Another month, another pay per view. Stomping Grounds is probably the least hyped up show in the last few years, and the ticket sales are proof of it. The show is filled with half build feuds and re-matches that no one wanted to see in the first place. Universal Championship and Raw Women’s championship are doing more harm than good to the challengers as they are exposing the lack of top tier heels in the company. Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre could have been a really good build, but the involvement of Shane McMahon has just ruined the whole program. New Day vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were thrown together probably for Zayn to take another pin.
But, despite its flaws, the show looks much better than what many are making it out to be. Samoa Joe and Ricochet could steal the night with agility and stunts, Bayley will be out to show that she is completely different from her 2017’s version, the SmackDown’s tag team championship will set the tone for the entire night and the Cruiserweight match will once again demonstrate why they deserve to be in the main card consistently. Even though stakes for some matches might not be high, some of the wrestlers would be desperately hoping for a win on Sunday.
Wins and losses do not matter much in the universe of WWE, but if a wrestler starts losing consistently, it does affect his character in the eyes of the fans and people might stop getting behind a wrestler if he couldn’t get a satisfying pay-off at the end of a rivalry. On Sunday, while some of the wrestlers would be going into the show to strengthen their image, there will be some who would just be hoping for a win to stay compatible among fans.
In Need of Victory: WWE Stomping Grounds
#1. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Ever since Sami Zayn returned back to weekly television after a long injury in April this year, he has not been given anything to work with. All he is doing is taking pins in tag team matches and insulting crowds. When he started with his new gimmick of calling out fans on their critical nature, WWE had gold in their hands as he would get heat whenever he would open his mouth. But, all of a sudden, they decided to throw him and his push down the bin and he has been teaming with his pal Kevin Owens ever since for no apparent reason.
Kevin Owens, on the other hand, got WWE championship opportunities on two separate occasions, but he couldn’t capitalize on either of them and now he is back again wandering in the mid-card and picking fights with babyfaces. If the duo loses against Xavier Woods and Big E at Stomping Grounds, it will leave both of them in the barren desert without any way out. New Day has been pushed for years as one of the top factions of WWE, but in kayfabe, they would certainly rank lower to their Stomping Grounds‘ opponents. Ownes and Zayn can continue to coerce in Smackdown even after losing at Stomping Grounds, but the hype they had after returning to WWE will completely die and they will be fall back to where they were last year before their respective injuries.
#2. Drew McIntyre
It’s a shame that a monster heel like Drew McIntyre is despairingly looking for a high profile win to stay relevant. Drew is someone who should be pushed to the moon as the face of the company and should be booked as the fearless devil. But, at the moment he has been playing the role of a henchman of Shane McMahon and has been carrying him like a prized possession. When he first came in the main roster last year after WrestleMania 34, fans were already thinking of him as the next big thing, but even after proving his worth for more than a year, he has still not received a Universal championship match.
He has everything that Vince Mcmahon looks in a wrestler, but for some reason, the management is more interested in booking him as a sidekick than the main lead. He has already taken a pin once from Roman Reigns at WrestleMania this year. Another loss to him, and he will be done being a serious contender for a while now. His association with Mr. “Best in the World” needs to end as soon as possible.
#3. Samoa Joe
Both Samoa Joe and Drew McIntyre’s main roster run has been somewhat similar. Both are intimidating heel who could actually murder their opponents if they want, both are great in delivering believable promos and both are incapable of fulfilling their promises. Samoa Joe was main roster ready even before coming to NXT. He has a great fan following from his ROH and TNA days and is still capable of pulling out 5-star matches at will. He was probably one of the easiest NXT graduates to be booked in the main roster for the management because he already has the experience to be the top heel from his indie days.
But, somehow WWE managed to mess this up as well and by the end of 2018, he was just another heel who couldn’t back his over the top promos and was only there to elevate other talents. His run with the United States Championship tried to revive his sinking ship, but it became another victim of illogical booking and declining creativity in the company.
Samoa Joe vs Ricochet at Stomping Grounds has the ability to steal the show. Ricochet’s hi-flying offensive flurry could be dodged by Joe’s cynical strikes and imagine the pop they will receive when Ricochet will bounce back to do that amazing 630. But, this will all go in vain if Joe loses at the end because that has become his whole gimmick recently. He takes his opponent to the extreme but gets rolled up because of his one mistake. His US Championship run has been underwhelming because of everything that has happened since Money in the Bank and he does need to beat some crowd favorites like Ricochet to re-establish his reign of terror.
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