Samoa Joe has a worse record than Sarah Logan? Five tag teams have the same winning percentage as Curt Hawkins? Dean Ambrose is just a guy already? Silly wins and losses! If you only mattered in WWE!
Note: All records mentioned below pertain to the period since WrestleMania 34.
What do you know, these win/loss records aren’t completely detached from reality! For example, now that Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey has dispatched with Alexa Bliss, it appears she’s the target of Ruby Riott, who happens to be, by record (11-4), the rightful number one contender. Indeed, Riott and her whole Squad have some of the more respectable records on Raw. We can assume those will suffer as all three women will likely be fed to Rousey one-by-one in the coming weeks, but if they can step up their extracurricular chaos-making, they’ll pose believable threats to the champ. After Riott, the standings don’t offer many challengers to Rousey. Perhaps Nia Jax will demand some reciprocity for the title shot she offered Rousey earlier this year. Sasha Banks and Bayley have the popularity to cut in line and make Rousey back up her claim of being a fighting champion, and fans would probably ignore the fact that they are a combined 13-24.
The records below spark plenty more questions about the state of WWE a week after its Hell in a Cell event. . . .
ODD MAN OUT
Roman Reigns is the Universal Champion, poised to carry the belt over one shoulder and WWE’s flagship show on both. Seth Rollins is a weekly highlight with the workhorse title, the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Meanwhile, fellow Shield member Dean Ambrose is newly returned from nearly a year on the DL, and at 2-2 hasn’t exactly enjoyed any comeback momentum. Even if he does manage to pick up some wins soon, is he likely to set his sights on his brothers’ championships? A better use of the Lunatic Fringe might be matching him up against Braun Strowman once The Monster Among Men and Reigns take a break from the dance they’re destined to do forever.
If WWE’s recent attempt to make a villain of Becky Lynch has only fortified her fanbase, its similar shot at making Braun a bad guy has left the WWE Universe confused. Somehow the company’s biggest brute has produced the heel turn equivalent of a limp handshake. Months of Ambrose absorbing Strowman’s superhuman beatdowns could be just the thing to turn the fans against him. His various attempts to murder Reigns over the last year and a half only made the crowd fall in love with him because they generally wouldn’t mind seeing Reigns crushed in an ambulance. But they mostly like Ambrose.
The Usos are 1-6 in the WWE tag team division, but 6-2 outside of it. Time for an amicable break-up to pursue singles glory? Or for Jimmy Uso to sharpen his announcing, and pencil, skills?
FALL FROM GRACE
Sixteen active current or former world champions are sitting at .500 or better, but 12 have sub-.500 success. Of course, pointing out that statistic risks burying the lede; on a roster of about ninety active competitors, 28 can say they’ve been a world champ. That’s just world titles. And most of those reigns occurred this decade. And, obviously, that number doesn’t include former roster members, and former champions, like CM Punk or AJ Lee or Alberto Del Rio or the returning Rey Mysterio, who have also captured world championship gold in recent years before leaving WWE. What’s worse, that so many people have been tested out in the top spot over the years, or that so many are portrayed as losers now?
NO WINS SITUATION
Five active tag teams have yet to win a two-on-two tag match since WrestleMania. Toss in the Good Brothers and the Usos, and that number rises to . . . two. If we’ve been paying attention, the takeaway is this: If you’re a singles wrestler, there’s a decent chance you’ll climb to the mountaintop; if you’re in the tag team division, there’s a decent chance you’ll be stabbed to death by your sherpa over a poker dispute before you ever get to the mountain.
Former WWE world champions Kevin Owens and The Miz are a combined 10-28. You’re literally better off picking Lana to win a match.
Finally, Would You Believe . . . ?
. . . New Day are downright dominant as a tag team (6-1), but no better than .500 in matches outside the tag division?
. . . Rollins and Finn Balor have combined for fifty matches on WWE television since WrestleMania? And Owens has been part of 22 (and, yes, has only won five)?
. . . Jinder Mahal has the same record as Liv Morgan?
. . . Sheamus has just one more win than R-Truth, including singles and tag team matches? And even though he’s wrestled in five more matches? What’s up with that, fella?
