It’s too late to apologize~! It’s too late~!
Seth Rollins goes Backstage after his Raw apology fell on deaf ears. Will he at least be able to get Renee Young and the panel to hear him out?
Renee Young runs down the schedule!
The Architect is in studio, but hopefully he won’t #BurnItDown too badly. The WWE has someone returning to the roster, find out who! And the Flex Appeal flirts with The Animal, Batista! Get ready to go Backstage on that and more!
Renee sits with tonight’s panel.
As always, Booker T and Paige are back, and Captain Charisma is here, too. Paige is a little upset that Renee doesn’t like Friends. But who needs Friends when you have…
Just the Highlights!
The Goddess is back and on the attack alongside best friend, Nikki Cross! Roman Reigns keeps SmackDown his Yard, even against King Corbin’s Court! The New Day remain your W, W, E, Smack, Down, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS while The Fiend keeps Bray Wyatt’s promise to bring a new face to the Fun House. Raw had Rusev refusing to obey restraining orders in order to get at Lana’s “hot, hot boyfriend,” Bobby Lashley! The Kabuki Warriors beat The Queen down in 2v1 action, The OC beat Rey Mysterio, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo in Six Man Tag action, but Randy Orton only needed on RKO to get the better of AJ Styles! But the biggest thing might be the Authors of Pain attacked Kevin Owens again, without even so much as touching Seth Rollins.
Booker isn’t sure what’s coming, but he likes where this is going. Everything with AOP, KO and Seth Rollins “spoke volumes” as to where the business is right now. It’s getting GOODT, if not #Poifect. AOP were even looking sharp in their suits. Christian agrees, Akam and Rezar are great. Nobody likes to sit on the sidelines, and the AOP are in the driver’s seat. Being attached to Seth Rollins is big for them, too. That’s assuming they’re following Rollins or what. Paige admits she’s been very harsh on Rollins, but he’s starting to shine again with his passion. Rollins cares so much about the business and the WWE, even if he’s coming off careless towards his coworkers. Something about that saying, “Everyone can be a critic, but not everyone can be a leader.” Booker also likes the all black. That’s showing everyone that he’s ready to step on some toes and keep on walking.
Firefly Fun House was freakier than usual!
The Fiend got a belt that is very on-brand for his kind of creepy, and Bray promised to be “a man of his word.” The Fiend would attack Daniel Bryan to close Friday Night SmackDown, and he seemingly ripped the beard from Bryan’s face! Or head. Or anywhere. But this New New Daniel Bryan could be a literal baby face with just smooth skin. Paige will text Brie for news. The Bellas should call in. But back to the belt, it creeps even Paige out. It’s like a bad make-up day Paul Bearer face. Fast Count, aka The Fans Podcast on Twitter, even Photoshops Paige’s face on the Fiend belt! Renee would buy the Paige edition. Christian’s pretty sure Zack Ryder bought one of the Fiend belts. Limited edition, only seven made, apparently.
Booker says that looking at Bray Wyatt, everyone needs to take notes on what he’s doing. If the belt is worth 7 THOUSAND, then it is worth every penny because Bray is a Picasso of wrestling right now. Christian said before, he’ll say it again, Bray is a once-in-a-generation type and the customization of the belt is great. It suits everything going on with him right now. Booker confirms, Bray is the TOP merch seller right now! Is the Fiend Championship only going to solidify that stat?
Seth Rollins is Backstage!
The panel welcomes The Architect as it’s time to #BurnItDown! Rollins goes over the top rope since they’re much looser here than normal. He’s also willing to hug it out with Paige over the tough love. And to address a certain elephant in the room, CM Punk has said things about Rollins and Rollins has said things back. But Punk isn’t here, Rollins is, not shocking at all. But Rollins has exhausted his energy on the subject, it isn’t going anywhere right now, so time to move on to what matters. Their face-to-face is not in the cards, it seems. Booker agrees, no need to address old news anyway. Renee defends she’s just trying to do her job as a reporter.
Paige brings up she took some shots of her own at Rollins, but she does ask how the relationship with fans has changed lately. Looking at even a year ago, Rollins was “the guy.” He was headed to the next level. At the time, everyone was in agreement, Rollins was super successful. WrestleMania, he becomes the #Beastslayer and new WWE Universal Champion, then we shift gears and he isn’t sure what happened there. If anyone else knows why, let him know. He’s been himself through and through.
