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Heels: WWE Money in the Bank 2020 Review Show

The Heels cover WWE’s Money in the Bank 2020 and the fallout on Raw and Smackdown. AEW’s upcoming Double or Nothing is also discussed.

Heels! We’re back this week with our review of WWE’s Money in the Bank 2020 pay-per-view from last week. We also give our opinions on the Raw and Smackdown after shows including WWE’s new brand invitational rule. We also hit on AEW’s Casino Ladder Match and if NXT can get back to being over in WWE.

Heels of Wrestling is brought to you by co-hosts Markus X. Murden, Esq. and Christopher Thompson. Follow us on our social media pages, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they drop.

If you can’t wait until our next episode head over to our Heels of Wrestling archives or rewind some of our old episodes on our Soundcloud, iTunes, or any other podcast stations. Peace.

NXT Takeover: New Orleans Previews and Predictions

NXT Takeover: New Orleans Preview

It’s Mania week, so that means a lot of wrestling going on this weekend, especially for WWE. For the last year, NXT Takeover has overshadowed it’s bigger brother’s events putting on top level matches, including WWE’s latest 5 star match. Will Takeover: New Orleans steal this mania weekend as well?

NXT Takeover: New Orleans Matches

NXT Takeover New Orleans

NXT Championship – Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) vs. Aleister Black: Black finally gets his shot at the NXT title this weekend against el idolo himself, Almas. Black has shown he is one of the best strikers in the world in the ring and has won the favor of a lot of fans over the last year. However, Almas is blazing hot since becoming the NXT champion. His promos have been fantastic, and he’s coming off the back of a 5-star match. This match will be very explosive for the crowd.

I think it’s time to call up Almas to the main roster. Almas already had a showing earlier this year at the Rumble, and I believe that was some foreshadowing. Almas would make a great heel on the main roster, and the roster is very thin of those. Black’s star is on the rise as well, so putting the belt on him to feud with a heel Adam Cole will be incredible an incredible feud.

Predicted Winner: Aleister Black

NXT North American Championship (Ladder Match) – Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dane vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Ricochet vs. EC3: The debut of the second men’s singles title on NXT will feature a star-studded ladder match including the debut of Ricochet and EC3 in NXT Takeover action.

There’s a lot of guesswork in this match as there are good reasons to put the belt on everyone in the match. Velveteen is rapidly growing in popularity since his feud with Black. Ricochet and EC3 are both very hot signings who would be legitimate champions out of the gate. Lars and Killian would both benefit from winning a title to legitimize their monster status. Adam Cole would be a good champion, but I think they’re saving him for a title feud with Black.

In the end, I think they’re going to put the strap on EC3. I have a feeling that EC3 and Ricochet are going to be fast-tracked to the main roster, and putting a belt on EC3 will jump start that. Velveteen Dream would be my favorite pick to win, and I’d love for them to put the belt on him. However, I can also see Dream feuding with the winner of the belt if he doesn’t take it himself. He’s got some time to grow in NXT, so there’s no need to rush Dream to the main roster.

Predicted Winner: EC3

NXT Women’s Championship — Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Baszler: Baszler is taking another shot at the title from Ember Moon. In the first match, Ember was able to counter a Baszler hold into a pin. This time I see it going to the challenger, Baszler. Giving Baszler the belt can help legitimize women MMA fighters in WWE. I’m sure they’re hoping it rubs off on Ronda Rousey.

Ember Moon is main roster ready, and she’s had a great NXT career. Much like Almas in the men’s Royal Rumble, she was called up to participate in the women’s Royal Rumble match, and she had an excellent reception. I expect to see her on the main roster very soon and dropping the strap here would be the first step.

Predicted Winner: Shayna Baszler

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Unsanctioned Match): The first of the what I hope is an intense series between the two.. Ciampa has become arguably the best heel character in all of WWE at the moment with his relentless attack on fans and Gargano. NXT has a gem with this storyline and how it’s played out both on TV and on social media. A feud for the ages, I can’t wait for this match.

