She’s got it! Yeah baby, she’s got it!
Fresh from her return to the ring, Alexa Bliss goes Backstage! What will the Goddess have to say about Team Bliss-Cross’ feud with Fire & Desire and more?
Renee Young runs down the schedule!
Not only does Alexa Bliss join the show, but there’s a new round of contract news via the Satin Sheet. Plus, William Shatner is here for a special lesson in Promo School! That and more as WWE Backstage begins!
The panel is assembled!
Renee Young and Booker T have Captain Charisma, Christian, and the #Shenom, Ember Moon! Booker T is repping Houston colors, is that a shout out to Harlem Heat coming back? But the subject is TLC and the aftermath.
Here’s Just the Highlights!
The New Day and Revival had a match that was a highlight reel in itself, and lucky number 7 keeps on going! The Miz tortured Bray Wyatt, but Bray liked it. Bray didn’t like Daniel Bryan returning to ruin the fun, though. The women went hardcore in their own TLC match where the Kabuki Warriors retained. And while Baron Corbin screwed Roman Reigns over with help from his court (jesters), the fighting didn’t end there. However, a spear off the balcony did end the night!
But the Raw after had The Man call out The Empress, as there is a score to settle. Lana asked Lashley to ask her to marry her. He said yes, and so did she, but when is the wedding going to be? AJ Styles had a phenomenal plan but it still failed to prevent an RKO outta nowhere! And Seth Rollins proclaims he is a visionary that leads the WWE literally into the next decade!
What does the panel think?
Christian must mention Rusev, Lana and Lashley. Rusev just needs to ask for #OneMoreMachka. Round of applause for that pun. But the real big thing was Bray Wyatt wrestling as his Firefly Fun House persona. There are just layers upon layers with Bray, and Christian loves all the little nuances. The Fiend “talking” to Bray could be something, too, but Bryan returning was also great. Renee can’t get over Bryan looking like he hasn’t aged. Booker also likes the Bray stuff. Booker was there during Three Faces of Foley, and to see Bray be his own fresh take on it, he wants to see where this goes. Ember also likes the layers to Bray, but it is almost like the movie, Split. Renee isn’t sure on the mallet, but the panel likes it.
Ember’s own personal takeaway would be Roman VS Corbin. The ending chaos in the match and after the show was one thing, but the fact Corbin won was a bit of a surprise. Booker doesn’t see why it’s a shock, but Ember wants to finish explaining. Corbin has shown a lot of diversity and such a universally hated Heel. He’s not a Cool Heel, he’s a Boo Heel. Corbin loses in the blow-offs, but this might’ve been the first time he got that solid win. Christian does wonder, though, it being a TLC match, those matches take time off careers. For Christian, there had to be more at stake than just a win or loss. You gotta climb the ladder to take something, even if it’s just cold hard cash. But these two went out, beat each other down, but with a separate Tables match and separate Ladders match, why not just a separate Chairs match? Personal opinion as a TLC innovator, but Booker can see what he means.
Booker’s own personal takeaway was the Kickoff Show. Usually the matches on a Kickoff Show are take it or leave it, but Carrillo VS Almas was something special! Carrillo is going to skyrocket to the moon, but Almas is also something special. These two doing something like that, you’re not sure what you’re seeing but you know stars are being born. Ember adds to that, because Almas started even before WWE. He is not just one of the best luchadors in WWE, he’s one of the best luchadors in the world. Booker agrees, Almas just has pure talent. Almas has been around a long time, and that seems to pass over most people’s heads. From even before his time in NXT, to being NXT Champion, to being a big name on Raw and SmackDown, Ember wants everyone to know just how much he still has to show us.
Seth Rollins “apologized” again.
That is to say, he said “sorry” in advance before he and the Authors of Pain beat down Rey Mysterio over giving Kevin Owens that steel pipe. Rollins claimed it was mercy when he only gave Mysterio a Curb Stomp, but what of this move to go after the WWE United States Championship?
Booker wants to make this quick. He said a month ago and will say it again. Rollins has some dirt on him, has some back-up, and he is in his comfort zone. Booker likes where Rollins is going with this, and it’ll be a great 2020. Christian says passion can be confused with arrogance, but which is it here? What Rollins is saying is that he hasn’t changed, the fans have. The self-proclaimed leader wants us to hear what he’s saying, and he has Akam and Rezar with him, it’s looking great. Ember says this feels a bit rushed. She loves the AOP, but she wanted things to progress at a pace where Rollins could dig even deeper into this trying to lead Raw. But things are moving in the right direction either way.
