The Wrestling 9 Deuce – December 11 & 12, 2017 – Going Home With The Clash

This week and for the foreseeable future, we are trying a different format.  We know that this blog gets very redundant.  In an effort to ensure varying perspectives, one of us will be judging the other 2 people’s response.  This week, that task fell on Kent.  Let us know if this format works better or if it’s worse.  We are never going to be complacent.  We look forward to trying to be a fun, must read wrestling blog, so share your opinion.  This week, we had a plethora of good matches including Sami vs Randy, Roman vs Jordan, The Shie vs Sheasaro, the second Cruiserweight 4 way, Rusev Day vs New Day, Paige vs Sasha, and even the Asuka vs Alicia match.  We talked about this, plus much more on this week’s episode of Are You Not Kentertained which you can also subscribe to on iTunes.

Also, Keri and Kent did a preview for Clash of Champions.

2017 Clash of Champions Preview

The 9

  1.  Should WWE have tried to make a star by putting the belt on Cesaro tonight?

Russ:  Cesaro is already a star, that much is obvious.  However, he isn’t a star in the same vein as John Cena / Randy / or even Roman.  Cesaro put on an amazing match against Roman for the IC championship.  So amazing that the crowd was erupting for every move toward the end. Given the match and the atmosphere I could see that if WWE had pulled the trigger and given Cesaro the belt here it could have been the start of a push to elevate him into the top tier of stardom that we all want him to have.  However, I’m going to say that WWE made the right call here.  Cesaro is already Tag Champion and having both of these two particular belts at the same time would hurt both belts.  It would be very difficult for Cesaro to raise The Bar (see what I did there.)  for the Tag Championship while trying to maintain the IC championship.  Sure, Cesaro is the kind of guy that I think has the best opportunity to do both, but I have a feeling that The Bar only has a limited time left and the IC title and possibly the RAW title are both in his future and the opportunity to become a mega star is still there.  

Keri:  Something is bothering me about this question. We act like Cesaro is not a star but he is a star. He is in a top tier level feud with top tier guys. He’s one half of the tag team champs and he is over with the crowd. He’s already a made “star”.  I think the question that should be asked here is should Cesaro have been given an opportunity for a singles title run? In answer to that question, I say yes. Yes, he should have been given the opportunity but WWE has had multiple opportunities to give him a singles title run over the past few years and they have failed to do so. Let’s keep in mind that Cesaro’s last singles title run was back in 2012 to 2013 when he held the US title for 239 days. WWE booking has had over 4 years to give him another opportunity and they haven’t so I think at this point we should just appreciate that at least he is a star in the eyes of Creative and at least holds one of the belts (for now).

Kent:  I award zero points.  Both of you seem to think that Cesaro is a star.  He’s not a made star.  Made stars get great singles matches on PPV.   Last year Sheamus and Cesaro had their last real singles feud.  That actually was at last year’s Clash of Champions.  Yes, it accomplished some cool shit, but that is really missing the point.  CAN WWE put Cesaro in a singles match on PPV in a meaningful way?  I don’t know.  They haven’t shown a willingness to.  You can’t say that about any of the WWE’s actual stars.  Stars gets singles opportunities.  Sorry, zero points.

  1.   Honestly, does it appear to you that WWE just said screw it, let’s have the other black guy in the 205 division win the match after Rich Swann’s arrest?  This isn’t me insulting Cedric’s achievements, simply an observation.

Russ:   It would seem like that, but let’s take a look at who our faces are on 205 that we see on a regular basis.  These faces are: Mustafa, Cedric, and until this week Rich.  Honestly,  I think everyone else on 205 is a heel.  It seems 205 has done a lot to build up heels, but is completely lacking superior faces.  So now that it could only have been Mustafa and Cedric it is clear who you had to push.  Cedric is the better more deserving talent.  This had nothing to do with race even though it totally looks like that.  

