Wrestling Mayhem Show 632: WWE – Billions and Billions Swerved

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling US, Slice on Broadway, Occupy Pro Wrestling, and THRIFTY Podcast!

Joe Dombrowski makes the trek to the studio to join us for this week’s show.  He’s talking with Rizz, Mad Mike, and Sorg about:WMS 8.28.2018

  • We’re starting the top of the show off with some All In – WHICH IS THIS WEEKEND! (Finally).
  • This weekend is a giant nexus of amazing shows.
  • Joe is sharing some thoughts on Starrcast.
  • Cody Rhodes already sold part of the All In ring – to pay for the battle royal.
  • We’re taking a look at the rundown for All In.
  • Sorg was blinded by Kenny Omega and Pentagon.
  • Will AJ Lee show up for All In?
  • Is ROH still “independent” wrestling or have they been elevated to a “company?”
  • Blackcraft Wrestling debuted in Pittsburgh this past weekend. Our crew is sharing some thoughts.
  • Paige is a Hot Topic model?
  • OH: The coolest thing about a wrestling shirt is when it doesn’t look like a wrestling shirt.
  • OH: You can’t produce wrestling unless you understand it.
  • We’re getting a little bit of analysis going on – drawing some comparisons between Blackcraft Wrestling and Lucha Underground – as to how they could potentially work together.
  • This week’s Big Question: Who is best about keeping in character outside of the ring?
  • We’re learning that Frantik is trying to build a relationship with Rizz.
  • Dombrowski is sharing some words of wisdom for wrestlers regarding their social media personas.
  • If you watch some ROH, you may have seen Joe. We’re getting him to talk some sense into Mad Mike so he’ll watch the show!
  • WWE is the McDonalds of wrestling.
  • New Japan is All In! They will have the show available on the network after it airs live.
  • What did YOU learn from wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Joe Dombrowski (@joe_dombrowski), Rizz (@TheeRizz), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Sorg (@Sorgatron).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

Wrestling Mayhem Show 611: Deep Into MayhemMania Season


We couldn’t have planned this week’s in-studio guest any better if we tried.  Marcus Mann joins us on the big purple couch to talk about the road to WrestleMania!  He’s joined by Rob, Larry, Sorg, Mad Mike, and Mainstream Matt as they talk about:

  • We’ve got the RYSE Wrestling Head of Talent Relations, Marcus Mann, on the sofa this week!
  • Sorg was in Florida over the weekend, and had a chance to visit the Hulk Hogan shop down there.
  • Marcus Mann is sharing some updates about what they’re up to down at RYSE Wrestling. Want to check it out? Head over to www.indywrestling.us
  • We’ll be getting to some Fastlane and WrestleMania talk shortly. But first – John Cena has a Road to WrestleMania and Marcus couldn’t be happier.
  • John Cena broke RAW.
  • We’re breaking down an interesting comparison between John Cena, Hulk Hogan, and Chris Jericho.
  • It’s the wrestler’s responsibility to take that #1 spot. If someone isn’t taking that spot, then it really belongs to the guy at the top. (In this case John Cena.)
  • Vince McMahon will not give anyone a Jr. suffix because he feels it is demeaning.
  • Sorg apparently ran into Paige at an ICP show last week?
  • Fastlane happened this weekend, and we’ve got a clearer picture about what we’ll be seeing at WrestleMania.
  • We found out Marcus Mann is apparently a huge Brock Lesnar fan, in addition to being a John Cena fan…and a Chris Jericho fan…
  • We’re taking a trip down memory lane…to Summer Slam 2002.
  • You think Brock Lesnar could kill a person – watch him punch Braun Strowman in the face. He’s the closest thing we can get to a Bruiser Brody.
  • Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment by setting our expectations too high for WrestleMania?
  • Thanks to The Bar we can no longer take discussions regarding setting the bar seriously.
  • When ranking WrestleMania events, which one is the “average” by which you should set your expectations by?
  • It’s time for MayhemMania! Let’s see what havoc we can wreak this week!
  • It’s getting near time for Patreon in the Bank. Are you a supporter of the show so you can get in on it https://www.patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow
  • What did YOU learn in wrestling this week?

Thanks to Tonio Garza (@TheWRevolution) for putting together graphics for MayhemMania.

