Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Booking SmackDown Live's Tag Division Through SummerSlam

SmackDown Live's Tag Team Division has grown a bit stale since the brand split, but not for a lack of quantity. Initially with The Uso's, American Alpha, the Headbangers, and the rise of Beauty & the Man Beast, it looked like SDLive could thrive in tag team wrestling. Add in Breezango and The Ascension and SDLive's ranks were no joke. Not to mention, Triple H was overseeing the brand, so everyone thought he would try to replicate what was successful in NXT's tag division.

Right now, we're basically just an American Alpha/Usos feud with a bunch of jabronis becoming fodder for John Cena. My mission here is to fix that.

Right now, The Uso's are your SDLive Tag Team Champions, and I won't have them dropping the belts leading into SummerSlam. In fact, I would only amplify their heel tactics in feuds with guys like the Headbangers. Yes, yes, I know... old guys. But that's the point. They're an act the crowd still gets into, and they too can be booked credibly only to serve as a doormat to the Usos.

But I want to start next week. With the Superstar Shakeup. I would move Enzo & Cass to SDLive in exchange for Slater & Rhyno. It doesn't seem like a fair exchange on paper, but Slater & Rhyno on RAW could help serve as another stepping stone for The Revival. That's the ONLY change I would make to the tag division.

So on night one next week, I would have The Ascension facing Breezango and I would have The Ascension cut the ring off and not allow Breeze to tag in Fandango once.

The following week, I would have The Ascension face American Alpha, and again cut the ring off. But I would not have them win, nor would I have them lose clean. I would have Konnor hit the YAH kicks in the corner on Chad Gable, not break for the 5-count, and get disqualified.

The week after that would be a rematch, but Alpha, who has a program with The Usos, would get attacked mid-match by the Uso's, costing them the match. Jordan would be pulled from the apron, ref doesn't see, Gable gets hit with The Fall of Man (the wheel kick version, not the European Uppercut) and pinned.

Fast forward a few weeks to SDLive's first PPV after Mania with Backlash in May. The Ascension are facing Breezango again while The Uso's finish up with American Alpha. The Ascension once again cut the ring off, not allowing a tag, and pick up a clean victory by pinning Fandango. The Uso's defeat American Alpha by taking out the leg of Jordan (not Gable).

The following Tuesday, Enzo & Cass call out The Ascension. It's key for Zo & Cass to call Ascension out, not the other way around. Ascension tell Enzo & Cass they need to actually win a match (hilarious shout to Ascension's losing streak on the main roster), so Enzo & Cass face American Alpha thanks to Shane. Jordan plays up the leg injury, Enzo & Cass take advantage (in a non-heel way) and win the match. Immediately following the match, The Ascension hit the ring and blindside Cass, hit Zo with Fall of Man, and take off before Cass can get them back.

Over the next few weeks, The Acension are booked to face Cass & Zo. Zo starts the matches with Viktor, they cut the ring off, they get DQ'd for the YAH kicks in the corner on Zo and flee before Cass can give them their comeuppance. This happens both of the first matches. In the third match, Cass starts, Ascension are cutting the ring off. Cass is being shined up, he's having his comeback, takes out Viktor. Just as he starts to crawl, Konnor takes Zo out from the apron and slides into the ring. Fall of Man on Cass as he gets to his feet. Pin him clean, on SDLive.

Going into the June PPV at Money In The Bank, Ascension faces Cass & Zo again. Uso's defend the titles against The Headbangers. Ascension are cutting the ring off on Zo, you think they will do the same thing, but Zo manages to get the hot tag. Cass is shining and taking them out. Hits the Empire Elbow on Konnor, goes for the pin, the ref won't count because Viktor is the legal man. Cass turns from being distracted by the ref, Konnor kicks him in the face, and they hit Fall of Man on a dazed Cass and pin him for the win. After the match, they see Zo checking on Cass, grab him, throw him into the corner, and YAH kicks. The referee tries to break the action, but Ascension won't stop. The referee reverses his decision and awards Enzo & Cass the win by disqualification. Viktor attacks the ref.

