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  1. #41
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    Bryan is clearly in a feud with Miz so unless Miz caused the loss, i can't see that happening. You got Samoa Joe that's probably going to to get the title shot and Nakamura as US champ, Orton going all crazy with Jeff.

    Maybe they could have Almas feud with Rusev.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    There's no shame in anyone taking a loss to the WWE Champion. Especially a guy that hasn't been on the roster but a few months losing in a good match to AJ Styles, the guy that WWE is pushing as the number one best wrestler on the planet today.

    An argument could be made that the match shouldn't have happened, but it was a strong showing for Almas. If he'd been squashed, I'd agree wholeheartedly, but AJ's role in recent months has been that of Ric Flair as the travelling Champion, being a guy that works with everyone and makes them look like a superstar, but ultimately wins.

    Marks on forums hate to see their favourite guy lose. The half or more of SmackDown viewers who either don't have the Network at all or don't watch NXT if they do don't know the guy but do know that he went toe-to-toe with the WWE Champion AJ Styles, even in a loss. That's more of an endorsement from WWE than a win over Sin Cara this weekend or beating Xavier Woods.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    This. Having an up-and-coming guy lose to the champion on a good showing is a classic booking move, and companies like NJPW still do it. Just see how many times Okada lost to Tanahashi before finally winning; it was literally a multi-year story arc, and widely regarded as a classic Flair/Steamboat level rivalry. Or how many times Omega lost to Okada before going over.

    This is vastly preferable to WWE's usual 50-50 booking where everyone just trades wins, because no one can lose.
    Except there is a heel/face dynamic. You can start a face out with a tough lose and build sympathy. Almas is built as a heel. Heels need to be built up. Yes, eventually heels become pin eating machines, but if it happens too much then the heel loses something. If you follow this up with an Almas losing to Bryan, then Almas losing to Jeff Hardy, then you will see the same meh with Almas that you do other heels. Basically what you have right now is a heel Almas and everyone wants him to be booked like a babyface. That doesn't work.

    Now, if you really want Almas to eat tough losses, you have to build him up to at least Chris Jericho, where you have a heel who has done so much that they can always hang their hat on something, and when they lose they act like it never happened. If not, then you have Almas lose to AJ, then after the match, have a really hated heel attack Almas, turn Almas face and have him feud with that heel.

  3. #43
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    As per usual the most important thing isn't what happened isn't last night, it's the follow up. If WWE books things smartly from here on out than Sombra's showing last night will be a good thing and should serve as a springboard. The problem, and why I understand LWO's frustration, is whether you trust WWE to do that. And unfortunately this is the same WWE who has spent the last four years shoving a guy down people's throats with diminishing results, has struggled creatively besides that and, as even people defending this decision have pointed out, screwed it all up with the last guy they tried to make into a top Latino star. In fact, as I've pointed out before, WWE's track record with luchadores/latin stars is AWFUL. Off the top of my head they've had legendary luchadores like Konnan, Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Negro Casas, El Hijo del Santo, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Caristico, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, both Perro Aguayo's, Octagon, Del Rio and more over the years; only Eddie and Rey were ever used correctly and even then Vince went kicking in screaming at times. Hell Gran Metalik is arguably the best all around worker they have in the company (and certainly one of the best they have on 205 Live) and the best they can do for him is put him in endless trios matches every week with Lince Dorado (another talented, misused guy) and the poor man's Metalik Kalisto. Put all that together and I can understand LWO's concerns. It's no sure thing WWE follows up correctly with Sombra and we all know the hole it can put him in if they don't.


