WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 12/20): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

By Zach Graham, PWTorch Contributor

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SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.


•Top Stories of the Week

  • Two championship changes at T.L.C. on Sunday. Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins to capture the Intercontinental Championship and Asuka defeated Charlotte and Becky Lynch in the main event of the night to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
  • WWE announced multiple call-ups to the main roster from NXT on Raw and Smackdown. Lars Sullivan, EC3, Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozivich & Tucker Knight), Nikki Cross, and Lacey Evans were all listed. At this time it is unclear which show any of these wrestlers will be on. WWE also aired two promos to announce that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will be returning from injury soon. Both the Zayn and Owens promos only aired on Raw and seemed to frame them as clear cut heels.
  • Mustafa Ali has officially been moved to the Smackdown roster. On Tuesday the announcer said multiple times that Ali is now an official member of the Smackdown roster instead of 205 Live. In the main event of Smackdown, Ali teamed with A.J. Styles and Ali pinned Daniel Bryan after hitting Bryan with his finisher, the 054.

•WWE Weekly Event Results

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Nashville, Tenn.) 12/14/18

(1) Drew McIntyre defeated Dolph Ziggler

(2) Bayley & Apollo Crews beat Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox

(3) Buddy Murphy (c) beat Kalisto to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

(4) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) defeated The Authors of Pain & The Revival in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships

(5) Elias beat Baron Corbin when referee Heath Slater counted a quick pin

(6) Elias beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, & Bobby Lashley in a 3-on-1 No Disqualification Handicap match. Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, & Dolph Ziggler came down to assist Elias

(7) Zack Ryder, No Way Jose, Tyler Breeze, & Titus O’Neil beat The Ascension, Curt Hawkins, & Mojo Rawley

(8) Rhyno beat Curt Hawkins

(9) Ember Moon, Natalya, & Sasha Banks beat The Riott Squad

(10) Seth Rollins (c) beat Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Source: WrestlingInc.com

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Bakersfield, Calif.) 12/15/18

(1) Drew McIntyre beat Dolph Ziggler & Finn Balor in a Triple Threat Match

(2) Bayley & Apollo Crews beat Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox

(3) Buddy Murphy (c) beat Kalisto to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

(4) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) defeated The Authors of Pain & The Revival in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships

(5) Elias beat Baron Corbin

(6) Elias beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, & Bobby Lashley in a 3-on-1 No Disqualification Handicap match

(7) Ember Moon, Natalya, & Sasha Banks beat The Riott Squad

(8) Seth Rollins (c) beat Dean Ambrose by DQ to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Source: WrestleZone

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Stockton, Calif.) 12/17/18

(1) The Bar defeated The New Day & The Usos to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

(2) Naomi & Lana beat The IIconics

(3) R-Truth & Carmella defeated Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega

(4) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe

(5) Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows beat The Colóns

(6) Asuka beat Charlotte & Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

(7) A.J. Styles, Rusev, & Rey Mysterio beat Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, & Randy Orton

Source: EWrestlingNews.com

If you attend a live event, please send results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


•WWE TV Match Results

WWE T.L.C. (Aired on WWE Network) 12/16/18

(1) Pre-Show: Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

(2) Pre-Show: Elias beat Bobby Lashley (w/ Lio Rush) in a Ladder Match

(3) R-Truth & Carmella beat Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox (w/ Singh Brothers) to win the Mixed Match Challenge Season 2. R-Truth and Carmella will have the 30th (last) entry in their respective Royal Rumble matches

(4) The Bar beat The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods w/ Big E) and The Usos to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

(5) Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin in a T.L.C. Match. Baron Corbin is no longer General Manager of Raw and Strowman will now face Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble

(6) Natalya defeated Ruby Riott (w/ Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) in a Tables Match

(7) Finn Balor beat Drew McIntyre

(8) Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton in a Chairs Match

(9) Ronda Rousey submitted Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

(10) Daniel Bryan beat A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship

(11) Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins to win the Intercontinental Championship

(12) Asuka beat Becky Lynch & Charlotte in a T.L.C. Match to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

– Ronda Rousey came to the ring and pushed over a ladder with Charlotte and Becky both on it causing them to fall out of the ring, Asuka then climbed another ladder still set up in the ring for the win immediately after Ronda’s interference.

Monday Night Raw TV Results 12/17/18

(1) Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, & Apollo Crews beat Baron Corbin in a Handicap No Disqualification Tag Team Match with Heath Slater as the referee. Corbin is now officially out as General Manager of Raw.

– This match started as Angle vs. Corbin and Shane McMahon and Triple H both came out to modify the rules during the match mocking Corbin doing the same thing on Raw previously.

(2) Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler ends in a No Contest after Drew McIntyre interferes to attack them both.

(3) Dean Ambrose (c) defeated Tyler Breeze to retain the Intercontinental Championship after Breeze answered Ambrose’s open challenge

(4) The Revival beat AOP (w/ Drake Maverick) & Lucha House Party & The B-Team to earn a Tag Team Championship match in the future

(5) Natalya won a Women’s Gauntlet Match to earn a Raw Women’s Championship match next week vs. Ronda Rousey. Here are the individual match winners in order:

– Bayley beat Alicia Fox

– Bayley defeated Dana Brooke

– Mickie James beat Bayley

– Ember Moon defeated Mickie James

– Natalya beat Ember Moon

– Natalya beat Ruby Riott (w/ Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan)

– Natalya beat Sasha Banks

Smackdown Live TV Results 12/18/18

(1) Asuka defeated Naomi to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

(2) The Miz & Mandy Rose beat R-Truth & Carmella

(3) Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows vs. The Usos ends in a no contest after The Bar came out to cause a distraction, but Sanity came through the crowd and attacked them all before The Bar could.

(4) A.J. Styles & Mustafa Ali beat Daniel Bryan & Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) when Mustafa Ali pinned Daniel Bryan

205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 12/19/18

(1) Hideo Itami (w/ Ariya Daivari) beat Noam Dar

(2) Lio Rush beat a local wrestler

(3) The Brian Kendrick & Akira Tozawa beat Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher in a Street Fight

Main Event Results (Aired on WWE Network and Hulu) 12/19/18

No matches aired on Main Event this week. Main Event was a recap show for 2018.

WWE Tribute to the Troops (Aired on USA Network) 12/20/18

(1) Ronda Rousey & Natalya defeated The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan w/ Ruby Riott) and Nia Jax & Tamina in a Triple Threat Tag Team match when Ronda Rousey submitted Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan with a double arm bar

(2) Elias & Finn Balor beat Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre (w/ Lio Rush)

(3) Becky Lynch & Charlotte beat Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

(4) Seth Rollins & A.J. Styles defeated Daniel Bryan & Dean Ambrose


•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events

WWE Royal Rumble on Jan. 27 from Phoenix, Ariz.

  • Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship
  • Men’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
    • Known Entrants: R-Truth (will enter last)
  • Women’s Royal Rumble Match – winner receives a championship match at Wrestlemania
    • Known Entrants: Carmella (will enter last)

•Upcoming Events

  • Mon. 12/24/18 WWE Raw – Taped after 12/17/18 live episode of Raw
  • Tue. 12/25/18 WWE Smackdown – Taped after 12/18/18 live episode of Smackdown
  • Wed. 12/26/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
    • Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
    • Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Chamionship in a Steel Cage Match
    • Ronda Rousey vs Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship
    • Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley
    • Velveteen Dream, Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, & Aleister Black vs. Tomasso Ciampa & Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, & Bobby Fish.)
    • Dolph Ziggler, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley are also scheduled to appear
  • Wed. 12/26/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Allstate Arena, Chicago, Ill.
  • Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
  • Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
    • Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James (w/ Alexa Bliss) for the Raw Women’s Championship
    • Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
    • Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a two-on-one handicap match
  • Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Raw (WWE.com has Raw scheduled for Friday 12/28 in Detroit, Mich. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Raw television show for Friday 12/28)
  • Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md.
  • Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Smackdown(WWE.com has Smackdown scheduled for Saturday, 12/29 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Smackdown television show for Saturday 12/29)
  • Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, United Center, Chicago, Ill.
  • Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.
  • Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Keybank Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Mon. 12/31/18 WWE Raw – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Raw from 12/28 scheduled Raw event
  • Tue. 1/1/19 WWE Smackdown – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Smackdown from 12/29 scheduled Smackdown event
  • Fri. 1/4/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Ga.
  • Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Greensboro Colliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Hertz Arena, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Raw, Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
  • Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.
  • Tue. 1/8/19 WWE Smackdown, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Fri. 1/11/19 WWE Live Event – Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
  • Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Raw, FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Tue. 1/15/19 WWE Smackdown, Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Fri. 1/18/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Taylor County Coliseum, Abilene, Texas
  • Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Chi Health Center, Omaha, Neb.
  • Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Raw, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Landon Arena, Topeka, Kan.
  • Tue. 1/22/19 WWE Smackdown – Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.
  • Sun. 1/27/19 WWE Royal Rumble, Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Raw, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tucson Convention Center, Tuscon, Ariz.
  • Tue.1/29/19 WWE Smackdown, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Fri. 2/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sasktel Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Brandt Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Sun. 2/3/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
  • Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Raw, Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
  • Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Yakima Sundome, Yakima, Wash.
  • Tue. 2/5/19 WWE Smackdown, Angel of the Winds Arena, Everrett, Wash.
  • Fri. 2/8/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Tribute Communities Centre, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Sat. 2/9/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, NIU Convocation Center, Dekalb, Ill.
  • Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, The DOW Event Center, Saginaw, Mich.
  • Sun. 2/10/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Raw, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Mon. 2/11/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Canton Civic Center, Canton, Ohio
  • Tue. 2/12/19 WWE Smackdown, Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio

•Latest TV Highlights

Monday Night Raw

  • The McMahon family (Vince, Stephanie, Shane, and Triple H) all come out to discuss the “Raw shake-up” that they have been promoting for a week. Vince came out along first and said that the reason WWE is so successful is that they adapt and change with the times and despite his vision, he couldn’t do it alone anymore and introduced the other three. Stephanie acknowledged that they haven’t been doing a good job lately and Triple H said that the four of them would be taking back Raw and Smackdown. Stephanie said they would be cutting out middle managers and empowering the superstars. Triple H also promised new faces and matchups soon. Shane mentioned these changes will also be happening to Smackdown.
  • Baron Corbin came down to confront the McMahons. All four mocked him and encouraged the fans to continue the very loud boos he was receiving from the audience. Corbin complained the match at T.L.C. was unfair and that he should be the General Manager of Raw. The four discussed it and agreed that if Corbin could win his match he would become General Manager. Corbin then fought Kurt Angle with Heath Slater as referee. A few minutes into the match Triple H walked onto the stage and announced that this is a Handicap Match and Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, and Apollo Crews walked out to join the match. A few minutes later Shane walked out and announced it was a No Disqualification match. Corbin would end up losing when Kurt Angle pinned him. Later in the night Corbin told Seth Rollins that it’s all his fault for turning the locker room against him. Seth hit Corbin for mocking his loss to Dean Ambrose and the two now have a match next week.
  • Ronda Rousey came to the ring to cut a promo. She said she wasn’t there to defend her actions at T.L.C. and she said that she warned Nia Jax, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch not to cross her. The crowd booed loudly and chanted for Becky in response. Ronda continued on to talk about what it means to be a champion and said she wanted to start a new tradition. The new tradition she wants to start is that the champion comes out and defends her title the night after a PPV and that’s what she was there to do. After calling for a challenger, a camera cut backstage where eight women were screaming about wanting to answer the open challenge. Stephanie yelled at them and told them to come on to the stage with her. Stephanie then announced an eight woman gauntlet match and the winner would get a match vs. Ronda. Natalya would win the gauntlet match and after she won Ronda walked back down to the ring where they shook hands and hugged to end the show.

Smackdown Live

  • Paige is out as General Manager of Smackdown. In the opening segment of Smackdown, Shane McMahon was addressing the locker room and discussing the McMahon announcement on Monday night. The Smackdown locker room booed when Shane mentioned Raw and after settling them down, he brought Paige up onto the platform he was standing on and said as a result of the announcement on Monday, Paige is no longer the General Manager of Smackdown. He did clarify that she isn’t leaving, but that her role would just be changing.
  • Asuka defended her championship against Naomi in a match booked by Vince McMahon. Becky and Charlotte both came to the ring to air their grievances with Ronda Rousey for her actions at T.L.C. on Sunday. Asuka was out next and said to forget Ronda because she’s now the champion. As the three began arguing in the ring, Vince McMahon’s music hit and he told Becky and Charlotte to get over it and if they have a problem they need to take it up with Ronda. Vince then asked Asuka if she wanted to defend her title tonight and she said yes while Charlotte and Becky were both excited about getting a rematch.  Naomi’s music then hit and she met Vince on the ramp and told him that she deserves the opportunity, Vince agreed and the match began. Asuka retained over Naomi while Charlotte and Becky both sat ringside.
  • Daniel Bryan cut a promo before his scheduled tag team match. On his way to the ramp he had a stare down with a fan who had a sign that read “Yes this sign wasted paper” which was a good touch by Bryan. He talked again about the people’s consumerism and insulted the crowd by saying Fresno is the most polluted city in California. The crowd cheered this and some began chanting “We’re number one” in response. Bryan then said the fans wouldn’t know wisdom if it was pumped full of GMO’s and handed to them through a drive-thru window (great line). In the main event Bryan teamed with Andrade Cien Almas and Bryan was pinned for the loss after Mustafa Ali hit Bryan with the 054.

