Tag Archives: Finn Balor

NXT TakeOver 31 Review

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT Takeover 31 Review

As usual, this was a very good Pay Per View. What I love about TakeOvers is that there is only five matches so they have plenty of time to breathe and develop and you are not stuck watching a four-hour show.  I will keep saying it. NXT just needs to do what they always do and not play up to the ratings war.

Realistically they won’t win the ratings war week after week so why try. Just put on the type of shows you have always done. NXT needs to develop stars again and this TakeOver did just that. Also, the Capitol Wrestling Center looks amazing. I went 4-1 with my predictions which is something I hate when I look at any card.

Damian Priest(c) def. Johnny Gargano North American Title Match

Gargano really put over Priest in this match. He is really a great worker. I mentioned this before that I don’t know what Gargano has left to do at NXT. Seeing that he lost and his wife lost could they be going to the main roster? I mean it looks like WWE could be doing the power couple angles with so many of them possibly forming in the coming weeks.

I like Priest too. I want to see him have a good title run. And I like it when a PPV match ends a feud.

Thumbs up

Kushida def. The Velveteen Dream

So Kushida is a heel now and showed a more aggressive side to him. I feel that Kushida has been a disappointment since signing with NXT. I know he has had injuries but he is a good worker. As for the Dream can you say that he is getting punished for his legal troubles? But why is he getting a PPV match? Maybe because they are going to bury him and write him off of TV for a long while.

Kushida really worked that arm and attacked him twice after the match. It got to the point that the Dream was screaming in pain yelling to make him stop. Excellent selling by the Dream and a good overall match. But it’s sad that the Dream could not stay out of trouble and burying one of your best workers is never a good thing. Hopefully, Kushida gets a push out of this.

Thumbs down 1

Santos Escobar(c) def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Cruiserweight Title Match

Excellent match and these guys can really work. This was the one match where I predicted a title change and I got this wrong. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde tried to interfere when Ashante “Thee” Adonis came to even up the odds. I can’t really say the in-ring action was bad I just hate the outside stuff. I did want to see a title change here but it looks like Triple H has other plans.

Thumbs up

Io Shirai(c) def. Candace LaRae NXT Women’s Title Match

There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, Io is tremendous in the ring. She should hang onto the title at least through the end of the year. LaRae has gotten better and she is much better as a heel. Secondly, I really didn’t need to have Johnny Gargano interfere in a woman’s match and put on the referee’s shirt. Like I mentioned before both Gargano and LaRae could be headed to Raw or Smackdown. But a good match.

Now lastly to have both Toni Storm come back and also Ember Moon be revealed as the mystery former champion just makes no sense to have both come back on the same show. Storm and Moon should have had that moment all to themselves. You could have had Storm cut that same promo on the weekly show when Io is in the ring talking about who could be her next opponent. I would have Moon and Io in the ring cutting promos and then have Storm appear on the Tron. Clearly, both of them will be in the hunt for the title.

Man NXT’s women division is so stacked. Even if LaRae goes to RAW or SD both Storm and Moon are better then her.

Thumbs down 1

Finn Balor(c) def. Kyle O’Reilly NXT Heavyweight Title Match

Great match. Very physical. Both guys got legit injured. The right guy won the match. After the match, Balor shook Kyle’s hand. Rumor has it that Balor ended the match early due to the injuries and also might have given Kyle a receipt for possibly breaking his jaw.

But the night was not over as Ridge Holland carried a beaten down Adam Cole to ringside and dumped him on the floor. The rest of the Undisputed Era came running to Cole’s aide. SO I am curious to see where they are going with this. And the pretty much confirms that the Undisputed Era is not going to Raw or Smackdown.

Thumbs up

NXT TakeOver Preview

NXT TakeOver Preview

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT TakeOver

In what feels like a rushed NXT TakeOver we have four title matches and one grudge match. I feel that NXT put this together as well as it could with the time constraints they had. NXT needs to get back to building new wrestlers like they did in the Pre AEW days. I have said it all along that if NXT just continued the course they would be fine. But as we have seen that didn’t happen and probably because the old man wanted it to change.

The appeal of an NXT TakeOver has always been that the card is not big with five matches that are full of action. TakeOvers have always been the best PPV’s of the year. Does Triple H drop a surprise tonight?

Finn Balor (c) vs Kyle O’Reilly NXT Championship Match

This is Balor’s first title defense so there is no way he is losing this match. With that, I like the decision to place O’Reilly in this match. Kyle has always been in my opinion the fourth wheel of the Undisputed Era so it will be great to see him get this moment.

This will probably be the best match of the night if it is given time and if UE does not interfere. I liked the way Triple H came about getting the number one contender for this match. Balor is not losing so why waste a marquee match on a night when we already know hi is winning.

Prediction: Finn Balor Retains

Io Shirai (c) vs Candace LaRae NXT Women’s Championship Match

If past matches between these two are any indication this match also will be very good. Io has had the title since June 7th and I expect her to retain the title. This is another match where I hope we don’t see outside interference. But this match will be really good. LaRae has been great with her new character with Johnny Gargano. LaRae will be champion one day. Just not now,

Prediction: Io Shirai retains

Damian Priest (c) vs Johnny Gargano NXT North American Championship Match

There has been a pretty good build for this match. Priest won the title on August 22nd so I expect him to retain tonight. Gargano will definitely raise Priest’s game and stature with a great match. I want to see Preist keep this title for a little while.

