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Posted in: Just Business
Just Business: The Preview Side of the Pond – Looking Back at Survivor Series Week and the Call-Ups that Closed It
By Samuel 'Plan
Nov 24, 2017 - 6:54:15 PM




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Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my book, 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, from the LOP Store or Amazon today! Simply click here to find mine and a host of other books and merchandise on offer, all courtesy of LOP, or on the icon to the left to be taken directly to Amazon!




Just Business: The Preview Side of the Pond – Looking Back at Survivor Series Week and the Call-Ups that Closed It


This week on The Right Side of the Pond (TRSOTP), exclusively available on Lords of Pain Radio every Friday, Maverick and I (and eventually Mazza too!) look back on Survivor Series week from the far end. Tune in to catch our differing opinions on a host of the week’s biggest happenings, including the Velveteen Dream Takeover debut; the divisive main events of both Takeover: War Games and Survivor Series itself; and the opening match to the Big Four PPV that I have seriously gone to bat for in the wake of a lack of vaunted reception!

We also touch on something that hasn’t received quite as many column inches this week, perhaps largely because of how lingeringly divisive the weekend’s action proved to be. As is tradition for WWE in this day and age, a Big Four PPV weekend was followed with a plethora of NXT call-ups to the main roster, some of which could have been reasonably expected but others that felt quite surprising.

Long time listeners of our show will know this is a topic we’ve touched on before. Indeed, we on The Right Side of the Pond have been known to question how positive an idea it will be long-term to make such call ups a post-Big Four tradition. Already they are beginning to feel, in some instances, quite telegraphed. The tradition itself, should it stand, threatens to evolve into something of an inherent spoiler for big NXT Championship matches too, and in every division.

If you know the relevant NXT champion is ready for the main roster, and if you hear rumblings a promotion might happen, it sort of spoils the fact they won’t be leaving that Takeover with the title around their waste. It doesn’t strike me, creatively, as a very healthy habit to get into.

In the habit WWE very much are, though, and for now we have to roll with it. Most people, I think, were happy to roll with it on this occasion as well. Thanks to the return of the prodigal Paige and the introduction of no less than five NXT women’s stars on both brands, there’s a lot of excitement in the air for the women’s divisions in the near future. Rumour on the web is that Vinny Mac himself felt those women’s divisions were getting stale (which wouldn’t be the case if we were in a single roster system I hasten to quite bitterly add…) and that feeling is responsible for the wave of new talent. Whatever the reasoning, it is hard to deny that the near future of both women’s rosters is much more difficult to define than it was before, and in a good way.

I do have some reservations though, and Mazza touches on them in tonight’s show. Some of the women that have been called up feel like they were barely remembered on NXT. How they might come to fare in the fiercer environment of the main roster remains to be seen, but I think any fan could be forgiven for considering it “too soon,” for lack of a better expression, because of their relatively limited exposure on the Yellow Show. As my colleague Mazza puts it, there’s a definite sense of cronyism in play - talents to make up the numbers, there for variety’s sake. To be fair, as we agree on this evening’s podcast, if the less polished women now entering the mix are used solely to bolster the acts of characters like Paige and Ruby Riot – both of whom give off the vibe of legitimate bad asses, and not the pretence of one – then it could yet prove to be an inspired decision.

Lest we forget, Alexa Bliss has proven that being asked to sink or swim doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to sink. Bliss was perhaps in a not too dissimilar position upon her initial call up, having spent most of her time in NXT as a manager for the lamentable team of Blake and Murphy. She turned heads almost immediately, though, and has soared ever since. So who knows; maybe a talent like Liv Morgan might follow suit? If any of them do, it will only serve to force the ‘Four Horsewomen’ to up their game in order to compete, and that could lead to major benefits for women’s wrestling at the end of a more lacklustre year for them.

However, as I say on tonight’s edition of the Pond, 205 Live, not for the first time, is where my personal interest is piqued. We now know that Hideo Itami, an old favourite of yours truly, is going to be turning up on Amore’s doorstep, presumably to tear that door down. This fills me with excitement. After two stunning in-ring efforts at Takeover: Chicago and Takeover: Brooklyn III this year, I can’t wait to see what Itami can put together opposite the likes of The Brian Kendrick, Jack Gallagher, Mustafa Ali, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa and, yes, even Enzo Amore.

I suppose there’s a part of me dreading the possibility that the Cruiserweight Championship isn’t shifting from Amore’s shoulder anytime soon, thereby necessitating a number of successive Itami losses to the Merc with a Mouth. That in turn will probably give Itami a closed-ended character arc in much the same way Austin Aries had, and latterly Neville; which also means Itami’s time with the company may now have a finite shelf life before he heads home to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Still, whether that’s the case or not only time can tell and, quite honestly, a closed-ended character arc is so rare in WWE these days that I’d just be happy to see one! No doubt Itami can tear the house down and make an impact no matter how much longer he’s with the company for, and I hope he follows in Neville’s footsteps as a man that compels WWE to keep the Cruiserweight Championship on pay-per-views proper.

Then there’s always the possibility of Neville returning, going on recent rumours. Imagine that; Hideo Itami vs. the King of the Cruiserweights. My god….

Survivor Series weekend and the week that followed was, in the end, typically a mixed bag from WWE, but traditional NXT call ups after the big show have put in place a lot of unforeseeable circumstances for the near future across multiple divisions. There’s enough promise in that to get me, and my fellow Ponders, quite excited for the coming months.

You can, of course, hear much more about it all later tonight on the next instalment of The Right Side of the Pond, set to air shortly on Lords of Pain Radio to kick your weekend off right! The Right Side of the Pond airs only on LOP Radio every Friday night, 9pm GMT / 5pm EST, or can be listened to on demand at any time via BlogTalkRadio or on iTunes, so be sure to check it out!

In the meantime, let me know how you feel about the NXT call ups that followed Survivor Series weekend, and sound off on how you felt about the weekend’s action too! You can do so in the comments below, over on social media or even by signing up to our own LOPForums, where TRSOTP and every other LOP Radio show has its very own discussion thread for you to throw some responses our way without the limitations of Twitter or Facebook; just click here to sign up!



Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my book, 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, from the LOP Store or Amazon today! Simply click here to find mine and a host of other books and merchandise on offer, all courtesy of LOP, or on the icon to the left to be taken directly to Amazon!





Click here to add me on Facebook!


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