Return Of The Wrestling Notepad

So with the McMahons running both Raw and Smackdown together now, where does that leave the brand split? If the same people are in charge of everything it seems a little weird to keep it separated. But still, I hope they do. It may not make perfect sense, but I’d prefer that to watching the same few people and stories on every single show.

Oh shit, I just had a thought. What if the brands stay split so that we can lead to a storyline where there is conflict in the McMahon family and two of them end up running each show instead of the four as a group like it is now? God, please let me be wrong.

Speaking of McMahons, I’m not sure how I feel about Vince taking Strowman out of the title match at the Rumble. At least he didn’t cower in fear at the feet of the almighty McMahons and ended up finishing the job of destroying Vince’s car in response, but I’m already seeing way too much McMahon involvement on the shows. They have their hands in just about everything on some level, which is what I was afraid of. I wish they could run things Jack Tunney style. Show up now and then when something truly calls for them, but be otherwise invisible aside from occasional references to matches they’ve made. Why do we need Triple H motivating Seth Rollins? Why do we need Vince unleashing A.J. Styles’ “inner animal”? Why do we need Shane teaming with Miz even if that one is half way interesting at least up to the point where Shane has to wrestle and they’re probably going to be tag champs in a couple of weeks? We don’t. And whatever they’re going to shoehorn Stephanie into, we aren’t going to need that either, I’m guessing.

But all that said, I suppose what they did here with Braun was probably better than having him get attacked and injured for the second time in two months. Nobody wants to cheer for a fragile, injury prone superhuman monster.

Sasha Banks has got to be the most unlikable babyface on Raw. Why is she a babyface at all? She’s so egotistical that she can’t get along with anyone, she’s been known to attack her friends for no good reason and just generally carries herself like a total heel. I just watched Ronda Rousey put her over after they won a tag match on Raw and Sasha had to go and turn it into a bitch please, there’s no way you’re beating me at the Rumble situation. Why create that conflict? The conflict is already there. Ronda has a belt that you want and you’re going to wrestle for it. In fact, she chose to challenge you because she thinks you’re one of the best around. Be nice.

Before these new superstars are assigned to either Raw or Smackdown, we’ll be seeing them on both shows so we can really see what they’re all about. Translation: We have 30 writers and 0 plans.

What in the hell is Otis Dozovic doing here? More importantly, why is he doing it? Yes he has that weird side to him, but you can’t force it like this. It takes away everything that makes it great.

I love the idea of Finn Balor taking Braun’s place in the title match. It’s a great story. First ever Universal Champion. Never lost because he had to give up the belt when he got hurt. Never got his 1-on-1 rematch. Now he finally fights his way into getting it, but it’s against Brock friggin Lesnar who nobody can beat. If Finn wins, he’s made. The fans already love him and they even went as far as having John Cena endorse him at the end of Raw. It all seems so perfect. So perfect that there’s no way they’ll do it.

I’m so behind on watching New Japan it isn’t funny. How behind? I’m still working my way through the Junior Tag League leading up to Power Struggle. That was October. It is now January. But I don’t plan to jump ahead, because I’m enjoying it. Obviously I haven’t been able to avoid every single spoiler, but I’ve done well enough that plenty of things are still exciting and surprising when they happen. Besides, it’s super refreshing to watch a product with stories that largely make sense and where the worst thing I can say about like 90 percent of the matches is well, nothing wrong with that.

Since NJPW often puts champions in their tournaments, why don’t they give you an extra point if you beat one? I’m ok if they don’t do this because beating a champ usually leads to something down the road, but it would add another small layer of interest and suspense.

Really enjoyed Keith Lee vs. Kassius Ohno from NXT. It was athletic, it was hard hitting, it was just about anything you’d want from a big dude match. It was also the best I’ve seen Lee look since he started showing up on NXT TV. I had a pretty strong feeling going in that he was losing because it made the most sense, so I’m glad he put in a good showing and that the loss was done in such a way that it won’t really hurt him and will only help establish Ohno as a heel.

Is the best way to build up a match between Becky Lynch and Asuka seriously to put Becky, a total badass, in an overly long, back and forth match with one of the IIconics, who are constantly portrayed as irritating geeks? At least Asuka killed the other one, but even that makes Becky look somewhat ineffective and over matched for not being able to do the same thing.

Boy did they ever just make Jimmy Uso sound like an idiot. You’ve got Mandy Rose feuding with Naomi, his real life wife. To get to her, she keeps coming on to Jimmy. So she sends him a note and a gift. The gift turns out to be a hotel room key.

“What are you going to do,” brother Jey asks.

“I don’t know,” is the reply.

Maybe send your brother in your place? He’s single and you’re twins, numbnuts.

Why is Andrade Cien Almas just Andrade all of a sudden? Is he joining the women’s division?

Samoa Joe and Mustafa Ali is a feud I can definitely get behind. Only problem is that somebody is going to have to lose in the end. I suppose that person should be Joe since he’ll have a much easier time rebuilding after the loss than Ali would. Joe has years of credibility and more than enough presence to recover and move on. If Ali loses he’s just another small dude and you can forget about him being taken seriously as the heart of anything.

Miz is throwing a birthday party for Shane McMahon. I hope he gets him some wrestling training so he can learn how to throw punches and how not to smash his head on the ground so often.

Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio. What a great match! Easily could have been the best match on some PPVs. I’d love to see them have another one. Maybe at Mania with masks or hair on the line?

This is not, as the video says, the full match. But it does it far more justice than the one minute WWE uploaded.

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