Why WWE’s ‘New Era’ is a best thing in sports this summer

July 29, 2016 - WWE

Are we a wrestling fan?

I know that we are — or during least, we were. We all were! Maybe we used to adore sports party during WWE’s “Attitude Era” (you know, behind when it was still WWF, before a pandas stole a name back). Or maybe we were some-more of a WCW fan, losing your mind when Sting descended from a rafters to take out a nWo. Heck, maybe we eschewed a mainstream and desired ECW. Or maybe you’ve remained a doctrinaire to this unequivocally day. If so, we only had one heck of a week.

Regardless of where we mount — or once stood — this is a ideal time to burst into wrestling with both feet. The summer is typically a misfortune partial of a sports calendar. There’s no NFL, there’s no NBA, there’s not even any hockey. Yes, there’s ball (on your internal FOX affiliate!), and this year brings us a Olympics (which we competence or not be watching). But any year, we kvetch about a miss of sports programming in Jul and August. This year, however, WWE is charity a resolution to your dullness … if you’re peaceful to balance in.

For those who competence not know, WWE recently attempted a second “brand extension.” In a nutshell, a dual weekly shows — Raw and SmackDown — are being separate detached into graphic brands with their possess rosters, championships and live broadcasts. Raw is on Monday. SmackDown’s on Tuesday. To faciliate that transparent subdivision between a dual shows, WWE hold a draft. No longer will superstars seem on both shows. They’re possibly Raw- or SmackDown-exclusive, relocating forward. And it all kicked off this week in what WWE is job a New Era.

It was kind of overwhelming, generally entrance off a “Battleground” pay-per-view this weekend. On tip of that, it’s not only Raw and SmackDown one has to watch any week. Wednesdays underline an hour of NXT (WWE’s top-notch developmental show) and an hour of a Cruiserweight Classic. Truly, a wrestling crater runneth over.

Here’s a upside, though: The wrestling was outstanding. Okay, SmackDown could have been better. But Raw was amazing, NXT was a common fun, doctrinaire experience, and a CWC continues to dump a jaws with some of a best tangible in-ring work on a planet.

To be honest, this week felt like a Monday Night Wars were on us once again — that fabulous duration in wrestling story when WWF and WCW pushed any other to be improved and improved on a weekly basis. we know, we know. Those were mythological times; to plead a Wars is utterly a compliment. But one week into a New Era, it’s true. Why not check it out for yourself? After all, what else do we have going on during a week in August?

Of course, there’s no pledge that WWE can means this movement going forward. We’ve seen lofty heights followed by idle lows before in a wrestling world. And with so many programming to fill, there will be dips here and there. It’s inevitable.

But you, my friend, don’t need wrestling to be perfect. You’re only looking for something to fill a time until football season, and WWE is a solution. For a subsequent month, you’ll have copiousness of eventuality to watch all of a programming (plus SummerSlam in a few weeks, featuring a pretension compare and a hitch between Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton) and collect that shows we like best. Once a opening week of a unchanging deteriorate rolls around, we can skip a programs we don’t like, staying present on possibly Raw or SmackDown (or, if we unequivocally tumble in love, maybe even NXT).

Ideally, that should substantially be SmackDown. The normal sports fan’s Monday night is already flattering bustling in a tumble and winter, so Raw competence not work in that schedule. But that works well! SmackDown is a home of John Cena, Randy Orton, AJ Styles — thre names that we know if you’ve ever had an seductiveness in wrestling. WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose lives on SmackDown, too, where he does an glorious delivery of a complicated Brian Pillman with even improved wrestling skills.

Maybe Raw will infer irresistable, though. That’s where women’s champion Sasha Banks, who recently degraded Charlotte Flair (yes, she’s Ric’s daughter), resides. Oh, and by a way, this isn’t a aged Divas division, where coming was initial and piece was passed last. The women of WWE put on some of a best matches, with some of a best storylines. In wrestling, distinct other sports, a genders have gained some jot of equality.

Raw will also see a origination of a new pretension headed into SummerSlam. World champion Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown, after all, and there was no approach WWE’s flagship module could even exist yet a belt. So certain enough, a “Universal Title” will be adult for grabs during SummerSlam as tip luminary Seth Rollins faces Finn Balor, an up-and-comer who was in NXT before to a code prolongation draft. At that point, any code will have a possess championship. Here’s anticipating they don’t try to harmonize them down a line.

Speaking of pay-per-views, you’re substantially wondering what a breeze means for a monthly shows. Are WrestleMania, Summer Slam, a Royal Rumble and all a rest going to feel a effects of such a huge shift? That stays misleading during this point, yet WWE did announce a SmackDown-exclusive PPV for September. Perhaps those will continue to be one-off events. Or maybe WWE is going to have dual PPVs a month many months, with a large pay-per-views bringing stars from both shows together a few times a year in a jubilee of a product as a whole.

Either way, we can’t tell a clothesline from an enziguri yet meaningful a superstars, so here are a vital players during this indicate in wrestling history:


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Commissioner: Stephanie McMahon

You know Steph. She’s a daughter of Vince McMahon, and she plays a same corporate impression she always has. Frankly, she’s damn good during it.

