It’s the first week of the new Kevin Owens show, and one would imagine that all sorts of people were looking for revenge against the man who basically had the Universal Title handed to him by Triple H last week! We’ve got all the results of this week’s Raw right here!
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The great thing about The Rock is that you can always count on him to keep you updated on what he’s up to on a daily basis, whether it’s his exercise routine, his eating habits, his adorable puppies, or whichever of the six dozen movie projects he’s currently working on. This time, he’s provided his fans with a first look at the concept art for his starring role in the “reimagining” of the family film Jumanji, where he apparently plays a character named Dr. Bravestone. Really stretched your creativity on that one, people. Anyway, have a look, and just like The Rock, wonder where the heck his upper body disappeared to.
Just announced this morning by Triple H on social media, the next highly anticipated NXT live special will take place in the Great White North, as it will air live on the WWE Network the day before Survivor Series in November from Toronto, (dramatic pause) Ontario, Canada. The announcement advertises matches involving NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka, and NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival, among others.
Much like the NFL holds its own scouting combine to test the various skills of potential draft picks, the WWE Performance Center held its own physical training showcase this week in Orlando. It was an opportunity for both newer trainees and NXT veterans to show off their physical skills in a series of grueling challenges. There’s even a video of some of the highlights of the event, which you can see right here, just in case you ever asked yourself “how hard can it be to become a pro wrestler, anyway?”
Every year, Pro Wrestling Illustrated releases a list of the 500 best wrestlers in the world, ranked across a variety of factors. This year’s edition has studied the data, and come to the conclusion that WWE Superstar Roman Reigns has accomplished enough during the previous voting year (which covers July 2015 to June 2016) to secure the top spot on this prestigious and highly-debated list. “The Guy”, as he apparently wishes to be called, took the honor largely on the strength of 3 WWE World Heavyweight Title victories, his (technically) hour-long stint in the Royal Rumble, and his position in the main event of the largest WrestleMania in history.
This is your weekly reminder that if you have the WWE Network and aren’t watching the Cruiserweight Classic, you are missing one of the best wrestling programs in the world right now. Case in point, the main event match this week featured tournament favorite Kota Ibushi facing off with former WWE Superstar THE Brian Kendrick, now 37 and looking at his last opportunity to make a statement on a relatively big stage. During the match, a desperate Kendrick broke out everything in his arsenal to try and take down Ibushi, including one of the most infamous moves in pro wrestling history, the Burning Hammer.
Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and Smackdown Live! General Manager Daniel Bryan joined ESPN for one of their weekly interview segments, and the topic was, of course, the promo The Miz cut on last week’s Talking Smack (the Smackdown post-game show which airs on the WWE Network) where, among other things, Miz took issue with Bryan saying he “wrestles like a coward” and calling Bryan more of a coward because he hasn’t gone back to wrestling in bingo halls after WWE forced him to stop.
It seems like the Brand Extension might actually be working out for Smackdown Live, as after an initial dip from the massive rating they pulled in for the live Draft episode, it’s been nothing but upward momentum for the blue brand. This week, the show posted its highest viewership since the Draft, showing that fans are starting to come around on the former “B” show, which is extremely good news headed into the first Smackdown-exclusive PPV, Backlash, in just over a week.. The show, which featured AJ Styles laying claim to being the new “Face That Runs The Place” in John Cena’s absence, as well as a main event of Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin (so, not exactly a marquee match-up), drew 2.84 million viewers and a 0.91 rating in the 18-49 demographic, good for second place in original cable programming on Tuesday night, behind OWN’s The Haves And The Have Nots.
Earlier today, we posted an article about Kevin Owens’ son Owen, and his reaction to his father winning the WWE Universal Championship on Raw, which was a fairly heartwarming moment that even managed to touch the emotions of notoriously cynical wrestling fans. But not, however, the cold dead heart of ESPN employee Amin Elhassan, who felt the need to respond to the video of Owen’s reaction to his dad’s title victory with the following: