Summerslam 2016 went on WAY too long, especially after the wonderful experience that was NXT Takeover Brooklyn II. Like WAY too long. I didn’t even have a problem with that many of the matches individually (sorry to all the people hoping for Goldberg…), but by the time the US title non-match rolled around I was getting angry that almost every night of this past week was taken up by wrestling! I’ve got errands to take care of, WWE! I’ve got comics to make!
Summerslam weekend is stacked this year and frankly I’m a little concerned about it. There are currently eleven matches booked on Summerslam itself, which is only one less than the seven hour marathon that was Wrestlemania 32. So either the matches will be really short or there will be a massive pre show, neither of which appeals to me. Also considering NXT TakeOver is Saturday night, we’re in for a whole lot of wrestling! Normally I’d consider that a positive, but after the draining experience of Wrestlemania weekend, I now know my limit.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.
You’d think the show would be called “The Beginning” since the last one was “The End.” And for all of the concern about NXT’s roster getting raided, they still have a great looking card for Saturday.
No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
After his debut I was ready to pass off No Way Jose as the next comedy jobber, but seeing his passion and anger over Aries has made me take a second look. While I’m a far bigger fan of Aries than Jose, I’ll still be pulling for the younger wrestler to win his first TakeOver match.
Who will win: No Way Jose
The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
I can definitely see Gargano and Ciampa pulling this one off, especially if WWE wants to build them into bigger names once the Cruiserweight division kicks off on Raw.
Who will win: Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
Andrade Almas vs. Bobby Roode
Glorious! I love Bobby Roode coming in with his heel character and his new and improved music. He hit the ceiling in TNA a long time ago, so it’s exciting to see him in a new place climbing the ladder all over again.
Who will win: Bobby Roode
Asuka defends her NXT Women’s Championship against Bayley
This is a tough call. While I think Bayley’s close to getting called up for good, I could see WWE wanting to have a big feel good moment at this show with her getting the title back. Asuka does have that undefeated streak though…
Who will win: Asuka, but I’m not betting any money on it.
Samoa Joe defends his NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura
I could easily see this match being the best of the night, if not the weekend. As angry as Joe’s been the past few weeks (months? Years?), I wonder if Nakamura will do any of his usual comedy spots. Either way, I think Nakamura will win this one and feud with Joe for a while longer.
Who will win: Nakamura
WWE’s first co-branded show since the draft kicks off with four Smackdown matches, six Raw matches, and one joint match (as much as you can say Brock is on the Raw roster). I’m doing all of the Smackdown matches first, not for simplicity’s sake, but because I think they’ll mostly be on the pre show.
Carmella, Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Natalya, Eva Marie and Alexa Bliss
For all the talented women that are in this match, you know it’s going to be five minutes long and all about whether or not Eva wrestles. While I enjoy Eva’s “excuse” gimmick, I don’t get why her character wants to be a wrestler if she just skips out on matches.
Who will win: Natalya, Eva Marie, and Alexa Bliss (due to Eva showing up late and distracting the babyfaces).
The Miz defends his Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews
Being one of the three Miz fans, I actually hope he holds on to his title for a while longer. He’s great at getting heat and I think Smackdown needs to have an established champion in this bold new era.
Who will win: The Miz
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
It will be nice to see these two wrestle one on one without the Club interrupting them. With all of the rumors about Cena taking another hiatus and viewing himself as a part time wrestler, as well as him putting over AJ on this week’s Talking Smack (a really great show you should start watching) I’m predicting the unlikely: That AJ Styles wins clean.
Who will win: AJ Styles
Dean Ambrose defends his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler
I’ve got to hand it to WWE, Dean, and Dolph- they’ve done a great job of building this feud in a very short amount of time. As good as it’s been, I just can’t imagine WWE putting the title on Ziggler (although I couldn’t imagine him even in the title picture in 2016, so I guess anything can happen!).
