At the recent Clash of Champions PPV, the still new tag team of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler beat Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. It capped what was a whirlwind couple of weeks for the pairing, having last been seen running around backstage chasing the […]
Changes are coming to WWE Raw and Smackdown within a few weeks. This coming Monday’s Raw on September 23 in San Francisco and Smackdown on September 24 also in San Francisco are the last two episodes of the shows before the new TV contracts begin. As I’m sure you know by now, Raw is staying on USA Network on Monday nights while Smackdown moves to Friday on Fox.
It is being reported today by the @Wrestlevotes Twitter account that changes are coming to the sets of Raw and Smackdown.
This coming week of TV is the final week with the current entrance stage. Both RAW & SmackDown are getting an updated, fresh feeling set.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) September 21, 2019
In some follow-up tweets answering fan questions, Wrestlevotes noted that there will be different looks for Raw and Smackdown. Considering WWE is getting over $500 million per year for the two shows, they certainly have money to spend to come up with something creative for the designs.
The new look Raw will debut on September 30 for what WWE is calling a “season premiere” episode of Raw even though they don’t have seasons. As we reported two days ago, Brock Lesnar will be on hand for that.
— Talking Stick Resort Arena (@TSRarena) September 18, 2019
As for Smackdown, the first show with the new look set is Friday, October 4 in Los Angeles and it airs on Fox with Kofi Kingston defending the WWE Title against Brock Lesnar. That episode will also be a Smackdown 20-Year Anniversary show featuring legends from the past.
What do the new set designs look like? We don’t know. Wait nine days and we’ll see it together.
In other WWE news, EC3 held the WWE 24/7 Title briefly this week when he defeated R-Truth, but that title reign didn’t last very long. Here’s more info from WWE.com:
The 24/7 Champion is always on the clock; even when traveling across time zones.
For a brief moment, EC3 became 24/7 Champion during the WWE Live event in Manila. R-Truth wasn’t leaving the Philippines empty-handed and immediately pinned EC3 to reclaim his precious championship. The two Superstars would then continue to go back and forth when EC3 once again captured the title in Shanghai, only for R-Truth to yet again defeat him to reclaim it.
That means R-Truth is an 18-time 24/7 Champion and EC3 is a 3-time 24/7 Champion.
There are no videos posted of the title changes yet, but WWE might post something on their Youtube and social media soon.
The post WWE News: Final Week for Current Raw/Smackdown Stage, 24/7 Title Changes at Live Events in Asia appeared first on TJR Wrestling.
There is nothing better than a good trio or stable. Simply mentioning these words bring back immediate flashbacks to memorable groups like the NWO or DX. How could anyone forget the formation of the NWO at Bash of the Beach 1996? Or DX invading Nitro during the Monday Night Wars? Groups can help create everlasting moments like these that will never be forgotten. Sometimes, a group is created to provide opportunities for wrestlers, allowing each member to shine in their own role. The Shield gave opportunities for Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to shine, whilst being able to hide the shortcomings of a developing Roman Reigns and make him look like a star. Fans love groups, which is why it makes it all the more frustrating when they fail through poor bookings.
Tragically but perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s more common to find a poorly booked group than one that has reached its full potential. For every group like DX, there is the Nexus. For every trio like The Shield, there is The Straight Edge Society. What has often seemed like straightforward booking paths, have been roadblocked by mindboggling decisions that have often permanently derailed a group’s momentum. Usually, it involves matches, when one side should’ve clearly been booked to pick up a victory and continue gaining momentum. Other times, a group just isn’t featured prominently enough to make an impact. Whilst the WWE has had some success this decade with groups like The Undisputed Era, The Shield and The New Day, there have been far more groups with sky high potential that have faltered.
When you look at missed opportunities and poor booking of stables in the WWE, The Nexus stand out as one of the biggest examples of WWE misbooking in general. Back in 2010, SuperCena syndrome was still running deep through the WWE. So when 8 NXT rookies led by Wade Barrett jumped the barricade in June 2010 and launched a sickening assault on John Cena, it created a lot of buzz. They also attacked the ring announcer (that led to Daniel Bryan being fired for a few months), commentators and the timekeeper whilst tearing the ring to shreds. They followed this up with more attacks on the WWE roster, Hall of Famers, Bret Hart and even Vince McMahon. In a time when it seemed like WWE was struggling to create new stars, with the help of one of the hottest angles in WWE history, it seemed like The Nexus were destined for stardom.
