WWE will still have reason to be disappointed with ratings this week. Not only are they still well below what I’m sure they wish they were, but Smackdown has again fallen quite short of Raw. Raw jumped from last week’s year low of 1.88 to 1.97 – which still will have WWE twitching to hit that “Enter Vince McMahon button” – while Smackdown dipped from last week’s 1.86 to 1.70 – maybe their excuse will be that there wasn’t a McMahon on the show this week.
On Talking Smack this week Daniel Bryan suggested Nikki Bella and Carmella could have a no DQ match. Now obviously Daniel Bryan doesn’t have any actual authority in making this happen. He is simply an on screen authority figure. However, I’m hoping he was either instructed to say it, as that is their plans, or he has influenced their plans by saying this. Some may laugh at the suggestions, but in reality, I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen. The feud has been at a level of aggression and tension that deserves such a conclusion.
Carmella has attacked Nikki, quite brutally, for weeks now. Granted, Nikki’s reactions haven’t quite been the fiery aggression you might expect. She has tried to play the calm, respectable veteran. I’d hope she snaps soon though, as while you want the hero to be honourable, you also want them to seek revenge and bring the fight. Should this happen, a no DQ or street fight could be a perfect boiling point for the rivalry. Its important women in the WWE continue to receive the same opportunities as men, in terms of the matches they get to compete in. Although, you also have to spread these opportunities around all women, not just a select few. While some may feel the four horsewomen are superior to other members of the roster, and deserve more chances at stipulation matches etc. There are other perfectly capable women on the roster. Additionally, if you don’t give them the chance to prove themselves, they never will. I’ve enjoyed the feud thus far, both have done exceptional work, I hope they get the blow off they deserve.
Over on Raw, I continue to really enjoy the chemistry between some of the top stars. Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Rusev are all basically tangled together right now. Any combination of all four seems to work pretty well, with fantastic chemistry between a lot of them – particularly Owens and Rollins. No only this, but when you have a guy like Sami Zayn and another like Chris Jericho, in the background, it makes the situation even better. As both those guys also have some pretty great chemistry with each other and all four other guys. Having such a situation allows the main event scene to seem even more packed that it is. The great chemistry allowing any combination of a group of guys to come up against each other, in varying situations.
Rollins, while having great chemistry with Owens, will take a while to get used to as seemingly a “good guy”. The problem with Rollins playing such a fantastic bad guy for most of his WWE career is, when he transitions to a good guy, it’s hard to get behind him. The fans are so used to hating Rollins, who while transitioning still possesses some of his less likeable traits, that it becomes a little hard to view him as a likeable guy. The likes of diving off the cage on Monday, will certainly go towards getting fans behind Seth, although it will take time, after such a fantastic villainous performance from Rollins for years, to convince fans he really has turned a new leaf.
Speaking of making character transitions, the Uso’s. Doesn’t it just seem like Jimmy and Jey having been waiting years for this? Maybe Rikishi could have given some insight to that, if David Otunga had just told us what they discussed on that damn movie set. Anyway, the brothers were easily my favourite tag team a few years back. Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed them since they recently returned for a long injury layoff, yeah just weren’t quite my favourites anymore. As teams like American Alpha, New day, the revival and the club started to emerge, the Uso’s fell back a bit in my rankings. They are clearly relishing this change of character and I love watching it. As soon as they come out the curtain, they convey an attitude that not only makes the viewer know, these are the dudes I’m meant to boo, but also is a lot more intimidating than before. Additionally, when the team confronted Heath Slater and Rhyno in the back, they came off as nasty and essentially, kind of like bullies – it’s perfect. I’m kind of wishing the product wasn’t so PG, otherwise I could see the likes of the Uso’s and Carmella really pushing some limits with their bad guy antics.
The debut of the Cruiserweights on Raw was all kinds of awesome. Maybe I’ve just forgotten, but I feel like I’ve never seen someone reserve a head scissor takedown like Cedric Alexander did. The match was awesome, all four talents deserve to be there and I’m excited for the match between Brian Kendrick and TJ P at Clash of the Champions. I feel as though that match therefore, accomplished all it aimed to accomplish. I’m still hoping the likes of Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher and Akira Tozawa appear sometime soon. It sounds like there are plans for all three, so that is music to my ears. There are plenty of other fantastic talent from the CWC I’d love to see on Raw: Zack Sabre Jr and Ibushi for a pretty obvious example, plus Ariya Daivari in slightly less obvious example. However, I’m aware only so many guys can get picked up, so thus far, WWE have picked up some really talented dudes.
Finally, how about we talk about Dean Ambrose. Dean is one of these guys who I think will be far better without the title. Simply because with Dean, it’s all about the chase, all about sticking it to those people who look down on him. Now only did Dean have a great match with Cena this week, but his appearance on ‘Talking Smack’ was full of fire and just got me pumped to watch Dean Ambrose face AJ Styles next week. Granted, I feel as though we could do without that match, which will then be followed by the triple threat. It almost makes next week’s title match irrelevant, as whatever guys loses, just has to wait until No Mercy, then they get another chance, this time they don’t even need to pin the champion. Styles, Ambrose and Cena are some really top, top drawer talents. Chemistry is there between all three and I’m seriously excited to watch all three clash for the WWE title at No Mercy.
I’ve not been particularly great at doing ratings predictions lately. Generally, this is because they aren’t very predictable at all. Nonetheless I’m going to guess both shows have a slight spike in ratings next week. With Smackdown back into the 1.80 range, and Raw just dipping its toes back into the 2.0 range. Keep in mind, I’m making these predictions with no knowledge of which football games are on next week. Until my next ratings war article, look out for my Impact review. If you aren’t watching TNA right now, maybe consider checking out my weekly reviews. Maybe I can talk you into giving it a chance (or possibly a 29th chance).