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How Should WWE Book Ronda Rousey?

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Ronda Rousey joining the WWE was one of the worst kept secrets in recent years, and it was one met with many conflicting opinions. Who would she face? What show does she join? Will she be a full timer or just another Brock Lesnar? Why is she even here? Lets not beat around the bush, her acquisition is a HUGE deal for WWE, despite her UFC career going down the pan she is still one of the most recognisable sportswomen in the world and will undoubtedly bring in more of that sweet dolla dolla that makes Vince McMahon sleep easy at night. But what direction should WWE take with her and how can she be booked without alienating the fans and half of the locker room? Let’s take a look at some of the best and most viable booking options…

Four Horsewomen of WWE v Four Horsewomen of MMA

Let’s start off with the one which makes the most sense. At this exact moment in time we know how good Rousey in inside the Octagon of UFC, but we have no idea how well she will be able to adapt to the choreographed, dramatic showmanship which WWE prides itself on. Therefore, putting her in the ring with 7 other women would be the best way to paint over the cracks and hide any flaws she might have early on, as the last thing WWE would want is their biggest signing in years looking stupid and having the crowd shit all over her big moment.

This booking also makes sense because of who would be involved in the match. While the crowd may not be overly invested in the MMA ladies (Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir) seeing four of the WWE’s best female stars compete together for the first time would certainly be a WrestleMania moment and keep the fans interested throughout. There’s no doubting the talent and experience of WWE’s femme fatale’s – Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley – and any one of them would be able to help Ronda look good and like a legitimate badass.

Rousey’s debut in a WWE ring, and even more so her debut at WrestleMania, needs to be treated like the huge deal which it undoubtedly is. Millions of eye’s all over the world will be glued to the event to see what Ronda can bring to the table, so the mainstream appeal of this match makes it the ideal booking for everyone involved and also means that we get to see all of our favourite women involved without necessarily having to have Charlotte defending her title.

4 Horsewomen off WWE minus 1 vs 4 Horsewomen of MMA minus 1

Going for the gold

The next most viable option would be Ronda going after one of the Women’s Championships… but which one? A lot of this comes down to what WWE choose do with Asuka, we’re no closer to finding out who she will be challenging after her historic win at the Royal Rumble and it’s a really tricky one to call. Asuka challenging Alexa Bliss, with the potential of Nia Jax joining to set up a triple threat, would free up Rousey to challenge Charlotte over on SDLive. This would arguably be the best 1 v 1 match available, Charlotte has proven time and time again how ridiculously good she is in the ring and she desperately needs legitimate competition after a few months of not exactly setting the place on fire, and she has really struggled to come even close to her fantastic rivalry with Sasha Banks. She has also improved substantially on the mic, which is the area Rousey will likely struggle the most, so Charlotte should be able to carry the feud in terms of promo’s with ease.

The other potential match up could be Rousey v Asuka, and a lot of people are getting behind this one but there’s one major flaw here… who wins? WWE have built Asuka to be the most invincible force we’ve ever seen, and while the streak has to come to an end eventually can you imagine the backlash if Rousey was the one to break it? It’s going to take a long time for her to settle in and be seen as a legitimate superstar so to have her defeat a fan favourite who made history and happens to have a record breaking undefeated run would do her more harm than anything. At the same time, can you really see Rousey losing at Mania? WWE need to find her someone she can beat with everyone accepting it, or have her involved in a match where she doesn’t win but also finishes the match without being the person to take the loss.

For me that could quite easily come in the form of a fatal 4 way for the RAW Women’s Championship. We still have nearly 2 months until Mania and plenty of opportunities to shoe horn Rousey in to the title picture by having her ambush various superstars. Not only does this get her on TV and help to build the storyline, it also means she doesn’t necessarily need to have a 1 v 1 match in the build up and can save that moment for Mania. Now that we know she is signing her contract during Elimination Chamber, I would have her interfere in the Nia Jax v Asuka match so that Kurt Angle is forced to have all 3 women face Bliss at Mania. Rousey can dominate the match, clean house but be ganged up on by all 3 women and roll out of the ring for a while. Bliss eventually takes the pin from Asuka who wins clean. Everyone is happy. WWE get Rousey bringing in viewers at the biggest event of the year, Nia and Rousey don’t look bad in defeat and Asuka continues the streak and wins the gold. BOOM. Book it. Money.

She pointed 4 times. Each time, Charlotte, Asuka and Bliss all looked up with her. Like, what were they expecting the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time?

Ladies and Gentlemen…

This one might just be wishful thinking on my part but hear me out for a minute. I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Paul Heyman (as seen here), the man can spin gold on the mic and gets us so much more invested into Brock Lesnar’s rivalries than we really ought to be. But with Lesnar likely to leave WWE when he drops the Universal Championship to Roman Reigns at Mania, what is there left for Heyman to do? Joining forces with Rousey, essentially the female Lesnar, has huge potential. I’ve heard Rousey speak at press conferences and seen her act in movies and it’s a little bit … let’s say uninspiring. That’s not a dig at her by any means, not every great superstar has been incredible on the mic and she’s entering a world in which she has no experience at all, but having the incomparable Heyman working as her mouthpiece is best for business. Lesnar has always been horrible on the mic, so WWE did the right thing by pairing him with Heyman and its didn’t exactly do Lesnar any harm now did it?

I can even picture the perfect way for the pairing to be introduced. Rousey enters the ring to sign her contract at Elimination Chamber with Kurt Angle already in the ring. After a little bit of pandering to the crowd and saying how happy she is to be here, Stephanie McMahon comes down to the ring because GOD FORBID she should stay off TV for more than a couple of months. She enters the ring and talks some rubbish about women’s revolutions and making history. Steph comments on what happened at Mania 31 (we’ll get to that later). Rousey goes to sign the contract but hesitates, grabs the mic and says that she isn’t comfortable signing the dotted line without someone there to give it a once over first. She needs her advisor… her trusted accomplice… her advocate.

Regardless of who she faces at Mania, Heyman’s inclusion in the program would make it must see TV. The hype he could generate would certainly get people to rally behind Rousey, in the same way they have with Lesnar, when before they may have been sceptical after the way she was introduced at the Rumble, taking away from Asuka’s win and the horribly awkward interaction which followed.

I miss my headset 🙁

Do you smell what The Rock & Ronda are cooking?

This seems like the least likely of the bunch but its still worth mentioning. The WWE Universe will forever love The Rock, and with good reason, so he would be another prime candidate to get the fans to rally behind Rousey. The whole premise of this one would be as a continuation of the interaction which saw R&R (Rubbish I know but I’m sticking with it) take HHH and Stephanie down a peg or two at Mania 31. These are the McMahon’s we are talking about here so no doubt some day they will be looking for retribution after being humiliated publically.

Frankly I hope this one doesn’t happen, and I struggle to see it coming to fruition regardless of my feelings towards it. The Rock seems to care less and less about WWE now, and in a sense I cant blame him. WWE need The Rock, The Rock does not need WWE. When he first started off in Hollywood it was expected that he would still make the odd appearances and have the odd short term program, such as when he came back to face John Cena. However now that he seems to be in a new movie every other week, what would even be in it for him anymore? It would be a throwaway match that the majority of fans wouldn’t care about, and takes up a slot which more deserving superstars could be utilizing.

So to summarise… it doesn’t need to happen. It would be a waste of a match/slot on the card. Talented superstars would be overlooked. Most fans wouldn’t care. It would only serve to boost Stephanie and Trips humongous ego’s. So… you can almost guarantee it’ll happen then. because WWE that’s why!

Don’t.. Bring. It

 


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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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