There is a saying when it comes to the WWE, and that is “anything can happen.” That is somewhat a true statement, as sometimes WWE likes to throw us a curveball every now and then. This goes double for champion reigns. As one of the main stables of wrestling, championship reigns are always sure to surprise, weather how they end or how long they exist. That doesn’t mean however, it is impossible to predict when certain title reigns will end.
Intercontinental Championship – Seth Rollins – Lose at Extreme Rules
Unless there is a drastic change of mid-card championships between shows, then it is safe to say Rollins will be carrying the I.C. championship for a while. With Balor looking to feud with Rollins over the title, we may be seeing some great in ring action. A heel turn for Balor would breath new life for his character and if he is able to capture the championship at Extreme Rules as predicted, he and Rollins could relive their Summerslam encounter two years earlier. Rollins could move on to the Universal Championship or a reignited rivalry with Dean Ambrose.
United States Championship – Jeff Hardy – Extreme Rules
Jeff Hardy is the perfect person to carry the United States with such a stacked SmackdownLive. He’s a fan favorite and big merchandise seller, so unless there is an unpredictable title change while the shake-up cools down, he’ll hold on to the strap. The extreme Rules PPV is perfect for Hardy to get into a stipulation match where he puts it all on the line only to come up short. Who takes the red, white, and blue strap isn’t clear at all, but there are some distinct candidates. Samoa Joe, The Miz, Big Cass could all make good heel champions coming off of a favorite like Hardy. Just to pick one, Samoa Joe seems the most likely. He has yet to win a championship on the main roster, which is odd considering how he is one of the few NXT call ups that seems to be thriving in his role. A feud with Jeff Hardy would also provide solid match ups down the road.
Cruiserweight Championship – Cedric Alexander – Lose at 205 Live
With 205 Live now under a new mindset, it wouldn’t be too far off to see some title changes on the main show itself. Granted Cedric could lose the title at a PPV, but it would make sense for the revamped 205 Live show to hold some big surprises going forward. Like Cedric before, Drew Gulak was close to capturing the belt, doing wonders with his gimmick before 205 Live changed. He is one of few who could do well with a gimmick, and could become the next Cruiserweight Champion. Sometime after Summerslam feels right, as WWE could milk Cedric’s reign. Whever he does win the purple belt, it will be well deserved.
RAW Tag Team Championships – Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt – Lose at Money in the Bank
While the team of Matt and Bray appears to be working now, much like the team of Wyatt and Orton in 2017, it probably won’t last long. It would be nice to see the duo defend the gold within the Hardy Compound, but that may be too good to be true. It’s more likely they’ll lose the belts due to Wyatt turning on Matt after some seeds of doubt are planted. Or they could lose the title’s clean to the rising Authors of Pain, and have a rivalry with them or another team outside the championship picture.
SmackdownLive Tag Team Championships – Bludgeon Brothers – Lose at Hell in a Cell
The largest wait on the list, it makes sense for Harper and Rowan to remain dominant for most of 2018. SmackdownLive has some good tag teams but it isn’t clear who would take the belts of the Bludgeon Brothers, but there is enough time to build someone for that opportunity. Perhaps the New Day could capture the gold a few times, trading wins with Harper and Rowan. What Bludgeon Brothers will do after the fact remains to be seen. Luke Harper has a promising career as a singles competitor as seen in the build up to WrestleMania 33, but the two may stick together to keep a good amount of depth in the tag team division.
RAW Women’s Championship – Nia Jax – Lose at Extreme Rules
Nia will lead the women’s division as a dominant champion before someone rises up to take it from her. A tables match could be the perfect opportunity to have someone take the title off of her while keeping the Irresistible Force looking strong. Many wish the feud between Baylay and Sasha was for the championship, and we may just get that going into Summerslam. Whoever turns heel (most likely Sasha) could defeat Nia and defend against her former friend. Nia would chase the champion as well, or continue her feud with Alexa Bliss.
SmackdownLive Women’s Championship – Carmella – Lose at SmackdownLive
WWE likes to have a championship change hands every now and then on television. With the talents of Charlotte, Asuka, and Becky Lynch on SmackdownLive, Carmella won’t be holding the championship for long. A few defenses will do her well and perhaps she could stay in the title picture after losing it. Charlotte would be a good choice to take the championship but if the rumors are true that she’ll be facing Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35, then we have some time before she needs the championship. Becky Lynch and Carmella have a long lasting feud that goes back to the days of James Ellsworth, and could culminate with a Lynch title run. In terms of which SmackdownLive she’d lose it on, my guess is sometime between Money in the Bank and Extreme Rules.
WWE Championship – AJ Styles – Lose at Backlash
As the shortest wait on the list, the WWE Championship is in danger of changing hands soon. AJ has held the belt since November and Shinsuke Nakamura is sure to capture it soon enough. The feud could extend passed Backlash with AJ retaining in a way that Nakamura can still challenge him, but it is more likely Nakamura will win the championship next Sunday. It will be the same event he made his in-ring debut on a year previous. This will rejuvenate the rivalry going into the summer, where we can see Nakamura shine on top.
