Jay's Ways - WWE RAW, SD Live, & NXT Reviews Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/21/2017 at 05:34 AM
"I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.
That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemnaia was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.
Thank you for the great stuff."
- wrestling fan
My playlist while writing the column included Greenlight by Pitbull (serious), Break Free by Ariana Grande, the current WWE RAW theme song, I Don't Wanna Live Forever by Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC, some Joan Jett, and Party Hard by Andrew A.K. Hit the play button and enjoy read!
- Normally when a talent leaves one brand or company, it is done with the understanding that it will be in a losing effort Ric Flair lost at WWE WrestleMania 24, The Rock lost at WrestleMania 29 (forget his 2016 one off), Stone Cold lost at WrestleMania XIX, Shawn Michaels lost at WrestleMania 26, The Undertaker lost last month (if he is truly done), and I could list a million more examples. Just part of the old school mentality that has continued in NXT in recent years. If you getting called up, you lose on your way out the door. Makes sense...
...not in this instance.
Despite my better judgment and logic, it sure did feel good to see Tye Dillinger reign supreme in his NXT farewell. Not only did he get the main event spot and a cage match for added effect, the man was able to best his hated rival.
Trust me, I am all for honoring the business and doing things 'the right way.' However, all rules have an exemption. Tye Dillinger having a Perfect 10 sendoff like what we saw on NXT this past Wednesday was very cool to watch. Sucks for Sanity and Eric Young, but they will be fine...I think. I hope. Tye deserved that moment.
- Not a fan of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay throwing a temper tantrum after their tag team bout. Not a fan at all. They have the "it" quality many look for in wrestling. Sad to see them being relegated to comedy/joke wrestlers. A few months ago, the two were on fire! Now? I don't know. Feels like they took a step down the card, when the women's division needs them more than ever. Both are talented and can rebound. It just really did not sit well with me to see their temper tantrum after the (pointless) loss. For some reason, I didn't like it AT ALL!
- Okay, Hideo Itami vs. Bobby Roode is fine for the Chicago live WWE Network next month. No reason to think a new champion will be crowned or anything wild. Just a solid main event for NXT. Works for me.
- Hey, do you all want to know a secret? Lean in very closely. Don't tell anybody because I don't think many are aware. Ready? Here it is: Kassius Ohno and Roderick Strong are in NXT
- Andrade Almas vs. Drew McIntyre? Heck yeah. perfect for both men right now. Drew is surely headed to the main event scene soon. Yeah, it is a shame that Almas will probably lose another high profile match, but at least there is a story being told with him. No complaints here.
- The UK Championship still exists! Awesome.
OVERALL: A better than expected version of NXT as of late. The rebuilding continues.
- Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns is set for Payback. No issues with that. Clearly was the plan. Likely main event? Bonus points for keeping Reigns off television on Monday. The beating from last week was waaaaaaaaay too much for him to even appear.
- Samoa Joe over Chris Jericho. Very little fanfare or hype. Seems apparent Jericho is wrapping up his business soon. Good stuff from Seth Rollins during this all. He should have a great match against Joe at the upcoming WWE Network live special. Who wins? Who knows?
- The Drifter. I am intrigued WWE, I am intrigued.
- The Miz and Dean Ambrose had a solid confrontation. Actually got some fire and passion out of Ambrose. Miz was his usual self - entertaining and strong on the mic.
- Smart to have the Hardyz talk. First time since their WM return they actually SPOKE on Raw. Should have happened right away. A treat for old and potentially new fans.
- Alexa Bliss is the new #1 contender to Bayley and her RAW Women's Championship. Decent choice. I could have seen ANY of the women next in line for a title shot; glad it went to Alexa.
- Wait a minute! Bliss won in Ohio, and Ambrose stood tall in Ohio. Wait a minute! The internet folks tell me WWE likes to humiliate the hometown stars on TV. Huh? Weird. It is almost as if that theory is...um, well, BS. Noooooooo!
- Finn Balor wins over Curt Hawkins. Healthy and cleared from his concussion. Excellent news. Appears to be waiting on Bray Wyatt to finish up his feud with Randy Orton.
- Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro is not a dream match in my book. If people think it is/was, good for them. Hardy wins, and we inch closer to The Hardyz vs. Cesaro and Sheamus for the RAW Tag Team Titles at WWE Payback.
- Kalisto literally thrown in the garbage. Unreal.
- Braun Strowman vs. Big Show was the main event of the evening. Not as strong as their original clash but likely will be remembered more fondly due to the ring exploding at the end. Always a cool visual and okay to bust out every few years. The fans obviously popped huge and reacted accordingly. Braun looked like a MONSTER by getting up after his super-plex to Big Show broke the ring. Not even Brock Lesnar could do that...
OVERALL: Too much filler in between. I'm not even going to discuss it all. Part of the issue with three hours. The important segments were positive though. Payback is near.
WWE Smackdown LIVE
- I wrote about all things Jinder Mahal (and WWE Champion Randy Orton) in my previous column. Go check that out for everything on his big night.
- Charlotte kicking off Smackdown LIVE felt right. The switch over to the blue brand was 100% the right call and already fits like a glove. I didn't care much for the promo or interaction with Naomi. However, none of it surprised me. Charlotte beat the champ later on in the show to earn a title shot next week. Not even going to save it for the Backlash PPV. I know this all seems rushed but whatever. We all suspected Charlotte would shoot straight to the top, and if we are honest, she should. I am cool with it.
- Even more interesting is this Anti-Charlotte faction that was teased with Carmella, Tamina, and Natalya. WWE, you have my attention. Something is going on. What exactly? We'll see.
- The New Day are coming soon. Them plus Rusev. Oh, and Lana. Also, if you want to throw in John Cena and Nikki Bella when they return. Smackdown LIVE has a lot of moving pieces still after the Superstar Shakeup. Shinsuke Nakamura has yet to even settle in. All he got was an introductory video package. Smart move there; hold off on his in-ring debut until Backlash.
- The Shining Stars defeated American Alpha. My goodness. Remember when I thought it may be best if Alpha went to Raw? Well, they didn't. Now, the duo are losing to Primo and Epico. Seriously, what is happening here folks? American Alpha are super new and fresh. Perfect for the blue brand. Why it hasn't clicked yet is beyond me. Get it together!
- The Face of America gimmick for Kevin Owens can probably end now with Jinder Mahal doing the same shtick. One or the other (or both!) should go away. Owens is more than talented on his own to not need cheap hear like that. He is the United States Champion, so I get it...but no. I think he is 'above' that stuff.
- AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin was a quality main event. Ended in a funky way, thanks to KO being ringside. Usual interference finale we see on WWE TV all the time. My main focus was on the upcoming Backlash show. While the card may be lacking, it is cool to think about which match headlines. Nakamura debuting? Owens vs. Styles? Perhaps the women? Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship? Chicago will likely be a rowdy audience that night. Make sure the main event is the right match...or else...
OVERALL: The top story was Jinder Mahal getting an opportunity to main event. The rest was just kind of there. Welcome to the post-Mania/Superstar Shakeup Era.
Okay, I wrote something like 15 columns in the build up to WrestleMania 33 and following the big event. Instead of the usual stale Raw and Smackdown LIVE reviews, you tell me what you want in future columns! More personal stuff like my Orlando journey, flashback junk, re-posts where I make a fool of myself, lists, etc. YOU tell me. I am more than content in keep doing my thing but have no issues going to the audience for ideas. Don't be shy, let me know. Use the comment section or hit me up via email or social media.