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WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Preview and Predictions

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Previews and Predictions

Roman and Braun Hell in a Cell

It has been a mixed bag of sorts heading into this PPV. On the one hand, it’s a Hell in a Cell PPV with only one title match in a cell. And then arguably the match that arguably needs it the second most, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte isn’t scheduled to be inside the cell. Oh WWE your booking never ceases to amaze us. Here are our previews and predictions for Hell in a Cell 2018.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship — New Day (c) vs. Rusev Day (Kickoff Show)

Rusev’s Day has smoldered off of popularity as, much like so many others, WWE never took advantage while they were over. Rusev will likely survive to lose this series, but Aiden English on his current projection will likely flounder if they break up after this. New Day don’t need this win, and it would be nice to see the underdogs pull one out when it matters. But WWE is going to WWE, and because this is on the pre-show, I can’t see it having any critical impact.

Predicted Winners: Markus: New Day, Adam: New Day

Raw Tag Team Championship — Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose

I don’t think WWE will give The Shield all of Monday Night’s gold. However, Seth Rollins is carrying the IC belt and doesn’t even need to defend it on a PPV. Doing the hot potato with titles between Seth and Ziggler would be pretty stale booking for the past few months. I’d like to see Ziggler and McIntyre have a nice reign outside of having to go against The Shield. I know Raw’s Tag Team division has been booked into oblivion, so now’s the time to rehab a new team for them to go against.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Ziggler and McIntyre

Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

If Bryan and Brie don’t win, I’ll be shocked. You have to keep the feud going until at least the Rumble, so here we go.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell Match)

Jeff is going to Swanton Bomb off the cage. I’m not sure if Randy can RKO him out of it because of physics, but if they can find a way, they’ll do it. And I’m all for seeing it as well.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Randy Orton

Raw Women’s Championship — Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss

Squash match. Anything else would probably ruin the mystique of Rousey too soon. Maybe some interference or backstabbing by Natalya may give Bliss the win, but no way it’s a clean win for Bliss tonight.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Ronda Rousey

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Ahh, WWE when will you sometimes learn to allow the fans to dictate the web and flows of stories.  You tried to paint Becky as a heel, and now you’re trying to slap the Stone Cold mantle on her? Yikes. There hasn’t been a consistent build for Becky heading into this. I think Becky needs this because her last year has been mostly forgettable. Charlotte should have to chase a title for a while, but with Evolution coming up this is probably a huge tossup.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Becky Lynch

WWE Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

WENDY! Samoa Joe has been cutting some great promos lately, and I’d like to see him leave tonight with the belt. They’ve been playing AJ’s title run up recently, which may mean he could be dropping it soon. Samoa Joe needs a title run on the main roster, and this more psychotic character would be an excellent precursor to a strong heel run.

Predictions: Markus: Samoa Joe, Adam: AJ Styles

WWE Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman (Hell in a Cell Match)

If WWE spent three years propping up WWE to give Roman a belt just for him to lose it in a month, then I don’t know what this company is anymore. There may be some shenanigans to put Braun over in this match, but I think Reigns needs a christening match. Beating the Monster in a cage after slaying The Beast would be a potent 1-2 punch start to a title reign. If only WWE’s endgame wasn’t so obviously written on the wall.

Predictions: Markus and Adam: Roman Reigns

We’ll catch you guys tonight on Twitter @TheHowPod. We hope WWE can deliver a good post-Summer Slam PPV. They’ve been slacking these last couple years. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Review and Backlash 2018 Preview

WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Review and Backlash 2018 Preview

Heels! We’ve got a lot to break down with you this week. In this episode, we’re serving up our review of WWE’s The Greatest Royal Rumble, and then we swivel into the quickly approaching WWE Backlash set for this Sunday.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

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

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

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.

 

WWE Fastlane 2018: Previews and Predictions

WWE Fastlane 2018: Previews and Predictions

WWE Smackdown Live PPV

On March 11, 2018, WWE Smackdown Live presents Fastlane 2018 from Columbus, Ohio.

