TLC is the last WWE event left in the year and both RAW and Smackdown have begun to build towards it. The difference is that the reception for both shows has been very different for the last few weeks.
While Smackdown has generated a lot of buzz with exciting new directions for Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Daniel Bryan, RAW has struggled to regain its identity with both Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman out of action.
To figure out what’s behind this dichotomy, we’ll start by taking a look at the things we’ve loved from Smackdown; that includes Asuka winning a battle royal to be included in the triple threat TLC match with Lynch and Flair and Samoa Joe’s mic work against Jeff Hardy which could give Joe his long-elusive win.
Then we’ll draw that back to RAW and its shortcomings; Whether it’s a lack of competent babyfaces, Dean’s trite promos about burying the local city while he gets his booster shot or that AOP(ee) segment, there’s plenty to get into.
All of this, plus a look at the latest rumors surrounding the creation of All Elite Wrestling. It’s a promotion that supposedly has The Bullet Club at the helm and may be confirmed to exist soon.
The Three Count
Lindsey put over Kevin Owens’ return to Twitter.
Danielle put over the latest episode of How 2 Wrestling featuring William Regal.
Dave Schilling is ready to join the Nation of Conversation!
He, Danielle and Hal were all in Staples Center on various days this week to take in all the WWE wrestling that happened in Los Angeles.
NXT TakeOver: War Games
The final NXT TakeOver of the year featured a pair of great matches that all had strong character work and wrestling. But as for the War Games match itself? The panel will explain why it still feels like a concept that needs to be refined to be as effective as possible. Plus, what’s the deal with Velveteen Dream dressing up as Hollywood Hogan for the second time? Is it a cheeky homage or something that will ultimately end up biting us as fans if Hogan does eventually return?
This could have also just been called “The Putting Smackdown in its Place” show. In the battle-of-the-brands, RAW emerged victorious in every match (minus the tag match on the preshow, which WWE obviously doesn’t care about).
But even though the traditional Survivor Series elimination matches were a pretty standard affair, there were some great encounters. Daniel Bryan has officially adopted a new persona and had one of the best Brock Lesnar matches in years. The team is really excited to see where the WWE champion goes from here, especially after his great promo on Smackdown.
And how about Charlotte Flair? Her beating down Ronda after a great match was a lot of fun, but is she just stealing Becky Lynch’s shine or is this a great new path for her character to take after losing the championship?
All of this plus thoughts on Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton once again wrestling Rey Mysterio and Braun Strowman officially being out for at least a few weeks as he deals with elbow surgery.
This Saturday, Danielle Radford, Hal Lublin, Lindsey Kelk and Julian Burrell will be at NXT: TakeOver War Games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles! If you’d like to meet up with them beforehand, they’ll be eating lunch at Yard House at 2 PM.
Katie Willert is ready to rejoin the Nation of Conversation!
Becky Lynch is as hot a star as anyone in WWE right now. She led the Smackdown invasion into RAW that left her a bloody mess and as a bonafide sensation in wrestling. Unfortunately, because of a stray shot from Nia Jax, Becky is no longer medically cleared for her match with Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. Where does that leave her as the champion? And will Charlotte Flair, her replacement in the match, be able to deliver a satisfactory replacement for a conflict everyone was excited for?
Plus, Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles for the WWE championship! But in the process, he turned heel and shunned the persona and attitude that made him the hottest babyface in the company in 2013-14. The panel will discuss what they hope for Bryan as he prepares to face Universal Champion Brock Lesnar on Sunday.
All of that and a look at everything coming up for NXT TakeOver: War Games in Los Angeles; that includes Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream… and the possibility of a Matt Riddle appearance.
TRIGGER WARNING: This segment contains a discussion of a WWE situation that involved staged sexual assault. To skip this segment, scrub forward from 24:26 to 38:09 on the episode.
Trish Stratus was the WWF women’s champion in 2001. Throughout this time, she was heavily involved in storylines that featured Vince McMahon and their supposed affair. This led to a moment on Smackdown when Vince tried to make her join his infamous club, only for her to be rescued by the Rock. We’ll take a look at what made this segment so awful and rewrite and recast it to make it better.
The Three Count
Katie put over Becky Lynch’s tweet to Ronda Rousey, which he considers Lesnar’s last great match
Lindsey put over the promo for Daniel Bryan’s heel turn.
Danielle put over the trailer for Fighting With My Family.
Crown Jewel was that rare show that managed to disappoint and frustrate just viewers of every stripe. Hulk Hogan made his return that many dreaded, but also felt inevitable. And Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to become a two-time Universal Champion.
Even as the build to Survivor Series begins, there’s a distinct lack of urgency in booking right now that hopefully gets filled soon.
But that’s not to say everything is doom and gloom in the land of WWE; Becky Lynch is on her way to being the most white-hot star in the company. Her promo skills have been remarkable and her matches have been great, including her victory this week over a debuting Nikki Cross. The panel will explain what’s making her work so effective right now.
The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were two of the biggest stars in the history of the WWE. Their star power and fan interest culminated at and on the road to WrestleMania X-Seven. We’ll take a look at how the company built up to this match and why their final WrestleMania main-event confrontation signified the end of one the companies most storied times.
The Three Count
Jacquis put over CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar, which he considers Lesnar’s last great match
Danielle put over the promo for Sasha Banks’ WWE Network Collection.
Hal put over The six-way Hell in a Cell Match from Armeggedon 2000.
Evolution was WWE’s very first all-women Pay-Per-View. And by most accounts, the event delivered in just about every way possible, including providing a candidate for match of the year. Mike, Hal, Danielle and Lindsey provide their reactions to the matches (including Lindsey’s account from attending the event in person).
But now this is immediately being followed up Crown Jewel. Not only will no women wrestlers be at the event, but John Cena and Daniel Bryan have also been written out due to, in all likelihood, their own personal disagreement.
Plus, Lindsey and Mike explain their feelings about Roman Reigns’s leukemia diagnosis and WWE decision to immediately capitalize on the real-life illness for story-telling purposes. How do you balance the need for the show to go on with sensitivity towards consequential issues? Especially with WWE toeing the line between characters and reality as much as ever with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins?
All this, including Danielle looking forward to Lucha Underground’s Ultima Lucha Cuatro, finding out who attacked Aleister Black and grooving to that sweet sweet Brood music.
The Three Count
Lindsey put over her conversation with NXT women’s champ Shayna Baszler.
Mike put over the YouTue video Kanye and the End of Reality.
Danielle put over the House Hardy Halloween Special.
Hal put over Becky Lynch’s social media prowess.