Keri:  I don’t think race played a role at all. Perhaps, WWE is taking a chance on Cedric to see what he can do in the title picture. The only problem is it doesn’t matter what Cedric does in the title picture. He is cannon fodder for what will be an eventual Enzo and Gulak feud. Yes that is where we are heading folks, Enzo promos, Nia making googly eyes at Enzo, and powerpoint presentations. WWE creative, you do not entertain me.

Kent:  Keri wins this one by virtue of not exposing herself for not know the faces on 205.  Akira Tozawa says hello to Russ.  I don’t think it was race related, but there could be a perception, and I felt the need to ask it.  Rich wasn’t going to get the belt, and as Keri accurately points out, cedric is simply cannon fodder from what they have provided us in the story.  Keri gets a point.

  1.  Well it appears that the Braun and Kane feud will go on until Royal Rumble at least.  If it ends up a triangle match with Brock Lesnar, will it be any good?

Russ:   Let’s be clear about this right now.  Royal Rumble will be a triple threat match.  Braun is super over with the fans (Check!).  WWE wants to keep him strong to make him look like an unmatchable monster (Double Check!).  These are facts.  This next fact is what ties the whole thing together.  Brock isn’t losing the belt until WrestleMania (Triple Check!). You gotta make a star out of Roman don’t you?  What better way to do that by giving him the Brock Rub.  I mean he definitely needs it!  So how does WWE keep Braun strong while competing against Brock?  You don’t give him the win, that makes too much sense.  No, you simply put in a third competitor who can eat the pin for you because nobody cares about that competitor.  That is what Kane is there to do.  As for the match being any good?  I doubt it.  Kane has lost several steps as a competitor and Brock only knows suplexes as moves.  

Keri:  So, I’m going to answer this question with a question. What is the point of adding Brock to this feud if the outcome is not to put over Braun? Braun, after what will be a triple threat match at Rumble, should be holding the title. That is the only way this match makes any sense. But alas, that is not going to happen. Braun is going to job to two part timers and we are going to get Roman vs. Brock at Mania (after Roman wins the Rumble yet again) and we are going to have to deal with it whether we like it or not. Well WWE, since this is where I know that this is your inevitable end game is heading, I think I’m not going to waste 7 hours of my life to watch predictable matches and poorly done feuds and just skip watching Mania all together this year. You ok with that? Ok good. Glad we have that sorted out.

Kent: To answer Keri’s questions, girl you crazy.  This isn’t to put Braun over.  He’s not Samoan.  It’s to put over Brock to put over Roman.  Remember our friends at UNcreative.  With all of your questions out of the way, I present to you this theory.  Roman isn’t winning the Rumble, he just gets whatever he wants anyways.  WWE is going to listen to me for once.  I said the best Mania main event would be Brock vs Roman vs Braun.  That still stands.  Either Roman and Braun win the Rumble, or they just keep fighting and include Brock.  Either way, it accomplishes the end goal.  Braun is winning at Rumble by pinning Kane.  The Brock rub happens at Mania. Since Keri doesn’t want to watch the PPV that kinda is a huge deal in what we do, I award Russ the point.

  1.   We finally had a bit of a payoff with the Absolution and Asuka thing.  Give me your thoughts on that.  Also, what is happening with Alexa?  She came in and looked very tentative and had one good slap on Sonya.

Russ:   This was very underwhelming.  I’ll start positive.  I do like how Asuka gave no shits and kept attacking until she “Absolut”ely had no chance.  That is about all I can say for the positive. The rest of the brawl was completely forgettable.    Now for a rant.  Holy balls RAW has completely buried their WWE women’s champion Alexa Bliss.  For almost a year on Smackdown and a good 2-3 months on RAW she was the best thing going for the women.  So how do you treat her?  By giving her interesting angles and stories?  Have her as a prominent center piece for the rest of the women’s division?  HAHA, oh you silly goose those things make sense!  No, you lose her in the shuffle and do just about fuck all with her.  What a waster of Bliss’s talent.  

