Jay's Ways - NXT, Rousey, Vader, MORE! Submitted by Justin Watry on 06/21/2018 at 04:08 PM
No intro. Let's get to it...
WWE Money In The Bank 2018 Review
My new 411mania.com column was posted late Tuesday night, and it centers around Money in the Bank from Sunday night. Not only do I give my thoughts, a non-fan does as well! Something fun and different. Gives a little insight into the mind of somebody who doesn't follow this wacky stuff...
Excellent show as usual from the NXT crew. It just shocks me every single time that these Takeovers tend to get better and better. Right when you think there is no topping the last one, they do it with ease. Quick thoughts are below.
- Opener was very good. Admittedly, I assumed the champs would retain without much of a hassle. This far and away blew my expectations out of the water. Undisputed Era reign supreme and will for awhile. Depends on how heavily Adam Cole will be featured going forward.
- Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream was the match I had been most excited for. Two guys who are nailing their characters right now and make perfect opponents. The face/heel dynamic is about as good as it gets in 2018. Dream had the Hulk Hogan inspired ring gear on this month. Perhaps a statement on a couple of different levels? Ricochet was as crisp as ever and ended up victorious. That was my prediction but really, the outcome didn't matter too much. Both are on fire.
- Nikki Cross failed to defeat Shayna Bazsler to become NXT Womens Champion. Not a huge surprise. I think most of us have Shayna pegged as a long-time title holder. It was interesting in that it may have also sent Nikki up to Smackdown LIVE with her Sanity buddies. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Not much to write here. Nikki proved she was tough as nails and wouldn't back down. Bazsler claims yet another victim in the division.
- Aleister Black over Lars to keep the NXT Championship. The right call and not much of a doubt. I have no idea why Lars got the title match honestly. Is this the end game for his tenure in NXT? Are expecting some kind of call up soon? Very strange how this entire build came together. Time will tell if this was simply a one off or there is more to the story.
- Top notch Chicago Street Fight between Ciampa and Gargano. I have no issues with this main eventing. Look back at the past year for these two. They have been THE main event. Tag team or solo acts, it has not changed anything. They're the main event in NXT. I think I would have gone with Gargano winning and closing the feud, but obviously this thing still has miles left. The two could battle it out forever, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn style. Best to end it on a high note though, especially with all the cool spots and flashbacks they did on Saturday night. Very, very cool stuff. The ending allows for one more bout Summerslam weekend. How can THIS be topped? No clue...but I am sure NXT will find a way.
I know I have written a lot about Ronda Rousey since she signed with WWE in January 2018. Probably sounds like a broken record at this point. I am well aware of that. The thing is there is a reason why she has received so much praise. Not just for the MITB match against Nia Jax (read my review for more analysis) but also the followup 24 hours later on Raw. My goodness! That is how we get the ball rolling towards Summerslam. Plans appear to be her coming back from suspension to take on Alexa Bliss and become RAW Womens Champion. Fine by me. If WWE wants to throw in the Natalya heel turn also, go right ahead. Both scenarios do the same - get use out of Rousey!
She is a star folks. THE star and THE main event. At WrestleMania 34 and on Sunday, her pay-per-view bout proved to be the best choice to end the evening. I know I would have gotten a huge buzz coming out of Money in the Bank if that thing ended with Ronda/Niz and then Alexa Bliss cashing in her newly won briefcase. I feel the same way about Summerslam. Put her on last. Regardless of what is planned with Brock Lesnar or whoever, Rousey keeps on showing her critics she belongs. Not just belongs in the company but belongs in the featured spot.
Just like Raw get a bit of a reboot, Smackdown LIVE did the same. I picked AJ Styles to retain at MITB and then move on to a new challenger. I had assumed Samoa Joe or The Miz. Silly me, it ended up being RUSEV! Complete shocker to me. While on the surface this appears to be a one and done before something bigger at Summerslam, I like it. The WWE Network allows for "risks" like this to be in the main event scene. There is a whole heck of a lot more going on in WWE right now than just Styles and Rusev. No reason to worry about buy rates anymore so why not? Give Rusev his 'day' in the sun.
Big Cass Released
I never want a man to lose his job or get thrown out on the streets, but the man was struggling. I have not been shy in my thoughts. His SD Live run was not going well. Plus, when you add in the backstage rumors, you have to question if things were ever going to change. Personally, my best guess is this has been a long time coming. Daniel Bryan beat the dude at Backlash, beat him again at MITB and also made him look like a bum on an episode of Smackdown LIVE a few weeks back. Usually faces do not dominate their heel opponents THAT much. The writing had to be on the wall already by Sunday night. Sucks that Big Cass couldn't deliver when given the ball. With the right attitude and improvement, he'll be back. Young enough to get a second chance down the road.
I am not really old enough to fully appreciate Vader and his wrestling career. I admit that up front. There are many long-time fans who loved his work and know all about his in-ring abilities. If you want that kind of stuff, go elsewhere. If you want to know my attachment to him, here it is. I have had two open heart surgeries in my life. Not many people can say that and still be alive. Vader had heart issues too, so just for that reason, I related. I knew his struggles and what he went through. Nothing but the best wishes to his friends and family right now. That prestigious WWE Hall of Fame induction will happen eventually. It is deserved. It's time...