WWE Payback 2017 Preview – 9 Deuce

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that doesn’t even want to watch a wrestling PPV.  I am Kent, and I am joined by my life partner, I mean friend, Russ.  Neither of us are excited, so let’s not waste any further time.

Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  Miz TV with Finn Balor

Russ:  Well, I feel that Bray will somehow be involved, maybe just a little bit to further his feud with one of these guys.  Or maybe the WWE wants to have Miz vs. Finn now.  Either way it is a damned waste of talent!  Finn should be wrestling at this PPV not being interviewed.  Same goes for The Miz.  This is a travesty of justice!  

Kent:  I just listed this as I assume something will come out of this.  Plans for Bray vs Finn appear to be scrapped and now Miz has to get this no talent hack with a cool entrance over.

  1.  Enzo and Cass vs Gallows and Anderson

Russ:  I think this will be an entertaining match, but I’m kind of sick of these guys feuding over nothing.  

Winner:  G & A

Kent:  Gallows and Anderson should win.  Enzo and Cass should turn heel.  They should feud with Heath and Rhyno.

  1.  WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. Austin Aries

Russ:  I missed 205 this week and haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.  Still I think Neville needs to hold onto the belt to make it and him on another level.  Austin is great, but he doesn’t need the title right now.  

Winner: Neville, some kind of cheat, maybe interference with the help of TJ Perkins

Kent:  I haven’t watched 205 in a few weeks, I know, I know.  I still think that Neville is best served as champ so that when he does lose to someone like Tozowa, it is a bigger thing.  I’ll go Neville.

  1.  Raw Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

Russ:  I’m torn on this one.  On the one hand Bayley should keep the belt and try to make something out of her title reign before she becomes a complete lost cause.  The other hand I really like Alexa and she should have the belt.  

Winner:  Bayley, but I won’t be disappointed if Alexa wins.  

Kent:  Bayley’s time in the sun is over.  It’s always better to have a heel champ with chasing face.  Still, are they ever turning Sasha heel or what?  Also, I want Emma vs Bayley. I’ll go with Bliss.

  1.  Raw Tag Team Champions The Hardly Boys vs. Sheamus & Cesaro

Russ:  I think The Hardly’s are going to retain here.  At least one more PPV anyway.  After that all bets are off because somebody is about to go broken!  I agree with Kent that something may happen with Sheasaro, but I won’t take any credit for the thought of it.  

Winners: The Hardly Boys

Kent:  Sheasaro are going to have something of interest happen tonight.  I have been saying it all week. I think they turn heel but don’t win the belts.  Just keeping it warm for the Revival.  Hardly’s with the win followed by heel turn for Sheasaro.

  1.  United States Champion Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho

Russ:  I can’t see this turning out any other way.  KO is winning or at least retaining the belt.  Still this has been so telegraphed for the past 3 weeks that it seems like WWE might try to swerve us here.  

Winner:  Jericho, but still US Champ KO

Kent:  This seems to be the worst kept secret in WWE.  KO is winning this.  Look at his push.  He’s the most valuable heel on SD.  Jericho is going back with his band very soon.  This is all common sense shit.   But if Jericho wins, he goes to SD.  Hmmmm, nah KO wins.

  1.  Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

Russ:  Well, I want my boy to win, but Joe needs the win way more than Rollins does.  I look for this to be the match the night.  

Winner:  Joe, come on WWE make it right.  

Kent:  If Joe doesn’t win, I will not ask a single RAW question on this week’s Wrestling 9 Deuce.  Russ and Keri will be stuck asking them.  I’m super cereal.  My pick, Seth Rollins because WWE hates me and Joe.

  1.  WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt — House of Horrors Match

    Russ:  I can’t wait to laugh at how horrible this match is going to be.  I just wish I was watching with someone else to share in the laughter.

Winner: Bray because it is non-title and Randy will find out what a house of horrors match is.  

Kent:  Nobody cares.  Since Bray needs the push more and it is non title and Bray had a one month title run, you would think that he would win.  You would think that.  Maybe Dean interferes because Dean isn’t even on the fucking card and he’s intercontinental champion.  What the fuck? The IC belt is the RAW belt, but the SD US title is on the PPV?  What the fuck? I’ll go Randy.

  1.  Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Russ:  There is no stipulation to this match.  So either they are already going to have Braun fall to Roman or the match never gets off the ground and a DQ happens so we can have a stipulation match at their next PPV.  

Winner: Braun from Roman DQ

Kent:  Roman doesn’t job.  Braun does.  Roman is the guy


Bonus Deuce

  1. What match are you least looking forward to?

Russ:  This isn’t a terrible card, but I guess if I had to choose it would be Enzo and Cass vs. G & A.  I’m just not feeling these guys in fighting each other anymore.  

Kent:  Honestly, Braun vs Roman.  It doesn’t feel like a big match to me.

  1.  Which match gives you the biggest raging clue?

Russ:  Rollins vs. Joe, as if that was a shock to anyone.  Rollins gives me that clue feeling just being on my screen.  These two should put on a hell of a match.

Kent:  Bray vs Randy.  Watching car accidents can be fun.
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The Wrestling 9 Deuce – April 24 & 25, 2017 – The Braun Jobbed To Kalisto Edition

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that demands that K Fed be put into the WWE Hall of Fame.  Yeah, you forgot about that didn’t you?  As always, I am joined by the downtrodden Russell and the Turn Down For What Keri.  I love that song!  We’re here to talk some wrestling.  Please note that the podcast isn’t up due to some technical issues that I am trying to remedy.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  Sooooo, WWE put Kalisto in a Dumpster match against Braun Strowman.  Kalisto has new music.  Kalisto won the match, but then he went for a ride.  This is the third straight RAW in which Braun has done something memorable.  Give me your thoughts.

Russ:  This reminded me of that great 2004 Royal Rumble when Chris… Oh shoot I’m not supposed to copy Kent anymore.  (Kent: For a second, you had me.)  In all seriousness this was interesting.  The match itself was good, I’m not sure I would have had Kalisto win the match though.  For the past several weeks we have seen Braun be a remorseless machine of destruction.  He should have won the match and not be finished with Kalisto only to then throw him off the 3 foot free fall that was the stage.  I’m loving what they are doing with Braun, but they need to be careful of fatigue.  While I liked what they did with the dumpster, It felt a bit old hat already.  I think a better way of getting this over would have been to have Roman interfere in the match and help Kalisto throw Braun into the dumpster only to then have Braun be thrown off the stage by Roman. A normal person would be out after this, but Braun comes out unscathed and angry wanting to destroy Roman, except he’ll have to wait until Payback or Kurt will have him fired.  Boom keeps things interesting, keeps Braun strong, and most importantly gives Roman some semblance of retribution for what Braun did to him…instead of waiting to get his payback…at… Payback, oh WWE I see what you did there.  

Keri:  Honestly, when I first heard about this match, I thought there is no way in hell this is going to be any good. Then my second thought was, of course, the one week I’m able to watch RAW again and they go back to the same old crap. Well, let me say I was pleasantly surprised on both accounts. This match was better than it had any reason to be in the first place. The post match beat down, well I only have one thing to say about that and that is it is no longer Samoa Joe that is going to kill you but Braun. Cue chanting voice and go…Braun is going to kill you…Braun is going to kill you. Also, poor Kalisto, the kid won and still got killed in the end.

Kent:  Kalisto beat Braun.  Good for him.  His new music does not Kentertain me.  I think they need to take a week off from the carnage of Braun.  On the other hand….nah.  Give me more carnage.  Next week, braun should be banned from the arena and still come out and tell us that he’s not finished.  As for the match, I want to say 2 things that Russ can’t possibly copy and paste.  1. This was very reminiscent of when The Giant first took on Rey Mysterio in WCW.  This worked very well in that Braun sold some stuff to give fans hope that Kalisto could pull something off.  2.  I loved the call back to the 2004 Royal Rumble when Chris Benoit eliminated the Big Show to win it.  He had on that great headlock and kept pulling until he dragged Big Show over the top.  Once again, props to both guys for pulling off a better than anticipated match.

  1.  Samoa Joe, along with Gallows and Anderson, cut a very Kentertaining promo.  Then there was the beatdown of Enzo, followed up by Finn Balor being the replacement.  There’s a lot happening here.  Talk about it.

Russ:  Two words… “Butt Nugget”.  (Kent: You nerd!)

Keri:  So, I have a few observations about the segment the match and the players involved. First, Enzo is basically worthless. Can we have him manage Big Cass and be done with it? I think this was a better match without him involved. And before anyone says anything, it has nothing to do with the fact that he was replaced by Finn. Second, yea, Finn. Next, the backstage interview was decent and did what it needed to do as was the beatdown of Enzo. Lastly, we have a new Rollins finisher which leads me to one and only one question. Has he come up with an original finisher since the Curb Stomp was banned? I mean first it was the pedigree which he got from Triple H not is a modified version of Kenny Omega’s Rain Trigger. I mean I know that people don’t own their finishers but come on. And I just picked a fight with Russ. (Kent: 2 things here.  1. The curb stomp wasn’t all that original either.  Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat comes to mind, but I think others have done Seth’s variation as well.  2.  I’m pretty sure we both picked a fight with Russ over his useless unoriginal boy toy.  Good job!) (Russ: You don’t have to be original when you are the best at it.)  

Kent:  There’s a lot to cover here.  First though, props to Seth for breaking out a new finisher.  That was sorely needed.  With that being said, Seth using the Slingblade in a match with finn as his partner was very interesting.  Finn fighting against G & A was also interesting.  I hope this all plays towards Finn turning heel.  Seth shouldn’t be using that move unless it is leading to something down the line.  Finn still shouldn’t be teaming with Seth at all, so I have to believe that there is something happening here.  Before the announcers said anything, I got thinking about how this match involved 4 of the most over people in NXT history.  It then made think about all the former NXT champs, which is Seth, Bo Dallas, Neville, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Bobby Roode.  This leads to me promoting the WWE network for now having the entire NXT series, so way back when Bo was in shape and was getting a push.  Go ahead, watch the early stuff to see where all of the current big names got a start.  What the hell happened to Bo?  Finally, Cass has proven that he is very good in a 6 man tag match, but that’s it.  I don’t get it.

  1.  Raw’s opening segment. Discuss.

Russ:  Enjoyable.  It went on a little longer than I think was needed, but Jericho, Miz, and Dean were Kentertaining.  My only real concern is how the Miz came off.  He was fantastic on Smackdown almost week in and week out as an egotistical bastard who was ruthless.  On RAW he has been playing more of the comedic role.  While a change is nice every once in awhile, I fear that they will destroy everything he worked so hard to achieve over on Smackdown.  RAW doesn’t have a great track record so I’m concerned.  

Keri:  As soon as I saw Jericho come out  and the ring was set for the Highlight Reel, I knew we were in for something good. Because Jericho. But add in the Miz (and Maryse) and Ambrose and you have a segment that was not just good,it was great. I was very kentertained by the transitioning of the “talk shows.” There was only one thing missing and that was Mitch the plant. The icing on the cake for me was Maryse begging not to be put of the list of Jericho and then getting angry when she was put on the list. A great way to end a great segment.