THE FULL LIST!
|Nikki Bella||2||0||1.000||Jimmy Uso||5||1||.833|
|Roman Reigns||16||5||.761||Zelina Vega||4||1||.800|
|Braun Strowman||17||6||.739||AJ Styles||11||4||.733|
|Bobby Lashley||11||4||.733||Becky Lynch||10||4||.714|
|Seth Rollins||17||8||.680||Charlotte Flair||11||5||.687|
|Apollo Crews||2||1||.666||Andrade Almas||10||5||.666|
|Nia Jax||6||4||.600||Brie Bella||2||1||.666|
|Ember Moon||11||8||.578||Shinsuke Nakamura||8||5||.615|
|Curtis Axel||3||3||.500||Eric Young||4||3||.571|
|Brock Lesnar||1||1||.500||Randy Orton||4||3||.571|
|Dash Wilder||2||2||.500||Luke Harper||3||3||.500|
|Scott Dawson||2||2||.500||Xavier Woods||5||5||.500|
|Bobby Roode||6||10||.444||Big E||4||5||.444|
|Drew McIntyre||3||4||.428||Samoa Joe||5||7||.416|
|Jinder Mahal||6||8||.428||Alexander Wolfe||2||3||.400|
|Dolph Ziggler||4||6||.400||Killian Dain||2||4||.333|
|Alicia Fox||2||3||.400||The Miz||5||11||.312|
|Alexa Bliss||7||11||.388||Aiden English||1||3||.250|
|No Way Jose||3||5||.375||R-Truth||1||3||.250|
|Sasha Banks||7||13||.350||Karl Anderson||1||3||.250|
|Titus O’Neil||1||2||.333||Kofi Kingston||2||7||.222|
|Chad Gable||2||5||.285||Mandy Rose||2||7||.222|
|Kevin Owens||5||17||.227||Billie Kay||2||8||.200|
|Mickie James||2||9||.181||Shelton Benjamin||1||5||.166|
|Matt Hardy||0||3||.000||Big Cass||0||4||.000|
|Tyler Breeze||0||4||.000||Primo Colon||0||1||.000|
|Curt Hawkins||0||5||.000||Shane McMahon||0||1||.000|
|Heath Slater||0||1||.000||Sonya Deville||0||7||.000|
|Roode & Gable||2||0||1.000||Bludgeon Brothers||5||2||.714|
|Ziggler & McIntyre||8||3||.727||Rusev Day||2||2||.500|
|Deleters of Worlds||8||4||.666||Team Hell No||1||1||.500|
|Slater & Rhyno||0||6||.000||Colons||0||1||.000|
You can find more of Sam’s work at https://thesamethingwrestling.blogspot.com!
NXT Minus 6…The Triangle of Truculence!
Bradley’s 6 step power point project runs down the latest episode of NXT!
Bradley’s 6 step power point project runs down the latest episode of NXT!
This week, we’ve got horror movies, silent movie stars and another MOTY candidate.
6. HHH took Goldie from Tommaso Ciampa?!?!?! You do not put your hands on another man’s wife! Call me crazy, but that should be the Takeover main event when Ciampa does return.
5. The Forgotten Sons are looking to cement their legacy? That should be the first, last and only time we hear “Forgotten Sons” and “legacy” in the same sentence…unless one of them is referencing the 1978 cult horror classic “The Legacy” starring the Who’s Roger Daltrey. I’m sure you’ve all seen it.
4. Triangle of truculence. Yes, Mauro Ranallo actually used the phrase “triangle of truculence.” One more reason NXT is black & gold standard: you can watch wrestling AND study for the ACT at the same time. Someone should create Mauro Ranallo’s Word of the Day app.
3. Let’s brainstorm. How can we get around the fact that the Sky Pirates really don’t give good interviews in English? A manager? Subtitles? Give them a kooky gimmick where they are always shown in black & white and made to look like the stars in a silent movie? The upside is it will keep them in NXT longer. The downside is they might not get the opportunities they otherwise deserve.
2. I’m going to air 2 very tiny grievances. They could have sacrificed about 5 minutes of interviews & sketches to give the main event more ring time. Also, there were really only 2 possible winners of the match. That being said…
1. Another week, another MOTY contender. 4.8 stars to the fatal 5 way. Everyone involved looked absolutely fantastic. The action was great. The near falls were exciting. The winner won in a way that made sense. It gave us a Takeover main event that should be all kinds of special. I’m actually planning on watching Takeover: New York twice in the same amount of time it would take me to watch WrestleMania once.
That’s right…I said it!
The Ronda Rousey Situation
Can Ronda handle the WWE Universe?
Elisa Maria kicks off her Chairshot career with a look at the state of Ronda Rousey in WWE!
