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Archive for July, 2016

WWE has not been in such rich supply of intriguing storylines heading into a major pay-per-view for years. Whether it's unlikely title contenders, returning stars set to make huge impacts on their respective shows or just the general fallout from the brand split, there is much to be excited about in WWE right now. That hype and anticipation will only increase as big names like Brock Lesnar return to WWE TV, but for now, here are the most intriguing storylines to keep an eye on as SummerSlam approaches on August 21.          How WWE Builds Dolph Ziggler's Momentum To say Dolph Ziggler's ...
The WWE draft created possibility. If one wrestler ended up on a different roster than his sworn enemy and rival, both characters could grow past each other—to evolve in new directions and explore different emotional landscapes. Kevin Owens should have been drafted to SmackDown, which needs high-level heels to take on Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Apollo Crews. Instead, Owens is still on Raw—and so is his archrival, Sami Zayn. And the best thing for both men to do, especially after Battleground, is to stop fighting one another. It feels like a reasonable yet ungrateful thing to want—like ...

Projecting John Cena’s Role on WWE SmackDown in Wake of New Era

Posted by Ryan Dilbert On July - 29 - 2016
Long the king of WWE, John Cena will slowly slide off his throne as the cornerstones of the New Era take over SmackDown. Cena's name will remain on the marquee, but not in the top position. He will continue to be a major star, but not SmackDown's centerpiece. A crucial transition is on its way.  The opening of Thursday's SmackDown offered a symbolic image that spoke to that process. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, SmackDown's commissioner and general manager, respectively, gathered the blue brand's roster around the ring. They announced that there would be a Six-Pack Challenge match to decide who would face ...
Before doubt about WWE NXT's depth following the draft had any time to linger in fans' minds, in walked Kota Ibushi. WWE replenished the developmental brand's talent pool once more, this time by bringing in a gravity-defying kick artist from Japan. Ibushi, formerly of New Japan Pro Wrestling and Dramatic Dream Team, debuted on Wednesday's NXT. He instantly ranks among NXT's top talents. His first outing made it clear that competition for supremacy at Full Sail University will remain tough—even after so many talented prospects left for Raw and SmackDown last week. The Golden Star first competed for WWE as part of the Cruiserweight ...
As the New Era officially kicked off, WWE's future building blocks flourished.  Sami Zayn drew fans in as he fought off Kevin Owens. Sasha Banks firmly put her imprint on the company as she claimed the Women's Championship. Finn Balor wasted no time in delivering a stunner after moving to the Raw roster. It was a week where stars were born and fresh faces dominated the airwaves. Zayn showed he's more than a midcarder. Banks made sure WWE knows just how compelling women's wrestling can be.  Hopefully, these are all signs of what's to come. WWE handed out opportunities to emerging talents, and their successes ...
WWE's New Era is underway, and with the underdogs on top (Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose), a new direction is in place. Still, as the top matches of SummerSlam take form, there appears to be a theme. Randy Orton? Brock Lesnar? Finn Balor? Seth Rollins? Dolph Ziggler? Dean Ambrose? Diversity in the main event would be a bigger breath of fresh air than any new concept WWE could roll out. This hasn't been the case, especially with Samoan standout Roman Reigns seemingly falling out of favor. Don't get me wrong—these figure to be good matches, but Shelton Benjamin can't return soon enough.            Question of ...
If there's one word that springs to mind following the first week of WWE's life after the brand split, it's "surprise." Exceeding the drama that came with Finn Balor's explosive main-roster debut on Raw seemed impossible heading into SmackDown on Tuesday—and although some would argue that didn't happen, Dolph Ziggler's victory to become the No. 1 contender for Dean Ambrose's WWE Championship has to rank as a major surprise, too. The company has not disappointed when it comes to setting up an intriguing few weeks ahead of SummerSlam—but what lies in store for both announced title matches? There are some similarities, but there ...
WWE has to paint over image after image of an inept, fizzling Dolph Ziggler before his WWE World Championship match against Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. For the past few years, WWE has been telling its fans that Ziggler is a low-rung Superstar, stepping stone and role player. After suddenly thrusting him into one of SummerSlam's biggest bouts, the company must now rewire the audience's perception of him. And it won't be easy. On the first edition of SmackDown after the draft, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, the blue brand's head honchos, set up a Six-Pack Challenge match to decide the No. 1 contender to Ambrose's title.  Ziggler ...

WWE NXT Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from July 27

Posted by Erik Beaston On July - 28 - 2016
There is no accounting for the aura and presence Shinsuke Nakamura brings to the squared circle, and Wednesday night on NXT, those two elements and a championship announcement fueled him to "biggest winner" status from the July 27 episode. The King of Strong Style defeated Wesley Blake in the night's opening match. Despite some solid offense from the former tag team champion, it was a glorified squash for Nakamura, who registered the victory with the Kinshasa. Nakamura will now head to TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn to face Samoa Joe for his first NXT Championship bout with the brand. The biggest match the ...
Returning faces, veterans committing to new contracts and the explosive start to WWE's life after the brand split dominate this week's rumor roundup.  The first editions of both Raw and SmackDown Live are in the can, and both of them offered up intriguing contenders for the company's two world titles. On SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler emerged from the shadows to become the challenger for Dean Ambrose's WWE Championship. And on Raw, Finn Balor's debut saw him advance to a huge match against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam to determine the first holder of the new WWE Universal Championship. Beyond that, though, there is still plenty ...

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