Welcome to your weekly wrasslin' wrap-up.
As WWE awakens from its WrestleMaina slumber, it finds itself needing to make sudden, significant maneuvers. Imagine falling asleep at the wheel, getting slapped across the face by a Bran Strowman injury and having to correct the vehicle before, you know, death.
The circumstances aren't that dire, but it's still fun. This is a crazy week for WWE. They have to cover 8 hours of live TV. Can you imagine how bad Saturday Night Live would be if they were responsible for 8 hours of weekly television?
With an entire work day worth of wrestling footage to consume, surely we can find some material to discuss, right? You betcha.
So far, this week is loaded with storylines, both in and out of the ring. And with a pay-per-view to prognosticate, take the afternoon off, because there's plenty to cover.
Let's crack open the week that was May 15th and see what exactly our favorite billion dollar corporation got into.
Here's this week's top 5 WWE stories:
5. Alexa Bliss vs. The World
With Braun gone, that makes Alexa Bliss WWE's hottest current act. The company is clearly aware of this, as they continue to expand her promo time. But a word to the wise - WWE, be wary of the Wyatt Syndrome, a disease where a profoundly good talker is universally recognized as such and therefore given too much airtime to yap because "hey he's good on the mic." It leads to inflation. But mostly, it leads to boredom.
Alexa Bliss is the best and there really just isn't anything more to say. If it's not clear how vast the gap is between her and her peers, go back and watch her spat with Bayley on RAW, if you can stomach it. Bayley was entirely outclassed, to a point where she actually seemed intimidated by Alexa's prowess on the mic.
For Alexa Bliss to make a jump to an even higher level, she's going to need someone she can play off of - a worthy adversary. Magic had Bird, Coke had Pepsi, Trump had America. Who does Alexa Bliss have?prevnext
4. Randy Orton Takes on the Indys
The WWE Champion found time in his schedule to post a message attacking the style of wrestling popularized by independent wrestlers. The sardonic rant hinging upon money, superkicks, and dives, set the internet ablaze opening discussion for qualified and unqualified opinions alike.
All points have proven to be moot, as this is clearly a debate on preference, not science. Let's wish both Randy and the Indies the best before Jim Cornette brings the Midnight Express on RAW. Not to mention the motives of a WWE wrestlers and an Indy guy/gal are hardly comparable. So to everyone: Save it, OK?
Maybe Randy will beat Jinder Mahal at Backlash with a 7-minute headlock or even more ironic, Mahal pins Orton after a 450 splash.prevnext
3. Shinsuke Nakamura Pending
Speaking of Backlash, Shinsuke Nakamura makes his in-ring debut on Sunday. It appears WWE has crafted a rocket specifically intended to shoot Nakamura past the moon, but we can't be certain. The more dedicated fans adore this guy and it seems he's translating well with the casual fan base, too.
It's a little early to proclaim him the savior, but man, there's something about watching a Nakamura performance. In fact, Nakamura vs. Ziggler is the only must see match on the card and should be given the main event spot.
Entrusting Ziggler with a hopeful megastar is a smart, if not brilliant play. Little did Dolph know that he's been selling his whole life just to get to this point: losing via a patent leather knee to the mouth.
Let's hope that WWE opened the budget for Nakamura's Backlash entrance and asserts him as the next big thing.prevnext
2. Braun Strowman Out For 6 Months
Man, this one stings.
This week Strowman underwent a procedure to fix his shattered elbow. WWE announced it would cost their hottest talent 6 months.
Not even Bayley fans believe this timeline and most of the wrestling world have set their own expectations for Strowman to be ready for Summerslam. Luckily, the timing of this setback isn't debilitating. However, losing Strowman will hurt. As one of the unconditional reasons to watch RAW, Strowman had begun to garner significant crowd support. A lot of his surge in popularity is due to his affinity for hurting Roman Reigns, but it's not that simple. Braun is an attraction, if not an anomaly. In wrestling, we like those.
How do we fill this void? Start watching monster truck rallies? Consume hours of controlled demolitions? Help.prevnext
1. Extreme Rules Fatal 5-Way
WWE wasted no time calling their company-wide audible after the Strowman announcement. At RAW's next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt will compete in a Fatal 5-Way at to determine the Universal Title's number 1 contender.
Honestly, this is the best WWE could have done. With Reigns being the outlier, this field feels like they are all in the same boat: talented, but have yet to have main event moments. A case could be made for Rollins carrying more weight, but his big championship feuds were against Kane and a Sting impersonator.
There are 2 guarantees to be made here:
Roman Reigns will not win.0comments
Samoa Joe will not win.
All other options are rational and easily justified, giving this build a true element of uncertainty. However, there is a stone cold truth waiting on the other side: Whoever wins will be more of a live sacrifice to the Beast Incarnate than a "contender."prev