Fastlane will be the final PPV heading into Wrestlemania, so it’s likely now or never for any title changes heading into Wrestlemania. Fastlane also has the distinction of being the last brand specific PPV for the foreseeable future as all forthcoming PPV’s will be both brands showcased.

Match Card

Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles (c), John Cena, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler standing for the Fastlane Main Event picture

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin

The WWE title match started out as a triple threat between Styles, Owens, and Zayn. Then Corbin and Ziggler beat the latter duo in singles matches to earn spots in the bout. Now, with Cena winning beating AJ on Smackdown, we have a fatal six-way for the WWE Championship. This match is set up like an Elimination Chamber match without the chamber. Sadly this is another example of Smackdown writing itself into a corner, and we get a baseless multi-man match.

As far as a winner, WWE knows that Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is a match everyone is excited to see at Wrestlemania 34. Crowds go wild whenever WWE even teases the match between the two happening at Mania. It would seem foolish to put the belt on anyone else heading into Wrestlemania. With Cena rumored to be facing the Undertaker at Mania likely, the next best option to upset Styles would be Ziggler, but I don’t see that happening going into April.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) vs. Ruby Riott

Ruby Riott will be the first of the latest Women’s call-ups from NXT to get a solo match for their respective brand’s Women’s title. With Charlotte already dispatching the other members of the Riott squad, this feels like a reverse boss fight. The feud has fallen flat as it’s been nothing but six-woman tag matches and boring promos. The women of Smackdown deserve better writing than what is given to them by creative.

Charlotte is going to win, sorry Ruby. A great way to spice up this match is to have Asuka come out and challenge Charlotte right after the match is over. If the rumors are true that Asuka is coming to the blue brand for her first Wrestlemania match, you should capitalize on every chance you have for her and Charlotte to fuel the feud.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. The New Day

After having the feud of the year in 2018, the Usos and New Day look to put on another tag team clinic on Sunday. If you book these two teams in a match, odds are they’re going to deliver a show.

If the Usos drop the belts to The New Day just for Wrestlemania, I’d be shocked. We all know The New Day with or without the straps will be on Wrestlemania in some capacity. However, The Usos have been looked over at Mania before, and it would appear they’re being set up for the Bludgeon Brothers. I see The Usos walking out after a great match with the belts, making them look strong going into Mania.

United States Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton

There’s a good chance that by Sunday night this has evolved into a triple threat match featuring Jinder Mahal as well as he’s heavily involved in the storyline. He could also just show up to screw over the loser of the match at Fastlane and set up a Mania match for the Maharaja.

Randy Orton is the United States Championship away from having the WWE Grand Slam. With the United States belt being the secondary title, I could see WWE putting the belt on Randy going into Mania so Roode can win it back at Mania. Also, Randy is set to start taking some time off, so him putting over Roode at mania with a title win would be a good win/win for everyone.

See you this Sunday, peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

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

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

WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review

WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 Review

A By the Numbers PPV

If WWE intended just to tick the boxes going into Wrestlemania, then Elimination Chamber this year did the job. With Wrestlemania 34’s lineup being more than spoiled online at this point, WWE kept its Raw champions looking strong going into the road to Wrestlemania. On a night the Women debut in the Elimination Chamber, will WWE be able to brew some intrigue into the night?

Women’s Elimination Chamber (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

The match started off with Sonya Deville in the ring against Bayley. The two started off with some back and forth mat work that came off awkward at first, but the two got more into a rhythm outside the ring. Mandy Rose soon joins the two, and the double teaming ensued. Rose and Deville showed some great coordination together against Bayley; the two have gelled well as a unit.

