Drew McIntyre is heading to WWE TLC on December 16 for a showdown against Finn Bálor. The Scottish Psychopath has had issues with Finn over the past several weeks and those issues have led to a war. Now both men will step into the ring and do battle once again.
On a TLC card stacked with main event talent, this is one match that may not be on the fans’ radar. It’s not that the WWE faithful don’t care about Finn or Drew, of course. However fans may be wondering what this match means in the grand scheme of things. But perhaps a better question is just what exactly do Finn and Drew mean in the grand scheme of things to WWE?
Finn Bálor’s main event status in WWE is a topic that just refuses to die. It’s at the center of fan discussion on a daily basis and that does not appear to be changing any time soon. The WWE fanbase believes that Finn can do so much more and the fact is, they know it.
Finn looked like a main event powerhouse in the beginning, so there was no real need for his fans to even debate the subject. Bálor came in on top. He beat Roman Reigns. He beat Seth Rollins. Finn became the first-ever WWE Universal champion and the new top face on Monday nights.
The Irish born Superstar had finally arrived and was being given the red carpet treatment. But then again, why wouldn’t he? Bálor was known throughout the world as one of the most dynamic pro wrestlers in the business. He proved that in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he became a top star. In fact, Finn had 14 years behind him when he came to WWE in 2014. Bálor was ready and WWE knew it.
But as soon as he climbed the mountain on Monday Night Raw, he came crashing back down to earth. Finn got injured and was on the shelf for nearly six months. Since then, Bálor’s main event career has yet to restart. Opportunities came to get back to the top but none of them were successful. It seems that Finn Bálor is simply not in WWE’s main event plans at this point.
On the flip side of that conversation is Drew McIntyre. McIntyre returned to WWE after a three year absence and became the top star in NXT. The man once known as “The Chosen One” took his successful restart to the main roster, where he began working alongside Dolph Ziggler on the red brand.
Much like Finn Bálor, Drew McIntyre earned his spot. He worked hard to achieve success over his 17 years in the business and he’s not the same man that left WWE in 2014. This Drew McIntyre is battle-tested. He’s confident and most importantly, he’s ready. Drew knows who he is and what he can do.
When fans look at McIntyre, they see a future world champion. It’s not even a question of if, but when? When will WWE pull the trigger and set Drew on the main event path? Of course fans are still asking that of Finn Bálor as well. So is there a chance that both men are stuck in neutral?
It seems premature to categorize Drew McIntyre in the same mid-card category as Finn Bálor. But the feeling that perhaps Drew and Finn are both meant for the same spot below the main event is surely understandable. After all, if WWE can pull the plug on Finn, who’s to say that there may not even be a plug to pull with Drew?
But is that really the case? Has the company truly given up on Finn Bálor as a top tier talent? Or is WWE Creative even thinking in those terms when it comes to the Bullet Club founder? Maybe the truth is much simpler. Maybe Finn isn’t “meant” for main event glory, rather he’s engineered to perform at a high level anywhere WWE books him.
It could very well be that fans obsess too much over Bálor’s main event standing. Perhaps Finn’s supporters are focusing too much on matters that are just too unwieldy to manage. There is a chance that simply inserting Finn Bálor in a main event spot and pushing him upward is just not realistic, or even feasible. There are so many variables to consider with such a move and maybe Finn Bálor is happy right where he is.
But is that also true of Drew McIntyre? Drew left WWE after arriving to the company with so much promise. Nothing worked for him and despite what he did, he just could not get over. But now that he’s a new man and fully capable of handling the pressure, is it possible that he just doesn’t want it?
Many pro wrestling fans believe that if a talent is in the business for any reason other than to become the top draw, then that talent is wasting his time. Whether or not everyone in WWE agrees with that sentiment is unknown. But when two world class talents like Drew McIntyre and Finn Bálor are on the roster, it’s hard to imagine them, or WWE, wanting anything less.
Vince McMahon’s company has a serious lack of depth when it comes to Raw’s main event scene. That fact has become obvious over the past few weeks. Raw has struggled in the ratings and its struggled with fans, who refuse to believe that the company cannot do better. One of the best ways to get better is to utilize the talent that’s available, especially when that talent includes proven top performers.
Right now, there is arguably no one better and more deserving of the main event than Drew McIntyre and Finn Bálor. WWE builds its brands on the backs of highly skilled, highly entertaining Superstars and that is precisely who Finn and Drew are. The fans know it. Whether or not WWE knows it and chooses to act on it, is anyone’s guess.
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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