Before we get into it, how amazing does that set look? I can’t wait to see the finished product. WrestleMania 32 is live this Sunday from Dallas, Texas. If you need more hype than that for WrestleMania, you’re in the wrong place. Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This one is kind of a toss up. You’d think if WWE was serious about Braun Strowman, they’d give him a ‘WrestleMania’ moment without having him actually have to wrestle a match. That moment should be right here. Big Show has already won it, and the rest of the guys in this match are literal throw away characters. There are reports of Cesaro returning and entering the battle royal, but he already won the inaugural one, and if Cesaro is coming back. they should put him in a more important spot than a pre-show battle royal.
Prediction: Braun Strowman eliminates everyone and wins.
Natalya, Paige, Brie, Alicia, Eva vs. Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Summer, Emma
The only two people I care about in this match are Paige and Evil Emma. I’d much rather them have had a weeks long feud that ended in a one on one match at WM, but I also understand that you want to get as many people on the card as you can. I have to assume Team Total Divas wins here, because they’re the only team with a team name. As long as Evil Emma gets some good spots, I’ll be happy with either outcome.
Prediction: Team Total Divas
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Uso’s
Give me a flaming table. That’s all I’m asking for in this match. No one has to go through it, but I want it and I need it. Heel Dudley Boyz are far and way the best Dudley Boyz, and they are really only here to put over other tag teams, which is fine. Bubba Ray and Devon helped revolutionize the tag team division 15 years ago at WM17, so I don’t think it’s too much to ask to give them some cool spots this year. Regardless of the outcome of this match, Enzo & Cass are showing up on Raw Monday night and taking over.
The League of Nations vs. The New Day
If you need visual proof that the WWE tag team scene is awful, look no further than the fact that the tag titles aren’t being defended at WM. Thankfully we’re still getting our New Day fix, even though it is against the League of Nations. Personally, I think this would be a perfect spot for The Rock. You want New Day to get over as good guys, so why not bring out the most popular guy in the world and have him even the odds? Chances are Rocky will come up and cut a promo, but this would be a fun and unexpected cameo that would help New Day immensely. League of Nations are bad, and I refuse to pick them to win either way.
Prediction: New. Day Rocks.
Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
If you can ignore the fact that this feud has been centered around crowd chants, it’s been pretty entertaining. Much like the Dudleyz, Heel Jericho is forever the best Jericho, and he’s been great during his most recent run. Pairing Styles with a veteran like Jericho for his first WM feud and singles match is very smart, and I fully expect these two to put on a show. I think Styles goes over, and has his first big time WM moment with a Styles Clash win.
Prediction: AJ Styles
US Championship Match: Kalisto (C) vs. Ryback
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been digging the simplicity of this feud. Ryback is enormous. Kalisto is not. Kalisto is champion. Ryback is not. And just like that, you have a David & Goliath feud with the good guy champion and the logical heel. The only thing that really makes Ryback a heel is that he wants to beats up the guy we’re rooting for. He has every right to win matches and become the #1 contender, but we like Kalisto better so Ryback is a jerk. It’s refreshing to see WWE build up a feud without having the two competitors wrestle each other every week to see who will eventually win a wrestling match. Also, the less Ryback speaks the better off we all are. As far as the outcome, this one could really go either way, but if they’re serious about Ryback again, they should give him this win.
IC Championship Ladder Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, The Miz, Stardust, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder
Picture this: five guys are laid out on the floor, the two remaining guys are slowly ascending up the ladder. They both reach the top at the same time and start trading punches. Who are you picturing? Zack Ryder & Sin Cara, right? HAHAHA. Sorry, I had to do that. But yeah, the only two guys who matter in this match are Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and if you think otherwise you’re wrong. Much like last year, this match does include seven very talented guys who are all looking to have their WM moment, so I expect some crazy stuff to go down, especially since they know Shane/Taker is going to be insane. I don’t see any other outcome than having the last two standing be Zayn and Owens, and from there I’m happy with any outcome, because these two will be feuding until they’re 100 years old.
Prediction: Kevin Owens. KO Mania lives!