Our good friend, Rizz is raising money and awareness through the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation Team Pittsburgh 2018 Pittsburgh Marathon.  Check out his fundraiser page at: https://www.crowdrise.com/dsgfpitt2018/fundraiser/zachrizza

Follow our stable on Twitter: Matt (@MainstreamMat), Rob (@RobBrownPA78), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), Sorg (@Sorgatron), and Mutilator Larry (@MutilatorLarry)

If you are in Pittsburgh, you got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

 

Who’s Ready For Asuka? We Did The Math!

The impending arrival of Asuka, and her undefeated streak in WWE, looms like a shadow over Monday Night Raw’s women’s division.

How will things play out after her official debut on WWE’s main roster? We’ll begin to find out at TLC on October 22.

That leaves us with plenty of time to speculate on potential matches. Asuka laid waste to NXT’s women’s division and many in NXT and on WWE’s main roster now have the won-loss records to prove it. (more…)

Wrestling Mayhem Show 542: Imagine Ryback on Steroids

  • It’s James Ellsworth – Mania on Smackdown!
  • Sasha Banks and Charlotte are slated to main event Hell in a Cell!
  • Paige proposes to Alberto El Patron.
  • TNA Wrestling is getting weird with lawsuits. Where can our favorite wrestlers work if they fold?
  • Big Question: What is your irrational pet peeve in pro wrestling right now?
  • Bobby tells us some fan stories from House of Hardcore 20
  • We learned things in wrestling this week!

Help out the show with a donation! Go to patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow

Follow our stable on Twitter: Dan Hooven (@danielhooven), Eamon Paton (@eamon2please, Inspire Pro), Bobbyfjtown (@bobbyfjtown) and Michael Sorg (@sorgatron, sorgatronmedia.com)

If you are in Pittsburgh, you got to go to Slice on Broadway and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com/Twitter: @pgh_slice)

Thanks to our Awesome Patreons Bodiggity (@ajfrompgh), Alex Kahrs (@power2thesmarks) , Ed Burke (@EdBurke37), and Bobbyfjtown (@bobbyfjtown) !  You can support the show too at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow !

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

MP3 Download

Mayhem Mania 2016 – Final Round!

This… is… Mayhem Mania! Not quite a game. Not really a contest. More like a competitive thought experiment. The object is to create the best WrestleMania card possible – NOT necessarily to predict what WWE will do.

This is not fantasy booking (even though it kind of is). Any match created must be possible in real life. That means all wrestlers come in their current physical, emotional and contractual state. Anyone selected for a match must have a reasonable chance of being hired by WWE to appear on the real-life WrestleMania card. Simply put, we have to play by the same rules as Vince McMahon.

If you’re just joining us, here are the recaps of previous rounds.
Round 1Round 2 – Round 3 – Round 4 – Round 5 – Round 6 – Round 7 – Round 8 – Round 9 – Patreon In The Bank 


 

The spectacular and unpredictable Patreon In The Bank round is history, and the SUPERCARD is set (you can see it by clicking the link above). but there’s always something to fight over in Mayhem Mania. During the final round on the Wrestling Mayhem Show (@MayhemShow) on March 22, seven members of the WMS Universe were invited to fine tune the “undercard”, the eight matches that didn’t GRADUATE. Only one will earn a place on the Mayhem Mania preshow!

This week’s participants had the usual 3 options:

1. SWAP a wrestler/tag team for one already on the card.
2. ADD an unused wrestler/tag team to an existing match.
3. KILL a match AND CREATE an entirely new match with unused wrestlers.

Under the “Alex Kahrs Rule”, both Ed Burke and Alex Kahrs himself got to hand out some “punishment”. This week, it’s a name drawn from The Jar Of The Unloved, which is filled with the names of those main roster wrestlers in WWE whose names have yet to be called during Mayhem Mania 2016. Alex gave it to Eamon. Ed gave it to Mad Mike.

Now, on with the show!

