Road To Metlife: Firing All Cylinders

There are no more ppv’s between now and April 7th. The Road to Wrestlemania is officially firing on all cylinders and the card is taking shape. This is the part of the season where I get simultaneously nervous, excited, and overwhelmed. Whenever I hear people talk about WWE during this time of year, especially this time of year, I get a grin on my face similar to Thanos when he hears Death’s name. Several matches are official while a few more are slowly forming but the hype is definitely growing and I can’t wait to see how these angles culminate.

On Raw, we have three key matches already announced. The first is Batista vs HHH in a No Holds Barred match which was announced on Raw this past week. WWE teased this match several months ago during Smackdown 1000 when Batista made the comment that HHH has never beaten him. The two had an intense staredown before calming down and brushing off the words. But when Batista attacked Ric Flair a few weeks ago, that tension reignited and the Game demanded a fight. On Monday, Batista insisted he fight Hunter at Wrestlemania. Hunter obliged, but the match would be No Holds Barred. These two had a few matches in the past, one being Wrestlemania 21 and the other inside Hell in a Cell, but this match will undoubtedly be their most personal. HHH has done a lot in his career, but beating the Animal is the one achievement that’s alluded him and looks to change that in Metlife Stadium.

The second key Raw match is the triple threat match (ugh) between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair (UUGH) for the Raw Women’s Championship. I’ve already expressed the reason for my frustrations in this storyline and now that it’s official, nothing has changed. WWE writers have successfully made this match less meaningful by adding Flair and insisting SHE should be in this match. Everything about her involvement has made no sense and has made this storyline hypocritical and confusing. Charlotte accusing Becky of getting handouts. Removing the injury angle that Charlotte started. Victimizing herself in this storyline. NONE OF THIS IS NECESSARY!!!! You literally had the pieces for a solid main event and you just threw it out the window. At this point, I can’t see a scenario where they can change my mind, but stranger things have happened. I will say one major positive shift was the heel turn of Ronda Rousey. MUCH NEEDED improvement as she’s finally showing her ruthless side that we saw in UFC. This is the Ronda I’ve been waiting for so hopefully this and Becky’s dynamic will carry the excess weight that Charlotte brought.

The third match is one that was announced since January which is Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Not much to say about this one since WWE has yet to really promote the match due to an absent champion. If you don’t get the reaction you want WWE, you only have yourself to blame. Having said that, if done right, this match and overall storyline has major potential and hope it pans out.

For Smackdown, we just found out last night that Shane McMahon will face the Miz. Personally, I had a feeling someone was going to turn and I was hoping it would be Shane. Thankfully I was right because honestly, Shane makes a much better heel than a face and it’s time to see what the Miz can do with a legit full face turn. These two should put out a good match.

One match that isn’t official that I feel will be by next week is Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. I mentioned a few weeks ago that it’s Kofi’s time to finally cement his legacy and become the champion we’ve all been waiting for. Although I’ve been bashing the writers for their terrible work on the Raw women’s division, they’ve been doing a fantastic job with this angle and how they’re making Kofi the underdog which we can all relate. We all love a good underdog story (Rocky anyone?) Next week Kofi has to run a massive gauntlet match to determine his fate at Wrestlemania and while it is pretty clear what the outcome will be, I’m still excited to see the payout, especially if Kofi fulfils his dream.

Wrestlemania season is in full swing and most of the key matches are announced with the exception of one. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited about a Wrestlemania, and this is my fourth one attending. We still have several weeks of build-up and things can swing in any direction until then, but if it stays the course and continues to ascend, East Rutherford is in for a wild weekend.

Road To MetLife: You Had One Job WWE

Of course WWE couldn’t go a full month without ruining something that was already perfect. Yes, folks. My love/hate relationship with the E is taking another dark avenue, only this time WWE had only one job. NOTHING! They literally had to do nothing for the next several weeks and let Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey do their promos in the ring and social media. They had it. They had lightning in a bottle and they actually managed to ruin it by creating a ridiculous swerve by adding a third participant in a what could’ve been a classic one-on-one encounter. Allow me to quickly recap.

We all know that Becky Lynch won the Royal Rumble, which “gaurentees” the winner a shot at the Championship at Wrestlemania. We also know that, despite her upcoming title defense at Elimination Chamber, Ronda Rousey will walk into New Jersey with the Raw Women’s Championship. And up until Monday night, we were aware that Becky Lynch was challenging Ronda Rousey for that championship in what was supposed to be a personal, heated, and unforgettable collision course between these two women. But, leave it to the “creativity” of the writers and bookers, WWE felt it would be much more entertaining to suspend Lynch and hand the main event to Charlotte Flair. Seriously, WWE? You couldn’t just leave it alone, could you? Becky and Ronda have been doing a great job building their storyline since Survivor Series when they were originally scheduled to meet. They never stopped their momentum and only continued to draw more interest in their rivalry. The writers literally didn’t have to do anything. But they thought adding Charlotte Flair would be much better. It’s not.