Kent:  Honestly, I didn’t know what the opening segment was until I read Keri’s comment.  With that being said, it was a very Kentertaining segment, my memory just sucks.  I always miss heel Jericho, despite heel Jericho just being a mean face Jericho with plenty of catchphrases.  Still, if he works with teh right people, face Jericho still works incredibly well.  Oddly enough, Jericho’s cheesy stuff doesn’t blend well with KO, and I am glad that they are now apart.  It’s tough to watch a heel be super cereal towards Jericho, and y2J’s retort to be that they made a list or that they are going to get …….IT.  The intensity just doesn’t line up.  Jericho working off Ambrose and Miz though, works incredibly well.  Jericho vs Bray right now would be a super terrible idea.

  1.  After the Shakeup we were worried that RAW had too many top tier stars and many would be left directionless.  It has only been a few weeks, but it already seems that RAW doesn’t know what to do with some of the top talent already (Finn, Joe, Rollins, Bray all come to mind).  Is this because they need to get through Payback (which has several non-RAW people on the card)  or is this a sign of major trouble ahead?  

Russ:  I’m really hoping that this is just a symptom of Payback being set-up kind of before they decided to pull the trigger on the shakeup.  If it isn’t then a lot of talent is going to be wasted and that is a true shame.  Does Finn even have a match at Payback?  Yes I know Joe and Rollins have a match and there is some history, but last night was the go home show for payback.  Usually they try and set things up so that you can’t wait for Sunday.  It felt like they made the Joe and Rollins match an after thought.  I should be pumped to see these two wrestle, yet WWE has done nothing to get me excited for this match.  Bray, I get he is in a match at Payback (against Smackdown’s Champion, and it isn’t even a TITLE MATCH!)  However, what are they going to do afterwards?  Yes, they teased a Finn and Bray feud, I just hope they go through with it.  I’m not quite ready to say that there will be major trouble ahead for some of these top tier talents, but WWE has a history of disappointing me so I’m not that optimistic about things going forward.  

Keri:  I think they are currently tying up Payback loose ends right now. Why you schedule a PPV three weeks after you shake up the rosters is beyond me? But alas, here we are. I say we wait until the post-Payback RAW to see whether or not they really messed up.

Kent:  Well, your whole question is valid and both of you covered it.  I will take the flip side and say that Smackdown is undeterred and will just keep making stars, but the question is, do they have enough talent to make stars, aside from Baron.  How Jinder and Rusev are handled over the next 3-6 months will be indicative of whether Smackdown can truly work wonders.  RAW, fuck RAW.   Trade Joe ASAP!

  1.  Which opponent interests you the most for Alexa Bliss: Bayley or Sasha?

Russ:  Honestly, I’m going to have to go with Bayley.  Sasha needs a heel turn very badly and going up against Little Miss Bliss would not help her.  Bayley on the other hand needs something to make her more interesting.  WWE has screwed up another NXT darling in Bayley, but they can still salvage her with a good feud.  I think Bliss is the girl to do it.  

Keri:  I’m going to go with Sasha. Bayley is too easy for heel Alexa to pick on for a feud to be interesting past a few weeks. So, in other words, it will get boring fast. Sasha, at least, could make things a little more interesting especially if we get tweener instead of face Sasha. But honestly, I think neither girl is in Alexa’s league right now for either feud to be remotely entertaining for the long haul. So I’m picking the lesser of two evils especially since I’d rather see Alexa feud with Mickie.

Kent:  Ahhh, the other foot has dropped.  We all wanted Bayley on the main roster.  We all saw unlimited potential for marketing and to be the biggest face on the roster.  And then they put the belt on her prematurely, and gave her nothing interesting to work with and now everybody’s worst fears are coming true.  Bayley needs this feud more than Sasha.  The fans need Sasha in this feud more to revitalize her stagnant career.  Sasha should have gone to SM, not Charlotte.  Terrible mistake that I am still dwelling upon.

  1.  Were we really supposed to care about Charlotte getting attacked?  Was that supposed to evoke some form of sympathy or empathy?  Also, did you actually watch the full match? Be honest.

Russ:  Well, I watched the whole match.  In the sense that it was on my TV, while I played a videogame and looked up occasionally.  As for the attack on Charlotte and Naomi I had zero fucks to give for Charlotte, but I did find a few things about the attack interesting.  Becky was suspiciously absent.  She took a very tweener approach to the whole attack stating that it wasn’t her problem.  That isn’t the Becky I know.  They Becky I know would have helped those who were served injustice.  I kind of hope that this will lead to a Becky was the mastermind behind the whole thing twist.

Keri:  I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Nope. Also I didn’t see the whole match. This interference should have happened the week before but because of bad writing, it didn’t. Also, where does Charlotte really go from here? I mean we had heels attacking heels in this case. I’m so confused.

Kent:  According to WWE’s official Wikipedia, yes, apparently we are supposed to care about all things Charlotte because she is historic and revolutionary.  I honestly need a break from her.

  1.  What do you think about the direction of Rusev’s character?  Will he flourish without Lana at his side?

Russ:  Rusev is an asset that WWE has squandered for the past several years.  He has the talent to be a success.  I like that they are giving him a bit of an edge, but only time will tell if this will actually work.  The benefit is that he is on Smackdown and they need to create top level heels and Rusev fits the mold.  

Keri:  First, I think Rusev is strong enough to venture out on his own. He’s got the presence and mic skills to potentially do great things. I also like where they are potentially going with his new storyline. Due to this new announcement, I have a feeling that Jindar is winning the belt from Orton at Backlash which will lead to a match and continuation of the Rusev-Jindar feud for MITB.  This is the only way that Rusev’s ultimatum makes sense. Or we get a feud with Orton which will be very very boring.

Kent:  I think Rusev is in better shape to flourish than Lana is.  Lana is a slightly hotter, but far worse wrestler than Summer Rae.  Did people forget how good looking Summer is?  Did people forget that she can actually wrestle and when given a chance, is a really solid heel?  Yeah, thought so.  Jinder isn’t winning.  Rusev will look dangerous, and maybe he even beats Randy for the belt, and then Baron cashes in MitB and proves to be the ultimate tweener/lone wolf.

  1.  We finally have some storyline going on in the tag team division!  Would you keep the belts on the Uso’s for a while, or would you put them on Breezedango?  

Russ:  I would love to see what Breezedango could do with the belts.  I think it would be a crime to take the belts off the Uso’s right now.  They have really upped their game.  They need to get into a seriously good feud now with a team.  The only problem is that there are no real teams that can go against them except American Alpha right now and I’m already sick of that fued.  

Keri:  Easy question with an easy answer. Put them on Breezedango. It’s about time they tried something new and exciting with the division. And think about it, the belts will never look more fashionable.

Kent:  So the answer is easy, as Keri alluded to, but her answer isn’t necessarily the right one.  What I mean by that is, in all honesty, the Uso’s are great champs.  The reality is that The Uso’s, American Alpha, New Day, The Ascension, the Colons, and Breezedango can all be great champions.  None can flourish until they give at least 2 feuds at a time.  All of those teams are good to great when pushed well.  So it’s not a matter of who has them at this point, it’s about how they are pushed and how the next challengers are pushed to keep things constantly evolving.  SUre, put it on Breezedango, they deserve it, but so does the Ascension.

  1.  I know that Russ, nor Keri, watch Impact Wrestling (TNA).Technically, to listen to Russ on the podcast, he has heaped praises on to the Broken Hardy gimmick, but he has yet to really off any proof that he has actually watched any of it.  I just recently caught up on the show’s past month.  There is new ownership with Anthem and Jeff Jarrett is back in the fold.  They have brought back guys like Scott Steiner, Magnus, Matt Morgan, Low Ki, Sonjay Dutt, Bram, Chris Masters, LAX, ODB, and probably a few others that I have forgotten.  In the meantime, they have let talent like Mike and Maria Bennett, Crazzy Steve, The Hardly Boys, Damien Sandow, and a few others go.  My question is a simple one.  For a company that has been on it’s death bed for so long, what’s the better path to rebuilding and prosperity?  Is it better to bring back some of your former stars and mix them up with your current young crop of talent, or is it better to stop spending money on the old guard and invest in more new up and coming talent who may not have the name value?

Russ:  To be fair I have seen several of the Broken Matt videos and have read a several TNA reviews on them.  However, I have not once seen a full episode of Impact Wrestling.  I think a good mix of young and old talent in order to make a good company.  The Older talent will draw in the crowds and the young talent needs to impress those crowds in order to get people to want to continue to watch.  

Keri:  You think that bringing on young talent and building them up would be a way to save your brand. But, that does not appear to be what Impact is doing. I guess bad decision making didn’t die when Dixie left and sold the company, did it?

Kent:  I believe in bringing back the old guard every once in awhile.  I like when Jericho returns.  So had any one or two entities shown up over this past month, and slowly integrated themselves into storylines, that would be wonderful.  Unfortunately, the continuity is so far gone at this point that the TNA that you used to know 3 months ago, cue Gotye, is not anywhere close to the current product.  Bringing back talent is fine, but not at the expense of faces that the fans were getting into or already loves. Nobody was begging for Morgan or Magnus or Masters to return.  Nobody was begging for ODB, Sonjay DUtt, or Low Ki to return.  Nobody cares that Alberto is there, along with Cody (can’t call him Rhodes).  If you want to bring guys back, you bring back AJ, Joe, Aries, Roode, Eric Young…..oh wait, they are all flourishing in WWE.  Seriously TNA, you couldn’t do much more with a guy like Drew Galloway/McIntyre?  Fucking pathetic.  Still, I can’t wait to see Scott Steiner.

Bonus Deuce

  1. It came out last week that Shinsuke was originally supposed to have “Glorious” as his entrance theme song, but he wisely decided against it.  Bobby Roode ended up with it, and it fit him perfectly.  This week, I will ask you name 1 or 2 wrestlers who would benefit from another wrestler’s music.  So, for example, if you think Braun Strowman would be more effective coming out to Bayley’s song, then have at it.  Or maybe Luke Harper with Emma’s music.  Also, for bonus fun, pick a retro theme song that is no longer used and pick a current talent for it.  For example, Jeff Hardy coming out to AJ Lee’s “Light It Up”.  Ha.

Russ:  I think Neville would benefit from HHH’s King of Kings song.  Neville is the King of the cruiserweights and his entrance should reflect that.  I would love to see Dean come out to Mick Foley’s car crash theme.  I don’t know something about Dean always screams car wreck to me.  For my Retro I think it would be great to see a Broken Matt Hardy come out to Edge’s Entrance Metalingus.  I mean talk about old wounds and Lita!  HA!  