Prediction: Daiman Priest retains

Santos Escobar (c) vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match

This could be the one title match where we see a title change. Escobar won the title on May 27th and has had a decent run. I think his run would be better with fans in the stands. I think Scott wins the title tonight in a good match.

Prediction: Isaiah Swerve Scott wins and becomes the new champion.

Kushida vs Velveteen Dream

This has been a fast-tracked match between two very good wrestlers. I am in the fence with this because of the cloud surrounding the Dream. I am not sure Triple H will push the Dream right now and Kushida does need a push. He could have a high profile match vs Finn Balor down the road. This will be another great match.

Prediction Kushida wins.

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NXT Review

NXT Review 9-23

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT Review 9-23

NXT is moving towards their next Take Over in October. It’s time to establish number one contenders for Women’s Champion Io Sharai, NXT Champion Finn Balor, and North American Champion Damien Priest. Here is the NXT Review for 9-23.

Women’s Battle Royale

I hate Battle Royales. Always have. But I like the Royal Rumble. So I didn’t like it when NXT added more women into this match. I would rather have the original 11 announced women in the match. But whatever. I liked the Candace LaRae spot before the match where she took out Tegan Nox. But nothing else did it for me. Rhea and Raquel might be continuing their feud. A cage match is supposed to end the feud. Not prolong it. I have no problem with Candace winning. Io vs Candace had a great match last year so I expect then to have another great match.

Thumbs down 1

Damien Priest Promo

We find out Johnny Gargano is facing Priest at Takeover. Also, Priest is facing Austin Theory tonight.

Tomaso CIampa vs Jake Atlas

This match went too long and Atlas got in way too much offense. But Ciampa has been a beast lately. I am curious to know where he goes from here. I don’t feel that Atlas got anything in this loss except that he did better this time.

Thumbs down 1

Ridge Holland Promo

It was ok. Nothing special. We should have seen this before he had his first match.

Mix Match Tag: Burch & Strong vs Aichner & Mendoza

Once again NXT has to be creative to determine the number one contenders for Breezango. So you have one member from four different tag-teams making up two teams. The team that wins will face each other in a tag team match the next week with the winner facing Breezango. Cool concept but once again the tag team divisions are all a mess in the WWE.

Roderick Strong and Danny Burch win.

A good match and next week will be even better.

Thumbs up

Austin Theory Promo

Austin Theory is getting interviewed when Johnny Gargano interrupts. Theory is so good playing a cocky prick but he always loses. Gargano says you remind him of himself and gives him some advice. He says if you happen to soften him up he would never forget it. Right away Iknow Gargano is getting involved in this match somehow.

Thumbs up

Damien Priest vs Austin Theory

Another match that went too long. Priest dominates Theory. Gargano attacks Priest after the match. All were predictable.

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Promo

We see a promo for a former champion returning to NXT. He is coming back on the next Takeover. So speculation is running wild on who it could be. Hopefully, it is one of the unused talents on the main roster.

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Ridge Holland vs Deluca

Squash match. Great way to build up Ridge.

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Io Shirai Promo

Io is cutting a promo on facing Candace LaRae when Gargano and LaRae crash it. Predictably Gargano gets in Io’s face when Priest appears. So we will get the mixed match tag team match next week Io and Priest vs Gargano and LaRae. Which was also predictable.

Thumbs down 1

Five Man Gauntlet Match

I loved this concept. Part Gauntlet and part Royal Rumble. NXT is very creative in making these types of matches. It was a very good wrestling match with five wrestlers who need a push. The Velveteen Dream attacking Kushida sets up future business between the two. Cameron Grimes, Branson Reed, and Timothy Thatcher have been getting pushed. But Kyle O’Reilly gets the win and the title shot. O’Reilly has kind of been the forgotten man in the Undisputed Era so it was good to see him get a push.

Thumbs up

Outlook

I have five ups and four downs. I will always put over squash matches because that is how you build a wrestler.  But you can’t do too many of those. I have said this before and I will say it again. Triple H should not try to counter-program AEW. He should just do what NXT has always done which is to build long-term stories. This is why we have a show with three gimmick matches to establish number one contenders. All because there is a Take Over in two weeks. Just develop the contenders naturally.

In the case of Finn Balor, this is different. Balor is not losing his first title defense so do you want to waste a match with Tomaso, Gargano, or Velveteen when we know Balor is winning? So this is why that Gauntlet match works for me. Sure NXT needs to develop contenders and they are doing that now. So I am on board with this.

NXT fast-tracked Keith Lee vs Kross because Vince wanted Lee on Raw where he is ruining him. You can never predict injuries and Kross getting injured hurt a lot. I also feel the injury or whatever is going on with Dexter Loomis hurts too. He was so over. But Triple H needs to go back to the development of characters. But I know the old man has his hands on everything now.

Switching to Tuesday nights would benefit both AEW and NXT. AEW would have the platform to try to grow its audience and so would NXT. And NXT can go back to doing what they did before AEW came along. Vince McMahon will never let AEW grow their audience.