Diva’s Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks
This is the match I’m the most excited for. The three main events will all be wonderful, but I started really getting into NXT during the Paige/Emma/Charlotte/Becky/Sasha/Bayley era and I feel emotionally invested in all three of these women. I’ve seen them start as NXT Divas and transform into the cream of the crop not only in NXT, but throughout the world. Now they’re in a Diva’s title match at WrestleMania and have a chance to tear the house down in front of 90,000 people. That’s pretty surreal. As much as I like Charlotte and Becky, this is Sasha’s time. They’re supposedly debuting the Women’s title on Raw the night after Mania, and there is no better pick than Sasha to be the champion. She is the rare combination of the most over female on the roster and also the best wrestler. Have Ric Flair interfere only to be taken out by Snoop Dogg. GIVE THAT TO ME, WWE.
Prediction: Sasha Banks
Street Fight: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
Just typing ‘street fight’ followed by ‘Brock Lesnar’ makes me nervous. I don’t know what’s going to happen in this match, but I know it’s going to be brutal. I honestly think the right call is having Lesnar win, and having Ambrose get stretchered out only to walk out under his own power. Give him all the crazy spots in the world, but one mortal man should not be able to defeat Brock Lesnar. Ambrose is going to come with his wagon of weapons, which I’d bet my life on Brock Lesnar picking up and heaving at him at one point during the match. This should be a spotlight for Ambrose, who has been a shining star during this insane stretch of injuries, but I don’t see him beating Lesnar. Between this and Shane/Taker, I really hope no one gets seriously hurt.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
Hell in a Cell Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
This is hands down the oddest match on the card, and if you told me 10 years ago that WM 32 would be semi main evented by The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon I’d say I like you, but you’re crazy. But here we are, and to be honest, I am scared. Shane McMahon gave The Undertaker a flying elbow drop through a table during the opening segment of RAW, so what the hell are these two going to do at WrestleMania? I sincerely think Shane is jumping off the cell. I won’t be mad if he doesn’t, because that is very dangerous, but he’s jumping off something really high that’s going to make me watch through a hand over my eyes. Besides the insane spots, I want this to be like HHH vs. Sting last year. There’s no reason to make these two carry a 25 minute one on one match. Get the Mean Street Posse out there. Give me Stone Cold, HBK, Vince, Mick Foley. Let’s just go bananas. This is going to be as fun as it will be scary, and I cannot god damn wait. The added stipulations of Shane winning and taking control of Raw and Undertaker losing making it his final WM are intriguing, but this is definitely not the last year for Undertaker at WM.
Prediction: The Undertaker
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: HHH (C) vs. Roman Reigns
WWE really likes this Roman Reigns guy, eh? For the second year in a row, Reigns is in the main event of WM, and for the second year in a row, the majority of fans are not having it. Last year WWE made the last second change to have Seth Rollins cash in his MITB briefcase and it was executed perfectly. This year, they don’t have Seth Rollins or the MITB briefcase to fall back on. They can’t just have Reigns win clean, especially if he overcomes the odds of interference, but having him lose the main event title match two years in a row isn’t great either. You can’t really pull off a double turn either, because HHH is also the evil authority figure that is integral to so many storylines on Raw. Apparently there has been discussion about putting on Taker/Shane last, which might be the better call, especially if they have some insane stuff planned. Even if this isn’t the main event, the goal cannot be to have the crowd mercilessly boo your new champion. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Maybe Cena shows up, but then what? Maybe the Dudleyz interfere, but then what? Don’t sleep on Bray Wyatt either, who could cause a DQ finish or take one or the other out. He doesn’t have a match on the card, and if he’s not featured at all that would be a huge mistake.
Prediction: if I’m forced to pick, I’m going to go with Reigns. I just don’t know how.
This Friday night, two days before WrestleMania 32, NXT will run it’s biggest and most important show to date. While this won’t be as big of a crowd as NXT Brooklyn, this is the first TakeOver event during WrestleMania weekend. NXT Takeover Dallas will air live on the WWE Network at 10pm. On paper, it has the ability to blow WrestleMania out of the water and force Vince and WWE to pull out all the stops in order to top it. Let’s get to the preview and predictions!