MAYHEM MANIA 2016 – FINAL ROUND

Move 1 (@HotWheelzRWA)
ADD R-Truth to Darren Young vs. Michael Tarver

Move 2 (@TheeRizz)
SWAP Ronda Rousey for Todd Chrisley

Move 3 (@Sorgatron)
ADD Blue Pants to Eva Marie vs. Lana

Move 4 (Antonio Garza – @TheWRevolution)
KILL El Torito vs. Hornswoggle AND CREATE Alex Riley vs. Damien Sandow vs. Fandango vs. Wade Barrett

Move 5 (@MadMike4883)
(*Erick Rowan drawn from The Jar Of The Unloved)
KILL Darren Young vs. Michael Tarver vs. R-Truth AND CREATE Bobby Roode & Eric Young vs. Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman

Move 6 (@Bobbyfjtown)
KILL Snooki & David Arquette & Kevin Federline vs. Todd Chrisley & Stephen Amell & Karl Malone AND CREATE Undertaker vs. Baron Corbin

Move 7 (@Eamon2Please)
(*Jack Swagger drawn from The Jar Of The Unloved)
KILL El Torito vs. Hornswoggle AND CREATE Jack Swagger vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Several players took advantage of their ELIMINATOR, which can banish any name from being used in Mayhem Mania 2016. Garza ELIMINATORED Stephen Amell after Bobby killed his match. Sorgatron ELIMINATORED El Torito after Garza killed his match. Finally, Bobby ELIMINATORED two people, Ronda Rousey and Stephen Amell. There was a lot of backlash to that celebrity match.

With the final moves of the final round now in the books, let’s take a look at the updated “undercard”.

Kennel From Hell Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Austin Aries
(Created by Antonio Garza – @TheWRevolution)
W9M1

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Presented by “Sunny Side Up”
(Created by @EdBurke37)
W10M5

Ladder Match for Divas Championship
Paige vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Bayley
(Created by @MadMike4883)
W10M7

Chris Jericho vs.  Dolph Ziggler
(Created by @Sorgatron)
W10M8

Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode & Eric Young
(Created by @MadMike4883)
W11M1

Lana vs. Eva Marie vs. Blue Pants
(Created by @Sorgatron)
W11M3

Jack Swagger vs. Tommaso Ciampa
(Created by @Eamon2Please)
W11M2

Undertaker vs. Baron Corbin
(Created by @Bobbyfjtown)
W11M4

As mentionted, you will decide which one of these eight matches will get a coveted spot on the Mayhem Mania 2016 preshow. Everyone else will be thrown together into a pointless battle royal. So, head over to the WMS Facebook group and cast your vote for your favorite.

Who was left out of Mayhem Mania that deserved a spot? Is the “undercard” better than the SUPERCARD? Share your feedback with us, and thanks for your support of Mayhem Mania!

Mayhem Mania 2016 – Patreon In The Bank

This… is… Mayhem Mania! Not quite a game. Not really a contest. More like a competitive thought experiment. The object is to create the best WrestleMania card possible – NOT necessarily to predict what WWE will do.

This is not fantasy booking (even though it kind of is). Any match created must be possible in real life. That means all wrestlers come in their current physical, emotional and contractual state. Anyone selected for a match must have a reasonable chance of being hired by WWE to appear on the real-life WrestleMania card. Simply put, we have to play by the same rules as Vince McMahon.

If you’re just joining us, here are the recaps of previous rounds.
Round 1Round 2 – Round 3 – Round 4 – Round 5 – Round 6 – Round 7 – Round 8 – Round 9


The spectacular and unpredictable Patreon In The Bank round of Mayhem Mania 2016 was held during the Wrestling Mayhem Show (@MayhemShow) on March 15. Only Patreon supporters of the Wrestling Mayhem Show were eligible to partcipate. As thanks for their financial support, they were granted the opportunity to make up to five moves.

1) Fast-track GRADUATE one match to the SUPERCARD
2) If necessary, CREATE a new match to fill the slot on the “undercard” left open by the just-graduated match
3) Make a traditional “move” or a change to the “undercard”.
4) Add a stipulation to any match
5) Just for fun, add a sponsor to any match.

Whenever a match GRADUATES to the SUPERCARD, the player who created it gets an ELIMINATOR. It can be used a single time, at any time, to remove any single person from Mayhem Mania 2016. Those on the current card are protected from the ELIMINATOR, but if they are traded out for someone else, they would be vulnerable. Before the start of the Patreon In The Bank round, Eamon Paton cashed in and ELIMINATORED…Mr. Anderson! I’ll have the updated list of who has an ELIMINATOR to use later.

One match graduated following Round 9 last week. Sorgatron created it, so he got to CREATE a match to fill the open slot on the “undercard”.

