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.
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.40 ~ 23RD JUNE 2019
NOAH is in a tiny transition between tournaments this week. Hisame brings us the updates in preparation for the Global Junior Tag League!
NOAH is in a tiny transition between tournaments this week. Hisame brings us the updates in preparation for the Global Junior Tag League!
In between “Global Junior Tag League” ending on the 13th June, and “Global Junior Tag League” starting on the 27th June, NOAH held a small interim tour of only three days. In the past these tours would have names like “Navigation with Spirits”, “Navigation to The Future” (or my personal favorite “Navigation on Stormy Seas”), but sadly LIDET have done away with these, and now all the interim tours are simply “NOAH The Spirit”.
It should be mentioned that all the tours have had excellent attendances with full houses each night, and this has given a tremendous morale boost to NOAH.
Yoshiki Inamura and his “rival” Kinya Okada faced off on the first night in Aizu, with the more experienced Inamura picking up the win. The rest of the tour was Inamura teaming with Kongoh, and Okada having matches with seniors like Daisuke Harada & Masao Inoue.
Junta Miyawaki faced his seniors (and lost to them) starting with Hi69 in Aizu on the 19th, Naomichi Marufuji on the 22nd and Atsushi Kotoge on the 23rd. Kotoge’s unanimated lack of expression and unusual calm demeanor is starting to scare people…
Miyawaki showed his first element of defiance, by refusing to shake hands with Marufuji. It’s rare for Miyawaki to act in this way towards his seniors (I can’t imagine this happening to Misawa had he asked Marufuji for one at that age and at that point in his career, then again 2001 was a very different world).
Hitoshi Kumano had his first singles match ever with Takashi Sugiura on the 22nd June in Nagano, and said that he was so happy about facing his hero, he couldn’t sleep. Nothing was going to mute this excitement, even the fact that he lost to him.
RATELS entered into their usual squabble about Global Junior League (this happens every year, with Tadasuke threatening to poison everyone last year, but this year he yelled out to whoever was listening, that he would win), with Daisuke Harada saying he was going to win in the backstage interview.
Naturally, this did go down well with the others, with Tadasuke walking off over it, and then coming back to point and yell at Harada that it was HIS victory that would happen.
On the 22nd June, YO-HEY lost to Yoshinari Ogawa, and Tadasuke became irate and started yelling. Harada got into the ring to try and calm the situation, but this only made Tadasuke angrier and he left (still shouting), although he later apologized and said he was disappointed.
RATELS seemed to have patched up their differences by the 23rd, but again no one wanted to trust each other, and in their post match interview, when they went to do their handshake they all jumped back into a defensive pose with their fists raised. Even HAYATA (who is in Block B), and was smirking at the others arguing with each other, joined in.
Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi (and various other partners) faced Kongoh each night. The record stands with Kiyomiya having two victories over the group in three nights, the third was when Kenoh pinned Hi69 following the foostomp.
On the final night of tour, Kaito Kiyomiya spoke on the microphone, and hinted that he and Taniguchi may team up together to take the tag belts. One of his dreams was to hold both championships.
Kenoh’s tri-weekly column was back to talk about the Misawa Memorial show, his rants against others, his shock at Atsushi Aoki’s death, and KENTA’S return to Japanese wrestling (albeit New Japan), or as he put it “that man has returned”.
Kenoh (who says he respects KENTA, despite his rant) says that he will make NOAH a place that KENTA will want to come home to, as well as making him regret that he ever chose New Japan over “his home”. Naturally, Kenoh wouldn’t be able to keep his ire at Marufuji supporting KENTA out of it, and said that Marufuji’s message of support to him was Marufuji saying “anything to be popular”.
Both Marufuji and KENTA responded to Kenoh in different ways.
In usual talkative style, Marufuji posted a picture of Kenoh’s article with graphics over it, with a message that didn’t really translate too well but basically saying there was nothing wrong with being supportive, and hinting at a secret (and for good measure he called him “Kenoh-kun”, which he knows will wind him up)
KENTA, in usual quiet style, made no comment, and simply posted a picture of the column to his Instagram story.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ Go Shiozaki got stuck in his jacket
~ YO-HEY wouldn’t let HAYATA leave during the post match interview in Aizu
~ Hitoshi Kumano said he is aiming to have a body that does not lose to the heavyweights, but would cause havoc amongst the juniors
~ Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (again)
~ Yoshinari Ogawa held a training session for the roster at Takaoka, Toyama before the event started. He taught Kaito Kiyomiya and the new trainee.
~ IPW have mentioned that Daisuke Harada will be defending the IPW Junior Heavyweight title, but have said that NOAH will make the announcement.
