There has been too much negativity surrounding a company that is worth over $6 billion and is about to start two separate ONE BILLION DOLLAR television deals. Thus, I am going to focus on the positive and positive only today. I will list 50 things with ease. Watch this.
1. I am loving the Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss story. We saw a major development last night on RAW heading into Stomping Grounds, and it fit both characters. Poor Bayley stuck in the middle but also plays an important part. All good things for three talent.
2. Speaking of Bayley, I loved her Money in the Bank cash-in moment. Just a super cool moment for her. Super cool moment for her fanbase. Super cool moment for the live crowd watching. Super cool moment for (assuming here) Sasha Banks and super cool moment for a company that needed a woman not named Ronda Rousey to be on top of the division for awhile.
3. On the Sasha Banks note, I love how WWE is handling disgruntled talent. I love it. Each case is on its’ own. Let’s be real. There are unhappy workers at every single job in the world. Every single one. That is no question. How you handle it though is questionable. The Revival want out? Okay, here are two reigns as RAW Tag Team Champions. Tye Dillinger wants out? Okay, enjoy your time in All Elite Wrestling. Sasha Banks wants out? Okay, sit at home for a little bit and come back to us in a few weeks with a refreshed mind and body. There is no ‘right’ answer in these situations, and I love that WWE goes through each scenario case by case. Smart.
4. I love the new Smackdown LIVE logo that has been leaked for FOX. Slick.
5. I love the fact that Brock Lesnar is the current Money in the Bank briefcase holder. I was worried for a week or two after he won that it would be ‘wasted’ quickly. We already got that with Bayley. Like it or not, we NEED at least one briefcase floating around as a mystery. Brock gets to keep his name relevant in the wrestling world without being there weekly, and Seth Rollins (and Kofi Kingston) get to hold their titles for a fair amount of time.
6. I love that WWE has three top champs that deserve it, all of whom got their spotlight at the biggest event of the year – WrestleMania. Kofi Kingston became WWE Champion after a million years by defeating Daniel Bryan clean. Seth Rollins ended the up/down run of Brock Lesnar as part-time Universal Champion. Becky Lynch defeated Ronda Rousey for the Womens Title (winner take all) in the main event of WM. Something I wrote about back in January. All great representatives of WWE. All a case of WWE legitimately listening to their audience and going with it, even if it was not initially planned.
7. I love the small glimpses we have seen with Kofi Kingston as a serious competitor. The New Day has its fans as the lovable, goofy clowns. I prefer my top champ to be able to do both. Kofi has never really showed fire or passion before, so that was all a welcome surprise. Needs to keep THAT personality going forward or an F-5 may be in his future. FOX is coming.
8. On that note, I love the fact that professional wrestling is getting more and more plugs on FOX TV. It still kinda boggles my mind a bit. Forget the $1 billion price tag. Forget the Friday night timeslot. Forget the product. WWE getting plugs during the MLB World Series or NFL Sunday is just amazing to me. Great stuff.
9. I love the fact that WWE is not afraid to take chances. USA Network wanted more star power on all the shows, so they added the Wild Card Rule. Yes, it was cheap and made no sense with their own rules being broken on a weekly basis, but that is the positive here! Vince McMahon does not give two hoots about anything. He needed to do something, and he did it. Backlash, outrage, whatever. No different than the Survivor Series card changing two years in a row a few days before. In the WWE Network Era, that can be done with little or no repercussions. Whatever Vince McMahon thinks is best for business is done, and I love that.
10. I love the WWE Network. Still at only $9.99 in June 2019. How can that be anything but a wonderful thing?
11. I love the new 24/7 Championship. There, I said it. Youtube seems to love it also. Guilty pleasure. R-Truth is a funny dude and talented in and out of the ring. The Carmella pairing still feels like a set up to me down the road, but the fun they have can be felt through the TV screen. All those guys chasing him down the hallways would be stuck in catering without the new title, so them getting on TV is better than disappearing. Gives them all something to do. A positive.
12. I love the fact that there is a legitimate heel in WWE that is getting nothing but boos. In this day and age, that is difficult. With the BEST IN THE WORLD gimmick, Shane McMahon may be the one and only true heel in the company right now. Everybody else gets at least 5% cheers or laughs somewhere each week. Not Shane. I wrote about him in my last column, so be sure to check that out.
13. I love Dolph Ziggler returning right now for a quick mini-feud with Kofi Kingston. It may ultimately be filler, but this gives a few big victories to Kofi Kingston on pay-per-view. Plus, you know the wrestling will be good with a couple of wild spots. You know Dolph loves those. It may not last much longer, so I am going to enjoy Ziggler being back in a WWE squared circle. The complaint “It should have been me!” is too perfect.
14. I love the FireFly FunHouse. Another guilty pleasure of mine. I worry it may not translate to an arena feel. However, that is not the topic. It is these hilarious and downright creepy vignettes that have been airing. What started out as a punchline has become the best thing on WWE TV. A lesson in not judging something right out of the gate. Let things play out may be a joke to some, but it fits. Bray Wyatt will be back VERY soon, so patience is key here for a payoff. Honestly though, I hope these Firefly FunHouse keep going.
15. I love Samoa Joe and Finn Balor as mid-card champs. Arguably, they are worthy of better gold, but look at the champs in WWE right now. A home run across the board. You could make a case that every single champ is in the rightful place. For all the flack WWE gets, they are successful here.
16. I love every NXT Takeover event. That goes without saying. They top each other every single time. Seriously, if you are STILL not following the NXT product, you are depriving yourself of the best wrestling on the planet.
17. I love the small tease of AJ Styles getting The Club back on track. Two more guys that may want out of the company – adds a dynamic element to Styles and lets the tag team division get a boost. Sets up their supposed reunion overseas in Japan. I like the idea and am intrigued by where it goes. Another Shield-like farewell tour?
18. I love the Aleister Black promos that have been running on Smackdown Live. Made sense to keep him out of story lines leading up to Super Showdown, so now we are finally getting answers. He wants to wrestle somebody, anybody! However, nobody has stepped up. Whether that is due to fear or hesitation, we still don’t know. Black is extremely talented and does not need Ricochet by his side to be a star. Love them together but love them even more solo.
19. On that note, I love Ricochet. Challenging Samoa Joe for the United States Title at Stomping Grounds has the potential to steal the show. He may have had a few questionable losses in the past, but I trust Triple H to take care of him going forward. NXT stars like Ricochet do not come along very often. Special.
20. I love the Andrade and Zelina pairing. NXT put them at the top of the card, and the blue brand may do the same eventually. They work together so perfectly I hope they never break up. If you are looking for an Edge/Lita re-run in 2019, go to them. One of the best pairing in wrestling I have seen in a long time. The wrestling is just the icing on the cake.
21. I love the short YouTube videos released after Raw or Smackdown Live. Just a few hours ago, there was a video about Zack Ryder wanting to become Universal Champion. Obviously nothing that would ever see the light of day on television but was funny. Then there was Titus O’Neil trying to beat up R-Truth under the ring. That is without even mentioning the lovely promos from The IIconics. Good content and no wonder there are 44 million subscribers or however many…
22. What I said about no heels? Baron Corbin is right there. I love that he is improving. Giving him the MITB contract back in 2017 would not have worked. Letting him retire Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 35 and build from there…good! I love that he is in the main event scene but not officially a main event act. He will lose to Seth Rollins on Sunday and fall back down the card, which is fine. He has improved this much and can only grow even more.
23. I love seeing Cesar bust out his power moves from nowhere. People forget he defeated the then WWE Champion Randy Orton CLEAN on an episode of Smackdown Live in February 2014. Clean. He made into a Paul Heyman Guy and well, yeah. He has the talent. He is without Sheamus right now, so showcasing his strength and new theme music is a hidden gem of Raw each week.
24. Speaking of, I love WWE theme songs. As long as a song is good and I can nod my head to it, I win as do other fans. Even for as much as he is despised, Shane McMahon has a great theme. As does Baron Corbin. Heck, even if they are not my favorites, The New Day have a clap worthy song to come out to. Like their promos and production, the company gets a round of applause on always having the perfect theme songs.
25. I love Charlotte Flair being a focus of the women’s division but no longer being THE focus. She was not just going to be taken off television or pushed aside to Main Event. That is ridiculous. She gets all this hate for no reason, and it is garbage. Charlotte is one of (if not) the top talents in the company. Male or female. Yes, it was time for Becky Lynch and Bayley to get a run. That does not mean you just throw Charlotte to the side though. Lucky WWE is wise to this and using it to their benefit. Woo!
26. I love seeing and reading about Dan Brooke putting in the work behind the scenes to better herself. Great girl, loves the business and is actually trying to improve. Not just to get television time but also to get better in the ring. True heart. I always thought there was ‘something’ there to build on. Now just putting it all together. Go Dana! I saw her wrestle Ronda Rousey I’m Milwaukee a few months back. Great time.