Who will win: Dean Ambrose
Cesaro vs. Sheamus in the first of their Best of Seven Series
Y’know, if WWE are going to make guys wrestle the same people over and over again, I’m glad they’re going to at least have some stipulation behind it. It’s a coin flip for who will win the first match, but I’ll go with the heel.
Who will win: Sheamus
The New Day defends their Tag Team Championships against Gallows and Anderson
As much as I love The New Day, I think it’s time for someone else to hold the belts. Gallows and Anderson have successfully detached from AJ and managed to be entertaining in their own right. A heel team holding the championships will also open up Enzo and Cass to a title shot later on.
Who will win: Gallows and Anderson
Enzo and Cass vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens
I’m giving it to JeriKO in this first match because I’m guessing this will lead to a larger feud between these two teams. JeriKO have been great together, and actually outshine Enzo and Cass on the comedy stuff. I’ve no doubt that Enzo and Cass will eventually win the war, but this first battle goes to JeriKO.
Who will win: JeriKO (c’mon, Enzo and Cass don’t even have a merged couples tag team name!)
Rusev defends his US Championship against Roman Reigns
While I definitely prefer Roman Reigns in the midcard, I was sad to see his penis-joke/babygurl self pop back up so quickly after his turn as the “silent destroyer” earlier this year. I think Roman will win, but I don’t know if I see him holding the midcard championship, so it may be by disqualification or count out or something.
Who will win: Roman Reigns
Sasha Banks defends her WWE Women’s Championship against Charlotte
Dana Brooke is banned from ringside! Can’t forget that important note. The way Dana Brooke’s name keeps popping up in this feud you know she’s going to show up sooner or later, but regardless I just can’t see Sasha losing.
Who will win: Sasha Banks
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship
I don’t envy Finn Balor in this match. Most fans have no idea who he is, but he’s still thrust into the main event of this long ass show when fans will be wiped out and wanting to go home! Maybe Brock and Randy will main event, but still it won’t be easy for the Demon King (I think that was his nickname, they only said it a few dozen times on Raw). While I could easily see Seth taking home the gold (or whatever a “Universal” championship is made out of), I think WWE wants to stay committed to Finn and the new era.
Who will win: Finn Balor
Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar
I really hope Randy Orton wins and I think he could win. I haven’t always been Orton’s biggest supporter (despite the week I dedicate to him every year), but I love that he actually has a personality now. Also after weeks of Brock talking about Orton like he’s just another guy, I think it would really hurt Orton if he lost. I… care about Orton getting hurt? This really is a new era! Bray Wyatt may also interfere because of that mean look he gave Randy on Smackdown, but honestly I hope it’s just a straight match between these two men.
Who will win: Randy Orton
Is that all of it? That must be all of it. Despite it being a lot of wrestling, all of the matches look good, with no obvious duds. There are some surprising omissions, like Sami Zayn and Bray Wyatt, but I’m sure they’ll find a spot during the brand specific Pay Per Views. Thanks for reading!
How did you learn your ABCs? Was it through finishing maneuvers? Shouldn’t it have been? At a few different comic conventions I’ve been to I’ve noticed artists selling prints of the letters of the alphabet with corresponding pop culture characters drawn next to it (for example, the Star Wars ones my buddy Jeff Johnson did). Anyway, I’ve decided to try my hand at a wrestling version! It seems like a fun idea to try something new and give me an excuse to draw a bunch of different wrestlers doing their finishers on each other. When I get through all 26 I’ll put them together in a book.
Initially I was a little worried about coming up with a move for each letter, but once I found moves for X (X-Factor) Y (Yes Lock) and Z (Zig Zag) I figured the rest would be easy. With some letters like “S” I’m going to have trouble picking just one. Stunner? Sharpshooter? Sweet Chin Music? Shattered Dreams? Here are the first few if you’re interested in seeing what they look like, and if you’re interested in buying them as prints, I’m selling all four of these together (each printed on 8×10 cardstock) over here at my store. Now I need to figure out “E”, “U” and “Q”…
Hey everyone, I wanted to share with you some cool pictures of a tattoo Botched Spot fan and Kevin Owens enthusiast Michael Greene got based off of an illustration I drew for him! Micheal has been backing me on Patreon for a few months now, where I draw a wrestler of his choice each month. The very first one he picked was Kevin Owens, and just the other day he sent me pictures of it as an awesome tattoo!
