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Who Should Ronda Rousey Face At WrestleMania?

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WWE Ronda Rousey

WWE’s newest Superstar is a familiar name to most sports fans. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was the fighter that solidified women’s MMA as a focal point of UFC programming. Some of her fights were part of UFC’s biggest PPV buyrates. Though her UFC career came to a screeching halt after two high-profile losses, Rousey still rates as the biggest draw in women’s MMA history.

Her arrival in WWE was rumored for years before it finally happened. Ronda is a well-known wrestling fan that regularly attended WWE events & even checked out a PWG show or two. She got permission from the legendary “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to use his nickname as a mixed martial artist. Ronda & her training partners called themselves the Four Horsewomen with permission from Ric Flair & Arn Anderson. She loves sports entertainment & wants to give it a shot.

So she showed up at the Royal Rumble. Many were thinking that she would be in the Women’s Rumble Match & win it. Instead, she came down after it was over & pointed at the WrestleMania sign.

We know she’ll be at WrestleMania. The $64,000 question is what she’ll be doing there. Will she be standing around backstage? Could she be hosting the show? Will she have a confrontation?

I might be a little bit optimistic, but I’m hoping she actually has a match. There are some obvious options based on Ronda’s interactions with WWE at the Rumble & previous events. There’s one rumor from the Meltz that’s picking up some steam.

Let’s break down the options & figure out what would be best.

Charlotte Flair

Why It World Work: The Horsewomen tension was teased during the Mae Young Classic. Charlotte is the best female performer in WWE right now in my opinion, & would be as likely to get a good match out of Ronda as anybody.

Why It Wouldn’t Work: It’s the kind of match you build to for awhile. You don’t put it out there as Ronda’s first match. Let her work her way up the ranks and then challenge Charlotte for the championship. It’s the kind of match that could actually go on last at a WrestleMania in a couple of years. Just not this one.

Alexa Bliss

Why It Would Work: Alexa might be the best person to feud with Ronda. She’d be good at running down Ronda’s accomplishments every week and making people think she had a chance to win. She’s also the Raw Women’s Champion, so if you want Ronda on Raw it makes sense.

Why It Wouldn’t Work: Like Charlotte, Alexa is a champion. Rousey doesn’t need to beat a champion on her first night. People might believe Alexa has a fighting chance until the stare-down, then it’d be an uphill climb.

Asuka

Why It Would Work: Asuka & Ronda exchanging kicks & strikes would be the closest thing to a fight that I can think of. It’d be fun to watch!

Why It Wouldn’t Work: Asuka is scheduled to take on either the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion. She won’t turn that down just to wrestle Rousey. Also, having Rousey end Asuka’s streak in her first pro wrestling match would be pretty anti-climatic.

Stephanie McMahon

Why It Would Work: If the match consists of Ronda putting Stephanie in an armbar, it’d get a huge pop & serve its purpose.

Why It Wouldn’t Work: Anything more than that would be a waste of time. Stephanie doesn’t need to be getting offense in a one on one contest with somebody that’s legitimately one of the toughest women on the planet. She probably would anyway.

w/The Rock vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H

Why It Would Work: Hiding Ronda in a tag team match with two of wrestling’s biggest stars makes perfect sense. It would get a large amount of mainstream attention and generate the most buys out of anything I can think of. There’s also a built-in issue, as these four were involved in a confrontation at WrestleMania 31. Long-term booking!

Why It Wouldn’t Work: Rock either might not be available or might not get cleared to wrestle.

So who would I pick?

I wouldn’t go with any of those choices!

Hear me out. We’re talking about a competitor making her in-ring debut. Professional wrestling is a whole different beast from MMA. MMA’s easier in many respects, mostly because you’re not expected to protect your opponent or execute pretty moves or put on a show to entertain the crowd. Rousey’s friend Shayna Baszler has had a successful transition from MMA to wrestling, but she would admit that it didn’t happen overnight.

