Authority figures: What are they good for? Alasdair and Kyle ponder the criticisms of Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan from this week’s SmackDown, with Alasdair inadvertently pointing out the possibility of a Shane/A.J. Styles match at some point. They also look at the slate of Hell in a Cell matches coming up and how really none of them seem to need that stipulation, for whatever that’s worse. They look at the meta quality of Sasha Banks’ promos and wonder whether that’s actually the thing keeping Sasha a face. (Well, that and the adoration of the masses.) Plus some entirely unnecessary praise for JBL and a whole lot of excitement for the upcoming Tye Dillinger/Bobby Roode feud!
Kyle takes time out of a busy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend to talk wrestling with Alasdair. We consider the joys of JeriKO vs the New Day and the future of Raw’s women’s division, even as we express our trepidations about the newly rebranded Emmalina. We look ahead to No Mercy and wonder just who might be able to take on the Miz if indeed he retires Dolph Ziggler tomorrow night. Then we do a little bracketology with NXT’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, and Austin Aries comes out of this looking very good. Finally, Alasdair offers another indie show review with his account of Beyond Wrestling’s Midas Touch show, which he was a part of for like five seconds!
Kyle and Alasdair check in on the world of WWE and make at least a half-hearted effort to not constantly say how much better SmackDown is than Raw. They… don’t do an amazing job, as they pay homage to all the feuds bubbling up on the road to No Mercy, with particular emphasis on the Talking Smack promo skills of Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose. But they do check in on Clash of Champions, pondering what the future holds for the uneasy allies of Sheamus and Cesaro. Plus they consider the different roles of the authority figures on the two shows, and why they loved the role Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan played on SmackDown this week. (Hint: None whatsoever.) Come join us!
Just as “Clash of Champions” gets under way, