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Rob: Hold Up On That Push

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Mandy Rose WWE

Mandy Rose has been at the forefront of WWE storytelling in early 2019, but Rob thinks we need to pump the breaks a little.

Even if you try to avoid reading dirtsheets like me it’s been pretty easy to watch Smackdown and read in the tea leaves that Mandy Rose is set to get a bigger push in 2019.  She spent most of 2018 tagging with Sonya DeVille with the occasional single match sprinkled in, and lost most of the time.  But as the year closed out she and Sonya were getting more TV time and even got a win over Charlotte and Asuka one week.  Then the storyline between she and Naomi started up and it was clearly that it was supposed to raise her profile going into the New Year.

Mandy looks good (y’all know that matters), and appeared to have gotten better in the ring since getting called up from NXT at the end of 2017, so it made sense to see if there’s any real money or top notch performances in her as an in ring worker and a character.  Well if this week’s Smackdown is an indicator it may be time to pump the brakes a little.  To be blunt she was not very good in her match with Naomi and flat out did not look like someone who can be counted on to perform well in bigger matches.  No she was not Eva Marie bad but she looked like she just flat out couldn’t keep up in a singles match that goes more than five minutes.  And that leads me to say that maybe the big push for 2019 needs to wait a bit, because it wouldn’t do anyone any favors right now.

The fact of the matter is that as an in ring performer there are a lot of ladies who are more compelling and flat out better than Mandy is.  And this isn’t the wasteland of 2013 and 2014 as far as the women’s division; anyone getting a regular spot is taking it from someone really good, including Ronda Rousey who literally came in off the street and got really good really fast, so there’d better be some kind of justification for it.  So if the ring work isn’t there then what about the business side?

Money always talks and if someone is generating interest and bringing in the money as a result then accommodations will be made.   So does she move the needle at all?  Here’s a little amateur research I did using Google Trends.  First I compared her to Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss:

Then I checked her vs Sasha Banks, Naomi, Carmella and Natalya.  Here’s how it turned out:

Now you go through all of that and things like Instagram follower counts and you’ll find that she’s way behind Alexa and Sasha on all fronts, and doesn’t outpace many of the other ladies either.  Even on image searches, which one would think would be her bread and butter compared to her co-workers, she got big spikes in interest that one week she was wearing the towel and when she fought Naomi in the hotel room but beyond that there isn’t any stark difference between her and women she’s supposedly considered hotter than.

Now I can’t see the books so I don’t know how all that is translating into money but when you see how far out ahead Alexa is from everyone vs how hard they push her then it’s got to mean something.  But when you look at how Alexa and Sasha do on average compared to Mandy at her highest point then one could easily come to the conclusion that there really isn’t any real value added.  If you had to go as far as to put her in a towel to get similar spikes in interest that Alexa and Sasha get for just showing up then what are we doing here really?  If women that you don’t see as much internet drooling over are getting picture searched just as much or more then what is she bringing to the table?

Am I being a hater here?  Maybe.  I’m not calling for her to fired or sent back to the PC like some folks I talk to.  I’m not even saying take her off of TV.  I am, however, not wanting her to take a valuable spot away from someone who is better at the job than she is, especially if there is no difference being made at the cash register.

I don’t think she’s a bad wrestler per se but I do think that there’s a pretty clear limit on what she can do right now in the ring and that her main attribute right now is being good to look at.  But pretty much every woman they put in front of a camera is good to look at so unless she’s winning that category, which it appears she is not according to the data, then it’s best to keep her in a position where she doesn’t reach a point of diminishing returns.  And from where I’m sitting for the forseeable future that’s in tag team matches.

Maybe that will change one day; she’s only 27 so she has time.  As for today I can’t see any scenario in which you’d put her in a program with Becky or Charlotte or Asuka and ask her to work a 15 to 20 minute match on a pay per view because she’s drag them down and get exposed in the process.

OK, so if not her then who?  After all, she’s not the only one there who they need to see what they have with.  If they’re going to slow things down with her then someone else should get that look.  Well, if we’re going to assume for the moment that things will stay as they are roster-wise on each show then I think the answer is pretty simple, just go with the woman standing next to her.

