It was at the end of 2018 that the McMahons came out on an episode of Raw and promised us that the things are going to change for good in WWE and we, the fans will be the authority. I wonder how that panned out. To be fair, they did try to improve the product and some of the episodes in January were actually good.
We have now reached the half-way mark in 2019 and the WWE Universe has already received some great memories to take into the next phase. Some of it was expected and some of it was straight out of thin air. WWE always surprises us with some of their decisions every year which sometimes turns out to be really good and sometimes completely hideous, and this year too, it was no exception. While the introduction of Women’s tag team title and Becky Lynch‘s triumphant win at WrestleMania were expected, some of the storyline conclusions and results were just jaw-dropping. Let’s look at such things that happened in WWE that no one would have expected at the start of the year.
Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) Leaving WWE
Dean Ambrose has always been one of the top WWE guys ever since the Shield‘s debut. After spending almost seven years in the main roster, ‘sports entertaining’ the fans with his comic timing and impressive moves, he was always seen as someone who was going to die wrestling in one of WWE‘s Saudi Arabia shows around 2050. But, WWE shocked the entire wrestling world when they released the statement in January about Ambrose leaving the company at the end of his contract in April.
It clearly came out of the blue and many fans were understandably unhappy about it. The debates of it being a work or shoot continued for months till he finally showed up in AEW‘s Double or Nothing and once he did, he became the talking point of the industry. His statements in the ‘Talk is Jericho’ podcast clearly reflected his state of mind and now it seems that his release was probably the best decision for both parties moving ahead.
His next few months after leaving WWE has been nothing short of a space mountain as in that period he made a surprise appearance in WWE‘s rival promotion, AEW, went to NJPW and won the IWGP United States Championship in his debut match, is scheduled to be part of G1, worked in an unsanctioned match with Joey Janela, started feuding with currently one of the best wrestlers in the world, Kenny Omega and is scheduled to face him at All Out, figured out to use social media and became the Twitter king after posting just one video. Nobody could have prophesied even a single one of this at the start of the year.
Paul Heyman and Eric Bishoff to Take the Role of Executive Directors in Raw and Smackdown Respectively
WWE reported this last week and nobody even in their wildest dreams could have expected Paul Heyman and Eric Bishoff will become part of the creative team. Paul Heyman and Eric Bishoff were two great names from the early 2000s who took Raw and SmackDown to new heights, but their new role as Executive Directors in 2019 just seems bizarre at the moment.
Paul Heyman is one of the most creative minds in the wrestling industry and if given the freedom he will definitely change Raw for good and we might finally get the A-show that fans are craving for years. Eric Bishoff was never seen as a creative genius, so his appointment was an interesting one as he is already responsible for dooming two different wrestling promotions in the past. But, it is a completely new role for him, so let’s see what is he capable of doing with this newly acquired power. Smackdown is in for a roller coaster ride for the next few months.
WWE has not yet announced when will they be taking over their respective brands yet, what exactly will be their power and how much Vince is still going to be involved in the creative meetings, so either it could bring WWE back on tracks or it could turn into the great disaster of 2019. Let’s hope it’s the former one.
Shane Mcmahon Will Become the Biggest Heel of the Company
WWE‘s current roster is filled with talented and skilled stars who are hungry to make a name for themselves in the industry. The depth and variety that current wrestlers provide to the creative team are simply incomparable to other promotions. We could have an exciting new challenger for top champions each week, who could prove to be a serious threat to their title and take away their whole momentum within seconds. At the start of the year, we thought that Drew McIntyre and Samoa Joe would finally get their due in 2019 or WWE would make another big heel in the women’s division other that Charlotte Flair. Well, all we got was a heel Shane Mcmahon for which nobody asked for in the first place.
Since January, Shane McMahon has neither been pinned or submitted in a match and now boasts about getting wins over Miz and Roman Reigns. He even won the SmackDown tag team championship with the Miz in Royal Rumble and now has wrestlers like Drew McIntyre, Elias and The Revival working for him.
Let’s look at what other heels are doing at the moment for comparisons. McIntyre is the sidekick of Shane, Samoa Joe is the new 2017 version of Bray Wyatt, who couldn’t back his statements in matches, Dolph Ziggler just came and went away, Bobby Lashley is wandering in the mid-card without any direction, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are calling out people they cannot compete against and Baron Corbin cannot convince a single soul that he could actually win the Universal Championship. Shane did win the ‘Best in the World’ tournament last year, but the joke has gone too far now. The management needs to realize that pushing Shane is the problem and solution for declining ratings.
Kofi Kingston Winning the WWE Championship
No one would have predicted this even a week before Elimination Chambers, not even Kofi. His rise from a mid-carder to the face of SmackDown in one and a half months is incredible and unbelievable. At the start of the year, fans were predicting many wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, John Cena and Kevin Owens as challengers for Daniel Bryan’s WWE championship, but Kofi was not even remotely close to them. His rise was probably the most surprising thing in the recent past and was the most satisfying one.
Even though fans really started rallying behind him only after that gauntlet match featuring all the WWE Elimination Chambers contestant, he is not an overnight sensation. Behind that one performance, he had spent 11 years of hard work and dedication. It took a lot of grinding and failure for Kofi to finally get his moment at WrestleMania 35. It gave fans the satisfying conclusion to a great long-term storyline that will be remembered and talked about for years to come. More of this WWE, please.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch WWE content on the WWE Network