I have a confession for you all, I feel bad every time I spend a few thousand words moaning about WWE. In the past few years, I’ve seen my wrestling taste change. Moving away from that company, I’ve discovered a world of new things to watch. Therefore, it often feels like I’m going out of my way to go back and bash something I hate. Rather than spending an afternoon watching New Japan or wXw, I’ve chosen to put my hours into WWE, well aware that it will probably piss me off. I don’t listen to pop music and then moan that it’s not for me, so why do it with wrestling?
WrestleMania may still be two and a half months away, but we are getting ready to hit that build-up hard. Which means it’s probably not ideal for WWE to have their star man being caught up in stories of an illegal nature. That’s never going to look good. And whether it turns out Roman has been taking steroids or not, it is awful timing. Because if the worst comes to past, what does WWE do if something happens to Roman?
Wrestling is my safety blanket. When I’m feeling down or when life is a bit too scary, I turn to my imaginary world of superheroes. Of giants and champions. I feel safe there. All of which is why I get sad when I see shit begin to leak out of that world. I want to bury my head in the sand when accusations of abuse or manipulation run rampant on Twitter. I genuinely hate it when the discussion turns to the horrible deeds rather than the fantastic matches.
“All of which leads us to January 4th and Okada vs Naito. The golden boy vs the rebel. There’s only one way this should go and it’s with the rebel getting the win.”
The words of, well, me. In the build-up to Wrestle Kingdom, I was so sure that Naito would beat Okada that I’d have bet your life on it. It seemed like a foregone conclusion. The pretty pink bow on Naito’s long story. Honestly, I still think it should have been, but the evils have popped out of Pandora’s box, and they ain’t going back in. So, we’re left with Okada and time to ponder whether this was the right story to tell.
It couldn’t really be anyone else, could it?
Twenty albums, ten films and three matches. Why? Nobody knows, and it is certainly not from a lack of options. This has been a hell of a year for wrestling. Sure, the big boy has been a bit shit, but the rest of the world is stepping up, and even WWE had a few crackers. Wrestling is on top form right now, and it’s a joy to watch.
Alongside all my usual disclaimers I would like to point out that I am one person and I can only watch so many promotions. This list is slanted in a certain direction because of that. I hope to get into even more promotions in the future, but there are only so many hours in the day. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
This Sunday Shane McMahon will walk into a Hell in a Cell match with Kevin Owens. It will be the third time he’s wrestled since his shock return in the build-up to WrestleMania 32. Both of those previous matches took place at a WrestleMania and yet, it’s possible this is the most important one yet. The Undertaker and AJ Styles didn’t need the rub of a McMahon to establish themselves, while Kevin Owens (despite having been around for a while) feels like he does at the moment. He’s been floundering since he moved to SmackDown.
For the second week in a row, the final segment on Raw (minus a short SHIELD tease) focused on the Cruiserweight Division vs. Enzo Amore. It’s a feud that has generated a double turn as an entire division turned face due to their disgust at the twat in a hat holding the belt. The question is, will this actually work? Is Enzo Amore the thing to save 205 Live?
Last Tuesday night WWE sent Jinder Mahal (a heel whose main motivation is the fact he’s Indian) down to the ring to make a series of crass jokes about Shinsuke Nakamura. He made fun of the Japanese tendency to pronounce ls as rs and referred to Shinsuke as Mr Miyagi. They were dumb, insensitive jokes and screamed of something that Vince McMahon would find hilarious. They also speak to a problem at the heart of WWE.
Two years ago today, Charlotte Flair defeated Nikki Bella to win the Diva’s Championship. While it wouldn’t become the Women’s Title till WrestleMania the next year, this was Charlotte’s first reign and was the symbolic end of the Divas. Since then, Charlotte has gone on to become a four-time Raw Women’s Champion and it’s safe to say that on the whole, women’s wrestling in WWE is much better off, but how much better off is it?