Social media wants Christian in the Hall of Fame!
Booker T takes credit for starting that going. There’s a lot of time before WrestleMania, will it happen for Captain Charisma?
Backstage has A Moment of Bliss!
The 5-time Women’s Champion and the second-ever Triple Crown Champion, here’s Alexa Bliss! The Goddess joins Renee and Ember, and Renee hopes the double goddess combo can keep things from going too crazy. No promises from Alexa. But Alexa and her entire family have always been WWE fans, for multiple generations. Grandma Bliss wanted to marry Dusty Rhodes, Auntie Bliss wanted to marry Stone Cold, and her cousins pretend they were the Hardy Boys. Empty pool smackdowns scared Alexa, but she’s the one in the ring now.
Ember also speaks to her goddess BFF’s origin story. Alexa’s athletic background led her to not wanting to adult yet. Her bodybuilding coach mentioned a WWE casting call, aka a Diva Search. Alexa signed up, made an audition video by paying some random person $100 to film her in the gym, in a bikini. Cue up the footage! Look at those bangs. Look at that strut! Alexa can’t believe that still exists. But it got her in the door, didn’t it? She didn’t even think it’d work, but she did get a call to go to LA, she was among 50 finalists. #HumbleBrag. But then with that, there were all these actresses and models, and Alexa already felt like she lost. She went in, recognized Triple H, fangirl’d, and between her personality and knowledge of the business and love of the WWE, it got her another call that she had cleared to the next round.
Round two was a 30 day in-ring tryout in LA, but a week later, she was told she wasn’t going to that next round. Alexa’s dreams were crushed, but then revived as another call came in saying she was just immediately signed on athletic talent alone. Rocket strapped and here we are. FCW was her first stop, that became NXT, and her first real mentor was Charlotte Flair. The one person in the locker room had her back, and Shaul Guerrero had her back “backstage.” With those two behind her, Alexa learned so much about the WWE culture and community. Their guidance has helped Alexa all these years. Even if it was a bad match, Charlotte gave her encouragement.
Speaking of those who have Alexa’s back, Ember brings up Nikki Cross. A new on-screen bestie, but how does that work? For that matter, the origin story of this team was that the two were pitching ideas together. Nikki had so many ideas to give Vince, and as soon as Nikki was done with her turn, Alexa took her turn pitching ideas. Even if they weren’t in the title picture, they wanted to work together because there was something there. Alexa did want the manipulation story, but then it turned into the swerve of no swerve, this oddball duo worked out and it’s so much fun. They travel together, work on matches together, Nikki’s first title was with Alexa, and it’s going so well. Renee says it is a lot of fun watching them work together.
On a more serious note, Alexa’s work to change body image issues. Why is it important for her to go public with her own stories of eating disorders and body image issues? Alexa kept it secret for about a decade. She didn’t want judgment or pity, just nothing. But when she remembered being in the hospital, people would visit her. WWE superstars visit fans, and then soccer players visited her. But Alexa felt that no one knew what she was going through. Mental illnesses, battles of the mind, are so hard to fight. Alexa wanted to be the one to say, “I’ve gone through this, it doesn’t have to define and control you.” And ever since then, any appearance or just walking down the street, people-both men and women-have voiced their appreciation for her being brave enough to share. Renee also commends Alexa for that courage. The Goddess is going to stick around, mostly because Ember wants her to.
But speaking of special guests, William Shatner is still going to take us to Promo School! Now can you dig that? Right after the break. Hmm…
William Shatner is live!
Renee still loves Shatner “singing” WWE theme songs. But the man, the myth, the captain of the USS Enterprise, Shatner is here! He’s honored to be invited but Renee says he’s welcomed any time. He can even be a co-host. Now, now, let’s not get carried away. Well okay. But who talked Shatner into that album? Probably Vince. He wouldn’t have done that normally. Booyaka booyaka! Shatner and Renee share in some French, but Christian says his excuse is being from Toronto.