I am probably not the first to say this but when WWE signed Ronda Rousey, I was skeptical if this was a good idea for wrestling. Several questions went through my head
- Can she actually wrestle?
- Will the WWE be a good environment for her?
- Will her ego and personality get in the way of making her successful in this business?
- Is wrestling even a good move for her?
UFC and wrestling are two extremely different businesses. The norm is anyone can be a wrestler however, you need to put in the time, dedication and training. This is something I knew Ronda will be able to do however, one thing I am still not convinced is whether she can wrestle. The past year every single match she has been in has been in my opinion somewhat dry and lacking in technique.
Let’s be honest, the only reason she was getting by in this business is the fact when you speak the name Ronda Rousey, there still comes to mind the bad-ass, dominating persona that we all saw in UFC. To fans like myself, that still gives us an incentive to sit down and still watch her matches. She is still an imposing figure whether you like her or not. Another thing that I am not sure she could handle is the WWE Universe.
The WWE Universe
WWE Universe is not exactly like any other sport fans. They cheer who that like and they will boo who they do not like. If a wrestler has a slump or has a bad match, the crowd will eventually let them know “hey, you suck”. That is just the way this particular universe works. This is why character development, story line writing, gear change, entrance music change, or turning heel or even baby face keeps a wrestler marketable and in touch with the WWE Universe.
However, Ronda is somewhat different. She left the UFC after coming to terms with two things: 1) She cannot handle losing and 2) Her technique and fighting skills in the UFC just did not help her cut it with opponents like Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. We all saw this when Holly Holm exposed her by simply fighting fist to fist with her and avoiding submission card Ronda always plays.
We are now seeing this emotional side in which she cannot handle certain outcomes or reactions from the crowd in the WWE. Ronda Rousey coming into the Staples Center for Survivor Series against Charlotte Flair, who was handpicked by ‘THE MAN” Becky Lynch to represent Smackdown, turned her into the automatic enemy to the WWE Universe. You can see the reaction on her face coming into the ring that being greeted her to boo’s was not a reaction she expected. Even through the acting, she could not phantom why the fans were booing her and you can tell, it bothered her on a personal level.
I do not feel that Ronda has completely learned from the devastating losses she experienced in the UFC.
It took Ronda a year to come back to UFC after the first loss and even then so, the results of her comeback weren’t any better as Amanda Nunes knocked her out in the first round.
So if the rumors are true that Ronda is leaving the WWE after WrestleMania 35, it only solidifies that Ronda cannot handle losing or the WWE universe for that matter. She is used to winning and having the crowd and when someone with her ego hasn’t had enough experience with being critique on a negative basis or most importantly, with losing in their respected sport, they can react emotionally and irrationally. In turn, it shows they cannot handle the situation. Take The Miz for example, who embraces his heel and uses it to his advantage. I mean look at where he is now and it is possible he might be going to WrestleMania as a baby face. I actually prefer seeing THE MIZ a heel than a baby face, but either one, he embraces it and it shows through his promos.
Can Ronda Be The Top Star?
Ronda is great but not enough to carry the company in my opinion. There is a lesson that should be taught to every child while growing up and that is “the great ones treat failure as a necessary part of their journey. It’s not win or lose. It’s always win or learn”. Quite frankly, I do not feel Ronda has fully learned from her failures. This is what separates her in this business from the Becky Lynch’s or Charlotte Flair’s or Sasha Bank’s.
It will be interesting to see after the heel turn last night on Monday Night Raw, where Ronda takes this change. However, by the look of the crowd last night, It looked like they were not convinced. Her promos were a little too shaky and one could even argue that some things were spoken out of truth to what she is really feeling about WWE from a business perspective. But again, it will still be interesting to see where this goes leading up to WrestleMania 35.
As far as where I would like to see her, I honestly would like to build Ronda’s character after WrestleMania. I would love for her to stay and have WWE put her in the “underdog” category and see where she can flourish. I have always said that for certain wrestlers, character building should start from the bottom and work their way up. Great example of this, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The way he began was terrible but him being able to stay true to self and basically not give a damn, developed a character that the WWE Universe could relate to. I would love for WWE to develop her into a great heel similar to what they did with Becky. I would love to see her develop more technique in her wrestling that could boost her confidence and see her in some solid one to one competition. One thing I can agree on is her leaving WWE after WrestleMania can only do damage to her character and perception of the WWE Universe.
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