With no eliminations happening, despite Absolution having a numbers advantage, the next person out of their pod was Sasha Banks who quickly evened up the odds for her friend. Sasha was then able to throw the Bank Statement on Rose who tapped out for the first elimination of the night as Bayley kept Deville from making the save. Sasha and Bayley worked Deville for a while until Mickie James was the next entrant into the match. Mickie came in and was instantly the highlight of the match for me. Her execution of moves compared to most of the women in this match showed just how polished in the ring Mickie is. Mickie highlighted her run in the match by coming off the top of a pod for a Thesz press onto Deville for a pinfall elimination. Soon after, Mickie is hit with a Bank Statement, and a Bayley to Belly and Mickie is eliminated. Sasha and Bayley then take a break while waiting for Alexa Bliss to come out her pod.

Bliss attempts to keep Bayley and Sasha away by holding her pod door closed. She then escapes through the other side, and a chase on the side wall of the chamber starts. Bayley and Sasha eventually close in and bring Bliss down to the ring. The match then proceeds much like many of their three-way matches have gone. Bayley and Sasha have Bliss on top of a pod on the ropes, when Sasha betrays Bayley with a kick that sends her to the floor. The team them go at each other. Bayley hits a Bayley to Belly off the top ropes on Sasha, but as she goes for the pin, Bliss rolls her up for the elimination.

It’s down to Sasha and Bliss in the end. Bliss and Sasha are getting better chemistry in the ring, and this showed it. Sadly a sequence of a Twisted Bliss of the top of a pod into a Bank Statement was stumbled and ruined the flow towards the end of the match. After the failed Bank Statement, Sasha tries to go up top, but Bliss catches her for a top rope DDT and the pinfall victory.

The women’s chamber was by far the best match of the night. I can’t wait to see all the top women talent in the chamber at the same time once the brand split PPV’s are over. Had the match had the same pace as when Mickie came in, it would’ve been incredible

Winner: Alexa Bliss (c)

The Bar vs. Titus World Wide (Raw Tag Team Championship)

WWE attempted to build some intrigue into this match by having Titus World Wide score some victories over the bar leading into this match, but we knew this outcome was imminent. This match may have been WWE’s chance to have a legitimate surprise winner on the card, but it didn’t happen.

For most of the match, it was The Bar working over Apollo in the ring. Eventually, Apollo got the hot tag into Titus, who got a few big boots in, but it wasn’t that impactful. Titus hit a Clash of the Titus on Sheamus for a near fall. Apollo hits a splash on him for another near fall. Apollo then attempts to go for a slam on Sheamus when Cesaro chump blocks him. The Bar hit a White Noise on Apollo for the win.

Winner: The Bar (c)

Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

This match started off with Matt playing mind games by disappearing on Bray Wyatt in the middle of the ring. Matt’s then starts speaking about deleting Bray and whatever else he said. Look this feud doesn’t mean anything, and we all know it. If this feud were leading up to the Wyatt Family against The Broken Universe then maybe it would have been cool. However, we just got a flat match that even the crowd was not into at all.

Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Bray Wyatt for the win. Reminder, this is the same PPV last year that Wyatt won the WWE Championship. What a difference a year can make.

Winner: Matt Hardy

Ronda Rousey Contract Signing

Ronda and Stephanie Elimination Chamber

Ms. MMA herself Ronda Rousey’s official contract signing was held. Interesting that her contract is just her name in size 36 font, but I’m not WWE’s lawyer, so I don’t know better. We got to hear Ronda speak for the first time, and begrudgingly she wasn’t that great. The signing was pretty awkward until Kurt Angle got involved, revealing this was plan hatched by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon ever since Wrestlemania 31 “to control the bit-.” Sadly Triple HHH escorted Angle before he could cut PG-13, but the seeds of distrust are sewn.

Ronda then became hesitant to sign the contract, and Angle fed fuel to the fire by saying Stephanie said Ronda was washed up. This caused Ronda to corner Stephanie, and HHH interfered. After some posturing, Ronda put HHH through the table in the ring. Stephanie then slapped Ronda but backed off before Ronda could retaliate. Ronda then signs her contract and tosses it on the massacred HHH.

The segment did a good job of setting up the future match at Mania between the four of them. They made sure to emphasize Ronda’s lack of special treatment and non-title opportunity at Mania. Hopefully, everything gels nicely in the coming weeks.

