Women are at the heart of any a discussion headed into WWE Money In The Bank weekend. You have the performers involved in the third ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match for the women. You have Carmella defending her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Asuka (who she is presumably not ready for), and of course you have former UFC champion Ronda Rousey opposite Nia Jax for the former’s Raw Women’s Championship. Even in NXT you have Nikki Cross getting a shot at Shayna Baszler and the NXT Women’s Championship. But the woman you really need to keep an eye on is Candice LeRae.
Yes, that Candice LeRae.
— WWE (@WWE) May 25, 2018
As you can see in the video above, Candice LeRae the character is “done” with Johnny Gargano’s issues with Tommaso Ciampa, since he supposedly exorcised the demon at NXT Takeover: New Orleans.
But NXT Takeover: Chicago offers a unique opportunity for husband (real life and on-screen) Johnny Gargano. Gargano is signed to fight Tommaso Ciampa in a Street Fight.
That isn’t just any old Street Fight, it’s a street fight that takes them both back to the scene of the crime, the city (and arena) where Tommaso Ciampa turned his back on Gargano and DIY in a brutal attack after the duo lost a ladder match to The Authors Of Pain (remember them?).
LeRae has been by Gargano’s side through all of this, including his other battles with the likes of former NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas (and Zelina Vega). But this time, she’s taking a different stance.
“You’re becoming the very thing that you despise.”
This line is so very telling. Johnny Gargano has been called the “last white-meat babyface” by Triple H himself, and even though he might have another one at his disposal in Dakota Kai, Johnny Gargano is the pure babyface the likes of which we haven’t seen since Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Daniel Bryan, circa WrestleMania 30. And even then, Daniel Bryan’s “YES Movement” started as the fans’ reaction to his constant pleas of “NO!”
But there is one character–one person–more pure than Johnny Gargano. That person is Candice LeRae.
Candice is so pure, she cannot even fathom why her husband would put
himself them through more of this. That Gargano is so obsessed with revenge, he is becoming the very thing he despises.
They wouldn’t do that, would they?
Oh if you don’t think they’d do that, you’re dead wrong, pal!
Candice LeRae is an amazing performer, likely to retire with her best in-ring matches coming against (and teaming with) men. But she’s about to pull off her greatest performance ever, when she turns on husband Johnny Gargano at Takeover: Chicago.
It’s a simple story, really. She’s not falling in love with Tommaso Ciampa, she’s falling out of love with this new Johnny. The one more obsessed with vigilance and revenge than Disney World and butterfly kisses.
And look at the main man behind NXT: Triple H. The man basically booked himself into a real-life marriage with Stephanie McMahon, ruining the career (and maybe life) of Test in the process. Now he sits as the heir to the proverbial throne of the largest and most powerful pro wrestling entity in the world.
So yeah, they’d do that.
Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano have a happy ending, right?
This one, in my opinion, does. Maybe it stretches all the way to Takeover: NYC for WrestleMania 35 weekend, or maybe it ends in Phoenix the night before the Royal Rumble.
But I believe this ends with Johnny Gargano winning the NXT Championship, likely from Tommaso Ciampa, and more importantly regaining the love of Candice LeRae.
Johnny and Candice have a relationship solidified at the Magic Kingdom, and this story will have an ending equally suited to their beloved Happiest Place On Earth.
The Good, Bad and Ugly: SmackDown Live 12.11.18
Does the TLC Go Home of SmackDown continue to build excitement, or does it go the way of Raw and help us all get to sleep earlier? Bobby let’s us know how things are shaping up.
With Tables, Ladders and Chairs coming up this weekend, we had a semi-sweet Monday Night Raw. The actual in ring action looked decent. SmackDown is always looking bright, and tonight shouldn’t disappoint. What surprises are ahead on the Pre-TLC SmackDown?
Opening Promo w/ Daniel Bryan to Non-Title Match (WWE Champion) Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali
Daniel Bryan is solidifying his heel persona by continuing his onslaught on the general public and acting as wrestling’s Smokey the Bear. Shaming his once devoted fans, causing everyone to react in some way. Daniel Bryan continues to pile on that his old self is now dead, and all of the fans are idiots. Cheap pops and heat continued on. Until luckily it was interrupted by Ali. Mustafa Ali is a great talent. He didn’t do much of the talking here. He mostly fell victim to Daniel Bryan spewing his agenda. Ali went on to ask Daniel Bryan what’s up with his new attitude, only to be disrespected with a slap to the face. We saw a little action which gave us a taste of what is to come. Daniel Bryan looked sharp. His strikes were well done and was full of energy. This evil, snapped gimmick is working well for him. He wore down Ali,working the knee. Old school, clean wrestling. Ali had minimal offense but stuck to his high spots. Even with the multiple interruptions and heavy commercials, this was a Good match. After some incredible feats, Ali misses an inverted 450. Daniel Bryan went on to tear Ali apart, making him tap to the “Heel Hook.” Daniel Bryan Wins, a hot opening match. After the match, overkill set in, with Daniel Bryan viciously attacking Mustafa Ali up the ramp. This wasn’t needed but acted as a callous to Daniel Bryan’s changeover to a heel.
Randy Orton Promo
Orton wielding a chair went about showing off his previous torture of Rey Mysterio, questioning why anyone would want to have a chair match with a guy like him. Just as he was about finished, Rey Mysterio attacked him out of nowhere, hitting Orton with a chair and a 619, causing Randy Orton to flee. Not a bad promo. Short and effective.