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar – Lose at Summerslam
While it is also possible that Brock works at Money in the Bank, it is more probable that he’ll lose the Universal Championship at the Barclays Center. This would put him passed CM Punk’s WWE Championship reign. Not to mention Lesnar only comes out for the grand events, and Summerslam is arguably the second biggest show on the WWE calendar. Who he losses it to is another story. Roman Reigns is an obvious choice but there are only so many chances he can get. There are a plethora of superstars we would love to see dethrone the Beast, but just to keep it simple, I’ll stick with the Big Dog taking down Lesnar. We can wish otherwise, but it’s probably going to happen. Let’s just hope Roman has some good feuds moving forward.
Steve Cook’s Top 5 Worst Tag Team Names
Truly inspired by The Viking Exprience, Steve Cook takes a look back at the Worst Tag Team Names in his latest Top 5!
The Superstar Shakeup brought some new faces to Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live. In what was considered a bit of a surprise as they’re currently NXT Tag Team Champions, Hanson & Rowe made their debut on Raw. Only they weren’t Hanson & Rowe, they were Ivar & Erik. They also weren’t the War Raiders. Instead, they were The Viking Experience. A week later they’ve changed to the Viking Raiders, which is slightly less horrible but brings back memories of the NFL during World War II when we had the Phil-Pitt Steagles.
The only solace fans can take is that Ivar & Erik won’t be sunk on the main roster because they’re known as the Viking Experience or the Viking Raiders or whatever else. They’ll be sunk on the main roster because they’re a tag team. And hey, it’s not like they’re the only tag team ever to have a crappy name. Here’s five others!
5. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane)
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the dynamic between Bryan & Kane. If there are two wrestlers I would like to see/hear do a talk show, it would be the newly Trumpian Glen Jacobs & The New Daniel Bryan. They have amazing chemistry as a unit, though they couldn’t be further apart as wrestlers or on the political spectrum.
The name though…the WWE Universe screwed this one up. Team Friendship was right there for the taking. It would have been the perfect name for Kane & Bryan based on the counseling they had gone through with Dr. Shelby. It was one of those names that would have been stupid and awesome at the same time. Instead, they went with the lazy mish-mash. Which made even less sense when they reunited years later with Bryan firmly in Yes Mode.
4. The Gangstanators (New Jack & John Kronus)
I am kinder to mish-mash names than most. I see a lot of hate out there for names like Jeri-Show, Jeri-Miz, Rated-RKO, Rybaxel and other names that wrestling writers obsessed with Brangelina gave tag teams. For me, the best part of Ryback & Curtis Axel as a tag team was their name.
A team that came along before Brangelina was a much worse example of this fad than anybody that came along after. Kronus was part of the Eliminators, and his partner Perry Saturn decided to get some work with WCW. New Jack was part of the Gangstas. I don’t know what happened to his partner Mustafa, but nobody else seemed to care.
So New Jack & Kronus decided to team based off of mutual respect. Nothing wrong with that. The name was terrible though. If they had plans for this duo, they really should have come up with something new, instead of something that reminded us of two tag teams that we liked more.
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3. TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne)
Miller & Thorne were known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel, or TMDK for short, during their run throughout Australia, Japan & the American independent scene. WWE likes to change these things up, for obvious reason. So Shane Thorne got to keep his name, but Mikey Nicholls became Nick Miller, which gives us the TM part. 61 is the dialing code for Australia. So it’s kind of clever.
Here’s the hitch in the getty-up: No good tag team name needs this much of an explanation. You see Ax & Smash, and you understand why they’re called Demolition. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart walk out accompanied by Jimmy Hart, and The Hart Foundation sounds apt. Heck, Honky Tonk Man comes down with black-haired Greg Valentine and you get Rhythm & Blues right away. This thing…well, there’s a reason they changed it to The Mighty once they turned heel.
2. The New (fill in the blank)
New anything is bad news. Especially in pro wrestling, with the exception of the original New World Order. Remember the New Blackjacks? The New Rockers? The New Midnight Express? If you’re my age, you’re probably trying to forget these teams, as they were nothing but a pale imitation of the original teams.
The New Blackjacks were Blackjack Bradshaw & Blackjack Windham. Marty Jannetty brought along his buddy Leif Cassidy to form the New Rockers. The New Midnight Express were Bodacious Bob & Bombastic Bart. I might be mixing those up, but I don’t care enough to look it up. It was that bad. I’m pretty sure Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson have never retired because they’re afraid somebody will try to make a New Rock N Roll Express.
People are learning, though. When Konnan put Santana & Ortiz together as a new tag team for him to manage in Impact Wrestling, he was smart enough not to call them The New LAX. They got to be LAX while Homicide & Hernandez had to be The OGz during their feud.