On SDLive, Viktor gets suspended for attacking the referee. Konnor is booked in a handicap match with Cass & Zo. He manages to cut the ring off and keep Zo in the match, by himself. He punches Cass off of the apron, and Cass jumps into the ring. Cass is working his spots, but goes for the big boot with Konnor on the ropes. Konnor evades, Cass falls out, and Zo tries to hit a cross-body on Konnor who catches him. Konnor slams Zo and pins him for the win.

The following week, Konnor sees Jordan backstage and Jordan tells him his win in the handicap match was impressive. Konnor looks at Jordan, smirks, and then kicks his bad leg. He's attacking him when Gable runs up and gets in the way. Shane & Bryan are there and Gable demands a match with Konnor. In the match, Gable gets in some offense based on his emotion, but Konnor ends up getting the upper hand. He is giving him the YAH kicks in the corner and again gets DQ'd for not breaking at the 5-count.

A week later, Konnor is in Shane's office demanding he lift the suspension on Viktor. Shane tells Konnor that's not going to happen, and puts him in a match with Cass. In a decent 5-minute match, Konnor gets the upper hand when Cass again goes for the big boot and misses. Cass's leg gets tied up in the ropes and Konnor stomps him out as he's tied up. The ref frees Cass who struggles to get to his feet in the corner. Konnor with the YAH kicks again, but instead of getting DQ'd, he backs out, then goes right back to them. When he's finished, he lifts Cass and slams him with his solo Fall of Man (flapjack followed by legdrop to back of the head) and pins Cass clean.

At the July PPV Battleground, Viktor is reinstated and The Ascension have a match with Cass & Zo. As Cass & Zo are being interviewed, Ascension attack and take out Zo. Then they focus on Cass and beat him down. They hit him with the Soul Driver against the bay door and walk off. Ascension come out for their match and Zo comes out without Cass. He announces Daniel Bryan has named a tag partner for him, and out comes Gable. Konnor and Viktor cut the ring off, keep Zo from tagging Gable in until Gable dodges an attack on the apron. Gable gets in the ring, takes out Viktor, but Konnor overpowers him. Viktor recovers on the outside, takes Zo out against the steps, slides in and they hit Fall of Man on Gable for the 3.

Over the next couple of weeks, Ascension repeatedly get DQ'd with YAH kicks in the corner against The Headbangers, Breezango, and then face Cass & Zo. They cut off the ring and beat Zo down. Then they ALLOW Zo to tag Cass in and they beat him down. Tag moves galore as they cut off the ring, Zo is out on the apron. Zo starts to come to, Cass manages to fight out of the corner. Cass tags Zo in, who climbs to the top, Cass throws him off on top of Viktor. Konnor tags himself in thinking they didn't see, but Zo dropkicks his leg out. Zo back up top and Cass throws him again. Konnor catches him, Viktor pulls Cass out of the ring, and Konnor slams Zo. Viktor shoves Cass into the steps, slides in, and they hit Fall of Man on Cass & Zo for the clean win.

At the go-home SDLive before SummerSlam, Konnor and Viktor are calling out The Uso's for the SDLive Tag Team Championship. Instead, American Alpha show up on the stage. Jordan says he's all better, and they're the one team Ascension haven't beat clean. Bryan comes out and announces they will face each other for a chance at The Uso's at SummerSlam in the main event. Yes, the MAIN event.

So Ascension are doing a good job cutting off the ring. Alpha eventually get the upper hand and cut off the ring with Viktor in their corner. Eventually Ascension regain control of the match, they use the ring post to attack Jordan's leg, Gable tries to help but the ref keeps cutting him off. Ascension are both in the ring, ref cuts Gable off again, Ascension hit Fall of Man on Jordan. Gable is about to get in the ring but Viktor cuts him off and Konnor pins Jordan clean to close the show as #1 contenders.

At SummerSlam, Ascension dominate the match. They cut the ring off. They don't allow Jey to tag Jimmy in at all. They just completely control the match. They're using the YAH kicks in the corner, you think they might get DQ'd, but they keep tagging out just in time and both doing the YAH kicks repeatedly (word to New Day's Unicorn Stampede). They knock Jimmy off of the apron, hit Fall of Man on Jey, go for the pin, but Jimmy breaks it up. He clears the ring, hits a dive over the top on Konnor. Jey recovers, hits a Superkick on Viktor, and crawls to the corner to go up top. Konnor and Jimmy both get up on the outside but Konnor throws Jimmy into the ringpost. He climbs up and shoves Jey off of the top rope into a wheel kick by Viktor, who covers him for the pin and the win. Ascension have the titles, they're the top heel team on SDLive.

