Greg DeMarco is back with his next Daily DeMarco, asking what Vince McMahon will do in the wake of WWE TLC!
WWE TLC is over, and it’s time to prepare ourselves for the Royal Rumble–and thus the start of The Road To WrestleMania!
But first, I want to remind you that we are currently seeking contributors to The Chairshot. We have plenty of opportunities, and we are open to other ideas as well. Hit me up and let’s see where you fit in.
Looking At WWE TLC
I had high hopes for the show, and I feel like it failed to deliver. There were some things I liked, and others that fell flat to me. Overall covering it felt more like work than normal, which I don’t like.
What I liked:
- Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre put on a great match, one that likely doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the long run. Loved it.
- Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles gave us a classic, in a match that got the time it needed and delivered big time.
- The Bar, New Day, and The Usos were entertaining as usual. I want WWE to find some sort of way to blow this off, perhaps giving them time at WrestleMania could do the trick.
- Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka were more than deserving of the closing spot on the show (“main event” is a relative term in WWE). Highly enjoyable match and I am excited to see Asuka as champion.
What I didn’t like:
- Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins felt like they didn’t want to be there. I feel like a stipulation could really help them as they’ve been friends and/or foes for quite a while. Give them more to work with!
- Ronda Rousey vs Nia Jax didn’t do anything for me. Rousey looked good early, but Nia just sucks beyond belief.
I didn’t rate this show, as WWE is Andrew’s territory, but I can’t see it coming in better than a 6/10 for me.
What’s Next with Vince McMahon coming to Raw?
The Boss is headed to Raw, where he will undoubtedly address the lack of a General Manager. But I feel like there’s more to it. We’ve had reports of some “idea” that is supposedly so wonderful it will turn things around. I can’t fathom what it is, but I have two ideas that are likely WAY off.
And since I am an old school WWE/WWF fan, both have the word “Challenge” in them!
Royal Rumble Challenge
This is basically a way for WWE to make Royal Rumble qualifying seem like a big deal. Vince can point out that Raw has 15 slots for the Royal Rumble (bigger roster, gives Smackdown 10 and 5 wildcard slots), and he is putting all of them up for grabs. Basically he puts talent in a “brass ring” situation, where they’ll do anything for a spot. Matches, angles, stories, etc, all centered around getting into the Royal Rumble.
This one is bigger–a G1 Classic style tournament that plays out primarily on Raw (maybe a match per week on SD as well) for the opportunity to book yourself in any match–any match of your choosing–at WrestleMania. It can play out with the finals taking pace at Fastlane. This would provide a storyline thread all the way through winter, and give WWE a chance to use a new concept. Between the TV properties, the website, and social media, a WrestleMania Challenge would provide WWE with a ton of content–and content creation is the name of the game.
I am very interested to see how Vince McMahon can “shake things up” on Raw, as we are hitting a time of the year that’s always exciting for fans and analysts alike. Let’s hope something good is on the horizon.
Good Reads on The Chairshot
Thank you for reading the third Daily DeMarco! Here’s to many more…
Daily DeMarco: NXT & NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool Ratings & Review
Greg DeMarco is here with his match ratings for the UK’s first Takeover, WWE NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool!
The WWE’s NXT UK brand presented their first ever Takeover on Saturday, from the place it all started, The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. The
- Zack Gibson & James Drake defeated Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) in 23:43 to become the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions – ****3/4
This match was fantastic. I can’t speak enough to it. It built to the third act, which delivered in a big way. All four men had their strengths highlighted, and their weaknesses used against them. Zack Gibson and Trent Seven did an amazing job directing traffic, and all four sold like champs in this match.
I noticed one thing that sets this match apart. The tag team offense came as a result of communication. It wasn’t automatic. This felt real, and is the type of thing that could reinvent tag team wrestling again for WWE. Kudos to everyone involved.
- Finn Balor pinned Jordan Devlin in 11:51 with the Coup De Grace – ***1/2
The rating here is for the entire story, including Travis Banks’ pre-match attack on Jordan Devlin that led him being helped to the back, and Finn Balor being introduced as “Plan B.”
Balor and Devlin put on a storytelling classic, with Balor taking the early advantage, and Devlin being at his cheating best to steal that advantage back. The match itself was “shorter” than you’d expect, but Balor is a former Universal Champion and is poised for a big 2019. Devlin still looked great in the loss, and this could be a thread in NXT UK over the next year.
By the way, Devlin’s Yanking Backdrop Driver is amazing.
- Eddie Dennis beat Dave Mastiff in a No Disqualification Match at 10:48 – **1/2
The shortest match on the card, and it only took a few minutes for the stairs to end up in the ring, a Kendo Stick to be wielded, and the mats to be removed from the floor. Maybe it’s the over-used stipulation, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t offensive, but compared to other matches of this style we’ve seen over the past year, this one fell short.
