Comfortable Monday, TJRWrestling trustworthy! At this time’s column is about to launch Week Two of #GiveRawTagTeamsAChance, however given the state of Uncooked final week we’d need to supply a prayer for each division on the present. Welcome to the Week In Preview for World Wrestling Leisure, December third 2018.
Uncooked (Toyota Middle, Houston TX)
Introduced: Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs Nia Jax and Tamina.
What to anticipate: I’d wish to say “expect it to be better than last week”, however I’m not holding my breath. Certainly it a minimum of can’t be any worse. Hopefully tonight’s segments will gel a bit higher, however Uncooked’s storylines are nonetheless primarily on an unchanged path. The announcement through the previous week that Elias vs Bobby Lashley and Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre have been added to the TLC card isn’t promising; we tried to get by means of Elias vs Lashley final Monday, whereas McIntyre was added to a handicap match reverse Balor on the insistence of Baron Corbin. The issue is that, whereas Braun Strowman is constant to get well from elbow surgical procedure, the story of Corbin’s unchecked energy journey – and satisfaction coming earlier than a fall – is the one recreation on the town. Extra of what we already noticed between these males final week subsequently seems extremely possible.
At the very least Dean Ambrose ought to be within the area this week, to select up his bitter feud with Seth Rollins in individual. The present actually wants this program to simmer strongly proper now. Some fireworks could also be attainable, together with the potential of Ambrose getting low cost warmth by speaking concerning the inoculations he wanted for coming to Houston. The introduced tag match will tease Ronda Rousey mixing issues up with Nia Jax, however you can in all probability flip a coin as to which of their companions might be taking the loss. Alexa Bliss now ‘overseeing’ the ladies’s division will possible end in a tag match between a few of her pals (in all probability Mickie James and Alicia Fox) and Bayley and Sasha Banks. Lastly, do I’ve to speak concerning the tag division? Ugh. Okay, superb. Bobby Roode had his gown pissed on by Drake Maverick, so he’ll be sad and there’ll in all probability be one other tag titles match arrange. Additionally, Lucha Home Social gathering will in all probability win one other match underneath their particular ‘Lucha House Rules’ (which up till now we’ve referred to as ‘a handicap match’).
Highlight: And so it got here to cross that the match for the Uncooked Tag Group Championships ended by approach of urine-related shenanigans. In final Monday’s Week In Preview, with a heavy coronary heart, I stated: “AOP really shouldn’t lose the titles this soon after winning them. Sadly the biggest guarantee here is more lavatorial humor, so I’m going for ‘AOP retains after Drake Maverick causes a distraction by deliberately peeing himself’.” I used to be fairly shut. At the very least AOP are nonetheless champions, I suppose, though that’s one thing of a double-edged sword given the suspicion that their run in a featured position might now be inextricably tied to the size of Vince McMahon’s record of pee jokes.
GLORIOUS P-BOMB #1#WWE @WWE #RAW #AOP #GLORIOUS pic.twitter.com/uWf1N4X94v
— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) November 27, 2018
To deal with the humor first, I understand it’s not designed for me. I recognize WWE has to purpose at a large demographic on Uncooked and, superb as some might discover it, there’s a (principally juvenile) viewers that laps this type of stuff up. A fast look at Maverick’s Twitter mentions exhibits the demand. By the way, Drake Maverick continues to promote this like an absolute saint, responding with flame in the direction of those that ridiculed him after Survivor Collection earlier than switching to accusations of hypocrisy in the direction of those that have been bemoaning the angle final week (despite the fact that in all probability these two teams of individuals have all the time been mutually unique).
Actually, I’ve two particular issues with the humor. First is that it’s simply poor content material; the bottom widespread denominator, when ‘low’ would’ve been enough. It’s attainable to do base humor that additionally exhibits creativeness and a few layers of subtlety. Witness the brand new collection of Edge and Christian’s WWE Community present that premiered after final week’s Uncooked, which included a skit the place Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson posed as scientists (a throwback to their temporary ‘ball doctors’ gimmick on Uncooked a few years again that was genuinely extra amusing than the present A-O-Pee-Pee angle) selling ‘Thunder Plugs’ suppositories – and Gallows corpsing terribly at having to ship the road “they go right in your ass”. Yeah, that obtained amusing out of me. I’m a toddler. Additionally, it was humorous.