Mayhem Mania 2016 – Round 9.5

Move #1 (@Sorgatron)
CREATE Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler

Now, on with the show!

Mayhem Mania 2016 – Patreon In The Bank

Patreon #1 – A.J.
1) GRADUATE Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles
2) CREATE Social Outcasts vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Tye Dillinger & Kozlov
4) STIPULATION for Social Outcasts vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Tye Dillinger & Kozlov = Family Double Dare Obstacle Course Match. Winners get a 13″ TV and a trip to Space Camp.

Patreon #2 – @EdBurke37
1) GRADUATE Blake & Murphy vs. The Revival vs. American Alpha
2) CREATE Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
3) KILL Mojo Rawley (with Rob Gronkowski) vs. Baron Corbin AND CREATE Asuka vs. Charlotte
4) STIPULATION for Asuka vs. Charlotte = Ladder Match for Divas Title
5) SPONSOR for Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso vs. The Rock vs. Roman Reigns vs. Nia Jax = Ancestry.com

Patreon #3 – Antonio Garza (@TheWRevolution)
1) GRADUATE  Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso vs. The Rock vs. Roman Reigns vs. Nia Jax
2) CREATE Eva Marie vs. Lana
3) KILL Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev AND CREATE Kofi Kingston vs. Big E vs. Xavier Woods
4) STIPULATION for Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso vs. The Rock vs. Roman Reigns vs. Nia Jax = Winner becomes the sole user of the “Rock’s cousin” monicker. If The Rock wins, losers must leave the Anoa’i Family.
5) SPONSOR for Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch = “Sunny Side Up”

Patreon #4 – Matthew & Jennifer Carlins Foundation For Podcast Betterment (@JenCarlins)
1) GRADUATE Kofi Kingston vs. Big E vs. Xavier Woods
2) CREATE Dean Ambrose vs. Drake Wuertz
4) STIPULATION for Dean Ambrose vs. Drake Wuertz = Barbed Wire Hell In A Cell Match
5) SPONSOR for Dean Ambrose vs. Drake Wuertz = Lowe’s

Patreon #5 – @AlexanderKahrs
1) GRADUATE Dean Ambrose vs. Drake Wuertz
2) CREATE El Torito vs. Hornswoggle
3) ADD Paige to Asuka vs. Charlotte
4) STIPULATION for Alberto Del Rio vs. Austin Aries = Kennel From Hell
5) SPONSOR for Finn Bálor vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn = EWMerch.com

Patreon #6 – @MadMike4883
1) GRADUATE Social Outcasts vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Tye Dillinger & Kozlov
2) CREATE Snooki & David Arquette & Kevin Federline vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Stephen Amell vs. Karl Malone
3) ADD Bayley to Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Paige
4) STIPULATION for Kofi Kingston vs. Big E vs. Xavier Woods = Super Smash Bros. Melee Match
5) SPONSOR for Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles = Wrestling Mayhem Show

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but we have accomplished our stated goal for Mayhem Mania 2016 and GRADUATED eight matches to the SUPERCARD.

MAYHEM MANIA 2016 – THE SUPERCARD!

Finn Bálor vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
Presented by EWMerch.com
(Created by @eamon2please)
W4M1

Apollo Crews vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt
(Created by @Sorgatron)
W6M1

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles
Presented by Wrestling Mayhem Show
(Created by @Bobbyfjtown)
W4M4

Blake & Murphy vs. The Revival vs. American Alpha
(Created by @Bobbyfjtown)
W8M4

Anoa’i Family Expulsion Match presented by: Ancestry.com
(Winner becomes the sole user of the “Rock’s cousin” monicker. If The Rock wins, losers must leave the Anoa’i Family)
Jimmy Uso vs. Roman Reigns vs. The Rock vs. Nia Jax vs. Jey Uso
(Created by Stosh from @MaxXouT)
W9M3

Super Smash Bros. Melee Match
Kofi Kingston vs. Big E vs. Xavier Woods
(Created by Antonio Garza – @TheWRevolution)
W10M1

Family Double Dare Obstacle Course Match
(Winners get a 13″ TV and a trip to Space Camp)
Social Outcasts vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady & Tye Dillinger & Kozlov
(Created by A.J.)
W10M2

Barbed Wide Hell In A Cell Match presented by Lowe’s
Drake Wuertz vs. Dean Ambrose
(Created by (@JenCarlins)
W10M3

And now, here are the 8 matches on the “undercard” following Patreon In The Bank.

