SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RISING STAR OF THE WEEK: Jinder Mahal
Say what you will about the shoddy booking, because yes, it indeed was shoddy, lazy, and all types of negative adjectives, but Jinder Mahal is still the number one contender to the long historied (WWWF, WWF) WWE Championship. Now who is to say that Jinder isn’t capable of being a classic foreign heel champion (or an unexpected underdog for that matter), because in today’s WWE where Vince has the vulcan death grip on 98 percent of the roster, who has really gotten the opportunity to show their true chops at being a star? Sometimes you have to pave your own road, but when the road doesn’t have any exits listed with “promo opportunities,” it can kind of be tough at times to pull off the un-scenic interstate. Maybe this is Jinder’s exit to show what he’s got (or maybe he”s just a lazy stop-gap for Randy).
Alexa Bliss: Bliss, time and time again, as this column would indicate has been (maybe with the exception of Charlotte and excessive Twitter selfies with babyfaces), has been just an amazing heel. So her being the no. 1 contender to Bayley’s belt will only help our hindered Hugger’s chances at getting over. Bliss sure doesn’t need any.
Cesaro: He may not have won, but he did fight Jeff Hardy. One on one. That’s some fine rub for a fine Swiss. I’m not sure where the tag division is going with Revival’s mouth literally getting shut, but even without such an omission, Raw’s tag depth is still C+ respectable.
FADING STAR OF THE WEEK: American Alpha
Smackdown decided to go the “pour the salt on the wound” route with American Alpha and job them out to the now “repackaged” travel agents(?) With as newsworthy as Jinder is getting no. 1 contendership status for the WWE Championship, this only furthers Smackdown’s tag division down into the basement of existence (probably where the brand keeps that big fist from the early 2000s). I’ve never seen a tag team so talented so misused and abused. They might not have been as money of an act as Bayley, but they sure had traction coming out of NXT.
Tye Dillinger: I was probably a “2” on the level of excitement when it came to Tye Dillinger’s “Number 10” debut at the Royal Rumble as it’s truly as “one note” as it gets. The Count from Sesame Street literally does more with numbers, and if he doesn’t have a little more to run with than that, this act isn’t going to last. He seems “at least comfortable” on the mic at the moment, but we’re going to need a little more than that.
I could absolutely throw a Goldust or R-Truth on here just like Braun physically did on Monday, but hey, at least they got air-time, right? At least that’s how Vince views things. We’ll see what creative does with Jinder to get a gauge on their current mind state.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: RISING STARS & FADING STARS: Braun Strowman, JBL, Kevin Owens, Bayley, Aiden English, American Alpha
Follow Dominic Twitter @DominicDeAngelo where he says he tries to keep kayfabe.
If they let Tye expand on what he was in NXT then he will be fine, including the Ten. Using just Ten. Of course not.