Booker has been there, getting cheers then boos. Does it bother Rollins at all? Or does it motivate him? Rollins says a bit of both. It affects you negatively, whether you admit it or not. You see comments, hear the boos, but Rollins will confirm firsthand that it isn’t everyone. He goes to a place like Little Rock, or to Germany, here and there, he’s not getting booed. This is a small yet super vocal contingent, yet it all affects him. Rollins admits he’s passionate, because wrestling is his life. So when he puts so much into it, to get disrespect, he’ll push back. He won’t be like John Cena, who puts out motivational quotes, or be like Roman Reigns, who just chills and takes a step back. To each their own, but Rollins loves the business and loves the WWE. If someone pushes his buttons, he’ll push back.
Christian mentions the active social media presence, and knows that Rollins could read 1000 good things, but the one negative thing bugs him. Taking work as seriously as they do, does it carry over? Town to town, night to night, what is it that’s changing? Rollins notes that doing big major cities for major PPV or Raw episodes, it’s so strange. Fans will shout “BURN IT DOWN!” with the song, but then when Rollins is in the ring, the adults boo. But then Rollins was in a dark match that same night, stomping the mat, and fans are again still chanting, “Burn It Down!” Paige wants to know what fans want! Maybe the “cool thing” now is just to boo Rollins, the guy on top. This isn’t new, it was Roman and Cena before. Even as back as Bret Hart’s time.
Booker brings it back to social media. Booker avoids Twitter, but Renee calls him out on that. But the point Booker is making, there are so many who vent on Twitter. Is that helping or hurting? It is a tough thing. It is double-edged. We’re so reliant on social media, Twitter being a main one, social media is how up-and-coming wrestlers can promote themselves. It is the same for the WWE. Frustrated talent will go to social media to promote or to protest, whichever. Christian says everyone just needs to proof read and think it through. But even bad press is good press. If Rollins is somehow being “cringe” with his Tweets (a phrase Renee hates) then what is there to talk about? There is no bad publicity for Twitter.
Renee asks how hard is it to maintain the top spot. Not just popularity, but the physicality and mental toll. Rollins knows that Booker T, Christian and Paige know. You have goals, milestones, you tick them off the list one after another, but then staying on top is a different game. It isn’t paranoia, but something that keeps you on edge because everyone wants to be in your spot. Christian agrees, some people thrive and others fold under such pressures, but Christian feels Rollins is one who thrives.
Booker says Rollins has been “walking that line,” when does Rollins feel his turn started? Was it Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell? That was definitely a tipping point. The fans were upset no matter what happened, and Rollins was there to absorb that. He’s the one with the bloody mouth hearing the chants. That goes viral, it comes back on him. But there was the Twitter exchange with NJPW wrestler, Will Ospreay, that turned some fans off. Things happen, but it isn’t really one thing that did it. Booker does want to say, Rollins’ comeback during that Twitter beef was classy. Rollins again says, it was all in good fun as competitors in the business. They took shots at each other, and Ospreay got new merch out of it.
Christian goes back to HIAC. Be honest: the red light. Oh yeah, that is difficult to wrestle in that. Rollins didn’t realize it would be on for the whole match! It was a mess, because between the dark red lighting, the red cell, it was hard to find the corners and edges. Rollins is not a fan of the lights. Paige doesn’t like the idea of it, either. It hurt her eyes just watching. Rollins finally got accustomed to it, but the cell didn’t help.
Paige wants something juicier to chew on, though.
Rollins and Becky took their real-life romance to the screen! How did that feel? And will we see it again? Rollins says it was made canon, so it’s never really going away. Renee teases that there’s the wedding to do now. Rollins says it is a thing that if they could go back to edit it out of story, he would. He didn’t anticipate things like this. Putting yourself out there like that, from art to music to this, this opened them up to the world. When it was just him, that’s fine. Everyone knows how that goes. But when it is more personal, your chemistry with your loved one, it is hard to endure what comes. Both Rollins and Becky were hesitant, and hoped that the handling of it would be cool, because no one had seen badass chick and badass dude battle side by side. The Extreme Rules match was great, but it caused more problems than it solved. We’ll leave it at that.
It’s time for more Wrestling with Your Feelings with Rachel Bonnetta.
This week, Kevin Owens stops by. Rachel has heard about some work place difficulties, such as outbursts. Has she ever met Shane McMahon? No. If she did, she’d be angry, too. Well she can’t name names, because of patient-doctor confidentiality, but someone has said Kevin Owens is “a big maple syrup drinking untalented baby who just cries and cries until they get their way.” Oh? Can she tell him who that was? No, she just said it’s confidential. It was Shane. Whoa! That’s terrible, Rachel. Kevin can’t tell her anything now, she let Shane’s name slip so easily.
