For the last two years, the Royal Rumble has been a controversial affair. The previous winners have led to many accusations that the WWE doesn’t understand its audience anymore. Was this year any different? Well… kinda.
We’re breaking down everything we cared about from the Rumble… including what was probably the biggest troll job the company has ever done: Roman Reigns at Number 30.
Plus, a Big Four Pay Per View on Sunday means that we also get a new NXT TakeOver on Saturday. And while there was noticeably less stay power on this week’s show than usual, most people on the card raised their stock on the developmental brand.
We’ll break down all the biggest happenings from both shows, including the debut of Samoa Joe… and the injury of Seth Rollins.
The Royal Rumble is when the road to Wrestlemania really starts to heat up.
And it also happens to be Hal’s favorite pay per view.
The Nation of Conversation will reminisce about some of their favorite Rumble winners and moments throughout the years. And they’ll decide if the fact that so few of them have had success at Wrestlemania is hurting the idea of the show.
Plus, from the AJ Styles and John Cena for the World title to Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal title, we explain which feuds are on the right track for this weekend. And why was there only 1 women’s match on WWE TV this week? All this and a lot more on this week’s show.
Greetings grapple fans!
WWE has crowned its inaugural United Kingdom Champion: Tyler Bate. The Nation of Conversation will discuss what they thought of the tournament and whether or not they’re on board for the eventual UK-centric WWE Network show that’s set to launch this year.
Plus the crowd at the UK tournament was as lively as any in recent memory. But that energy doesn’t always translate well with some people watching the action in the US. When does a crowd reaction get in the way of us enjoying the product as a viewer? We’ll discuss.
Plus, why we’re so excited for Kurt Angle to return, why this year’s Royal Rumble could be one of the best in recent memory and so much more.
Mike Eagle is out for the week, but we’ve got another Chicagoan stepping in in his stead: Mira Waters from the website Fight Booth.
The team discusses Wrestle Kingdom 11 and why it hopefully set the tone for a great year of wrestling. And yes, they’ll talk about that great main event for the IWGP Championship.
Plus, while Smackdown’s women’s title picture is heating up, The Nation of Conversation has MAJOR beef with how a certain announcer has been treating the overall division.
Also on the docket: Chris Jericho’s big title win on RAW, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels returning to TV, how WWE can best use American Alpha in the future and much more.
My Special Wrestler:
Lindsey Kelk is an accomplished author, but she’s also quite the wrestling fan. She’s covered Wrestlemania for Cosmopolitan and interviewed plenty of popular wrestlers in the WWE and beyond.
But there’s one superstar who’s always had her attention since she was a kid: Bret “The Hitman” Hart. She’ll explain why.
Lindsey Kelk’s newest book is entitled We Were on a Break.
It’s the first the first episode of Tights and Fights in 2017!
To celebrate, we’re looking back on some of the most significant events that defined 2016. That includes happenings like the reintroduction of the Women’s Title, AJ Styles’s coming out party and more.
Plus, God help us, the WWE has ANOTHER new show that debuted this week on the WWE Network. Bring it to the Table is, apparently, WWE’s way of addressing and bashing the opinions of fans. We’ll explain why that may not be the best idea going forward.
And of course, we’ll break down the first 2017 episodes of RAW and Smackdown*.
*Authors note: Next we’ll be talking Wrestle Kingdom XI next week, promise!
Before Tights and Fights properly launched, the Nation of Conversation recorded several pilot episodes to help work out the format of the show.
This week, with the show on holiday hiatus, we’re sharing a sampling of some of our favorite moments from those pilot sessions.
You’ll hear about the team’s favorite merchandise, what they thought about the very first Final Deletion, why Goldberg is such a rude podcast guest and much much more.
*This week’s episode was recorded on Monday evening, which means this week’s RAW and Smackdown had not occurred yet for us to discuss them.
Roadblock: End of the Line wasn’t the best show, both from a wrestling and a naming perspective. But between the multiple title changes and the interesting story-telling decisions, there are plenty of things for the Nation of Conversation to talk about.
Plus: WWE is instituting the first ever United Kingdom Championship. How do they make it work? Naturally, we’ve got the answers.
And whatever Total Nonstop Deletion is, one thing is certain: It made Hal’s head hurt.
In a move that’s been over a year in the making, The New Day has official become the longest reigning WWE World Tag Team Champions in history.
There’s been ups and downs throughout their tenure, but the Nation will explain why their record breaking night on Monday restored a lot of their love for the RAW’s flagship team… and who they hope eventually beats them.
And wrestling intersects with the real world more than almost any form of entertainment. But is there a that needs to exist between drawing inspiration for a storyline and exploiting real-world events?
Plus, a look at all the matches that are coming up at the RAW-exclusive December PPV Roadblock: End of The Line: Redemption: Age of Extinction: The Force Awakens.
This past Sunday was TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs), December’s Smackdown exclusive PPV. And between a table match, a ladder match, a chairs match AND and tables, ladders and chairs match, it all got to be a little exhausting.