Elimination Chamber Recap and More

The Elimination Chamber just ended.  Overall I will give it a C rating.  I went 3-3 in my predictions but still a very predictable PPV.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match.  As I had stated in my preview I thought any team could win.  I picked Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.  I was wrong.  I knew this match would be first and it was.  And who was the first one to open the show Carmella.  I have some new thoughts about the scandal which I will get into later.  But I was expecting a lot of boos.  So I was surprised it was not that bad.  Maybe it was placed perfectly to have her open the show.  However when Fabulous Glow finally got into the match I did hear a little booing.  And there was a chant that I could not make out what it was.  Overall it was the worst showing of any team in this match as they were the 5th team to enter the match and the first to be eliminated with Naomi doing the honors.  I was thinking that Vince is going to get them both out right away as penalty for their incidents this past week.  More on that later.  Again this match stole the show as the ladies always do.  I do believe this is the first time there has been a 6 team tag match inside the chamber and it really played well. Great spots all over this match and Sasha carrying her team to victory to be the first ever female tag team champs.  There was booing right after the match for the in ring interview but it quickly died down.  Not sure why they were booing.  Sonia and Mandy came out looking strong.  As did Nia and Tamina as it took 4 ladies to pin Tamina while Jax knocked herself out going through one of the pods.  I didn’t pick the Boss and Hug connection to win but I am not surprised they won.  The Horsemen have the gold and we are going to see that angle start to get formed in the next couple of months.  Match overall was an A

Mc Miz vs the Uso’s.  I am surprised the Uso’s took the straps because of the arrest this past week of one of the Uso’s.  But we know Shane and Miz are heading for a Mania one on one match.  What Shane lacks in ring ability he makes up for it by being absolutely fearless with his spots.  The match wasn’t very good and the ending now makes me see how this starts to turn.  The lackadaisical way Miz pinned one of the Uso’s is going to spark the breakup.  So perhaps this was the plan all along to have them lose this match and no matter who got arrested it wasn’t going to change the outcome.  Congrats to Miz and Maryse on her pregnancy.  Match Rating is a C.

Next we have Finn Balor vs Lio Rush and Lashley.  I finally picked one match right with Finn winning the strap tonight.  The match wasn’t very good and I found it interesting that Lashley turned on Rush after the match.  Is Rush gone now?  I kind of like the Hype Man.  Match rating is a C.

Next up is Ronda Rousey vs Ruby RIott.  This was a squash match.  They buried Ruby RIott big time.  Based on what happened after the match they would have been better off putting a different match in its place and just had an interview with Ronda and Charlotte which Becky would crash.  I mean the PPV ended surprisingly early.  Ron Ron and Charlotte just stared at each other while a supposedly suspended Becky on crutches just waltzes down through the crowd and into the ring and attacked Charlotte with one of her crutches.  If you are not keeping count out there this is the second time a woman on one leg beats down the Queen.  Then Ronda grabs a crutch and Becky wants her to get payback on Charlotte from the beat down she got a Survivor Series with the Kendo stick.  DTA Ronnie.  Becky attacks Ronda with the other crutch channeling her inner Stone Cold with the motto Don’t Trust Anyone.  Becky is super over and they are setting this match up well for Mania. But there is so much time from now til then that I am praying they don’t over do it.  This is the best angle the WWE has had in quite some time even though they are completely trying to re create Stone Cold with Becky.  I am getting a bit tired of it because you should never try to re create greatness and Austin was immortal in that role.  The post match activities pushed it from a F to a B.

Next we have Braun vs Corbin.  We knew there would be a run in.  We knew it would be Drew.  But Lashley also came out and made it a 3 on 1.  Corbin wins with the help of his buddies.  I am completely over this story.  It just flat out sucks.  Stroman is lost as a character now.  I don’t know where this is going.  Probably Drew vs Braun at Mania.  But no help for Braun.  No Kurt Angle.  No Lars Anderson.  Not even a Super Cena run in.  UGH just terrible.  Match grade is an F.

The Men’s Elimination Chamber Match.  I didn’t expect much and that is exactly what I got.  Figured Bryan would retain the titles and he did.  I must admit they are pushing Kofi big time.  But for what?  The way it came across on TV was that they were super into Kofi.  And I must admit I thought he was going to win at one point and I was definitely pulling for him.  The show ended so early that I found myself looking for something to happen after the match.  His New Day buddies coming down to greet him was nice.  There is no reason why this faction can’t have more singles matches.  I don’t understand why they don’t do that more.  Aside from that nothing else was good about this match.  Once again no push for Samoa Joe.  No run ins.  I will give this match a C.

 

Now for the post I wanted to write over the weekend but I wanted to cover the scandal.

I do want to mention this scandal a bit more.  Fan reaction was better than I thought it was.  Carmella finally started posting again on Instagram after her match.  I have a google phone which tracks the topics I like to read online on my phone and I got something about Corey Graves posting texts from someone at Total Divas I think.  He was talking about his ex wife and how he is going to be on the show next season.  The article says they plan to make this scandal a big part of the show.  Stop right there.  The bell went off in my head and I am starting to think this could be a work.  Or partly a work.  Is Corey Graves after what happened yesterday that stupid to post more stuff about his wife online.  Really?  I for one would be very upset if WWE allows this to be exploited if it is true.  How does Amy get all these texts with Corey and someone else?  Now she shut down her Instagram account which is probably a good thing.  I thought things were calming down since she was posting about her son yesterday.  Also which is completely unfair to Carmella that now people are saying she was sleeping with a lot of the males on the roster.  But the double standard the WWE continues to show regarding this type of behavior is very degrading to women.  Nothing happened to Bray Wyatt when he cheated on his wife with JoJo.  Cena always got pushed despite cheating on his wife.  I am sure there are others.  But this did affect Carmella last night.  You can see it in her eyes.  She was upset and probably did a good amount of crying.  I am starting to think she might have actually had feelings for Graves and he lied to her about his marriage.  This did not seem to affect him at all.  When Naomi got pinned last night and they showed Carmella and Naomi leave the cage together with their arms around each other after a very poor showing in the match I almost felt as they took the bullets for the incidents.  They were probably never scheduled to win the match but maybe they were supposed to have a better showing.  I felt like they were relieved a bit that they got through the night and are hoping for a this to go away.  Naomi will be fine as I think most feel that Jon was drunk and she was trying to take care of him.  But the first time Carmella comes out on Smackdown it will be interesting to see what reaction she gets.  My guess is she won’t get TV time this week.

Ok I am all scandaled out.

People need to calm down about the Undertaker.  He will never be a part of another promotion.  That is a guarantee.  He can barely wrestle now.  But if you were Mark Caloway and you know the character you built and perfected into what is without a doubt the best gimmick ever created in wrestling history you would start booking yourself and not sharing profits with the WWE.  My god he is charging 25 grand an hour.  Just think about that.  If he worked a weekend event and worked 3 hours a day he is making 150,000.   Just unreal.  You know Vince gave his blessing.  No one is going to have an issue with the Deadman.

You have to admit it.  Selling out your first show in 4 minutes with only a few matches announced is pretty impressive.  AEW is going to try to be the new WCW.  They are going to load up on top talent.  From what has been rumored the contracts are very lucrative.  The schedule will be more manageable for the talent.  They are backed by a billionaire.  The talent is getting more of a cut of their merchandise sales than the WWE gives their talent.  It has been rumored the contracts are very lucrative.  The schedule will be more manageable for the talent.  They are backed by a billionaire.  The talent is getting more of a cut of their merchandise sales than the WWE gives their talent.  But I do have a couple of questions.

  1. Will there be a TV contract and weekly shows like Raw and Smackdown
  2. Will it be just house shows and will they be televised if they get a TV contract.

Let’s not forget one thing here.  It’s nice to be the shiny new toy that everyone wants to play with.  The Khans have money we all know that.  But this company needs to make money to stay in business.  No billionaire will continue to dump money into a product that does not pull a profit.

Before we get into the awful products on Raw and Smackdown I want to again put my take on this triple threat match at Mania with Ronda/Charlotte and ultimately Becky.

This was the plan all along.  WWE wanted to build this women’s revolution and have the first women’s match to close out Wrestlemania in history.  This is why Ronda is here.  She has done everything they could ever hope for and much more.  Charlotte was always going to be in this match.  She has natural ability and charisma.  She is a great heel and great on the mic as we have seen so far and will continue to see in the coming weeks.  After all she is a Flair.  Becky is just a bolt of lightning that hit and caught fire.  No one knew she was capable of this.  Same can be said of Stone Cold Steve Austin who she is being compared to.  I really hate that she is compared to Austin.  There is only one Austin and his feud with Vince was pure magic.  So it makes tons of sense to have a triple threat match.  So many story lines can be spinned off from this match.  Here are my reasons in no particular order:

  1. Ronda is a top attraction world-wide. Becky is white hot right now.  Charlotte when she is done will be recognized as the greatest female wrestler of all time.
  2. WWE won’t make Ronda a heel which she should be. There is nothing they can do to make Becky a heel.  Charlotte is a natural heel.  Main event matches don’t work with a face vs a face.
  3. I am not convinced they know who they want to win this match yet. They can keep Ronda’s invincibility by having Becky and Charlotte pin each other.
  4. By having these three in this match it opens up a spot for another woman to wrestle Asuka at Mania.

Does this make sense to you?  The 4 horsemen angle is coming and it could very well officially begin at Mania.  Look at the scenarios.  Becky and Charlotte gang up on Ronda to help one win.  Ronda’s squad beats up both Becky and Flair so she could retain forming the Horseman.  Sasha and Bailey getting involved if Ronda wins and all 4 beat her down.  Or possibly the old double pin on Ronda by Becky and Charlotte setting up yet another match between them.  Or perhaps Ronda’s squad takes out Sasha and Bailey costing them their tag titles and then take out Charlotte and Becky.  Something big is going to happen.  But mostly I want to see another woman in a big match against Asuka.  The women’s matches are getting better and better.