•WWE in the Media

Mustafa Ali was on the Chasing Glory Podcast with Lilian Garcia this week. Ali opened by talking about the creation of 205 Live and how it was disheartening at first because they went on after Smackdown and people would leave. He compared it to a rock concert and having the opening act go on after the headliner instead of being the opener where they should be. He said now they’re building the brand and people are paying attention to them and that it’s exciting to watch the brand grow.

Ali talks about the toll a high-flyer style of wrestling has compared to a more traditional style and he said he doesn’t feel that it’s any worse on the body than wrestling in general. Ali then talked about executing his finisher, the 054, and that he closes his eyes every time and he just jumps. He said thankfully he hasn’t hurt anyone, but if someone asked him to teach him the maneuver he couldn’t do it because he just jumps and tucks and it works.

Ali then talked about his parents who are both immigrants. His father is from Pakistan and his mother is from India. He told the story of growing up in Chicago and that his family constantly worked, for example he talks about his dad working three jobs. Even though his family constantly worked, they didn’t have much money. He then tells the story of his father dying from complications of having his leg amputated. He said his wife worries he has the same problem his dad has, overworking. He told a story about waking up one morning and he couldn’t lift his arms because he was overworking his body and that was an eye opening moment to realize he is similar to his father in that sense.

They move on to talk about his life growing up and he talks about being treated differently after 9/11. Having parents of Middle Eastern descent and being only one of a few Muslim students at his school. He clarifies saying no one ever threatened him directly, but would say things about harming Muslim people which would make him uncomfortable. He also notes that he does understand why they were so upset, but it’s because he can stop and see things from their point of view. He also says these high school kids felt that way because the media and their parents probably helped influence their views of that event. He said that carried over into wrestling when promoters would want to book him as a heel Muslim character, which he refused to do. In response he put on a mask and became a luchador to hide who he really was. After a bad wrist injury he decided to try the Muslim gimmick and it clicked. He would come out and cut a promo in another language and bad mouth the United States and he was extremely popular. Suddenly promoters wanted him across the country and he caught the attention of WWE, but he hated every second of it. He recalls a show where a seven year old kid stood up and acted out in front of him and Ali blames himself for teaching that kid to hate him and people like him, he said from that moment on he never played that character again.

Ali tells the story of meeting his wife and more of his back story then transitioned to talking about when he was a police officer. He left being a member of the police force to go work for WWE full time. So while he was a cop, he was wrestling on the independent wrestling scene as well. He tells the story of becoming known as the “de-escalator” because he would just stop and talk to the people that he pulled over or arrested. He tells an incredible story of helping out a person who was picked up multiple times for theft and realizing he was stealing because he couldn’t find a job, so he paid for him to get a haircut and some nice clothes, then helped him create a resume to help him find a job. He closes the interview by telling a few more stories from his time as a police officer until WWE called him to offer him a contract.

The interview with Ali starts at the 16:10 mark and you can listen HERE.


•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show

PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by PWTorch Livecast host and ProWrestling.net’s Jake Barnett as they discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, then an on-site correspondent for an in-person perspective, the mailbag segment, and finally a spoiler segment reporting on the newsworthy results of next Tuesday night’s Christmas night Smackdown with our on-site correspondent. How did crowd react to Daniel Bryan’s eco-rants, Becky Lynch, Vince McMahon, Miz and Shane McMahon, Rusev, Mustafa…

-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


•WWE Social Media Highlights

Here is the weekly Becky Lynch/Charlotte/Ronda Rousey Twitter update including Ronda Rousey with some of the strangest hashtags I have ever seen used with “#IKnowYouLeftWithMyUnderwear” and “#TheManStoleMyPanties” in different responses to Becky:

We have some more strange tweets from Bray Wyatt this week. It’s hard to tell where this is going considering he’s all over the place lately on Twitter.

Sami Zayn tries to stay humble, but it’s hard being great.


