Table of ContentsMonday Morning Thoughts
Live Raw Blog
Monday Afternoon Pre Raw Thoughts
PEN15 Facebook Page
PEN15 Facebook Page
I tried creating a Facebook page. Like, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I am not posting much of a blog today, but I have prepared something time consuming to help me out in the future. Ever since playing EWR (Extreme Warfare Revenge) years ago, I have loved using spreadsheets to organize wrestlers. I love spreadsheets in general (movie rankings, budgeting, PPV lists...etc.) so it’s not surprising, but I had a particular method of separating my EWR roster that I find helped me organize my roster.
I am now translating that to the WWE Roster, and I think it’ll help me rank their positions. This isn’t perfect by any means, and all using my opinion on their placement. I used to love doing my “Rank ‘Em Up” columns going down the list of stars in their respective divisions, and this table will help me get back into the swing of things.
I’ll start by posting the table of the entire roster, and then concentrating on the tag team division, with some additional thoughts. I apologize for the extensive about of space between this paragraph and the following table. I’m working on fixing that.
|John Cena||1 - Main Eventer||Face|
|Randy Orton||1 - Main Eventer||Heel|
|Big Show||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Chris Jericho||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Dean Ambrose||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Dolph Ziggler||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Mark Henry||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Roman Reigns||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Sheamus||2 - Upper Midcard||Face|
|Alberto Del Rio||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|Bray Wyatt||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|Cesaro||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|Kane||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|Seth Rollins||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|The Miz||2 - Upper Midcard||Heel|
|Big E||3 - Midcard||Face|
|Rob Van Dam||3 - Midcard||Face|
|The Great Khali||3 - Midcard||Face|
|Jack Swagger||3 - Midcard||Heel|
|Rusev||3 - Midcard||Heel|
|Adam Rose||4 - Lower Midcard||Face|
|Kofi Kingston||4 - Lower Midcard||Face|
|R-Truth||4 - Lower Midcard||Face|
|Sin Cara||4 - Lower Midcard||Face|
|Bo Dallas||4 - Lower Midcard||Heel|
|Damien Sandow||4 - Lower Midcard||Heel|
|David Otunga||4 - Lower Midcard||Heel|
|Fandango||4 - Lower Midcard||Heel|
|Titus O'Neil||4 - Lower Midcard||Heel|
|Xavier Woods||5 - Opener or Jobber||Face|
|Zack Ryder||5 - Opener or Jobber||Face|
|Heath Slater||5 - Opener or Jobber||Heel|
|Hornswoggle||5 - Opener or Jobber||Heel|
|Justin Gabriel||5 - Opener or Jobber||Heel|
|Ricardo Rodriguez||5 - Opener or Jobber||Heel|
|Tyson Kidd||5 - Opener or Jobber||Heel|
|Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando – w/El Torito)||Tag Team||Face|
|Goldust and Stardust||Tag Team||Face|
|Usos (Jimmy and Jey)||Tag Team||Face|
|RybAxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback)||Tag Team||Heel|
|Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)||Tag Team||Heel|
|The Rock||Special Appearances||Face|
|The Undertaker||Special Appearances||Face|
|Triple H||Special Appearances||Heel|
|Daniel Bryan||x1 - Injured||Face|
|Brock Lesnar||x1 - Special Appearances||Heel|
|Christian||x2 - Injured||Face|
|Rey Mysterio||x2 - Injured||Face|
|Bad News Barrett||x3 - Injured||Heel|
|Darren Young||x5 - Injured||Face|
Tag Team Division
As you can see from the Tag Team Division, there’s only really 5 teams on the current roster, with Los Matadores out of action due to Diego’s injury. The titles are looking great, and the remaining teams are doing well to stay relevant, but there’s still a lot more room for improvement.
|WWE Tag Team||Ranking||Alignment|
|Usos (Jimmy and Jey)||1||Face|
|Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)||2||Heel|
|Goldust and Stardust||3||Face|
|RybAxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback)||4||Heel|
|Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando – w/El Torito)||5||Face|
Not bad, but not great either. The NXT tag team division helps expand a little bit, but all the teams are still rough around the edges.
|NXT Tag Team||Ranking||Alignment|
|Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)||1||Heel|
|Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel||2||Heel|
|Realest Guys in the Room (Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady)||3||Face|
|Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger||4||Face|
|Mechanics (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)||5||Heel|
The Ascension have been rumored debut very soon. It’s my suspicion that The Usos won’t be holding the title for very long. In fact, my guess is Battleground will be the championships change hands. I think the next tag feud is understandably the Wyatts vs the Rhodes brothers in their combined Stardust and Goldust personas. It would be quite fitting for a show like SummerSlam in a 2 on 2 scenario, though I would suspect that might be a 3 or 4 way bout, perhaps a return of the TLC tag team gimmick. Unlikely, but always possible.