 

RAW

My god what the hell is going on here.  We have Seth Rollins not wrestling since the Rumble and barely on TV.  And when he goes on TV here comes the advocate for Brock Lesnar.  Heyman is golden on the mic so that does not bother me.  But this title has become so secondary cause it never gets defended.  I also think that Vince is so scared of losing Brock to AEW that he might not drop the strap at Mania and he will pay him even more money to stay.  UGH.  How many more weeks will we be forced to see Mojo Rawley stare at himself in the mirror.  Please Stroman, Drew, Corbin story has to go.  And now Lashley might be back into it too.  Kurt Angle is also still around in main events.  We were forced to see Double J and the Road Dog get TV time against Elias.  Now Elias who is still a hot story last week was in a spot with the Lucha House Party?  Curt Hawkins and Long Island Iced Z?  Ronda abusing and making the Riott Squad look obsolete.    Do we need to see videos of Kevin Owens throwing gutter balls and eating pizza with pineapples.  But at least he is coming back and maybe as a face cause we need him back.  Dean Ambrose who already gave his notice is still getting prime TV time.  The men’s tag team division is a joke.  At least a real tag team now has the straps.  Can we let EC3 talk?  He is great on the mic.  Thank god for the women on this show.  Sasha and Bailey as the tag team champs will get this going in the right direction.  Outside of Ronda and with Charlotte and Becky appearing on both shows now there is enough quality women to have a pretty competitive tag team division.  That is if Sasha and Bailey don’t cross shows.  Bottom line with over 2 hours of TV time to fill there isn’t any juicy angles right now.  I never thought I would admit it but they need the Big Dog back.  Get well soon Roman.  Also a healthy KO.  Cena’s eventual return?  Maybe Bray Wyatt too?  And what the hell happened with Lars Anderson?

SMACKDOWN

This is a better show because the Becky Lynch angle came from Smackdown.  The Kofi Kingston push came out of nowhere and it is lit right now.  I am interested in seeing where this is going.  The rest of the show is very average.  I don’t think Samoa Joe is getting pushed the right way.  AJ is awesome but he needs a fresh story.  Abyss?  Shane and Miz are getting ready to have the breakup for their Mania match.  How does Asuka make The Man tap out and we never see her on TV since the Royal Rumble.  She needs a Mania opponent and the roster on Smackdown is light on the female side.  I don’t know what to make of R Truth having a strap.  Unless they felt bad scrapping him from the rumble for Nia Jax.  Send Nikki Cross to Smackdown.  Stop pushing Orton, Hardy and Rey.  I do like Andrade and let’s get him into a push maybe with Nakamura and Rusev who are both underused.  I really think we need a roster shake up and more NXT call ups.

Wrestlemania.  First the announced matches already.  Then what I would like to see.

Ronda vs Charlotte vs Becky.

Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins

The above are the only two matches officially announced aside from Becky which we know she will be there.  I am assuming we are still having the Men’s and Women’s Battle Royal matches.

Now for what I would like to see or think we will see.

WWE Championship Match Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston.  Assuming Bryan still has the belt it appears Kofi is getting a singles push.  The fans are completely behind this right now.  But Mania is 7 weeks away.  A lot can happen before then.  Kofi does deserve this push so if he is going to get the strap then I would love to see him win it at Mania.  The fans are going to be calling for him to get a shot before then.  So how this gets booked will be interesting.  Outside of Kofi I don’t see another story line or wrestler right now that is more deserving.

Shane McMahon vs the Miz.  This really should be in the announced part because we all know it’s going to happen.  I only hope Miz is the heel because he is so good on the mic as a heel.

Smack Down Women’s Championship.  Asuka vs???  I have been thinking about this for a couple of days now.  Maybe Naomi because they seemed to have each other’s backs for a while now.  And Naomi was a champion before.  I will leave Carmella in the mix because this scandal with Corey Graves might be something WWE looks to exploit.  I am not behind the scenes so I don’t know the whole story but I felt Carmella was hugely affected by it.  Or perhaps it’s time to get another woman pushed.  Mandy Rose?  Or does someone leave Raw and show up on Smackdown.  I am going to say Mandy Rose gets the chance but will keep my options open to see how the fans react to Carmella.  I mean let’s face it.  The WWE did have a story with Mandy trying to have an affair with Naomi’s husband.  KARMA.

Smackdown Tag Team Champs the Uso’s.  I was kind of surprised they won the belts last night.  That’s only because of the arrest of Jon on Thursday.  His wife Naomi took that bullet for him last night.  But we know McMiz had to lose to start setting up their Mania match.  So maybe the Uso’s lose the belts quickly as punishment to a team I don’t know like the New Day.  Big E and Xavier will need something to do while Kofi gets his singles push.  Makes sense.  New Day are crowd favorites.  So I am thinking the Mania match could be the New Day vs a team like Sanity or maybe Harper is back by then and teams with Rowan since they technically weren’t supposed to drop the straps so soon.  And Bryan’s stable grows.

United States Champion R Truth.  I would be beyond shocked if he still has the belt by Mania.  So this is a tough one.  Going out on a limb and saying that Andrade beats R Truth and faces Mustafa Ali at Mania.  Nakamura and Rusev are too good to be mid carders.

United States Champion Finn Balor.  He will still be the champion by Mania and he deserves to be.  There is only one match I want to see with him.  EC3 vs Balor at Mania.  And please put a mic in the hands of EC3.

Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival.  Another tough one.  Maybe the Revival just goes into the men’s battle royal match.  I don’t see a team I like for this spot.  It also could be on the kickoff show too.

Women’s Tag Team Champions Sashs and Bailey.  They will still be the champs at Mania.  I could see the RIott squad or Nia/Tamina facing them.  I also feel they are going to start to set up the Horsemen angle with run ins by Ronda’s group.