•Closing Commentary

The McMahon announcement on Monday was lackluster to say the least. Announcing he would be there to “shake things up” days in advance didn’t help with the speculation to what it might be, but I completely understand that they announced it ahead of Monday to help with the ratings, which have been drastically falling in recent months. The problem is the announcement was generic and didn’t explain anything. All we were told is that there will be “new faces and matchups” and that they will be getting rid of middle managers and “empowering the superstars.” That all sounds great, but if you’re going to announce that, explain how this is going to be happening. They announced some NXT call-ups, which checks off the new faces and matchups promise. They relieved Paige of her GM role on Smackdown, which gets rid of middle managers (Baron Corbin was removed after losing at T.L.C.). They didn’t do much to address empowering the superstars, unless they think a couple of open challenges for championships is empowering superstars because they created their own matches. The problem is they’ve completely overdone the open challenge gimmick dating back to Cena and the United States Open Challenge.

The other thing that I found completely tone deaf was Triple H saying that the four of them (Vince, Stephanie, Shane, and himself) would be taking control of Raw and Smackdown. People do not want management that is around all of the time. The only general manager I’ve truly enjoyed is William Regal in NXT and that’s because he’s almost never on television, and when he is, it’s impactful and significant. William Regal appears on NXT maybe once per taping, unless he’s involved in a storyline like the Aleister Black attacker investigation. Hopefully that comment by Triple H was supposed to be a comment made towards “smart” fans instead of casual fans and they don’t start appearing on television every week. More McMahons on television is not the answer; more quality wrestling, actual finishes to matches instead of multiple DQs per show, and logical storylines are the answers.

I am very hopeful that they make significant and positive changes. They need to, but this week was just not a hot start. The only reason we knew it’s a “new era” was Michael Cole and Tom Phillips said it a dozen times like they were a doll with a pull string in their back. We need to give WWE some time to make changes because change doesn’t happen overnight, but it would’ve been good to see more signs of change this week heading into 2019 instead of waiting until then to start implementing change.

•I know we are many months away from Smackdown moving to Fox, but the roster split has been a hot topic this week and I want to throw in my opinion. The debate revolves around whether or not the roster split should stay in place once Smackdown moves to Fox because both Fox and NBC (which owns USA Network) will both want the top stars on their shows. In my opinion, the roster split needs to stay in place. I actually don’t like the roster split because it limits your booking options. I feel like we’ve seen Seth Rollins fight everyone possible on Raw, and the last roster shake-up just happened after WrestleMania earlier this year. It’s only been eight months and I feel like there aren’t many matchups left to have at this point, which is a booking problem that could be avoided if they did a better job building up mid-card wrestlers. Apart from building up the mid-card to create new matchups (which is what they should be doing), the ability to have fresh matchups and feuds between people like Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan or any other matchup you can think of would help keep the shows fresh. The roster split does limit your options when creating feuds.

The reason I think the roster split needs to stay in place is that I don’t think WWE can be disciplined enough to not repeat matches or only feature the same people on both shows in a given week. Before the roster split, I felt like Kevin Owens wrestled on both Raw and Smackdown every week. I wasn’t complaining – I love Kevin Owens – but it wears out acts very quickly and there’s no justification to see him wrestle twice in one week. It takes away television time from everyone else if they throw out a fifteen or twenty minute match featuring one wrestler or, in some cases, the exact same match both nights. I think they justify this by saying they’re putting the acts people want to see on television, but overexposing characters people like causes them to stop liking that character. It doesn’t necessarily have to be two matches either, a wrestler could cut a promo on one show and wrestle on the other; either way, my point is the same. With the same amount of television time that they have now, I believe a combined roster would undoubtedly feature fewer wrestlers than it currently does because they would lean heavily on the same acts.

One thing that may help with this wrestler fatigue on the audience is the fact that the shows will be separated starting next fall instead of on back-to-back nights. It may not be as obvious that Kevin Owens or anyone else wrestled on both shows because Raw will still be on Monday and Smackdown is going to be on Friday instead of Tuesday like it is currently. Even if this is the case and it does help mask that, it still isn’t the right thing to do. WWE has so much talent in their locker room, some of which barely gets on television now I just think the roster split helps more people see television than if they were to re-combine the rosters.


NOW CHECK OUT OTHER WEEKLY OVERVIEWS HERE.

OR JUMP TO LAST WEEK’S WWE OVERVIEW: WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 12/12): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

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