Keri:  I’m going to say that Bayley should have Mickie James music. It a better fit for Bayley and it really doesn’t fit Mickie’s character anymore. Not sure what music to give Mickie to replace it though, no one’s really fits her.

Kent:  I wouldn’t mind Baron getting Finn’s music, although Finn has succeeded in adding to the song with his flashing.  I wouldn’t mind Eric Rowan getting new music, or the old APA or Hardcore Holly music.  I know this would never happen, but Charlotte with Mr Perfect’s music would be great.    Nia with Braun’s music would be awesome.  American Alpha is a team that needs something, so why not Ken Shamrock’s old music?  Dana just needs something, but I don’t know what.  Gallows and Anderson could also use something cooler that actually fits them better.  Seth Rollins with RVD’s old One Of A Kind could work better than his current garbage.  Austin Aries needs new music, like Steven Regal’s Real Man’s Man song.  Honestly, give somebody that song, even if it’s one of the UK dudes.

  1.  Last week, we discussed who we would push and de-push.  This week, I will make things a little more difficult.  I want to play a game.  Name 3 active in ring wrestlers who you would future endeavor/fire.  It can be for any variety of reasons, but please tell us why.  Maybe you think that they could be more successful elsewhere, or maybe you think that they are just awful.

Russ:  My firings would be:  1.  Nia,  I just can’t stand her so it won’t hurt me when she is gone.  2.  Apollo Crews:  If you aren’t going to use him properly let him find a new home in another company.  3.  Mark Henry, he is getting old and honestly hasn’t done much lately cut the ties.  

Keri:  Here we go: Nia, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas. I pick Curtis and Bo because they haven’t done anything substantial in months. I say let them go so they can find their way somewhere else. As for Nia, do I really have to say anymore than her name for you all to understand?

Kent:  This is a really tough one.  Just because you’re a jobber doesn’t mean that you should be let go if you can make more money and be happier away from WWE.  I think Bo can still find success with Bray, but he needs to hit the gym more if he wants to get that push.  1. Mark Henry is a guy that I would say goodbye to as he never gets any wins, and he kind looks like he’s in pain at this point, so let him retire.  2.  I really hate to say it because I think she is genuinely trying, unlike Nia, but Dana may be better off gone.  3.  The last one can go to Mojo, Apollo, Titus, or Darren Young.  I considered Cesaro, but he’s gotta be making good enough money to stay as long as he has.  If I am the WWE, I wouldn’t fire Darren Young because I would fear a tell all book that would bring terrible PR to them.  All of these guys are legit nice dudes.Darren is the guy though that I don’t see ever getting another chance at a push.  Apollo can be rehabilitated.  Mojo with Zack can still be successful.  Titus is a guy that will do anything for WWE as far as going to do all that PR stuff.  Darren does too, but Titus is better at it.  If Paige was an option, I would have chosen her.
All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – April 17 & 18, 2017 – The Jinderfication Edition


Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that  bullies you until you quit reading us and get a nice payoff.  Man, this JBL mess is a mess that we don’t even want to touch…..yet.  On the plus side, Smackdown is trying to make new stars and RAW is pretty much the Braun show and nobody is upset about that.  Just to show that we love guys with Superman tattoos like Braun has, here’s a picture of the best man with the tat.  Hollar if you hear me.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  That RAW women’s match pretty much stole the show. (Yes, I know that the Braun and Big Show match was also very good, but we have seen them do this in the past, so I give it to the women for that fresh feeling.)  That RAW women’s match was one of the best women’s matches on RAW since the brand split.  What the hell just happened?

Russ:  This was fun and it was all thanks to Alexa.  Switching Alexa and Charlotte was the best thing for the RAW women’s division.  Alexa is a great wrestler.  No, not because of her in-ring ability, though she is improving.  What makes her a great wrestler is her ability to set up everyone around her.  She told a great story in this match and she set up what could easily be future stories with each lady in that ring.  I love Bailey, but put the belt on Alexa as soon as you can. Finally, and I hate saying this, Nia also did her job well.  I’m not ready to say she has evolved, but I’ll admit she has improved and this was her best showing yet.  

Kent:  Alexa’s ass is amazing.  Lawdy.  With that out of the way, I am shocked to say this, but this has a lot to do with Nia finally being unchained and allowed to wrestle.  Same thing happened to Braun and Baron.  They were finally allowed to actually wrestle a match and suddenly we see the talent.  Nia looked like a star on RAW.  Kudos to her.  Mickie and Alexa have made this division the strongest division out of any show in my opinion.  You have 8 women, and most of them can actually work well.  This is going to be a fun year.  I almost feel bad for Charlotte, but she was handed everything, so she can suck it up.

  1.  Fill in the blank.  “Chris Jericho cleanly tapping out to Samoa Joe was _____.”

Russ:  “Stupid”.  I fail to see what this did.  Sure I guess it makes Joe look better for payback, but it all but destroyed Jericho for his match at the same PPV.  Joe doesn’t need to win cleanly here a DQ would have worked just as well and kept Jericho safe.  Jericho is in a title match in 2 weeks.  He shouldn’t be tapping out cleanly.  

Kent:  I’ll go with “idiotic” because that means that Russ and I went with Stupid and Idiotic.  Either you get it or you don’t.  I think Joe should be killing lower card guys, not Jericho’s.  Jericho is in one of the biggest matches on Payback.  He shouldn’t be tapping out clean to a guy who couldn’t even make it onto the Wrestlemania card.  I don’t feel that this win really helped anybody.  A run in at the end, or KO appearing on the screen would have worked better here.

  1.  This is a topic that I tend to beat like a dead horse around here, but it has become more and more apparent that Baron and Braun are the future of WWE  I think we can all agree that Baron has the better 2016, so far, Braun has had a better 2017.  With that being said, according to a terribly unreliable Wrestling Observer: “Baron Corbin is being groomed for a significant push later this year. Meltzer went on to add that Corbin and Braun Strowman are the two guys who have been singled out as receiving pushes and in fact, Corbin was earmarked for an even bigger push than Strowman.”  By the end of 2017, who will we say has had the better year?

Russ:  Well the wrestling year has only just begun, but Braun has had two of the strongest weeks I have seen from a single wrestler in quite some time.  From a funtastic beatdown of Roman to throwing a Kalisto in the garbage and having a good match with Big Show it has been a damn good ride.  Baron on the other hand had a real good match against Dean the Tuesday after Mania and a good match with AJ that showed the WWE wants to protect Baron.  So clearly Braun has had the better start to 2017.  Unfortunately, I see them building Braun up to have him fall for Roman and Brock.  After that I don’t see what they are going to do with him and that spells trouble.  Not to mention I just don’t see him holding the Red Belt in the near future.  Baron on the other hand has a legitimate chance to be the top heel on his brand and hold the WWE Title before the year is out.  In conclusion, while both men will have good years I think Baron will end up with the better year when it is all said and done. (Kent: Jesus Russ, why didn’t you just copy and paste my answer?)

Kent:  I mean, Braun is out to such a huge lead so far this year thanks to last week’s RAW.  Braun also had the better Royal Rumble, yet it should be noted that it was Baron who eliminated Braun.  Baron was also vying for the WWE CHampionship in Elimination Chamber, and Braun hasn’t really gone after the belt.  At Mania, both men were relegated to the Kick Off show because that’s how you make stars in WWE.  I think that as long as both men stay healthy, and I think that may be harder for Braun due to his in ring style, Baron has a safer, more methodical style, I still gotta go with Baron despite Braun being flavor of the year.  The biggest reason is that Braun seems to be getting made just so he can job to Brock and Roman.  On top of that, RAW’s upper card is so stacked, it’s harder to shine and stay at the top there, especially if Brock is going to bogart the Red Belt. Meanwhile, on Smackdown, I think KO will have a lot of time with the US Championship now that he is pulling a John Cena with the belt.  That leaves very little heels at the top. It’s stacked with faces. I think Baron is taking the belt off of Randy by SummerSlam. I think that Baron has better in ring and mic skills with an easier path to a great 2017.

  1.  Will TJ Perkins new attitude help him or is he a lost cause?

Russ:  I am a fan of TJ Perkins. I think with the right character he can be a massive success.  With that said I like a heel Perkins, but I think they need to go full blown with this and I don’t think they can without having some other prize in the Cruiserweight Division.  Kent has said many times on the podcast that the Cruiserweight Division needs another prize because personal feuds only go so far.  As mush as I don’t want to, I agree with him.  If there was a secondary title I think it would benefit the whole division.  It would really help guys like Perkins though.  He needs to refine his character and having a belt would really help turn him into a cocky heel that we all want to see dethroned.  So he isn’t a lost cause, however, without him having something of significance it will always feel like something missing.   

Kent:  I really think 205 needs a full division with tag teams and a secondary title to give more guys reasons to compete.  TJ will continue to get lost in the shuffle in the meantime.  The guy has unlimited talent and potential, but he just doesn’t amuse me.  I’ve been watching this guy for years now, and he just doesn’t have that special it factor.  He’s a fun in ring hand, nothing more.

  1.  Who should get the Brock rub, and when?

Russ:  Samoa Joe or Braun need the Brock rub!  Either guy getting to pin/ submit Brock would make them the top heels they both totally deserve to be.  Braun has been on fire the past two weeks on RAW and has shown that he really deserves to be the monster heel!  Joe beating Brock on the other hand would just cement him as the top badass that he already is.   

Kent:  I could have been coerced to a heel Roman.  Now it is either Braun or Bray or bust.  Bray still intrigues the hell out of me, but his pushes are always short lived.  Braun may be the next big thing, just like Brock 15 years ago.

  1.  Smackdown had a 6 pack challenge to determine the #1 contender to Randy’s belt.  It featured Sami, Luke, Rowan, Mojo, Dolph, and Jinder.  Naturally this wasn’t the main event and Jinder won.  Have at it.

Russ:  Other than 1 or 2 of those names you wouldn’t think that this crew would even be deserved of a #1 contendership.  Yet here we are.  The match was really good.  If this was meant to be a showcase of the underappreciated on the show, then mission accomplished.  If this was meant to seed a few mid-card feuds, then again I’d say this was a success.  The only truly baffling thing was how this wasn’t the Main Event.  #1 Contendership for the WWE belt are usually Main event Status on a show like Smackdown, but no this was hour one main event.  It sure felt like a main event with these guys busting their asses.  Jinder winning is fine with me.  He has really worked hard and it shows.  

Kent:  This is what happens when you don’t put AJ, Baron, Shinsuke, Cena, Rusev, or Owens in a match for #1 contender.  Notice how those 6 names are more deserving than anybody in this match aside from possibly Luke and Sami, possibly.  Seriously, why not just include Sin Cara and Tye Dillinger?   What the fuck were they thinking?  Here’s the maddening thing, the match was really fucking good.  That match had no right to be good.  The biggest reason is that we aren’t used to seeing these guys together aside from Luke and Rowan.  The second biggest reason is Dolph’s willingness to bump like crazy for everybody.  Dolph is so underappreciated. As for Jinder winning, there are 2 schools of thought here. This is an R Truth level push where he gets one main event run for a month.  The other way this could go is the beginning of a JBL type run.  He already has the Bollywood Boys backing him up.  If he could get an enforcer like Rusev or Rowan, this could legitimately work.  Jinder, not Heath, not Drew, but Jinder is the member of 3MB who is getting a main event shot.  Unfuckingbelievable.  And I’m not even mad.  He has busted his ass to improve and this is a good thing.  I’m just so confused.  