Darren Young vs. Michael Tarver
(Created by @eamon2please)
W9M2

Kennel From Hell Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Austin Aries
(Created by Antonio Garza – @TheWRevolution)
W9M1

Eva Marie vs. Lana
(Created by Antonio Garza – @TheWRevolution)
W10M4

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Presented by “Sunny Side Up”
(Created by @EdBurke37)
W10M5

El Torito vs. Hornswoggle
(Created by @AlexanderKahrs)
W10M6

Ladder Match for Divas Championship
Paige vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Bayley
(Created by @MadMike4883)
W10M7

Chris Jericho vs.  Dolph Ziggler
(Created by @Sorgatron)
W10M8

Snooki & David Arquette & Kevin Federline vs. Ronda Rousey & Stephen Amell & Karl Malone
(Created by @MadMike4883)
W10M9

What’s left for these eight matches on the “undercard”, a shot at the Mayhem Mania pre-show! Next week, we’ll hold the final round of Mayhem Mania 2016. Players will get to make some final changes to the “undercard” matches. After that, we will have a vote on the Wrestling Mayhem Show Facebook page to decide which one will get a spot on the Mayhem Mania pre-show.

There will be more. Because there were two changes to what became the Paige vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Bayley match during the Patreon In The Bank round, the “Alex Kahrs Rule” applies to both Ed Burke and Alex Kahrs himself. They’ll be invited back next week to make the final moves of the final round of Mayhem Mania 2016. Also, both will get to hand out a dose of “punishment” to the other players.

Finally, because six matches GRADUATED to the SUPERCARD during Patreon In The Bank, six ELIMINATORS are hereby awarded. Bobby actually gets two ELIMINATORS because two of his matches graduated. Also joining Sorgatron in the group with a single ELIMINATOR to use: Stosh from MaxXouT, Antonio Garza, A.J. and Jen Carlins.

What changes would you make to the “undercard”? Which one deserves to be on the Mayhem Mania pre-show? Who deserves to be punished Share your feedback with us, and thanks for your support of Mayhem Mania!

The Mayhemmys 2016 – How You Voted

The 2016 edition of The Mayhemmys were awarded this week on the Wrestling Mayhem Show. We have some very worthy winners, some surprising results and a decent dose of controversy.

This had to be most ambitious format for year-end professional wrestling awards, and I think it was a great success. It began with the gathering of an expert panel of industry insiders: announcer/producer Joe Dombrowski, professional wrestler Chris LeRusso and International Wrestling Cartel owner Justin Plummer. Their nominees in the 8 categories were then put up for a public vote, with write-in candidates also being accept. The results were tallied, and here are your winners.

WMSmale

The big story was the large, and diverse, field of write-in candidates. We received many different names, but none garnered enough support from the masses to jump past our expert panel’s nominees. Among those, Seth Rollins was the clear winner.

WMSfemaleOne of the biggest blowouts in this year’s voting, Sasha Banks was the overwhelming choice among the voters.

WMStag

You had to know there was going to be some unrest after our expert panel declined to nominate The New Day in this category. The public made their opinion known with a strong write-in campaign. In the end, it wasn’t enough to beat the Young Bucks.

WMSshow

This was one of the closest votes in this year’s Mayhemmys. Both TakeOver: Brooklyn and Wrestle Kingdom 9 were great shows which represented monumental, historic steps forward for both NXT and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

WMSbrand

Another controversial result, NXT was actually trailing in this category going into the final days of the voting. A late surge of support gave NXT the winning edge.

WMSnon

The biggest revolt against our expert panel’s nominees is in this category. Despite being nominated, Stephanie McMahon garnered little support. The public staged a passionate write-in campaign for Dario Cueto, but it fell well short of Paul Heyman, whose position as the standard for speaking in pro wrestling remains secure.

WMSnext

Wow. The biggest blowout in this year’s Mayhemmys is right here. Finn Bálor absolutely torched the rest of the field.

A big thank you to everyone who voted for The Mayhemmys. I enjoyed the new format. Hopefully, we can do it even bigger and better next year!

The Mayhemmys 2016 Voting is open!

This… is… The Mayhemmys!