It looked like the angle couldn’t fail. After months of tormenting members of the roster, Cena formed a team to take on The Nexus at Summerslam 2010 in a 7 on 7 match. With Team WWE featuring highly respected main eventers like Cena, Chris Jericho, Edge and a legend in Bret Hart, everything was set up for The Nexus to gain major credibility by defeating some of the WWE’s top stars in their first test as a team. Until they didn’t. Originally booked to defeat Team WWE, a late push from Cena would involve changing the match finish, instead having Cena overcome a 2-on-1 disadvantage to eliminate Justin Gabriel and Barrett to win the match for Team WWE. Despite heavy protests backstage from The Nexus and Jericho and Edge, the change was made and The Nexus failed in their first major match on the WWE roster.
This would arguably be the beginning of the end for The Nexus. Many members would leave and join, with Cena joining the group after being beaten by Barrett due to outside interference from new members Husky Harris (Bray Wyatt) and Michael McGillicutty (Curtis Axel). Barrett would fail in three title matches on pay-per view, before “firing” Cena after he refused to cheat as the guest referee in Barrett’s match against WWE Champion Randy Orton at Survivor Series 2010. Cena began to harass members of The Nexus, regularly interfering in their matches despite being fired, forcing Barrett to give Cena his job back. Barrett would later lose to Cena at TLC, before Barrett himself was then exiled from the group by CM Punk, with Punk renaming the group “The New Nexus”. This officially ended the tenure of the original Nexus, with some remaining in the new group whilst others joined “The Corre” on Smackdown with Barrett. That group didn’t have much success either.
Where did it all go wrong? How did WWE manage to botch one of the hottest angles in modern memory and halt the pushes of 8 young and upcoming stars? The Nexus simply shouldn’t have lost as much as they did, especially not the big matches. As much as The Nexus won, they never quite got over losing that match at Summerslam. Their leader Barrett couldn’t even gain a clean singles win over Cena.
The Nexus should’ve been a dominating force that ran all the way up to Wrestlemania and potentially beyond. Instead, most of the original Nexus had left the group by the start of 2011. Today, only two of the original Nexus remain with the WWE in a wrestling capacity, Daniel Bryan and Heath Slater. WWE’s misbooking of The Nexus not only caused the stable to fail, but also prevented the making of 8 potential stars in the process. Had The Nexus succeeded, it’s likely that the WWE could’ve created a highly memorable program and elevated the 8 members of Nexus to a position in which most would still be with the company today.
The Straight Edge Society
Coming off heated rivalries with Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in the second half of 2009, CM Punk’s career was at a bit of a crossroads. Whilst the matches he had wrestled with Jeff Hardy were given critical acclaim, Punk’s feud with The Undertaker had a different effect. Punk’s main event status was damaged considerably as he was made to look like a chump in all of his matches with The Deadman. Punk at best could only manage a meek “submission” victory over Taker in an effort to repeat the Montreal Screwjob again at Breaking Point 2009. This would lead to a rematch inside the cell at Hell in a Cell 2009, in which Taker almost squashed Punk, taking his World Title and leaving him directionless.
In danger of being lost in the shuffle, Punk smartly chose to reinvent himself. He began leaning even more into the straight-edge aspects of his persona, turning himself into a cult figure who proclaimed he needed to “save” the fans from themselves. Punk recruited Luke Gallows, known as Festus at the time, to his cause, before beginning to shave the heads of fans in attendance at WWE shows. At this point, Punk recruited Serena to his team, a woman in the audience whose head Punk had shaved on Smackdown. The three would become known as The Straight Edge Society, a unique trio with a gimmick that hadn’t been done before in the WWE.
The Straight Edge Society didn’t do a lot during their time as a group. Punk would try to recruit various superstars to the group, trying several times in the Royal Rumble in 2010. Not long after this, The Straight Edge Society entered a feud with Rey Mysterio, which involved Punk creepily singing Happy Birthday to Mysterio’s daughter on an episode of Smackdown. They traded wins at Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules, before Joey Mercury later joined the group. Mysterio then took the definitive win in the series at Over the Limit, forcing Punk to shave his own head. Punk continued on to a feud with The Big Show, who beat The Straight Edge Society in a countless amount of matches. They would officially split up in September after Serena, Mercury and Gallows had all been released. There were rumors of Serena not “living the gimmick” and drinking booze in public, which led to WWE putting an end to the angle.
