It’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity that exists online when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. Let’s put a pause on the bad stuff, all the complaints, criticisms, rants, and rundowns. Instead, let’s come up for a breath of fresh air, sift through the week that was, and accentuate the positives.
Here are your top 3 positives from the week that was:
1. NXT Women Call-ups
I think the biggest development on Raw this past Monday was the collective debut of Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks to the main roster. This is the shot in the arm that the women’s division has needed for a while now. Actually, scratch that, this is the shot in the heart this division needs to bring it back to life. All three of these women are awesome in the ring and they’ve each established a personality for themselves down in NXT that I think will translate well on the main roster.
I’m hopeful that this leads to a newfound focus from the “creative” team towards the division which will allow not only these three women, but the other major players in the division (IE: the other 6 women involved in that Raw segment) to have some much needed direction both in story and character. I think having Stephanie McMahon involved with the debut was a good sign that the division will have a more serious approach from the writers.
A few months back we were introduced to the Give Divas a Chance movement, and at that time I suggested we ditch the “Divas” and give women’s wrestling a chance. I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth here, so they can keep calling them Divas and I’ll keep avoiding the word, so long as we get to see these women shine the way their male counterparts are allowed to. And don’t think I’m dissing the Bellas here, as I’m on record as saying Nikki is one of the hardest working people, man or woman, in the company as her in ring work has improved tremendously over the last year.
In a perfect world, I’d like to see Sasha Banks win the title and go on to defend it at WrestleMania against Becky Lynch in a rematch of their NXT Takeover: Unstoppable match which I still say is a match of the year candidate. It may not happen, but a guy can dream can’t he? Speaking of which, might we be closer to seeing the women close out a Mania? Between the Ropes’ very own Nathan McCarter talked in depth about just that not long ago. If that ever happens, I don’t know, but things like this make me hopeful that WWE will begin to give these talented women the spotlight they deserve.
2. Cesaro and Rusev Benefit From Cena/Owens Feud
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I like it when feuds can branch out and incorporate other people and allow them to get a rub from those to whom the feud is focused. I won’t repeat myself too much here, but I’d like to point out how well WWE is doing this with the Cena/Owens feud.
I loved seeing arises involved in something that had nothing to do with Lana or Dolph. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d go ahead and move on from that feud for good. Dolph is out for a few weeks filming a movie in Vancouver and it creates a natural break for this less than stellar feud. I doubt fans will mind not getting a blowoff match between Rusev and Dolph. I’d like to see Rusev and Cesaro go at it again in a straight up 1 on 1 match because what we saw Monday was awesome.
The feud between Cena and Owens is definitely heating up and drawing me in more each week, but the best thing it’s done is made Cesaro and Rusev suddenly relative again. Both guys had caught bad breaks; one was without his tag partner due to injury while the other was stuck in a bad angle. The fact that this feud has brought both of these guys up to where they deserve to be is a total positive.
3. Jushin Thunder Liger added to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
I’ve mentioned my love of Jushin Thunder Liger before here on AtP, so forgive me if I repeat myself here. I have been a Liger fan since I was a kid. I became a fan thanks in large part to his look but I remained a fan because of his tremendous in-ring work. I’ll point to the matches he had with Brian Pillman in the early 90s as proof that he was ahead of his time (as was Pillman) with his work rate. So, I was obviously excited when I read that Jushin Liger will be competing at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.
Other than my fandom, one major reason that Liger’s NXT appearance is so awesome is the face that he’s never before worked for WWE. For someone to have such a long and successful career without getting a paycheck from a McMahon is nothing short of amazing in this business. It will not only be fun as a fan to see Liger in a WWE ring on a WWE produced show, but it will be great for fans who don’t know Jushin Thunder Liger to see him on a platform like the WWE Network.
A side note to this is New Japan Pro Wrestling and their relationship with WWE. WWE hasn’t partnered with another wrestling promotion outside of the U.S. in many years (unless I’ve missed something, in which case feel free to call me out). I’d love to see WWE create a working relationship with NJPW in the same way that ROH has a relationship with NJPW. I don’t think the fact that there’s already a partnership in place between Ring of Honor and New Japan would matter much, as it would only involve sending a few talent for a limited number of dates. I for one would love to see the likes of KUSHIDA or Okada in the WWE. Or, dare I say, AJ Styles stopping by NXT to renew a feud with Samoa Joe? There’s plenty of possibilities here and all of them are totally positive!
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, stay positive!