1. Air Devils (Fast Eddie & Matt Sydal)
This may require some explanation. Matt Sydal was a young up & comer in the Midwest indies back in 2005. The boy had all the high-flying moves you could ask for, and a look that any babyface would love to have. He was ready to take ROH by storm, but he needed a partner! It seemed like it would be Joey Matthews for a minute, but Matthews had other business at hand with Johnny Nitro & Melina. Hardly an opportunity a wrestler would turn down. So Fast Eddie got the nod, as he’d had some ROH appearances in the past.
The ROH message board got the opportunity to vote on a name for Matt & Eddie, and I can’t tell you what the other options were, but I can tell you what won. The Air Devils. See, daredevils, air devils, haw haw. A name so bad that the ROH commentators crapped on it during their debut match in Dayton, Ohio, which happened to be the very first ROH show I saw live. It was the Air Devils’ first & last match together, as Fast Eddie turned on Matt Sydal and joined Prince Nana’s Embassy.
Just a terrible piece of business, though it worked out in the long run for Sydal. He got over with ROH fans and had a pretty good run there. Fast Eddie…well, I’d be lying if I said I remembered a thing he did with the Embassy. When that faction won a Trios Tournament at another Dayton show I attended, they were represented by Alex Shelley, Jimmy Rave & Abyss. No Fast Eddie. He never saw his dismissal coming.
Did anybody else notice that fans chose two of these names? It goes to show that even if “The Viking Experience” is a terrible name, there’s no guarantee that we would have done better.
Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (4/22/19)
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
Arena Puebla and Arena Mexico Tuesday
I did not watch either of these shows, truth be told on weeks that I’m too busy I’ll probably skip Tuesday at least. Not that I plan on always skipping them but sometimes duty calls in life and Friday is really the only televised show CMLL cares about. CMLL current has what I call WWE syndrome, in the sense that they have a comfortable business right now. They were struggling a little last year until LA Park and the Lucha Brothers came in for a summer tour basically. Cibernetico, El Zorro, and Charley Manson coming in helped to an extent too but not the same. So ever since then CMLL has enjoyed very nice attendance so they don’t feel the need to put in a desperate effort. Which is what happens sometimes. Wrestling companies all go through that period once in a while so I’m sure they’ll eventually be back to high quality things. But right now it’s AAA giving high quality. So on the Monday Puebla show they set up a Police Man vs King Jaguar hair vs hair match which will be this Monday. I can’t imagine most are interested but these guys probably wanna do something. And nothing of significance happened on Tuesday. Nothing usually ever does.
Arena Mexico Friday
Volador and Ultimo Guerrero successfully won Block B and will face Titan and Cavernario next week. Or this week. Depends when this drops. It will be a good match. Block B was definitely a step down from Block A as far as quality wrestling goes. There was a lot of brawling and similar finishes here in Block B. That’s really all that’s going on.
So some of this AAA news involves MLW and Impact so I’m going to put it all here because there’s no point of typing it twice.
AAA has two shows this week, one on 4/26 and 4/28. I won’t be watching the one on 4/26 live because Avengers Endgame is calling. But the line ups look like this for 4/26, Psycho Clown, La Parka, and Puma King vs Rey Escorpion, Texano jr, and Chessman. Laredo Kid and Brian Cage vs Taurus and Daga. Poder de Norte vs Sammy Guevara, Jack Evans, and Australian Suicide. 4 way match with Golden Magic vs Hijo Del Vikingo vs Villano III Jr vs Flamita. Taya and Faby Apache vs Chik Tormenta and Luchadora surprise. Lady Maravilla and Black Danger vs Big Mami and Nino Hamburguesa.
For the 4/28 show it looks like, Psycho Clown, Laredo Kid, and Puma King v Rey Escorpion, Texano Jr, and Taurus. La Parka, Golden Magic, and Nino Hamburguesa vs Chessman, Averno, and Dave the Clown. Hijo Del Vikingo, Flamita, and Villano III Jr vs Poder de Norte. Sammy Guevara vs Jack Evans vs Australian Suicide. Faby Apache and La Hiedra vs Lady Maravilla and Chik Tormenta.
So AAA also has shows coming up on May 3rd and May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. But they also have some joint show which I’m not sure if it’s going to be on just TV Azteca or on Twitch too. There’s no way of knowing until the day approaches cause it’s AAA but it’s some tournament gimmick between 5 “companies”. I use quotes because Konnan is quite literally on creative for all the companies. One company isn’t technically even a company anymore. Lucha Libre Elite is a defunct company propped up by AAA to do invasion angles. The other is Aro Lucha which isn’t even like, it’s own company. The Harris brothers run it with Konnan and they basically use AAA talent and Mexican independent talent. So it’s again, basically AAA. Then we have AAA proper, whatever that entails. Then we have Impact and MLW. So at least in theory those two will use their own talent. It’s some tournament format supposed to happen on May 2nd. I’ll see if I have more information next week before it all happens. Maybe Konnan will reveal more on Keeping it 100 this week.
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