Men’s Elimination Chamber (#1 Contender for Universal Title)

For a match built on a premise of unpredictability, we already know who would be first in the chamber, The Miz, who would be last, Elias, and who was going to win, Roman Reigns. So with that in mind, let’s see how WWE could keep this enthralling.

The match starts off with The Miz, Finn Balor, and Seth Rollins in a triple threat. And man it starts slow. With three high work rate superstars, it starts off with tepid ring work and a string of roll-ups. No one looks strong at the start of this match at all. Eventually, the next pod opens up, and it’s John Cena in at #4, who immediately starts talking back and forth with Rollins for about thirty seconds. Boring. Eventually, the four start brawling. A pair of superplexes take out all four competitors when #5, Roman Reigns, is released from his pod. Roman takes control of the match, but Miz gets the upper hand during an exchange between Roman and Rollins and gets a near fall. A couple of near falls are exchanged between superstars until #6, Braun Strowman is released. The match takes a drastic turn after this.

One by one Braun just eliminates everyone with a power slam. Braun is quickly hit with a flurry of finishers and is taken out initially, but no one can capitalize by pinning him. Elias is released and attempts to pick some scraps, but only gets near falls. Braun then recovers and can power slam Balor after he hits a coup de grace on Reigns. Braun then continues to more or less whip everyone’s ass culminating in a power slam and elimination for everyone but Reigns. In typical Reigns fashion, he outmaneuvers Braun for a pair of spears and the victory. Braun then destroys Reigns after the match.

With such a star-studded lineup, you would think this would have been one of the better chambers. Last year’s chamber saw Wyatt take home a surprise championship victory, and this year was the antithesis. Having Braun mow through everyone and then lose to Reigns is a cliche at this point. The match may as well have just been Braun versus Roman. Maybe they could’ve had a Men’s elimination chamber for the Intercontinental Title? They’ve done it before, and without Roman or Braun the match probably would’ve been less predictable. The quality of this match is a sad downturn from last year’s classic. Roman vs. Brock Lesnar is now officially set for Wrestlemania 34.

Winner: Roman Reigns (New #1 Contender)

Overall the PPV wasn’t that good. The Women’s chamber match was the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming night. Some intrigue definitely would’ve elevated this card, but with such predictable matches set for the night, there was none to be had.

Match of the Night: Women’s Elimination Chamber

Wrestler of the Night: Mickie James

Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden and @TheHowPod

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

“The Big Dog” or “Super Cena?”

Roman Reigns vs. John Cena

Whose yard is it now?

“I can do this part time, better than you could ever do it full time.” Just like that, the two most polarizing superstars in WWE history, Roman Reigns, and John Cena became the center of attention in the wrestling world.

Their showdown, at this year’s No Mercy, will no doubt be hyped beyond belief, but who will ultimately come out on top? What’s the end goal for WWE? Is this their idea of a dream match, or is Cena just the latest superstar chosen to be sacrificed at the altar of Roman Reigns? What’s going to happen if Reigns wins and absolutely nothing changes?

Will Vince McMahon feed one of his most successful characters ever to a guy who just can’t get over with the fans? Or will “The Franchise” take down the most hated wrestler on the planet today, and regain the support of hardcore wrestling fans all over the world? The fact that all these questions exist make it one of the most compelling feuds WWE will produce this year. For the first time in a long time, I’m interested in John Cena, and Roman Reigns. Well done WWE, you’ve got my attention.

If Roman wins.

Will The Big Dog spear another victim?

If WWE puts Roman over in this match, it means they officially view him as their top guy, bar none. It means the days of Cena showing up with his “mythical golden shovel” are truly behind us. It means that no matter how much we boo and complain, Roman isn’t going anywhere. It would symbolize WWE taking a huge crap on its audience. I hate always to be “that guy,” but WE don’t like Roman Reigns. WE don’t accept Roman Reigns, and the only thing that will ever change that is the one thing WWE has already proven they won’t do, turn him heel. WWE executives act as if there’s just some golden feud out there that will change everyone’s opinion of Roman.

