Becky Lynch is The Man, both in gimmick and in status. Lynch finally overcame the odds and reached the top when she defeated both Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair to become the Raw and SmackDown Women’s champion at WrestleMania 35 on April 7. But fans know all of this. What they may not know is what happens from here.
The same is true of Kofi Kingston on SmackDown Live. The New Day standout realized his 11-year dream on The Grandest Stage of Them All when he won the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan. Much like Lynch, Kingston is now part of the guessing game. But why is that?
The fact is that fans are waiting on both Superstars to lose their titles. It’s not that anyone necessarily wants either one to lose. In fact, both Rollins and Kingston are hugely popular Superstars in Vince McMahon’s company. They’ve both worked hard and they’ve both done more than enough to warrant a top spot.
But then again, this is Vince McMahon’s company. That realization tempers any fan excitement over a title win, or win in general, for any babyface Superstar. The same goes for both Becky and Kofi, who should both be considered at their peak with no real reason to lose any time soon.
Yet many of the WWE faithful are already waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, WWE made them all happy at WrestleMania 35. So what? It’s only a matter of time until Lynch is sabotaged once again, possibly even by Flair and is left flat on her back with no title. Kofi may have enjoyed a feel-good moment for himself and the pro wrestling world, but how soon until it’s over and he ends up with nothing? Is all of that missing the point, or is it a fair assessment?
How jaded is the WWE fan base that less than one week out from a very satisfying WrestleMania, a great many are expecting the worst to happen? Is that purely cynicism on the part of fans? Or is there enough good cause for everyone to be doubtful of WWE and its efforts to put over the top protagonists?
Common sense says that it’s much too soon for anyone to be contemplating a possible swerve on WWE’s part. After all, the company did do a massive amount of work to get both Lynch and Kingston to The Showcase of the Immortals. Why throw away all of that work in the name of generating yet another overwhelming wave of heat?
But therein lays the issue. Vince McMahon and his company are obsessed with heat. It drives nearly every storyline that hits the TV and it likely always will. It’s the WWE way of doing things. Throw as many unbelievable obstacles as possible at the babyface and force the audience to either go along on the comeback journey, or alienate them to the point that they no longer care about said babyface.
How logical is that? Is it logical at all? Perhaps it’s an overdramatic view of things in WWE. But to be fair, there’s every reason to suspect that at any given moment, everything could go south and the heroes of Raw and SmackDown will go right back to life after the snap in Avengers: Infinity War. There is no hope in the moments after that event. Everything is bleak and everyone is defeated. This is the way of things in WWE.
The ironic part is that the upcoming Superstar Shake-Up should be cause to celebrate. Kofi could end up with a new cast of characters to defend his title against on SmackDown Live. Bryan could go to Raw, taking his eco-terrorist agenda with him. Kofi could find himself surrounded by a fresh set of Superstars, including some faces from NXT as well.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot t-shirts. You can too!
The same is true of Lynch. Maybe The Man won’t have to deal with Charlotte anymore at the moment because either The Queen would be traded back to Raw or she could get distracted in a new feud with someone else. Lynch has both women’s championships but that doesn’t necessarily mean she will be defending both of those titles for long. What if WWE announces that both titles will merge into one? While that would present another set of issues for many fans, at least it would solidify Becky as a megastar between both brands.
But the fact is that no matter how intriguing the Superstar Shake-Up may be, it’s probably not the cure-all for anyone. Simply shifting talent from one program to the other won’t solve any questionable moves or curious quirks that WWE has when it comes to storytelling. It’s still the same company, run by the same family, with the same set of ideas on how to do business their way.
Of course it’s entirely possible that none of this matters to Lynch or Kingston. As much as the championships mean to the fans, that doesn’t suggest they mean quite as much to the talents holding them. The most important part of getting to Mania is the journey itself. The winning or losing is often only important to the paying audience and those watching at home.
Chris Platt and Andrew Balaz go to war…
on POD is WAR!
“Getting over” to the Superstars means contributing to the overall product and doing it on a high level. Did the company sell more tickets, move more merchandise and generate more attention because of a talent’s efforts? If so, then that talent would surely consider herself successful. To say that she was a valuable part of the presentation is to say that she did everything that was asked of her and that she gave maximum effort while doing it. Anything above that is for the fans to decide.
So perhaps the titles aren’t the real story here after all. Maybe the point is indeed the storytelling itself, not the championship wins along the way. But WWE wants the fans to care about those wins and they most certainly do. Seeing their favorites finally realize their full potential on the grand stage of WrestleMania is enough to bolster anyone’s faith in the WWE product. This is especially true for both Becky Lynch and Kofi Kingston. Whether or not WWE will allow one, or both, of them to remain on top as champions is unknown. It may not matter to either one of them. But it will certainly always matter to the fans.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.
The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.
Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.
All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.
Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.
Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.
Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.
Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.
That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!
Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!
Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.
Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.
Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.
I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.
Shield’s Last Ride
After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.
Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.
Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.
Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.
The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.
To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.
That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.
I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!
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