The Wrestling Mayhem Show is taking a look back at 2015, and honoring the very best in professional wrestling.

You will decide this year’s winners in six categories. But first, let’s meet the nominees selected by our expert panel of industry insiders – announcer/producer Joe Dombrowski, professional wrestler Chris LeRusso and International Wrestling Cartel owner Justin Plummer.

Now, it’s time for you to make your voice heard. Cast your vote for the Mayhemmy for Match Of The Year, and watch the live broadcast of the Wrestling Mayhem Show on February 2, 2016 to see the winners announced in all categories.

Total Divas Wrap Up 1/20/16: Love Triangle

Mad Mike and Jen Carlins are back to talk about the dirt on our favorite Divas! We pick up right where we left off with drama between John Cena, Nikki Bella, and Dolph Ziggler. Also Paige is still flustered with saying she doesn’t want to be engaged. And who wants a Brie Bella Box? This is a serious question.

 

You can now subscribe to JUST the Midweek Night Wars!  Visit and rate us in iTunes and Stitcher!

What’s At Stake: TLC 2015

As we head into yet another special event on the WWE Network, I’ll try to answer one simple question: What are these guys and girls fighting over? As always, we welcome your feedback. Send an email to [email protected]

Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns
What’s At Stake: WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns’ credibility as a world title contender. What could be Sheamus’ last shot at a main event spot. The immediate future of WWE television viewership.
For a match that not many people want to see, there are certainly plenty of compelling subplots to examine. These are dark times for WWE. Injuries and other unwelcome leaves of absence have eroded the top of the main roster. The problems created by the shortage of high-end talent are compounded by countless creative missteps and a 3-hour time slot every Monday night that WWE management is struggling to properly utilize. Don’t believe me? Fine. Maybe you’ll listen to Triple H. To his credit, he owned the current state of professional wrestling’s industry leader during a conference call to promote next Wednesday’s NXT TakeOver: London special event on the WWE Network.

“It’s on us to be more creative and come up with a better format; a better show. We hear people’s frustrations and in a lot of ways feel the same way. It’s fixing it. And, trying to fix it. It is what it is. How we fix it, we’re not 100 percent sure yet. But, we will get there. Trust me.”

Two men find themselves in the dead center of this mess, tasked with making some sort of positive impact on WWE’s immediate future. It’s unfair to blame Roman Reigns and/or Sheamus for what’s ailing WWE, but…well, here they are. Television viewership for Raw has plunged to new lows since Survivor Series, when Reigns finally won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to lose it 5:15 later after Sheamus cashed in Money In The Bank.

Sheamus wasn’t in the best position to be fast-tracked into the main event picture, but Seth Rollins’ untimely knee injury left a gaping hole that had to be filled. Sheamus is bringing all the cackling enthusiasm and abrasive energy he can muster to his role as WWE’s top title holder, but the results haven’t been there. Not even the hasty formation of the League Of Nations could generate any tangible momentum.

Reigns hasn’t been terrible in his role, but WWE can’t seem to prevent itself from putting him in situations he’s not equipped to handle. Meanwhile, WWE is taking heavy fire from all angles, from casual fans to the usual gang of know-it-all jerks on the internet to former WWE wrestlers and employees, about the quality of its creative direction. It’s a damn mess. Still, despite all the problems, Sheamus and Reigns may very well deliver a compelling, hard-hitting match on Sunday.

In my opinion, Reigns’ time is far past overdue. He’s come up short too many times over the past year. If it were up to me, he would’ve won the title the night after Survivor Series on Raw. The fans in Nashville sure sounded ready for it.

I was in the crowd the following week in Pittsburgh, when Reigns actually did get his title match. I’ll never forget this one guy in our section. They announced Reigns would have to beat Sheamus in 5:15 to win the title. Immediately, the fan confidently blurted out, “that’s doable!” A lot of people in Pittsburgh wanted to believe Reigns was going to win the title that night, myself included.

It didn’t happen, and the waiting game drags on. Personally, I’m tired of being strung along. I’m ready to see what Reigns can do as champion. Why wait any longer? Does WWE really have the potatoes to string this chase out for another month and risk finding new lows for Raw’s viewership?

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Whats’s At Stake: WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kevin Owens is the most dominant champion in WWE, and it’s getting hard to find worthy challengers. Enter the runner-up in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, who actually beat Owens at Survivor Series.