Hey @BotchedSpot remember when I asked if anyone had ever had any of your work tattooed and you said no?
— Michael Greene (@dirk_fn_anger) July 28, 2016
— Michael Greene (@dirk_fn_anger) July 28, 2016
…And we’re done!
— Michael Greene (@dirk_fn_anger) July 28, 2016
Kevin Owens even said he was humbled by it, which I didn’t think was possible! So thank you Michael for turning my art into a tattoo and sharing the results with me! And if anyone else is interested in getting monthly drawings of your favorite wrestlers, please check out my Patreon page!
Did Battleground really take place just earlier this week? Because after the first Raw post-WWE’s latest brand split, it feels like it was from a different era. An “Old Era” of WWE, when jobbers didn’t have mic time and the championship belts were regulated within our planet. I think I’m going to like the new era.
Battleground Prediction Results: 5 out of 8 right
While that doesn’t seem all that special when looking at “facts” and “numbers”, I got the big one right! I successfully predicted that Ambrose would retain his WWE Championship, while my twitter feed was full of Eeyores moaning all Sunday night about Roman Reigns obviously winning. I took a misguided chance on the US Title and Intercontinental Championship switching brands, but I don’t mind getting that one wrong. It would’ve been pointless shock value, which I guess is more in tune with the “Old Era” now.
While not every match on the show was a classic, Zayn vs. Kevin Owens was a match of the year contender and moments like Bayley’s “surprise” reveal and Ambrose beating Seth and Roman will live on in video packages for years to come.
The Raw Brand Split
I may have not always been optimistic about the brand split, but I feel good about it now. While the roster may be thinned out, it allowed for Raw to have lengthier matches that mattered and even fit in two squash matches that helped get over Nia Jax and the newly single Braun Strowman. I also loved the opening segment being shorter, despite both authority figures being out there talking to all the wrestlers. Sure, Steph belittled a wrestler, but it was just Roman! He’s been built up enough so he can take being called a loser once or twice.
All of the little touches were great too, like pre and post match interviews, and the announce team politely standing for us as they came back from commercial, like a Southern gentleman waiting on his belle. I was glad that Stephanie quickly answered all our title questions by revealing her plans for the “Universal Championship”, which sounds about as cool as a “universal travel adapter”. The real star was, of course, Finn Balor, who made his Raw debut by earning a match against Seth for the new belt at Summerslam. While he didn’t get the huge pop I was hoping for, I don’t doubt that he’ll win the Raw crowd over in time (he might need face paint).
So I don’t sound like a WWE shill, I will point out how lame the Pokemon Go reference was, mostly because R-Truth and Goldust clearly had no idea how to play it and because Cole insisted on pronouncing it Po-kee-mon instead of Po-kay-mon. It’s been around twenty years, Cole. TWENTY. YEARS. Also, all the cool people made their references to it ages (two weeks) ago.
The Smackdown Brand Split
On the other side of the coin, we have Smackdown. I had high hopes for the blue brand, but their first episode fell way behind Raw. First, the roster is tiny. Maybe it won’t seem so bad once they get a few more superstars in there, but seeing the roster barely fit around the ring was ridiculous.
And can Bryan and Shane let us know what they’re doing with the women’s championship and tag team division? Will the champions Sasha and New Day travel between brands, will Smackdown make their own titles, or will all of the wrestlers just work towards number one contender status for when the brands merge back together in six or so years? I know this will be answered eventually, but I think it should have been addressed right off the bat like Raw’s Universal
And look, I like Ziggler. He’s always been good in the ring and entertaining on the mic, but he’s been pre-show fodder all year, and I’m just not excited about seeing him face Ambrose for the title unless he drastically changes his “down on his luck” character. Ambrose defending his title against Dolph reminds me of CM Punk’s WWE Championship reign, where he held the title for a long time but most of his defenses were against Miz, Ryback, Del Rio, Ziggler, Bryan… wrestlers who were no bigger of a name than he was at the time.
