Wrestling Roundtable

Will Samoa Joe be the next WWE Universal Champion? Plus the Elite 8 of the Tag Team Championship Tournament

Good Morning Wrestling guru’s, and welcome to another edition of the Wrestling Roundtable. This week we are now in the Elite 8 of our Tag Team Championship Tournament. We are ever so close on finding out who the greatest tag team to walk down that isle is. Do we still have a number 1 seed in the tournament? We will soon find out.

Here is the updated bracket

9 The Young Bucks 4 The Fabulous Freebirds
2 The Road Warriors 2 Edge and Christian
5 The British Bulldogs 4 Money Incorperated
2 Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard 2 The Hardy Boys

1.Alexa Bliss

Bliss continues to dominate, after a kendo stick win over Bayley, she scores a DQ win over Nia Jaxx on Raw. Who can stop this stunning female superstar?

2. Samoa Joe

Big win at Extreme Rules to become the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship. Then a win over Seth Rollins on Raw. Is the big Samoan destined for Universal Championship gold?

3. Jinder Mahal

Pujab is getting ready for his big rematch against Randy Orton. Can he retain the championship in his first championship match? Or will Jinder Mahal be a short lived champion?

4. Roman Reigns

Failing to become the #1 contender drops Roman Reigns a couple of notches, but the “guy” was back to his winning ways against Bray Wyatt on Raw last Monday.

5. AJ Styles

AJ is back to his winning ways after a successful outing against Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown.

The Royal Rumble 1988 was the first ever Royal Rumble event, and it came with some interesting factoids. The first ever Royal Rumble was shown on the USA Network for the fans instead of having it on Pay Per View. It featured just 20 men, instead of 30. That would begin the year after in 1989. Some of the cool facts of the show. 1) Bret Hart was the first ever entrant in the Royal Rumble as he faced off against #2 Tito Santana. 2) Butch Reed was the first person to ever be eliminated from the Royal Rumble. Entering at #3, he was eliminated by Jake “the Snake” Roberts. 4) Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the first man to ever win the Royal Rumble by eliminating the One Man Gang. And finally 5) The Main Event was not the Royal Rumble match, but a two out of three falls match between two teams that were in the lower mid-card status. The Islanders faced off against the Young Stallions in a two out of three falls match. The match was ultimately stopped in the second fall as Paul Roma of the Young Stallions had an legitimate injury, which actually caused the match to stop after the first fall and he was helped to the back. The match was delayed for about 15 minutes. To fill time, they held interviews with the Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant for the LIVE crowd.

What was your takeaway from Extreme Rules?

Steve: Honestly I did not see it, but my good buddy Frosh kept giving me the “results” while I was at the Cubs vs Cardinals game on Sunday night. I was not really surprised that the Miz won, I thought there would be more underhanded shit, but it held true to form. I can’t believe they gave the belts back to Sheamus and Cesaro. The Hardy’s are the most over team right now, and this title change just does not make sense. Austin Aries needed to beat Neville I think, because this feud has been dragging on for too long with really no result. Finally, I think having Samoa Joe win, while shocking, was the right move. He is the one guy that could sort of afford to bury after a brief stint with Brock Lesnar. You could not do that to Reigns, Balor, Rollins, or Wyatt. Those guys would not be in a good position if they had to job to Lesnar. Overall, didnt seem like a solid show, but because I did not see it, I can’t make a solid opinion.

Frosh: I don’t think WWE saw Extreme Rules as a PPV to be taken seriously and there will be no long term consequences from it.  The fact that Finn Balor wasn’t in body paint told you a lot.  The fact that Finn took the loss tells you a lot.  WWE does NOT see Finn Balor as a long term prospect.  We will get to Samoa Joe’s victory a bit later in the roundtable.  All in all, it was completely forgetable.  The tag team match was half worthless.  I have NEVER had a harder time suspending disbelief than in that match.  If you have both of your opponents knocked out cold…GO OUT THE DOOR! Or hey, let one of your opponents escape, and then brutalize the last one and just walk out. The Hardys could have won on multiple occasions (or Sheamus and Cesaro winning much earlier), but they really just botched the execution.  That being said, the whisper in the wind from the top of the cage was nice.  Alexa Bliss will have a relatively log run.  I think the person to dethrone her will be Asuka.  Austin Ares should be clear of the Cruiser-weight title picture for the foreseeable future, having him tap out to Neville ruined him for me.  He has now lost multiple times, it is time to get someone new up there.  That being said, I can’t see anyone dethroning Neville for a long time.

Chad: It was an alright show although not as extreme as I would have liked. I thought the Women’s match was rushed too much. It was surprising to see Samoa Joe get the win in his first main event on PPV since joining the main roster.

Tyler: Decent show overall, but I don’t think Bayley was done any favors.

