One of the larger stories of the week in WWE was Mr. McMahon’s creation of a “Wild Card” rule. The rule supposedly allows a certain number of superstars from Smackdown to appear on Raw (or vice versa). There are a multitude of problems with this new rule though, the largest of which being how vague it is on details at this point.
How many wrestlers get to make the jump each week? Initially Mr. McMahon said it was limited to 3, because there happened to be 3 men from SDL standing in front of him at the top of Monday night Raw. Later in the show, after Lars Sullivan appeared McMahon changed that number to 4. The problem is that Elias had also made an appearance previously in the show alongside Shane McMahon. So is it actually 5, or does that not count because he was accompanied by the boss’ son?
The other big question is who determines which 3 (or 4 or 5) Superstars get those spots each week? In his introduction of the rule, Mr. McMahon used the word “invited.” This would seem to indicate that each week’s crossover stars would be invited by an authority figure. However, every person who did crossover this week was described by the announce team as taking it upon themselves to “take advantage” of the new rule. So which is it WWE? If 10 members of the SD roster show up backstage Monday night, and 3 (or 4 or 5) of them come out during the opening promo segment does that mean the rest of them pack their bags and go home for the night?
Obviously, this is a rule that was implemented as one of McMahon’s infamous last minute script changes. The details of the rule were not completely thought out, and since the company doesn’t know what they are neither does the audience. The reality is that this is a desperate reaction to a string of low ratings for both shows. Rumors are suggesting that both USA Network and SD’s future home FOX are wanting to see an end to the brand split. WWE has instead come up with this new rule to allow for their top stars to appear on both brands as needed for ratings pops. The prevailing opinion among those of us who report on these things is that it won’t work and shows a lack of awareness regarding the true reason for the ratings decline.
An assortment of messages posted by Lars Sullivan in the years prior to him signing with WWE have been making the rounds thanks to a Reddit user who gathered most of them into one easily read post. The posts are filled with racist, homophobic, and xenophobic statements. There are also posts that degrade people with mental illnesses (ironic considering Lars’ main roster debut was delayed by months due to a supposed anxiety attack). He also criticized many of the Superstars who are now his coworkers. Thus far, only Big E has commented publicly on the situation. He says that the boys backstage are aware of the things that were said about them.
According to some sources, WWE was already aware that these comments were out there. Sullivan is said to have apologized and expressed remorse for the views posted online prior to signing with the company. As far as they were concerned it seemed to be a non-issue. Now that it’s being widely circulated and more known publicly though, there could be pressure from fans, other wrestlers, and (most importantly) advertisers to change their stance on the man. We’ll have to see how this plays out in the days and weeks to come.
Sasha Banks has still not returned to WWE. She was penciled in for the current tour of Europe, but did not travel with the rest of the Superstars. Banks and WWE officials appear to remain in a stalemate with both currently willing to just ride out the remainder of her contract.
Another lead writer has been released from WWE. Raw’s former co-lead Ryan Callahan was reportedly let go after a conflict with another member of the creative team. With so much turmoil and turnover among the writers, it’s no wonder the shows are a bit of a mess right now. As mentioned above though, certain powers that be remain unwilling or unable to recognize the true problems within the company. It’s much easier to make scapegoats of the writers and/or superstars than it is to look in the mirror and admit their own flaws.
It seemed like Dominik Dijakovic was about to embark on his biggest NXT feud since joining the roster. Recent NXT TV began to set in motion a feud with Velveteen Dream over the North American title. Alas, knee surgery has temporarily delayed those plans. No word yet on how long his recovery will take.
Money in the Bank May 19
-Universal Title: Seth Rollins© vs AJ Styles
-Raw Women’s title: Becky Lynch© vs Lacey Evans
-Smackdown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch© vs Charlotte Flair
-WWE Title: Kofi Kingston© vs Kevin Owens
-Roman Reigns vs Elias
-Mens MitB Match: Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, IC champ Finn Balor, Ali, Andrade, and Randy Orton
-Womens MitB Match: Natalya, Dana Brooke, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Ember Moon, Carmella, and Mandy Rose.
-Steel Cage Match: Miz vs Shane McMahon
NXT TakeOver June 1– The 25th NXT TakeOver event will take place in Bridgeport, Connecticut as announced by Triple H on Monday.
Saudi Arabia Show June 7
WWE Stomping Grounds June 23
Extreme Rules July 14
Summerslam August 11
Next week: Money in the Bank preview and predictions!
- Game Preview: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers August 23, 2019
- Beeks struggles late, Rays fall again August 20, 2019
- Tampa Bay signs Jason Licht to new 5-year deal August 17, 2019
- Tampa Bay edges Miami in rainy preseason affair August 17, 2019
- The Week In Wrestling (8/16/19) WWE landscape has changed August 16, 2019
- Is Nate Diaz Overrated? August 15, 2019
- Rays explode late, continue west coast win streak August 13, 2019
- Buccaneers vs. Dolphins: Looking ahead to preseason Week 2 August 12, 2019
- Summerslam/NXT ’19 Chaos and smart booking reigns August 12, 2019
- Buccaneers’ Preseason Recap: Who stood out and who didn’t August 11, 2019