  1.  Smackdown has added The Colons, The Bollywood Boys, and we’re still waiting on New Day.  Why does Smackdown only have 1 face tag team currently while waiting for New Day’s injury?  Why does RAW only have one heel tag team in Gallows and Anderson while waiting for The Revival to get healed?  Didn’t the WWE just have an opportunity to balance things out?

Russ:  I think the simple answer to this is that WWE doesn’t care about the WWE Tag Division.  The Tag Division is only good to make sure multiple talents get to be shown on the show, or at least that is what it feels like sometimes with the WWE.  There is a great opportunity to take some of the lesser known heel teams and give them some substance.  Send them over to RAW where they can get seen.  Same thing for the weak face teams.  Switch them to Smackdown and give the heels someone they can beat up on.  

Kent:  I don’t know why one of the heel teams on Smackdown haven’t turned face.  Now is the perfect time for Breezedango or The Ascension to try their hands at being face.  I know that imbalance should equate to heel and face turns over the next 2 months, but I really have no faith in the WWE.  It’s a good thing that Heath and Rhyno are getting that good push on RAW.

  1.  If you are as bored with the Smackdown Women’s division as I am, is there a way to make it remotely watchable?

Russ:  Get Asuka on their ASAP.  She will breath some life into this mundane division.  Asuka will also be a great foil for Charlotte.  Also, Start featuring Carmella more.  She was great against Nikki, but then took a back seat.  Time to get her front and center.  Finally, let Becky be herself.  She is funny on the mic and if she goes up against someone with talent she can really put on a great match.  

Kent:  Asuka, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, and Molly Holly…and nope, still not fixing it.  This is trash.  Carmella needs to win the belt ASAP to help carry it.  She’s the next Alexa Bliss, minus that sweeeeeeeet ass.

  1.  So wait, if Jericho beats KO, Jericho joins SD and leaves SD with one main event level heel.  If Bray beats Randy, there has been no mention of Bray moving back to SD.  To make matters worse, since WWE clearly hates Smackdown, do you see a possible situation where Bray wins and leaves Smackdown without a legit heavyweight championship?

Russ:  Nope,  They just had a 6-pack challenge for the #1 contendership.  All guys being from Smackdown.  So it is clear that the belt will still be there after payback.  The question is does that mean Randy is definitely winning the House of Horror’s match.  They love watching Bray lose, but this time they have basically already said that Bray has no chance in hell in winning.  

Kent:  No, there’s just no way that WWE could possibly fuck this one up, right?  RIGHT?  Oh god.  I can so see them doing something this shortsighted and then hear jackasses online saying that it is a good move because it was unexpected.  I hate to bash JR, but I hate that line of reasoning that he has offered in the past.  He’s not alone.  Bray is winning the House of Horrors match.  Bet your life on it.

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Let’s have some fun. Over the next 6 months, you are tasked with pushing 5 talents for whatever rhyme or reason that you choose.  Who do you pick, and if you wish to elaborate, go ahead.  Tag teams count as one talent, unless you split the team up.

Russ:  Seth Rollins, Apollo Crews, Curt Hawkins, Becky Lynch, Nakamura.  If you want to hear my individual thoughts on each guy you need to listen to the podcast.  The short and sweet:  Rollins:  In a going against Authority storyline.  (Kent: Man, the Seth guy is in dire need of a push.  I mean, he only just beat HHH at Mania.  He NEEDS To beat that fat ass Samoa Joe.) Apollo:  Has talent that we haven’t seen on the Main Shows.  Give him an opportunity to show us what he can do.  Curt:  Would be great as a sidekick to Kurt Angle.  I love the Curt Facts we need to see him win though to make him a better comedic heel.  Becky:  I said it before she needs to be let loose.  Nakamura:  His presence alone is awesome.  Keep him on the winning side and you can have a legitimate Rock Star in the WWE.  

Kent:  Luke Harper, Big Show, The Drifter, Emma, and Samoa Joe.  What is my obsession with large men, and female Aussies?  I feel bad that I didn’t get to list a few obvious people, but realistically, Braun, Tye, and Revival will get pushed, so I felt ok leaving them out.  1.  Luke is in a spot where he can easily get lost in the shuffle on the face side of Smackdown.Truthfully, they should be building him up as the next #1 contender for Randy’s belt because those boys had a very good match in February.  I feel that it is now or never for Luke to get over.  He’s no longer in Bray’s shadow.  2. Big Show deserves a push.  He is in great shape and has shown that he can still go.  Give him a nice push because I wanna see him vs Joe..  3. The Drifter is a guy who can draw crazy amounts of heat and there is an art to that, and he has perfected it.  Don’t Sami or Apollo him.  Give him feuds, let him get heat, and let him make his opponent look like a million bucks.  Elias has some Miz in him I think.  4.  Emma is in such a unique position because she is the most talented female on RAW, but she is stuck with Bayley, Sasha, Mickie, Alexa, Nia, and to a lesser extent Foxy and Dana.  By the way, Foxy is every bit as good as any of the girls mentioned.  Emma needs to slowly gain momentum with dana for 2 months and then work herself into a feud with Sasha or Mickie.  Emma can be the best but she needs the opportunity to showcase herself.  Plus, she is gorgeous.  5.  The most important of all of these and the guy in the most precarious position.  RAW wants to push Roman, Braun, Seth, Brock, Dean, Miz, Finn, Bray???, and Jericho???.  Where does Joe fit into that equation?  I say that he should become a dominant IC champ until some injuries pile up.  Bring back the Joe is gonna kill you.

  1.  Oh, you now also have to choose 5 talents to have job, or put over talent frequently over the next 6 months.  

Russ:  1. Roman Reigns:  I think if he takes a few losses and starts to turn more to the dark side we will get a more legitimately fun and interesting Roman. TJ Perkins:  They have already done this a bit, but have him lose a lot and come back with a nasty attitude.  Hardy Boys: Have the losses lead to the Broken Hardys.  Charlotte:  Time to pay back for her monster push.  Finn Balor:  Not to get Keri agitated, but let’s have him go on a losing streak and see him start to turn to the demon to get help then he can start winning, but for now start losing and have it go for awhile.  

Kent:  Eh, this one is tougher.  1. Seth Rollins, and no, this isn’t to antagonize Russ.  Really, he needs to give back some clean losses to guys like Joe, Braun, and Bray.  He can have a good second half of the year.  2.  Dean Ambrose, I hate to say it, but he needs to help get that midcard over and if he can help get Joe, Drifter, and Braun over, I say give Dean another major push later this year.  3. Randy Orton because nobody cares about his title run, which is a shame.  Randy is better chasing than holding the belt.  Randy puts over Luke and then AJ, Baron, or KO.  KO vs Randy is a feud that I really want to see for some reason, but Randy vs Luke is at the top of my list.  4. Enzo and Cass or New Day or both.  I mean, as long as the crowd will eat up whatever they’re doing or saying, they can help get heels over.  5.  Roman Reigns if he stays face.  I really want a heel turn for obvious reasons, but just know that if he goes heel, he will be the #1 booked heel in the company, and then there will be backlash over that.  The solution is simple.  Have Roman get cocky over retiring Taker and start a losing streak.  Losing streaks when done right are some of the best booking that you can do.  A losing Roman is something that the crowd can get behind.  After enough losing, Roman forms a kickass stable.  We can call it the Shield.  They can all be heels.  Then who are the faces?  Bray, Braun, Joe, The Balor Club, and New Day should be one as well.  This is why Enzo and Cass should have gone to Smackdown.  Let’s bring back group warfare.  The Shield, a Wyatt group, New Day, Sanity, Balor Club could make for some great matches.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – April 10 & 11, 2017 – The Braun is the Hero That We Needed Edition

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that has listened to “Holding Out For a Hero” while watching Braun decimate Roman like 7 times already.  Seriously, I almost didn’t want to talk about anything else, but of course we had the shake up and I guess we have to discuss that garbage.  But seriously, how fucking great was Braun?

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  OK, let’s start with the obvious question.  Braun Strowman just won Wrestler of the Year 8 days into the wrestling year, right?

Russ:  Braun Strowman’s epic beatdown of Roman Reigns may go down as one of the best backstage beat ups of all time!  This was fantastic and that was before Braun “Beefcake” Strowman decided to flip a damned Ambulance on it’s side!  What is even better is the unexpected reaction by the fans!  WWE seemed like they were going for the poor Roman getting beaten up unfairly by the monster to garner sympathy for him.  What they ended up doing was making Strowman the hottest babyface since Daniel Bryan!  WWE you can’t ignore this!  I don’t think there is anything you can do at this point to make Roman a babyface anymore.  Just go all out and turn him heel!  This match-up is going to be great to watch, if only for the fan reaction!  Thank you Strowman!   (I don’t even hate Roman, this was just the best thing ever!  Honestly, this is why I watch wrestling!)

( Kent told me the greatest wrestling arch that could have come from this last night, it will never happen but it would have been great!  I’ll let him tell it, or you may have to listen to the podcast this week!)  

Keri:  That beatdown took at blah segment and saved it.  I mean who wanted to hear Roman say I respect Taker but I did what I had to do. It’s my yard now….blah blah freakin blah. Braun made that segment watchable and awesome. He didn’t ride in on a tank but he did flip an ambulance so that is in itself awesome. Wait!  I think I just came up with what he should do next week. Throw Roman in a tank and flip it over. Yeah that would work.

Kent:  I honestly can’t remember the last time that I was so entertained by something on RAW.  I almost needed a cigarette after watching that.

  1.  AJ Styles didn’t get moved to RAW.  Was that a good decision?

Russ:  At first I thought this was a bad decision, but now I’m not so sure.  RAW is now so stacked at the top that AJ, who is debatably the best that wrestling has to offer, would probably get lost in the shuffle.  This would be absolutely terrible and a crime!  AJ should be your top guy no matter what else you got going on.  He consistently puts on great performances, he elevates everyone else’s game around him.  He will thrive on Smackdown because so many of the big names were just poached from Smackdown and so many big names from RAW are being kept there.  I for one can’t wait for KO vs AJ for the WWE Championship.  Not to mention when it is all said and done AJ will be holding the belt that has history more often than the belt that I wish was history (Red Belt, for those who couldn’t figure out what I meant.)  So Keep AJ on Smackdown, I’d rather watch that show anyway. (Unless Braun keeps flipping bigger and bigger vehicles on RAW.  Then it would be a toss up.)  

