Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion and a large portion of people are clearly not happy about it. Over the past few months, Jinder has held a tight grasp on the title, narrowly retaining it against the likes of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. However, while Jinder has been on the “top of the mountain” of the SmackDown brand, there is something that undermines him week in and week out.
The Main Event
The proof is in the card. The fact is, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find Jinder Mahal in any SmackDown main event match in recent memory. Although the same can be said about Raw and their top draws, an exception can be made on SmackDown because it is ⅓ shorter and in my opinion, it is also not as draining to watch.
Jinder Mahal mostly cuts repetitive promos on SmackDown, and to his credit I don’t think he’s doing an awful job. WWE clearly knows who people came to see, though, and who the big draws are on the blue brand (hint: not Jinder). In the months that Jinder was feuding with Nakamura and even Randy Orton, who was in the SmackDown main event? Who was purposely not put on the card and instead often featured in dark matches so that WWE could keep fans in their seats for 205 Live?
AJ Styles was (and is) highlighted every week, especially when he was the United States Champion. During his reign, the SmackDown main event usually involved AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens or Baron Corbin. During that time frame, Jinder was in a parallel universe as the WWE Champion. In short, even though he held the “mid-card” title, Styles was considered the more important of the two male singles champions on the show.
When AJ Styles was US Champion, the championship roles on SmackDown were extremely odd to say the least. You have one title picture including AJ Styles and one including Jinder Mahal. Which one sounds more legitimate to you? I would tune into SmackDown this past summer and only think about how the title pictures should be completely switched with AJ at the helm and Jinder honing his craft in the mid card.
Post Survivor Series
Now that AJ is no longer US Champion and has his eyes firmly set on Jinder’s WWE Title, this transition seems like a no-brainer. It looks like WWE may be seeing the obvious dollar signs that are plastered all over AJ Styles and they may soon reward him for his efforts as the mid-card champion during the Jinder Experiment. However, this could go one of two ways.
WWE may have come to the realization that Jinder Mahal was a mildly interesting (and wildly unsuccessful) project and now it’s time to put the title onto one of the best workers in the industry. Or they want to continue their attempt to legitimize Mahal by feeding him AJ Styles. There’s a big gap between those two, and I’m not sure WWE necessarily knows which way they’ll go yet.
The WWE Title does not feel prestigious right now. It does not feel like the top title on SmackDown and it certainly does not feel like the top title in the WWE. The WWE Title needs AJ Styles to elevate it to new heights. Imagine if we were getting AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. That has WrestleMania main event written all over it. Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal sounds like a last minute house show match (no offense to Jinder).
I also think that if AJ takes the title next Tuesday in England, it’ll be a good move for Jinder. Without all the pressure of being the top guy, Jinder may be able to retool his character and find some success. I think he has a lot of potential and can eventually work his way to the top for a legitimate run. He definitely needs a stronger in ring arsenal and a finisher that isn’t garbage. Another important factor is that he must learn to deliver his English promos with the same passion that rings clear when speaking Punjabi.
AJ Styles is the right star to carry the WWE Championship and the SmackDown brand back into relevancy. Jinder Mahal is an up and comer who is ripe for a mid card run after being pushed to be such a big deal for so long.
Reverse the roles and reap the benefits, WWE.
The Good, Bad and Ugly: NXT (01/16/2019)
Bobby breaks down the most recent episode of NXT. Does it play out like we all expect?
NXT was back to its usual self last week. A whole lot of action, tremendous storylines, and excellence. This week, we hope the Good times will continue. They cram a lot of Professional Wrestling’s finest into a small hour long segment proving less is more. With another week of new content will NXT ever be anything but Good?
Bianca Belair Promo
This match with Shayna Baszler will be incredible. Both are so dominant and contrast each other’s styles so well. Glam vs. Gloom. Belair had a more than impressive win over Nikki Cross last week and it certainly got some people’s attention. Her mic skills are sincere, and smooth. She has a lot of “it” factor. Of course when you put Baszler’s name in your mouth, she isn’t going to be far behind. Baszler interrupted Belair, in tow with her Horsewomen. Baszler is fantastic and demands attention, but Belair held her ground and the two had a Good exchange. Belair finally had enough and literally slapped the spit out of Baszler. She poked the bear and for the time being got away with it.
Johnny Gargano vs. Humberto Carillo
Carillo nearly won the 205 Live Championship this week, and has some skills. Gargano can work anyone so this was a decent match. A lot of flying around, huge moves and smooth entertaining action. Carillo hit a sick “missile dropkick” followed by a “standing moonsault.” He is impressive, but Johnny Wrestling wasn’t going to be outdone and crushed Carillo’s momentum and face with his “slingshot DDT” for the victory.