But The Nation of Conversation breaks down the results and explains why they’re on board for the big moment in the show’s main event between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles.
Plus: Comic creator Box Brown joins us for the latest installment of our series “My Special Wrestler.” His comic biography “Andre the Giant: Life and Legend” has earned him praise from comic and wrestling fans alike.
He’ll tell you all about why Ravishing Rick Rude, one of the most sleazy characters ever to grace the wrestling ring, is actually very under-appreciated.
Brown’s newest comic is entitled Tetris: The Games People Play.
In an effort to prove the investment into the Cruiserweight division was worthwhile, WWE finally gave the performers in the division their own show: 205 Live! And while it’s a step up from what we had before, there’s still room to improve.
And some major performers on RAW seem to be changing up pushing characters in more interesting directions. How encouraging is this? We’ll try to figure that out.
Plus: Not every championship reign is created equal. To explain why, the Nation of Conversation breaks down some recent examples including Sasha, Sexy Star, The New Day and Charlotte.
This year the WWE has really been pushing the boundaries of how much wrestling they can squeeze into a single week.
NXT TakeOver Toronto aired on Saturday featuring a ton of great matches, including what Hal thinks may have been the match of the year. NXT is clearly in a reloading stage right now, but the team explains why they’re still on board for the brand.
Plus: Survivor Series, the forgotten WWE big four pay-per-view, happened on Sunday. And everyone, including the Nation of Conversation, has something to say about the finish to Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg match. And with the show featuring three tradition Survivor Series elimination matches, has the concept been revitalized or run into the ground?
But before all of that, we just had to talk about Lucha Underground’s Aztec Warfare 3. Sexy Star became the first women to ever hold the Lucha Underground Championship and Danielle was live in the temple to see it happen.
This week the Nation of Conversation is joined by Independent Wrestler and host of the Art of Wrestling podcast, Colt Cabana.
He’s got a brand new documentary out called Wrestling Road Diaries 3 . In it he’s joined by fellow wrestlers Grado from Scotland and Kikutaro from Japan. The three of them travel around the country spreading the joy that is comedic wrestling.
Cabana’s gonna tell us all about what comedy adds to wrestling, how to have the best interactions with him as a fan and why he has more fun wrestling in front of smaller crowds as opposed to arena crowds.
As the world turns, we may as well keep enjoying wrestling.
This week, the team discusses live-audiences “hijacking” WWE TV. When is it acceptable? And when does it just get in the way of how good the product can be?
Plus: Tons of stories are being built towards Survivor Series. We’ll take a look at Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, the cruiserweight division and anyone else who will be involved in WWE’s only Sunday show in November.
And comedian and newly minted author Asterios Kokkinos joins the show to tell us about his special wrestler: Daniel Bryan.
We’ve gone to Hell (in a cell) and back again and the Nation of Conversation is ready to explain how… adequate the show was. And there’s plenty of other news to tackle like Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental open challenge, the brand new Cruiserweight show 205 live and why Mike thinks Talking Smack is even better than Smackdown.
Plus, Hal and Danielle break down Sasha and Charlotte’s Women’s Title match that main evented the Hell in a Cell Pay Per View. Why did some folks online say that match didn’t live up to expectations? What does it mean for the future of WWE’s Women’s division?
For some help answering those questions, they’re joined by Mira Waters from Fight Booth. She recently wrote an article entitled ‘Sexism in WWE is Over, What a Relief, about the match and the internet’s skewed reaction to it.
So much of Monday Night RAW has revolved around the upcoming Hell in a Cell Pay-per-view which will feature three (!!!!) iterations of the titular match. Sure those matches could be good… but the Nation of Conversation has some concerns.
But one thing they haven’t been concerned about is Talking Smack, the best show WWE produces. But does that mean there should be ANOTHER version of that show, but for RAW? Don’t worry, we’ll decide.
Plus: A look at Total Bellas; a show that Danielle is a total fan of; what Mike thinks is fundamentally wrong with WWE’s flagship show; the return of Hal Gets Woke; and a lot more.
Rachel Sam Evans joins the crew once again to discuss the man they call Bill Goldberg.
And Hal opens the show telling the story about the time that Goldberg did him a major favor for his job… by putting him in a fireman’s carry.
And Goldberg’s appearance has a lot of fans split. But the Nation of Conversation will explain why his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar could be a lot of fun… as long as the competitors don’t fall into the same traps that plagued the LAST time they wrestled.
Plus, the man with no chin got himself a big win; The team discusses why James Ellsworth continues to be one of the most compelling characters on WWE television.
All that, including a look at the various tournaments of WWE, why Mike is incredibly disappointed with the Cruiserweight division, why Survivor Series is the only Big-4 Pay-per-view that’s seriously lacking an identity.
The Nation of Conversation has a TON of wrestling news to cover and memories to enjoy.
First: Why did chinless-hero James Ellsworth get a huge win over WWE Champion AJ Styles? And why is everyone on the team totally on board for it?
