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Is Randy Orton On His Way Out?

Is Randy Orton On His Way Out?

So for those of you that don’t know I was at Smackdown January 2nd in Orlando and was lucky enough to have ringside seats. For those of you that have never been that close before, one of the cool things about it is you get to hear the wrestlers talking. It’s like you get some insider information about their trade which I find fantastic.

A little backstory, on Monday Randy Orton’s special “Apex Predator”, was removed from the WWE network. For Smackdown, he was scheduled to wrestle in an Orlando Street fight match with Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode. The match never happened, and instead WWE put together a dark match with AJ Styles taking Randy’s place. Right before the match started, I heard AJ talking to one of the referees about how he could t believe “he” walked out.

Randy Orton w/ Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn

With this information, I take it that Orton is either on a short hiatus or maybe his contract is close to being up, or perhaps he was pissed about his content being taken down. Which I hope was a mistake. Randy Orton is a big name for the WWE and has a pretty good following at the events. Orton is a thirteen-time WWE world champion, a two-time tag team champion (one time with both Edge and Bray Wyatt) along with his one-time intercontinental championship.

The man is a star, and a legend at that. He also comes from a wrestling family, so whether or not he’s on his way out or just upset, this is a fence that Vincent Kennedy McMahon needs to fix. Could the WWE get by without Orton? Sure, but will the shows be the same without the Viper pulling his RKO’s out of nowhere?

All in all, I had a fantastic time at Smackdown and thought the ringside experience is something everyone who is a WWE fan should experience at least once. I got an autograph picture of the Uso’s I got a pair of socks that have every WWE title belt on them, I got to eat New Day pancakes and got to keep my ringside chair. Plus, I got a kind of cool scoop of insider information.

I hope Vince mends the Randy Orton wounds when such a big talent is upset there’s no telling what may happen with his storyline. This is Bobby Nagel, Heels outs!

 

 

10 Best WWE Superstars of 2017

10 Best WWE Superstars of 2017

2017 was a rough year for WWE Superstars. There were plagues of injuries, subpar storylines, and pushes that halted. However, some Superstars did become brighter in 2017, and others kept their remarkable paces going. The Superstars on the list are a mix of the best in-ring matches, promos, storylines, and overall entertainment value of the wrestler. These are those Superstars.

Honorable Mentions

Rusev and Aiden English

Randy Orton

Asuka

Sami Zayn

Chris Jericho

10. Brock Lesnar

BROCK LESNAR. The man was so busy defending WWE against the Universe that he shows up when he wants. When he does, there’s usually carnage and a lot of big moves to go with it. Holding the red strap since Wrestlemania, the Beast Incarnate may keep the belt until mania, and there’s not much any mortal man could do about it.

Notable Match: AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar (Clash of Champions)

WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar

9. Kevin Owens

The former Universal Champion had a quietly excellent year in WWE. The breakup of him and Jericho was the story of WWE heading into Mania, and Chris left putting Owens over.  Ownes had a period of being saddled without a great opponent who could bring out his best in-ring work. He and Zayn have been fantastic together at the end of the year, and I hope he gets into the WWE title picture very soon in 2018. He’s probably the best heel Smackdown has at the moment in their single’s division.

Notable Match: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell)

8. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)

Collectively Sheamus and Cesaro have helped to keep Raw’s tag team division at a good caliber. The two European born stars have gelled into something great together. Their seemingly year-long feud with The Shield is hopefully coming to an end, but with the current booking, who knows?

Notable Match: The Bar vs. The Shield (Raw 11/7)

WWE Superstars The Bar

7. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (The Shield)

After the brand shakeup in 2017, it was almost impossible to see one of these men without the other one. I thought about separating them on this list, but their best run was once they joined forces. Their matches against the Bar were tremendous and after the inclusion of their third wheel Roman Reigns, these two still shined together, especially in Reigns’ absence. Hope you come back stronger than ever, Dean.

Notable Match: The Shield w/ Kurt Angle vs. Braun Strowman, Miz, Kane, and The Bar (Summer Slam)

WWE Superstars Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins

6. Roman Reigns

The current Intercontinental champion Roman Reigns had a great year. At Wrestlemania, he beat the Undertaker being his highlight of the year. Roman’s being kept in the chamber so he can slay Lesnar at Mania and we all know it. However in-ring he’s had some great moments and his “This is my Yard Now” promo may be the best of his career.