Keri:  This segment was ok. It was about time someone stood up to Absolution. With that said, that brawl was ugly. No one really stood out. Not even Asuka. As for Alexa, I’m ashamed at what has happened to her title reign as well as to her. She is being booked as very weak and the thing is she is not weak. Stupid Creative and their crappy booking. They had what three great weeks of women’s storylines on RAW and now this crap. And you all wonder why barely watch this stuff now.

Kent:  OK, so no real new info here. No points.

  1.  Pick a RAW topic that hasn’t been discussed and get yourself some points.  You got Fatt Hardy vs Bray promo, Jordan, Joe, Gallows The Good Brothers, Dana with Titus Worldwide, Enzo and Nia, Elias disappearance, etc.    You can be funny, entertaining, insightful.  Make this the thing that the fans reading will be thinking about when they have closed this page or tab.

Russ:  Instead of doing all the things that Kent said I should do for this question I’m instead going to be a bit controversial.  I’m going to talk about Jason Jordan here.  He is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts on RAW.  When he first came over to RAW in what can be argued as one of the stupidest “Angles” thrown at us this year (and there were a lot of terrible “Kurts” this year, I’m looking at you Kane.)  He was terrible on the mic and for the most part unproven as a singles competitor.  Basically, he sucked!  However,  instead of WWE doing what it does best, which is burn through its load quicker than Kent eating 10 Slim Jims and then forget it ever happened.  Creative decided to roll with the punches and turn this thing around.  The crowd hated Jordan, with good reason,  even when it was apparent that he did have in ring talent.  He fought top stars in some very good matches, even though he ended up losing all of them.  Creative decided that instead of forcing him down our throats as a face they slowly turned him into a tweener.  Now he is in the midst of the best story going on RAW.  I honestly look forward to seeing where his story is going now.  Good for WWE not killing this talent and instead working on the “Angle” until the mold fit him better and produced a superior story!  

Keri:  Yea! It’s time for me to go on a rant that will hopefully get me points. It may not because it involves me ranting about former members of the Bullet Club. Yes, readers, I’m going to go on a rant about the treatment of Balor and Gallows and Anderson.  First, let’s talk Finn Balor. We are talking about a guy who for one day (due to injury) held the Universal Championship and was the first one to hold the title. We are also talking about a guy who had all the buzz in the world when he arrived in NXT and debuted on the main roster. And now, he’s in a feud with the lackeys of the Miztourage. The guy is talented in the ring and it seems like because he doesn’t fit some big man ideal (i.e. Cena, Roman, Brock, Braun, etc.) he is not worthy of a push.  Now onto the other two former members of the Bullet Club. Yes I’m talking about Anderson and Gallows. We have one of the best tag teams in the WWE  (if not in all of wrestling) who again debuted strong and had a short tag team title run who are now regulated to Main Event and backstage RAW segments with talent that would be considered, well jobbers. In whose warped world is Anderson and Gallows considered jobbers? Oh yeah, WWE creatives world that’s who. I tell you if I was a conspiracy theorist I would almost think there was a conspiracy at play here.  Why you ask? Because, it seems that the staged BC invasion this past summer has had repercussions for the former members (and the founder and first leader) of the Bullet Club not named AJ Styles. Just look at what has happened since then with all three individuals. It makes you wonder how petty WWE really is, don’t it?