- Toni Storm pinned Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship in 14:48 – ***
A good match, yes. But it was lacking in some areas, sloppy in others, and slow still in others. That showed in the crowd, too, as they were lowest for this match (unless people were kicking out of finishers). Even the applause seemed to be more polite than passionate.
They still popped huge for the finish, as Toni Storm is one of the most likable people around. Not in the business, but in the entire world. I also think the right person won, on this night, but Rhea Ripley (who was possibly champion due to injuries to others) has the potential to be a legendary WWE performer.
- Pete Dunne forced Joe Coffey to submit to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship in 34:13 – ***1/2
Joe Coffey has always looked like an ultra-talented Jim Neidhart, but damn is he good. I kinda wish he won this match, because he would make one hell of a heel champion. Sadly, it’s Pete Dunne’s time in NXT UK.
This match was decidedly equal. Coffey looked like a star, and the two botches actually worked for this match. Dunne won via submission, which he’s done a few times recently. After the finish we saw the NXT UK debut of WALTER, and I half worry that he’ll be given the championship right away. Not that he won’t make a great champion, but I’d like to see more of a build.
Overall this was a great first Takeover outing for NXT UK. It wasn’t perfect, but it set the table for this great brand. I think it’s my favorite brand at the moment, and I can’t wait for what they do next.
Daily DeMarco: Could Finn Balor Win The Royal Rumble?
After campaigning for Aleister Black to win the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble, Greg DeMarco is now wondering out loud about Finn Balor and his chances in the big match.
After a day of backend issues for the site, I am excited to focus on bringing the written word to you, the readers! IT’s frustrating when the only thing that won’t work is the button to add a new article! We got it fixed, and have a great slate of content coming out.
So let’s focus on what’s good, and that’s
Could Finn Balor win the Royal Rumble?
We are just a few short weeks away from the 2019 Royal Rumble, where two people will punch their ticket to the theoretical main event of WrestleMania. Now I fully expect Charlotte Flair to win the Women’s Rumble, and stake her claim at a shot at Ronda Rousey at MetLife Stadium, possibly closing out the yearly spectacle. It’s what I believe will happen, it’s what I want to happen, and it’s what I think should happen.
So what about the Men’s Royal Rumble? As 2018 comes to a close, WWE hasn’t positioned any front runners to challenge for Daniel Bryan’s WWE Championship or Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35. Without any obvious challengers, the Royal rumble match itself is wide open.
I previously suggested WWE should go with a surprise winner in Aleister Black. I stand by it, as the company would be provided 2.5 months to build Black as the challenger for either Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar, and a win would solidify him on the main roster for years to come. But if it’s not Black, then who?
There is a good list of potential Royal Rumble winners, many of whom I can go into further detail about in the coming weeks:
- Seth Rollins
- Drew McIntyre
- AJ Styles
Another candidate? Finn Balor.
And in my opinion, Finn Balor is the most intriguing option here. He was the first ever Universal Champion, which gives him a built in storyline against Brock Lesnar. For me, that raises the obvious question of if Finn Balor is credible against Brock Lesnar.
The answer is equally obvious: of course he is.
This has nothing to do with Finn being the first ever Universal Champion, as a champion like Brock Lesnar transcends wins and losses. Brock is a beast–a Beast Incarnate in fact. But Finn Balor has the equalizer: The Demon.
The Demon has never lost in WWE, but it’s also never faced a foe quite like Brock Lesnar. It wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for Lesnar to get the first win over Finn Balor’s Demon, but I don’t think that happens. WWE loves creating history, and keeping The Demon undefeated can play into the history of Finn Balor.
If The Demon is to beat The Beast at WrestleMania, is it The Demon that wins the Royal Rumble? If I’m holding the book, the answer is yes. Imagine this… The Demon enters the Royal Rumble at #1, lasting all the way to the end. Maybe he enters the final two with John Cena, who is of course seeking one more championship reign to break his tie with Ric Flair. Balor overcomes the legend, building his own in the process.
But that does more than elevate Finn Balor. Going through nearly 60-minutes of a Royal Rumble would wear away most if not all of The Demon paint, nearly humanizing The Demon and creating a greater link between Finn and his alter ego. It also adds a new element to the power of the paint, and the power of the man himself.
As WWE looks to (at least claims to) usher in a new era, Finn Balor is a great option to lead the charge. He has everything you want–look, charisma, skill. He has the all-important “it factor,” which you can’t instill in someone. Either they have it, or they don’t.
The title of this article asks if Finn Balor can win the Royal Rumble. For me, it’s really between AJ Styles and Finn Balor as my pick for the Royal Rumble. Finn Balor presents the greatest upside, and gains the most. Thus, the answer to the question…is yes.