Christian asks which is the more “rabid fanbase”: wrestling or Star Trek? Good question. Shatner says the fans of the WWE are passionate, maybe even nuts. Trekkies are equally nuts, but with less aggression and more focus. Therefore, the Trekkies win. Except against Booyaka. But where did Shatner’s love of wrestling start? Being born in Montreal, growing up with no TV, he’d hear stories about wrestlers at the Montreal Forum. He surely saw them a few times, because he saw the “Silver Age,” at the very beginning. Those great Quebec wrestlers, Gorgeous George and Lou Thesz, and then eventually Pat Patterson. Then came being asked to do some publicity, he met Jerry “The King” Lawler, and had to throw Jerry out. That revived his love! Footage shows that moment from 1/9/95, Monday Night Raw! Hammerlock and shove, then a monkey flip! And of course, Bret Hart raised his hand, another great Canadian wrestler.
Renee and Christian compliment Shatner’s form, it was “quite good.” Quite good? That was great! Did Shatner train for that? No, that’s just how you get jobs in Hollywood. But Shatner’s The Unexplained is getting a new season, Backstage gives us a preview.
“But how could a seemingly harmless destination like an amusement park really be thought of as cursed? That’s what we’re trying to find out.”
A haunted amusement park?! There are all sorts of weird mysteries, like Jerry sailing out of the ring. But Season 1 was just 8 shows, and the network execs saw them, and wanted TWENTY MORE! Unheard of! Fridays in February, be ready to solve some mysteries with Shatner. Christian just solved the mystery of Jerry flying out of the ring: Shatner whooped him! Those guns! “When touched, I flex.” But Shatner isn’t done, there’s going to be a special twist to Promo School.
Promo School Special Edition!
Normally it is the celebrity guest that is tested, but Shatner joins the panel of judges, to judge a Shatner impression contest! Really? That even surprised Shatner. So now Acting School pits the former NXT Women’s Champion and self-proclaimed super nerd, EMBER MOON! Ember takes a moment to focus, before being Shatner Hamlet. “To be. Or not to be. That, is, your question you’ll have to answer if, you step into the ring, with me. You want to mess with this captain?” Mic drop and… dead lift of a “boulder!” She hits the Gorn! “And you’ll get… the rock.” Shatner thought that was wonderful. She has a future ahead of her. Not quite sure where, but she has a future.
Next up, the Captain that Totally Reeks of Awesomeness, CHRISTIAN! He is wearing a big jacket and has a stool for his act. Christian would like some quick advice. Stand up straight, take in a deep breath, and project with your voice. Christian begins with, “Christian. Christian. At last, you are on, your, own.” He has the red sweater! He’s Shatner “singing” WWE theme songs! Firefly Fun House? “If, you’re feeling gloomy today. Come on, throw your cares away. We’re really glad, that your’e our friend, and this. Is a friendship, that’ll never, ever, end.” Pretty good.
But now, here comes the grades! Shatner’s grade weighs strongest. Booker says Christian won, Alexa says Ember won. Renee says Christian, Shatner says CHRISTIAN! Ember should’ve gone 52 minutes, like in the Rumble. But Christian committed to the bit of Shatner Bray Wyatt singing. Who will be singing “Money money money~! MONEY~!” after the coming contract signing reports?
The Satin Sheet returns!
Sexy Ryan Satin is back, too, and what news does he have on contracts? As Kofi Kingston reported himself on the New Day Feel the Power podcast, Kofi’s five-year deal is real! As is all of the New Day! Big E and Xavier Woods will be sticking with Kofi and are all equal members with equal pay. Great news for the WWE and fans as the New Day is an amazing team still killing it match after match. But another team that inked contracts are The Street Profits! The Curse of Greatness have their own multi-year extensions, which is no surprise as Dawkins and Ford are popular with fans. Raise those Solo cups!
The panel congratulates the extensions, but Booker speaks from personal experience that he’s never wanted the same deal as someone else, he wants to get paid what he deserves. But this keeps the tag team division strong on both shows, with the New Day being a powerful cornerstone and the Profits being part of the future. And Christian also agrees with Booker, he wants that money.
Wondering what Paige is up to?
She was on Corey Graves’ podcast, After the Bell, and the Glampire with no filter decided to shoot from the hip. “I don’t understand why we don’t have another All Girls’ Pay-Per-View. We had that one-off deal, like, what the hell was that about?” That is to say, where is Evolution 2? That should be a new tradition! Wasn’t that the point of the Women’s (R)Evolution? If not, F off, it’s just talk. Don’t talk about it, stop holding the women back, there are so many women who deserve opportunities so actually give them that!
