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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.