Ryan Dilbert’s 10-Count: The Case for Samoa Joe to Win the WWE Universal Title
1. Bring On The Destroyer’s Reign
When the Fatal 4-Way match is over at WWE SummerSlam 2017 on August 20, Samoa Joe should emerge from that battle with his enemies at his feet and the Universal Championship in his hands.
The time is now to capitalize on Raw’s enthralling predator. Joe is in the midst of a career peak, doing the best work of his life, be it via growling on the mic or wrapping his arms around his foes’ throats. And he has more than made it clear that his place is on the marquee.
The current champ, Brock Lesnar, has held the title hostage with his sporadic schedule.
Weeks will go by with no sighting of The Beast Incarnate and the universal title. There’s no guarantee we’re going to get a championship bout at No Mercy, TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs or any of the Raw-brand pay-per-views.
Joe, on the other hand, would thrive as a workhorse champion.
He has been a man possessed, growing even more ferocious and more compelling than he was during his memorable NXT run. Crowning Joe would increase the spotlight on him and give the red brand a monster it can rely on more often.
But what of Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, the other warriors set to face off in the Fatal 4-Way match? Their schedules aren’t an issue like Lesnar’s.
WWE has time to elevate both those men, though. Joe is 38 years old. Strowman and Reigns are five and six years younger, respectively.
Joe is both a veteran and a fresh face. He appeals to the diehard fans who have watched him climb the mountain everywhere else before arriving at WWE. While he’s in his prime, the company would be smart to showcase him in its top spot.
Plus, The Samoan Submission Machine is a better talker than any of his SummerSlam opponents.
With him as universal champ, WWE can confidently have him open Raw, carry a story on the mic or go toe-to-toe verbally with anyone on the roster.
That’s not true in the least for Reigns, who is limited as a talker and has done his best promo work when he’s limited to a handful of words.
Lesnar is best suited to speak in taped promos or let Paul Heyman be his mouthpiece. Strowman can be a monstrous presence on a microphone, but he isn’t as versatile and dynamic in that area as Joe.
The Destroyer can make the audience shudder by whispering threats or reflecting on his emotions.
Promoter Jeff Jarrett has been sold on him for a long time.
Jarrett talked up Joe’s ability in an interview with Arash Markazi of ESPN.com: "Joe’s intensity is what has always set him apart. His athletic ability for his size is off-the-charts impressive. He’s so intense and so agile and these are very rare attributes you combine them."
Joe has somehow ratcheted up that intensity this year, becoming a seething, unsettling creature between the ropes.
His match against Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire had the crowd hooked from moment one. That bout served as a statement that Joe belonged in the main event and that he has to be a priority for WWE moving forward.
Even Lesnar’s manager is reportedly on board with Joe taking the crown. Justin Barrasso wrote for Sports Illustrated: "The inside track is that none other than Paul Heyman is advocating behind the scenes for Samoa Joe to win the title."
As he should. Joe has been red-hot of late.
And SummerSlam should be when WWE capitalizes on that, letting The Destroyer hang three hosses’ head on his wall and fit the Universal Championship around his waist.
2. Big Show‘s Partners
Enzo Amore is the latest in a long line of wrestlers to join forces with Big Show.
The World’s Largest Athlete and Amore battled Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on Monday’s Raw. Amore may still be adjusting to a new ally at his side, but it’s a situation Big Show has been in many a time.
The big man has held some version of WWE tag team title alongside Chris Jericho, The Miz, Kane and Undertaker. He teamed with A-Train, was part of the WWE version of NWO, partnered with Seth Rollins 12 times, formed a duo with Rey Mysterio at the end of 2013 and tagged with Dolph Ziggler a handful of times, per CageMatch.net.
Some of his surprising teammates include Matt Striker, Michelle McCool, Essa Rios and Kelly Kelly. Big Show even tagged with Mark Feuerstein once.
It makes sense from a kayfabe standpoint. If one is looking for the best guy to have fighting next to him, a behemoth like Big Show is a pretty damn good option.
3. Throwback Video of the Week: Arn Anderson
After Arn Anderson made a cameo on "Fashion Files" on Tuesday’s SmackDown, it was hard not to flash back to when he was an ass-kicker in the ring.
And Double A was a hell of a talker, too. As great as fellow Four Horseman Ric Flair was on the mic, Anderson sometimes outshone him.