Keri:  Yes it was. Smackdown is the show that AJ built and it would be stupid to move him. He is an established top guy on this show and to take words from Roman, it’s his yard. He would get lost in the shuffle on RAW. Why you ask? Because a part timer holds the belt which means AJ or anyone else for that matter will never see it. Besides now I can get my dream match of Nakamura vs. Styles and that right there makes it a perfect choice to me.

Kent:  This was the only decision.  I said that last week.  AJ would get zero opportunities to steal the show on RAW.  The Shield is reunited and all of your favorite guys on RAW are about to be raped.  So raped.  Also, Brock.  Kudos to Russ for bringing up Braun again.  It was well deserved.

  1.  So Seth is staying on RAW per new GM Kurt Angle. What are your thoughts on this and on this segment as a whole?

Russ:  If I wanted Seth to be buried then I’d want him to stay on RAW.  He is staying on RAW.  Guess he won’t be seeing any gold in the near future, not to mention the fact that he will get lost in the shuffle if he doesn’t get injured in a few months.  As for the segment.  Holy crap was I excited to see my two favorite wrestlers in the ring at the same time, then they throw in Samoa Joe for good measure!   Before Braun decided that Ambulance flipping should be a sport (3 questions 3 times I brought him up.) I would have made this my man-crush segment on the podcast.  Still interactions between Kurt and Seth are always going to be some of my favorite things in wrestling.  Especially if it ends up in those two having a dream match down the road!   

Keri:  I know a certain person on this very blog who probably loved this segment. His two favorite people in the ring at the same time. Anyways, here are my thoughts. Honestly, I think Seth could have been a great add to Smackdown especially considering how much they gutted that roster this week. I could see him feud with AJ and Nakamura and I would be so happy with that. Sigh. As for the segment itself, it was nice to see Angle more or less go against Stephanie’s wishes and keep Seth on RAW. Hopefully, this will make for an interesting dynamic when she returns instead of the same old crap we usually get with her. Oh, who am I kidding? It will be probably be the same old crap.

Kent:  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’m done with Shield guys outside of heel turns.  The segment would have been cooler had it had a Joe and Kurt staredown and then had Seth come to Kurt’s defense.  That’s what real fans want.  

  1.  What did you think of the “Shake-up”  was it fair and balanced?  Or did RAW take a big dump on Smackdown?  

Russ:  Now that both shows have shown us how they have shaken the WWE to the core I’m left wondering if the trade was fair or not?  At first just watching RAW I thought for sure Smackdown was getting pillaged as some of the best talents kept showing up on RAW.  Then Smackdown occurred and I saw who they got and things didn’t seem as bad.  Dean was fair trade for KO,  Sami for The Miz…ok,  Charlotte for Alexa fair in the sense that are both top heel females Mickie for Tamina… sure why not.  Mahal for Hawking they are interchangeable losers so why not.  I could go on, but overall it seems to me that Smackdown actually won out on this shake-up, which is surprising.  I thought for sure RAW would take everything that was great about Smackdown (and they took a lot of it)  and leave Smackdown with the RAW garbage.  Smackdown got talent that is great, but has been wasted on RAW.   Mark my words Smackdown won this thing.  

Keri:  Honestly, I thought it was rather RAW heavy. Smackdown really did get gutted in terms of upper card and women’s division talent. I wonder if someone other than Brock held the red belt if things would have played out like it did.

Kent:  The trades were sort of fair once you break things down on a need basis, there is some balance.  Unfortunately, RAW has more guys that could main event whereas Smackdown will have to give pushes that RAW would never consider.  On top of that, the tag team divisions are totally out of balance.  Smackdown is heel heavy, RAW is face heavy.  Then there was the Charlotte trade.  Charlotte was actually the worst RAW girl to move.  Sasha was the right choice if you think about potential matches created by this.  Of course, then there’s Tamina.  Smackdown will be forced to turn some faces heel or build up Rusev, Jinder, and someone else.  Let’s face it, RAW is the petulant child and nobody can be happy until RAW is satiated.

  1.  Will Kalisto join the 205 Live roster?

Russ:  Why would this proud 2-time US champion want to belittle himself and go to an inferior product like 205?  He is clearly going to be doing a lot of big things on RAW.  Alright, I can’t keep this up.  Kalisto should be begging to get on the 205 roster!  At least there he will get some kind of TV time and a chance to not suck.  We can pretend he is 205 lbs right?  

Keri:  Probably: It makes sense. Also, wasn’t he on there before? Maybe I’m thinking of someone else. Nevermind.

Kent:  I don’t think that he meets the weight requirement, but I say fuck it, put him in there.  I think it would help boost the division.  Of course, I also thought that reuniting the Lucha Dragons would be awesome.

  1.  Aiden English: Did he have a good or bad week?

Russ:  I’m saying this was a good week!  Aiden shed the albatross around his neck that was Simon Gotch and he got a few moments to shine as a heel, before the perfect 10 came out and ruined it.  Still all in all for Aiden this was a good week.  I’ll be optimistic here If they bring back his NXT gimmick and allow him to be an annoying heel he can thrive in the mid card.  The mid-card desperately needs some good heels and Aiden can fill that role.  

Keri:  It looks like the rumored singles push for Aiden English is going nowhere fast. So, here is what I propose they do if they are serious about this push. I say get Vicki Guerrero out of retirement and have her manage Aiden for a few months. They can do a family legacy type angle. I have a feeling that may get him over or at least get him some heat. Because we all know that Vicki can generate heat. Either way it’s a strong crowd reaction that his character needs in order for him to move forward.

Kent:  I thought it was a great week right up until Tye Dillinger’s music played and I sighed.  I don’t know if this is indicative of WWE not wanting to push Aiden, or just a one off thing to help Tye and to introduce Aiden’s “new” gimmick.  Usually you win when you get a new gimmick, otherwise you are just Bo Dallas.  Oh shit, I just compared him to Bo.  OK, it was a bad week. On the plus side, Bray and Bo may get to finally work together.  Poor Aiden.  Please rehire Shaul.

  1.  Was the Tamina announcement brilliant or stupefying?

Russ:  Well I guess it was a brilliant piece of trolling.  It sure got me because I had no idea she was even still apart of WWE.  I felt bad for Tamina because the crowd was totally trolled and didn’t like it by the way of their response.  

Keri:  I think that was the first time in the course of two days I heard one thing when a roster change was announced and that was crickets. That announcement fell so flat that I kinda felt bad for Tamina. Especially, since we all know that the crowd was expecting Charlotte. Seriously whoever followed (or in this case led into) that announcement was screwed. But at least now Smackdown has their own Nia. This one is just slightly better in the ring than the RAW version.

Kent:  It was fine trolling, so kudos for that.  On the other hand, Sasha needed to be traded.  Charlotte was the worst kept secret for getting traded, well aside from AJ.  Tamina has never shown that she is very capable in ring, and hopefully she can stay healthy and show us something.  Until then, I consider her worse than Nia.  Yes, I would rather have Nia over Tamina.  Wow.  So I will go with brilliant since I must choose one or the other, unlike some people…..

  1.  Who goes after Randy’s belt next, after Bray?  Also, how did Bray and Randy end up on the RAW exclusive PPV?

Russ:  Well everything screams AJ Styles, but that seems like a Summer Slam or Survivors Series Event to me.  So I’d like to see Luke or Baron feuding with Randy next.  Luke deserves it and can show that he belongs in the main event, while Baron, well Baron is a future Champion so it wouldn’t hurt to put him in a main event program for him to get used to it.  KO, Dolph, and Rusev all seem like obvious choices too.  As for how their match made it on the RAW exclusive event… I have no fucking clue.  When I saw this match I thought maybe they did away with the exclusive PPV’s, but then Smackdown said it was RAW exclusive… so I don’t know… maybe because Bray is on RAW now?  

Keri:  Two words,  AJ Styles. After he is done making the US title relevant again, we will get a Randy vs AJ feud and AJ can reclaim the title. In the meantime, we have plenty of people that can challenge AJ for the US title and stars can be made.

Kent:  It truly comes down to how long that they want Randy as champ.  SD has shit for heels at the moment.  AJ Styles would work to give Randy great matches, and then by Summerslam, Shinsuke and AJ could feud and Randy vs KO could be huge.  Baron could also work, but I like to still see him building up his brand.  He shouldn’t be vying for a world title yet.  Luke is a dark horse candidate as is Rusev, depending on the writing.  Right now, too many faces on SD.  Randy, Shinsuke, AJ, Sami, Luke, Cena vs Baron, KO, Dolph, and Rusev.  I know that AJ and maybe Luke are tweeners, which helps balance things out, but it creates an imbalance at the moment.  As for the second half of the question, it boggles my fucking mind.

  1.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to do this roster trade nonsense last week for the night after Mania to get the most eyes on the product, and allow proper development for the upcoming Payback PPV?  

Russ:  The RAW and now Smackdown after Mania really should be reserved for crazy crowd reactions and call-ups and solid matches.  If we start adding the “Roster Shake-Up” into the mix it will just be too much going on and an overload of the senses.  Though I love Kent’s idea! Go read it, I’ll wait.   See that is the way WWE should do it!  We would have fantastic opportunities throughout the year instead of just a one time big shake-up.  

Keri:  The RAW (and now the Smackdown after Mania) is always its own special kind of crazy. I don’t know if that crazy and sometimes annoying crowd would have appreciated this storyline. And honestly it really would have been too much. They did the right thing doing it when they did. Wow! Did I just say that?

Kent:  No.  The thing that makes the most sense to me if to simply have a random lottery ball trade every month.  Some months maybe it seems fair, other months it will be terribly lopsided.  This would offer a continuous way to keep things fresh, and help in case of injury.  That makes more sense.  Let’s make this even easier.  We get like 16 PPV’s a year.  If it is a joint PPV, then both GM’s get a lottery ball pick.  If it’s a RAW exclusive, then just RAW gets one, or same with Smackdown.  Do this on the pre-show, that way you don’t have things ruined by knowing that John Cena was spotted in Atlanta at the site of Money in the Bank BS.  You make the drawing on the pre-show, which would draw viewers, and then you would see them debut on their new show on Monday or Tuesday respectively.  You know damn well that you would consider having the pre-show at least playing in the background for this reason alone.

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Best and worst acquisition by RAW?

Russ:  Best:  Tough call I’d say it would be a toss up of The Miz, Dean, or Alexa.  They are all great in their respective roles.  The Miz can make a top face out of any joe schmoe while Dean completes the Shield Trifecta that is now all faces.  Alexa is just the best at what she does and will give the boring RAW Women’s division some needed excitement.  As for the worst acquisition that honor goes to Curt Hawkins.  He was underutilized on Smackdown, not to mention a jobber.  Now that he is on RAW we can expect to see him maybe one more time before he is shuffled off to obscurity.   