What’s the best wrestling video game of all time? Is WWE overusing the Hell in a Cell match concept? What did the group think of, ‘No Mercy,’ the second Smackdown-exclusive Pay-per-view of the modern era?
Plus: There’s all sorts of rumors that the WWE Network may introduce a brand new tiered-pricing model. We’ll break down what each level could include and whether or not we think it’s best for business.
With Mike Eagle out for the week, that means Rachel Sam Evans is in!
And that also means a greater amount of Lucha Underground and indie wrestling chatter than Hal can handle.
The team also takes a look at this past Monday Night RAW, aka the first RAW that was headlined by a women’s title match in over a decade.
Plus: Smackdown’s special Dolph-umentary, the latest on WWE buying up TNA’s video library, Goldberg’s potential return to the WWE and a lot more.
The first ever RAW Pay Per View “Clash of Champions” has come and gone… so why do Mike, Hal and Danielle feel unfulfilled? They’ll explain.
Plus, is it time for the suicide dive to be banned from WWE the same way that Pile-driver has been? A certain spiked-swiss Superman may think so after what happened this weekend.
And there are plenty of rumors about a sale of TNA on the horizon. One of the potential buyers is none other than Vince McMahon and WWE. We'll discuss what WWE has to gain but purchasing the brand.
All that, including why Hal is so taken with Ziggler’s tears from Smackdown, why Danielle might have found another wrestler to love almost as much as Sasha Banks, why Mike is struggling to continue to watch RAW... And we'll finally talk about Lucha Underground for a little bit.
This week on Tights and Fights:
The Cruiserweight have arrived on the main roster! The leaders of the Nation of Conversation explain their biggest takeaways from the ten week-long Cruiserweight Classic tournament and where they hope the division goes from here.
Plus, Mike still doesn’t care for how Dean Ambrose is being presented, what it would mean for John Cena to become a 16 time champion, what Hal thinks RAW’s women’s division could learn from its Smackdown counterpart and why Danielle found a weapons of mass destruction so much fun.
This week on Tights and Fights: Mike Eagle makes his triumphant return to the program as he joins us from Canada.
Mike will tell us all about his experience at PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles… including seeing indie tag team The Young Bucks sport some wrestling gear featuring the likeness one of the business’s most well known insiders.
Plus the team breaks down what happened when CM Punk made is much-anticipated UFC debut, why Backlash may have been one of the best PPV’s of the year and a look at how the WWE’s doing when it comes to getting talent from the performance center in Florida to the main roster.
This week on Tights and Fights, we’re introducing a new member of the Nation of Conversation: Rachel Evans from the YouTube series “Snarled” and “Afterbuzz TV!”
The team start out by examining what’s going on with Seth Rollins. Now that he’s on the outs with Triple H and The Authority, could it be that he’s finally headed for the face turn that people have been wanting for him?
Plus, you wouldn’t expect an accented Matt Hardy who’s best friends with a dilapidated boat to be the thing that revived TNA in the eyes of many fans… but that’s exactly what happened. The Nation will take a look at what’s making the “Broken” gimmick work and whether or not TNA can count it to carry the TNA brand.
All of that and a lot more on this weeks episode.
This week: a celebration of the new Universal Champion: Kevin Owens!
His coronation as the champion of the Universe had the entire wrestling world buzzing and the leaders of the Nation of Conversation are no different.
Hal, Mike and Danielle will discuss why they're so stoked to see the prize fighter as the new top guy on RAW and how they would position him to succeed in the coming weeks.
Plus, a progress report for RAW and Smackdown in the month following the draft. What is each show doing well and what should they fix going forward? They’ll break it down.
All that and a lot more on this KO-mania-centric episode of Tights and Fights.
There was a ton of pro-wrestling that happened this week. It was intense, exciting and exhausting and now the leaders of the Nation of Conversation are ready to talk about all of the things they enjoyed most. From TakeOver to SummerSlam to the Universal Championship, this extended episode is a tribute to the Biggest Party of the Summer.
Hal will explain why Brock Lesnar needs to make major changes if he wants to continue to interest Hal as a regular part of the WWE roster.
Mike will explain how he personally knows the violin player who played Shinsuke Nakamura's music at Brooklyn... and why he has some twitter beef with him.
Danielle will talk about the first thing that the WWE has made that felt like it was made just for her.
All that, and a lot more is coming up on this special episode of Tights and Fights.
On this week's episode of Tights and Fights, the leaders of the Nation of Conversation take a look at whether 12+ hours of wrestling in one weekend means there's too much content for anyone to possibly consume... and whether they will any way.
Plus, TNA's got a new president: Billy Corgan (Yeah the Smashing Pumpkins guy). They'll break down what went wrong in the Impact Zone and how TNA can hook them again as wrestling viewers.
All that and a look at why people in the crowd think they can jump into the ring during a live event, the team's favorite Summerslam moments and whether or not WWE should be giving away PPV attractions on free TV.