I think the first match goes to Ciampa. From a healthy storyline perspective, the next Takeover will be in Chicago, where the ruin of #DIY started, and that calls for a considerable babyface payoff happening there.

Predicted Winner: Tommaso Ciampa 

 

NXT Tag Team Championship — Undisputed Era (c) vs. Authors of Pain vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne: After a grueling Dusty Rhodes classic, we have the Undisputed Era defending against the Authors of Pain and the makeshift duo of Dunne and Strong. Adam Cole is plugging in this match for the injured Bobby Fish.

I think this match will be a fascinating clash of various wrestling styles. The tag matches on Takeovers have historically been fantastic, and this is lined up to do so. I think the Authors will be going to the main roster soon, and I don’t think they need another title run before the call-up. Dunne isn’t glued to NXT so I can’t see them taking it. Undisputed Era needs to be built up strong before their main roster run, so a lengthy titled reign looks nice.

Predicted Winner: Undisputed Era

See you this Saturday, peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor and Host of The Heels of Wrestling Podcast. Follow me @MXMurden and @TheHowPod

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook BaselineTimes and The Heels of Wrestling.

 

Heels of Wrestling Episode 17: Can WWE Be Elite Again?

Episode 17: Can WWE Be Elite Again?

The Heels give their final opinions and predictions for WWE’s Survivor Series 2017 and NXT Takeover: Wargames card. We then debate if WWE can compete with the juggernaut of Bullet Club and The Elite.

If you want to support Heels along with us, make sure to subscribe to our channel @TheHoWPod on Twitter Instagram and  Facebook.

Shinsuke and The Club in WWE: A Retrospective

Has WWE Done a Good Job with the Signees from New Japan?

Last year, after Wrestle Kingdom 10, it was announced that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson would be leaving the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion and heading off to WWE. The superstars would eventually be phased out of the promotion, each in their distinct way.

AJ Styles debuted as the third entrant in the 2016 Royal Rumble match. Shinsuke would make his debut on NXT later that year in a classic against Sami Zayn. Gallows and Anderson debuted on Raw later that year jumping The Usos after a match. So how have their journeys progressed since then? Let’s look at a quick review of each and see where WWE can move forward with these superstars.

AJ Styles

Styles winning the US title in Madison Square Garden

AJ Styles current WWE Us Champion

Styles had arguably the best first year of anyone in a while to debut in the WWE. Debuting at number 3 in the Royal Rumble, it didn’t take long for Styles to catapult to the title scene in WWE and have strong runs with his belts. AJ to date has 1 WWE Championship title reign and 2 US Title reigns, 1 being his current one. Styles has racked up classic matches with Roman Reigns, John Cena, Chris Jericho and more. He’s also participated in important multi-man matches such as the Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank and the Royal Rumble. 

AJ Styles is incredibly over with the fans. His incredible mic word and elite level in-ring abilities, have him in a special class in the WWE. No matter what he does, he just gets cheered. His current US title run has him as the face against Baron Corbin, so hopefully WWE has realized this.

Hopefully, this feud doesn’t drag out long, and I don’t see AJ dropping the belt to Corbin. I’d love to see to AJ drop the belt to someone like Rusev at the Royal Rumble to free him up for a WWE Title match at Wrestlemania against someone else on this list. AJ was the best WWE Champion since the brand split, and having him back in that main event scene is crucial, especially after this cycle with Jinder is over.

Aside from some weird reason that Styles and Kevin Owens can’t have an average match, Styles has had great feuds this year. His debut promos against Cena were fantastic with their meta references, and by giving Styles that freedom, WWE showed a lot of trust in their future mega star. There’s not much WWE could have improved on in his run. I just hope to see the WWE Championship back to him soon.

Grade: A

 

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

The Good Brothers

Gallows and Anderson are former Raw Tag Team Champions…and their run was short and pretty much unmemorable. The current situation for these two is a shame because these nerd bashers are great in the ring and on the mic. It could be due to a crowded Raw team division, but I can’t buy that when the two teams at the top weren’t even together when The Club debuted.