It’s time for the Backstage MAIN EVENT!
A new segment, obviously, but Paige brought up a good point. There were others talking about the real Women’s (R)Evolution, such as Becky Lynch and Charlotte, as the Women’s Division doesn’t feel as hot or buzzworthy as around WrestleMania. Naturally, we turn to the double goddess combo for thoughts. Ember 100% agrees with them all! Since Mania, WWE has really only featured four to five superstars but WWE has a “plethora” of them! It is annoying to see these hardworking women who want to entertain aren’t getting even on TV. Alexa adds that while women got to main event two PPV’s in a row, and even WrestleMania, but there still needs to be more overall.
Alexa and Nikki had their time with the tag titles, but the tag division is not being used to its full potential. Alexa would love to share the spotlight, “we’re only as good as the amount of women we have carrying this evolution.” Focusing on a handful is not enough. Renee turns to Booker on who should step up to help this situation. Booker has felt this even in his career and watching other men, wondering, “Why isn’t this guy doing this? Why isn’t that guy doing that?” He’s never been the one stuck because he’d do something, break a rule or two, “grab the brass ring.” He’d forget what he was told and capture his own moments. But in the same way, the women just need those opportunities.
Renee asks Christian if it has to do with the absence of Ronda Rousey in anyway. Christian agrees that is a factor. She was a huge star that got eyes on, regardless of gender. Ronda proved she was a student of the game and did great things, but her absence leaves a spot open for someone to step up. Ember says that Ronda being gone doesn’t mean there isn’t a Women’s Division to use. There are so many, from Sarah Logan to the IIconics, to Liv Morgan who is returning. Dana Brooke is always working hard. So many people are reaching for those brass rings, but they need a platform. We need Evolution 2 to show all of that talent, and it proved the first time in 2018 it is possible. It was the hottest show of the year! The women deserve a continued opportunity. Even Survivor Series helped with getting NXT in.
The milestones also add to this, such as the first match in Saudi Arabia. Alexa Bliss was one part of another first-ever in the Middle East with Sasha Banks. What was that moment of change like? “It was incredible, because it shows that this Women’s Evolution didn’t start with a single person, it started with all of us.” It isn’t local, it’s global, and such performances were incredible. Natalya and Lacey Evans had a great match, including historic, and we’re making moves! Let’s hope things keep moving in the right direction!
Backstage on Christmas Eve will be a special gift!
It’ll be the WWE Year End Awards Show! Tune in to see who wins what!
Time for Social Media SmackDown!
Get ready to get crushed, nerds! Huge Jackman’s Illegitimate Son, Big Kim Hays, “never saw the appeal” of Ember Moon. “Her mic skills are bad and her in-ring skills are sloppy.” Ember takes the mic to say she is appalled at the audacity for someone to say that! She has worked for 14 years, gone around the world, and yet this “stupid grown man-baby keyboard warrior” thinks he can tell her how to do her job?! She is out here living a dream! She is out here supporting her family! Ember wants him to know this, he should just kiss her cast.
But Alexa has one coming up. Sniper Riffle 123 What? thinks “Alexa Bliss sucks. She’s awful. She’s not a wrestler, she’s just a pretty face.” Well “pretty face” is a compliment. But to the rest of that, most people thinks she doesn’t deserve to be here, she didn’t pay her dues. Um, she trained her entire life as a gymnast, track star, kickboxer, softball player, cheerleader, all for multiple national titles, is one of the youngest people to get a pro card in bodybuilding, spent 40 hours a week in the gym, training hard as possible. She respects everyone’s backgrounds, but fans don’t think she deserves to be here because she wasn’t wrestling in some backyard? In front of dozens? She was wrestling in front of thousands giving up on a typical childhood so she could be here. A pretty face got her in the door, her work ethic kicked it down. No one can take that from her!
Renee adds that this guy must not have seen that audition tape earlier tonight. Plus, that gift of gab! But that’s all for now! Booyaka booyaka Bliss 1 9! Get ready for the holidays!
A fun episode here, with Shatner being a great surprise guest star. I feel like Shatner didn’t know to complete Booker’s catchphrase, which was hilarious because Booker just had to stand there smiling until camera break. The Shatner themed Promo School was good stuff, I am glad Christian went Shatner “singing” with his, though he could’ve chosen something with more to say. I would’ve loved Christian Shatner covering Baron Corbin’s or The Miz’s. But then we wouldn’t have gotten Christian as Mr. Rogers.
I didn’t realize Ember and Alexa were such good pals in reality, so it was good to also see some chemistry from them. It was also great to hear the origin story of Alexa in the WWE and teaming with Nikki. Also that audition tape, yowza! Bringing up After the Bell and Paige’s comments about not getting Evolution 2019 and the following discussion, I am all with them on that. I get things were pretty crammed for Fall both this year and last year, but maybe Clash of Champions can disappear and let that be Evolution’s time slot. WWE hasn’t taken enough time to get the women’s tag divisions and midcard going, but they should! It would be something that helps WWE get back up in the eyes of the total fandom, which is something WWE badly needs with AEW hitting hard week after week in all areas. But it’s still Vince at the top, so we can only hope.
Mitchell’s AEW Continental Classic Update! (11/27/23)
What a start to the tournament!
Did your picks win points?
The AEW Continental Classic is underway, with almost everyone competing. Check in here if you haven’t seen the winners and losers of week 1!
Here are your Gold League standings!
- Jon Moxley: 1-0, 3 points
- Swerve Strickland: 1-0, 3 points
- Jay White: 1-0, 3 points
- Rush: 0-1, 0 points
- Mark Briscoe: 0-1, 0 points.
- Jay Lethal: 0-1, 0 points
Here are your Blue League standings!
- Brody King: 1-0, 3 points
- Claudio Castagnoli: 1-0, 3 points
- Daniel Garcia: 0-1, 0 points
- Eddie Kingston: 0-1, 0 points
- Bryan Danielson: Yet to Compete
- Andrade El Idolo: Yet to Compete
Nothing too crazy, nothing too wild, this tournament only just got started. The only disappointing point is that they could not get Bryan “cleared to compete” Saturday night. Not sure how much of that is shoot given the bad eye, but this was kinda the problem of wanting him in the tournament over tons of other choices. Bryan wants to face Okada for WrestleKingdom 18, how is Bryan supposed to do that at his best if he’s also gonna be in a round robin, doing five top level matches in about as many weeks? And it takes away from Andrade being able to do something. Also a little surprised we didn’t even hear from Andrade on Saturday.
Now as we heard on Saturday, round two’s matches are set. Gold League will see Mark Briscoe VS Rush, White VS Swerve, and of course, Moxley VS Lethal. Nice variety there, a couple 0-1 guys facing off, as well as two 1-0 guys, and then 1-0 VS 0-1. No offense to Lethal, but he feels like an 0-2 going up against Moxley. Hard to call the other ones but that’s the fun of it. Meanwhile, Blue League sees Brody VS Claudio in a showdown to be 2-0, then Bryan and Andrade finally jump in, Bryan against Eddie and Andrade against Garcia. Sadly, feels like Eddie and Garcia are going 0-2, no way Tony Khan is booking Bryan and Andrade to lose their first shots.
In fact, that could be half the reason they did wait on those two, that’s almost too good for just a first round opener. But I still would’ve done it, same as NJPW does stuff like that for round robins, which this is all modeled after anyway.
AEW announces Continental Classic entrants
The C2 is set!
Tony Khan Reveals the Blue and Gold “Leagues!”
Originally livestreamed, Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone officially announced the twelve total entrants and divided them into the two round robin blocks known as the “Blue League” and “Gold League.” If you don’t feel like sifting through the almost 30 minute video, the groups are:
- Bryan Danielson
- Andrade El Idolo
- Brody King
- Claudio Castagnoli
- Daniel Garcia
- Eddie Kingston
- Jon Moxley
- Swerve Strickland
- Mark Briscoe
- Jay Lethal
- Jay White
Tony Khan also explains the rules for the Continental Classic:
- Every match has a 20 minute time limit
- The winner of each match earns 3 points, losers earn 0, 1 point for a draw
- EVERYONE ELSE is banned from ringside for true 1v1 action
Eddie Kingston also joined the selection special as his “life’s work” is on the line in this tournament, both the ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line as part of the modern day North American Triple Crown Eddie, Tony Khan, AEW, ROH and NJPW are looking to create together. Gold League competes tonight on Dynamite while Blue League will have their start this Saturday on Collision. Look for more articles like this one to keep up with the Continental Classic standings over the next six weeks of tournament action!
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