Notable Match: Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania)

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns

5. Braun Strowman

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN. Talk about a breakthrough year for a Superstar. Strowman was let loose from the Wyatt Family and spent most of the year laying waste to Roman Reigns. After having his momentum halted by Brock, hopefully, next year brings some gold his way.

Notable Match: Braun Strowan vs. Roman Reigns (Ambulance Match) (Great Balls of Fire)

4. The New Day

After their historic title reign was ended by The Bar, The New Day seemed aimless on Raw. Then they were moved to Smackdown and had the feud of the year with The Usos. It’s only a question of whether The New Day should be separated or kept going, either way, all these guys are incredible talents, and I look forward to everything they do.

Notable Match: The New Day vs. The Usos (Battleground)

3. AJ Styles

It feels like AJ Styles spent most of 2017 in subpar feuds that ended up with fantastic matches. A run with Baron Corbin made him cool off a bit, but high level matches with Lesnar, Cena, Balor, and more established Styles was high on this list. Plus he somehow made Jinder look okay for 15+ minutes. The Phenomenal one is the current WWE Champion and I hope 2018 brings memorable feuds for him while he’s in this position.

Notable Match: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Royal Rumble)

WWE Superstar AJ Styles

2. The Miz

The only reason Miz isn’t #1 on this list is that he didn’t have a remarkable match this year. The Miz’s mic work, in-ring psychology, and just overall wrestling business sense aren’t matched by many this year. Taking him off of Smackdown was a massive mistake by WWE, he owned that show and Talking Smack. I can only hope The Miz comes back, gets his IC Title again, and keeps his fantastic run going. Thank you, Miz.

Notable Feud: The Miz vs. WWE

1. The Usos

Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! 2017 was the year of The Usos. At the beginning of the year, The Miz and The Usos made Smackdown the program to watch. Heel Usos have been the best makeover in WWE in quite some time. The rap battle promos, the matches with New Day, American Alpha, and others have solidified The Usos as my favorite Superstars of the Year. If WWE had any sense, they’d give these guys the main event match at a PPV. Every Smackdown PPV slumped after their matches, and they’d usually be the first ones. I’m all in on some Day One Ish, and I hope WWE gives them their due come Wrestlemania 2018.

Notable Match: The Usos vs. New Day (Hell in a Cell)

WWE Superstars The Usos

Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment below. Then head over to Twitter and Instagram to follow us @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod. Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram

4 Musts for WWE at Survivor Series 2017

Survivor Series 2017: What Must Happen?

The last dual brand PPV of the year is upon us with WWE Survivor Series 2017. The traditional Survivor Series experience is back with teams battling it out for supremacy, but this year it’s been spiced up with Interbrand champion matches. We’ll get to see each Brand’s champion go against the equivalent belt holder on the opposing brand. Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal, Miz vs. Baron Corbin, and Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya are just some of the action we have to look forward to in November.

But so far in this latter half of the year, WWE hasn’t performed up to greatness. What can WWE do to assure the fans are satisfied walking out of Survivor Series this year?

1. The USOs beat The Shield

Jimmy and Jey Uso are your Smacdown Tag Champs heading into Survivor Series

The Usoooooooos!

Jimmy and Jey Uso are likely the performers of the year in WWE. Ever since their heel turn, their stock has risen and risen. Already known as great in-ring workers, the duo finally was given characters that match their appeal. Throughout the year the two showed there were shoulders above the rest of the tag team division on Smackdown. So much so that The New Day was brought over from Raw to face the pair with legendary promos and PPV matches coming out of the feud.

So for the USOs to becoming the top team in the company, they need to beat The Shield. The Shield have been the favorites of the WWE for quite some time. The reunion already happened at TLC so the hype for that shouldn’t cloud the outcome of this match. With the potential of this bout being through the roof, we could have something magical if WWE doesn’t screw up this booking. Give the USOs the much-needed victory over Raw’s top tag team to show the appreciation for them carrying the Blue Brand through much of the year.

2. Asuka is the Last Woman Standing

Asuka prior to Survivor Series

The Empress of Tomorrow needs her big showing here.

WWE has dropped the ball on giving NXT superstars great runs out of the gate in WWE. Asuka so far is looking to be heading in the same direction. I know it’s early with only two matches under her belt, but those two matches have The Empress looking pedestrian, not dominant.