~ Naomichi Marufuji’s search for a tag partner continues.
~ In Aizu, AXIS wore t-shirts with “AIZU” on them.
~ Hitoshi Kumano can be considered the unofficial third member of AXIZ.
Riki Choshu’s Power Hall (featuring Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura) will be broadcast live on the 26th June on Samurai at 6.30pm
The opening night of Global Junior League (Thursday 27th June 2019, Korakuen Hall) broadcast at Friday 5th July on Samurai.
“The long days of summer are just around the corner: the stories behind the famous photograph of June 2000”
Global Junior League: Mini interview with YO-HEY
Global Junior League: Mini interview with Minoru Tanaka
The Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Ten Year Event, and “The Future of Noah”, presented by 22 year old Kaito Kiyomiya
“It’s been ten years since Mitsuharu Misawa died” ~ Keiji Mutoh’s memories
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, KENTA, PKDX
GIF CREDIT: Noah GHC
Newsletter by Hisame
Bobby’s Good, Bad & Ugly Review Stomping Grounds 2019
Do we get a BAD filler show, or does WWE Stomping Grounds surprise us?
Do we get a BAD filler show, or does WWE Stomping Grounds surprise us?
Welcome back to a fresh out of the box “Good, Bad and Ugly.” Missed you guys, and in lieu of a Pre-show prediction of Good, Bad and Ugly, let me fill you in right here. On paper this a strong, fantastic PPV. The matches have a ton of potential with some of the best WWE has to offer.
Having said that, this is looking like another “BAD” filler PPV given the hype and writing as of late. That means that it will most likely be predictable, disappointing, and a total disappointment overall. Will it be a sad state of affairs that will just upset everyone as usual? Or will we see the full potential of this high caliber talent shine and shock the world? Let’s get to the action!
205 Live Cruiserweight Championship- Tony Nese(c) v Tozawa v Drew Gulak
Getting past the fact that this is just a pre-show spot, it seems that 205 Live has been getting some more attention by the fans. It is being recognized as a talent filled show with unprecedented matches. This was action packed. We had a ton of high spots, suplexes, high risk feats, and all out action. It was non-stop and amazing. The crowd was completely fired up with the threat of these underdogs stealing the show before the show. Tozawa shined here showing what he is made of. Nese and Gulak did a lot of their usual impressive, innovative combos and twist. It is completely trash that they are promoting the PPV that we are already watching during a stellar Championship Match. Maybe do all of that crap during the absolutely horrendous commentary that fills up the whole pre-show instead of interrupting possibly the Match of the Night. Bravo to these disrespected, incredible talents. The crowd loved it, we all loved it! Hopefully 205 Live will continue to grind and finally get their well-deserved recognition. Gulak wins the hard fought match, and is the New Cruiserweight Champion! Fantastic Match! WWE doesn’t deserve 205 Live.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship- “The Man” Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
The energy was Good, the crowd was into it, however as always with both Lynch and Evans, we had some issues. However Lacey Evans is vicious, believable and really can turn it on after she heats up. There were some really high moments in this fight, as well as some not so Good. Evans really did shine, Lynch did not have a guaranteed win by any means and stood up to her classy foe. Evans put up a great fight, and looked amazing doing it, but it was The People’s Champ, The Man Becky Lynch who took the victory with a “disarmer” retaining the Raw Women’s Championship. Even with it’s faults, Good match. Evans with some polishing could be a tremendous force, and it hopefully won’t be the last time we see her in the Championship realm.
“The New Day” Big E & Xavier Woods vs Owens & Zayn
Owens was an absolute freak-show to start the match. I was blown away. Sami Zane continued the impressive assault on Woods. This was incredible all around. As the pressure mounted, we could feel Big E getting fired up waiting to pounce. The wait was worth it, as the might Big E went ballistic on his opponents. This story was masterfully told, and was very well done. Both teams were stellar! This was a great match all around, action packed, unique and full steam action. KO and Zane Win via KO pin-fall on Woods. Fantastic match! Blown away.
United States Championship- Samoa Joe (c) vs. Ricochet
Joe is a respected guy, a veteran and having any gold is a tribute to that. Ricochet is one of the best WWE has period. He can do anything in the ring, and it just looks fantastic. As expected Joe kept Ricochet down, brutalizing him in his usual style. Ricochet countered with his out of this world acrobatics expected of him. This was back and forth, jocking for position and one hell of a Championship caliber match. Ricochet would not quit, and finally hit his “630” for the victory and his first of many, Championships. Meet your new United States Champion, Ricochet. Another Good one.