Sonya DeVille is a lot better in the ring, even in short spurts, and so long as she and Mandy stay together as a duo you can get whatever benefit Mandy is bringing by having her in Sonya’s corner for singles matches as opposed to in the ring, or teaming together with her.  Again, I’m not saying fire the woman.  But if they’re seriously looking at moving one of these two up the ladder and in way that will be best all around I strongly suggest switching the in ring roles around here.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Kevin: “Firefly Fun House” Bray Wyatt Is The Best Bray Wyatt

“He must differentiate himself from the old Bray Wyatt in some capacity, or else the character will be doomed to fail.” Do you agree?

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Bray Wyatt Firefly Fun House
Credit: WWE/YouTube

Bray Wyatt is back in WWE in a whole new way, and Kevin is on board to see this continue over the old obsessive Bray Wyatt.

There’s a familiar sinister force permeating the walls of the WWE. Bray Wyatt is back, and this time around he’s a…children’s TV show host? Yeah, you’ve read that correctly. Bray Wyatt’s newest gimmick is that of the host of the “Firefly Fun House,” featuring a doll, a buzzard, and the man himself.

After weeks of creepy vignettes showing the buzzard and the doll, we finally got a taste of Bray Wyatt in his new role on Monday night. Wyatt introduced us to his new friends, atoned for years of being a bad man, and symbolically ended his former demonic self with a chainsaw.

All that is a lot to take in. It was wacky, it was bizarre, and it was downright goofy. And BRILLIANT.

I ate this segment up, and took to Twitter to pronounce its brilliance immediately after I finished watching it. I know it took the majority of people a couple re-watches to come around on it, but I was on board with this version of Bray Wyatt from the jump.

There’s something delightfully creepy about Bray Wyatt the children’s show host. He straddles that line between playing it straight and going off the rails perfectly, and while you know that something isn’t right, the character is still drastically different than “The Eater of Worlds.”

Let’s face it, Wyatt was in desperate need of a fresh look and character, and boy, did he get it. Before disappearing from WWE television last year, Wyatt had been treading deep water being stuck with Matt Hardy, and frankly, he had been in trouble dating back to the WrestleMania 33 loss of his WWE Championship to Randy Orton in a subpar showing.

That was back in 2017. Now, in the year 2019, we’re finally getting to see something new out of Wyatt, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Now, the question remains: where will he go? We’ve just had a Superstar Shake-Up, what seemed like an appropriate time to sort out Wyatt’s return, but that ship has sailed.

Is the host of the Firefly Fun House headed back to RAW, where he was before disappearing? Or is a return to Smackdown in order for Wyatt, where he ascended to the ranks of world champion back in 2017?

It’s difficult, because we still don’t really know what Wyatt is supposed to be. Is he still a bad guy,or is he some kind of demented wannabe hero? I think a character like this would thrive on RAW, but if Wyatt’s still going to be performing as a heel, then he might do better on Smackdown, a show that needs another heel or two.

Personally, I don’t see Wyatt as a heel in this character. He’s more psychopath than ever before, but I still don’t see him as a bad guy, but rather as a crazed man trying to make amends for his past wrongdoings. He could instantly become the most interesting character on WWE TV, and in my mind, he’s already there with one segment. Imagine how hot he’ll be with a few more vignettes?

But the thing that intrigues me most is what he’s going to look like in the ring? Is he going to wrestle in his khaki slacks and his Mr. Rogers sweater? Is he still going to use the End of Days as his finisher? What new wrinkles is he going to add to his entrance, to his moveset, to his overall character?

HE MUST differentiate himself from the old Bray Wyatt in some capacity, or else the character will be doomed to fail. People had gotten tired of the same old shtick for five years, and were yearning for something different.

Well, now different is here. But it will all be for naught if Wyatt still acts the same and wrestles the same, we need to see some change desperately. I expect to see more of this new, nutjob Bray Wyatt on RAW next week, and I can’t wait for it. This could be a real game-changer.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (4/24/19)

NXT was loaded with action this week–how did it land for you?

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WWE NXT War Viking Raiders vs Street Profits
Credit: WWE/YouTube

Tiffany takes her Takes to Full Sail University and WWE NXT today, featuring Johnny Gargano vs Roderick Strong and more!

So, time for OG NXT and Johnny Gargano will face Roderick Strong, but will Undisputed Era stand together or will a jealous Cole wreak havoc?

Johnny Gargano vs Roderick Strong/Undisputed Era

I think we all figured when Gargano chose Roderick Strong as his UE opponent that Cole wasn’t going to be happy, and we’ve all seen definite signs of dissent in the Undisputed Era ranks, but I was honestly surprised by how this match ended. Cole vs Riddle promises to be great. I can’t stand Matt Riddle, but him pointing out that Cole was jealous was perfect.

Gargano vs Strong was every bit as great as it promised. Strong’s a great athlete and letting him show that off in this match was a great move. Having Cole accidentally cost Strong the match and having Riddle come in to help Gargano was the perfect amount of chaos to end the match while protecting everyone involved.

I don’t know what next week will hold for Undisputed Era, but Strong basically telling UE to f**k off after the loss isn’t a good tiding.

Jaxson Ryker vs Humberto Carrillo

I have a question: Is Jaxson Ryker the only competitor in Forgotten Sons? Seriously, when is the last time Blake and Cutler had matches? Don’t get me wrong, Ryker is a great, albeit psychopathic, competitor, but I’m a little tired of him being the only member of Forgotten Sons competing.

The match with Carrillo was fantastic, even if Carrillo had a little trouble getting started. The Double Countout was a smart move to protect both guys, but I loved thorough line of having Oney Lorcan, now on 205 Live with Humberto Carrillo, and Danny Burch come to Carrillo’s rescue and keep Forgotten Sons from completely destroying him. This should be a fun feud.

Aliyah and Vanessa Borne vs Candice LeRae and Kacy Catanzaro

So it seems like Candice LeRae is being groomed to take the belt off of Shayna Baszler if this match was anything to go by. I love Aliyah and Vanessa Borne, but I was disappointed by this match because it became clear very quickly that the whole point of the match was to make Candice look stronger when she got a pretty easy pin on Vanessa Borne. It’s nothing against Candice, but I hated seeing Borne Bougie getting sacrificed like that.

Women’s Division vs Shayna Baszler

I’m not sure what WWE is thinking, but if you want to keep Shayna Baszler looking like a badass, DON’T have her constantly getting cheap shots on anyone she deems a threat, whether they are or not. She doesn’t look like an unstoppable badass, she looks like a punk, which is a disservice to her. Plus having Shafir and Duke being her lackeys hurts them too.

I APPLAUDED Mia Yim’s promo, especially her calling out Biance Belair’s constant insistence that she was still undefeated, even though she’s lost to Baszler twice, for the nonsense that it is. I’m totally behind Yim getting another shot at Baszler, especially since Belair didn’t have to earn her second chance while Yim hasn’t gotten another one.

William Regal

William Regal had a hell of a career but, in my opinion, he’s at his best as an authority figure and I’m glad he’s loosened up from his days as the strait-laced Commissioner of WWF in 2001. I love Ohno demanding his…right to try out the shiny new NXT toys and I have a feeling he’ll regret demanding a shot at KUSHIDA, which is probably why Regal gave it to him. Sounds fun.

Street Profits vs War/Viking Raiders/Experience

I’m still puzzled as to why Street Profits got a shot at the NXT Tag Champions, whatever they’re called this week, but the match was fantastic. Dawkins and Ford did the smart thing by getting the jump on Rowe/Erik and Hanson/Ivar (I honestly am not sure which Viking name goes with whom, I’m just guessing), but  it was for naught because the Nordic dudes got themselves together and absolutely thrashed the Profits, but the Profits definitely proved that they belong in the Tag Title picture.

Overall Thoughts

Great episode of NXT! Much like NXT UK, the matches and segments all had a purpose and were pretty good.

The disintegration of Undisputed Era seems to be moving much faster than the first ending of the Shield and I’m a little confused as to why. Undisputed Era hasn’t been called up to RAW or SmackDown, so I’m not sure why there seems to be a rush on breaking them up. Granted, having Cole ‘accidentally’ costing Strong the match and his clear jealousy of Strong getting the first shot at Gargano could be leading to Strong breaking off and feuding with Cole, but it’s not clear where Fish and O’Reilly will end up in this.

Well, that is it for Tiffany’s Takes for this week! Next week, we’ll be looking Week 2 out of the 2019 Superstar Shake Up and see how RAW and SmackDown will deal with the fallout of this week!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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