With faces champions down the line like the Rhodes Brothers, the Ascension; debut makes lots of sense. But outside seeing Konnor and Viktor or the Realest Guys in the Room getting the promotion, there’s still a lot of dead weight in the midcard of guys that can and should be involved in tag teams.
I’ve been watching lots of WCW these days, with my chronological viewing now reaching mid-1993, and I have to say that Bill Watts and later Eric Bischoff seemed to have a grasp on how to use their talents in teams. I’ve been very impressed by how many combinations seemed thrown together, but click and connect with the audience due to strong booking. I’m talking about duos like Roma/Anderson, Pillman/Austin, Scorpio/Bagwell, Douglas/Steamboat, and many others. The Hollywood Blonds stand out a bit due to the success each man had in singles after their tag team run, but honestly all of these teams did an impressive job standing out. Steamboat and Anderson often played the experienced leader of a team with younger and up-coming talent as their partner. Why aren’t we still seeing that more often? WWE teased it with R-Truth with Xavier Woods, but they fell away quickly. There was a lot more they could have done. Just like there’s a lot more they can still do.
So, here are a few ideas that I believe to be credible, and logical, using the current main roster talents.
Alberto Del Rio/The Miz
As soon as the Miz walked out 2 weeks ago for his return in the white scarf and jacket, I thought of how similar he looked to Alberto Del Rio. Both of these guys have similar positions on the card, and could easily have similar intentions in trying to get their careers back on track. The Miz could carry the weight of the promos, while Del Rio would be the Arn Anderson of the team. They could be extremely successful heels, and could easily be a great departure from their current personas to help them gain momentum again.
Rob Van Dam/Kofi Kingston
It wasn’t very hard to think of this combination, but there’s no denying it would work either. Both have been used for similar purposes in teams before, so putting them together would undoubtedly be good use of RVD’s return. He hasn’t exactly been on fire recently (and neither has Kofi), but together they could right their wrongs, and put on some exciting matches that could help lead them to something bigger.
It could also be the perfect method to turn Kofi heel in their eventual break up. Kofi vs RVD in a grudge feud where Van Dam puts Kingston over might just be the best option to get Kofi out of his tired face run.
Heath Slater/Zack Ryder
A bit out of nowhere, but when you think about it, doesn’t it just make sense? Both are delusional, and both could work a decent comedy angle. Turn Slater face, or Ryder heel, and you’ve got the makings of something pretty special here. I’m not expecting these guys to run roughshod over Harper and Rowan any time soon, but Goldust and Booker T found some success that could easily be a blueprint to how these 2 can win over the hearts of the WWE Universe, or they could be heels similar to how The BroMans have been in TNA.
Big Show/Mark Henry
C’mon! Who doesn’t want to see this combination walk down the ramp together to take on any current team? Again, face or heel, you’ve got a recipe for disaster against any opponents you find. This is the type of team you can base your division around as being the mountaintop to overcome. The Usos couldn’t take them down, the Rhodes brothers couldn’t find success, but the Ascension do their best to copy Demolition’s success against the Colossal Connection in their efforts to uncrown these behemoths? Replace the Ascension with any team, and you’ve still got money.
I’m a sucker for teams like this. Giants, or bruisers, or hosses, or power wrestlers. Any combination of 2 workers that are presented as major physical threats make for classic tag team storytelling. There’s a reason the Road Warriors were so successful wherever they went, despite their lack of in ring ability. Teams with a size or strength advantage just make the numbers game even more intriguing to the audience. Even a team like Kidd and Gabriel using their speed and abilities to unseat giant champions like Show and Henry would connect with the WWE Universe.
The tag team division might seem like a graveyard for dead singles wrestlers at times, but it’s more like a fairy’s fountain in a Legend of Zelda game - it brings back the hearts in the careers of men who might be low on motivation.