The first SDLive after SummerSlam, they dismantle The Uso's in their rematch, YAH kicks DQ, they're getting nuclear heat when suddenly DIY's music hits, they come out to make the save and clear the ring. We'll book that later.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mock Royal Rumble 2017

I do not have any insider knowledge about surprise entrants into the Royal Rumble. As of me writing this, I believe there are only 22 confirmed participants for the Rumble. I also do not have any insider information about the order of the entrants, or the winner. I am just putting together a mock I think makes sense + what I would personally like to see accomplished in the match.

1. Sami Zayn - Zayn will be the Iron Man in this year's Rumble, building onto his Daniel Bryan-esque push of late with Stephanie making his life more difficult than it has to be for no apparent reason.

2. Chris Jericho - Iron Man #2. I expect both of these guys to go the distance in this year's Rumble, and Jericho's as good as any for spurts of offense in a long match.

3. Big E - We have to add some size early to immediately slow down Zayn & Jericho. In recent years, the first 10 spots in the Rumble have entered and been eliminated quickly, and we haven't seen the ring fill up until mid-match. That's going to change this year.

4. Tyler Bate - He's under contract with WWE, even though he's free to continue working in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe, I believe). He just won the WWE UK Championship, so capitalizing now could get fans who didn't watch to tune in on the Network to see more about the 19-year old Bate.

5. Sheamus - Sheamus is a Rumble winner, so him entering early is a decent story, and it adds another person to slow down Zayn and Jericho. I also would love to see a tease from Sheamus about the UK Championship with Bate.

6. Xavier Woods - Here's where we get our first look at someone teaming up as New Day gets a numbers advantage. But we won't see an elimination just yet.

7. Rusev - Rusev goes straight after Woods after his comments about Lana on RAW.

8. Baron Corbin - Corbin will hit the ring and immediately make an impact before being attacked by multiple opponents. But that won't last too long.

Corbin eliminates Tyler Bate.

9. Randy Orton - Orton will hit the ring strong, hitting his usual spots. He will fight to take out Jericho who will hold on to the ropes.

10. Tye Dillinger - Perfect 10.

At this point: Zayn, Jericho, Big E, Sheamus, Woods, Rusev, Corbin, Orton, and Dillinger are left.

11. Luke Harper - Harper and Orton will "clear" the ring, but not with eliminations. They will have a staredown, but turn to continue working at trying to take people out.

12. Kofi Kingston - New Day will all be in the ring at once. Kofi will hit the ring and New Day will try and take out Baron Corbin, but will not succeed. Kofi forced into one of his miraculous spots staying alive in the Rumble.

13. Diesel - Kevin Nash will get to re-live his Diesel return. A Diesel staredown with Corbin is best for business.

14. Dolph Ziggler - Ziggler there to add pace back to the match.

Diesel eliminates Dillinger. Turns into a superkick from Dolph and falls over the top rope a-la HBK's second Rumble victory. Diesel is eliminated.

15. Cesaro - Cesaro hits the ring and he and Sheamus immediately gain control of the ring, working together. BTW, they're no longer tag champs.

Cesaro and Sheamus work together to eliminate Kofi. Out of nowhere, Cesaro dumps Sheamus over the top rope.

16. Goldberg - Yes, it's time for Goldberg to hit the ring, and this is where things start to get interesting.

Goldberg hits EVERYONE with a Spear. He dumps Ziggler over the top. He dumps Rusev over the top. He dumps Xavier over the top.

17. Bray Wyatt - Bray hits the ring and gets right in Goldberg's face. Before Goldberg can get his hands on him, Harper and Orton pull Goldberg from the ring under the bottom rope and beat him down.

18. Braun Strowman - Strowman hits the ring, gets right in Bray's face, but instead of fighting, they focus on Big E and Sami Zayn.

