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Rob: How About Naomi?

Asuka needs a WrestleMania opponent? How about Naomi?

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Naomi WWE

With Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch tied to Raw’s Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania, Rob has a suggestion for Asuka’s opponent on the grandest stage in all of WWE: Naomi.

It’s pretty obvious at this point that the main event of WrestleMania is going to be a triple threat match with Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey so now the question is what to do with the Smackdown Women’s Title match?  One of the ‘concerns’ that made some people want to keep Charlotte out of the main event was that Asuka needed a credible challenger for the Smackdown Women’s Championship so that match wouldn’t feel like an also ran.

Well first off, that logic was nonsense – just say you didn’t want Charlotte in the main because you don’t like her or whatever, no need to pretend you’re trying to address some other need.  But second of all, there’s a plenty credible enough challenger for Asuka sitting right there on Smackdown Live right now, and that’s Naomi.  It was very likely that he impromptu challenge the night after TLC was a foreshadowing of sorts and indeed a prelude to a matchup on the  biggest stage but we don’t know for sure just yet.

So allow me to advocate for it right here.  Put Naomi in that spot, give them 15 minutes on the MAIN SHOW, and let them set the table for the main event that will come later.  We won’t be disappointed.  What, you don’t think Naomi is on that level?  OK, they haven’t promoted as an elite competitor but we got 7 weeks to make that happen.  But before we see how that unfolds let me explain it for you in case you’re not sure if you should buy it. Oh, and if you’re one of those jerks who likes to jump in twitter threads of hers of her fans and say she’s overrated or ghetto trash, go take a long walk off a short pier (thanks for teaching me that one, Mom and Dad).

Naomi is good enough

Naomi brings a level of athleticism that no other woman on the main roster possesses; you don’t see anyone else doing springboard moves, split legged moonsaults, etc like she does on a regular basis and she moves faster than any of the ladies up there now.  That alone adds a dynamic to a big match that isn’t a regular thing and would be a good contrast to what is likely going to be an intense, physical brawl/grappling session in the main event.  And that would be a perfect to shine without stealing anyone’s thunder.  And the potential for counter spots based off of that is enormous.

Remember Charlotte going for the moonsault and Asuka catching her in a triangle choke on the way down last year?  Now multiply that times two or three.  You may be wondering if she can go in a big singles match on a big stage and I’m going to say yes.  I know, i know…on TV she’s mostly relegated to short matches and hot tag situations.  But if you watched a few weeks ago she literally carried Mandy Rose for a good 10 minutes on TV while Mandy did barely anything in the match.  If you don’t think she can go for 15 with someone who can actually return fire and be pretty innovative herself you’re crazy.  And another note, she is definitely the jump out of the screen kind of character that’s right for the moment.  Her entrance in that size venue alone will be worth it.

There’s no one else anyway (and nothing else for her to do)

None of the other ladies on the Smackdown side are ready for that stage (I’ll allow a triple threat with Carmella, but with a triple threat main event I don’t see that happening.  I’m all for her winning the battle royal though).  Not the Iconics or Mandy Rose (I explained some of that with her here) or Lana.  Sonya Deville is close but she needs some more singles matches that aren’t TV match length first.  If they wanted to switch someone over from there aren’t a lot of options either.  Nia Jax is going to be fighting some guy on the show and Ember Moon is out injured.  Sasha and Bayley are going to be involved in the Tag Team title business some kind of way.  So she’s pretty much it.

And finally Naomi won the battle royal last year so there’s no point in going back there with her.  She’s gets enough TV time matches, wins, etc that it’s obvious somebody likes her in the back at least a little bit so going from the battle royal last year to a title match this year seems like a good progression (it’s ok for Becky so why not Naomi too?).  There is room for one more in the top tier for sure, especially someone who brings a different in ring style to the table.  And I’ll say it, there’s room for one more who doesn’t ahem, look the same as most of the other ladies already there.  That’s not a shot at Charlotte or Becky or Ronda at all; in their own ways they’re all doing a great job.  But it’s high time that a little more diversity got added to the ranks and someone who is as physically talented as them, has a dedicated fanbase, and has shown an ability to excite the crowd is the right call in my opinion

Naomi has earned it

I don’t do the whole ‘you deserve it’ thing much but I will go halfway there in this case.  Naomi has earned this spot.  If you like to tout people have ‘clawed and scratched their way up’ well she fits the case here.  She was an NXT runner up back in 2011 (back when it was a competition show) and was relegated to being a backup dancer for Brodus Clay for well over a year.  Then she got lost in the shuffle while the then-Diva’s division got thrown completely in the crapper of two minute matches on TV every week but managed to survive that.  Even in a depleted division her name was not bandied around at all in consideration for a title program.  And when the women’s revolution started in 2015 she was included in the program but was clearly portrayed as second/third fiddle.  If they were going to do a purge of all the remaining divas before the brand split to make room for NXT callups her name may have come up in discussions.

But she got better in the ring as all that was going on, then took it upon herself to change up her ring gear and come up with her own entrance to get more attention.  That’s the kind of initiative that a lot of people who you guys like to claim are being underutilized need to take for themselves.   She’s done the work to impress enough people backstage to put her where she is now, clearly higher than a lot of the ladies but not in the top tier.  If overcoming long odds to forge out a good career is a good enough story for Becky Lynch then it applies here just as well.  Naomi had no family in the business when she came aboard, had no connections in the back, and did not have a previous history in another profession that guaranteed a big push, or an indie wrestling history to give her instant credibility with so called smart fans.  She’s been proving she belongs there from day against all kinds of doubts from stupid and often racist internet trolls and more than likely some people backstage.

So that’s my pitch, and I’m sticking to it.  If you can give me a better idea I’ll listen but I’ll be honest and say that you’re probably not going to convince me.


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Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments

Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?

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The Miz WWE

This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!

Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.

Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!

5. Main Eventing WrestleMania

The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.

4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler

Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.

2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.

3. The First MITB Cash-In

You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.

People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.

What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.

2. Feuding with The King

A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.

Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.

It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.

I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.

Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse

You knew I had to mention this, right?

1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan

I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.

None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.

This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.


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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

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WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 Kevin Owens Jey Uso

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist.  So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.

5. Riddle becomes United States Champion

Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.

All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion

Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.

4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now

Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.

After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.

After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.

3. An Awesome finish

After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.

Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.

After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.

2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber   

The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.

Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.

AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.

1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance 

Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.

Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.

Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.

These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


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