Rousey’s put some time in at the Performance Center. That doesn’t replicate performing in front of 70,000 fans at the Superdome. She’s going to need somebody she can rely on in the ring with her. An experienced veteran that’s seen it all, that won’t get lost in the WrestleMania Moment. It needs to be somebody that’s willing to work with Ronda & make her look like a million bucks. Whoever wrestles Rousey won’t be the focus of the match. They need to be ok with that.

The perfect opponent for Rowdy Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania might not be a household name. She’s appeared on E! & has been on the main roster for nearly a decade. Most of her time with the company has been spent making her opponents look good. She would be the perfect woman for this spot. Oh, and she’s been training with Ronda at the Performance Center.

Natalya

From a storyline perspective, it’s a woman that grew up in the wrestling business defending the sport against a hotshot newcomer that thinks she can waltz in & be a Superstar. It’s not going to be that easy. Ronda will have to prove herself against a seasoned competitor. You can’t hand her a title match just because she’s Ronda Rousey.

Once Ronda beats Natalya, then we can start talking about titles & authority figures and things like that. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk. Natalya will be a good teacher.


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Opinion

When Will The Roman Reigns Experiment End In WWE?

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Two weeks ago, Roman Reigns walked in to the Mercedes Benz Superdome and thought he would walk out of WrestleMania 34 as the new Universal Heavyweight Champion.

Brock Lesnar’s new deal with WWE ended those dreams as the current champion on Monday Night Raw destroyed the “Big Dog” and retained his title. Reigns gets another shot at glory at the Biggest Royal Rumble show in Saudi Arabia, but the chances of a different outcome may be slim of not possible at all. Still, WWE continues to push Reigns, a three-time WWE champion, as the future of the company. Watching him lose to Lesnar time after time hasn’t endeared him to the fans, who would still rather see a new performer atop the leaderboard.

WWE’s love affair with Roman Reigns must come to an end at some point, right? This isn’t a soap opera where you can stop watching for a year, come back and see the same storyline, is it? Apparently, Vince McMahon wants to get as much out of the Reigns as he can.

The main event picture on Monday nights got a little more crowded with the arrival of Bobby Lashley last week. Reigns, Lashley and Braun Strowman figure to be front and center on this carousel while Lesnar walks in and out of the company’s backdoor. The lure of WWE and UFC at the same time will leave the “Beast Incarnate” with deep pockets and decisions to make.

Having the Universal Champion on Monday nights showing off red gold would benefit everyone involved, including the man who has beaten The Undertaker and John Cena in the past year. If WWE wants to continue Reigns’ path as the new leader of the company, it must put the strap on his waist soon. Fans have become restless and disengaged. Strowman gets the biggest pops on television. Seth Rollins is the Intercontinental Champion and could elevate himself to the main event.

Lashley will have fan support any time he gets in the ring.

It’s a no-win situation for Reigns, who didn’t ask for this kind of response. Had he beaten Batista in the 2014 Royal Rumble, this might be a different story – the kind where fans cannot get enough of the former Shield member. 

I almost feel sorry for Reigns. A big, strong wrestler born into the business with a look of a champion. He falls victim to the social media age of this business and fan sensibilities that change from day to day. If Reigns had been a champion in the 1980s, he and Hulk Hogan would have torn down Madison Square Garden. If he had been part of the Attitude Era, no doubt Steve Austin, Triple H and The Rock would have come knocking on his door.

Had he been part of the NWA in the early 1980s, I would have loved to see him in matches with Barry Windham, Lex Lugar and Ric Flair. This is the hand he has been dealt. For that reason, he and the fans must live with it.

As long as McMahon is pushing the button, Reigns will be the center of attention. Lesnar may hold the belt now and there are rumors Bobby Lashley may soon take it from the current champ. But front and center on the mind of WWE’s “machine” is a way to finally get Reigns over as the champion of the red team and as a favorite with the steadfast fan base.

It’s a relationship that will continue to remain toxic as long as Reigns is pushed down fans’ throats.


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Opinion

The NXT North American Championship Is A Good Thing

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Chairshot Edit Adam Cole WWE
Pro Wrestling Wikia/Chairshot Edit

A few weeks ago William Regal announced that NXT would be unveiling a brand new championship at TakeOver: New Orleans. This lead to a six man ladder match to crown the first ever NXT North American Champion. A match I think we can all agree was excellent.

