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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - Kurt Angle vs. Triple H at SummerSlam - WHY?! (Plus Money in the Bank Predictions)
By Super Chrisss
Jun 17, 2017 - 2:16:26 PM

Tom Jenner rocks!

If you’ve been following the Raw brand over the past few weeks (and ratings would indicate you probably haven’t been), then you know there’s an angle (no pun intended) transpiring between Raw General Manager Kurt Angle and Corey Graves. For those who don’t, here’s the rundown:

-Graves was on commentary, per usual, when he abruptly left the booth to go find Angle backstage and show him something on his cell phone.
-Angle was far from thrilled by Graves’ text message, saying the information could potentially “ruin him”. When inquiring about the sender, Graves claimed it was from an anonymous sender.
-Since their backstage exchange, our Olympic Hero has been noticeably stressed out, and was even called out by The Miz last Monday for being “too preoccupied with other things”.

What is this all leading up to? While nothing has been confirmed or given away, there are very strong rumours that this storyline is being used as a vehicle to get The Authority back on television. Since taking the table bump at WrestleMania 33, Stephanie McMahon has been M.I.A. from Raw (to the brand’s benefit, that’s for sure). However, since Stephanie clearly can’t be off television for an extended amount of time (the Superstar Shake-Up gifted her plenty of new talent to emasculate and talk down), it sadly makes sense that this is the route they are taking to write Steph back into the storylines. This will reportedly all culminate in a match between Kurt Angle and Triple H at SummerSlam this August.

I hate to be a Debbie-Downer, especially with nothing made official at this point in time, but I really don’t want to see a Kurt Angle vs. Triple H in 2017, or 2018 for that matter. Unlike some people, I’m fine with HHH wrestling a few matches a year, as his performance rarely disappoints and his presence adds to the importance of whatever card he’s on. But HHH vs. Angle has been done before – many years ago, when both men were younger and in the prime of his career. Looking at the current WWE roster, there are so many dream match-ups for the recently returned Angle; is there really anyone out there dying to see Angle vs. HHH one more time?

I’ve seen some people argue that HHH is a respectable choice for Angle’s first – maybe even only – match back with the company since he’s a very safe worker who will take care of his old friend. That’s fine and dandy, but you’re telling me none of their full-timers will be sure to protect Angle and help him have a great match? Yeah, I’m calling BS on that one. When was the last time Dean Ambrose injured a co-worker? Roman Reigns? Finn Balor? Bray Wyatt? Seth Rollins…ok, I’ll give you that one. But in all seriousness, suggesting Angle should wrestle HHH for the sole reason that HHH will protect him is a slight on the rest of the roster in so many ways. If you don’t trust your employees, then WHY ARE THEY WORKING FOR YOU?! It would be like a small coffee shop owner hiring a young man who has shoplifted many times in the past and has a rich history of petty theft. Actually, that would never happen because employers put trust in their employees. This is Vince basically saying, “Hey guys, Angle is going to have one more match but I’m going to give him to Paul just to be safe.” Ludicrous.

Not only would I be disappointed from a wrestling perspective – because I would LOVE to see Angle vs. Rollins, Balor, AJ Styles, etc. – but even from a business viewpoint, how does HHH vs. Angle benefit the company? Sure, you’ll attract more casual or older viewers to the Network for SummerSlam (maybe), but then what? Angle goes back to being GM (presumably) and HHH won’t wrestle for another four months at least. Who really cares who wins that match since neither guy needs the rub since neither is a full-time wrestler. Why not share the spotlight with a full-timer? The Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg feud was a perfect example of WWE focusing on the short-term rather than the long-term and they’re still reeling from the repercussions from that decision. There’s no need to make the same mistake twice in a calendar year, right?

Look, I won’t boycott SummerSlam if we do indeed get Triple H vs. Kurt Angle as I’m sure it will be a good match (and totally worth seeing Angle wrestle in a WWE ring again). It would just be a huge missed opportunity for everyone involved. Imagine years from now, thinking about how we never got Angle vs. Rollins or Angle vs. Styles when WE COULD HAVE. Feels bad, man.


This Sunday, it’s Pay-Per-View time yet again as SmackDown presents the annually, critically-acclaimed Money in the Bank. Despite my overall dissatisfaction with the SmackDown brand since the Shake-Up and the braincell-killing push of The Mahawhatever, I’m hoping for a good show on Sunday. Seeing my boy Zack Ryder show up and make his return on last Tuesday’s show has been a step forward in my enjoying of the brand again. Him and Mojo Rawley are set to team up on the pre-show this Sunday to take on The Colons (remember when they were booked to look strong for all of two weeks before immediately reverting to being jobbers?). I’m fine with that. Prior to Ryder’s injury, The Hype Bros was one of SmackDown’s better booked tag teams, so there’s no question who’s winning on Sunday. The Hype Bros with an easy victory, but I’m sensing a heel turn for one of them – hopefully Mojo – in the not-so-distant future.