27. I love Daniel Bryan as the Smackdown Live Tag Team Champion. He is a guy that can move up and down the card with no worries. You need a heel? Bryan. You need a face? Bryan. You need a ten minute promo to get a crowd going? Bryan. You need a 30 minute match in the middle of a show? Bryan. You need a main event style battle with anybody on the roster? Bryan. Does it all and never looks out of place. Any time WWE wants him back in the main event, it will work. It always does.
28. I love the Drake Maverick character. Exactly why the 24/7 Title was created. He has taken the ball and is running with it. The Twitter stuff has been spectacular. The “WANTED” posters have also been spectacular. I wish more talent would understand the chicken crap to chicken salad philosophy. Do your thing Drake.
29. I love seeing Eric Young getting smashed with a chair on TV.
30. I love Tyler Breeze being back in NXT. I call him THE NXT Original. There are a few more main rosters stars who should do the same. I enjoyed when Tyson Kidd was in NXT a few years back. I even thought it was cool when Zack Ryder was in NXT with Mojo Rawley. It is smart. Use ALL of your stars, across ALL of your platforms.
31. I love the fact that we are officially beginning to appreciate John Cena. I said a long time ago that he will be missed by fans. Even his biggest haters. Of course I was mocked and called a ‘troll.’ Well, here we are. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. He is on my Mount Rushmore Of WWE, so whenever he is ready to get back in the ring, I will be ready, and my hunch is others will be too. Might be sooner than you think.
32. I love Heavy Machinery. Oh, Tucky Tucky! Comedy guys in NXT and comedy guys in WWE. I laugh. Sorry.
33. I loved the Lars Sullivan destruction of The Lucha House Party on Raw. One heck of a beating. Amazing power and awesome job by the smaller guys to make the new monster look like a million bucks. Hope we get more of that in the future (injury or no injury). Big dude had some pizzazz on those moves.
34. I love the fact that WWE is attempting to give Paige a role. Smackdown LIVE General Manager, interviewer, ambassador, manager of Kairi Sane/Asuka, etc. She is pretty valuable as a member of the roster, and it should not deter anybody that she can’t wrestle anymore. Neither can Corey Graves. You still give them a shot to contribute. Hoping for more Paige.
35. I love the fact that Randy Orton is there but not really. He tends to slither in and out of story lines, and that has been his role the past couple of years. Feuding with Bobby Roode over the United States Title? Wrestling Triple H in Saudi Arabia? Facing off against Jeff Hardy in the Heck in the Deck structure? RKOing everybody in sight? Just does what he wants when he wants. Then you add in his Twitter fun, and you have a Randy Orton I can back. Kofi may need to watch his back soon.
36. I love Renee Young still being with WWE as if nothing has happened. Reminds me of when AJ Lee remained in WWE after CM Punk left. There was no disruption. No controversy. No petty shots. No big uproar. Nothing. It is a professional company simply handling things in a professional manner. Who cares if Dean Ambrose went to another promotion? Big deal. Carry on. Another day at the office for Renee Young.
37. I love Rowan being able to learn from Daniel Bryan and not do too much. On his own, he would fall flat (like always) and be doing nothing. With Daniel Bryan as the big enforcer, it gets his TV time and allows him valuable time teaming with one of the best. Smart decision. Rather than throw him out there as “Big Red” again or backstage solving riddles, he can look imposing and be a champ. I would thank Daniel Bryan for all of that. Without him, ouch. Kudos to WWE on maximizing Rowan’s upside.
38. I love Sami Zayn as the annoying pest. People lose their minds every time he takes a loss, but that is what he is supposed to be doing. Annoy the crap out of the afce, run around squealing, get caught, and get beat. Zayn is awesome at that. Kevin Owens is also to a certain extent. However, I believe bigger and better things are on the horizon for him. Until then, keep those boos coming Zayn.
39. I love seeing Sheamus take this time out of the ring to get in the best shape ever. I hope he is healthy enough to return to the ring someday. He is looking jacked. Pair him back up with Cesaro or get back to a single’s career. No wrong answer. Sheamus is a former Money in the Bank winner, former Royal Rumble winner, former King of the Ring winner, and a former WWE/World Champion. He has the credentials.
40. I love The Miz finally getting his respect. The move to Raw may not be working out (as predicted), but that is besides the point. He is officially getting cheered big time, and the WWE Universe is behind him. Family Man Miz is a goldmine waiting to happen. Once he gets through this Shane stuff, the sky is the limit. Promos and wrestling, he can do both. Media and poster child for the company, he can do those as well. The best part is that if he does turn heel, nobody would be shocked because he excels at that too. Awesome!