Apollo Crews vs. Elias Samson
This match was set up last week after Johnny Gargano beat Samson, and Samson beat him down post match. That post match beat down brought out Crews for the save and alas, a match was born. Even if NXT is giving Samson the Baron Corbin treatment (short, quick wins even though he has the ability to wrestle anyone on the roster and look good) this should be a squash win for Crews. He lost at the last TakeOver special to Corbin, and he has really hasn’t had much character development since debuting. He’s got a boat load of potential and is a phenomonal athlete, so I can see him winning rather easily here to get on track. Samson, on the other hand, has been underwhelming since debuting both in the ring and as a character. I hope we see a little more character work here, but I still think Crews should take it.
Prediction: Apollo Crews
Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin
This is a really interesting match up. You have an Indy darling making his NXT in ring debut vs. a guy who has a lot of momentum going for him after his win vs. Apollo Crews. This match will most likely be great, and I’m excited to see Corbin in there with a smaller guy, which is where he has done his best work so far. Aries excelled in TNA, but it’s not a given that his transition will be smooth. I think Corbin will be next in line to challenge either Joe or Balor, so look for him to pick up the win here. The best thing about NXT: Aries will look like a star in defeat.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn
Just to get this out of the way, this will be the match of the night. I love American Alpha and I think they might pull out some stuff that could be match of the night worthy, but this match gives me goose bumps. Nakamura is one of two guys debuting at TakeOver Dallas, and no offense to Austin Aries, but this is BIG. NXT being the wonderful thing that it is has matched up Nakamura against the perfect opponent – Sami Zayn. This is one of those matches where alignments don’t matter; it’s just two guys who are excellent at what they do going out there and putting on a show. Of all the matches, this one is the easiest to predict, especially now that Zayn has an IC title match at WM and is pretty much a permanent member of the main roster. Out of all the things that are going to happen at TakeOver, Nakamura’s debut is what I’m the most excited for. He’s fought in Japan his whole life, so outside of YouTube compilation videos, I’ve never gotten a chance to see him perform. The good news is that everyone who has ever seen him wrestle says he’s not only great in the ring, but his charisma is off the charts. Anyone who considers Freddie Mercury an idol is OK in my book. Anyway, the outcome of this match isn’t in doubt, but the match itself is going to be bonkers.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (C) vs. American Alpha
In what will be the 1A match of the night, American Alpha takes on The Revival (formerly Dash and Dawson) for the NXT tag belts. This is the match I’m the most emotionally invested in, because American Alpha are my jam. They’re the best tag team on any WWE related roster, and they came from out of nowhere. Remember when Jason Jordan was looking for a tag team partner and this short, dorky guy with a ‘ready, willing & Gable’ towel was following him around? Yeah, well that guy ended up being Chad Gable, the second coming of Kurt Angle and one hell of a wrestler. I have to imagine Enzo & Cass were slotted to win the tag belts at one point, but once HHH and the rest of the NXT brain trust saw the momentum Gable & Jordan were creating, it was impossible to put them anywhere but in this slot. The Revival are very old school in their approach and in ring styles, and I love that it feels like they can lose the belts at any given moment. They remind me of Ole and Arn Anderson, who were never the focal point of the tag matches they were in, but they always came out looking great. With that said, I will be devastated if American Alpha doesn’t win the tag belts. This is the perfect team at the perfect time, and Dallas is going to go INSANE for Jordan and Gable. I have complete confidence NXT will do the right thing.