I get their logic, have Roman go up against the most hated heel in the company, and make the audience rally behind him in the process. The problem is, there’s no wrestler on the roster that hardcore wrestling fans hate more than Roman Reigns, and he can’t wrestle himself. Ultimately, Roman is in a “lose, lose” situation. If he beats Cena, then the marks (myself included) will just turn their noses at him and say “see, even Cena isn’t safe from Roman.” If he loses to Cena, it’ll make the fans happy, but it’ll also show that the powers that be might be starting to sour on their chosen one. Roman is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. He won’t get any sympathy from me though; I hate Roman Reigns…”Believe That!”

If Cena wins.

Or will we see the return of Big Match John?

If “Super Cena” shows up at No Mercy, and picks up a “W” over Roman Reigns, it can mean one of two things. First, it could mean that WWE has soured on Reigns so much that they had no other option but to go back to the well again. However, it couldn’t also be another weak attempt at getting Reigns over. WWE could see a loss to Cena as the last piece to the Reigns puzzle. They could theorize that losing to Cena might make fans rally behind Roman. I’d say the latter isn’t very likely, but  WWE has attempted dumber things to get Roman over before (retiring Undertaker).

As a hardcore wrestling fan, this feud conjures up mixed emotions. On the one hand, I’m glad someone is finally cutting Roman Reigns down to size. On the contrary, I hate that it’s the fucking “Golden Boy” John Cena doing it. Seeing as how WWE has refused to turn Cena heel for over a decade now, this is the closest he’ll ever get at being a fan favorite again. Cena has nothing to gain from beating Reigns at No Mercy. It won’t bring him that’s elusive 17th World Title reign; it won’t get him anymore over than he already is, and it won’t rid the WWE Universe of Roman Reigns. Don’t expect “Big Match John” to get his hand raised at No Mercy. However, do expect him to carry the entire build up to the match.

This match belongs on a WrestleMania card. We still might see it at WrestleMania next year, but it won’t be for the first time so that it won’t feel as special. Regardless of that, we’re going to see the top star of his era, John Cena, go up against what WWE is hoping will be their next top star, Roman Reigns, in a match that none of us thought we wanted to see. That’s something pro wrestling can do better than any other sport, create a classic moment out of thin air. Whether you’re a member of the “Cenation,” a fan of the “Roman Empire,” or just a guy who hated Cena, and hates Reigns (like me), odds are you’re going to be glued to the screen when this match starts.

No Mercy will air Sunday, September 24th 8 pm EST, Live on the WWE Network.

Wesly Avendano

Baseline Times

Roman Reigns Has to Destroy John Cena

Roman Reigns has to destroy John Cena in their upcoming match. It can be a No DQ match, it can be a Last Man Standing match, hell it can be a Hell in a Cell, but at the end, Roman Reigns has to have his hand raised, and he has to be a Heel.

On Monday night Raw, we saw Roman Reigns and John Cena team up to defeat The Miz and Samoa Joe to start off John Cena’s tour on Raw. WWE’s two top Faces of the company are together again on one brand. Vince McMahon has been trying to pass the proverbial torch of WWE from Cena to Reigns, but so far it hasn’t worked. Because WWE has gone about it wrong this whole time. Roman Reigns needs to be bad, this needs to be his yard, and he needs to take Cena’s head off to claim it. This is now WWE’s perfect opportunity to turn Roman Reigns into a heel.

Every time Roman cuts a promo, it’s obviously not him. The cockiness of beating The Undertaker. The boos and jeers of the fans. A track record of ruining everything. When we think about it…

Roman Reigns is already a Heel

It’s time for WWE to face facts. They’ve ironically created the biggest Heel in the business, and they’re too reluctant to pull the trigger on him. Let’s run down a list of some of the horrible things WWE creative have had Reigns do in just this year:

    • Roman Reigns tried to murder a man with an ambulance.