Kevin asks what is that on her desk. It is a bull, signifying strength. Please don’t touch it, it’s her bull. He has a bull tattoo, though. Oh is this a little guitar? Yes, for musical therapy, but that’s for other clients. No, he’s gonna play it. Rachel wants him to play with the stuffed animal instead. No, that seems more a Shane thing. Well, same time next week then. They’re done already? Well he’s taking the guitar then. No that’s theft. So he breaks it instead. She’s going to charge him for that.
The panel discusses Kevin Owens.
Has he found his footing at the top of Raw once again?
Not yet, in Booker’s mind. There’s still a lot to do, but he is a complete workhorse that will perform at a high level, week in and week out. Kevin can go the long haul, a rare breed. Renee notes he is great on the mic and Christian agrees. As far as his footing, we thought he had it before. But going out there with his honest style and that “uncomfortableness,” where he isn’t content, he’ll do great. Booker says even small injuries can slow you down but Kevin’s found his stride. Paige agrees with them all. Kevin is versatile, he will be ready for every situation. Mobile, versatile, “he’s got it all!”
Are the Kabuki Warriors on top?
Paige helped bring them together, and she realizes they’re doing better off without her. Though her taking the mist did help. She just feels that their new position, they’re showing their passion, having fun and are looking great both in new gear and in a match with Charlotte Flair.
Sheamus is back! But who should he go after first?
Booker feels after 7 months of recovering, they need to be very careful. If Sheamus was on Raw, it would’ve been Drew McIntyre. But on SmackDown, give Sheamus someone to warm up off of, like Sami Zayn to “molly whop!” Throwing the shade on Sami!
Erick Rowan’s mystery pet: what even is it?
Christian first wants to talk Erick Rowan himself. We all know you can’t teach size. A man that big, that can go, moving on from being the bodyguard to being the lead, he’s doing great. The cage… Razor Ramon’s toothpicks? Maybe tiny Luke Harper? Maybe some beard gloss? Booker thinks it should be a little baby pig. Rowan needs something cute to balance the creepy. Maybe a Baby Yoda! Paige wants #Yiddle or nothing.
Stephanie McMahon made a huge announcement!
At the March of Dimes luncheon, Stephanie McMahon said that the WWE will match all the funds raised by the charity!
The Satin Sheet returns!
Ryan Satin even has sexy music now. But what’s the news for tonight? First, an update on the Raw commentary team. Dio Maddin has been absent after taking that F5 through the table, and Samoa Joe has been on and off in his place. It is not because of injury, but because Maddin has been wanting to return to the ring! And while Samoa Joe continues to recover from his very real injury, Joe will be on commentary for the duration after impressing everyone.
And speaking of returns, there were rumors that John Morrison was returning to the WWE. The former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion took to Twitter to cast some doubt, making everyone think it wasn’t happening. But surprise! It IS happening! The Guru of Greatness is coming back, but the terms are undisclosed and we still don’t know where and when he’ll return. But the panel is excited to hear that! When will #JoMo return with the slow-mo? Can Taya Valkyrie come, too?
The panel discusses further.
Booker likes Morrison. He was a star since day one, the only Tough Enough winner that carried the banner and stayed on TV! You see him show that star power wherever he goes, so wherever he ends up, he’ll be a star again. Christian says everyone has flaws, and WWE makes things dog-eat-dog. You need to step away to become better. Christian did it, he matured, he came back better than before and reached that next level. The same will be for Morrison. Paige loves all these returns! Morrison will be a great addition to whatever brand he ends up on.
Kevin Owens tweets the show!
“Less Rollins, more Owens. Definitely the way to go!” If Kevin wants to go Backstage, the door is open.
Can you feel the love tonight?
Romance has always been a big part of the WWE. Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. The Rock getting a kiss from Trish. Edge and Lita going Rated R. Eddie Guerrero and Chyna. John Cena and Maria Kanellis, long ago. The Miz and Maryse blending reality and kayfabe. And… Lana and Lashley… But there’s a NEW love story in sports entertainment, and it’s only on social media. “The following presentation is rated TV MA, and is based off real-life Tweets. Seriously, viewer discretion is advised.”
Batista to Dana: “Sup?” *big eyes emoji*
Dana to Batista: “Oh, not much. You?” *kiss lips emoji*
Batista to Dana: “You know. Just standing around with my arms up. I see you been gettin those squats in.” *peach emoji*
Dana to Batista: “I mean I do workout.” *shrug emoji* “You know a good gym?”
Batista to Dana: “I do actually! Just so happens that I have my own gym. #LionsDen. Two squat racks! here it is.” *selfie* “It also has an upstairs with a cage and mats as well. Ever done jujitsu?”
Dana to Batista: “Sounds like a date. Also, I’m sure you can teach me a couple things I can use in the ring- also the squat racks too- I’ll send you my number” *woman tipping hand emoji*
Batista to Dana: “So per our conversation I’ve been in deep thought about your question, which you can tell from the photo that I’ve entitled… ‘Me in deep thought about Dana’s question.’ And the answer is, yes. You can call me Daddy.”
Dana to Batista: “Okay, ‘daddy.’ Now for my bday wish & you have one hour until ya know” *wink emoji* “so I’m expecting that video”
Batista to Dana: *Batista shirtless Happy Birthday video*
Dana to Batista: “Oh, Dave. You make me smile and blush! Can’t wait to see you.”
The panel reacts.
Renee wishes people would STOP using “daddy” like that… Rollins laughs and Paige is feeling the cringe! But moving on to…
Pay It Off!
Does Rollins seeing Dana and Batista becoming a real romance? He sure hopes so! After all that, we need to see the next chapter! Takes heat off him, too. But Batista is retired from the ring. Will he be her…? Renee stops herself there. Paige feels Dana and Dave could give Lana and Lashley a run for their money. It is definitely better, anyway. Rollins remembers back to Edge and Lita having their Live Sex Show, just saying. If it’s what people want. Booker isn’t sure how to talk about it, as an analyst. What are we analyzing?! But Batista the Animal, as Dana’s about to found out, heheheheh! But this is all about sets and reps. Sets, guys, sets.
Christian adds on that this might be true love. Let the crazy kids do their thing. This is like a live romance novel. Paige got the scoop from Batista. He has one wish: If Dana Brooke is able to cook a traditional Filipino meal, his favorite kind of food, it’s a win. If Dana can do it, learn it, something like that, she’s in.
But speaking of the Lana-Lashley-Rusev love triangle…
The lovebirds were arrested! And the panel has been back and forth, but this is getting Rusev even more over somehow! How do we #PayItOff? Paige says she has no idea. Plus Lana talks trash back at Paige for calling her out on things. But Rusev has the fans behind him, it is at least paying off for him. Lana, stop tweeting! Rollins says Lana needs to be in a shark cage for a match. Paige suggests Lana on a Pole. Christian thinks Rusev should tweet Dana Brooke. Booker was skeptical with this whole thing, but this is one of those “wait and see” moments. Rusev is red hot, no one saw that coming, but the shark cage, the pole, something is going to make this worth it. Will this go all the way to WrestleMania? Who knows.
CM Punk will return!
Just tune in next week for the Best in the World to be back on Backstage!
It’s time for Social Media SmackDown!
For starters, Lana responds to Paige simply with a gif, classic Lana rolling her eyes in disgust. Paige is thinking Lana is getting obsessed. Paige wants to take Lana to Promo School!
But the main event of this segment is for Rollins! The tweet aimed at The Architect is from Hollywood Cade Hayes! “Hey Suck Face. My friend Niamh said you probably smell like snail juice.” What? What? Escargot? Rollins can’t respond to that, it’s so weird. But to all the “keyboard warriors” out there, that if you think Rollins has soft skin, then bring it! Bring the fire, because he’ll what? #BurnItDown! You can’t take it, but he can! Hit harder next time, boys. He doesn’t smell like snails, he smells like smoke and the top of the mountain! Don’t type about it, be about it!
A real fun episode with Rollins, but NO Stephen Amell or CM Punk? That seems really lame. But it was good of them to at least bring up Punk not being there, obviously keeps things going. I fully expect Punk to respond next week when he returns. That aside, Rollins did good tonight with the panel, and it was good to hear from him about this stuff that’s been going on. The heat on him, to whatever magnitude it really is, really does seem to stem from a combination of things. Good of them to reference the Ospreay stuff, too. While it is always great when wrestlers are passionate and serious about their careers and the companies they’re with, we fans can take things too seriously sometimes and that just ends up falling on the wrestlers more than it does us. The saying about everyone being a critic is definitely true, because what do you think a site like ours is about? I kid.
I also appreciated Rollins talking about the angle with him and Becky making their relationship canon. Romances do spring up between talent, and sometimes that complicates things, and it made a lot of sense to hear they were nervous about doing it. Hearing about Batista and Dana was wow. Kevin Owens had a great skit with Rachel Bonnetta. Good to finally hear it confirmed that John Morrison is back. I don’t get why they left NXT off the possibilities of where Morrison would go, but chances are Vince really would insist he go to Raw or SmackDown. Though, to be honest, where would he fit? I don’t see anything on Raw being open right now, but he’d probably go after the Intercontinental Championship for SmackDown. Maybe he debuts at the Royal Rumble and we see what comes from it.