Kent:  Soooo, fortunately Russ can read well and noticed the second option I provided, Jordan, and then continued to think, fuck Kent, he didn’t say this.  This is a Russ original.  Kudos to you Russ.  Keri, well she stayed away from the puns, thank you.  While I am torn on Finn as a top guy, he’s certainly out of my top 10 male performers, he can serve a purpose and they are missing the boat on him and merchandising.  As for G & A, they need to be back with AJ to beat people up.  You both bring up compelling thoughts, but one of you can read better than the other.  Keri gets the point, and yes, WWE can be that petty.  I have to say, I am not into the in’s and out’s of major companies, but I follow WWE.  For such a huge company, they seemingly do a lot of petty shit and it’s really insufferable at times.  No, we aren’t always privy to the why, but we make educated assumptions, and we have to be correct a percentage of times.  It’s all stupid bullshit and it’s infuriating.  It’s like, why have this company if you’re going to act this way.  Talking about the treatment of Finn, Bray, Luke, G&A, the Titus thing, Mauro’s ordeal, hell go back even to CM Punk, or how WWE treated JR, and there’s a long ass list of others.  It’s disheartening.

  1.  Is the Smackdown Tag Team division currently the strongest division in WWE?

Russ:  Yes.  It is so evident that I don’t even have to bring up any other examples, but I will.  Hey RAW and Smackdown how are those Heavyweight Division going for you?  Are your top belts defended on a monthly basis?  Are they the most intriguing stories going?  Nah, I’m sure they are fine!  How about those women’s divisions?  Oh, are you just sitting on them waiting for the 4 whoreswomen of MMA to come?  Yea, thats a good idea!  I mean we all want to see these 4 women come in because we care about them soooooo much!  Finally, RAW’s tag division is full of teams that are so worthy of the belts! I mean you have… Shesaro and The Shie…. And….Shesaro!  Yea!  Oh, I forgot 205!  So did everyone else!  

Keri:  Yes it is. Well, it’s the only one that Creative has taken any time to book properly.  There are two things Smackdown is attempting to book very well at the moment, the tag division and the SamiKO storyline. Everything else is well thrown together sloppily and it is very obvious to everyone watching.

Kent:  Tht was a trick question and I had hoped one of you would refute it.  The real answer is the IC Championship scene.  That division is stacked because you rarely have anybody competing for the red belt, so that division is Brock/Braun/Kane.  Just saying.  No points.

  1.  Which championship match at Clash of Champions has the least momentum going for it heading into Sunday?  I’m honestly unsure, so I am asking you to convince me that you’re right.

Russ:  It would seem that the easy answer would be to go with the Women’s championship.  We all loathe Charlotte and even as lackluster as everything else is for this Clash of Champions Kent will watch all of the matches save for this one.  Still with the Riott Squad being involved and getting a lot of TV time I can’t say that this has the least momentum.  I’m going to give it to the WWE Championship.  Ever since Jinder won the belt way back in the summer it has felt like the belt has lost a lot of its shine.  Terrible feuds and matches have ground all the momentum the belt has to a halt.  Also, it is the most important belt in the WWE and yet hasn’t been in many Main Events.  Charlotte is bad, but her belt was never that prominent to begin with.  AJ Styles, who we can argue is the best in ring performer right now, has the belt right now and because of who he is going up against (Jinder) I still feel like who gives a shit!  

Keri:  The women’s championship match. Here is why, the storyline since Survivor Series as been about the Riott Squad and its feud with the rest of the women’s division. You know the same thing that is happening on RAW. This match isn’t about the champ and the number one contender for the title and Creative has done little convince me otherwise. In addition to that, we all know Charlotte is retaining so why are we bothering with a rematch? Well, other than the obvious rematch clause that is.

Kent:  Well after reading Russ’ response, I was like, good for Russ getting the points.  Then Keri brought it and did a hell of a job.  I will give both of you a point, but I give Russ an additional point.  My rationale is simple, whether you agree with it or not.  Charlotte has been featured in a lot of matches lately, against legit competition.  AJ….well he has not.  On top of that, that’s supposed to be the THE belt.  Neither of you are wrong though.

  1.  Which match will be better on Sunday: Zack vs Mojo or Breezedango vs Bludgeon Bros?

Russ:  I think it will be decided by what you are looking for more.  Entertainment or a decent match.  Entertainment won’t get much better than Breezedango vs Bludgeon Bros.  I’m not sure if they are going to be goofy or not, but these guys are always entertaining.  Match wise this will end up being a squash in the favor of the Bludgeon Bros and not much will go into the match itself.  On the other hand Zack vs Mojo should be a better match, but the entertainment from this match will be minimal because WWE dropped the ball on this feud and should have been done about 4 to 5 months ago.  I’m going with Breezedango vs Bludgeon Bros simply because Luke is in this match.  

Keri:  I’m picking the Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezedango for two reasons. One, so I can talk about the squealing jobber on Smackdown. That moment was too funny. I haven’t laughed that hard at something on WWE programing in a long time. I’ve cried or gotten angry but haven’t laughed. Second, so I can ask a question. What sort of sound do you think either Rowan or Harper is going to get out of Breezedango when the slam one of them on the mat. (Kent: Enjoy this bit.)

http://www.wwe.com/videos/colin-delaney-reflects-on-a-painful-night-wwecom-exclusive-dec-12-2017

Kent:  Keri brought up the squeal.  That’s what I was hoping for from someone.  Point to Keri.  

  1.  As the SamiKO story progresses, I think it’s fair to say that there may be a face or heel turn along the way for one, or several of the players involved.  This is a 3 part questions and they go hand in hand, but please answer them on their own. 1.  What percent chance is there of Shinsuke turning heel here?  2.  Will Shinsuke continue to stay on Shane’s side or will he switch to Daniel’s by the time Wrestlemania rolls around?  3.  Finally, do you feel that this is WWE’s way of trying to keep Daniel Bryan once his contract is up?

Russ:  And here we go.  1.  I would say the percentage of Shinsuke turning is about 65%.  There is money in Shinsuke vs AJ and I have a feeling that we will be seeing that soon.  AJ needs a great opponent heading into Mania and Shinsuke would be awesome.  WWE has teased this already and it went over well.  Plus Shinsuke as a heel would be a lot of fun!  The only reason I don’t make this higher is because Shinsuke can’t communicate well in english and heels need to be able to communicate well.  2.  This is a tough one, but I say he sticks with Shane.  Shinsuke needs a good mouthpiece if he is going to go heel and Shane is that guy. It feels like Shane has been heading toward a heel turn throughout all of this.  While that doesn’t mean it will actually happen, it does make a lot of sense. Finally,  Shane and Shinsuke think about it… both their names start with Sh.  You know what else starts with S and H?  Shiny!  As in Shiny new title for Shinsuke!  3. 100%  No,  I think Bryan is a huge star with the WWE so WWE is trying to keep him front and center because he is a draw.  Letting him wrestle will be their way of keeping Daniel when his contract is up.  

Keri:  Here are my answers in numerical order: 1. There is a 50/50 chance we get a heel turn out of Shinsuke here. And the reason I say this is one reason and one reason only he is the illogical variable here. He’s the person that was added to this feud that doesn’t really belong in the feud. Therefore, it would make sense that he would turn on Orton and join SamiKO. Will it happen? Probably not Creative is not that, well Creative. 2. He will switch to Bryan’s side. All of the NXT call-ups on Smackdown have been booked like crap. And you know what else they have in common, they are all former Indy guys. Bryan, Sami, KO, Nakamura, and I’m going to add Roode in here as well all came from the Indy scene and I’m really starting to like the idea of an Indy stable or faction. I see them joining up with Bryan as part of any internal conflict within the Smackdown Roster against Shane. 3. 100% yes. WWE knows that Bryan has been cleared by outside doctors to wrestle. They also know that he wants to wrestle and has Brie’s blessing to wrestle. They also know that ROH and NJPW are increasing in popularity with the hardcore fans right now and they can’t afford to lose Bryan to either promotion. Which means that they need to put him in a storyline that is interesting enough and also gives him a slight chance of wrestling again in order to make sure that he doesn’t jump ship. Because if they don’t, there is a very good chance Bryan may jump ship.