AJ Styles vs Abyss.  An oldie from TNA.

So I got 12 matches down already with lots of talent left.  That’s why there are the battle royal matches.  The one thing I desparately want to see is Elias have a sing off with the Rock.  That would be pretty entertaining.  I have all the titles getting defended except for one.  Also you can bet there will be a couple of matches with no titles involved on the main card.  Plus I know this will never happen but I would want to see one a 4th female match on this card.  It would not involve a female champion.  But that is wishful thinking

So how do you like the card?

Elimination Chamber Picks And More

 

So I thought I was going to write about the last couple of weeks of Raw and Smackdown and give my Elimination Chamber picks.  But yesterday around 6PM things got poppin big time.  Twitter and Instagram are burning up.  A lot of fans made judgements already without knowing any of the facts.  And what I am talking about is the huge scandal involving Corey Graves, his wife Amy and Carmella.  I will be writing about this for much of this post because it is just that big of a topic and opinions have already been made despite the lack of any facts or real evidence.  This is on the heels of the Naomi/Uso incident in Detroit where Naomi was driving down the wrong way and Uso was drunk and challenged a cop to a fight.  I guess Naomi was sober because she was not arrested.  But the son of Rikishi was put into a Detroit prison.  WWE’s comment was that we don’t comment on wrestler’s personal lives.  You won’t see any comment by the WWE about Graves/Carmella today or probably ever.

 

So for the facts on this and I have decided to use the real names of Carmella(Leah) and Corey(Matt) because this is not about their WWE personas.  This is about their real life characters.  We have factual proof of the following:

  • Matt’s and Amy’s marriage is probably over. I don’t see any way they get past this aside from having 3 kids.  How long their marriage has been an issue is a mystery but that is Matt’s and Amy’s business and not ours.
  • Matt has a lot of demons. Alcohol and suicidal and whatever.  If you believe in those text messages and I do then Matt was/is fighting demons.
  • The only real 100 percent victims are the 3 children Matt and Amy share together. They did not ask for this and now will grow up without a full time father or as much of a father Matt could be for them with his busy work schedule.  They now will know that their parents dirty laundry were and will be on display forever.

As for the speculated facts.

  • Matt and Leah had an affair. I will say this is true since Leah or Matt have not publicly denied it.  If I was Leah I would have come right out and said I was never with Matt and I have no other comment right now.  But she didn’t and if the WWE told her not to say anything I would have said I am saying what I want.  Her reputation and character have taken massive hits.
  • How long was this going on if indeed it is true? Was it just once or an ongoing thing?
  • Was Leah in the know of a problem or separation in Matt and Amy’s marriage?
  • Is Leah a home wrecker or whore as she has been called online or how much fault she has in this situation.

So let’s go with the 3 parties involved.

How much of a victim is Amy?

For the few people who actually read this(not sure is anyone reads this lol) I won’t be making any female friends by saying this.  Amy is a victim partly.  If Matt did cheat on her yes that makes her a full victim.  She could have played that card forever.  What she did was make this public.  Her children now know about this and this is something that should have been kept quiet.  I do understand she is hurt and betrayed.  But she made it public.  Accusing Leah of sleeping with her husband.  Matt’s demons with alcohol and suicide.  Putting up posts and taking them down.  Once those posts go up don’t take them down.  Have the guts to stand by them or don’t put them up at all.  Divorce is messy without the issues.  The last thing you need is to have the public reading about everything.  Again the issue of her children.  She made this public to them.  Not only are their parents getting divorced but all the dirty laundry will be aired before this is over.  We don’t know how Amy found out about this.  Did someone tell her?  Did she find out on her own?  Because Amy made this public these questions and others need to be answered.  Additionally why in the hell would you publicly kill the character of a person who needs to keep his character in tact to make a living.  I will be the cynic here and I know Amy never thought about this initially.  But anything she releases about Matt publically will cost him money.  Money that Amy will get half of.  If WWE fires him for this what did she accomplish?  I know it’s materialistic.  But if he did cheat on her and with how she stood behind him when he had his problems.  Then I don’t see how she loses in court.

 

Matt from my standpoint is 100 percent accountable in this.  The only way he is not at fault is if he told Amy the marriage was over and she didn’t believe it or want to accept it.  If they discussed a separation or divorce knowing his marriage was over then everyone owes Matt an apology.  That is also based on when he got together with Leah too.  Cheating on your wife is never cool.  If they agreed the marriage was over and had to work out the details especially with kids involved then Matt MIGHT get a pass.  And hopefully he was honest with Leah about his marriage too.  He still would need to answer questions.  A lot of questions.  Matt is battling demons.  Some just don’t go away.  You will fight them your whole life.  Maybe Matt had a moment of weakness and cheated.  Maybe his marriage was not as fulfilling as he needed it to be and Leah was just being sweet and things just happened.  Being weak and cheating on your wife just because your marriage is not good is not acceptable.  I was in a bad marriage and I didn’t stray.  It just didn’t feel right to.  Like I stated before Matt is going to look like the worst one in all of this for many reasons.