What we have brewing here is a perfect storm of how to turn Roman Reigns into the top heel of the company. Reigns is in a spot we haven’t seen him in since he was busted for violating the wellness policy in 2015. The spotlight isn’t necessarily on him right now as Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman are the leads of the title picture going into No Mercy.

Why Now?

The idea of turning Reigns or Cena heel has been tossed around ad infinitum on wrestling boards for the past few years. The void as the top Heel on WWE programing has been noticeable for quite some time. And much of it is to do with WWE’s booking of top Heels.

Since the breaking of the Authority, it seems as if every Heel has been booked as cowardly or needing help to get their title reign over. From KO and Jericho being best friends to Jinder Mahal having the Singh brothers in his corner, no Heel has been able to do it alone in recent memory.

The situation can all change with Roman turning Heel. We’ve seen him do heel tactics in matches. Brutal attack with chairs, powerbombs through tables, vicious spears, you name it he’s done it. However, that Superman punch does need to go, no Heel would do that. (No one should do a Superman punch anyway.)

But I digress, Roman can be believable as a solo Heel champion. A sort of reverse-Ultimate Warrior type. Except with Roman, we have someone who has the ability to do lengthy work rate matches. This also would open up the opportunity for a tweener like Samoa Joe or Braun to go full on in a character choice as well. There shouldn’t be these many tweeners at the top of the billing. Not for the sake of story and fan engagement.

Heel Roman would also give us a nice contrast with the reuniting of the Shield. I always thought Roman should have been the one in the Shield to turn heel, this could be a chance to retell angles from that period with a new lineup. Do the Shield turn heel with Roman? Do they maybe try to talk sense into him? All these stories could line up, drawing from past instances, and fuel some interesting story lines heading forward.

Heels Have and always will Rule Wrestling

Every real star needs a turn as an in-ring Heel. It’s too late for John Cena, but factors outside of the ring can be attributed to his lack of Heel. Maybe it was because of the PG era and Vince needing a Stallworth for the company? I don’t know. But right now, there is a bevy of talent on the roster, and all of them feel like tweeners or faces. We need a Heel revolution.

John Cena has been the Face that runs the place for quite some time. However, we need a Heel to take over. The Roman Empire needs to ride a wave of destruction across the WWE we haven’t seen in quite some time. Plus a Heel change has definitely never helped a struggling, over pushed baby face before.

And a Heel turn definitely hasn’t taken someone to heights unknown in wrestling:

So what’s up WWE? Vince needs to stop flirting with us and give us what we need, a new top Heel. And that Heel is Roman Reigns.
Markus X. Murden
Senior-Editor
Follow Markus on Twitter and Instagram @MXMurden

SummerSlam Heat: Rumors and Possibilities

SummerSlam 2017 Final Ad Poster

(c)WWE

SummerSlam Heat

Tonight is the biggest night of wrestling for the summer, WWE’s SummerSlam 2017! Vince McMahon’s annual summer showcase this year is headlined by the Fatal 4 Way match between Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe for the title of WWE Universal Champion. While we hope the in-ring action to be the best, some of the storylines heading into SummerSlam have cooled off, let’s take a look at some of the still blazing ones. Rumors aplenty ahead.

Is Undertaker going to be at SummerSlam?

Underake on a Plane (Snapchatted)

(c) @MR_GQ_Cantu on twitter

Undertaker was spotted on a flight to NY this Friday. This could have potentially huge ramifications for the Universal title match. Undertaker over the past couple of years had intense feuds with Roman and Brock and he could be coming to interfere in the title picture. Particularly with the former as he was the one who put him to rest in his own yard. With the main event being a no-DQ match, Undertaker’s presence could swing into a surprise win for the two newest arrivals on the Raw title scene, Braun, and Joe.