It needs to be made abundantly clear that Asuka is going to be gunning for the Women’s title come to the Road to Wrestlemania time and it’s time to set her up here with a big moment. Because both champions are outside of the match, Asuka should look extremely strong in the match as well. Picking up at least two eliminations and being the final Raw Woman standing would pique Asuka for her run coming up.

3. Team Daniel Bryan screws Smackdown

Will Daniel Bryan make a turn at Survivor Series?

Daniel Bryan watches Shane and KO argue

There have been seeds of dissension put into Smackdown over the last year. Kevin Owens is just the tip of the glacier that’s plowing towards a breakdown of the blue brand. WWE needs to cash in on this movement fully and put Daniel Bryan on the same side with KO and Sami Zayn.

It’s simple just to have KO and Zayn screw over Team Smackdown and have Team Raw escape with a cheap victory that way. It would be an excellent direction to go in and a safe one to continue with down the line and to be honest it will probably be a great story. However by adding the approval of Daniel Bryan to ruining Shane’s tyranny over the blue brand, management vs. management, would be amazing. With more up and coming RoH stars coming through the ranks, if this concept is kept going long enough Bryan could have enough people in his corner to take over Smackdown. All because Zayn pulled KO off that table.

4. Jinder Mahal beats Brock Lesnar in a Dirty Finish

Champion vs. Champion at Survivor Series

Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar

The only way this match can be entertaining is either A) Brock Lesnar destroys Jinder or B) Brock loses to Jinder in the dirtiest match ever. I think plan B would be more fun. There’s already going to be an inclusion of a special guest referee, so why not go full blown ridiculous? Have Brock destroy Jinder and then have the match collapse from there until Jinder ultimately comes out the victor.

Having Jinder win would also give him something to brag about heading into his main-eventing tour in India in December. I’m sure the Modern Day Maharaja will love to tell his people how he slew the beast.

Conclusion

This year’s Survivor Series ultimately feels like an exhibition match card, so WWE has a lot of room to set up the remainder of the year nicely from here. There are inklings of great potential storylines heading into the PPV and WWE need to only capitalize on them moving forward. Finish off the year with a good one WWE. The fans will love you for it.

Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment below. Then head over to Twitter and Instagram to follow us @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod. Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram

Heels of Wrestling Episode 13: Hell in a Cell 2017

Episode 13: Hell in a Cell 2017

Hosts Markus, Bobby, and Wes cover WWE Smackdown Live’s 2017 Hell in a Cell PPV. We then breakdown The Shield reuniting on raw this week, Asuka’s debut opponent, more questionable choices involving the Wyatt family, and the future of 205 Live.

Follow the Heels of Wrestling on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @TheHowPod. Make sure to like and subscribe to our content, and leave any comments you have on the channel below. Support your local Heels!

Hell in a Cell KO and Shane McMahon

Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens fighting in Hell in a Cell

Shoot from the Heels

Shoot from the Heels

WWE Week in Review (8.30.2017)

This week we saw two very different ways to shoot in wrestling. Promos vs. really injuring your opponent. We break down how great the former is, and how terrible the latter always will be. We also praise a fantastic Raw in opposition to a sagging Smackdown this week.

 

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Following the Heels of Wrestling @TheHoWPod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Follow each Heel as well.

Markus Murden: @MXMurden

Justin Velez: @MrPurple187

Bobby Nagel: @NagelMacNation

Heels of Wrestling Episode 10: SummerSlam 2017 Go-Home Shows

Episode 10: SummerSlam 2017 Go-Home Shows

SummerSlam 2017 was a show for the ages, of what WWE needed not to do. Listen in as we break down the week that was before the PPV event of the summer went down.

3 Ways To Amplify The Women’s Revolution

Sasha Banks, Bayley, and (c) Charlotte Flair

(c)WWE

The Diva’s Revolution officially kicked off in 2015 but don’t let anyone fool you. The real Women’s Revolution is here in 2017! This year we’ve seen historic highlights such as:

  • The first ever Women’s Money In The Bank match
  • The Mae Young Classic featuring 32 of the best independent women’s wrestlers in the world.
  • Alexa Bliss crossing over from Smackdown Live to Raw and became the first Women’s Champion on both brands.
  • We’ve witnessed a Raw Main Event match in Los Angeles featuring a gauntlet match.
  • Most impressively though, we’ve seen Women’s NXT Champion, Asuka, break the record for the longest undefeated streak in WWE.

