By Nicholas Jason Lopez
The Best Fighting The Best
– We’re actually fans of SmackDown’s occasional “cheesy promo mash-up cold open” where they’ll announce a match and then mash together promos from the competitors with fancy music in the background. This episode was one of them, as it was announced that a fatal four-way between Cesaro, Apollo Crews, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio would determine who’d fight WWE United States Champion Rusev later in the show for the belt. Cesaro’s promo was probably the coolest since he literally drove a van in his secret agent suit, rolled down the window and “invited his opponents to an uppercut party.” Crews put over his underdog status being the reason he could win. Sheamus questioned Crews’ involvement in the match (assumedly to presume their feud) and proclaimed he’d have fun kicking off Crews’ head before ultimately dethroning his old buddy Rusev. Del Rio finished it off as he made fun of Sheamus’ hair problems (given their tensions on Raw, this wasn’t new) and dismissed Crews as a threat. True – this could be cheesy as hell, but we got a big match and heard from all the competitors in the first two minutes. Job done.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Let’s Talk About Roman Reigns
– Just when we thought maybe WWE would duck their way around a month without Roman Reigns with no mentions, they went right to it thanks to Seth Rollins and the opening segment that also involved WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, John Cena and Stephanie McMahon. Now, the way Rollins did it was fine, but WWE relies on big screen graphics a little too much. Took the fun out of that, but at least it grabbed our attention. Rollins milked himself up at Reigns’ expense to get cheers and tried to push for a one-on-one rematch which drew out Ambrose, who stood by Reigns and said everyone made mistakes. Styles was a good fit in the segment since there was a chance now to add more people to the Battleground match and once Styles was out, Cena was only going to be next. Styles and Cena also had valid reasons for being added separately. It also fit Steph’s character to despise Ambrose as Champion since he goes against the “corporate image” and anything to increase his odds of losing wasn’t unheard of. Plus, it gave us two matches to make the show more interesting as we learned Cena and Styles would be added respectively to the match if Cena beat Rollins and Styles beat Ambrose. Everyone essentially got what they wanted.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at then bottom of the post.
Momentum In The Bank
– The opening in-ring segment with The Club and Enzo Amore/Big Cass solidly hyped for the fatal four-way Tag Title match at Money In The Bank, which would involve Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson, Enzo/Cass, The Vaudevillains and WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day. We also had AJ Styles talk up his big match with John Cena and sold it as “bigger than WrestleMania” to an extent. He also threw in some good heel logic when he mentioned that it was time for a change and the “New Era” didn’t truly start until he took out Cena, which was his plan all along. Enzo/Cass delivered their lines nicely for the most part, even if they spun their wheels a bit on the material. Did like how Gallows/Anderson sold their global credibility, while Enzo/Cass had “Mr. Clean Dream Team” as a retort. Gallows may have even threw a rhyme down there. Overall, a decent interaction that set up the match to follow.
By Anthony Zevoteck
If I began to describe a six-foot tall, 300-pound man possessed with the ability to attack his foes with furious strength and also fly around like a human wrecking ball, you’d probably think it’s the latest James Bond villain or my newest created superstar on WWE 2K16.
That’s not the case however.
The man previously described is best known as current WWE United States Champion Rusev, the big Bulgarian whose already had an impressive career complete with a long once-undefeated streak, a lengthy US Title reign and a freaking tank entrance at WrestleMania 31 before he got to work with John Cena in what fans considered one of the show’s best matches.
The Energy of Change
– Another year, another loud, vocal crowd of “international marks.” Such is the usual with the Raw after WrestleMania, which is now hyped up to the point of a spectacle of itself. As you could probably imagine, the opening video highlighted various happenings of WrestleMania 32 to the tune of Flo Rida’s “My House.”
By Anthony Zevoteck
Tag team wrestling – regarded as one of pro wrestling’s best forms, allows multiple wrestlers to work together and come up with fitting movesets for fast-paced in-ring action. When performed right, it can make fans excited, especially when their favorite team gets the “hot tag.”
For a long time, it has only been the men who get Championships to display any tag team excellence. The women haven’t gotten that chance since 1989, yet how many times have we seen a two-on-two or three-on-three Divas tag match?
For many years, this topic has been thought of as unnecessary or ridiculous, but nowadays, there’s a strong case for it.
The branded “Divas Division” has seen its ups and downs (mostly the latter) over the years with poorly written storylines and characters with “all hair and no care” or “all face and no grace.” There was a time that little fans cared about the Divas and looked at their in-ring time as a bathroom break.
In the modern era, we’ve seen a resurgence of genuine fan interest in women’s wrestling thanks to the uprise of hard NXT workers like Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley. There was a time where any of those four ladies could be counted on to steal the show and were thus, even given the main event of a WWE Network Live Special.
In 2015, with a higher demand for women’s wrestling, the main roster tried to emulate this by bringing up three of those four NXT ladies and teaming them with and against some already-established main roster Divas, all branded the “Divas Revolution.” Although this was an experiment that had its few highs and many lows, the aftermath has started to show some positives that came of it.
It seems lately there are too many Divas going after one Title and causes a lack of fan interest because of mindless feuds over a Title that honestly doesn’t change hands often.
With a stacked roster with talent like Paige, Natalya, Tamina, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Cameron, Naomi, Summer Rae, Lynch and Banks, you have all these ladies (with the exception of two) currently involved in a feud for the Divas Championship. Give them another Title to compete for. Give other Divas matches some meaning.
Don’t forget, there’s even more talent on NXT due for an eventual call-up, like Bayley, Asuka, Eva Marie, Nia Jax, Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Emma. Some of these ladies are already notorious as duos – Naomi/Tamina, Brie Bella/Alicia Fox, Emma/Brooke, Jax/Eva, etc. They can easily fill spots necessary for such a Division.
Many fans will probably disagree with this based on the grounds that the men should get another singles Title to allow more guys opportunities to get over with fans. I fully understand that point of view, because I’d absolutely love to see the day where the Cruiserweight or Light Heavyweight Championship are resurrected. However, with that not happening anytime soon, give that spotlight to the women.
They could easily knock this out of the park. New ideas give ladies new motivations, new reasons for fans to care about them and thus, they would go hand in hand. Maybe a Diva isn’t primed for a Divas Championship match and can develop skills in a tag team until she is. Either way, there need to be a second level for the Divas because the storylines alone aren’t enough to go off of.
There’s an unexplored side of modern WWE waiting to be discovered, almost 30 years hidden away.
WWE, give a WWE Tag Team Divas Championship a chance.