My second drawback is a matter of place and time. Edge and Christian’s present, with Bray Wyatt flipping off midwives and what have you ever, is squirreled away on the WWE Community the place the hit price for this type of comedy doesn’t matter as a lot. As famous, Maverick is doing the whole lot he can together with his position on Twitter, the place rebooting the #GloriousBomb meme from Bobby Roode’s NXT run extra simply finds its area of interest viewers on its pure platform. Uncooked is, by the extensive nature of its publicity, too typically avoids area of interest or various humor and by far the worst sort of base humor is conservative base humor. What’s extra of a handicap is injecting this into the very prime of a struggling division.
When Gallows and Anderson ran their ‘ball doctors’ gimmick in 2016, not solely did it supply extra amusement, however it was being delivered by no-hope challengers to champions The New Day (who everybody and their canine knew by that stage have been on the trail to breaking Demolition’s document title reign). Right here, with The Revival scratching round and everybody else in filler roles, AOP are Uncooked’s greatest hope for kick-starting a aggressive tag division – they usually’re hamstrung as a duo by all their company being exercised via a pissing supervisor. It makes The New Day’s profitable emergence as a booty-obsessed future Corridor of Fame group constructed on area of interest humor appear to be much more of a divine miracle.
SmackDown Reside (Frank Erwin Middle, Austin TX)
Introduced: Nothing introduced at time of writing.
What to anticipate: Let’s neatly cut up this into matches which were introduced for TLC and matches that haven’t. On the confirmed aspect, we now have AJ Types vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, the place each males have given robust promos up to now two weeks, however haven’t come face-to-face since Bryan gained the title. That may certainly change right here. Then we have now two probably wonderful three-ways, with Asuka more likely to be interjected into the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Aptitude this week so as to add a brand new dimension, whereas The Bar – with Massive Present now not beside them (reportedly to be given time to rehab a hamstring damage) – should deal with each The New Day and The Usos. Each challengers have gained non-title matches within the final two weeks; may they face off with one another this week?
The feuds that haven’t as but resulted in matches introduced for TLC are headed up by Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio; anticipate the announcement this week of a Chairs Match between them. Whereas Mysterio shall be gunning for revenge after being left laying by Orton a few occasions now, Rusev will probably be in search of a chance to get his match with Shinsuke Nakamura which was aborted earlier than it started final week. That’ll probably now be for Nakamura’s United States Championship. Lastly, final week’s robust angle between Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe did an incredible job making us care about Hardy whereas giving Joe ample time to be an terrible human being. Anticipate continued barbs over Jeff’s legacy this week, as this type of private facet tends to be the specialism of Joe’s feuds on SmackDown this yr.
Highlight: The upcoming SmackDown Ladies’s Championship match at TLC is in search of all of the world like a pivotal second in WWE’s preparations for WrestleMania, possible dictating the brief time period futures of the ladies’s divisions on each manufacturers. To recap: Ronda Rousey is the Uncooked Ladies’s Champion and the main target of the purple model. Assuming she survives the present problem of Nia Jax – which appears inevitable – her solely attainable marquee feuds for WrestleMania are at present on the blue model; Charlotte Aptitude, who beat her down at Survivor Collection, and SmackDown’s present champion Becky Lynch, who set that beating in movement. The selection of Rousey’s big-name opponent will certainly come right down to a type of two.
Who it’ll be is more likely to hinge, within the first occasion, upon who leaves TLC empty-handed in slightly below two weeks. As we’ve seen within the final month, WWE isn’t hostile to doing massive title switches on tv when plans want to vary, however this seems prefer it’s the purpose-built alternative to start out everybody down their respective paths. What makes the stakes larger right here is that whichever out of Lynch and Aptitude usually are not destined to go up towards Rousey on the grandest stage, the opposite might be completely undroppable from regardless of the SmackDown Ladies’s Championship match shall be. And their greatest prospect of a marquee opponent? TLC’s conspicuous third wheel, Asuka.