Kassius Ohno vs. “Limitless” Keith Lee
Two huge, physical beast going head to head. This is going to hurt. Ohno is one stiff bastard but Lee won’t be one to get beat around. Lee was dominant early on, overpowering and out finessing Ohno. Lee is so impressive, you never know what he is going to do. He has the power and agility rarely seen on any platform of sports. Ohno didn’t lie down though, he got in his shots and got the big guy down with brutal kicks. Ohno had control until he got a back full of knees on a senton attempt. Lee wouldn’t turn back from there. He just overpowered Ohno, tossing him around and hitting a slingshot cross body for a near fall. The ref got in the mix and knocked down just long enough for Ohno to get in a “low blow” for a cheap but much needed win for Kassius Ohno. Matt Riddle made the run in due to the cheap victory but only Good for a staredown.
Street Profits vs. The Metro Brothers (Chris and JC)
The current EVOLVE Tag Team Champions have been appropriately hyped. A lot of fans have no idea who they are, but they can certainly work. The Metro Brothers have a Good look as well. This had match had decent potential heading into it, as both teams had a Good energy heading in. Unfortunately this was a quick match, and didn’t showcase anything special. Street Profits win decisively. The celebration was short lived though as the “Forgotten Son’s” who truly were forgotten by most. These bad ass bikers beat the hell out of Street Profits and the crowd was not amused. Not NXT’s greatest stuff, and a surprisingly disappointing opening match.
Adrian Jaoude vs. Dominic Dijakovic
Jaoude a black belt and badass looks like a serious dude, and we already know how intense the New England Native Dijak is. He destroys his opponents. Unfortunately we saw a lot of awkward “mat” wrestling. The problem is if you do mat wrestling, it cannot look half assed and both competitors have to be able to go with it. We didn’t see that here. This was boring, and didn’t do anything for the audience. Dijakovic Wins and it couldn’t have ended fast enough.
OVERALL- Good, but not as Good as usual. Some of the action was more than disappointing but honestly nothing is perfect. NXT is more often than not, a fantastic example of Professional Wrestling’s potential.
The NXT product is just unreal. The promos have substance and are straight to the point. The talent on the roster even with the “call ups” seem to replenish and feed the well-oiled machine without a hiccup. The word is that an extended time slot may be in the works for more action. As said earlier less is more, but if they don’t fill the extra time with crap and just more expected Gold of a typical NXT, more is just better. However this week it wasn’t up to par. It seems that as usual the Good outweighed the Bad, but this really wasn’t their best. Onto the next week, which are the “take home” shows for an action packed weekend. See you then!
All In For a New Era Of Pro Wrestling
Corey Taylor makes his debut for The Chairshot Ushering in a new era with All Elite Wrestling!
Unlike people who know don’t follow pro wrestling or that watch it as a casual fan, I am different. Watching wrestling has been my passion since I was young. Then throw in the fact I’m a writer it gives me a very interesting outlook on the industry. I watch not just because I love it but because I study it on a creative level. I fell in love with WWF right from the start. People ask me ‘how?’ or ‘why?’
It started in 1991. I was just two years old. Young, right? Yeah, I told you. My dad was channel surfing when he flipped to WWF, and that was it. From that night forward I was hooked. At thirty years old, still passionate to the point I study the wrestling industry as much as possible. Do I know everything? No, but I do know a lot and throw in my writing background which makes the passion run deeper. The late 80s early 90s was such a magical time. The era of Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan was lighting up the federation in the early ‘90s. This continued until the WWF ushered in a “NEW GENERATION.” Wrestlers like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels who were tag team specialists set off on single careers and became leaders of the new era.
Media mogul Ted Turner, the CEO of World Championship Wrestling, had a chat with Eric Bischoff, one of his B-team announcers. “How do we compete against WWF?”
Eric Bischoff said the first thing he could think of, “Go head to head with the WWF every Monday night.” Turner concurred and gave him the prime time Monday night slot. They shook WWF to its core for 83 weeks.
MONDAY NIGHT WARS
WWF was still going the kid-friendly over the top character’s route, and fans started to flee from the product, and the company was financially struggling. WCW, however, was flouring with its more reality-based storylines and was bringing in bigger numbers. Most of the stars of the 80s and early 90s from WWF jumped to WCW. During this period, WWF wrestler Lex Luger appeared on the first episode of Monday Nitro a day after his contract expired. A year or more earlier Hogan and Savage had left WWF since their presence became irrelevant due to WWF’s youth movement but even the young talent they were making stars started to leave, like Kevin Nash (also known as Diesel in WWF) and Scott Hall (known as Razor Ramon) shocked the wrestling world by jumping to WCW.
WCW competed with WWF/E “head to head” and won every week for 83 solid weeks! Wow, you would agree with me that this was a rating beatdown. This challenge outright brought WWF ratings crashing down but, the WCW’s ego started their downfall. How?
WWF pre-taped their Monday night Raw on various weeks and when they did WCW would give away the results. Then on the 83rd week, they made a mistake that’d cost them. Live on air they announced that there would be a new champion on the other show (WWF Raw.) That night, Mick Foley won the WWF Championship, and WCW knew it was happening because it was pre-taped. Tony Schiavone said with disgust “That’ll put butts in the seats.” However, the fans switched over to Raw and WCW’s ratings never recovered. This development further fueled the WCW’s doom. Based on the responses from various sources, a lot of things led to her downfall in 2001, but on a fateful day in 2001 Vince McMahon “bought
WHY THE HISTORY LESSON?
