The HTCWrestling Crew’s Thoughts On Survivor Series Weekend
With no HTCWrestling Podcast this week, the crew decided to answer some questions on Survivor Series weekend!
What Was the Best Match of the Weekend?
Justin C: I’m going with Adam Cole vs Pete Dunne for the NXT Title from Survivor Series. The fact that Cole put on such a great performance after killing himself the night before was remarkable. Not only that, he sold that beating pretty well throughout the match. The mid-air reverse into the Panama Sunrise looked great. Dunne was no slouch either. They had to work to get the crowd into the match but half way through they had the crowd eating up everything they did. I’ll be interested to see what Dunne’s path is in NXT. He probably won’t sniff the main event again soon but he shouldn’t waste away on the lower portion of the card either.
The Chairman: Best match in my opinion was the Women’s War Games match from NXT hands down. Not only was it historic being the first Women’s War Games match ever, but it also made everyone involved look like a star. Rhea Ripley’s stock continues to rise and getting the decisive pin on Shayna Baszler says something. Dakota Kai’s heel turn was executed to perfection and now sets up feuds with Tegan Nox and Mia Yim. Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Candice LeRae continue to impress every time they get in the ring and Kay Lee Ray made the most of her moment on the big stage. This match proved once again why NXT has the best women’s division in all of wrestling.
Cam: I’m going with the men’s NXT War Games Match. It had it all and some. Whenever a new generation of NXT talent comes in I crown them the best class ever. This time, I may be right. The powers that be in NXT has done an amazing job of giving guys like Matt Riddle, Keith Lee and others the stage to shine on.
Who Was the Breakout Star of the Weekend?
Justin C: Adam Cole was the breakout star of the month. But just for this weekend? There’ s two obvious ones but I will go with Keith Lee. The other was Rhea Ripley. But I think Ripley was slowly elevating up before this weekend. Keith Lee, meanwhile, was kind of stuck in neutral for awhile in NXT and I think this weekend showed that he will have no problem being a top star on the main roster. Just being in the ring with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at the end of the elimination match is enough to show that. The brief action between Keith Lee and Reigns left me wanting to see those two go one-on-one very soon.
The Chairman: Breakout star of the weekend goes to Rhea Ripley with Keith Lee a close second. The reason Ripley gets the nod of because of who she defeated in a three day span. She pinned Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match on Smackdown with Sasha Banks. I mentioned before she pinned NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler in War Games. Finally she got the decisive pin on Sasha Banks in the Survivor Series women’s match. Ripley pinned three of the biggest women in wrestling in three days. She’s a star in the making and she’s only twenty three. Incredible!
Cam: I was all aboard the idea of Matt Riddle beating Brock Lesnar somewhere down the line. Boy, has that changed. Outside of Adam Cole, Keith Lee’s star is shining very bright. Keith is coming for that North American Title much sooner than later.
What Was the Worst Booking Decision of the Weekend?
Justin C: I think the answer is the complete layout of Survivor Series. I know no one really cares about the brand supremacy angle but having that decided going into the final match already didn’t make any sense. I understand is the goal to make NXT look strong so they beat AEW in the ratings war. I believe that was part of the reason the main event was so dead.
The Chairman: Worst booking decision. Wow there’s quite a few… however I’ll single it out and pick Rhea Ripley needing the help of Candice LeRae and Io Shirai helping her overcome Sasha Banks. I’m high on Ripley as I stated before, however Ripley is a badass and doesn’t need help. Let alone from Shirai and LeRae who are bitter rivals in NXT.
Has Becky Lynch Cooled Off?
Justin C: The answer here is yes. That kills me as a Becky Lynch fan. But it isn’t her fault. The problem is the lack of strong, credible opponents for Becky after her Wrestlemania win. I realy hope Survivor Series didn’t kill off a potential Becky/Shayna 1-on-1 match. But she was stuck with Lacey Evans for three months. Then a feud with Natalya that no one cared about. Then they rushed through the Sasha Banks angle and now she is back to having no one. This was part of the problem I had with how they elevated Becky and Charlotte over every other woman at Wrestlemania. No one seems level with them now.
