Sunday, July 21, 2024
EditorialSurprises from WWE Draft Night 1, Go-Home for Backlash (Monday Morning Q&A)

Surprises from WWE Draft Night 1, Go-Home for Backlash (Monday Morning Q&A)

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Welcome back to another Monday Morning Q&A where I toss out some questions to get a feel of how you guys and gals are feeling about certain topics.

So here are 5 questions I’d like to toss out for this week. I’ll give my answers, too, but the key here is that I want to know what YOU think! So make sure you chime in!

1) What do you think was the biggest shocks and surprises of the first half of the WWE Draft?

  • Bianca Belair going to SmackDown. She’s the Raw women’s champion. Why do that again?
  • Raw has a lot of babyfaces and no top heels beyond Gunther eventually stepping up. This is already making me think Drew McIntyre is going to turn heel.
  • I was shocked to see that Omos, Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali and Von Wagner, of all people, are now being considered “free agents”. Why is Wagner a “free agent” instead of “still an NXT Superstar”? And why wouldn’t Raw or SmackDown pick Omos, within the story? Why is Edge contracted to SmackDown instead of being in a spot where WWE can move him around wherever they want like they will Logan Paul?

2) With Bianca Belair holding the Raw Women’s Championship, but being drafted to SmackDown, how are you hoping WWE resolves that issue?

I hate the idea of the belt swap. Having them do that twice in the past looked ridiculous. What they should do instead is have Rhea Ripley drafted over to Monday Night Raw, along with the entire LWO and Judgment Day. Then, you know that if Zelina Vega or Ripley win, as well as Belair and Iyo Sky, that there’s a champion on both brands.

At that point, I would just start off the first match of those two at Backlash with let’s say Belair handing the Raw Women’s Championship to the referee, who hands it over to the assistant ringside, who then hands them the SmackDown Women’s Championship to hold up. Referee holds that belt up and the commentators announce “because of the draft, this title match is now for the SmackDown Women’s Championship” instead. Then, for Ripley’s match against Vega, she just comes out with the Raw Women’s Championship.

No fanfare needed to draw attention to it.

But how do I THINK this is going to happen? With a full-on stupid belt swap deal. In their minds, they’ll milk a segment out of it on Raw, promote it as a big thing that is going to happen on the show, and we’ll get Belair staring off with Ripley to tease that they’ll fight in the future and get those pictures for that moment. Both will have retained their titles at Backlash, and “going forward”, they’ll be the opposite champion, and that’s it.

Effectively, they’ll do what they did with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, but hopefully without the drama of Flair dropping her belt.

3) What other matches, if any, do you think will be added to the WWE Backlash card?

We’re already looking at a 7-match card with an obvious lack of Roman Reigns. The draft has things in flux until after this event. And of course, the tournament to crown a new world heavyweight champion is not going to start until after this, too.

If WWE wanted, there could be another match added to the lineup, but I don’t think that will happen. They’ve got their Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar main event, two women’s title matches, a six-man tag, this random Seth Rollins vs. Omos thing (which I still don’t get), the US title that might change hands depending on where Austin Theory goes in the draft, and a San Juan Street Fight. It might even be an already paid-for event, in many ways. WWE doesn’t NEED to put anything else on the card. They can save whatever else for Raw and SmackDown.

But, playing devil’s advocate, if they do decide to add anything, I think it will be a filler match. Maybe something with Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez defending the women’s tag titles against whoever they can scrounge together (another match with Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville wouldn’t shock me to just copy/paste.)

4) AEW has seemingly cancelled Dark: Elevation. Are you for or against this decision?

100% for. AEW has 2 hours of Dynamite, however long they want Dark to be, an hour of Rampage, the reality show AND 2 hours of Collision coming up, as well as Ring of Honor. That is an overload of content—particularly if you’re also a WWE fan and you watch those 3 hours of Raw, 2 of SmackDown, 2 of NXT (and more).

The name “AEW Dark: Elevation” was awful to begin with, too. “AEW Elevation” wouldn’t have been great, but it at least wouldn’t have felt like an immediate spin-off of the same Dark show. I love the name “AEW Dark”, by the way. Hell, I named my Patreon-only podcasts “Darkcasts” for the same idea.

I know a lot of people will say that they can’t get enough AEW content, and if that’s the case, I’m sure you’re upset. That’s an argument I understand, even if I disagree with it. But I honestly don’t know a single person out of all my friends and close followers who actually checks out Elevation.

A show about people who are having guest spots from the indies where they come in and every-single-one-of-them loses every-single-match against the AEW-branded roster-member just isn’t appealing to me. Why should I waste my time watching 8 minutes of Josh Woods beating Random Indie Guy #204 just to give Woods a win when I know even he is going to lose if he appears on Dynamite and fights someone like Daniel Garcia who actually does rank on the A or B-tier of the roster?

In my mind, if the only purpose of the show was for people to “get more reps in”, you have Dark, ROH and the indies for that. If you add in Dynamite, Rampage and Collision, and that’s STILL not enough, then maybe you’re just not a good enough wrestler to be on television yet. Sorry.

Then again, I think this was more about farming for content hours than anything else, and they’ve already gotten a lot of that for a future streaming service.

5) Who do you think will have greater success, Roderick Strong in AEW or Naomi in Impact Wrestling?

If you measure success in terms of championships, then Naomi, for sure. She’ll win that Knockouts Championship and be the focal point for at least a couple months. Strong, unfortunately, doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who will break the glass ceiling that has stopped others and become a world champion in AEW.

Look at it this way. How many ex-WWE guys have gone to AEW and won any kind of championship? There are far less examples of a Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley (or even Miro winning the TNT title and then disappearing for the past year plus) than there are examples of people like Keith Lee, Andrade, Matt Hardy and so on. AEW used to be the smaller pond where someone like PAC could be a main-eventer. Not anymore.

I’d expect Strong will be a better fit in AEW than he’d be on the main roster of WWE, and better than wasting away in NXT, but I think a trios title run alongside Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, and/or maybe an ROH championship run, are the best I can picture for him, whereas Trinity is going to be THE woman in Impact for a little bit.

Quality? Quantity? Take your pick. Strong will have better matches. Naomi will more quickly ascend the throne.

Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!

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