Well, 2016 is over, folks. That means WWE has another year in the history books. Did they close out the year with a bang? With a whimper? With new champions? Kind of. Not really. And yes.
At the beginning of the year, if someone told you SmackDown would be greater than RAW, you would have called that someone a filthy liar. Just like in 2002, the brand extension has breathed new life into SmackDown and that is a good thing. RAW isn’t without its merits, but I’m really hoping in 2017 they can kick it into overdrive. What was the better show this week? Isn’t the answer already obvious? Read on to find out the 5 best and 5 worst moments this week in WWE.
5. WORST – Charlotte vs. Bayley
The Charlotte and Bayley feud has just started and I’m already bored of it. Although sometimes Charlotte’s mic work can be stellar, sometimes all she does is yell and scream and that’s no fun. Also, why does she have the power to erase the history books? And we’re back to Dana Brooke again, really? It seems all RAW did in 2016 was rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.
Here’s hoping Emmalina can make this interesting (whenever she decides to show her face).
5. BEST – Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch
Whereas the women’s division on RAW has become stale (Charlotte, Sasha, Charlotte, Bayley, Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte), the SmackDown division has kept itself fresh by utilizing every woman on the roster. For example, giving Alexa Bliss the belt last month was refreshing and goes to show how much more the blue brand is willing to shake things up compared to RAW.
Becky and Alexa have amazing chemistry together. In their Women’s title bout on Tuesday, Becky worked Alexa’s arm to perfection throughout the entirety of the match – but a sneak attack from a mystery Luchador woman ultimately helped Alexa pick up the win. Who is this mystery woman? Only time will tell.
4. WORST – Luke Gallows
That’s what Luke Gallows like to call people nowadays. Nerds. Funny. Coming from the guy who wears the nerdiest trench coat out to the ring each and every single week. It even has his name on it too. Okay, Luke Gallows.
4. BEST – Braun Strowman
WWE did it. They’ve created a believable monster for the first time in years.
Ever since losing in his match against Sami Zayn at Roadblock, Braun Strowman has been slaying anyone and anything in his path. This past Monday, the fans literally thanked Strowman for annihilating The Shining Stars, Darren Young, and Bo Dallas before their match could really get going. Were they thanking him because they love to see him kick butt? Or were they thanking him for destroying wrestlers they didn’t care to see wrestle in the first place? Either way, it’s working.
3. WORST – Braun Strowman
As dominating as Braun Strowman is when he gets to the ring, his backstage vignettes haven’t been the best. With the way he’s delivering his lines… “I’m multitasking”, and “rumors are crap… and so are you…”, in a voice akin to Goro from Mortal Kombat, Strowman is becoming less and less scary. The lines just don’t come natural and feels too scripted.
3. BEST – Rich Swann vs. Neville
The final match of 2016 was not the least. Ever since Neville returned, the Crusierweight division has become a whole lot more interesting. Neville’s battle in the main event with champion Rich Swann delivered a compelling story with the hard hitting action and we would be surprised if Neville isn’t champion by WrestleMania.
2. WORST – Karl Anderson
Bayley gave Goldust a teddy bear that resembled the late great Dusty Rhodes on RAW this past Monday. It was sweet and enduring – a moment that should have been just that. However, Luke Gallows and his neeeerd of a sidekick Karl Anderson thought it would be cool to rip the teddy bear’s head off. Why? To try and make the audience hate these two even more? But like, even a despicable act such as this barely got a reaction. These two have been DOA.
2. BEST – American Alpha Wins Gold (or Silver?)
Although I question why WWE would have The Wyatt Family lose the Tag Championships so soon after winning it (probably to set up something with Randy Orton I guess), it was still a genuine surprise to see American Alpha win the belts in the Fatal Four Way on SmackDown this week. Yes, it would have been better if they won it in a grander match (like their NXT Tag Championship win earlier in the year), but American Alpha are more than deserving to be on top.
1. WORST – RAW Main Event
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens? Again? And it’s going to happen AGAIN at the Royal Rumble? I mean the match this past Monday night was fine, but just like the women’s division on RAW, the battle for Universal/United States supremacy is repetitive just the same. How many times can we see Jericho and Owens get the best of Reigns and Rollins? And vice versa? And vice versa versa.
1. BEST – SmackDown Live Main Event
Triple Threat matches can be a thing of beauty and this past Tuesday was a prime example of it. AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Barin Corbin in what was without a doubt the most entertaining match of the week. This would actually be Corbin’s first shot at the title since his main roster debut and we were curious to see if he could hang around with the big boys. That answer is yes. Yes, the jerk can. I didn’t know if he had it in him, but his performance proved WWE really knows what they’re doing sometimes. Go figure.
The end saw John Cena return to congratulate (challenge) Styles. Now that Cena’s been gone for a hot second and Styles has been able to establish himself as the face that runs the place, future match-ups between the two should be much more interesting.
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