Could more have been done with The Straight Edge Society? Absolutely. Punk mentions this on his DVD when he states the reactions they were getting from the fans should’ve led to a bigger push for the group. Should they have wreaked havoc across the WWE like The Nexus? Probably not. But to say the maximum potential was taken from the group wouldn’t be true. There were more unique opportunities to tell stories with a cult-like gimmick such as this one. Perhaps Punk could’ve actually recruited some superstars into the society who weren’t doing anything on TV like Zack Ryder or Trent Barreta? Whilst a group doesn’t need to win all the time, regular squashes by The Big Show didn’t help with their development.
Even though it didn’t have to nor should it have been the star attraction, The Straight Edge Society could’ve been more than a fodder for babyfaces that was regularly overcome with no wins coming the other way.
Unfortunately, this is only scratching the surface when it comes to the countless examples of poorly booked stables in the last decade. The Nexus had everything going for them during their run in 2010. The crowd was reacting to them, they had a fresh look and were dominating other wrestlers on the roster. The WWE could’ve and should’ve been done with them to help turn them into stars. The Straight Edge Society, whilst on a different level to The Nexus, should’ve been more than fodder for faces to beat for credibility. With such a unique gimmick, there was a place in the WWE in 2010 for The Straight Edge Society to thrive.
Both The Nexus and The Straight Edge Society stand out as missed opportunities that could’ve been used to tell memorable and unique stories.
Hello there! My name is Jake Thomas and I’m one of the many new writers joining the TJRWrestling team. I’m from the land down under in Melbourne, with my fellow Aussies Buddy Murphy and The IIconics killing it in the WWE. Wrestling is a big passion of mine and I’ve been following TJR since I first started watching wrestling around the Summer of Punk in 2011. Since then, I’ve tirelessly caught up on my wrestling knowledge and I’m really excited to contribute more articles on the site as time goes on.
The post Power in Numbers: Case Studies from a Decade of WWE’s Misbooking of Groups by Jake Thomas appeared first on TJR Wrestling.
The WWE will be holding their WWE Draft on Oct. 11 and Oct.14. This has been a staple of WWE programming on and off since 2002 where Superstars have switched television brands and perform on those brands for the foreseeable future. This has been done with the intent of developing new storylines and introducing new […]
A WWE fan was arrested at Monday’s RAW after filming a Snapchat video of a police officer and other individuals urinating in the bathroom, according to WKYT in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tyler Bollinger was accused of recording video inside the bathroom of the Thompson-Boling Arena. An arrest report notes that other individuals were in the video, and that a man… Read More WWE Fan Arrested At RAW For Filming Police Officer And Other Individuals Urinating In The Bathroom
From ‘The Eater of Worlds’ to ‘Deleter of Worlds’ and now the devilish ‘Fiend’, Bray Wyatt’s go in the realm of sports entertainment has been nothing short of tumultuous. At a mere 32-years of age, Wyatt has already racked up an impressive list of accolades to his resumè including a Wrestlemania appearance as WWE Champion. Merit aside, is it time for the patriarch of the family Wyatt to reign supreme as the top champion of Raw?
After a lengthy eight-month absence, Wyatt emerged on Monday nights dressed to the nines moonlighting as a Mr. Rogers knockoff. The Firefly Funhouse not only became an outlet for Wyatt to shine outside of the ring, it also proved to be one of the few highlights of the entire summer across all WWE brands. Wyatt clearly has taken advantage of this outlet to slyly reference the shortcomings of his past booking woes all the while staying relevant without stepping between the ropes.
Of course, it’s sports entertainment and as entertaining as Wyatt has been of late, he hasn’t been actively competing in matches. You would need to rewind all the way back to August 2018 to find Wyatt’s last televised Raw match. Wyatt teamed with his partner at the time, Matt Hardy in a losing effort to The Revival and The B-Team. That’s right, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel defeated or deleted rather Wyatt into hiatus. Not exactly world champion contender competition, eh? In fact, Wyatt has a single match under his belt for the entirety of 2019. Even as the penultimate match at the second biggest PPV of the year, Wyatt’s under four-minute victory of Finn Balor was a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ unforgettable affair. That said, it wasn’t meant to be Flair/Steamboat ’89 and the crowd came alive for The Fiend after sitting on their hands for a majority of the night.