Rusev and Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Shisuke Nakamura
Rusev being involved is Good for business. These four are some of the best in the business. Rusev has the abilities to carry the WWE as the Heavyweight Champion. Much like a Bobby Roode, he has had moments of being overlooked, however that can change at any moment like we saw on Raw. Pairing Shinsuke and Rusev is genius and a guaranteed winner. WWE just has to let them work and it will be fantastic. After being interrupted by an untimely dance off from Carmella and R-Truth, Shinsuke Nakamura brutally attacked Jeff Hardy from behind. Samoa Joe continued the assault on Hardy. This wasn’t brilliant considering the talent here, but it was entertaining enough. As the crowd showed everyone, Rusev when finally given the opportunity, delivered and looked Good in there. He is a great talent all around. After a devastating kick to the face, Rusev covers Nakamura for the Victory!
Asuka vs. Charlotte
Going into this, how could it be Bad? It really can’t right? First thing, it is a great Main Event, also,having Becky Lynch come out after the contenders were already in the ring was also great. Charlotte looked completely flawless and confident. This was very physical. Asuka not to be outdone did some outstanding work. Asuka kept after “The Queen” working her arms and beating her down. Charlotte and Asuka went back and forth most of the match. Charlotte finally trapped Asuka into a “Figure 4” but getting reversed. The two went back and forth fighting every second. This match was action packed. Asuka repeatedly kicked Charlotte in the face, until Charlotte hits a spear. After landing on her feet from a blocked moonsault, Charlotte then kicked out of a roll up from a countered “Figure 4”. Asuka hit the “Asuka Lock” that was countered sending Charlotte and Asuka to the floor. Charlotte then when psycho, Getting Disqualified for using her Kendo Stick. Before Charlotte could go too far, Becky Lynch got her back, only to get attacked by Asuka. Asuka went crazy with the Kendo Stick staking her claim of dominance. Asuka Win!
THE BAD: N/A
New Day Rap Battle: Usos vs. The Bar
This style of promo has potential. It can be really Ugly or really Good. Depending how much cheese is involved vs.actual humor. The New Day came out looking dapper and ready for the festivities. They are always ready to party. The Bar had their Run DMC track suits and Flavor Flav clocks for decor. That’s where it ended with a cheese filled “Ice Ice Baby” to remedy their horrendous rap abilities. The Uso’s surprisingly were also not great at this. This was a completely ridiculous,worthless segment. Chalk this up as Ugly.
Miz Promo (Shane McMahon and Miz vs. The Vegas Boys
Begging is just ridiculously over the top, especially in the current SmackDown setting. It’s cheap. The Miz and Shane are both Good typically on the mic. This was a smooth promo,however out of the blue Miz calls out a ref for a tag match. This match was horrible. Shane had more botches than I have ever seen. This was absolutely Ugly all around. Shane ended the debauchery by submission for the victory.
Final Results: Good(ish)
Although the Good outweighed the Ugly on this one, we had some pretty Ugly moments. More than I have seen on SmackDown in sometime. This wasn’t their strongest show among the past few weeks, but it worked. The highlight of the night was the Main Event! TLC is Sunday and I would say thanks to SmackDown, we are ready to roll!
Can a Queen of the Ring Event Work in Today’s WWE?
Rumors are swirling about WWE bringing back a throwback event for the next all-women’s PPV. A Queen of the Ring tournament sounds like a good idea as a focal point for the PPV considering the ever-evolving Women’s Evolution.
Many fans remember the King of the Ring, which was considered one of the big five PPVs for WWE back in the 1990s. King of the Ring had its ups and downs, but it was mostly known for the birth of Austin 3:16. The iconic moment still stands the test of time twenty two years later, however others such as Owen Hart, Triple H, and Edge certainly benefited from the once-prestigious tournament.
After Brock Lesnar’s win in 2002, King of the Ring slowly began to fade out. The last tournament was in 2015,where Bad News Barrett would later become King Barrett to celebrate the win. Before that was the infamous King Sheamus, who won the one prior back in 2010.
The allure and beneficial factor of King of the Ring definitely dissipated by the time it was brought back. King of the Ring used to be a big deal, meaning that the winner was definitely en route to a huge push or a WWE Championship opportunity down the road. The accolade was something that a few men could add to their list of accomplishments.
So let’s fast forward to now with these Queen of the Ring ideas. Could this really work in today’s WWE that is struggling to create lasting moments and new stars?
It depends on the commitment factor for the company; and that lies on the success and reception of the event if it did happen. There is certainly use for it, as the tournament can be used to elevate talent such as Ruby Riott, Peyton Royce, or Sasha Banks. On the flip side, it wouldn’t be no surprise if someone such as Alexa Bliss or Mandy Rose could take the win to garner extra heat for their respective character. That would certainly work, as Bliss is an example of someone who is very much over and the company seems to be completely behind her.
Consistency also matters, in which it is crucial to make the Queen of the Ring idea work. That goes hand in hand with the storytelling aspect that the company has been struggling with for some time now. Gaps in logic with missed opportunities have done more harm than good, and with Evolution’s success, it wouldn’t be fair to the women if Queen of the Ring was one and done thanks to those poor factors.
Queen of the Ring is a great idea that could certainly help the Women’s Division. Having the tournament at the Women’s PPV would create interest for fans that want something to look forward to. There is no doubt that the talent would shine during the Queen of the Ring – even the potential for possible Match of the Year candidates is high at an event such as this.
WWE has all of the tools to make this a success if at all possible this is true. Overall, it would be beneficial for the Women’s Division, and it will help the Evolution become full circle –something that the Division is meant to be.
Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!