This clip of an interview during his days with Jim Crockett Promotions is an example of The Enforcer at his best:
Talk about a video WWE needs to play to its NXT prospects during promo class. That’s grade A stuff right there.
4. NXT Reloaded
Heading into NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III on August 19, WWE’s developmental brand is as flush with talent as it has been in recent memory.
Last year’s draft robbed NXT of names like Alexa Bliss and Finn Balor. Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Revival later followed them to the main roster.
And now, after a painful stretch of adjustment, NXT is loaded once more.
It has added Aleister Black from the European scene, brought back Drew McIntyre and brought in indy star Ruby Riot. More recently, NXT welcomed Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly from Ring of Honor.
Suddenly, NXT has a good number of quality puzzle pieces to move around. The women’s division is strong again. Black, McIntyre and O’Reilly can all be compelling championship contenders.
NXT doesn’t ebb for long before starting to flow again.
5. The Subway Rumble
If you ever thought the Royal Rumble was too stationary, Tim Hann Rivera has you covered.
The New Yorker crafted a video of a mock Royal Rumble match inside a subway car. And the pro wrestling version of IKEA Heights is a wild ride (note: contains brief NSFW language):
Not only did this bit of performance art give us a version of the Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan dream match, it gifted Kane with the Royal Rumble win he never got in real life.
6. Ishii the Underrated
There isn’t enough hype around Tomohiro Ishii.
The New Japan Pro Wrestling star is a hyperintense bulldozer with a compelling, hard-nosed style. He pounds his opponents with lariats and headbutts to make simple, violent art in the ring.
Diehard fans know his name, but the more casual audience is not as familiar with him as NJPW talents like Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega.
That may change in time as Ishii continues to produce. His stellar showing in this year’s G1 Climax tournament alone should increase the buzz around him. He’s thrived opposite Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto and others.
Eventually, the accolades have to catch up to the excellence.
7. Lana vs. Eva Marie
Lana’s gimmick and position on the women’s division hierarchy are clearly reminiscent of the recently departed Eva Marie.
WWE presented Marie as out of her element as an egotist who couldn’t back up her trash talk. Lana is playing a similar role now.
The company has made Lana look like even less of a threat than Marie, though.
Lana has gone 0-7 thus far. In one match, she lost to Naomi in one minute. She only lasted 10 seconds in another.
Marie, on the other hand, was 4-3 in her final seven bouts on the main roster. Ms. All Red Everything twice knocked off former Divas champ AJ Lee and later lasted over 10 minutes with the dominant Asuka.
For the moment, Lana occupies a lower spot on the WWE food chain than Marie did, which makes one wonder why the company would pull her away from her spot as a manager in the first place.
8. A Last Man Standing Playlist
On Monday’s Raw, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman tore the house down in a Last Man Standing match.
If all that destruction made you hungry to see more of that type of action, there are a number of top-notch versions of that gimmick bout to explore. The contest, also referred to as a Texas Death Match, has delivered some excellent violence in the last 20 years.
Check out some of the best Last Man Standing matches to date here:
- Triple H vs. Chris Jericho: Fully Loaded 2000
- John Cena vs. Umaga: Royal Rumble 2007
- Chris Harris vs. James Storm: TNA Sacrifice 2007
- Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles: TNA Hard Justice 2008
- Asuka vs. Nikki Cross: NXT, June 28, 2017
9. Team All Canada, All Heart
Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn took on The Usos on Tuesday night in a losing effort in their second televised tag team match together.
The two Canadian babyfaces partnering up should become a regular occurrence. They are both popular underdogs. They are both likable rising stars who play the gutsy warrior role well.
Neither man has a clear direction right now, either.
SmackDown would be wise to deepen its tag team division by putting Dillinger and Zayn together as an official duo. If WWE isn’t going to push Zayn as a singles contender, this would be a smart stopgap move.
And essentially having two Ricky Mortons on the same team would be a fun experiment.
10. Chris Jericho Takes on David Crosby
Twitter rule No. 1: Don’t take potshots at pro wrestling fans.
That’s a lesson Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill found out the hard way. He apparently didn’t warn fellow musician David Crosby.
When Crosby implied that wrestling fans were illiterate, the backlash flooded in. Chris Jericho chimed in as well. The former world champ tweeted:
At least Jericho didn’t call him a stupid idiot as he’s done to so many of his in-ring enemies.
via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr
August 9, 2017 at 01:55PM