But the big question is though: Does NXT need another title?

Short Answer: Yes. Let me tell you why.

Now I know that a lot of people myself included like the clear structure of a TakeOver event. Just over 2 and a half hour show with just 5 matches allowing for more stories outside the title picture. This is good in theory but it doesn’t always work. In the past we’ve had the odd match on a Takeover that while great from an in ring standpoint in terms of story had no reason to exist.

Perfect example of this is Kassius Ohno vs Velveteen Dream from TakeOver: Philadelphia. Not a bad match by any means but the story behind hit felt rushed because they need another match to fill the card. The North American title has already partly taken care of this problem as the ladder match had a clear story behind it. Each man involved wanted the right to be known as the first champion.

Now look at the first ever NXT North American Champion: Adam Cole Bay Bay!

Since picking up the win for his team at War Games, Cole hadn’t won many big matches and was in danger of losing his appeal. Looking back he was the perfect guy to win it because he can lord over everyone like the cocky heel that he plays so well. His title win along with the inclusion of Roderick Strong into the Undisputed Era they once again feel like a dominant faction. Honestly they haven’t felt this hot since their debut.

Cole isn’t one who’s been made to feel big by the belt, who watching the ladder match didn’t feel like anyone in that match could have won? If you said you didn’t you’re a liar. He’s already defended his title at Mania Axxess against Akira Tozawa and is set to defend it on next weeks NXT against Oney Lorcan.

Which brings up my next point: more championships means more opportunities.

NXT’s roster is larger than most people realize. There are a lot of people who only work live events and have to wait months to get on TV. Even when they do it’s mostly to get squashed by someone.

Oney Lorcan despite being a very talent worker and over with Full Sail crowd has unfortunately fallen into the role of jobber to the stars. This match with Adam Cole is his first real shot at a championship in NXT. Hopefully this means that more talent in NXT like Lorcan who don’t get a lot of TV time get an opportunity.

You know most of them won’t win but if they can put on a great match they can get over in defeat. Similar to John Cena’s US open challenge. You knew he won’t lose to Zack Ryder or Stardust but he still put on a really good match with them.

The North American title has already given us great matches with the ladder match even getting the full 5 stars from Dave Meltzer (our own Andrew Balaz gave the match 3.5 stars). WWE matches don’t get those very often.

Finally as I said the NXT roster is quite vast meaning not everyone can win the top title. Before the North American title you had guys like Strong & Ohno wondering around the mid card aimlessly because if they weren’t going to win the title there wasn’t much else for them to do. Having a secondary belt gives certain superstars purpose. Instead of making Ohno a glorified jobber have him challenge for the North American title.

It’s also a great proving opportunity for certain stars. Stars who a little younger or they’re not sure if they’re ready for the main title have them win the North American Title and see what they do with it.

They’re way of saying “Here’s an opportunity, sink or swim with it”. It’s for this exact reason I was sure Velveteen Dream was going to win it. He’s incredibly over put maybe too young for the main title. In essence it could become what the Intercontinental Title use to back in the day. The up incoming guys like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and even The Rock got at least one run with the IC title before they were ready to become World champion.

You have to think this partly Triple H had in mind for this title as it’s an old school concept and he clearly loves old school wrestling. You can tell with NXT’s old territory set up and the design of the North American title itself.

With all that it’s hard to see how the NXT North American Championship can’t be a success. I see it possibly being on par if not bigger than the NXT Championship.


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Opinion

Bray Wyatt Has Found His Niche With Woken Matt Hardy

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Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt

Matt Hardy is sharing his Woken wisdom with the world. The first man to fully accept that wisdom is Bray Wyatt and the two men are now a tag team in WWE. Many fans saw this coming, as Wyatt’s character had peaked for the most part. There was only so much ground WWE could cover with him in his Eater of Worlds persona.

It was indeed time for a change and Hardy facilitated that change. Now the two men are sharing the same air without trying to destroy each other, which seemed to be their fate. Like Undertaker and Mankind, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt seemed destined to feud forever. But they are much better as a team.