The Good Brothers debuted as the backup to Styles against Cena and his burial powers. They appeared like they would be booked strong, but then The Club lost to Cena, Enzo, and Cass. It’s been rocky waters ever since for the duo. For months it appeared like they were meant to do nothing but lose to The New Day to extend their title run. Then after some wacky matches, they were finally able to win the Titles in a pre-show match with two referees. It’s as great as it sounds.

The Balor club needs to reunite and just become a dominant stable. If WWE wants to tease a shield reunion, they’ll need a dominant force to go against and what better than Balor Club? The Shield vs. Balor Club sells itself and could fill a good few PPV’s with fantastic matches. Currently, Gallows and Anderson may be creeping back into the title picture with Cesaro and Sheamus heading out. WWE may also be leading them into another losing feud with the newly reunited Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. This booking would make them yet another fodder for the more over tag team. I just hope the future looks better for these two.

Grade: D

Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura

The King of Strong Style

I’d like to start off by saying both of his nicknames WWE have given him are horrible. The Artist and The Rock Star? Nah, no thanks. The once King of Strong Style has appeared to be a mere mortal in WWE.

Shinsuke amazed the WWE crowd with a classic match against Sami Zayn in his debut. A bonified Match of the year Candidate out the gate showed the WWE Universe what Shinsuke could do. The question was how much of Shinsuke’s style would translate to the WWE?

In NXT Shinsuke put on spectacular matches with Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Zayn, and Owens. These are all guys who came up on the independent scene and are used to wrestling outside of the WWE style. You could tell their styles meshed well together and brought out the best in one another. Shinsuke was able to capture the NXT title twice during his tenure in the brand.

However, since coming to the main roster, Shinsuke has fallen flat in most of his bouts. His feud with Corbin was annoying, and his debut program with Ziggler was nothing to write home about. Recently his match with Randy Orton on Smackdown showed that he was ready for a title run. Maybe now that he’s got another title shot, we’ll see a rejuvenized Shinsuke? I’m just looking forward to his horizon of matches with the likes of Styles, Reigns, and more. After a dull beginning on the main roster, it can only go up for Shinsuke. Due to his natural charisma and talent, Shinsuke has the most upside potential on this list if WWE can finally awaken the beast he is.

Grade: NXT: A / Main Roster: D

Final Thoughts

WWE hasn’t exactly translated their huge signs into major players in WWE. Aj Styles has received the best booking of the group. The lack of sustained title runs and secure booking on the main roster has kept the rest of these guys from actually living up to where the fans know they could be. We could just be in a lull for the group as a whole.  And maybe WWE surprises us with a Balor Club reunion soon.

 

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/The Heels of Wrestling

Follow @TheHoWPod and @MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram

 

Heels of Wrestling Episode 11: SummerSlam 2017 Weekend

Episode 11: SummerSlam 2017 Weekend

The Heels are back and we’re giving our review of WWE’s big SummerSlam PPV weekend that included NXT: Takeover Brooklyn and SummerSlam. We pick our favorite matches and performances. Make sure to like and subscribe for more Heelish content.

Follow @TheHowPod on Instagram and Twitter

Heels Of Wrestling Episode 4: NXT Lakeland House Show

Episode 4: NXT Lakeland House Show Review

Special Episode! The Heels went to NXT Lakeland and watched some up and coming WWE superstars tears down the armory. Tune in for our full review.

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.

NXT Lakeland (7/6/17) Coverage and Gallery

On July 6, 2017, NXT took over Lakeland! Our Heels Justin and Markus were there to witness the event and you can listen to their review and coverage on this special episode of the podcast and scroll down below for exclusive photos of the event taken by Justin! (@MrPurple187)

Roderick Strong defeats Adrian Jaoude

Straight Profit defeats The Ealy Brothers

Lacey Evans defeats Taynara Conti

Lars Sullivan defeats Marcel Barthel

Aleister Black defeats Kona Reeves

Heavy Machinery defeats Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake

Bianca BelAir defeats Liv Morgan

No Way Jose and Drew McIntyre defeats The Velveteen Dream and Dan Matha