Prediction: American Alpha
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (C) vs. Asuka
Is this match card real life? There isn’t one bad match on the card and there are 4 or 5 REALLY good ones. From the day Asuka debuted and started beating the crap out of everyone, you know this match was an inevitability. Bayley is the crown jewel of NXT, but she’s running into an oncoming train. I think this match and the main event will have the crowd’s split pretty evenly, because all four competitors are just so good. Asuka has yet to be defeated in NXT, and I love that they aren’t beating that point to death. Undefeated streaks in wrestling, except for maybe Taker’s WM streak, are the most overrated thing in the world. Asuka’s seems different, though, and I think it’s because she’s so different from any other women in the division. Her attire is different, her entrance is difference and her wrestling style is different. She doesn’t really speak, but when she’s in the ring, she is kicking and back handing you until you collapse in a heap. Bayley is probably the best ‘character’ in NXT, and I put character in quotes because she seems like the same person in real life. A wrestling fan who got to live her dream, and who ended up being great at it. This match could go a few different ways, but I’m rooting for a Bayley win and a post match beat down from Asuka, which sets up a dynamite heel/baby face rematch.
NXT Championship Match: Finn Balor (C) vs. Samoa Joe
This main event is going to be so good. SO GOOD. Joe and Balor had a decent match at TakeOver London, but they’re capable of so much more. At NXT’s biggest show, I think we’re going to get a classic. Balor is the second longest reigning NXT Champion, and he’ll be 17 days behind Adrian Neville’s reign by the time this match starts. Do they want to make Finn the longest reigning champion, or do they want the reign of Samoa Joe to lead them into the next chapter of NXT? Either outcome won’t be wrong, because both guys are great, but I sense some kind of swerve coming. The one thing NXT hasn’t really done is use a swerve to determine a main event at a TakeOver. Owens attacked Zayn after he won the NXT title, but that was post match. Every Finn Balor main event has been him winning clean. Here’s what I think goes down: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows debut, but they turn on Finn and start the new version of the Bullet Club with Samoa Joe as champion. Maybe they were mad at Finn for leaving Japan without them, or maybe they want to get out from underneath his shadow. Finn and NXT have been teasing the Bullet Club for awhile, and I wouldn’t put it past them to swerve us. This will go down as the greatest NXT show ever, and I cannot wait to watch it.
P.S. We’ll be live tweeting the event, which starts at 10pm on the WWE Network.
WWE Fastlane takes place this Sunday live on the WWE Network, and it is the final pay per view before WrestleMania 32 on April 3. Most of the WrestleMania card is still a mystery, but one definite we’ll have after Sunday’s show is the main event. Will Lesnar, Reigns or Ambrose face HHH in the main event of WM32? Let’s find out!
Pre Show : 2 Out of 3 Falls US Title Match: Kalisto (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio
This is a great reason to tune into the pre-show, although I’d much rather have it on the main card. Either way, these two have proven that they have great chemistry, and I think Kalisto needs a really good showing here to prove to the fans and the WWE that he’s the real deal. WWE has been searching for the next Rey Mysterio for a long time, and while there will never be another Mysterio, Kalisto has the ability to fill the spot of the masked fan favorite underdog. Del Rio hasn’t really done much since returning besides winning the US title, but I don’t think putting the belt back on Del Rio is the right call. Kalisto could create so many more opportunities as champion, and I’d like to see some fresh blood inserted into the title picture. This should be a hell of a way to start off the night.
Edge & Christian Interview The New Day
Normally I wouldn’t want to see an in ring interview segment eat up time on a pay per view, but Edge, Christian & The New Day are as entertaining as it gets. After the necessary schilling of Edge & Christian’s new WWE Network show, this segment should be a lot of fun. If I’m being honest, I’m actually looking forward to this a lot more than another Uso’s/New Day match. These five have interacted once before in the clip above, and it was wonderful. If you can’t enjoy Big E attempting to eat a kazoo you might not have a soul, and now that Edge and Christian are both pretty much retired, you don’t have to worry about either or them getting physical. In a perfect world, this segment should be the debut of Enzo & Cass to the main roster. They were probably next in line for a tag team title run, but now that Gable and Jordan have lit the world on fire, that’s not coming anytime soon. They’re easily the most ‘main roster ready’ team in NXT, and the WWE tag team picture desperately needs some fresh blood. Who wouldn’t want to see a New Day/Enzo & Cass feud? I’d pay all my money just for the promo’s alone. Make it happen, WWE.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch vs Tamina Snuka and Naomi
Hopefully this is the last time that Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch are on a pay per view card that doesn’t involve the Diva’s title, because they’re better than this. I understand you need a blow off Team BAD turning their back on Banks, but WrestleMania 32 needs to be the official changing of the guard in the Diva’s division. Nikki Bella may never wrestle again, Brie Bella is retiring soon and the NXT women are clearly the future. Give me a triple threat at WM with Becky, Sasha and Charlotte that has the ability to tear the house down in front of the biggest possible audience. THAT’S how you change the perception of women’s wrestling on the main roster. As far as this match, the outcome isn’t as important as the character work of Banks and Becky. Becky has really come into her own as an easy to cheer baby face, and Banks is a natural heel, so that should be highlighted in this match. I don’t expect Banks to be a good friend much longer, so look for her to turn either after this match or the next night on Raw.
Prediction: for the sake of predicting an outcome, I’ll go with Becky and Sasha. Just let Tamina stand on the apron until it’s time to kick someone in the face.
Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles
How do you debut a can’t miss talent when the main event picture is already overcrowded? Pair him with Chris Jericho and let them work their magic. AJ Styles is wonderful, and putting him with two guys (Jericho and Miz) who can carry segments on the microphone was a great choice. AJ isn’t terrible on the microphone, but it’s not his strongest attribute, so there’s no reason to turn him into Roman Reigns and force him to give these long winded speeches. Heel Jericho has and always will be the best Jericho, which also brings out the best in AJ. I also like the logical storytelling. WWE loves to have guys wrestle each other a million times, but almost every feud should be decided by a best of 3. If you beat a guy two weeks in a row, where’s the drama of the feud continuing? But if AJ wins the first match and Jericho wins the second, a third match is a logical conclusion to the story. Having it at Fastlane is an interesting move, because it sets up a lot of possibilities for AJ’s first WM match. Styles excels at having big time matches on the big stage, so his first WWE singles match on a pay per view should be great, especially since his dancing partner is Jericho.
Prediction: AJ Styles, preferably with the pay per view debut of the Styles Clash.
6 Man Tag Team Match: Ryback, Kane & The Big Show vs. The Wyatt Family
I don’t know which three Wyatt Family members will be wrestling this match, but if I had to bet I’d say Bray sits outs. I can’t imagine this match is going to be good from any standpoint, and it’s the same problem I highlighted above about WWE having the same guys fight over and over. The Wyatt’s have been feuding with Kane since their debut, and Big Show and Ryback since before the Royal Rumble. If they beat them again, who cares? WWE has already neutered the Wyatt Family so much that the outcome of this match doesn’t even matter. While I have a feeling Bray and company will affect the outcome of the main event, this match does nothing for me.
Prediction: Wyatt Family. If they can’t beat these three guys, they should just go home forever.
WWE Divas Title Match: Charlotte (C) vs. Brie Bella
Regardless of your opinion of Brie Bella, she’s been an important part of the Diva’s division for almost a decade. This is an out of the blue title opportunity for her, and it’s possible they’re throwing her this bone because her sister and her husband are falling apart and she’s retiring soon. Regardless of Brie’s situation, Charlotte needs a dominant win here. As much fun as it is to see crazy old man Ric Flair throwing his jacket at people and trying to kick Alicia Fox in the head, the WWE Diva’s division needs a clear cut leader. WWE did the same thing with Seth Rollins. They gave him the belt, and then went overboard with the ‘needing to cheat to win’ shtick. I understand what they’re going for with Charlotte, and it was necessary for her to transform from bad to good, but now she needs to start kicking ass. On paper, Charlotte vs. Brie is a slaughter. Brie is one of the worst wrestlers on the roster and she couldn’t be less intimidating if she was missing both her legs. Charlotte is the alpha female, and while having Flair as a safety valve in case she gets into trouble is fine, she shouldn’t rely on him every match. Plus, when the title does come off of Charlotte, it should be coming off an unbeatable physical machine, not a grab the tights to win opportunist.
Prediction: Charlotte. And we never saw Brie Bella ever again.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Kevin Owens (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Speaking of guys who wrestle each other all the time…This match will be great, just like all their other ones have been, but I can’t help but think about how much better it would be if they hadn’t already fought each other 25 times. When the New Day fight the Uso’s every week, it’s frustrating but I understand it, because there really aren’t any other decent tag teams. But when it comes to singles titles, there is no excuse for repetitive matches. Just look at the other guys in the IC title match from Raw. Why can’t Stardust or Tyler Breeze get an IC title feud? What about Rusev or Neville? WWE has so much talent, but refuses to use them. I don’t the see the point of having Owens drop the belt six days after winning it, but then again I don’t see the point of a lot of WWE storytelling. Owens should be the champ heading into WM, where we can get another one of those multi-man ladder matches again, except this time the winner won’t have to retire forever.
Triple Threat Match : Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose (Winner is #1 Contender)
When Brock Lesnar is involved in any kind of matchup, he’s the automatic favorite. The man has a giant sword tattooed on his chest, so excuse me if I don’t ever pick against him, but this match is his kryptonite (that and getting punched in the dick). If the rules of a match state that you can lose said match without being pinned or submitted, Brock Lesnar is probably going to lose. Honestly, it’s the only match he should lose. It happened at the 2015 Royal Rumble. It happened at WrestleMania 31. It’s probably going to happen Sunday. I like the build up of drama between Reigns and Ambrose, because it hopefully saves us from a match where most of it is spent beating up Brock Lesnar. Whether it makes sense for the story or not, nobody wants to see that. People want to see Brock Lesnar rip off car doors and suplex and F-5 human beings until they can’t move. I suspect we’ll get a lot of that here, but I don’t think Brock will win. The Wyatt’s have been suspiciously MIA around Brock Lesnar since the Royal Rumble, but I believe that changes here. I think Lesnar dominates most of the match, until the Wyatt’s take him out, which leaves us with Reigns and Ambrose. WWE has done a great job recently of turning Ambrose into a motivated, refusing to stay down type of crazy. Yes he’s a lunatic, but he’s not a wacky, joke spewing lunatic. He’s a guy that will take your best shot but keep getting up, because that’s all he knows. Reigns is Reigns, and whether you love him or hate him, he’s here to stay. It’s just too bad that WWE refuses to give him any semblance of a character, because I do think he can be great. The surprise beat down from the Dudleyz Monday night is also something to keep an eye on, as we still don’t know why they did it. Are they associating with Heyman? The Authority? I wouldn’t be shocked if they come out during this match as well. In the end, it will come down to Reigns and Ambrose, and I think WWE is going to shock us a bit.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose.
NXT “Takeover: Dallas” event during WrestleMania 32 weekend:
WWE NXT Title Match
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor
WWE NXT Women’s Title Match
Asuka vs. Bayley
Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
My favorite thing about NXT is their ability to not only put down four matches like that on paper, but the trust fans have in the product to build up these matches to make them even better. NXT had their final tapings before WrestleMania weekend last night, and these are the four major matches for the April 1st event. The only surprise for me was that Joe and Balor will square off again, and that Zayn will take on Nakamura in his debut. I want to see Zayn vs. Balor badly, but if Balor isn’t turning heel between now and April, it makes sense to put him up against someone like Joe. From everything I’ve seen and read about Nakamura, he is a complete game changer, and I fully expect him and Zayn to tear the house down. Gable and Jordan are my favorite part of NXT, so seeing them get their tag title shot is going to be insane. Asuka vs. Bayley is so wonderful, as they’re two VERY different kind of baby faces, and this will be the ultimate test for Bayley. When you combine this card with the fact that more matches will be added with the likes of Apollo Crews, Corbin, Austin Aries, the women’s division and the tag team division, you have an event that will rival WrestleMania. What a weekend that will be.
Here’s Big E Tweeting That He’ll Never Watch ‘Ballers’ Again, Because Big E & New Day Are The Greatest
.@BallersHBO You’ve lost a viewer for life. The lead actor is a dick.
— ShinigamE (@WWEBigE) January 26, 2016
ICYMI, The Rock returned to Raw last night to get everyone in the world ready for WrestleMania. He was predictably wonderful, but the highlight of the entire segment was his interaction with New Day. The Uso’s and The Rock got the upper hand on New Day, but not before Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods got some verbal shots in of their own. After Raw, Big E took to Twitter to show just how great he really is, tweeting The Rock’s HBO show ‘Ballers’ & explaining to them that he’ll never watch the show because their lead actor is a dick. If this leads to more Rock/New Day segments, I am 1,000% in.
Rather upside down start to 2016 as tomorrow I will head to Birmingham for shoulder surgery. Life’s full of set backs but #nevergiveup
— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 7, 2016
Before I get started, Cena’s injury, combined with the injuries of Rollins, Orton, Daniel Bryan & (to a lesser degree) Cesaro, Barrett etc. is the worst possible news for the WWE heading into WrestleMania season. To make matters worse, WWE is trying to sell out Cowboys Stadium, which means somehow getting 100,000+ people to buy tickets to an event without a plethora of top stars. Barring any other awful news, The Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar and active top stars will be in Dallas, but not having the others is going to hurt. With that said, just as Rollins and Orton’s injuries opened the door for top superstars to step up, Cena’s injury might do more than that. It’s no secret that the WWE is in both a creative and ratings slump, and most of the blame is falling on the shoulders of Vince McMahon. Luckily for McMahon, this is not unchartered territory.
The WWE went through a similar lull in the mid 90s, the only difference that time being the emergence of true competition in the form of WCW. McMahon, sick of falling behind in the ratings, gave his performers more control of their characters and allowed them to be edgier, and thus the most successful period in wrestling history was born. In 2016, there is no viable competition to the WWE. Companies like ROH, Lucha Underground and NJPW, while popular, cannot compete with the advertising and TV deals that WWE has. While competition might not force McMahon to make changes, injuries could. I’m not saying the WWE needs another Attitude Era, because while that was successful, the in ring product is far superior now. Guys getting hit in the head with chairs and girls walking around in bikinis worked in the 90s, but that time has come and passed. Now more than ever, the WWE needs major characters, whether baby face or villain, that fans can relate to. No more 50/50 booking. No more safety net. The WWE roster has never been deeper or more talented, and now is the time for McMahon to let the performers, the ones who have always bailed him out in the past, do their job. Monday’s Raw was a good start, with Del Rio and Rusev forming a solid tag team and the Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel & Adam Rose) getting a win AND some microphone time. McMahon doesn’t like to admit when things are going bad, but he’s done it before and adjusted, and a serious injury to the face of the WWE might just be exactly what needed to happen to shake things up.
Sweet sassy molassey this is big news. It’s been reported for awhile now that The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson aka the biggest movie star in the world, wouldn’t be able to attend WrestleMania 32 in Dallas because of his insanely busy movie schedule. But time and time again, The Rock has proven that no matter how many movies he’s apart of and how much money he makes, the WWE will always be his home. So it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that per his official Instagram account, he will in fact be in Dallas this April. I doubt he’s going to wrestle, but just his presence alone is a game changer.
The deal, sources said, contains a player option that would allow Nowitzki to return to free agency in the summer of 2016 and preserves the rare no-trade clause he had in his last contract.
Fresh off completing a four-year, $80 million contract in which he left some $16 million on the table, Nowitzki has agreed to take a far steeper pay cut this time in hopes of leaving enough salary-cap space for the Mavericks to sign top free-agent target Carmelo Anthony or multiple contributors with their considerable salary-cap space this summer.
Sources say that the Mavericks intend to extend a lucrative offer sheet to Houston Rockets free agent Chandler Parsons or try to sign Cleveland Cavaliers free agent Luol Deng if Anthony, as expected, elects to re-sign with the New York Knicks.
Nowitzki’s deal can’t be made official until July 10, when a leaguewide moratorium on signings and trades is lifted and the officially salary cap and luxury tax figures for the 2014-15 season are announced.
The Big German is here for three more years. Obviously he wasn’t going anywhere, and of course he took a huge pay cut: that’s what big boys do. Now let’s forget about Melo and get Chandler Parson’s over here. The more Chandler’s the better is what I’ve always said.