Now Leah.  I have been thinking about this for a few hours now.  And I am going to bring in my real life situation for clarity purposes.  I would love for and hope that Leah is an innocent victim in this whole situation.  It’s a bad weekend with a pay per view happening tonight.  She is wrestling with Naomi and this could be the start of a push for her.  So I don’t expect her to comment about it today.  In my opinion if she didn’t sleep with Matt I feel we would have heard her say that already.  I also would not let WWE make me keep quiet.  Maybe she went to Matt and said WTF dude.  I will say what I believe happened here.  I think Matt told Leah his marriage is over.  Maybe in his eyes it was.  Leah is so beautiful and I think real sweet that he couldn’t help himself as most men wouldn’t be able to.  Leah could have asked about his marriage and was told it’s over.  But hey we got 3 kids and I still live there because we are trying to figure out how to tell them and obviously there will be legal issues that need to be ironed out like their financial situations and property etc.  That is certainly possible.  Not to air my dirty laundry but me and my ex were having problems for a long time.  We actually had a conversation where she asked me if I wanted a divorce and I said yes.  She ran off for 2 days which was the pattern for her after every argument.  She would come back and things would get patched up but broke again a few days later.  The last time when I said I wanted a divorce and she ran out I packed a bag and went to my Mom’s house.  I left her a note saying I am staying away until we get this divorce straightened out.  To this day my ex-wife denies that part of the conversation and has told the whole world I asked for a divorce by letter.  So perhaps Amy did not believe it was over even though Matt was saying it.  Now from that point if this is how it went the ball goes into Leah’s court.

As a man who is divorced I wanted to tell any women I started talking to right from the beginning what my status was.  In June of 2016 I separated from my wife.  She stayed in our apartment for 3 months until she moved out.  During that time I stood by my mother’s house.  The last time I saw my ex-wife was September of that year when she moved out of our apartment.  I then returned to the apartment.  There was a few texts and emails during the course of the next 16 months or so.  Finally in January of this year did she sign divorce papers.  During that 2 and a half period when a woman I started talking to asked me if I was married I just told the truth.  I would say we separated in June of 2016.  I haven’t seen or spoken to her in many months.  She won’t sign the divorce papers for whatever reason.  In my eyes I consider myself divorced.  It is just not legal.  But in no way will there ever be a reconciliation.  I happen to have a lot of very close female friends.  In fact whenever I have questions about love I always ask them instead of my male friends.  Also I am the one they go to when they have problems with guys or just need s shoulder to cry on.

During my whole separation I probably asked about 10 different women the same question.  “Would you date a guy who is separated and not yet divorced?”  Is there a wrong answer to this question?  It’s just what that person really believes in.  Two women said it does not matter to them.  They would date a man if they felt comfortable it was over despite the legal status.  The rest all said they want to know it’s a completed and signed divorce before dating.  So take that for what it’s worth.  Ladies please ask yourselves that question before you pass judgement on Leah.  She could have fallen in the 20 percent who said the legal status does not matter to them.  Maybe this is what happened and if it happened this way is Leah a home wrecker?  No she is not.  Should she have waited for Matt to be legally divorced?  Does the fact that she is in the public eye make her decision different?  I would say if you are in the public eye and want to be a role model and build a bigger brand for yourself maybe Leah should have waited.  Is that fair to her?  No.  Of course maybe Matt completely lied to Leah.  If he did that he is lower than dirt.  Or maybe Leah didn’t care if his marriage was good and wanted to sleep with Matt anyway.  Matt comes out looking really bad in this scenario.  I tend to not believe that.  Why you ask.  I was not a fan of Leah when she first came up.  I didn’t think she was a good wrestler.  She is beautiful.  I don’t watch NXT at all because by Wednesday I am tired of watching wrestling and need time for other things.  So if she was good there I wouldn’t have known.  My opinion of Leah started to change when I saw some behind the scenes stuff on the Network where her true self showed up.  She grew on me.  So I feel she is not the type to break up a healthy marriage.  Not when she can get any single guy she wants.

There is some other stuff that needs to be cleared up that I have read online in the last 18 hours.  Only one person cheated here and that is Matt.  Leah didn’t cheat on anyone.  She doesn’t have a boy friend that is publically known.  She also does not owe Amy anything.  She was not the one who strayed.  Matt wrecked his own home and not Leah.  There are a lot of facts we don’t know about that must come out publically now.  Leah and Matt have been publically scarred.  We need to know what really happened.  I am 100 percent sure Leah is regretting this whole thing now.  Certainly this incident might cost her a push and more money.  Certainly her reputation has been damaged.  And in some people’s eyes they will never believe what truths come out.  They will always see the girl who slept with a guy who was still married.  My one question I would ask Leah would be “Was this really worth it?”  Her career could have been permanently derailed.

In something I never ever do.  I sent a private message to Leah on Instagram.  Now I don’t expect her to read it.  I am sure she has thousands of messages with a lot of them putting her down and calling her a slut and a whore.  But I wrote the message as if we were good friends and what I would say to her about this if she came to me as a friend.  She 100 percent has not read it but I hope she does read it.  So please Leah check your Instagram direct messages and read my very long one.  I think you might feel better.

 

There are a lot of lessons we can take from this whole incident.