The idea is that Rousey vs Lynch is the cash match, however is that a harmful assumption? This system, resurrected and continued final Tuesday, between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Aptitude ought to be thought-about an enormous success because of the way it has raised each ladies’s profiles. Current developments are fascinating although. Aptitude’s disqualification and savage beatdown of Rousey seems to have been much less a change in alignment and extra the sharpening of her character to current a extra outlined edge, mirroring the place Lynch has discovered the newest success. Each now have points with Rousey. Each have been common in doing it. Each have been put over as ruthless warriors. However there’s one key distinction between them which might be awkward for Lynch.
The distinction, proven in final week’s promo phase, is that Charlotte Aptitude’s character continues to be doing ‘the right thing’. She beat down Rousey as a result of Lynch picked her to take action; she did her job as requested and completely to order. Lynch’s character, in the meantime, is awkwardly mired in revisionist historical past and bullshit; she picked Charlotte however didn’t assume her worthy, she hugged her however nonetheless hates her. Out of the 2, Aptitude’s motivations at present look clearer and her foundations appear firmer. The 2 ladies are being portayed as equals, with round two months to go till choice time on the Royal Rumble. In these circumstances, might there be anybody amongst WWE’s powerbrokers secretly anticipating what they think about the ‘natural order’ – Aptitude on prime – to be restored?
If the choices for Rousey’s WrestleMania opponent (probably in the primary occasion) are being stored open on this means, wanting on the destiny of the SmackDown Ladies’s Championship in April factors to a different potential impediment for Becky Lynch’s hopes. If Lynch faces Rousey, one of the best title match left obtainable for the blue model can be Aptitude vs Asuka – which WWE already did earlier this yr in New Orleans. In a vacuum, reserving Rousey vs Aptitude and Lynch vs Asuka would make lots of sense. It stays to be seen whether or not that is thought-about, however the outcome at TLC might give us a information. A win and first primary roster title for Asuka would definitely maintain all prospects on the desk.
Additionally This Week
We’re nearing the top of this season of Combined Match Problem (Tuesday Fb Watch/Thursday WWE Community), with the 2 knockout matches for SmackDown occurring this week. Out of these competing in Jeff Hardy & Charlotte Aptitude vs R-Fact & Carmella and The Miz & Asuka vs Jimmy Uso & Naomi, solely the staff of R-Fact and Carmella accommodates no one already booked in a match at TLC (the place the finals will happen). May they find yourself dealing with Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox on the Kickoff? That’s in all probability a query for subsequent week.
NXT (Wednesday) doesn’t have a lot firmly fastened, with a return to Full Sail College and look from champion Tommaso Ciampa. In the meantime, this week’s two episodes of NXT UK (Wednesday) will embrace Flash Morgan Webster vs Jordan Devlin, Travis Banks vs Wolfgang and one thing from new Ladies’s Champion Rhea Ripley. On 205 Stay (Wednesday, not stay) it’ll be Brian Kendrick vs Drew Gulak, together with a Twister Tag (not ‘Lucha House Rules’ apparently) between Lucha Home Get together and the staff of TJP and Mike Kanellis.
Three Burning Questions
A few of this week’s most urgent however least publicized speaking factors. Throw down your solutions within the feedback part as normal!
- Wanting again, what was the factor you loved most about final week’s Uncooked?
- What potential matches out of Orton/Mysterio, Nakamura/Rusev and Hardy/Joe would you be most to see added to the TLC card?
- What can be your perfect Uncooked and SmackDown Ladies’s Championship matches at WrestleMania in April?
Till subsequent week, strap in, benefit from the journey and keep in mind to stay with TJRWrestling.internet on your present recaps and evaluation.