Before being announced as the next challenger for the Universal Championship, Wyatt dropped the champion’s name in back to back weeks inside the Funhouse. The first segment mentioning Rollins garnered 1.4 million views on WWE’s YouTube channel. Considering Raw pulled in 2.5 million viewers that week and with the NFL season historically slaughtering Raw in the ratings, Wyatt’s viral pull is a plus for him. There are often times I’ve missed Raw, but made it a point to watch the latest episode of the Firefly Funhouse. It’s amazing just how over puppets are in a wrestling show. Perhaps Ramblin’ Rabbit and friends will have a shiny new toy to play with after October 6th. The question is, should Bray Wyatt walk out with the belt around his waist?
The wrestling landscape is set to change with the Wednesday night wars on the horizon and the blue brand moving to Fox next month. In promotional material, ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch is heavily visible indicating a likely move back to Smackdown. It would seem a given that Lynch would effectively need to drop her Raw branded championship before this move takes place. Although not seen in advertisements, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see Seth Rollins drafted to Smackdown to be with his soon to be bride. If Rollins is indeed set to drop the Universal Championship, who on Raw is primed and ready to take his place? Baron Corbin tanked ratings this summer and belongs in the upper midcard. The trigger is never pulled on Braun Strowman despite an ample number of opportunities. Ricochet, Cesaro, AJ Styles and others flip flop victories and 50/50 booking does little to gain championship contender traction. Drew McIntyre is on the shelf and not booked much better. At least WWE won’t go the route of Brock Lesnar since he is likely taking Smackdown’s top prize hostage. That’s where Wyatt muscle man dances his way into the conversation.
It’s undeniable that Seth Rollins has had an amazing 2019 including toppling Brock Lesnar in two high profile matches at WrestleMania and SummerSlam. Where does the champion go from here? If he indeed stays on Raw, where else can he go? As champion, Rollins had a dream encounter at Money in the Bank with AJ Styles and then proceeded to dredge through the summer in a never ending feud with Baron Corbin. Smackdown will now be on a level playing field with Raw and this means several of the rosters top stars will be headed to broadcast television. Smackdown lacks a deep roster of top heels and with Elias injured and Daniel Bryan perhaps turning face after Erick Rowan beat him up multiple times, Rollins will not have any long term help from the draft.
Let’s not forget that Rollins has already held the top prize in WWE an impressive four times. Whereas Wyatt has only had one 49 day hold on the title. The less said about Wyatt’s first reign the better. I was in the crowd at Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando and sat baffled and disgusted at the visuals of that match along with 70,000+ next to me. Unfairly, Wyatt never had another opportunity to stay in the main event scene and drifted into obscurity after another odd encounter with Randy Orton inside the House of Horrors. Wyatt rebounded in a feud and subsequently tag team with Matt Hardy. Wyatt floundered in tag team obscurity and then after an injury took out Hardy, Wyatt mysteriously disappeared.
This might be the perfect storm for Wyatt to swoop in and win the gold. It’s adamantly clear that Wyatt doesn’t need the title, he’s always had an allure to him anyways. What does a Fiend title reign look like? Will we see the champion in the ring each week? Will we see Wyatt defend the championship in dress slacks and an argyle sweater or will The Fiend keep the mask on in his title defenses? One thing is for certain, Wyatt has already captivated the WWE Universe and this Firefly is on board.
The Fiend should slay The Beast Slayer inside the devil’s favorite playground. He’s already got the whole world in his hands and after Hell in a Cell, he will hold the Universal Championship too. Yowie Wowie!!! See you in hell!
If you stuck around, thanks so much! I’m Levi, one of the new writers on the site that was lucky enough to win one of the golden tickets to write here. I fell in love with wrestling as a kid when I stumbled across the episode of Monday Night Raw following the Deadly Games Survivor Series and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been a long-time reader here and I am super excited to be a part of the team and share my views on this wacky world of wrestling.
The post Fiend or Faux? Should Bray Wyatt Win the WWE Universal Championship? – by Levi Jenkins appeared first on TJR Wrestling.
The WWE RAW announce team is set to undergo a major change soon, according to @Wrestlevotes. The current plan as of this week is for Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin to call the action on RAW each Monday night. We’ve noted how WWE will be focused on brand exclusivity coming out of the WWE Draft in October, and… Read More Big Change Rumored For The WWE RAW Announce Team