Finally, the entire roster for WWE 2K17 is known, with 2K revealing the last Superstars to be included today, pushing the total number over the century mark. With these final additions, the roster for WWE 2K17 is looking fairly substantial, including a huge presence from the NXT brand. Take a look at the last Superstars to be named, and get hyped for WWE 2K17, which is scheduled to be released in October!
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is, Brock Lesnar is going to work another match this month, after we thought he’d be gone until January at least, and it’s going to be a rematch against Randy Orton. The bad news is, it’s taking place at a non-televised live event in Chicago the night before Clash of Champions, and it won’t be a WWE Network special, so only the people in attendance will get to see it. Lesnar is also not scheduled to appear on the Raw-exclusive Clash the next night, all of which begs the question: what’s the point of the rematch, then?
After being put in a tough spot due to Finn Balor’s unfortunate injury, this week, Raw crowned a new Universal Champion, with Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, and Big Cass fighting in a four-man Elimination Match to determine the new Champion. But that’s not all that went down on Raw, and we’ve got all the results right here!
Former WWE Superstar Ryback has been fairly active since his WWE contract expired recently, and one of the things he’s apparently decided to put his time into is a podcast called “Conversations With The Big Guy”. In his debut episode, Ryback said a couple things that we just felt had to be noted, for our own amusement if nothing else.
You’ve probably heard by now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had some less-than-complimentary things to say about one of his Fast 8 co-stars after shooting wrapped up, and industry sources revealed that the source of Rock’s ire was mostly likely the star of the franchise, Vin Diesel, who Rock seemed to be accusing of laziness and unprofessionalism. Everyone has an opinion on this, from the other stars of the film, to industry experts, to wrestling fans, and it seems like it’s that last group who might have figured out the angle on this whole thing from the very beginning.
Reports have surfaced which suggest that Roman Reigns’ suspension just before the Brand Extension changed more than a few long-term plans for WWE, so just for fun, we decided to see how many of their current issues they could blame on The Guy. According to the Wrestling Observer, the biggest change caused by Reigns’ suspension was the fact that it ended up sending the WWE World Heavyweight Title to Smackdown, with Dean Ambrose as champion, instead of Raw, which was allegedly the original plan. Reigns and Seth Rollins were expected to feud over that title, while the Universal Championship was supposed to be introduced as a Smackdown-exclusive title, and most importantly, won by AJ Styles, likely in the match against John Cena which happened at SummerSlam anyway. In addition, a planned undercard match for SummerSlam was supposed to see Finn Balor fight Chris Jericho, as the two were expected to have an extended feud for Balor’s initial period following his promotion from NXT. Instead, as Reigns was removed from the Universal title picture, Balor was inserted, and ended up winning the title at SummerSlam…and seriously injuring his shoulder, putting him out for roughly 4-6 months.
Smackdown’s ratings had been trending downwards after the Draft episode, but that trend is officially over as of this week. The show, which featured the introduction of the Smackdown Tag Team and Women’s title belts, as well as a main event of AJ Styles vs Dolph Ziggler in order to determine the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Backlash, scored 2.71 million viewers and 0.98 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the highest rating for the show since the Draft, and the most viewers since the brand extension officially began. While the show was still bringing in numbers higher than pre-Draft episodes, this jump will certainly be seen as a welcome one for WWE and the USA Network, which have both declared a desire to see Smackdown treated as an equivalent show to the flagship, Raw. Smackdown also easily won the night for original cable programming, and most importantly, was a pretty good show!
While we’re certainly thrilled to see Bayley finally get the spot on the WWE main roster she so richly deserved, we can also understand how leaving NXT, a place she was a major part of for several years, would be somewhat bittersweet. What follows is the emotional “Goodbye” message Bayley posted on Instagram for the brand that turned her from a fledgling wrestler into one of the biggest women’s wrestling stars in the world, while NXT simultaneously went from an un-televised developmental show created for training purposes to one of the crown jewels of WWE. Be warned, you will feel things.
The first Raw after an action-packed SummerSlam weekend (and, coincidentally, the first Raw after the end of the Summer Olympics) was very successful for WWE, despite losing the first Universal Champion only a day after he won the title. The show, which focused around a series of matches to determine contenders for the vacant title, as well as the debut of Bayley and the retirement of the Dudley Boyz, averaged 3.32 million viewers and a 1.25 rating in the 18-49 demographics, a significant jump from the last couple of weeks, which have averaged below 3 million viewers, and the highest viewership since June. The show did have its usual third hour nosedive, dropping over 250k viewers, but still did well enough to finish #1 among original cable programming for the evening.
In case you missed Smackdown this week, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan unveiled new title belts: the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, and the Smackdown Women’s Championship. New champions for both will be determined at the first Smackdown-exclusive Pay Per View, Backlash, but for now, take a look at the new belts, and let us know what you think!