WRESTLING REPORT

Solid RAW followed by shaky Smackdown highlights WWE; All Elite makes a move

WWE.com

…And Polyphemus shouted "Nobody kills me!"

As the first complete week of 2019 came to a close for WWE, the other shoe dropped and All Elite Wrestling made itself known.

RAW went over fairly well, the six man tag brought excitement to the opening and while Brock Lesnar and Braun Stroman's stare off wasn't exactly everything advertised it at least happened. Which is an improvement considering usually Brock can't be bothered to come the regularly televised show he is the champion of. It's like a movie star being talked about on a sitcom every episode but only showing up for the premieres and finales; it's exasperating. Hopefully this is something they're going to work on over this year and either book him more or have him drop the title and take some more time off.

Smackdown however ended all possible momentum that one good show could have given them, with the opening four man tag match just being completely botched and the Daniel Bryan angle is still obnoxiously unwatchable. It's one thing for a heel champion to be elitist, it's another for him to criticize American fandom in a fan driven sport; it's cannibalistic in a way. Miz and Shane vs. The Bar for the tag titles is the match no one asked for. Are people asking for more Shane McMahon matches in lieu of actual wrestlers? Where is this coming from? The saving grace is still the women's division, although the hyper insulting Mandy Rose wants to bang an Uso storyline continues. The triple threat match was awesome and surprisingly Carmella came to play and landed some great spots with the big dogs Becky and Charlotte. For god's sake give this division REAL screen time.

Now the elephant in the room: All Elite Wrestling chose Tuesday in Jacksonville, just down the road from the Smackdown taping in Orlando, to announce a bunch of things. For starters, they announced a May event in Vegas, Double or Nothing, building off the homerun that was the first wrestler owned event of this scale - All or Nothing - that ran last year. Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks also announced some new behind the scenes talent and some new in ring talent, WWE pros like Billy Gunn and Chris Jericho are going into the office to help shepherd this thing in the right direction and former WWE cruiserweight champ, Neville, is coming to AEW as PAC and some other top indy guys like Hangman Page also announced signing with the brand. This is the worst possible time for the WWE to have competition, with the Fox Sports deal kicking in later this year and there being clear directional issues internally at WWE. A young upstart with talent, structure and money could steal some thunder from the big brand.

2019 is shaping up to be a rather interesting year for sports entertainment, and how all this plays out is up in the air.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE continues its backslide into mediocrity

Photo via WWE.com

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!

In the aftermath of one of the most disastrous WWE events in recent memory, Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia, WWE struggled yet again this week. With an incredibly tepid response to AEW's Double or Nothing, the WWE has fallen well below their own usual standards of quality, the match between Undertaker and Goldberg was easily the worst match in recent history as both wrestlers nearly killed each other doing their finishers with a botched jackhammer and tombstone piledriver, there was literally no way the match could have been worse. Beyond that, there was a 50 man battle royal and the only Saudi on the entire WWE roster won it, a guy who has been on the roster for over a year and has never appeared on either Raw or Smackdown.

Coming into Raw, the bookings made even less sense, with Baron Corbin announcing he has another match against Seth Rollins after losing just three days earlier. So apparently losing a title shot means you get another title shot now? Cool. Kevin Owens came out of nowhere and wanted a match against the champion and got it for no reason either. The Iconics fought a couple of local jobbers for no reason, and then WWE ripped off ESPN and did a split screen interview of Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans, were they scared they might fight?

It's fake. There were other matches, including the Revival getting their titles back, which it never made sense for them to get but at least this time it was a real match. The 24/7 is now officially a joke, it's just a running gag where R Truth just runs around from a bunch of people who also are a joke, this thing is quickly coming off the rails.

Smackdown hasn't gotten much better though, there was another tag match against local jobbers, a meaningless women's match and another awful run between The Miz and Shane and Elias and Drew. The whole best in the World Thing is getting annoying. Big E returns and they book a 3 man tag match against Sami, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler who Kofi will be facing again in Stomping Ground, another loser rematch.


Meanwhile in the Indy scene, Jon Moxley just won a title in New Japan Wrestling in one of his first matches as an Indy wrestler, further hitting home that the WWE is underutilizing it's wrestlers severely. With the WWE going in one direction and the upstart going in the other, it's not inconceivable that change could be on the horizon.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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