Welcome to Wednesday’s new feature on HTCWrestling. Yes I know I missed one yesterday. Blame it on a combination of work and errands to do immediately after.
Wednesday’s we will follow the #WCW trend that has taken over social media. But we will use it to look at past great moments in the history of women’s wrestling.
Today we look at the Royal Rumble from 2010. Mickie James (Happy Birthday by the way!) took on Michelle McCool for the Women’s Championship. In the last few months of 2009, McCool and Layla (collectively known as Laycool) started to pick on Mickie James for being overweight. They would often refer to her as Piggy James. Of course, Mickie James is in no way overweight.
When the WWE signed Indy sensations Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Hideo Itami two years ago everyone who was familiar with their work knew the WWE’s roster got 100% more talented at that exact moment. Last Sunday at Summerslam Balor became the first WWE Universal Champion. Unfortunately, for Finn and the entire WWE, he was injured in that same match. Very fortunately for Kevin Owens a new champion needed to be crowned and the king took his thrown this past Monday.
1. Bayley On RAW Should Be Great
-I thought Bayley’s interactions with New Day on RAW were great. Meeting them backstage was somewhat of a reminder of what her original character was: A girl who was a fan of pro wrestling and just happy to be there. But then the match came and again you were reminded that she is also very talented in the ring. And her chemistry with New Day was on point. I don’t think it could have been any better. And the pop she received was better than New Day’s if you ask me. It was a strong follow up week for Bayley on RAW.
Plus, any time Bayley wants to do the New Day hip gyrations is fine with me.
Welcome to something new I’m starting at HTCWrestling. In order to put daily content on the site, I plan on starting special features each day looking back on various topics in wrestling history. Monday’s will look back on the Monday Night War, perhaps the hottest time in wrestling history.
Today we look back at the ending of Monday Night RAW on March 17, 1997. Bret Hart had just lost a rematch against Sid for the WWF Championship. Hart, sick of getting screwed over, shoves down Vince McMahon as he attempts to interview Hart. Bret then goes off on a tirade. He talks about how he is sick of getting screwed over and no one doing anything about it. This leads to The Undertaker, Sid and Steve Austin coming out and a brawl to end the show.
The WWE posted the following on their website:
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara, known to WWE fans as Mr. Fuji, passed away this morning at the age of 82.
Fuji spent more than 30 years entertaining fans worldwide as both an in-ring competitor and one of WWE’s greatest managers. A five-time WWE World Tag Team Champion, Fuji was infamous for keeping small bags of salt in his tights which he would throw into his opponents’ eyes.
After retiring from the ring, Fuji managed a litany of WWE’s most feared Superstars, such as George “The Animal” Steele, Kamala, Killer Khan, Demolition, The Powers of Pain, Yokozuna and most notably, “Magnificent” Don Muraco.
With Muraco, Fuji treated WWE fans to the classic Fuji Vice, Fuji General, Fuji Bandito and Fuji Chan series. These series were ahead of their time because spoofing successful television shows as they tried to break into Hollywood was the epitome of sports-entertainment.
His career will be remembered by different generations for different reasons but Mr. Fuji, whether as a Superstar or manager, is one of the most entertaining performers in the history of WWE.
WWE extends its condolences to Fujiwara’s family, friends and fans.
Go throw salt in your friends eyes tomorrow to pay homage to Mr. Fuji.
Rich Swann vs Lince Dorado
-Swann is probably the most charismatic wrestler in the entire tournament. And the crowd loves him so that’s a plus. He will be on RAW.
-Dorado has fake paper teeth on his mask, Swann has wings on his tights.
-Both men go for a head scissors but they each land on their feet.
-Swann goes for a test of strength. Dorado stops him, then shows Swann some dance moves of his own.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon unveil two new titles; spoilers they’re both blue.
1. I have always been an advocate for the WWE adding or bringing back classic titles just for the sake of giving their talent something to strive and fight for. This past Tuesday they did just that by adding a Smackdown Women’s Championship and Smackdown exclusive tag team titles. I am for one completely ok with it because of two important reasons, both being talent. Raw has the Women’s Championship and the WWE Tag Team titles so, obviously, tag teams and the women wrestlers on the Smackdown brand would, theoretically, never hold the titles unless the WWE implemented some wacky booking allowing certain Superstars to appear on both shows. So who gains from the WWE adding more titles to bring their total to seven, yes seven, different champions? Simple, American Alpha and Becky Lynch. Both American Alpha and Becky are great as all three of these talents are would probably never really get a solid chance to hold tag team and women’s gold. Bringing in new titles may to some people dumb down their value, but hey who wouldn’t want to carry around heavy belts from airport to airport?
Who doesn’t love a title tournament?
2. When Finn Balor was forced to relinquish his newly won Universal Title less than 24 hours after winning it Raw decided it was much better to have a tournament span over two weeks to decide the new champion Smackdown followed right behind. Both the new tag team titles and Women’s Championship will be decided in a tournament style over the next few weeks. I would be more than shocked if American Alpha isn’t the first Smackdown tag team champions. As far as the women go, my money is on Becky Lynch but something tells me the freshly returning Nikki Bella will have something to say about that. Hey, it’s always better for the babyface to chase, right Daniel?
Bray Wyatt is back and he’s hungry for a snake
3. Randy Orton didn’t miss one show after taking that savage kayfabe, despite what Chris Jericho thinks, beating from Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. I understand the WWE’s mind frame when they chose to have Lesnar beat Orton but to the extent that it happened surprised me and just about everyone in the world. Orton is arguably Smackdown’s biggest draw, of course including AJ Styles and John Cena in that conversation, so Randy needed to bounce back quickly, he is the legend killer after all damn it. And what other way to make Randy great again than put him against the worst booked heel of the modern era, Bray Wyatt; stay tuned. Continue reading
SummerSlam weekend is in the books. While I wasn’t here to review NXT/SummerSlam thanks to my computer being down, I did still watch both shows. Thanks to my colleague Matt for filling in for me this weekend.
So I’m here to give you my thoughts on the last 4 days of the WWE, and where things could go from here!
1. AJ Styles Is The Best Wrestler In The WWE Right Now
-This one is rather easy to understand. The AJ Styles vs John Cena match at SummerSlam is easily the WWE Match of the Year right now. I don’t think it is close. Nothing tops the story told going into and during the match. It may be hard to believe but Styles actually is improving during his WWE stint. Styles mic work might be the best of his career right now. He’s acting like and carrying himself as a top star. I look forward to him being the face of the Smackdown brand in the very near future. He deserves it for all of the work he has done this year.
1. The WWE Came Up With The Lamest Way To Crown A New Champion
Could they not have come up with something more creative? I would have settled for a battle royal. That would at least give the idea that anyone had a chance. Or even a large tournament that ended at Clash of the Champions. But instead we received a “series of matches” that leads to the Fatal 4 Way next week. A battle royal, I might have gone with a mini Royal Rumble instead, that lasted the third hour would have been fun. But the matches that were set instead were very predictable and took a good amount of steam out of the night.
Wrestling fans aren’t apparently allowed to have nice things.
What has been rumored all day was just confirmed by WWE.com:
Inaugural WWE Universal Champion Finn Bálor suffered an injury to his right shoulder against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam, WWE.com can confirm.
The injury came in the course of Bálor and Rollins’ match to determine which Superstar would become the first WWE Universal Champion, specifically when Bálor absorbed a running powerbomb to the barricade at the hands of The Architect.