In his column, Mr. Tito savagely said that if Lana defeats Naomi for the SmackDown Womens Championship on Sunday, both Becky Lynch and Charlotte should just walk out of the company. While I think that’s a bit extreme, I would be extremely upset if Lana wins the title on Sunday. I’m not a fan of anyone winning any championship without doing anything to deserve it, and do we really need a brand where Jinder Mahal and Lana are your top champions? It makes your product look like a joke. I’m assuming/hoping Naomi retains her title BUT the winner of the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match immediately cashes in on Naomi, and we get a new champion then and there.

Who will become the first-ever Miss Money in the Bank? To be honest, I’m not thrilled with any of the competitors in what I believe will be the show-opening ladder match. The only two I’m a fan of either don’t need the contract (Becky) or aren’t ready for it (Carmella). As for the other three competitors…meh. Tamina is someone who I can’t believe is still employed; Nattie’s sole job in the division should be to provide experience and leadership for the newer talents; Charlotte has been so overpushed for years now; I really don’t need to see her add “first-ever Miss Money in the Bank” to her never-ending list of accolades (the female Roman Reigns, I’m telling you). Unfortunately, someone has to win. As I mentioned a few seconds ago, I’m predicting a heel is going to cash in the contract the same night she wins it, so that automatically rules out Charlotte and Becky. Nattie doesn’t need it, Tamina is awful, so I guess Carmella wins by default. At least she and Ellsworth will combine for an entertaining run on top of the division…until Nikki Bella returns.

Switching gears to the male side of things, I have mixed feelings about Sunday’s six-man ladder match. On the one hand, there is plenty of MOTY potential based on who’s competing in the match. BUT – why are Tye Dillinger and Luke Harper nowhere to be found? I don’t see AJ Styles or Kevin Owens winning on Sunday, so why not book another match between them for the U.S. title and insert Dillinger and Harper in their place? It just seems like weird booking to me. While the majority of people are conflicted with choosing a winner between Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin (I would be totally fine with any of them winning), I’m going with a prediction all the way from left-field. I can actually see Rusev being named a surprise seventh entrant and winning the briefcase. This would be the perfect way to debut Rusev on SmackDown is more non-traditional way. It [re]establishes him as a credible monster from the get-go and gives RuRu a big win, which his career needs. Whether Rusev shows up – and wins – or not, I see WWE keeping Rusev and Lana apart. The womens division arguably needs Lana more than Rusev needs Lana.

Speaking of being established on SmackDown, it didn’t take long for The New Day to get a tag team title shot, did they? And I really hope they don’t win the belts on Sunday. There’s no denying that The New Day’s presence on SmackDown has helped stabilize and add credibility to the tag division. But that doesn’t mean we need a repeat of their run on Raw where New Day held the tag titles hostage for over a year and beat everyone all the time. It’s time for New Day to either change their characters to expand beyond the tag division. Have Woods & Kofi remain in the tag division but let Big E get some opportunities as a singles wrestler. Their match with The Usos on Sunday has the potential to be really good, but it should NOT end with a title change. The Usos have been on fire lately with their gimmick and promos. Keep them strong as heel champs to reward them for holding down the tag division with their entertaining personas. The Usos to retain, probably by cheating.

As much as very bone and fiber in my body wants to see Randy Orton squash Jinder Mahal on Sunday and take back the WWE Championship, I have to confess that’s probably not going to happen. After all, the Indian tour isn’t until September, which means we could be stuck with Mahal as WWE Champion until then (yuck).

…That was my train of thought until this past week. But a few things have happened since Tuesday night that got me thinking Orton might have a chance to walk out of Money in the Bank with the WWE Championship. For one, SmackDown pulled one of their lowest ratings since the draft this past Tuesday, and that was after a promoted appearance from WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. Just to recap, SmackDown has lost nearly a million viewers since the day the Mahal push began, and on the go-home show prior to Mahal’s first-ever title defense, SmackDown did a terrible rating. Vince McMahon has been known to react swiftly when ratings drop significantly and quickly, so Jinder’s title reign – upcoming India tour notwithstanding – may be on it’s final legs.

Another interesting thing of note is Orton mentioning that not only will his father, Bob Orton, be sitting ringside to watch his son compete for the WWE Championship against the evil foreigner, but so will other WWE Legends and Hall of Famers. This tells me one of the following scenarios will play out:

a) Orton defeats Mahal and becomes a 14-time WWE Champion. He then celebrates with his father and the other legends for a feel-good moment.
b) Orton loses to Mahal and takes out his frustration on his father and the other legends sitting at ringside. We get an Orton heel turn AND a possible return to The Legend Killers, Orton’s most entertaining gimmick ever (IMO).

I know Scenario B is fantasy booking at its finest – especially since after seventeen years, Orton is arguably a legend himself – but I know I would mark out for Orton landing multiple RKOs on respected veterans of the business like he used to, once upon a time. Because if MitB ends with Mahal still champion and Orton still a face…that will suck. Randy Orton wins the WWE Championship at MitB because anything is better than having Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion.


YOUR Two Centsss: If Kurt Angle comes back to wrestle only one more match, who would you choose to be his opponent and why?

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