SmackDown Tag Team Championships- Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c) v Heavy Machinery
Heavy Machinery looked focused and seriously ready for this match. Daniel Bryan and Rowan got a hero’s welcome being in Bryan’s home state. Again the crowd was hot for this one. Great energy throughout the event. It was a little annoying how behind they were, almost hijacking the show with Daniel Bryan chants and total hatred to Heavy Machinery. The match was slow at times, and could have used something but the actual action was well done. Rowan should NEVER do a dropkick, and was dreadfully boring, but on the other hand, Daniel Bryan and both members of Heavy Machinery did well in there. The crowd who was really Good for the most part, in a way ruined this match. A very hot ending, Daniel Bryan retains with a small package on Tucker to retain. This had some okay moments at best but definitely not deserving of the Bad treatment. Heavy Machinery did very well though and deserve a lot of credit for their performance.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship- Bayley (c) vs. “The Goddess” Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross
Oh the potential in this one. It is always nice to have Little Miss Bliss around, in any capacity. Bayley is a great champion as well, in any sense of the word. They went at it, it looked personal and solid. Bliss’ ribs were battered and bruised. Bliss is a tough girl she just keeps going. As expected Nikki Cross got involved and awkwardly at that as Bliss was about to come off the top but was distracted. She got double knees on the landing resulting in Bayley retaining. This was a Good match, and represented the Women’s Division well. The ending was mediocre but aside from that, we had a Good, not Great match.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre w/ Shane McMahon
These are two very big guys. Both physically and in respect to their WWE status’. Drew McIntyre is going to have gold someday, there is no doubt about it, and of course this feud with the Big Dog isn’t hurting him. It’s physical, and personal and it showed. Roman was on fire throughout, flying through the air, red hot. McIntyre intense as always, gave it right back to the Big Dog. This was a classic battle of the titans and main event worthy. We may have found the perfect match for Vince McMahon’s dreams of Roman being over. Either giant could have won, but neither would quit. Shane made his presence count and finally interfered when there was nothing left but Reigns still would not quit. Roman Reigns finally had enough and took out both men for the impressive, hard fought victory. This was legit, and really impressed me on many levels. Great match!
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match- Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
On paper this looked to be a decent match. Two very talented guys for a belt in a cage. The feel however was cold and slow. It seemed to lack any kind of feeling. Maybe the crowd was tired, or it was the action, or lack of it. Even when Kofi made a comeback, it was just flat. In contrast as the match neared the end, they started to show some life, a lot of back and forth and a devastating SOS by Kofi. Dolph and Kofi battled, scratch and clawed to the door, and did all they could to get the upper hand. Dolph could taste victory and nearly escaped, but it was Kofi Kingston, unexpected who dove through the door onto the outside to retain his WWE Championship. Honestly, this match had a couple of Good moments but was overall a little flat and boring. It really wasn’t a Good match. Score one for the lonely Bad column.
WWE Universal Championship- Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin w/ Special Guest Referee Lacey Evans
Say what you will, and I have said a lot, Corbin is one hell of a heel. Get him his old gear back, and you have a winner. A genius move making Lacey Evan’s referee was some rare great writing. Corbin proceeded to jump Rollins and hit him with a chair before the bell rang. Corbin continued to beat down the Champ, and the crowd was just bored with it. This match had some really subpar moments for sure. Of course Evans changed the rules against Rollins and made it hard on the Champ even not counting to 3 off a Frog-splash. Although there are certain charming aspects of this angle, it started to get old and corny really quickly. Corbin proceeded to then beat the hell out of Seth Rollins with a chair and Evans proceeded with making it No DQ. Evans would not count for Rollins even slapping him in the face multiple times, kicking him and giving him a low blow. The Lass Kicker had enough and sprung out on her rival beating her ass all around the ring area. Corbins hated rival Referee John Cone came in to officiate, Rollins hit the stomp, 1-2-3 Rollins retains. Aside from Becky Lynch’s run in for the save, and a couple of decent moments, this wasn’t Good, especially for the Main Event. Good ending to a Bad match.
UGLY- Not tonight.
Overall – Good! Surprisingly Good. I had little to no expectations much like a lot of you, and to fairly say the least, we had a decent night of action that ended at a reasonable time. The worst matches with the last one, and they were borderline on the Bad list. Good show WWE!
Another Good night of WWE action. We have a lot to go forward on and hopefully some fresh stuff coming in weeks as we approach Extreme Rules and SummerSlam in the near future. Everything is open to have some big things happen and I for one hope to see some old faces that never get any love, finally emerge. Until then, hope you enjoyed, see you on the next Good, Bad and Ugly.