THE WRESTLING REPORT

Money in the Bank begins to take shape

WWE IMAGES

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

This week begins the next year of wrestling as the inexhaustible cycle begins again and the road to WrestleMania starts paving anew.

Raw kicks off with some interesting decisions with two triple threat matches announced and the winner of those fight off to determine who will face Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank for The Universal Championship. The idea is interesting but of the six competitors, four are recently removed from Smackdown, so are the top six guys that aren't Seth Rollins mostly Smackdown guys? Doesn't say much for what is supposed to be the flagship show, does it? There wasn't a ton of big moments this week although finally revealing Bray Wyatt in his new form is pretty awesome, he's a great presence on the mic and he's one of the better "new" wrestlers in recent history. Alicia Fox returned to the ring, in an odd match against Becky Lynch which had some bad botches and honestly I don't think her future is long for the WWE ring if the outside the ring rumors are to be believed. Raw's big finish was AJ Styles beating Baron Corbin to face Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank, and then Seth Rollins coming out and shaking AJ Styles hand. That is not the tone you want to see for a title match.

Smackdown felt a little off balance as there were still so many debuts and introductions leftover from the Superstar Shakeup with Chad Gable, Andrade and Lars Sullivan all "debuting" on Smackdown this week. It's good to see the women's division stir up and try new match ups, with the Iconics building a rivalry vs Asuka and Kari Sane while Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville stand by and talk smack. Pitting Bayley and Charlotte Flair is a nice change and a reminder that it wasn't just Charlotte and Becky who built this women's revolution we exist in now. This does bring up an issue though, so Becky is now going to face both Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans at Money in the Bank. This is an awesome idea, it only serves to elevate the myth of the Man and grow Becky Lynch's heat to an unheard of level. Of course WWE could go the other way on this one and have her drop one or both titles but I don't think that's the plan, as of right now it feels like they're going to keep blowing Becky Lynch up as far as the heat will take her. The new New Day was looking great with Kevin Owens in a new fun role and then he betrays Kofi Kingston and all is back as it was. Kevin Owens is truly at his best as a heel, and there may be no one better at pushing the crowd's buttons without saying a word right now than Kevin Owens.

Overall this week was a solid week as the build up to Money in the Bank begins.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE debuts a new championship belt

WWE IMAGES

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

Money in the Bank was this Sunday and while it was a solid entertaining pay per view, the big developments that came out of it were Brock Lesnar winning the Men's Money in the Bank contract, Bayley won the women's Money in the Bank contract, then after Charlotte beat Becky Lynch for the Smackdown women's title, Bayley swooped in and took it with an immediate cash in of her title match contract.

Fast forward to Raw and it feels very business as usual, the mixing of the superstars is just the new normal although they still are attached to the individual show branding, by that I mean Lars Sullivan came down to do an in ring interview on Raw but had a Smackdown logo by his name for some reason. Mick Foley came out and introduced a new 24/7 title that is open to everyone who basically shows up to work at the WWE, it's a watered down version of the old Hardcore title which is a nice call back but honestly, the belt isn't all that desirable looking. After Titus claimed it from a scrum of "B" and "C" list wrestlers, Robert Roode then took it from him and before Raw was over R Truth had taken the title from him.

Smackdown starting off with the return of Big E is great, making the New Day whole again and letting them enjoy and have fun with Kofi's title run is great. R Truth and the 24/7 title returned and it's a funny bit but surely this wasn't the point of the title, was it? I don't see the WWE introducing a title simply to be funny about it. Becky Lynch and Bayley tagging together was a good match against Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans, the match between Kofi and Sami Zayn was quick for a title match and then Dolph Ziggler running out was an interesting surprise. The rematch between Roman Reigns and Elias isn't what anyone was asking for and honestly the whole Shane McMahon is the bad guy bit is a little overplayed to me.

This week while it was a much better week than the ones building up to Money in the Bank, the reality is that the overall content hasn't been as good as it should be. Now they're shoe horning the next Saudi Arabia pay per view with a Goldberg vs Undertaker match, it's fairly obvious this is to play up the 90's nostalgia that's happening in Saudi Arabia and honestly its not exciting. Playing up these matches with video promos, no build up or story involved, it's lazy and disappointing.

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