Keri:  Alexa and Mickie James. Both pickups have the potential to revive a stagnant division. Also, I have to say both ladies are light years ahead of Sasha and Bayley. That promo on RAW showed how far Alexa has come and how far those two have fallen. She made that segment. As for worst, I would have to say Apollo Crews and Bray Wyatt. Apollo because what are they going to do with him, honestly. Probably more of the same. Then for Bray, I just feel he’s going to get lost in the shuffle now.

Kent:  I honestly don’t even know.  With Dean they now have all of the Shield, so that’s probably the right answer.  The Miz makes all of his feuds better, so an argument can be made for him.  On the other hand, Bray was just the world champ 2 weeks ago, and all 3 of these guys have been world champs.  One can argue that the Mickie pick up was huge because Alexa and Charlotte is very even, but Mickie was just picked up for free and can really help those girls.  Getting Kalisto is a great pick up if they put him on 205 and he has some credibility.  Finally, they had a sneaky good pick up in Heath and Rhyno because they can be a tag team, or they can be singles guys, and Heath is ready for a singles push.  Of course if he didn’t get it on SD, he’s not getting it on RAW.  David Otunga is the worst pick up.  I know that some may say Curt, but we won’t have to hear Curt every week.  

  1.  Best and worst acquisition by Smackdown?

Russ:  Best:  Hands down KO.  He got shafted when it came to the Red Belt so this move should really benefit him (assuming he beats Jericho at Payback.)  RAW is Clutter and Smackdown is the land of opportunity.  I can’t wait to see AJ vs KO for the belt.  That is a WrestleMania sized event!  Worst:  I’m going to say Charlotte.  She isn’t the worst person or anything, in fact she has grown on me.  I just think she was better suited for RAW where Sasha really needed to get away from RAW.  Smackdown isn’t the place for the queen.  

Keri:  Sami, KO, and Rusev I would have to say are the best ones. For Sami and Rusev, this change will give them opportunities that they just did not get on RAW. As for KO, at least there is no chance of him getting lost in the shuffle now. As for the worst acquisitions, I would have to say everyone else. Honestly, it’s like RAW said we don’t want these guys anymore just take them will you? And Smackdown said ok fine you’ve taken everyone from us so we might as well.

Kent:  Jesus, it’s like looking for survivors after Hiroshima.  The thing is, Rusev is probably going to become a star, so he’s probably the best.  Sami also has star potential and will be given every opportunity to succeed on SD.  The most interesting one though is New Day.  If they break up, SD is the brand to be on.  Byron for Otunga though is the best pick up.  Worst one is obviously Sin Cara or Tamina or the Shining Stars.  Nah, it’s actually Charlotte believe it or not.  Yes, they got a good talent.  Then you look over SD women’s division, and who does she have to feud with?  Naomi is a great match up for her.  After Naomi though, you have Becky, which didn’t have great matches with Charlotte last year if you recall.  Nikki is no good.  Tamina is always hurt and best served as a heel.  Which also goes for Charlotte.  Charlotte sucks as a face.  Her vs Carmella could be fun as hell if done right, but I have my doubts.  Natty has faced Charlotte so much, I don’t care.  Sasha was the one that needed to go to SD because she could start as face and go heel and have the whole roster to work with.  Charlotte vs Nia, Emma, Mickie, and possibly Paige is way better for Charlotte.  Admit it, I’m right.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

The Wrestling 9 Deuce – April 3 & 4, 2017 – The Wrestlemania Hangover Edition

Welcome everybody to the only wrestling blog that doesn’t hate Roman Reigns, but we also don’t like wet hair.  This is the week after Wrestlemania, and a lot has happened.  We have Keri back in the saddle.  We are all frigging exhausted and could do with a week long break from wrestling, but we push on.  Obviously, we all want to simply thank the Undertaker for everything that he has done for the business and the joy that he has brought us all of these years.  We hope that he finds some peace in retirement.  Also, this is for Russ.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The 9

  1.  RAW saw the debut of The Revival and the comeback of the Hardly Boys.  Which one is more important over the next 12 months?

Russ:  Definitely going with The Revival on this one.  While the Hardly Boys give us that nice throwback feel and seem to be able to still deliver a decent match.  They are certainly not the future of the WWE.  The Revival on the other hand are hands down what Tag Team wrestling should look like in the future.  Every big match they are in is must watch and I look forward to seeing how they overtake the rest of the tag division as the year progresses.  

Keri:  I’m going to go with both. The Hardys bring something that the RAW tag team team division hasn’t had and that is veteran leadership. This move has the potential to build the division which is the reason why the Revival was drafted to RAW. You want your best young tag team in the company learning from veterans on how to fine tune their craft. Not that they need that much refinement to begin with in the first place. All in all this move shows that RAW creative may be willing to get serious about their tag team division. Which means next week’s “shake up” may be very interesting from a tag team standpoint.  (Kent:  Keri, you can’t quite go with both.  One HAS to be more important than the other.  Get the old lady with the bell, and Keri, start stripping.  You need to do your walk of shame.  Also, the Hardly Boys will be doing their awful dances next to you during your walk.  That’s some punishment.)

Kent:  The Hardly Boys are more important over the next 12 months.  I don’t know if either member of the Revival have any singles potential.  Meanwhile, the merchandise will be huge for the Hardlys.  On top of that, it’s their job to help put over younger talent.  The Revival just have to continue what they have been doing.  You’re not going to find a bigger Revival fan than me, BUT for the next 12 months, The Hardlys can help make the RAW tag Team division relevant again, and that’s a huge boon.  They can also split them up and go singles if they so choose.  Had the question been 24 months, The Revival would be my answer, but for 12 months, to suggest that there is a more important tag team in WWE right now that holds more importance, I would be forced to laugh.

  1.  Finn Balor is back, and tag teaming with the guy who put him on the shelf.  Have at it.

Russ:  Yes, I’m defending my guy.  The Injury was not story it was just a bad bump.  Now that Rollins is a face along with Finn you can overlook the injury and allow them to tag.  I mean in real life they are friends still even after the injury so it is not like they can’t be friends in Kayfabe.  

Keri:  Perhaps this is a classic case of forgive and forget. Keep in mind, everyone, that these two were rehab buddies for the past couple of months so they may have buried the hatchet. You know since during rehab Poppa H was watching them from that poster. There was some hesitation after the match between the two but it looked like it was quickly resolved. With that being said, I like this temporary pairing and I liked the match. And more importantly, at least for me, is that Finn is back!  

Kent:  Terrible storytelling by WWE.  I know, I’m not winning this argument with my 2 colleagues who get raging boners for their respective guy, but it’s gotta be said.  This feud should be there.  I think the fans would be hot for it.  They could have a match, and in the end, maybe KO and Joe interfere and beat them both down.  That would work, but they should not start off by tagging.  Bullshit and illogical.  Seth vs Finn is the better main event for that RAW.  The crowd would have ate it up and loved the interference at the end.  Then Seth and Finn could be forced into a tag match and eventually win over each other’s respect.  It’s a tale as old as time, and it’s so simple.  WWE hates easy simple stories.  

  1.  The best women’s wrestler is officially back on RAW.  Emma is back!  Would you keep her on RAW or move her to Smackdown?

Russ:  Keep her on RAW, with Alexa Bliss supposedly switching places with Charlotte, RAW is the best place for her, if you also get rid of Nia.  She will shine as a heel with those two girls gone.  I also feel that she will have good chemistry with Alexa and a freshly turned Sasha 5-head.    

Keri:  Smackdown is already currently stacked and doesn’t need anymore talent. RAW is currently balanced with 6 faces and 6 heels so things are looking up there. With that being said though, if the plan is to change Sasha from to a heel then maybe there needs to be a Smackdown trade to reset the balance.

Kent:  If Charlotte goes to Smackdown, then keep her on RAW.  Emma and Alexa need to stay away from Charlotte’s bitch ass because she doesn’t take the backseat to anybody, just like her daddy.  By the way, Emma fucking dominated RAW, and was really one of my highlights of the evening.  I love that girl.

  1.  The opening segment of RAW. Discuss.

Russ:  I loved the Taker chants thought it was a great tribute to a one of a kind talent.  Then the crowd started to turn into a self-absorbed crowd and started to throw in a few Roman sucks chants.  Then Roman came out and people just booed and booed (along with a few non-pg chants for good measure.)  This is when I started to get annoyed.  The whole thing lasted 15 almost 20 minutes with nothing being said.  They wasted a lot of time that could have been better spent on something a little more akin to wrestling.  Again I was cool with the first 3-4 minute chant of Taker, because damn it he deserves it, but the rest was a waste of time.  

Keri:  I thought the Taker chant at the very beginning was touching and honestly I got a little choked up. With that said, I really think the crowd overdid it with the chants that followed. However, it did work out well and Roman handled it well. I actually felt bad for him at one point because the crowd was very, very, brutal.

Kent:  It was perfection.  The WWE knew how the crowd would react and Roman played it perfectly.  Roman needs to be a heel though, or at least a bad ass tweener.  The WWE needs to be wise though.  Roman cannot be the guy to retire HHH, Cena, Randy, or Brock.  They need to spread those honors to various guys so that makes more stars.  I really fear that WWE is going to blow it.    I’d have Rusev end one, a guy like Miz, Dean maybe, Baron or Braun.  Seth even works.  It just can’t be all Roman all the time or else they are never going to win the fans over to care.  Right now, fans care enough to boo the shit out of him, and not like in a respectful “You Suck” chant.  No, just boos.  By the way, Roman as a leader of a stable with Nia, The Usos, The Revival, or Authors of Pain, and somebody like Joe, Rusev, or Andrade would be fucking sweet.  You mean to tell me that wouldn’t get over huge?  You need somebody good on the mic, so if you go all Samoan, Joe can do it or bring in one of the old guys, Rikishi or something.

  1.  Are we actually getting Brock vs Braun, or was this a Utica style tease?

Russ:  This is all Teasers all the time!  We won’t see Brock again for at least 2 months and by then Roman will have effectively buried Braun and no one will care.   

Keri:  I will answer this question with one word, nope. As well as another two words, don’t care. Here is the where WWE is continuing to be stupid. You have a champion that is a part timer which means you will not see the belt on TV programing unless the champion’s so called ego allows for it. We have Payback coming up in roughly 1 month and surprise surprise Lesnar is not schedule. I think Braun would be better off entering the feud for the US title than worrying about Reigns or Lesnar right now. I mean,  we are getting Reigns vs. Lesnar at some point. It’s just a question of when and then Reigns will be champ. Yawn.

Kent:  Sure we will, someday, when Braun is not as hot as he was in January, so they missed the mark, as usual.  I have zero interest in Brock being the champ if he’s not going to be on every PPV.  To the people who suggest that this makes Brock’s matches feel more important, that is not apt.  Fans will quickly reject this, as they have in the past.  Hell, I like Brock, but not as world champ.  Braun needs better opponents.

  1.  Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin had a hell of a match on Smackdown.  Is this the match that we should have had at Mania?  Is this showing that Baron and Dean were pissed at being bumped down?