I’ve read feedback from the opposition and all I keep getting is a short term payout. “Becky beating both Charlotte and Becky will make her bigger”. So explain to me the purpose of the injury angle with Becky’s leg? Lynch is going into Wrestlemania with a bad knee and her opponent is one of the biggest submission specialists in the game. Out of the gate, Becky would be absolutely outmatched with this handicap which gives us a great story right there and Becky having to overcome the odds against an angry and hostile Rousey would be the cherry. And if you REALLY want to add the McMahons in this story, have them make the match no disqualification which will unleash Ronda’s rage. Something we’ve yet seen since her arrival and trust me, she NEEDS to tweek the attitude. Ronda Rousey going Super Saiyan on Becky Lynch would might give Rousey a decent pop from the crowd. Something the McMahons want.

“Charlotte can take the fall, keeping Ronda’s momentum going”. I can’t stress this enough: RONDA NEEDS TO LOSE. It’s not out of hate or boredom because I love Ronda. You can’t oversatutate her because then you get a female Brock Lesnar. Right now Lesnar is the laughing stock of WWE by keeping this “invincible” persona and making very few appearances. He’s made the main event picture and the Universal Title a joke and having Rousey (also a former UFC Champion, mind you) duplicate that direction is going to turn the fans off even further. Wrestlemania is the time, and right now, Becky is the (wo)Man to do it. Adding Charlotte would dilute Ronda’s momentum and honestly, Becky’s as well.

I’m not saying Charlotte doesn’t deserve a title match, or even the championship itself. But this isn’t her moment anymore. It’s clear WWE wants to center the women’s division around Flair, but fans right now want Becky Lynch so why deny them? Because it doesn’t fit the corporate agenda? Stone Cold Steve Austin didn’t fit that mold and look where he stood. Daniel Bryan didn’t fit that mold and look where he’s at. Sometimes the best stars are created organically. Through the fans, not always by the machine. WWE dropped the ball big time by putting Charlotte in the title picture despite the fact we all know Becky will return and make the match a triple threat. Nobody asked for this. Literally nobody wanted this. The fans were happy with a one on one match. Adding the swerve waters down the entire storyline by adding a Becky Lynch 2.0 and you’re fooling yourself if you don’t see the similarities. The Road to Wrestlemania did get interesting, but not the way Vince and company hoped. They’re reading the tweets. They hear the outrage. And for their sake, the payoff better be huge, because a new threat is soon going to appear in their rear view mirror.

Let Them Fight

First off, happy birthday to “The Man” Becky Lynch. An appropriate topic to bring up on this day.

Wrestlemania season is officially in full swing and WWE did not waste any time getting the road started. We already have two main events announced but the one I want to discuss is the one I’ve been hyped about since before they announced it. We’re finally going to get Ronda Rousey defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch, and for the love of GOD, PLEASE VINCE AND COMPANY, keep it that way. No gimmicks, no special appearances, and NO TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!

Since Becky got injured during Survivor Series week, the highly anticipated collision between her and Rousey has been a hot topic and whether WWE should go through with the match at a different time. The crowd was not only in favor of the match, but even suggested these two clash at Wrestlemania, with Lynch going in as the challenger and ultimately ending Rousey’s reign and winning streak. The roadblock here is that for some reason WWE feels these two need a third participant in this feud. That third wheel being Charlotte Flair. No way, AND I MEAN, NO WAY does Charlotte need to be included in this rivalry and the proof was presented this week on Raw and Smackdown.

On Monday, Ronda had a very awkward and cringing promo that thankfully got overshadowed by Becky’s unexpected arrival. Lynch wasted no time ripping Rousey apart on the microphone and showing her how to cut a promo. But then something clicked in Ronnie’s head as Becky likes to call her. I don’t know if the nerves shook off or if Becky’s words triggered something, but we got a different Ronda Rousey. One that I’ve been begging to see since her debut last year. She cut a dark and angry promo that sounded almost biblical which got the crowd going. Meanwhile, Becky stood there cool as a cucumber smiling and taking Ronda’s enraged words like it didn’t faze her. With about nine weeks left until the big show, these two women already got fans pumped for their battle in East Rutherford (which I’ll be attending btw).

The following night on Smackdown, during a Becky Lynch promo, Charlotte interrupted and put her two cents into Lynch’s Royal Rumble victory and overall success. The crowd wasn’t feeling it nor were they buying the fact that she had any influence in her rise to the main event. But, I feel this is the segment WWE bookers wanted to slowly bring Flair into the title mix which is a major mistake. Nobody’s asking for this. At least not the majority so why add her? Including a third person in this already heated rivalry will just dilute the match and bring the heat down several notches. Flair had her chance. She failed, so put her in a different program while Lynch and Rousey have their moment. Have Charlotte go after Asuka in a rematch from last year with a different result. Or have her chase the newly implemented womens tag team titles. WWE has lightning in a bottle right now and it would be a shame to waste this because management is hellbent on making the daughter of Ric Flair a main eventer. Don’t get me wrong, Charlotte is a tremendous athlete with hall of fame status written all over her, but this isn’t her spotlight and this is one moment where she should take a backseat while we see magic between Lynch and Rousey.

If we get Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania, I can almost promise you a classic will take place. They’re both amazing athletes with plenty to offer in a one on one match. Becky’s been doing this for years and she’s only been improving, especially since this new edgy persona took effect. And Ronda has evolved so fast and has learned so much in a short time that seeing her best against a prime Becky Lynch would be fantastic to witness. And honestly, throwing Charlotte in the mix would give her the wrong kind of heat, especially in a New York/New Jersey crowd. We’re talking Roman Reigns/John Cena heat. Hey creative, this is one mistake you should stop repeating!