That was perhaps not what fans expected. Though the signs of a potential partnership were there, no one could have predicted just how well they would mesh together. Fans watched them fight for so long that any union between them could have fallen flat.

But they are clicking together quite nicely at this point. Their personalities compliment each other and they have a great chemistry together. Wyatt has slid into the No.2 spot, which is a change of pace for him. He was always the man at the head of The Wyatt Family. He was always the one pulling the strings.

Therein lays the disbelief among many fans when it comes to this new team. Wyatt spent his entire WWE career as a heel. There was never any reason for anyone to trust him, because he was always playing mind games with everyone around him. He had no history as a babyface and he never really crossed into that area at any time during his run. He always had an agenda and that agenda was usually trouble for whoever crossed him.

Then there’s the fact that he was such a twisted soul. Bray Wyatt was never really hated like other heels around him, but he was booed. At his best Wyatt was creepy and sometimes even frightening. At his worst, he was a babbling madman. Somewhere in the middle, he found his niche.

The WWE faithful often didn’t understand what he was talking about but they knew it was psychological. Wyatt often seemed to talk above everyone’s head, as if he was already three steps in front of them. Fans took what they wantd from his promos and though the point wasn’t always clear, the intent was. Bray Wyatt wanted to be worshipped. He needed to be.

His character’s existence needed validation. The only way he could get that was by controlling others and making them need him. They were subservient to him and he led the way. Wyatt’s opponents wanted to shut him down but they were being played as well. Bray thrived on funhouse horror and expected everyone else to live that life with him. In that world, only he stood at the top.

So when fans now see him alongside Matt Hardy, they immediately have doubts. How could such a megalomaniacal figure like Bray Wyatt actually step aside and give control of his fate to a man that was beneath him? Wyatt did try to destroy Hardy and was convinced that he could do it. How could one brawl completely change his mind and indeed his very essence? Is that even possible?

In the world of WWE, Bray Wyatt is Marvel’s Loki. Like his comic book counterpart, Bray is devilish and conniving, always ready to use others for his own personal gain. He is a trickster, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a man that wants to slide in and take whatever he wants before anyone knows he was there.

Neither man is concerned with obliterating everything around them; they would much rather rule it all. Complete power is intoxicating and both men are indeed addicted to it. Loki has betrayed his brother Thor numerous times in order to get that kind of power. Is it only a matter of time until Bray Wyatt betrays Matt Hardy for the same reason?

The biggest problem with that theory is fans just saw it happen. Randy Orton once followed Bray and then turned on him. It was obvious from the start that Orton was up to something; he’s called The Viper for a reason. But no matter how many times it seemed as if Randy would leave Bray, he stayed. He even began to fit. Suddenly Randy Orton looked like he belonged with Bray Wyatt. Fans accepted it. But as soon as everyone relaxed, Orton made his move.

This could happen again of course. Wyatt could betray Hardy and leave him for dead in the middle of the ring. He could even take control of SAniTy and possibly even remake them in his own image. Many fans believe that would work and it quite possibly could. But is that the right move for Bray Wyatt?

Right now he and Matt Hardy are just getting started. Some guys are better enemies than friends but that just doesn’t apply to this situation. Hardy and Wyatt have gone to war many times before. Fans have seen that. It was fun and it worked for them. But it was time for something new. The same is definitely true for Wyatt.

Bray needed a change. He may have the same look and he may have the same move-set in the ring but he has evolved. Wyatt reached his apex and needed to do something fresh in order to keep moving forward. That’s exactly what he’s done now. Wyatt was a compelling heel but he can be a dynamic character babyface. This is what he perhaps should have been all along.

Matt and Bray are not The Hardy Boyz. They’re also not The Wyatt Family. These two Superstars are something more, something different. Hardy revitalized his pro wrestling career with his Broken and Woken personas. Bray Wyatt is now doing the same. The time for twists and turns may come. But now the time is right for this duo. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are bizarrely fun together and that fun is just beginning.


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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