I realize that last week I failed to make a second post as per usual and honestly, I was just exhausted with wrestling. After ‘Mania weekend and all the weekly shows which followed, I needed a break from sports entertainment. In addition, Raw clearly won last week between the two shows in nearly everyone’s eyes, making discussion and review rather irrelevant, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to talk about. In fact, three NXT call ups were made and the way in which they will possibly change the landscape of the divisions they entered into are definitely something worth talking about.
And with that…
Raw’s One Shortcoming
As stated before, Raw was largely a much better show than Smackdown this week but this doesn’t mean they got the better hand in the dealing of NXT call-ups. Don’t get me wrong, The Revival were totally worthy of a main roster call-up but of the two rosters, Raw really didn’t need them in my opinion. Given the depth of their tag division already (which was just recently bolstered further with the Hardy Boys), and the fact that character wise The Revival are similar to Anderson & Gallows, I can’t see why Raw needed the Top Guys. Smackdown is extremely lacking when it comes to heel tag teams with The Usos straddling the line between heel and face far too much too even count, and The Revival could anchor that division and fill that role for months to come.
Ten More Reasons to Watch Smackdown
Now this call up came as a genuine shock. Given how much Tye Dillinger has lost to Sanity in NXT, I assumed he would eventually get some victory over them and perhaps become NXT champ by the end of the year after overcoming those odds to form a satisfying narrative arc. Instead, Tye was called up to Smackdown this week and despite how this may negatively affect NXT in the long run by abruptly ending this story, it is truly a blessing for the SD midcard at the moment. Smackdown’s midcard has been drowning for months with little aim and purpose, being occupied largely by weak characters like Kalisto, Apollo Crews, and Curt Hawkins. Dillinger is a shot of life into this division and a feud with the midcard champion is bound to be entertaining with his charisma and skill.
Strong Style Arrives on the Main Stage
Whereas Dillinger’s debut was a surprise due to a lack of narrative conclusion, Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut was a question of “when” this week rather than “if” with the conclusion of his feud with Bobby Roode. Thankfully, Nakamura went to Smackdown where the more colorful characters and better stories exist and it seems as though he will be treated with respect. Nakamura can easily be an immediate addition to the SD midcard or the main event scene (if they’re feeling gutsy) and add legitimacy to either in a heartbeat. Additionally, Nakamura is such a huge star that the loss of Cena for a few months is made substantially easier with his presence and the way in which this seems to be the purpose of Nakamura’s addition seems to say a lot about the higher ups opinion of the King of Strong Style. Of all the NXT call ups from this week, Nakamura’s addition is the one I am most interested about. While I doubt this will happen in today’s world, WWE’s history with Japanese competitors seems to suggest that Nakamura may become the victim of racism and stereotypes or jokes and he is much more than this. But… I mean Nakamura vs. Styles in WWE is now closer to being a reality than ever and it’s hard to be pessimistic too much.
Till next time,