41. Is there anything Triple H can’t do? Win a big match, lose a big match, cut a promo, have a brawl, build up NXT, attend WWE board meetings – he can do everything and still come home to Stephanie McMahon. I wrote about this on Twitter, but I love him leading by example. He didn’t HAVE to go to Saudi Arabia to lose to Randy Orton. He could have skipped the 20 hour flight and told the hosts that Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, and Bill Goldberg were more than enough. He didn’t sit at home and collect the millions the event would have brought in. He got on that plane, wrestled in the heat just like everybody else and put up with the outside noise. Respect.
42. In that same breath, I love the legends returning for one off bouts. Sue me. Go ahead. The Undertaker and Goldberg was a dream match. Batista coming back to end his career with the guy who (practically) started it was very cool. I loved that. All around good stuff. Doesn’t overstay its’ welcome and also draws interest to the product. My guess is Ronda Rousey will be the next part-time special attraction after Brock Lesnar leaves. Two thumbs up on that.
43. Now let’s praise Ronda Rousey here. I loved her one year WWE run. Loved it. She came in, had massive buzz after Royal Rumble 2018, delivered match of the year at WrestleMania 34, did a story line with Nia Jax, beat Alexa Bliss for the Raw Womens Championship, headlined the all women’s PPV event Evolution, wrestled nearly the entire roster available to her on television and live events all over the world and then closed out her run by bringing the women to the main event of the WrestleMania for the first time ever. So fortunate for her. Like Cena, you will miss her. Heck, one could argue we already do…
44. I love WWE giving us enough content to always have a podcast topic ready. The 411 Foresight Wrestling Podcast has been fun to do every week, and you can thank WWE for that. PPV event, television results, controversial news online, internet whining and complaining, story line updates, injuries – all of that revolves around WWE. Year round. There is always something to discuss and when you want to dip into the nostalgia back, there are a million “Top 5 Lists” you can do too. Always content. Never take that for granted from WWE.
45. I love the idea of a WWE themed course at Harvard. I love the rumor if a Netflix/WWE team. I love seeing all their stars pop up on FOX TV. I love it that Batista had two trailers shown in the theater this past weekend when I watched the new Godzilla. I love Roman Reigns in the Hobbs And Shaw movie. It does not matter that I won’t see the actual flicks. What matters is more work for the guys and gals and more WWE exposure. When wrestling wins, we win.
46. I love Drew McIntyre as The Stud. He is a future WWE/Universal Champion, and it is only a matter of time. Forget the idea of Shane beating Kofi for the title. Give it all to Drew. He just looks, acts, and talks like a star. More than 95% of the current roster. Also worth noting, I am still waiting for WWE to steal my nickname for him, The Stud. Gonna happen folks.
47. I love seeing talent get the call up from 205 Live. Cedric Alexander is great. Ali is poised to do big things on Smackdown Live and would have already had he not been injured earlier in 2019. Same with Buddy Murphy (a story I had first on the podcast for those curious). Just as 205 Live should be about. Not just having amazing matches with no payoff and little audience. You need to do that for the masses! Biggest audience possible. Only good things for them all.
48. I am loving the Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch couple. My girlfriend (take a shot!) is going nuts for them together and has developed a crush for Seth Rollins to boot . Like that pun? Either way, I assume a story line will be introduced with them at some point. I hope not though. Keep the teases and hints to just that. Away from each other in major plot points but also side by side on occasion. Anything more might backfire on them. Just a hunch. Love them on red carpets or backstage. Love them.
49. I love WWE pay-per-views. Even when one does not live up to the expectations or is crushed by NXT Takeover, there is still one match or one moment or one headline or one big cliffhanger that made it worth your time. The wrestling has been solid to great, and good or bad, the product has been kept interesting. Wild Card Rule, Goldberg vs. Undertaker, Becky Lynch having multiple feuds, Triple H returning, the NXT classics, Lesnar with MITB, etc. WWE keeps all of us guessing 12 months out of the year, and I love that.
50. Last but not least, I love the roster. I have touched on many names during the column. All you need to do is look at the WWE.com roster page for any explanation needed. From top to bottom, there is just SO MUCH talent. Across 205 Live, NXTUK, NXT, Smackdown Live, Raw and any independent company they are working with. We all love wrestling. We all love it. That is why we watch. That is why you are reading this. That is why you will comment below and that is why for all its’ negatives, the one big positive in WWE is the roster.