This title match has been simmering for a while, but it was put on the back burner after Survivor Series. Ambrose was spending most of his time hanging out with Roman Reigns and The Usos. Then, Owens missed Raw in Pittsburgh after he got sick. This past Monday, we finally got Ambrose and Owens in the ring face-to-face. It got weird.

I’m not sure that’s the best way to build interest in Sunday’s Intercontinental Title match, but I feel fairly confident the contract signing on SmackDown was more effective.

This should feel like a dream match, but there are a couple problems. First, we just saw it at Survivor Series.

Second, we already know Ambrose can beat Owens in a fair fight. The Lunatic Fringe has been a step ahead of K.O. at almost every turn. So, why does it feel like there’s no chance Ambrose wins the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday?

The New Day vs. The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons
What’s At Stake: WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE’s current masters of moving merchandise are a runaway herd of wild unicorns. Everything The New Day touches seems to turn to gold, and lately, they’ve been touching just about everything. It seems no more than 15 minutes can pass on Raw and SmackDown before they ride out to hijack another segment. Clearly, someone with decision-making power in WWE finds them very amusing. Is it too much of a good thing? Some fans are certainly starting to feel that way. Perhaps that’s by design. Ready to see The New Day get knocked down a peg? It may happen in this ladder match at TLC.

Charlotte vs. Paige
What’s At Stake: WWE Divas Championship. Charlotte’s “blue chip” status.
Charlotte (and in many ways, the entire Divas division) has wandered off the tracks in recent weeks. The warning signs have been there for a while, but things really went awry during a main event contract signing segment just before Survivor Series. Paige’s final verbal burn turned into a public relations nightmare for WWE, which now pretends it never even happened. Unfortunately, fans have a longer memory. Charlotte and Paige are both paying the price for that verbal misdeed several weeks ago. Their last title tilt was met with a lukewarm response, and that appears to have altered the future plans for the current face of the Divas division. Charlotte and Paige crossed paths for another verbal showdown during a Miz TV segment on last Monday’s Raw.

Man. WWE was so close to pulling this off – getting fans to turn on Charlotte and shift their cheers to Paige. Sadly, it fell apart after Paige slapped Ric Flair and then ran away from Charlotte. Fans are now stuck with another Divas Championship match where there’s no clear hero to cheer. Charlotte’s cheating heart is beating strong, but the sudden course change for her character has left the Divas division looking rudderless.

Dudley Boyz & Rhyno & Tommy Dreamer vs. The Wyatt Family
What’s At Stake: The latest reunion of ECW originals. The Wyatt Family’s tenuous grasp on its own forward momentum.
Out of the ashes of the Wyatt Family’s decimation at the hands of the Undertaker and Kane rose this little gem of a match. After a week on the wrong side of some Wyatt beatings, the Dudley Boyz went looking for reinforcements. Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno returned to Raw, and now we have another reunion of ECW originals and sufficient manpower for an eight-man tables match at TLC. I seem to say it every time I write one of these preview columns, but it bears repeating – The Wyatt Family could really use a win here.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
What’s At Stake: WWE United States Championship. Jack Swagger’s return to relevance. Perhaps, Zeb Colter’s heart.
Less than two months ago, Alberto Del Rio roared back into WWE with a shockingly decisive win over John Cena, and became the new United States Champion. It should’ve been the start of something big, but it never felt right. Del Rio and Zeb Colter were an odd pairing from the start, and the concept of Mex-America never made much sense. The good news is that all of that is now in the past.

Del Rio and Colter (and his scooter) went their separate ways, and Mex-America is no more following last Monday’s Raw. Is the United States Championship next to fall? Jack Swagger was off television for a while, and I must be honest. I’ve enjoyed seeing him since his return. All Swagger needs is a little something to convince fans to believe in him. A title win in a chairs match at TLC could be just the thing.

Ryback vs. Rusev.
What’s At Stake: The decisive victory Rusev needs to resume his march back to the top of the card.
Ryback stuck his nose where it didn’t belong, interrupting Lana’s return to Raw a couple weeks ago. That immediately led to a match between Ryback and Rusev, and a less than satisfying count-out victory for the Big Guy. A rematch this past Monday ended in an even less satisfying double count-out. If Rusev is going to get back to where many fans want him to be, he needs to win here.