Looking Back at The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in WWE This Week by Mike Sanchez

The Good

Seth Rollins vs, AJ Styles

I think it goes without saying for many WWE fans that we were all looking forward to this match at Money in the Bank, and it certainly did not disappoint. An online gripe since Wrestlemania I’ve been reading is fans grumbling about the booking of the face champions on both brands, but I can’t understand why some seem determined to moan about minor issues. Rollins should be the Universal Champion on Raw and for a long time. Rollins’ character is fearless and takes on all-comers, hence his challenge to Brock Lesnar after the Royal Rumble. He doesn’t shy away from serious competition and so I was extremely happy that he accepted AJ Styles’ challenge.

The match itself was really good and shows what WWE can offer when they just let two top professionals just go at it in the ring. The loss didn’t hurt Styles at all, in fact, I believe it only enhanced his glowing reputation even further and signaled to Rollins that his run as champion is anything but secure. This match will undoubtedly happen again in the future, but if this week’s offering was anything to go by, then it needs to be saved for big PPVs.

Bayley Cashing in and Becky Losing a Belt

Hear me out, Becky Fans (of which I’m one too).  Since Becky captured both titles at Wrestlemania and became ‘Becky Two Belts’, I worried for her booking going forward. I believe that having her on both shows, defending both titles would lead to an over-saturation of the character and ultimately causing the office to have her lose both belts in quick succession. The scenario we saw on Sunday with her having two title defenses in one night was always going to happen, but I think WWE got this right. With Charlotte Flair’s win just minutes old, Bayley, fresh from her MITB win, cashed in to become a grand-slam women’s champion.

Becky can now carry on as The Man and champion on Raw, where she can continue on her journey free from the additional pressure of carrying the division on her own. The Man is a great gimmick, but it’s unfair on the other talented women to have just one figurehead when there are two belts to be had as well as the Women’s Tag Titles. One person holding multiple belts never lasts long, as it restricts feuds and storylines that revolve around titles. Bayley’s win should be the kick-start her character has needed for a couple of years now. Hopefully, this should give Smackdown some fresh matchups.

 

The Bad

Brock Lesnar winning the Money in the Bank match

Two steps forward, three steps back. Sigh. I was as surprised as anyone when Brock came out to disrupt the men’s Money in the Bank match and end up climbing the ladder to take the briefcase. Then that surprise turned to annoyance – again. Look, I get it that Brock Lesnar is an attraction. I get it that he’s not like anyone else on the roster and I get it that Vince McMahon and co think he should permanently be in the title picture, but to have him win MITB is ridiculous. The whole point of MITB is to give someone an opportunity at a title who wouldn’t normally be given that chance. Young up and comers traditionally take part in the match and the winner is usually someone who has yet to capture a top title, or has rarely held the belt in the careers; think CM Punk, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Braun Strowman, Carmella, Dean Ambrose etc. That being said, both John Cena and Randy Orton have been previous winners, so perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised at Brock’s win.

What riles me most about this is that Brock doesn’t need it. For me, the whole PPV is a moot point now as Bayley has already cashed in and not many fans care if or when Brock cashes in too.  He will do it when the champ is vulnerable and easily pick up the win, leading us to even more weeks with an absent champion who only turns up when WWE see fit to give him a big paycheck. WWE don’t appear to have learned their lesson with Brock and there seems to be an obsession with him being champion. Not all wrestlers need the gold to be popular or have great matches. Lesnar is firmly in the ‘veteran’ category when it comes to WWE – he turns 42 in July – and has had a stellar career, but I personally believe MITB should be reserved for younger stars. I could be wrong, but that’s just my opinion.

Shane McMahon’s never ending feud with The Miz

Can we stop this now? Please?

 

The Ugly

The 24/7 Championship

They wheeled out poor Mick Foley for this, didn’t they? No amount of cheap pops from the Hardcore Legend could get this over. I like that WWE is trying out new things, as it’s important to continue evolving, especially with AEW’s debut on TV right around the corner, but the introduction of the hideous 24/7 title is just a re-hash of the Hardcore Title from the Attitude Era. Appearance aside, I’m genuinely interested as to where WWE is going with this. Is it purely for the lower to mid-card talent to fight over, and will be part of comedic storylines going forward? Is it destined to be held and lost by R-Truth multiple times in 2019 to set a new record for most title wins in WWE?

I would have preferred a title that is defended every week on TV, much like the United States Title open challenges, but I suppose a belt that gives some of the talent screen time and feuds that they normally wouldn’t have is a good thing. Time will tell.

So what do you think? Was it a good week overall for WWE or should they be taking their long-term planning more seriously considering lots of fans will be tuning in to AEW to see what they have to offer? What are your thoughts on the new 24/7 Championship? I’d love to hear them. As always, thanks for reading.

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‘Straight Up Steve Austin’ Set to Premiere in August on the USA Network

The USA Network has announced the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin in a new talk show. Straight Up Steve Austin is set to premiere on Monday, August 12 2019, following Monday Night Raw.

The network posted a press release on May 23, describing the format of the new show.

In each episode, Austin and a celebrity guest swap stories about their lives and careers during one-of-a-kind custom-tailored adventures in different cities across America. In this unique interview format, there’s no studio, no couch and no cue cards — just a straight-up good time and some good old-fashioned American fun. 

Steve Austin remans one of the most popular WWE legends of all time, but he has left the pro wrestling business behind. This was perhaps not what his fans expected, as many have hoped to see The Texas Rattlesnake back in Vince McMahon’s company at some point.

But Austin has remained content to stay on the outside and this new show is further proof of that. Of course it’s always possible that Stone Cold could show up on Raw to promote his latest project in the very near future.

The post ‘Straight Up Steve Austin’ Set to Premiere in August on the USA Network appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

Jim Ross Talks AEW’s ‘Double or Nothing’, Problems with WWE’s Commentary, More

Jim Ross recently spoke to the New York Post on a variety of pro wrestling topics. The biggest topic was AEW’s upcoming Double or Nothing event, set to take place on Saturday, May 25.

It’s the company’s first ever pay-per-view and Ross will be on commentary for the big night. He will be joined by Alex Marvez and former PWG commentator, Excalibur. JR reveled that the trio has been gaining some chemistry by calling practice shows in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ross is convinced that AEW’s first commentary team will be successful at Double or Nothing and beyond.

“We’re going to be fine, I think,” Ross said. “It may be rocky to get rolling, but shoot, by the time that show’s over and we call, which I assume will be [Chris] Jericho and [Kenny] Omega, if we ain’t rocking and rolling, that’s our fault.”

Ross also talked about WWE’s commentary style, which has been known to make fans tune out rather than draw them in.

“They’re not looking for play-by-play people, they’re looking for people who can narrate and give backstory,” Ross said. “And it’s very annoying for a wrestling fan. And maybe, someday, everybody will get there. If you’re talking about something totally different than what I’m seeing there is invariably a disconnect.”

JR is regarded by many pro wrestling fans as perhaps the best commentator of all time, so his signing with AEW definitely made the headlines. Ross was looking for a challenge and he very much wanted to “get back in the game.”

That’s exactly what he’s doing alongside AEW founders Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. As the voice of AEW, Jim Ross will be on the table for the company’s weekly programming, which is expected to begin this fall on TNT.

The post Jim Ross Talks AEW’s ‘Double or Nothing’, Problems with WWE’s Commentary, More appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

WATCH: R-Truth Experiencing Paranoia Thanks to the WWE 24/7 Title

R-Truth is one extremely paranoid individual. While that statement correctly describes his character, it’s especially true now thanks to WWE’s new 24/7 Championship.

The title was introduced by WWE legend Mick Foley on the May 20 edition of Monday Night Raw. The new championship is exactly what its name suggests and was immediately up for grabs on the program. Titus O’Neil was the first titleholder, then it went to Robert Roode and finally to R-Truth.

Truth, who is typically the most paranoid Superstar on the roster, is now being forced to stay on guard for any challengers who may show up at his door. The 24/7 champ Tweeted from his doctor’s office, where he was seeking help for his stress.

All of this is classic R-Truth of course, as the veteran star is once again embracing the new role he’s been given. Truth is always on his game; he’s funny, he’s quick and most importantly, he’s believable. A good portion of fans likely believe that he is as clueless as he pretends to be and that’s a testament to just how good he is.

With any luck, R-Truth will be able to finally get some rest after not sleeping for “24/7 hours because of the 24-hour Mick Foley rule thingamajig”

The new championship obviously has its share of critics. But if the belt remains with R-Truth, then at least the title situation will be entertaining and fun to watch.

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