  1. We are all humans and humans make mistakes. Celebrities are no different.  They should not be held to higher standards than the average person
  2. People are innocent until proven guilty. A good number of the public has already trashed Leah and Matt.
  3. Social media is bad. I wonder how many people if they saw Matt or Leah would dare say this stuff directly to their face.  I am not talking about as they are walking past you in the middle of a pack people.  Guys how many of you would go up to Leah and look her in the eye and say you’re a whore.
  4. Don’t air your dirty laundry in front of the world. If your not famous do you need to tell everyone you know about your divorce and what happened.
  5. All of our actions have consequences. We tend to not stop and think things through at times.  Leah knew Matt was 100 percent still married (I assume) and whether or not she was told the truth she could have just said we can just wait.  Things happen spur of the moment and people tend to live their lives like that.  I am not judging those people either.

With that I am still supporting Leah.  Her response to this situation will be important as the facts hopefully start to come out.  Leah you still have people in your corner and I hope to see you in NY in April.

 

PHEW.  Now onto my Elimination Chamber picks.

The actual PPV has 6 matches and half of them are not very good.  The only two matches that mean anything to me are the Elimination Chamber matches.  The rest are wastes to me.  I correctly picked the entire Royal Rumble card.  Let’s see how I do here.

Braun Stroman vs Baron Corbin.  No DQ match.

We all know Drew and Kurt are getting involved.  Perhaps a surprise person.  God please let that be true.  This is an angle going that needs to end fast.  They have destroyed Braun to the point where he has no where to go.  He can’t turn heel because that would kill his character.  And there are too many heels on Raw right now.  There has to be a winner.  So I predict Braun.

Finn Balor vs Lashley and Lio Rush

Rush is a damn good entertainer.  I liken him to the Little Wayne with Odell Beckham Jr.  Finn is the best wrestler to not have a title reign.  This can’t be a match we see at Wrestlemania.  This angle needs to end as it is also going no where.  Would love to see EC3 start a program with Finn.  Balor wins the strap tonight.

Mc Miz vs The Uso’s.

I still believe the Miz and Shane are destined for a match against each other at Wrestlemania.  So this match is necessary to develop that storyline.  However I don’t think the Uso’s win the straps tonight.  I think another team wins the straps between now and/or at Fastlane.  One half of the Uso’s getting arrested does not help things either.  If they had any thought of putting the straps on the Uso’s again that should be off the table now.  Mc Miz wins but maybe we see the start of the break up.

Ronda Rousey vs Ruby Riott

How can the WWE even try to sell this match to us when we know what is happening at Mania?  Ronda is not losing before Mania.  Period.  Maybe Charlotte and Becky do a run in for a DQ.  WWE announcing Becky re injured her knee might be something to throw us off.  Or does anybody think that story was just planted by the WWE to take some attention off the Leah/Matt story.  Let’s hope Ron Ron builds up Ruby like she did for Sasha.  Ronda retains.

Women’s Elimination Chamber Match for the New Women’s Tag Team Title

History will be made tonight.  And this will probably be the first match of the night too.  So wow we have a lot going on here.  First the crowd reaction to Carmella will be interesting to see.  Also will the WWE let Corey do the show.  I don’t think they can.  He might need to be off TV for a few days. When these titles were announced I thought Sasha and Bailey would be the first ones to win the belts.  This 4 Horsemen angle is coming.  And everyone knows the Horsemen have the gold.  But I want to see the top spots be given to a lot of these well deserving women.  Sasha and Bailey don’t need the straps right now.  And they are building up Bailey big time.  It almost seems like they are going to have the Boss and Hug Connection win this match.  Can we please stop with re using old names.  The only connection that matters is the Rock and Sock Connection.  So I think Bailey and Sasha don’t win tonight but carry much of the match.  Nia and Tamina.  I just don’t see it.  They are big but also can be ganged up to be eliminated.  I do expect that to happen.  Fabulous Glow would have been interesting to me because I think it’s a good pairing.  But after the Carmella scandal how can the WWE give the straps to that team now.  Maybe if Carmella gets a good reception they can flip this during the match.  I was going to pick them as one of the two teams to be there at the end.  Now I don’t think so.  I have seen a lot of predictions on who will win this match and there is really no clear cut favorite here which I think is good. We can be surprised for a change.  So that leaves 3 teams.  The IIconics have gotten no push at all.  This is a real dark horse team here.  Mandy and Sonja are a very strong team but I think the final two teams left will be the IIconics and Morgan and Logan.  For my winners I predict Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.  With Bailey and Sasha challenging them at Wrestlemania.

Men’s Elimination Chamber Match

Well the WWE did everything it could to get more interest in this match with that Kofi Kingston entry and push in the gauntlet match.  I also am hoping for a Bray Wyatt appearance.  It makes sense in this match but if not maybe he can start a program with Lashley or Drew. But I want to see Bray back.  This match to me is just blah.  I am figuring Daniel Bryan to retain his title.  AJ might need a change to Raw for a new storyline.  I don’t see Hardy or Orton winning this match either.  Nor do I see Daniel Bryan’s Mania opponent in this match.  I would love to see Samoa Joe win.  I want him to get some gold at some point.  Having Kofi Kingston win this match is something this company never does.  Much like Finn Balor beating Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.  So Daniel Bryan retains.

 

That’s it for now.  I was hoping to talk more about Raw and Smackdown but that was before last night’s news.  Since I am off work tomorrow I might post my reactions to the PPV and talk more about Wrestling.

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