Let’s come up for a breath of fresh air, sift through the week that was, and accentuate the positives.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity that exists online when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. Let’s put a pause on the bad stuff, all the complaints, criticisms, rants, and rundowns. Instead, let’s come up for a breath of fresh air, sift through the week that was, and accentuate the positives.
Here are your top positives from the week that was:
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the way AJ Styles has been booked on WWE television as of late. Obviously becoming the number one contender to the WWE Title is a big deal and a great step in the right direction, but the path WWE is taking leading up to the eventual title match is working out well for Styles.
While Roman Reigns and AJ Styles haven’t had a ton of interactions thus far into their feud, what WWE has done with AJ away from Reigns is probably better than any verbal confrontations the two could be having. Away from Reigns, Styles has simply gone out and put forth great in-ring work. A perfect example of that is the match styles had with Sami Zayn this past Monday on Raw. Styles is being positioned as the hard working underdog juxtaposed with Roman Reigns being The Guy (as opposed to a good or bad one).
And that’s why I think this positioning has worked so well up to now. Styles doesn’t have to be the equal nor the opposite of Reigns. WWE isn’t telling the fans to choose which one they want. AJ hasn’t had to carry the burden of winning over Reigns fans at Reigns’ expense. He’s been allowed to go out and do what he does best and the crowd (even the Reigns fans) have enjoyed it all.
But this has to lead somewhere. Reigns and Styles will be put together in front of the crowd and the fans will have to choose a side when the rubber meets the road. But what about the path Reigns is taking to get there. He keeps telling everyone he’s not a good guy nor a bad guy, and he gets booed despite the line. Is the WWE just trying to get through this rough patch with hopes the crowd will still eventually warm to our new champion? Or… is there something else afoot?
Perhaps the goal is to keep these two apart just so Reigns can turn heel at Payback? Why waste your time trying to get Reigns cheered leading to the PPV if he’s going to turn anyway? Plus, the turn will feel more eventful if Reigns isn’t booed against Styles for weeks leading to the turn. I’m usually wrong about these things, but why would you book Reigns against a guy who is so beloved by the very people who are already booing Reigns? Seriously, everyone who has booed Reigns over the past year loves AJ Styles. So why go there as the first defense?
I honestly believe a turn is coming. Nothing major from Reigns, just a matter of him cheating to win at the PPV, but it will be enough to solidify his turn. It would play nicely into his Good Guy/Bad Guy talk and I think it would make great television to see Styles chasing a heel Reigns for the WWE Title. Time will tell on that part, but you’ve gotta admit, seeing Styles tear it up on WWE television as the number one contender is definitely a positive.
Number One Contenders’ Tag Team Tournament (Sponsored by Booty-O’s)
I’m a big fan of this tournament and I’m hopeful that it will help bolster the tag team division. Only one team can win, but there can be several feuds branch out from the tournament itself. We’ve already seen Karl Anderson and Luke Galllows debut as a team last Monday during the tournament to lay out the Usos. I assume the two teams will be paired together for at least a short time moving forward. Afterwards, I’d like to see the Usos change things up a bit. Their in-ring work is still great, but their gimmick could use a bit of freshening up.
I also highly doubt that Enzo and Cass move on from The Dudleys after their next tournament match. My guess is the latter will cost the former the match against the Vaudevillians to become the number one contender. Obviously, that means the Vaudevillians would be paired up with New Day moving forward.
That’s a lot of fantasy booking on my part, but it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. I like that New Day is able to still have a presence on television while the tournament plays out. The tournament makes the titles look more important since we get to see so many teams vying for them. The key is to make sure non-title related tag matches don’t feel like after thoughts. The only way for the tag division to feel legit is for there to be focus on several teams on WWE television instead of just the champions and the challengers.
– Cody Rhodes and Tomasso Ciampa have championed the new charity Our Ladder. You can read more about it here.
– Miz and Maryse have been greatly entertaining on television as of late. I hope we get more of the same.
– Dalton Castle and Silas Young had an excellent “Fight Without Honor” on last week’s ROH television show. I think it’s a perfect way to put an end to their long-standing program together.
– Things are heating up between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and that’s just awesome.
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, stay positive!
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