Smackdown had its positives, like Eva Marie’s ridiculous entrance and Randy Orton’s new jovial attitude (I never thought I’d mention Eva Marie and Randy Orton as positives), but overall I think it’s the weaker brand by far. We’ll see if American Alpha and Shelton Benjamin can turn things around, but will enough viewers stick around to give them that chance?
You’d think WWE actually waiting a full month after Money in the Bank to have Battleground would build excitement for the Pay Per View, but I think it’s importance pales in comparison to the draft that just happened and seeing what the split rosters are like in action next week. Not to be outdone, there still are a few decent looking matches coming up on Sunday.
Sasha Banks and TBD vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
A lot of people are looking forward to this match as an extra draft pick for Bayley, which would be kind of a cop out, but an exciting one none the less. I imagine Sasha’s team will pick up the win though, especially since she lost her first match on Smackdown (boo!).
Who will win: Sasha Banks
Rusev vs. Zack Ryder for the US Championship & Darren Young vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship
This is a big time for WWE, with a lot of big changes. They want to make sure people tune in to watch their split brands, so I think they’ll attempt to shake things up by having Ryder beat Rusev and Young beat Miz, switching the two titles between brands. I know it’s a risky call to make, but I think WWE will use it as a way to show that anything can happen. Also Young’s been on a hot streak since coming back, and I think a loss to Miz would really stop him in his tracks.
Who will win: Ryder will win the US Championship and Young will win the Intercontinental Championship
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
Well, I guess The New Day will win since they’re the team that’s actually sticking together post-draft. I was worried that Xavier would leave The New Day for the Wyatts, but since Bray’s moving on over to Smackdown, I don’t think he’s taking anyone with him. Oh, except for Rowan. Can’t forget about him.
Who will win: The New Day
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
This was a feud that I was expecting to be broken up by the draft, but I guess it could keep going on for a while! With that in mind, I expect Nattie to win, so Becky can come back next time. I’m really hoping that we get some new info about the Women’s Championship though, and whether Charlotte will travel between brands or if Smackdown will have it’s own title.
Who will win: Natalya
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
I seem to remember a time when I was worried that WWE would sign El Generico and Kevin Steen but never make reference to their long standing friendship and rivalry on the indies. That was a long time ago. Now we’re seeing them in another singles match, and while I’m sure it will be good, I definitely wish they were moving on to separate brands so we knew this was the last time we’d see them fight for a while. Kevin won their last Pay Per View singles encounter, so I’m picking Sami to win.
Who will win: Sami Zayn
John Cena, Enzo Amore, and Big Cass vs. The Club
This is one feud I would’ve liked to see go on for longer. Enzo and Cass help make Cena a little fresher and The Club were really hitting their stride together. I know FInn’s coming up to Raw and will probably join in with Anderson and Gallows, but will he say “ski” the way AJ does? I don’t think so. I’m predicting Cena, Enzo, and Cass will win because, well, it’s John Cena.
Who will win: Cena, Enzo, and Cass
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship
This is a tough one to call, not just because of Roman’s fluctuating popularity with Vince, but also because I really don’t think WWE will let a show go on without a title. I imagine Steph, Shane, Mick, Bryan, and possibly even Vince, will come out and announce a solution to the problem that will involve a tournament being set up on Raw or Smackdown, whichever brand doesn’t have a belt on it. With that in mind I’m predicting Dean to win as a result of Seth and Roman focusing on fighting each other, which will lead to them feuding over a new belt on Raw.
Who will win: Dean Ambrose
All in all I think WWE’s last joint branded Pay Per View (except for the Big Four) looks good, if not a little disjointed thanks to the draft. I’m hoping we’ll get some surprises like a Finn Balor appearance or Cesaro dropping more pipebombs, but even on paper we’re looking at a solid show!