The Chairman: I would say Becky Lynch has cooled off. Part of it is because she hasn’t had a meaningful feud in awhile. Other part of it is because wrestling fans are fickle. Becky Lynch is a fantastic performer, but creative hasn’t helped in the past few months
Cam: I don’t think Becky has ‘cooled off’ more than she hasn’t had the right people to keep her flame bright. Becky rode to the top of the wrestling world last year and staying there is not even close to being an easy thing to do. Shayna is exactly what Becky needs and these two just may headline Wrestlemania in April.
Are Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt Holding Their Titles Until Wrestlemania?
Justin C: Barring injury or The Fiend falling off a cliff in popularity, I say yes. Brock isn’t coming back until Royal Rumble so that is that. My curiosity is how they handle bray from here on out. I really liked his match with Daniel Bryan. But you can’t have him kill every top face on Smackdown. I don’t see The Fiend running out of steam any time soon so it shouldn’t be a problem. But making his opponents seem credible might be.
The Chairman: I’d find it hard to see a scenario at this moment where the Universal and WWE Championship change hands before Wrestlemania. We know Lesnar isn’t working the B pay per views and his only defense probably between now and Mania is the Royal Rumble and I don’t see Lesnar dropping it there. The Fiend is beloved by many and if anyone takes the title from him, there’s going to be a riot. Wrestlemania is the time where major titles change hands the majority of the time so one of them drops their title there.
Cam: Yes, without question. The more intriguing question is who beats Brock? Right now, I can’t pin point anyone on the Raw roster but Matt Riddle sounds nice. I predicted a few months ago The Friend would challenge the Undertaker for the Universal Title and I’m not moving off that.
Should This Be the Last Year of BRAND WARFARE???
Justin C: 1000% YES. I’ve been preaching how awful this is for years. My process is always that something should be on the line. Losing teams in the elimination matches get a spot 1-10 in the Rumble, winning team gets 21-30. The winning brand at the end of the night is guaranteed the main event spot of Wrestlemania. And just like that all of this means something. But the WWE doesn’t trust themselves to book that far ahead so they will rerun the same script like they have every year since this started.
The Chairman: I would definitely agree this should be the final year of brand warfare. It’s a stupid storyline from a dumb creative team that doesn’t mean anything when it’s said and done. The only benefit of this year’s was increasing the stock of NXT superstars. Otherwise I don’t care who wins between Raw and Smackdown. Unless there’s something on the line such as the last spot in the Royal Rumble or the main event at Wrestlemania, why should anyone care about brand supremacy?
Cam: No, it may mean nothing a week after Survivor Series but in the grand scheme of things, it’ shouldn’t. Adding NXT to the fold of brand supremacy gives the WWE more intrigue every fall.
Are You On Board with Seth Rollins Heel Turn?
Justin C: It might have been forced a bit too early but I am. I liked his whiny promo on Monday. Rollins is at his best when he plays that type of character. They did have something with him as a face immediately after SummerSlam. But they ruined that pretty quickly. But it is interesting because while he is the #1 full time heel, he is the #2 overall heel on RAW behind Lesnar. This also leaves open a world of possibilities on who faces Lesnar at Wrestlemania now. It makes RAW a bit more interesting with Lesanr not around.
The Chairman: I’m absolutely on board with a Seth Rollins heel turn. It needed to be done between all the backlash he’s received from the fans for his twitter actions to being turned into another generic face that the fans are sick of (ex. Cena, Reigns). A new character direction was desperately needed and it’s about time WWE woke up and stopped being so stubborn and flip the switch. It remains to be seen if AOP are going to be aligned with Rollins, but WWE loves their trios so I wouldn’t put it past them to give Rollins those guys as some added muscle. They tried Rollins as the the top face on Raw and it worked for awhile, unfortunately it ran out of gas. Now is the time to put Kevin Owens in that spot as we seen Monday. Of course it’s going to be hard to get behind Raw 100% until they get the title off Lesnar, but that’s a conversation for a different time. Either or, heel Rollins is back and hopefully the cackling laugh comes back soon.
Cam: Seth’s time as a top face has come and gone. Rollins’ first heel run was great and something tells me the former Shield leader will do just fine in his new role. The question becomes, does he align with the Authors of Pain to form a stable to run Raw or does he take this new path solo?
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