A Full Shield Reunion

Dean and Seth Fistbump on Raw

(c) WWE

This last Raw, we were witness to the reunion of 2/3 of The Shield. Dean and Seth have joined forces to face Sheamus and Cesaro, The Bar. This comes after the prior month being a seesaw relationship between Dean and Seth. The only one missing from the reunion is Roman. With Wyatt and Balor both on Raw, there is the potential for two other factions to form and face the Shield. Could a Shield reunion mean we see the return of the Wyatt Family or hopefully the long awaited debut of the Balor Club on Raw?

Only tonight will tell. The Shield may also prove vital to making sure Roman wins the title tonight. Dean has his history with Brock and Seth has feuded with Joe prior to this. We may be seeing The Shield put Strowman through an announce table tonight. I can’t say I’m not looking forward to this possibility.

Baron Corbin Failed Cash-in

Baron handing Ref MITB Briefcase

(c) WWE.com

This past Tuesday, we saw Baron Corbin fail to cash in on his WWE Money in the Bank contract. He made the suspicious choice of waiting for his opponents to get up to cash in his opportunity. He then did it in front of Cena, a man infamous for failed cash-in attempts. Silly Baron. Money in the Bank cash-ins are usually saved for pay-per-view action, but Baron decided to fumble his all the way to failure. This, of course, nixes the change we see a cash-in after the Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura WWE Championship match.

Will this result in a more ruthless Baron going forward? Cena hasn’t won at a SummerSlam show since the Nexus debacle, and Baron may be a lucky recipient of that trend. On the other hand, Baron hasn’t been the nicest on Twitter lately. Picking fights with legends and journalists alike. We all know Vince loves Corbin for his size and not so much his intangibles. SummerSlam against Super Cena could be either a death knell or a career starter for Baron. We’ll have to tune into tonight to see.

Brock Leaving to fight Jon ‘Bones’ Jones

Brock Lesnar (Left), Jon Jones (Right)

(c) UFC

Last, but not least, Brock losing tonight means the Beast Incarnate will be leaving the WWE right after SummerSlam. There’s already smack talking going between the two fighters’ camps and hype is starting to build. The UFC and WWE have cross-promoted before, but this might be their biggest cross-promotional fight. Bones is a UFC legend with a huge following and has just come off a strong win against Daniel Cormier. Bones is also no stranger to mic work and would be fantastic at holding up his end.

Vince is never hesitant to drum up huge spectacles like this and having Brock not in the WWE ring to promote his end of the fight would mean huge dollars lost for the company. Brock has already been featured in advertisements and promotions for live events and a September PPV appearance. Could this all be a ruse? WWE has teased Brock before and he’s left. Should Brock lose tonight, this picture should become even more clear and means huge dollar signs swinging one way or another.

Tonight’s SummerSlam card is filled with matches that should not disappoint. Let’s hope the ball isn’t dropped with these angles going into SummerSlam.
Markus X. Murden

@MXMurden 

WWE Battleground Predictions 2017

(c) WWE.com

It’s PPV time in WWE, and below we have the full match card with our predictions for WWE Battleground

WWE Championship — Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Randy Orton (Punjabi Prison Match)

John Cena vs. Rusev (Flag Match)

United States Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens

Tag Team Championship — The Usos (c) vs. The New Day

Women’s Championship No. 1 Contendership — Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Tamina Snuka (Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match)

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis w/ Maria Kanellis

Breezango vs. TBA

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (Kickoff Show)

Predictions:

Bobby Nagel: Aiden English, Mike Kanellis, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, New Day, AJ Styles, Rusev, Jinder Mahal

Adam Gregory: Tye Dillinger, Mike Kanellis, Shinsuke Nakamura, Natalya, New Day, John Cena, Jinder Mahal

Wesley Avendano: Tye Dillinger, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, Charlotte Flair, New Day, John Cena, Jinder Mahal

Markus Murden: Tye Dillinger, Mike Kanellis, Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair, The Usos, AJ Styles, John Cena, Jinder Mahal

Justin Velez: Aiden English, Mike Kanellis, Baron Corbin, Tamina, The Usos, AJ Styles, John Cena, Jinder Mahal