Tuesday Night Titans
Once again, XanMan and myself put together another show on Saturday afternoon. In a change of pace, Xan asked me to come up with a topic. Truth be told, most of Tuesday Night Titans brainstorming is Xan asking me if I like an idea, and we go from there. Not this time. We talk about how the return of Chris Jericho might be the blueprint got other returns. We discuss a few names from TNA, or retirement, and contemplate their placement in WWE today. And yes, that includes Kurt Angle.
We also continued our coverage of ECW supercards, continuing on with 1995’s Double Tables.
Find Additional Wrestling Podcasts with LordsofPain
Raw is set to explode less than one week before WWE Battleground, with The Authority scheduling a massive Six-Man Tag Team Match pitting WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose against Seth Rollins, Randy Orton & Kane! What else is in store? WWE.com has some ideas.
1. Who will join the Intercontinental Title Battle Royal?
More and more Superstars continue to be named as participants in WWE Battleground’s Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal, and we have a feeling some huge surprise entrants are still on the horizon. Who will join such elite ring warriors as Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam and United States Championship Sheamus (who’s looking to unify the two titles) in this colossal bout? Look for some new names to be announced this week.
2. The Authority returns
What did Triple H and Stephanie do on their summer vacation? Did they pull the heads off some Daniel Bryan action figures? Did they steal candy from some babies because it was “best for business”? Or maybe they just kicked it on the “Mean Streets” of Greenwich, Connecticut, which become all the meaner whenever they’re around.
Regardless, The Authority is back this week on Raw, no doubt hell-bent on ensuring that neither John Cena nor Roman Reigns walks away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Sunday at WWE Battleground. What plans will the power couple concoct to ensure that WWE’s grandest prize is held by an Authority ally? Will The Game’s “Plan B” finally go into effect, with Seth Rollins successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on The Champ?
3. Ladies’ night
Well, at least Fandango won’t have to choose between Layla and Summer Rae anymore. The ballroom brawler faced a two-on-one attack by both scorned women on SmackDown, effectively severing Fandango’s romantic ties with both beauties. We saw Summer and Layla celebrate their “Single Ladies” status together on Friday night with a celebratory dance, but does that mean the former rivals have become besties? And where does that leave Fandango, who has become a solo act for the very first time since his WWE debut?
4. Is Bray Wyatt inside Y2J’s head?
As Chris Jericho admitted in last Wednesday’s WWE.com interview with his old pal “Mitchell Cole,” he’s definitely creeped out by what Bray Wyatt is capable of and, if you’re at all familiar with Y2J’s WWE track record, WWE’s first-ever Undisputed Champion doesn’t scare easy. As The Eater of Worlds forces the flashy multimedia star to resurrect his rugged side, it’s clear that Jericho is in a state of unease whenever The Wyatt Family’s around.
The success of Wyatt’s mind games was all too apparent on SmackDown, when “The Man of 1,000 Truths” distracted Y2J during the returning Superstar’s clash with longtime rival Randy Orton. Jericho has tangled with some devious opponents before, but is The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rollah truly prepared to face pure evil at WWE Battleground?
5. Roman’s empire
Last week’s Raw concluded with WWE World Heavyweight Champion hoisting Roman Reigns’ arm in celebration after the juggernaut helped The Champ stave off a two-on-one assault by Randy Orton and Kane. The gesture was one of appreciation, but it also foreshadowed what we could very well see when WWE Battleground comes to a close. Reigns has been nearly unstoppable since the dissolution of The Shield, and Sunday’s Fatal 4-Way Match brings the powerhouse closer than ever to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Reigns finally prove himself as WWE’s most dominant Superstar by conquering not only the Cenation leader, but Randy Orton and Kane as well?
On Monday, however, Reigns teams with Cena and his former Shield ally Dean Ambrose against The Viper, The Devil’s Favorite Demon and Seth Rollins. The question on Raw might not be whether Reigns will dominate in this Six-Man Tag Team Match, but if he can actually coexist with the bearer of WWE’s most coveted title six nights before the biggest opportunity in his career.
Live Raw Discussion
Intro - John Cena
Battleground is looking to be quite the strong card, but it’s has a main event that might just be the dizzling shits. I hope Cena’s job tonight, or at least part of it, is to change my mind on how pedantic the Fatal-4-way match for the WWE World Championship.
