Week of 6/18
This week on the WWE wrap up we had two huge surprise wins as Rusev and Ziggler went over. Raw lost 2 Superstars and Ronda got 30 days off. It was a pretty basic week in WWE, setting up new rivalries and wrapping up old. We should get a Shinsuke/Hardy match soon as well.
Also, some sad news. Leon “Vader” White died this week at the age of 63. He was ailing for sometime and it finally caught up with the big man. Vader was an unstoppable force in NJPW and WCW, but his WWE run was underwhelming (mostly due to the KLIQ). He will always be remembered as one of the best big men in the businesses history. Rest In Peace Big Van Vader.
Rusev Becomes Number 1 Contender / Ziggler Wins IC Title
In 2 huge surprises this week, they pulled the trigger on the beginnings of big pushes for 2 guys who have long been stuck in the middle card. Ziggler pulled the upset against an injured Seth Rollins, while Rusev ran the gauntlet, eventually taking down The Miz to earn a match against champion AJ Styles. These are big moves for a company who has failed these guys in the past. Both men have had pushes that have been stymied due to various reasons. Rusev is as over a guy as they have. Even English and Lana are over just being associated with him. It makes perfect sense to push him into the title picture and at least see what he can do against a top guy like AJ. They teased it last week with his clean win over Samoa Joe, but no one thought they would actually pull the trigger.
Same with Ziggler. I thought they were just using him to push McIntyre, but giving him the title at least gives him some momentum. They swerved us a few weeks ago by having Ziggler be eliminated in the tag team battle royale. They seemed to be setting up to split the pair, but giving ZIggler a win over Rollins allows him to show why he needs to be pushed, even if McIntyre eventually leaves him.
Raw’s 2 Big Losses
Raw suffered 2 big losses to their roster. One was unavoidable, while the other was a superstar that continuously shot himself in the foot. It is sad to see and hear, but it comes down to doing what you’re told while on the job, and as a WWE performer, you are always on the job.
Sami Zayn has reportedly torn both rotator cuffs and will be out for at least a year. It makes sense as why his feud with Lashley was very non-contact. He must have been hurt for quite a while and just pushed through, but both being torn is very tough to overcome. I gotta tip the cap at the toughness of Zayn. Being able to even lift his arms, let alone work must have been impossible, but he still went out there and performed. Wish him all the best in his recovery and can’t wait to see him back. It might be good for his character.
Now onto Cass. He has been released by the WWE after his Money in the Bank match with Daniel Bryan. It is all speculation right now, but reports range from alcoholism to unprofessional attitude. Also, he was supposedly told to not kick the little person he worked with a few weeks ago by the boss himself, Vince McMahon, but decided to anyway. I’m not sure what the truth is, but I do know that Cass is now looking for work. I hate to hear if its a personal problem and hope he gets help. But, as a performer, you are required by contract to act certain ways and if he breached that, then the company has every right to terminate him.
Ronda went off. After being robbed of a title by Alexa Bliss, she took it out on everyone. During an interview to start Raw, Bliss interrupted Ronda and Kurt Angle. She paid the price as Ronda took the briefcase and started swinging on her, driving her to the corner. Angle tried to pull her off, but couldn’t, as Ronda kept whaling away. He eventually got in between, but then ate some of the briefcase as well. Ronda had to be pulled off, which she took exception to, dropping them. When all was said and done, Ronda earned herself a 30 day suspension.
This is probably the best way to keep Alexa away from Ronda. No matter what, we don’t believe that Alexa could beat Ronda straight up. Keeping them separated is great and will allow them to book creatively. I can see a triple threat between Bliss, Jax and Ronda. Best way to keep the belt on your heel, while keeping the other two looking strong.