Kent:  1. I was going to award the point to whoever gave me the highest percentage.  Point o Russ.  2.  I think that the stable is happening, I already went in depth about it a few weeks ago for Survivor Series.  With that being said, I don’t think Shinsuke is going to be part of that stable.  I think AJ vs Shinsuke as a main event at Mania would satisfy all of us, no matter how bitter we are.  I award Russ the point.  3. Looking at Keri’s response, I fear I have created a wrestling monster.  I’m curious to see just how hard she can go.  I’m awarding Keri 2 points because in the world of pro wrestling, the best heels are the ones that believe their own bullshit.  They have rationalized their perspective.  Keri is living the dream as the heel-ish smark.  Keri wins because I don’t care and this gimmick of ours sucks.  We’re going to try something new next week folks.  We will figure this out…I hope.

Bonus Deuce

  1. Rate RAW

Russ:  Great matches again, intriguing stories, and Nia’s hair tell me that this week’s RAW once again delivered the goods.  Sure there was some garbage and it did feel like a bit of a retread from last week, but it is still better than it has been.  Rating: 6.3  

Keri:  It seems that this week’s RAW was the same as last week with slightly different matchups. Overall I would say average since it seems that nothing was really furthered and if I read last week’s results I would probably have a good idea of what happened this week. Rating: 5

Kent:  I am going to save everybody time.  Keri’s answers represents my thoughts as well for RAW.

  1.  Rate Smackdown

Russ:  Remember when WWE used to put on must see go home shows?  Yea it seems like ages ago.  Sigh… how do you leave Fashion Files off of TV the week before the PPV.  Fashion Files is the best thing going for Smackdown and they put the match announcement and segment on Facebook? WTF WWE?  Rating:  3  

Keri:  Another meh go home show. I rate it with a 3.5 (I’m adding a half point because of squealing guy).

Kent:  Why do WWE go home shows suck such redonculous hairy nutsack?  WHY?  I don’t get it!  I was bored with 2 exceptions.  The tag team stuff and the SamiKO stuff.  Props to Byron Saxton for trying to add something to his commentary.  3.7

 

Final Thoughts

Russ:  The fact that there is a “Highway” to Hell and only a “Staircase” to Heaven says a lot about the anticipated traffic to each.  Think about that instead of wrestling!  

Keri:  Check out my new segment on this week’s podcast, Keri’s Indy Corner. In this new segment I will take you through the fallout from this past Monday’s World Tag League final from Japan, my thoughts on the recent developments in the build for Wrestle Kingdom 12, and also my preview of this weekend’s ROH Final Battle.  Also, speaking of WK12, we are three weeks away from the big show in the Tokyo Dome and three weeks away from Jericho vs. Omega (Sorry Naito and Okada fans but this is now your WK12 main event). As you all know, I was excited for this matchup when it was initially announced. And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say something about the events of earlier this week on the blog. The build for this match now has everything. What started as simple trash talking on twitter and a video challenge has now escalated very quickly. Now we have surprise appearances, blood, tables and chairs being thrown, and press conference brawls. This is how you should build a match. I just wish WWE was taking notes because this is really how it should be done (and I believe was at one point in time). January 4th cannot come fast enough for this fan.

Kent:  We’re still trying to find a happy medium here for you readers.  I’d rather just be upfront and say that I am fully aware that our answers are just blending together.  That’s what happens when you sink yourself this deep into a fandom.  I’m sure that it gets tiring reading Russell’s response, then reading Keri’s, and by the time you get to mine, you are wondering, why did I read the same thing twice and why is Kent saying that Russ stole his answers.  You see, we are supposed to not read each other’s answers until we write our own.  We have become so in sync mentally with what we want, you are getting similar responses.  I know that is boring.  Please have some patience as we try to redefine what a wrestling blog can be without the redundancy.  We want this to be a place where you can get unique insight.  We’re working on this.

 


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