19. The Miz - Miz takes his time walking to the ring seeing Braun & Bray beating people down, and seeing Goldberg on the floor being beaten by Orton and Harper still. He stays to the side.

20. Dean Ambrose - Ambrose hits ringside at full speed. He takes out Miz in the aisle, but doesn't focus on him. He runs down and hits Orton & Harper, throwing them back in the ring, Goldberg stays outside to recuperate a bit.

As Ambrose gets in the ring, Bray lays him out with Sister Abigail. Orton and Harper are butting heads again trying to get to Ambrose, and focus on each other. Big E gets involved and shoves Orton into Harper, who bumps Bray. Orton and Bray surround Harper as Strowman looks on.

At this point: Zayn, Jericho, Big E, Corbin, Orton, Harper, Cesaro, Goldberg, Bray, Braun, Miz, and Ambrose are left.

21. Erick Rowan - Rowan stalks to the ring, and puts himself between Bray and Harper. Rowan turns as if he's going to attack Harper and hits Orton instead. Bray tries to control Rowan.

Goldberg gets back in the ring and takes out Harper & Rowan. Orton and Bray jump on him.

22. Mojo Rawley - Rawley hits the ring fast, and he and Goldberg actually work together to take some people out.

Strowman eliminates Rawley, Big E, Harper, and Rowan.

23. Brock Lesnar - Brock hits the ring right away and eliminates Goldberg.

Corbin eliminates Brock Lesnar as he taunts Goldberg.

24. James Ellsworth - He's getting put in, we need to be realistic. But he will immediately get tossed by Strowman.

25. Samoa Joe - This is where things really pick up. Joe hits the ring and eliminates Bray & Cesaro.

At this point: Zayn, Jericho, Corbin, Orton, Braun, Miz, Ambrose, and Samoa Joe are left.

26. The Undertaker - It's Taker time, and everyone is trying to beat him into a corner. Taker suddenly starts throwing fists and most jump out of the ring through the middle rope. Taker sees Samoa Joe staring him down in the middle of the ring. Just before Taker gets in his face, Corbin attacks.

27. Kurt Angle - It's true... it's damn true! Kurt freakin' Angle in the Rumble match. Kurt hits the ring and goes right after Orton.

28. Eugene - He teased it and it makes sense to throw someone completely random in this late. He'll get eliminated right away by Jericho.

Miz gets in the ring and eliminates Ambrose. Miz immediately gets dumped over the top rope by Zayn. Orton eliminates Angle, only to get hit by Corbin and eliminated.

29. Big Show - Show hits the ring and this is where the Rumble sets up the final stretch.

At this point: Zayn, Jericho, Corbin, Braun, Samoa Joe, Undertaker, and Big Show are left.

Big Show eliminates Strowman and Jericho. Samoa Joe dumps Big Show.

30. The clock counts down, but nobody shows. Commentary speculates.

At this point: Zayn, Corbin, Samoa Joe, and Undertaker are left.

Undertaker is tangled up with Corbin, and Zayn tosses Corbin over the ropes as Taker holds on. Taker grabs Zayn and chokeslams him. Joe grabs Taker with the Coquina Clutch and The Deadman is fading.

Lights go out. Red lights flash.

30. Finn Balor - Making his return to the WWE at the Rumble. Finn stalks his way to the ring. Joe is waiting for the Demon King. Sami kicks Joe from behind to eliminate him.

Finn gets in the ring, stares down Zayn and looks at Taker over on the mat in the corner. Finn & Zayn grapple, Finn shoves Zayn to the corner and gets him over the top rope onto the apron. Sami hits Finn with a forearm, who responds with a high kick. Sami is off balance but not going down. Joe grabs Zayn and pulls him off of the apron to eliminate him.

Undertaker sits up behind Finn who is looking at Joe & Sami. Taker crosses his throat when the Demon King turns around. Finn doesn't play up any fear, he responds by rushing Taker, who scoops him into position for a Tombstone. Finn kicks his feet to get loose but Taker dumps Finn over the top rope and Finn lands on the apron. Finn hits Taker with a high kick. Taker stumbles back, then rushes. Finn ducks as Taker goes for a big boot and takes himself out of the ring and gets eliminated.

Your winner: Finn Balor!