Where does that take us and what can WWE do to make an already strong women’s division even stronger? Here are my 3 ways to amplify the women’s division.

The Roster

Before I get to my 3 ways to lift the women’s division, let’s take a look at who exactly we’re dealing with. Since the Brand Split in April 2016 we’ve seen Raw and Smackdown Live build new stars in the women’s division. Little Miss Bliss and Naomi are currently holding their respective brand titles. We’ve seen some amazing feuds between Charlotte and Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Bayley, Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss and Naomi, etc. etc. The list goes on. What did you notice in my previous sentence? That’s right. Lack of diversity. WWE has tons of talent to work with in the women’s division, yet they don’t expand on it. Why is that? Most of the blame falls on WWE splitting up the division on RAW and Smackdown Live. When you break down the women’s roster in WWE currently it looks like this.

Alexa Bliss         Emma               Becky Lynch    Naomi          Paige*

Alicia Fox          Mickie James    Carmella          Natalya         Summer Rae*

Bayley               Nia Jax              Charlotte         Tamina

Dana Brooke     Sasha Banks      Lana                Nikki Bella*

*Currently injured or on leave

We have 15 active women on the WWE roster. 18 if we include Nikki Bella, Paige, and Summer Rae. As it breaks down right now we have 8 on RAW and 7 on Smackdown Live. With a roster that light things can get stale after a while. So that’s why…

WWE Unifies The Women’s Division

By unifying the women you instantly introduce countless new story lines. You get a chance to explore throughout the roster and see what you really have. As I stated earlier, seeing the same 2 matches week after week gets stale. With a unified roster that issue gets resolved instantly. The division would be exclusive to RAW in efforts to help with the dreaded 3rd hour. Most weeks we get that halfway hangover where things just take a bit of a dive before the climactic main event of the night. Take this time to show off the division. Having 4 matches a week on RAW along with bringing out the superstar’s personalities is something I as a fan have been screaming for. This is how you build bonds with superstars. The fans need to get to know these people. Have a reason to root for them besides just who’s a face and who’s a heel. WWE tries to expand on this via social media but it still doesn’t hit home the same way. Now you may be wondering how we determine the new WWE Women’s Champion, right? Taking a page from the Mae Young Classic, RAW will host a single elimination bracket style tournament for the brand new WWE Women’s Championship belt. The current RAW and Smackdown Live champions will be granted top seed in their bracket. The matches would take place on RAW for 3 weeks and the Championship Match would take place at Survivor Series.

WWE Adds The Women’s Tag Team Championship

Once the Women’s Championship tournament concludes, we’ll shift focus to the newest belts in the business. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship! Adding tag team belts to the division brings much more credibility and diversity. This allows for factions and alliances to actually matter in WWE besides the typical heel vs face matches. Giving the division tag team belts is the perfect under card belt. It allows WWE to try new angles and give some superstars the chance they weren’t receiving before in their singles run. You’re in denial if you don’t want to see Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax (Team Rude) taking on Charlotte and Becky Lynch.

Asuka holding her Women's NXT Title Belt

(c)WWE

WWE’s First Women’s Royal Rumble and Asuka Makes Her Main Roster Debut

The final and perhaps biggest push to bring the division to the next level is by finally pulling off the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match in 2018. A field of 20 will take to the ring and battle it out to be the number one contender at Wrestlemania for the WWE Women’s Championship. As we’ve seen already, the women have headlined a PPV (Hell in a Cell), continue having headlining matches on RAW and SDL, and taken part in the first Women’s Money In The Bank ladder match. It’s now time to bring it all together for this massive rumble match which all culminates to the 20th entry of the rumble. Asuka! Can you make a bigger statement than that? I think not! What better place for the reigning NXT Champion to make her main roster debut and send the WWE women’s division to main event levels.

Heels of Wrestling Episode 2: Money in the Bank Wrapup

Episode 2: Money in the Bank Wrapup

The Heels finish up talking Smackdown Live’s Money in the Bank decision and reviews Raw’s incoming storylines heading into Great Balls of Fire.

As always, like, share, and leave a comment or argue with me below. Then make sure to subscribe to our channels @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.