  4. #44
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    I'm only defending the decision to have Almas lose to Styles in a competitive match. Something Almas sorely needed because of his bad booking previously.. Not in any way expecting a good follow up lol.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    As per usual the most important thing isn't what happened isn't last night, it's the follow up. If WWE books things smartly from here on out than Sombra's showing last night will be a good thing and should serve as a springboard. The problem, and why I understand LWO's frustration, is whether you trust WWE to do that. And unfortunately this is the same WWE who has spent the last four years shoving a guy down people's throats with diminishing results, has struggled creatively besides that and, as even people defending this decision have pointed out, screwed it all up with the last guy they tried to make into a top Latino star. In fact, as I've pointed out before, WWE's track record with luchadores/latin stars is AWFUL. Off the top of my head they've had legendary luchadores like Konnan, Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Negro Casas, El Hijo del Santo, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Caristico, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, both Perro Aguayo's, Octagon, Del Rio and more over the years; only Eddie and Rey were ever used correctly and even then Vince went kicking in screaming at times. Hell Gran Metalik is arguably the best all around worker they have in the company (and certainly one of the best they have on 205 Live) and the best they can do for him is put him in endless trios matches every week with Lince Dorado (another talented, misused guy) and the poor man's Metalik Kalisto. Put all that together and I can understand LWO's concerns. It's no sure thing WWE follows up correctly with Sombra and we all know the hole it can put him in if they don't.
    That's exactly it. Losing to the champ in itself isn't bad. But it's a heel, and heels need wins to be built up. If you are doing the tough lose to the champ start, usually that's a face, or a really good build up for a good heel. WWE can't be trusted to do a really good build up with a really good heel.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    I'm only defending the decision to have Almas lose to Styles in a competitive match. Something Almas sorely needed because of his bad booking previously.. Not in any way expecting a good follow up lol.
    But if there isn't good follow up, doesn't that reinforce the point that having Almas lose to Styles does him no favors??

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLostInRewind View Post
    But if there isn't good follow up, doesn't that reinforce the point that having Almas lose to Styles does him no favors??
    in theory, yes. but I also resist the urge to fantasy book what could have been you know? Like its happened and I don't know what they could have done instead and it doesn't matter because they didn't do that something else.

    I think its as simple as they needed to showcase Almas and AJ was the best person for it. I'm hoping there's good follow up and it helps Almas in the present but that doesn't mean his future is secured.

    Almas was on the preshow Sunday, two days later, he's going back and forth with the WWE champ. That's a short term win.
    Last edited by LK3185; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:29 PM.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    This. Having an up-and-coming guy lose to the champion on a good showing is a classic booking move, and companies like NJPW still do it. Just see how many times Okada lost to Tanahashi before finally winning; it was literally a multi-year story arc, and widely regarded as a classic Flair/Steamboat level rivalry. Or how many times Omega lost to Okada before going over.

    This is vastly preferable to WWE's usual 50-50 booking where everyone just trades wins, because no one can lose.
    Because companies like NJPW can actually pull that off. Whatís WWE done over the past 4 years to make you think they can? Nothing. You talk about a multi-year story arc and how many times Omega lost to Okada before going over. WWE are basically doing the exact same thing in a poor manís version with Brock and Roman.

    On the Almas front Iíve loathed they had nothing for him. They finally did the Kalisto feud and even though itís not what I wanted for him but it was finally something. Heís not the furure number one heel and future of SD for no reason. I thought heíd move on to something a little more significant after. Not thrown straight into a match against Styles that he was going to lose. Itís far to early for him to be facing AJ. But the sad thing is there really isnít a face for him to go up against in a feud. He should have gone up against Jeff when he first came up and then had a feud with Orton. Itís all about the follow up from the AJ match but I have serious doubts this is going to lead to something.

  9. #49
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    This could all be leading to Rey returning to the company which is all but confirmed.

  10. #50
    Yeah, Smackdown does have a shortage of realistic faces for Almas to go over again. Smackdown has Jeff hardy (now embroiled in a feud with Randy Orton), Daniel Bryan (Feuding with The Miz apparently), Kane (injured, and as a Kane mark, I would not want to see Kane take an L to Almas), The New day, and maybe The USOs (if you count them as faces). This leaves the only high caliber face Almas can go over against being John Cena, who is a free agent. I think maybe Smackdown was the wrong brand to have Almas debut on judging by the lack of credible faces for him to go up against.

    I am also not sure how I feel about turning Almas face. He just doesn't come off as a face to me.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLostInRewind View Post
    I am also not sure how I feel about turning Almas face. He just doesn't come off as a face to me.
    Even people who followed him before he got to WWE have forgotten that Sombra was a pretty effective face for almost a decade before CMLL turned him heel. And frankly his heel turn, and the crowd rejecting him as a babyface, was more CMLL's fault than his because they chose to shove him and Volador Jr. into the headlining match at the 80th Aniversario instead of Atlantis-Ultimo Guerrero, which at the time was the hottest program in lucha libre. The fans took their frustrations out on him and CMLL immediately responded by turning him heel, putting him with Rush...and the rest is history. Ironically enough CMLL's decision to book Sombra-Volador over Atlantis-UG in 2013 was an immaculate decision for everyone involved; Sombra turned heel and ended up getting on WWE's radar because of it, Volador became a giant babyface, their match was outstanding and Atlantis-UG got an extra year of build, which led to a legendary match that drew over $1 million at the gate. Throw in Los Ingobernables being formed from it (which leads to the formation of LIJ in Japan as an offshoot and the rise of Tetsuya Naito) and that decision is one of the greatest breaks in recent memory.

    Wow I got sidetracked! The point is Sombra can definitely be a great babyface if you book him as an exciting high flying luchador ala Rey Mysterio. The problem is a) he's a much better heel and b) when WWE tried him as a face they booked him as a salsa stripper. Throw in their inability to book strong babyfaces and WWE may be better off just letting Sombra stay heel unless he gets too cool.


  12. #52
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    I've always said, if I was WWE, I'd built up Almas to eventually demask Rey. The matches with Sin Cara were fun, and I'm sure he can work with Lucha House Party, but they all just seem so small compared to Almas. I only mention turning Almas face, because tough lose booking is face booking. Heel booking is squash matches and do anything to win booking. One funny thing with Del Rio, even though he just came off as a natural heel, he never really wrestled as a heel, which left his work feeling "dry." You have to match the in-ring work with that character. Almas, with Vega, is a perfect heel that works like a heel and acts like a heel. Which is why YOU DON'T BOOK HIM LIKE A BABYFACE!

    With all of that said, I swear, this woman is the savior Almas's career needs in WWE.


  13. #53
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    Not sure where to put this, considered the spoilers thread but seeing as it's a main headline on the front page...

    It's proper shit that Nixon Newell has got another knee injury during the Mae Young Classic, just as she was starting to recover from her one before the tournament last year.

  14. #54
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    I feel so damn bad for her. As much as she might not want it to, if this is anywhere near as serious as last time it might be it for her. That knee might never be 100% again.

  15. #55
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    Different knees, I was reading at the weekend - I don't know if that's a positive or negative...

  16. #56
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    Well I would take it as a positive. I imagine the reconstucted Knee is easier to break once it happens again.. its certainly concerning regardless though and if nothing else, she'll probably have to alter how she works in the ring.

  17. #57
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    I find it a bit sad that they're making Joe/AJ into a soap opera about AJ's fatherhood credentials instead of just a fight for the title.

  18. #58
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    As long as they don't bring AJ's wife actually on tv, i'm fine with it.. The basic idea is AJ is consumed by the title (He has had it for a long time) Joe's just trying to get in his head.

    Also, They are running Orton as the vicious heel on SD which should be Joe's role imo.

  19. #59
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I find it a bit sad that they're making Joe/AJ into a soap opera about AJ's fatherhood credentials instead of just a fight for the title.
    I mean, it could just be a fight over the title. But if you have two guys with almost 20 years of well known history together, why wouldn't you make it personal?

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    I mean, it could just be a fight over the title. But if you have two guys with almost 20 years of well known history together, why wouldn't you make it personal?
    Wouldn't the more natural and obvious place for a dramatic angle be a simple 'long-time deep-seated jealousy' storyline? Make it about how Styles got all the plaudits as the better wrestler in TNA, while Joe was overlooked, how NJPW chose AJ and not Joe, sort of like a Bret-Owen personal storyline that's believable?

    I mean the storyline they're doing right now works too, if Joe is positioned as the toxic heel who plays psychological games by insulting AJ's family and his parenting, as an away-from-home father, but it is a bit on the soap opera side.

  21. #61
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    Based on tonight's RAW, with the Shield coming to Regins' aid to stop Strowman, does that make the Shield heels?

  22. #62
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    I don't think so, I think this just shows Vince trying to make Roman Reigns happen. I will say, even in NY, he's not as hated as he was a year ago. I'd say the crowd is like, what, 70/30 against him now, which is better than around Wrestlemania time when I'd say it was a good 85/15.

  23. #63
    Vince put the Briefcase with Strowman as a panic button option, holding on to it until he knows for certain the Reigns experiment has failed. He is trying to make it work any way he can atm, which is why Strowman will probably have the case for awhile. It's smart, but it's stubborn bullshit. Fans shouldnt dictate everything WWE does creatively, but when the fans tell you loudly things arent working, you gotta stop trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.


    If Strowman winds up losing the briefcase I may need a respite from WWE.


  24. #64
    Basically I think it was to set up Reigns v Braun inside Hell In A Cell. Everytime he tries to cash in Ambrose & Rollins will be there to stop him, so he'll need the cell to negate them. Somebody will probably get in the cell other than Rollins or Ambrose to stop Strowman (can't see Reigns dropping the belt already and I can't see Braun losing clean) and set up his next feud

    That ending to Raw, the Balor-Reigns match, the teased cash in, The Shield reunion was the best Raw ending in months. And Reigns as Universal title was the worst thing that could happen according to the internet.

  25. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Kleckamania View Post

    If Strowman winds up losing the briefcase I may need a respite from WWE.
    I will say if Strowman cashes in successfully and his feuds with the belt have been as one sided as all of his feuds are, I might take a respite (and I really don't see other than Reigns and part timers who he'll feud with that will be treated as his equal).

    Don't agree at all with this notion that Reigns is going to be a bust a champion. From the small amount of evidence we've had as him as belt holder (the feuds with Vince, followed by the feuds with Styles & Rollins in his 2nd reign), it was a fun ride. Plus as we saw tonight, he brought a bunch of guys into play in the main event scene.

  26. #66
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    KO costs Braun the title inside the cell.

  27. #67
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Well, with the only real development being Reigns tonight, I don't think RAW's very good right now. Nothing to hold onto, and quite frankly, the Shield ran their course. They were heels and faces. Plus we've yet to see solo heel Dean, and Seth was gaining traction by himself. This is a step back for everyone but Reigns.

    I won't be missing RAW. Nothing to draw me in.

    ďStoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and notÖ Oppression."

  28. #68
    You could also say the finish was so interesting because WWE is putting their whole ass into the creative development of Roman Reigns, while half assing everything else. If they put that much focus into Strowman's character development he would be a far more interesting champ than Reigns, because he has that "IT" factor, and Roman simply doesn't.


    They just sacrficed Dean and Seth's solo runs to help get Reigns over. Think about that. (Dean and Seth both would also be infinitely more interesting as Universal Champ than Reigns.)
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 3 Hours Ago at 12:16 AM.


  29. #69
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    I'd be excited about this Shield thing if the alignments made any damn sense. If Reigns was a heel and getting help from two other heels to stop a face cashing in it works and I get it. But I just don't get it like this.

    Hopefully Braun goes and gets help from a pair of Top Guys and I can finally get my Revival/Fist Pals dream match.

  30. #70
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    I'm sorry boys and girls, but if that was a heel turn for The Shield sign me up. A heel Shield with the goal of keeping that belt on Reigns is interesting as hell. Way more interesting than Ambrose going back to treading water like he was nine months ago, or Seth involved in nothing in the upper midcard. I'd argue probably more interesting than Seth vs Dean rehashed.

    How can these guys be anything but heels now? They reunited to cost a babyface Braun his cash-in and protect Roman.

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