General manager: Mick Foley

Mankind. Cactus Jack. Duuuuuuuude Love. Some of a biggest gimmicks ever belonged to one of a biggest group who ever stepped into a squared circle. Foley’s a man, and his warn proclamation as a GM of Raw was amazing.

Top wrestlers:

Seth Rollins: If we watch Raw, Rollins is a man you’ll hearten for. He’s a illusory worker, he knows how to work a microphone, and he’s substantially going to win a new Universal Title during SummerSlam.

Roman Reigns: Vince McMahon has always desired big, bumbling behemoths. Reigns fits that bill, yet given WWE has attempted to rouse him to a categorical eventuality before he was ready, fans have incited on Reigns. He desperately needs to spin a heel and gain on that heat.

Brock Lesnar: Brock was drafted to Raw, and he’ll make a few appearances before SummerSlam, nonetheless not in a ring. Don’t design Lesnar to be on WWE programming all that often.

The New Day: The three-man tab group now binds a WWE Tag Team titles. They put on some of a best pre-match promos in a business, and they even have their possess cereal: Booty O’s! They make certain we ain’t booty.

Sasha Banks: Banks is Snoop Dogg’s cousin, and she’s wanted to be a wrestler given she was a small girl. This week on Raw, she degraded Charlotte to spin a women’s champion, and fans mislaid their minds. She’s a transparent favorite in WWE, and you’ll tumble in adore with her in a matter of seconds.

Charlotte: She’s a ideal heel, someone we adore to hate. But she’s a illusory wrestler, too, that she demonstrated with an extraordinary moonsault during a many new PPV.

Rusev: The United States pretension is still around, and it belongs to this Bulgarian beast who comes to ringside accompanied by a poetic Lana, to whom he only married in genuine life.

Enzo Cass: These competence be my favorite superstars, full stop. Cass is a 7-footer who moves like he’s Shawn Michaels, and we can’t learn that. Enzo, on a other hand, is a many assured gnat you’ve ever met — and his promos have fast spin a things of legend. All it takes is one EC shred to replenish your faith in wrestling.

SmackDown! Live

Commissioner: Shane McMahon

After a prolonged hiatus, Shane O Mac is back. SmackDown is ostensible to be a uncover that does divided with aged traditions; carrying Shane during a helm is a ideal approach to accomplish that.

General manager: Daniel Bryan

Bryan was one of a tip wrestlers of a post-Attitude era. He’s an superb in-ring technician whose Everyman coming and prolonged tour to WWE won a hearts of fans. Injury cut his career short, yet he recently re-joined a WWE as a commentator and now, as GM.

Top wrestlers:


Marc Pfitzenreuter / Getty Images

Dean Ambrose: Ambrose emerged from a triple-threat compare on Sunday as a WWE World Champion in a startling twist. He used to be in a fast with Raw’s Rollins and Reigns, where he was kind of an afterthought. WWE let him freshness into a lax cannon who can gain on his opponents’ weaknesses and gets into their heads, and he became one of a many interesting superstars in a association since.

John Cena: Cena ruled in a epoch after a Rock, Stone Cold and all a rest. But this isn’t a same Cena we saw during a spin of a decade. He expel off a “Thugonomics” gimmick to spin a illusory talker who can behind adult his barbs in a ring. If we can watch Cena with an open mind, you’ll see how good he is — and because a kids adore him.

AJ Styles: You competence remember Styles from other promotions, quite TNA. He’s a bit of an antihero who doesn’t have time for people removing in his way. Currently, he and Cena are sealed in a argument that centers around Styles perplexing to kick a ruin out of Cena. That could finish adult conversion a pretension design on SmackDown relocating forward.

Becky Lynch: The “Lass Kicker” is a fireplug in a women’s division, yet Lynch has had a severe go of it lately, feuding with former crony Natalya (whose uncle is wrestling fable Bret Hart) and losing several matches she was approaching to win. After a code extension, though, we’re awaiting a large pull for Lynch.

Bray Wyatt: Wyatt’s kind of channeling a Undertaker. Sort of. Really, though, Wyatt’s combining something singular as a creepy, backwoods hulk who wants to pierce we into his cult. If Wyatt seems off-putting during first, know that’s partial of his shtick. If we hang around, he’ll grow on you.

The Miz: Once on a time, there was a thin child on 2001’s deteriorate of The Real World by a name of Mike Mizanin, and he wouldn’t close adult about his dream to spin a WWE champion. 15 years later, The Miz and his Intercontinental pretension are on SmackDown. He plays a smarmy heel, and he’s good during it.

Randy Orton: Orton looks like a prototypical wrestling superstar. You can’t assistance yet watch him kick a ruin out of others. He’s not a biggest talker in a industry, yet he creates adult for his (admittedly improving) mic skills with a finishing pierce called a RKO. It’s fundamentally a Diamond Cutter (shoutout to DDP!) that Orton takes to a subsequent turn by attack it when we slightest design it. Hence, a “RKO out of nowhere.”

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