Russ:  I totally believe that the two guys decided to phone it in once they found out they would be fighting on the pre-show.  The match on Smackdown was amazing and if that was shown instead of the crapfest that we got at Mania we might be telling a different story about Mania.  Alas, it went down the way it did and now moving forward I hope we get the quality we’ve come to expect from those two guys.  

Keri:  I don’t blame Corbin or Ambrose for putting on the match that they did at Mania. Honestly, I would have been a little pissed off to be pushed to the pre-show too. With that being said, Smackdown proved that these guys can put on a great match and will continue to do so as this feud develops. Also, it means that this feud is continuing and that too is a good thing.

Kent:  What they said.  Give these guys the respect and the spot that they deserve and they will put on a show.  Simple as that.

  1.  What the hell was the point of Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut?  He did nothing, interacted with nobody.  What gives?

Russ:  This confused me at first, I honestly thought my DVR broke because when Shinsuke came out and then all of a sudden it went to commercial.   Now, I think this was a ploy by WWE to let us know that he is now apart of the Main Roster and we are excited, just listen to the crowd react when they know it is him coming out.  It worked on me I want to know what is coming next and they have effectively got me hooked to watch next Tuesday.    

Keri:   I think I maybe the only one who didn’t mind how this debut was presented. Creative knew their crowd here and they played to it. The crowd that was there already knew who he was, which is why he didn’t have to say a word or do anything. Just arrive, do his thing, and leave. Yes, I know there is the counter argument that says well the casual fan watching at home doesn’t know who Nakamura is and as a result is why they should care about him. That may be true but they know that he is exciting based on crowd reaction and that he is one they should watch. Let’s see what they do with him after this point before we judge. In any case though, this debut made me mark out and I haven’t done that in so long.

Kent:  Shitty booking job.  Just have a stare down with him and Miz.  Or have Miz try to sneak attack and get the Kinshasa.  Give some meaning to him interrupting the Miz.  It’s not difficult.  I am in no way picking on Keri, but I will use her response as an example.  WWE has broke it’s fans.  When fans are just happy to see a guy do nothing, and accept this, and just look forward to next week, the WWE has succeeded in breaking the fans.  We should not be happy with that.  This shouldn’t be accepted.  Wrestling is a simple thing to write, just give us a purpose to care.  Stop accepting the shiny red ball.

  1.  Eric Rowan returned!  Eric Rowan is already jobbing!  Is there any hope for this guy to ever be more than a lackey?

Russ:  No.  I like him, but he just doesn’t have the personality, or at least he hasn’t shown it.  I hope now that he is back and on Smackdown: The land of opportunity we might get to see a different side of him.  However,  I doubt he will ever be more than just Bray’s whipping boy.  

Keri:  I don’t know what it is whether it’s the return of Balor, the return of the Hardys, the debut of the Revival and Nakamura but I’m so much more positive and zen about wrestling right now. With that being said, this was Rowan’s first night back. He is bound to have some ring rust which is probably why they threw him into old storylines. Let’s hold off and see what they do from here before we pass judgement. Provided after next week he stays on Smackdown, we could see great things for him. I mean look what Smackdown creative has done with Corbin, Miz, and Luke Harper (Mania main event botch aside).

Kent:  I like Rowan as a lackey.  It works for him.  He does a great job at it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Bray needs the belt though in order to make me care at the moment.  Luke should also switch brands because he is ready.  Rowan is capable of a good 5 minute match.  This next calendar year, he needs to get to a point where an 8-10 minute match is acceptable, or we can just call  him the Ginger Virgil and wipe our hands of the whole thing.  

  1.  Tye Dillinger got called up.  Is this another Apollo Crews or will he actually get booked properly?

Russ:  I see Apollo Crews written all over this for one simple reason.  WWE has no idea how to handle good upper mid-card guys.  They know how to handle scrubs and Main eventers, but give us a guy who can shine in the mid-card and the WWE loses its mind.  I hope I’m wrong, Dillinger would be a fantastic mid-card guy that everyone can get behind, but WWE has yet to give me hope on this.   

Keri:  Too soon to tell. But I’m excited he’s been called up. I didn’t except that one honestly.

Kent:  How you doin’?  So subtract a huge chunk of Enzo and Cass’ charisma, add about 50% better wrestling acumen, and you have Tye Dillinger.  Have him feud with Dolph, Bray, Miz, or whatever other mid card heel, like a Rusev, and you have potential gold, but they have to stick with it and keep the feud spicy.  Give him a good 4-6 months to really get over with the fans as a quality performer and see what you have.  Otherwise, release him.  Tye and Apollo could be a decent team, just saying.  

Bonus Deuce

  1.  Next week, the rosters are getting shaken up.  So both of the bonus questions are in regards to that.  Name 5 talents that you want to go to RAW, and explain if you feel like it.

Russ:  Charlotte: she needs a fresh start, Rollins:  He can fill most of the hole that AJ will leave,  Big E, I need him to go solo in the worst way!  G & A:  they need a fresh start.  (Kent: English mother fu*^er.  Do you speak it?  Keri can.)

Keri:  Alexa; American Alpha; Cena (Part Timers need to stick together); Apollo Crews; Nikki Bella (cuz she ain’t leaving Cena now)

Kent:  Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Luke Harper, Mickie James, and Breezedango.  I think you need 2 from each, so I should have said 2 women, 2 tag teams, and 2 singles. In this case, I will say Dolph as the 6th guy.  AJ Styles needs to be in title contention, and he won’t get that on RAW.  Dolph can be a top guy very quickly and easily.  He has pretty much taken on all the Smackdown guys, so let’s put him on RAW.  Dolph vs Finn, Sami, Luke, Roman, KO, Joe are all fun matchups.  AA need to be with Kurt and the Revival.  Breezedango is just a fun team.  They could end up as faces, and I think that they would be a fine #3 face team behind New Day and Hardlys.  Alexa cannot be on the same roster as Charlotte.  Her vs Bayley, Mickie, Dana, Emma, and Nia could all be interesting, well not Nia.  Finally, this is the best way to give Luke Harper an opportunity to work with some great heels and have some amazing feuds, and make a star.  That is the most important thing.  RAW needs to make stars, but they need a lesser roster in order to force their hands.  

  1.  Same thing, except you’re naming 5 to go to Smackdown.

Russ:  AJ:  Because when the flagship comes a calling you go!  Alexa:  Same reason as AJ,  American Alpha:  I think they need better talent to shine against and with Revival on RAW we know where the talent lies.  Dolph:  because he is doing soooo much on Smackdown.  

Keri:  Charlotte; New Day; Shining Stars; Sami Zayn; Braun (let’s face it he stays on RAW he is as good as buried)

Kent:  Charlotte, Sasha, Enzo and Cass, Sheasaro, Rusev, and Seth.  Russ, you’re welcome because I just got your boy out of purgatory.  I think Dean is ready for a heel turn this year, and him and Seth could to it all again, but it would be different, and it would work.  Seth vs AJ, Miz, Baron, Bray, Randy, and Shinsuke are all fantastic match ups.  Seth vs Cena is fun too.  Rusev needs to get some shine and I say that maybe Smackdown can help fix that.  Rusev vs Tye could be fun.  Rusev can be heel or face, but Rusev vs Shinsuke, Randy, Seth, Bray, Apollo could all be fun and fresh again.  Charlotte can ruin women’s wrestling on Smackdown, and that’s ok because her and Sasha can play grab ass.  Carmella isn’t championship material quite yet, but she will get there and working with those 2 could help.  Becky can have some matches with them, as can Naomi and Nattie.  I think it works nicely.  Enzo and Cass need to be away from New Day, and I think they need a brand switch and a heel turn.  Smackdown is better suited to handle that.  Them vs Usos or The Ascension can be fun.  Finally, I got Sheasaro into a land where they can have some great matches as singles wrestlers.  I wouldn’t move Sami because my hope is that him and Steph, and therefore HHH, will eventually lead to a big payoff.  He would be buried on Smackdown.  With my trades, if Roman is a tweener or heel, the face side is wide open behind Finn.  Sami is probably #2 and Luke is #3.This would force RAW to get some guys some serious pushes, and they have KO, Roman, Braun, and Joe to work with.  RAW needs to make stars.

Finally, I want to leave you with 2 pretty awesome wrestling related links.  The first one is just a bunch of tweets from wrestlers sending thanks to The Undertaker.


Secondly, here are some backstage pictures from Wrestlemania.  A lot of cool images.  There are a bunch, but I will provide some of my favorite ones, ya know, like the ones that don’t have Cena and Nikki.I saved a bunch, and it barely scratches the surface of what they have.


All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.  Incredible job on the backstage pics WWE.

Wrestlemania 33 Review – The Longest Night in Wrestling Edition

Welcome to our Wrestlemania review.  Keri has a life and school, so she was unable to participate, but Russ and I watched it together, well until he passed out.  Here are our “expert” opinions on this night of mediocrity.

Of course, we also did our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained, where we discuss some of these topics and others, plus do our weekly segments.  It’s like a verbal companion to the blog. Please check us out at facebook.com/9deuceblog , on Twitter @official9deuce, or Instagram at Official9Deuce.  Share this, like this, write us an email with a question at wrestling@9deuce.com.  Thank you.

The Kick Off Show

Neville def Austin Aries to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

Russ:  I thought this was a good match overall.  Not a bad way to introduce Aries to the WWE Universe.  It is just too bad that it was on the pre-show and had commercials in it.  Given a little more time we could have been talking a better grade, but you gotta go with what you got.  I liked the ending great way to give Neville the win.  

Grade: 4.7  

Kent:  This match was good, but it should have been great.  That mid-match commercial break was fucking trash and it really hurt the flow of a match that may have been worthy of a mid to high 5 range, but I simply can’t see me ever wanting to watch this particular match ever again.  Down the road, they will be given more time to showcase their true talents.  For that, I give this a 4.9.  I do believe that the right guy won.  Seriously, shame on you mother fuckers that only like the shiny new red ball instead of rewarding the guy who reinvented himself and became a star.  Aries is a star and will be treated as such soon enough, but Neville deserved the win for tonight.

Mojo Rawley wins the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Russ:  I didn’t watch this match because I was warned by Kent not to bother since I missed it.  Mojo winning is shocking and I hear most the big names got taken out pretty quick.  I’m not going to grade this because I didn’t see it.  

Kent:  This the worst AtGMBR that I have ever seen seen.  The final 3 were a complete fucking joke.  When I am stuck settling on cheering on Jinder Mahal to win, you know that you have severely botched the booking.  Mojo isn’t going to ever be a star, so this push is useless.  If he was such a threat, why does he only wrestle on TV once every 3-4 weeks?  Seriously!  I know Braun was an obvious choice, but it wasn’t a bad choice.  Sami, Dolph, Aiden English, even Big Show would all have worked just fine.  Hell, if you want to push a new guy, Apollo Crews is infinitely better than Mojo Rawley, and I like Mojo.  I don’t hate him, but he is one of the worst wrestlers on the main roster.  He needs time to improve, but since Gronk was there, fucking lunacy reigns supreme.  I give this a 2.9 as it really kept my interest…..and that’s the extent of my positive words.

