by Alexa’s mic Skills so I’m going with that. I was impressed by this segment, like really impressed! I thought for sure this would be the typical women’s wooden dialogue and some hair pulling. Instead what I got was actual acting and some great character development and a fight that made lots of sense. Smackdown is killing RAW, in almost everything, but especially with the women and tag teams. Even the tag match was amazing story telling. Carmella is awesome and she is my woMan crush of the week. Her reaction to Nikki since Summer Slam has been a thing of beauty and the way she reacted on Talking Smack is worth a watch! If she can wrestle half as good as she acts we will be seeing her hold that Women’s Title sooner than later!
Keri: Why not both? Alexa hit it out of the park in the contract signing segment. I’m really starting to like that girl more and more each week. She is taking this opportunity and is running with it at lightning speed. Becky, well, all I can say is, finally we have a champ worthy of the belt around her waist. This should be an exciting match. As for the tag match, it was your typical women’s match of the new era. However, I agree with Russ, the storytelling was fantastic. You really got that sense of anticipation of where are they exactly going to go next with each pairing. You know the stuff you are just not seeing on RAW right now.
Kent: I was going to be obvious and pick my girl Alexa. I then had a seizure during Naomi’s entrance, so therefore, I choose Alexa and Becky in what was one of the best female on the mic segment. We haven’t had a great talker since AJ Lee Punk quite frankly. The other 4 Horses can’t talk great, but Becky is the best, and Alexa held her own, and I adored her for it.
- Dolph and Miz had a match for the IC title, Maryse gets thrown out, Miz cheats, Miz retains. Once this feud plays out, where does Dolph go?
Russ: Miz is killing it as IC Champion and my motto is going to be Longer than Honkey Tonk or we Riot! Great match! Where does Dolph go I’m going to agree with Kent. Let’s have him go to Bray, maybe Bray can focus on Dolph’s inability to get the job done and really irk Dolph. They have a match at Decembers PPV and (gasp!) have Bray win! However, Dolph snaps and wrecks Bray after the match and have him turn heel for a little while and get his winning ways back. Then in a little more than a year from now he can take the belt off of The Miz, who at that point will be a face cause he is just AWESOME.
Keri: At this point, they need to take Dolph in a new direction. The big question, that I don’t have an answer for, is where? I think we need to turn him heel and put him in a program to elevate someone like Apollo Crews (or someone else). Let’s face it Creative has booked Dolph so poorly that no one takes him seriously anymore. Something needs to change for his character, but I’m not sure what.
Kent: Bray in the battle of who needs a legit PPV victory more. Bray jobs, and we all laugh while crying on the inside. Follow the buzzards indeed. Great match between the 2 tonight, best match of the week in my book, slightly better than the Cruiserweight. I want to piggyback on Russ. I would also like to go off from what he wrote. Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if it was in fact Dolph who eventually had his evolution and once he finally wins, he can feud with Miz, but the whole time Miz can talk shit to Dolph about still dominating him? This could work well, long term.
- Will Jack Swagger ever be a world champion ever again?
Russ: No. Could he do it? Yes! Will he? No. I feel his time has passed for being at the top. He really should focus on helping the younger guys get over and working a decent story to make us care about him again. Smackdown is the place to do that. However, by the time that belt is taken off AJ and then Cena I just don’t see him being that relevant to get the belt. Maybe he could be a contender for it, but that is the best he can hope for.
Keri: Nope! That ship has unfortunately sailed for him. I say enhancement talent for the win is in his future.
Kent: He has all the tools to serve as a 3 week transitional champion. He’s probably never getting a 6 month run, but he could be inserted in the main event if Cena and Randy need time off. If we get hit by a terrorist attack, I put Swagger’s odds to an even 50/50. As of now, the answer is a regrettable no. I say regrettable because 2 years ago, when they split him and Cesaro up, that feud for the belt could have been money. Did anybody notice that Baron has added different kicks to his repertoire? No? Figures.
- We know that Vince was the main announcer for WWF for many years. We know how uptight he is with the announcers now. If you had to give him 2 broadcast partners, they have to have been in the wrestling business, (not just a one time type celebrity) who would you pick?
Russ: I’d give him Paul Heyman and Scott Hall. Paul has no problem contradicting Vince and I just think it would be hilarious to see Vince having to put up with Hall. (Kent: I had Punk and Paul originally, but then I decided that just listening to Vince trying to stop bickering between Punk and Austin was just funnier.)
Keri: I’m going to go with the greatest best friend duo ever….Jericho and Kevin Owens. Think of the banter people!
Kent: CM Punk and Steve Austin. You’d watch the hell out of that.
- Pick one of these questions to answer. 1. What motivation was there for Roman or KO to go all out 6 days from a PPV when one is a champ in a non title match, and the other one has a championship match? 2. What will happen first: Ginger Rhynos drop the tag team titles or Curt Hawkins makes his debut?
Russ: I like both of these handsome questions so I’ll answer both: 1. It was stupid reasoning for them to go all out, so no there was no motivation. We know why they went out there and went all out. They are there to wrestle for the audience! The motivation was garbage! RAW needs to up the story telling game, cause Smackdown is killing them! 2. Curt Hawkins has already Debuted on Smackdown! He is just so quick and strong that our mere mortal eyes can’t see his matches when he beats the pathetic loser who meets up with him.
Keri: I’m going to answer both in very quick and short responses. Question 1: Because reasons that only make sense to Creative right now. Question 2: Hasn’t he already technically debuted? I’m mean I know we’ve been teased with the idea he is coming but seriously we know he’s going to be on Smackdown so there is no shock value there. Therefore, to better answer this question, I say both are going to happen at the same time. Rhyno goes and becomes a state politician and Curt Hawkins picks up where he left off.
Kent: I choose both. 1. None. 2. Ginger Rhynos drop the belts because I don’t think Curt Hawkins is a real human being anymore. He’s like Sister Abigail.
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