SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RISING STAR OF THE WEEK: The Miz
Neville: Neville came back at Roadblock with a new mean streak and a little more mustard in his kicks and punches, putting him immediately as a new top heel in the cruiserweight division. His promo on Raw was nothing special as he decided to go the Dolph Ziggler screaming route in exchange for substance, but it’s nice to see him in a new role. He’s also entering a division that suffers from depth at babyface, which is problematic. Jack Gallagher along with a sprinkle of Cedric Alexander (who I think has a ton of potential) are over, but that’s pretty much where the line ends. Swann and Perkins only garner a reaction when they’re getting savate kicked and thrown into barricades making them about as hot as New Day Version 1.0, which means they’re not hot whatsoever, and that’s a huge problem.
Mojo Rawley: If you’re an extrovert who’s over the top with your wrestling fandom you may want to sit down or hold onto something because I’m about to put words into print that may cause your gag reflex to act up, but here goes: Mojo Rawley’s backstage performance on Smackdown was more Jake Roberts low-key and cool than it was Dolph Ziggler screaming and blood vessel breaking (Ahhh….my fingers feel so tingly and strange typing that). Behind the eye black, those bright colors, and Zumbas, the guy actually managed to add a layer to himself. And whether Ryan Philippe was using method acting to portray interested is still up for debate, but he sold me enough to be a good rooting buddy for Rawley. This bit showed promise for Mojo, giving him a little more depth than his one-note Ray Lewis-crazy side allows. I’m not full-out bro fist pumping by any means, but I’m cautiously hyped.
FADING STAR OF THE WEEK: Nikki Bella
Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns: Wow, WWE burned through those Shield teases faster than you can say “James Ellsworth”. After Roadblock, I don’t think a full-on Shield reunion will nearly pack as much as a punch as it once would have, and ironically, it’s all at the expense of attempting to get Reigns over, which it didn’t then. It won’t now. And probably won’t….forever. The only thing that will help Reigns is turning heel, and that isn’t a newsflash.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: RISING STAR & FADING STAR OF THE WEEK: Sami Zayn, Mick Foley, Byron Saxton, Jack Gallagher, Dolph Ziggler, Anderson & Gallows