I know what you are wondering. Why bring you on this trip eighteen years back in time down memory lane? Here we are in 2019. WWF; now known as WWE is still standing though on bent legs. They’re still going strong but are struggling with consistently keeping momentum and ratings are down. Even with its long-lasting virtue, it is struggling to keep the fans entertained.
Don’t get it all wrong WWE is still a juggernaut but for how long? Some people blame it on Monday Night Raw being three hours while others say it is because of Vince inconsistency with his fans and all other sorts of assumptions. There seems to be a new dawn for WWE in 2019. They will either flourish or fail. WWE is about to witness the competition it hasn’t seen in 18 years.
It all started four months ago, on the first of September 2018. After months of intense preparation and planning, Cody Rhodes, the son of a legendary pro wrestler, and a pro wrestling mastermind, the late Dusty Rhodes, along with Nick and Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks put on a well-planned event that sold out the Sears Center and put on a stacked successful show. It was AMAZING! An exciting combination of amazing in-ring competition, blasts from the past and an entertaining yet bizarre moment.
Jay Lethal restored his Black Machismo gimmick with Randy Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo by his side, there was this very emotional NWA championship match between Nick Aldis and Cody Rhodes and to cap it all, everyone also enjoyed the challenge between Kenny Omega and Pentagon Jr, with a shocking appearance by Chris Jericho. It was the wrestling event wrestling fans have been waiting years to see. At one point I had to rub my eyes and wonder if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. With Adam Page in the ring after a match, Joey Ryan’s crotch appeared on the screen and began to…well…stiffen, Followed by inflatable phallic druids heading down to the ring and the world saw the “Res-erection” of Joey Ryan. I was standing there both traumatized and entertained. It was unique, to say the least.
ALL IN was such a success, on January 1st they announced on BEING THE ELITE the YouTube channel they were going DOUBLE OR NOTHING. This was followed by a second announcement, the birth of All Elite Wrestling. The Bucks, Adam Page, and Cody Rhodes were starting their own wrestling promotion. As days went on, they announced that top female independent talent, Brit Baker was joining the company and the official disclosure of the financial backers being the Khan family, owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Reports say they are investing about one-hundred million dollars into the startup of the company.
Wow! That’s a massive amount of cash.
Announcements on more names attached to the promotion came on the 8th of January, at a press conference hosted by All Elite Wrestling. The first names were called to the stage to start things off.: (So Cal Uncensored); Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Scorpio Sky and signed by All Elite Wrestling. Then the former WWE Cruiserweight champion PAC and Chris Jericho, one of the biggest free agents in the industry appeared at the rally.
According to The Bucks and Rhodes, they testified that they had a goal of putting ten thousand people in a building a few months ago, and they succeeded. In their words, they revealed that they never let their friendship affect them in their profession, and their comradery will be one of the driving forces of what makes AEW successful. I ran through the lists of announced names, Cody Rhodes, Young Bucks, Adam Page, Brit Baker, So Cal Uncensored, PAC, Chris Jericho and am predicting a ton of success of ALL IN but the similarities and the differences between AEW and WCW were clear.
REPEATING CORRECTING ITSELF
An obvious similarity is that billionaires funded both WCW and AEW. WCW, however, focused on already established big names from WWE while AEW is concentrating on guys who have made their names for themselves or have yet to make a name for themselves. Even former WWE wrestlers like Pac and Jericho left WWE and have done a great deal to brand themselves separate from their WWE careers. WCW had pizza guys and network execs running the company before and after Eric Bischoff was in power, but AEW has The Bucks and Cody Rhodes leading the charge and looks to be in control of things on a creative level, and that will be a significant catalyst on why AEW can outrun WCW.
Unlike WCW, in AEW, there are no egos, no politicians, no random individual who does not know the trends in the wrestling industry. AEW, however, is anchored by people who are in the wrestling business and financially backed by someone who loves the wrestling business. The trending news does not stop here. There had been rumors that big networks are looking to have AEW on their network and another aspect reminiscent of WCW is the fact that one of the big networks looking to get AEW is none other than the former home of WCW Nitro the TNT network. Could we see a rebirth of the Monday Night Wars? Dare we dream?
The wrestling business is changing, and this could be a wake-up call to WWE to focus and make an impact and keep the momentum going while also giving fans an alternative in AEW. It will be an exciting few years and will be crucial for WWE, AEW and the pro wrestling industry as a whole. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the product now even more than ever. However, if WWE or AEW needs a writer on their staff that has been following the industry for 27 years and had ten years of writing experience, I am available, reach me.
To get the latest news on All Elite Wrestling, tune in to your favorite pro wrestling news sites. Tune into Twitter and Being the Elite YouTube channel to get the news.
To contact me: Coreyt0304@gmail.com