Welcome to another edition of eWN Ring Position, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on the WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 pay-per-view.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Kyle Dunning, Ethan Absler and Yiannis Bouranis.
1) “Which heel turn is working better right now for what WWE is trying to accomplish: Braun Strowman or Becky Lynch?”
MANGO: Braun Strowman’s, for sure. Even though I’m completely against both of them, at least the Strowman one has been met with a mixed reaction and some form of an upgrade of cheers for Roman Reigns. On the other hand, Charlotte Flair continues to get booed while Becky Lynch continues to get cheered. That heel turn is dead with Becky, but with Strowman, it’s still going, even if it isn’t as strong as they likely hoped.
STAPLE: I’d probably say Braun Strowman for what they’re going for, but that’s only because Becky has a noble cause. Think about it. Lynch has been busting her ass for months to try and get back into the title scene and she finally got the one on one bout against Carmella that she earned at Summerslam. And she got that title match by beating the champion, so she knew she could do it again. Then Charlotte comes back from out of nowhere after losing to Carmella twice, sneaks her way into the title match, visibly steals the win and leaves Becky with nothing to show for her all of her efforts. Becky is basically someone doing the right thing the wrong way, according to WWE narrative anyway.
Braun is just a guy that has to be on the opposite end of Roman Reigns because the two have a history together and Braun being the heel has always been the dynamic they worked with. Funny, though, because I don’t necessarily think Braun did anything that was really heelish. All he did was even up the playing field against The Shield, and he was the one that was attacked without provocation to start with anyway. I was thinking they were actually setting up a Roman Reigns heel turn which would make more sense considering how they started the feud.
DUNNING: A difficult question as you could say neither are getting the full heel treatment from the audience. They’re being booked like heels, but the faces (Roman, Charlotte) are way more unlikable for a good portion of the audience. I believe it’s more to do with their opponents being difficult to cheer for over anything they’re doing. If I had to give an answer I’ll probably say Strowman is working better as he’s got the support of most of the heels on Raw, while Becky is fighting for the “common man/woman” against the entitled and privileged daughter of Ric Flair.Charlotte is naturally amazing as a heel, and the fans want to boo her and cheer Becky in this situation. So Strowman is doing better .. but not by much. The reason he was turned face, to begin with, was due to his feud with Roman getting him over. Many fans loved to see him savagely (& regularly) beat Reigns, and the feeling hasn’t changed. At this point, I’d say Becky & Strowman are heels to some of the audience, and faces to the rest, much like Charlotte and Roman in vice versa. They’re all tweeners.
ABSLER: There is no doubt in my mind that Becky Lynch’s heel turn is working way better than Braun’s. This is not a knock on Braun, but Becky’s turn is more believable, emotional, warranted. One of the things that fans loved about Braun was that he was a face, but an absolute symbol of destruction at the same time. Now that Braun is aligned with the RAW Tag Champs, he’s destroying guys that the WWE Universe is fond of as well: The Shield. This turn in my opinion backfired and made me less excited for Reigns vs Strowman at HIAC this Sunday.
BOURANIS: I think we have to wait to see the outcome of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. I believe the heel turn of Becky Lynch is working better right now and I am of the opinion that the WWE should have Lynch win the title on Sunday.
On the other hand, Roman Reigns continues to receive a big “push” by the company, so I am not sure the WWE will let the Big Dog drop his title so soon. Moreover, the addition of Mick Foley to the match as the special guest referee is part of the storyline and I am sure Fowley will interfere in the match.
2) “Which superstar do you feel is the biggest omission from this card, and how would you add that person to the lineup if you could?”
MANGO: Shinsuke Nakamura and the complete absence of the United States Championship. How has WWE dropped the ball so much not just with him, but with the title itself? If they had no plans for him whatsoever, why didn’t they give the title to The Miz or Daniel Bryan to just keep that in the spotlight? At this point, it would be just a mercy match and not a real feud, but if I were to book Nakamura onto this card, I’d probably put him up against R-Truth in the pre-show and just play into the idea of Truth wanting that title shot with Carmella.
STAPLE: Easily Shinsuke Nakamura. The guy just isn’t being treated as a big deal. I’ve personally enjoyed watching Smackdown for the past month or so, but the lack of featuring your brand’s secondary champion is quite disturbing. The United States Championship especially has been treated like a joke for all of this year and that trend has continued with the absence of Nakamrua’s presence. How can the guy who won this year’s Royal Rumble and challenged for your company’s 2nd most important title at WrestleMania not find screen time on Smackdown. The easiest way I would have remedied this was to have a comedy backstage segment with Nakmaura and R-Truth and set up something like that. R-Truth has been magnificent in his role and it’s just something for Shinsuke to do.