Manquell: Samoa Joe is getting pushed, I like the idea. The Hardy Boyz loss was interesting, makes me wonder what is next for the tag team division. Extreme Rules set some interesting story lines in motion.

Are you excited at all about the Mae Young Classic featuring the top women stars around the World?

Steve: It has some intrigue, but honestly it needed to go to Moolah, not Mae Young. That is all I have to offer on this question.

Frosh: Not really.  There could be a good opportunity to re-introduce some previous ladies back into the WWE, and give a good exposure to some of the lesser known/indy ladies.  That being said, unless the create a women’s tag team division, or women’s IC championship, the Women’s division is relatively crowded with amazing talent, and I can’t see someone supplanting Bliss, Naomi, Charlotte, Sasha, Asuka, Becky and Bailey from the top of the division….having a midcard ladie’s belt would give a lot of women something to do and might inject some more energy to the division.

Chad: At this point it will probably have to get here or hear about some of the matches or stars before I get too invested for the Classic

Tyler: Absolutely, can’t wait to see who’s going to be involved.

Manquell: That should be a great mach reasons:

1. The Women’s division may be the best division in terms of parody and story lines

2. Beautiful women are fun to look at, and to watch wrestle

3. I like women

4. I wish I could hug Bailey

5. Women’s wrestling deserves a classic match, it has come a long way since Bra and Panty matches.

With Cody Rhodes’ success in TNA and also Ring of Honor. Do you think he made the right decision to leave the WWE, and is he having more success outside of the WWE?

Steve: Classic example of would you rather be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond. Cody Rhodes is excelling in the independent market, and making a big name for himself. He is given opportunities that he was not given in the WWE. I think this will be an eye opener for the WWE, and will eventually attempt to resign him and give him more of a push.

Frosh: Sure.  Cody had opportunities in WWE, but whether it was creative or he, himself that torpedoed him, he fell flat (for the record, my money is on creative being the one to bury Cody).  I am glad to see him find success as he is an incredibly talented guy, and having that success means he made the right decision.  He can always come back, and if he is then established as a big shot elsewhere, maybe he can command some respect from creative….but then we are talking about creative.

Chad: To quote Corey Graves from the Revival’s debut after WrestleMania, “Yes, Yes, A Thousand Times Yes.” Granted being in Bullet Club doesn’t hurt but he’s wrestling in TNA (although I don’t think any longer) But, he has getting ROH world title chances in Main Events of their PPV which is big for him. This was the best move for Cody to get out of the WWE and once the “Dust” settled make his name for himself.

Tyler: He absolutely did.  Between RoH, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan, not to mention any of the indies he occasionally wrestles for, he’s been able to set his own schedule and be his own boss.  Hell, he’s part of Bullet Club, what else needs to be said?

Manquell: I think that some people find greater success outside of WWE, Cody Rhodes needed a new look. I mean come on STARDUST………. wasn’t the best version of Cody. I think that he might have a chance to make a bigger and better name for him self on the way. If he ever decides to come back he may have a new character with a better script! that would behoove his development .

Agree or Disagree: Samoa Joe will defeat Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire to become the Universal Champion?

Steve: Disagree. While I think it would be a great match. The creative team put Joe in this match to be the goat and just give someone for Lesnar to wrestle until Strowman comes back. This is just a transitional feud if you ask me.

Frosh: Ok, so here is the gist of it.  Samoa Joe is a sacrificial lamb to feed to Brock Lesnar to get him onto a PPV and bide time until Strowman returns.  The writing is clearly on the wall.  Strowman will be the one to de-throne Lesnar – probably at SummerSlam, barring another injury to Strowman. Joe gives us a believable opponent (As talented as he is and as much as I like the character, I cannot believe that Finn Balor would be able to actually beat Lesnar) who creative won’t mind taking the loss.  Creative doesn’t want Reigns to lose, because that would make the WWE universe happy.  So that gives us Joe.  I will be the first to give Raw’s creative credit, IF THEY DO WHAT IS RIGHT, and put the title on Joe…but they have NEVER shown a propensity to do much that is interesting or different.  But then, if Smackdown’s creative can give us a Jinder Mahal championship reign, maybe Raw’s can learn a lesson too.

Chad: Disagree, I think Joe can push Brock but in the end I still see Brock getting past Joe into a Summerslam match against either Roman Reigns or even a returning Braun Strowman as has been rumored.

Tyler: If there’s any justice in the world, yes.

Manquell: Man is this a tuff question, Lesnar is going to be the face in this match….. shut the front door.  Joe should win, simply because the belt should be present on the show.  This could be a great move and a great series of matches similar and could provide a much needed face lift for Raw. I think that we will see a long term Joe sighting from here on out.

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