Dean Ambrose def Baron Corbin to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Russ:  Again, I didn’t bother watching it because Kent said it wasn’t worth it.  I’m a bit ashamed that this match got kicked to the pre-show.  Dean retaining is actually a good thing.  The IC title deserves to be treated better than this!  Baron winning it should have more fanfare.  

Kent:  I told you bastards that Dean was retaining and nobody Bo-lieved me.  Yeah, this story has to continue on and become more personal before the title change means as much.  This match got butt fucked without any lube the past 4 weeks and then got bumped to kickoff show because women wrestling is somehow more important.  To the mentally challenged individuals who think that this was fair in any way, go F yourselves.  The IC title is way more important than a handful of matches on the main card, including both women’s matches, Cena, and HHH’s.  That’s 100% the truth.Revolution my fat f’n ass!  I give this match a 4.5.  It never kicked into that gear that it should have.  Dean didn’t help his cause against people who say that he doesn’t always bring his A game.  Simultaneously, the guy won the Shield triple threat in July and was world champion.  Months later, he’s on the pre-show, and that seems fair, especially based on how shitty that he has been booked at Wrestlemania every single year?  It’s bullshit.  Dean and Baron both deserved better and much like Aries and Neville, I can’t wait for this feud to get the love and time that it deserves.


The Main Card

AJ Styles def Shane McMahon

Russ:  A surprisingly good match.  Is it that surprising though? I mean it’s AJ he puts on good shows that’s what he do.   Shane got to do his stunts thanks to a lengthy ref knock out.  This was one of the best matches of the night I’m still thinking it might be the best.  AJ winning was the right call and this match started the night out right.  

Grade: 6.5 Good beginning and worth a rewatch

Kent:  On last week’s Are You Not Kentertained podcast, Russ asked us if there was any possibility of this being match of the night.  Steve and Keri said no.  Welllll, I’m calling both of them out because even if they don’t consider the match of the night, it’s no worse than third, and in my opinion, the best overall match in a lot of categories.  Shane put on a show and AJ did what AJ does better than anybody else.  The spots all worked and made sense.  The outcome worked.  Some of the moves looked great, and yeah, Shane’s tornado DDT was off a bit, it didn’t ruin the match in any way for me. I think that the tag title match and the Taker match both had their perks, but this was the best match of the night, all things considered.  Alas, I give it a 7.1 as I would watch it again, but I’m not going to jerk myself off to it either.

Kevin Owens def Chris Jericho for the United States Championship.  

Russ:  The ending was obvious, but the journey was worth it!  Loved the entrances especially Jericho’s.  Thought the match was well done for the time given.  Wasn’t anything too special, but I liked the last 5 minutes.  

Grade:  5.3  I’d watch it again, but that’s about all I can say.  

Kent:  We knew who would win, due to Jericho’s impending absence in the very near future.  They failed to add Sami or Joe to the match, which begs the question, what the fuck are they doing with Samoa Joe?  Fucking RAW’s booking time treats semen like mouthwash.  They are so damn inept!  I can’t punish this match for having a predictable ending, because it was still the right ending.  I think having interference could have benefitted this one significantly.  These guys busted their asses, and I would watch it again.  I think that 6.4 is a fair rating.  I wouldn’t suggest that it was nearly as good as the build, but it was a fun match.

Bayley def Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

Russ:  This match was historic!   It’s the first time I heard anything about that.  Alright joking aside I’ll give some credit here.  Entrances were good if not a little long.  Pretty sure Nia was winded by the time she got down to the end of the ramp.  Overall the match wasn’t a sloppy mess as women’s match are wont to be.  I was joking with Kent and said Over/Under on three mistakes.  We only really counted two.  Bayley getting her first clean win was the right call.  Just thought it was odd how fast Sasha got taken out after Nia.  

Grade:  4.1, I’m not watching it again, but this wasn’t a train wreck.  

Kent:  Here’s a match where I had nobody to cheer on.  It was bad, especially early with Nia’s traditional offense of hit a move, wander for 5 seconds, rinse, repeat, and show off major camel toe.  Ewww.  I highly doubt that I will be having any sexy dreams tonight after seeing that V eat up that awful outfit.  The biggest surprise would be that there were no surprises.  They kept this as a very straight and boring match, with no creativity.  Honestly, who the hell enjoyed this one?  I am giving it a 3.7 because some of the moves worked, and they clearly tried hard.

The Hardly Boys defeated Gallows & Anderson, Sheasaro, and Enzo & Cass to win the RAW Tag Team Championships

Russ:  I was a little shocked by the Hardy Boyz being in the contest, but I shouldn’t have been they were there at Axxess on Saturday.  This was a fun match with several good spots. The teams worked well in this one.  While it was good it wasn’t great.  I’m a little surprised they gave the belts to the Hardy’s, but honestly the other teams have done very little lately.  

Grade: 6.1, I’d watch it again on a rainy night with nothing better to do.  

Kent:  While the match was fine, it was all about the spots, but sometimes that shit is fun as hell.  Here’s where I get pissy, and it’s not at what you would expect.  Yes, I loathe the Hardly Boys, there is no fucking Z, stop it.  What bothered me is why would the New Day, you know, the longest reigning tag team champs of all time, not put themselves in the match instead of putting the Hardlys in the match?  It makes no sense.  I also disliked how Matt really didn’t do much during the match but picked up the win.  I like to see a guy who busts their ass to get the win.  I also have to say that match finish and outcome matters in a rating, and for that reason, this gets a lesser rating than Shane vs AJ.  I would give this a 6.4 and feel OK about that.  A different winner and this is a 7 at least.

John Cena and Nikki Bella def The Miz and Maryse

Russ:  I’m not as cynical as Kent so I’ll give a few positive aspects about this match.  Loved how the crowd in the front reacted to The Miz.  It was pretty awesome!  The Miz had some great in-ring psychology in the early goings.  I thought the proposal was cute and glad Nikki might be able to finally get married.  I mean until Kane comes out from underneath the Mat during the ceremony and takes Nikki for himself.  

Grade: 3.9,  Meh.  

Kent:  Russ is right.  Yes, I said it.  Russ is right.  He is not as cynical as me.  He’s also failing to acknowledge the negatives, or perhaps he is just allowing me the privilege to do it.  Yes, I did like Miz’s fan reaction, and Maryse looked good once she got the awful jacket off.   Wow, I’m all out of compliments.  No amount of psychology could prevent this from being awful.  The girls shouldn’t have been in the match, as it took away too much momentum.  They could have just had a cat fight mid match like Paul Heyman would have done, and the crowd would have been super hot for that and given both girls a much bigger reaction than simply getting tagged in.  I know that they felt that this legitimized Nikki and Maryse, but the reality is, the pop and excitement for the mid match cat fight, hell they could have tore into each other outside the ring and get in the ring still fighting.  The crowd would have ate that up.  Instead, this was by far, the worst match of the night, and it had no real redeeming positive qualities.  Giving this match a 2 would indicate that I think that I can say something nice about the actual match, but I simply cannot.  Cena and Miz could never get into a groove, despite being 2 of the best in the business.  This was a shame, and a huge waste of time.  I guess something happened after, but I will not discuss an angle for a fucking reality TV show.  If you think that this shit is real, I have a super premium membership to 9deuce.com and I think you should buy it for a steal at just $92 a year!  You get all sorts of goodies from me, like a back rub, leaked nude selfies, the option to drag my sack across your face, plus you can be a guest on an episode of Are You Not Kentertained.  All of that for $92 is an absolute steal!  I give the match a 1.75, mainly for Maryse’s appearance.

Seth Rollins def HHH

Russ:  This match was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It was right when the fatigue of the show started to kick in.  I rewatched the match to see if it was me or the match itself.  The crowd was pretty dead, but I thought they delivered an entertaining match. I’m glad the Announce team kept telling me this was an unsanctioned match, because I had no clue.  HHH entrance was a lot of fun.  I am shocked that we didn’t see Joe during this match.  In fact no real interference was shocking, but it wouldn’t be much of a run in because everyone would see them coming for 5 minutes down that ramp!  

Grade:  6,  It was fun, did it need to be unsanctioned?  

Kent:  YAWWWWN.  Russ is saying that it’s a 6, but I can assure you, he did not act like it was close to a 6 when he watched it live with me.  The entrances sucked, I felt bad for Stephanie’s ass on that bike.  HHH is showing his age and he refuses to believe that he is not capable of carrying a 20 minute match anymore.  He can be in one, with somebody like an AJ or a healthy Seth, but this didn’t work this year, it didn’t work the year before with Roman.  There is no shame in that because HHH is one of the all time greats, and I mean no disrespect, but the days of 20 minute matches is done, in my opinion.  Seth really did try hard.  He hit some moves that he shouldn’t be doing until 100% healthy.  I am iffy on whether I would rewatch this match, but I will give it a 5.1 and guessing that I could be coerced into it, but if not, I give it a 4.9.  There is no way in fuck this is close to a 6 though.

Randy Orton def Bray Wyatt to win the Smackdown Heavyweight Championship

Russ:  What a shame how far this match came crashing down.  This was boring and the special effects were stupid.  I lost all interest in this match when Luke was taken out.  I think having Luke in this match would have made it a thousand fold better, but I don’t work for the WWE so what do I know.  The crowd and I were bored.  I honestly was falling asleep during this match and after the match is when I left Kent’s.  I was done.  

Grade:  3,  seriously meh.  

Kent:  Ladies and gentlemen, the night’s most disappointing match goes to the match that had us most hyped a mere 4 weeks ago.  SO bad, so gimmicky, so silly.  Hell, I started cheering on the stupid displays for laughs, but my god, this was not good.  It never felt like the match clicked.  It was just a few moves to get to the next spot.  No run ins really killed this.  They really blew it, and I blame the writers and bookers, and Randy didn’t seem all that great, same for Bray.  Damn shame, and I am disappointed.  I don’t know what else to say.  Russ was spot on with the 3 rating.

Brock Lesnar def Goldberg to win the RAW Red Belt

Russ:  I can say a few things about this one.  1.  I’m glad it was short.  2.  They at least attempted something and gave us a few big hits.  3.  Predictable as hell.  4.  This was better than I gave it credit for.  

Grade: 4.1  

Kent:  There is no shame in knowing your limits and still putting on a match that kept your attention.  Goldberg was never going to go out and give us a compelling 10 minute match.  What they did give us was the moves that they could perform and take, spread it out, very hard hitting stuff.  That spot on the outside, the spear was bad ass looking.  Oddly enough, this match was one of my favorites of the night.  I will go so far as to say that I would rather watch this match again instead of the HHH and Seth match.  I am giving this a 5.2.  Why not?  It was a fun match I think.

Naomi def Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Natalya, Becky Lynch, and Mickie James to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship