Jay's Ways - ALL IN, Rousey/Jax, More! Submitted by Justin Watry on 05/18/2018 at 04:17 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 Wrestlemania 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.”
- Jay's Ways reader
Surprise: I have a new column on 411mania.com focused on Ronda Rousey. It is a tad bit out of date but still works. I break down her future opponents and what WWE should do next with her. Check it out on 411mania now!
Admittedly, I am not the voice of independent wrestling. I tend to follow WWE and NXT. Not a whole heck of a lot else interests me to expand my horizon on a regular basis. That being said, it has been nearly impossible to ignore all the talk about ALL for the past few months. Being someone who had the Chicago area location pegged before it was officially revealed, I had a little intel on the event but nothing major. I didn't care a few months ago when the show was announced and truth be told, I still don't entirely care.
However, what I did find fascinating along the way was the speculation on its' attendance. What started out as a "prove me wrong" deal to reach 10,000 fans has turned into some kind of mission statement. I was asked just twice point blank if I thought ALL IN would reach the desired 10,000 mark. The first time was back in March. I already knew the location and thought it was a great choice due to its' wrestling history. With the old saying of "location, location, location," I knew it would be possible. Still difficult obviously to reach THAT many fans for a non-WWE show in the United States but doable. With the right amount of buzz and star power, there was a chance. Maybe not all SOLD 10,000 tickets, but there would be 10,000 fans in the building.
The second time I was asked was last week. I said I think it could happen. Again, depending on the definition of SOLD tickets or whatever - it didn't matter. ALL IN ended up shattering all expectations and within 30 minutes of going on sale, tickets were gone. A shocking result but one that always felt inevitable. I don't give two hoots about The Bullet Club and all that junk, but I know it exists, and I know money. They make money. Pretty silly to deny that at this point. Is it WWE money or anywhere near their $3.88 BILLION stock price? Of course not. That is ridiculous to even compare or think about.
All the guys involved are making bank, spending time with their families whenever, writing their own schedules and about to have a great weekend event in the Chicago area with over 10,000 showing up. To be clear: I live only two hours away and have NO intentions of attending...but still, come on folks! Give credit where credit is due. They are doing it THEIR way, and this all makes for a very cool wrestling story. Major props.
Okay, Ronda Rousey is challenging for the RAW Womens Championship next month at Money in the Bank versus Nia Jax.
Yep, it seems WWE has hit the fast forward button on their new superstar and will fast track her to a title shot following a VERY successful debut at WrestleMania 34. A lot of fans are trying to figure out why this match is happening so soon. I have two theories.
1-There is a thought process that says you should strike while the iron is hot. Ronda Rousey is HOT now and is as popular as ever after her WM34 story line with Stephanie McMahon. Do you waste that goodwill on bouts against Mickie James and Natalya or go straight for the jugular with a championship showdown? Personally, I'd go the Mickie/Nattie route and let the entire thing build, but nobody can predict the future. None of us can. If you have Ronda Rousey NOW, you use her NOW!
2-Here is my second theory which stems from that. Look, everybody is saying to build up Jax vs. Rousey for a future date when it will be hyped more and be better in-ring considering both are fairly inexperienced. The easy counter point is "How do you know it will be better down the road?" How do you truly know? Let's just say Jax and Rousey finally do meet in six months instead of six months. We all THINK it will be better with both more experienced, but maybe it would be just as good? Or worse? Who knows if time will make this all better...or worse? Jax is a dominant champ, and Rousey is a popular special attraction that may or not be around "full-time" in 2018. Go for it. Chicago will sure be jacked up for the battle, and I would not be surprised if it was given the main event spotlight.
Rousey/Jax Raw Segment
Alright, let's ignore Money in the Bank for a second. Let's just focus on their Raw promo. I was fine with it, except two things jumped out at me. One VERY GOOD and one VERY BAD.
VERY GOOD-I loved the fact that Ronda Rousey specifically mentioned that there were other more deserving individuals. That was key. WWE made it very well known when she was signed that there would be no special treatment or whatever. Obviously not true but in a kayfabe sense, the message had to be sent. She was a roster member like everybody else. With Mickie James and Natalya matches apparently in her future, everything seemed okay. Now an instant championship match after debuting? There had to be a little bit of damage control done, and I believe that was accomplished.
VERY BAD-Was Charlotte Flair there for a reason? That was odd. Maybe a tease for the future Ronda feud? Either way, all three were way too friendly. I understand their Twitter remarks about being cool with each other until the bell rings. That is fine. I like friend vs. friend story lines with the respect aspect. No issues there...but really, a big hug and jokes? Rousey even appeared to be backing down to the challenge at first. REALLY? Ronda Rousey wanted to be humble and not skip right to a title match (which I covered above), but then it took one step too far with Jax hovering over her until she accepted. Perhaps a heel turn? The idea was good - do it at the NBC Upfronts with tons of media present in New York. That was smart. The execution and scripting though...eh. Luckily, we have four weeks to steer the ship. Plenty of time to build via fight promos, videos, etc. I'm looking forward to it.
I hope everybody bought into the WWE stock last year when I told all of you a huge surge was coming. From one billion to two billion to three billion to now nearing four billion. The market cap keeps going up and has been going in that direction for awhile now. If you only care about fantasy booking and your beloved e-fed, this paragraph probably isn't for you. For those of us interested in the actual BUSINESS of professional wrestling, this is big news. WWE is at an all-time high right for their worth. A lot of is due to their record revenue numbers from 2016 and 2017. However, the real domino is still to fall - their next television deal, and that can be covered in a different column for a different day.