Damn. I won’t be part of the retard brigade that things this is burying Dean Ambrose, but they certainly have put all the attention on the 4 way match on the PPV in a way that doesn’t work for me. When 6 man tags use a couple of storylines at the same time, the excitement is seeing these guys in the ring against other wrestlers related to their main foe. Now, Seth Rollins has lost his purpose, and is just a number to have the advantage. It’s not a bad angle overall, but for fans who care more about Rollins vs Ambrose for the PPV, this match change has killed a lot of excitement for tonight.
Sheamus vs The Miz
The Miz is such a natural heel. The problem continues to be the lack of originality. He’s still riding a near identical character to what earned him the WWE Title years back, but he’s since lost several times and dropped down the ladder significantly. There’s a way to rebuild him, but using the same formula doesn’t seem like the best way.
This isn’t a way to get to my tag team idea over, because I don’t expect any of those combinations to be used. But putting The Miz in losses to Jericho and Sheamus while not changing him at all won’t work in the long run. Unless this is building up to a change from the losing streak, it’s just hurting him long term.
Miz with the win? I honestly didn’t expect that. I like it, though I must still speak my concern over his direction.
Dolph Ziggler vs ?
The reactions Dolph gets are amazing. I hope WWE eventually recognizes it, because it won’t last forever. There’s definitely a way to go about it by ignoring it for a bit, letting the groundswell continue to build up, but eventually you have to go with it. And with WWE’s tendency to stick to the same guys over and over (Reigns, Roman, and a combination of those 2 names), it’s unlikely he’ll have anywhere to go once the time to strike arises.
I’m not sure why I didn’t think of Fandango, there was obviously a feud developing between the two. I wonder if having the ladies leave him opens the door for him to start a tag team instead? I might have tag teams on the brain today, but I’m trying to wrap my head around why he’d have 2 valets leave him and still stay heel. I think a new partner makes sense, but a male tag partner more than a 3rd dancer.
Actually, I just thought of another option: Fandango is about to win the Intercontinental Championship this Sunday.
US - Russia Detente
Do french words often get involved in battle between ‘Murica and Russia?
I am very excited for this Jack Swagger face run to get rolling.
That went a little long, but was amazing for everyone involved. The crowd went nuts for everything, especially the Patriot Lock on Rusev as a counter to the savate kick. Swagger works as a silent assassin with Colter guiding him. It’s better than I ever expected, because of this classic wrestling storytelling of US vs whoever. Very well, with great performances by all involved.
ADR vs RVD
Both of these guys could use the victory, though neither should take the title.
CM Punk Promo
He’s not coming back, but they’ll use this to sell some subscriptions or free previews. Thursday will be a sad day.
Paul Heyman MIA?
Not sure what to think of this. It’s certainly not good for Cesaro. My guess is that it’s to help make the Brock Lesnar return a bigger surprise. Or perhaps the extremely unlikely event that Punk shows up with Heyman in the near future. I’m definitely betting on it having to do with Brock, but it’s still too bad if Antonio Cesaro is being pushed aside in anyway.
This didn’t work very well, unfortunately. Jericho had trouble kicking things off, seemed to be having trouble finding his rhythm. Wyatt’s “boring” chants were unexpected, but not entirely undeserved. I’m ok with not getting any real answers, but it was just confusing more than thrilling. It just missed the mark somehow.
Bo Dallas vs Khali
This push is getting painful. So too has the last hour been.
I think the 3 hour Raw victimized me tonight, I just couldn’t stay involved long enough. The fact that Ambrose was completely wiped from the show after the beatdown was rather silly, especially with the DQ ending to the match. My cynical guess is that they didn’t want Ambrose stealing the thunder from Reigns. I could be way off, but I honestly can’t think of a reason why Ambrose was taken out of the match via an injury angle if the match ended in DQ. It’s a very similar outcome to the Money in the Bank match, where he was escorted out due to his shoulder, but fought back. This time, he didn’t fight back at the end of the match, and it didn’t really add much to the PPV this weekend.
It’ll still be a great show, I’m sure. Solid card top to bottom (though weakest in the main event and kickoff). Looking forward to it, but I am thankful that PPVs, even at 3 hours and without commercials, rarely seem to drag the way some Raws do.
And on that note, Peace out
Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.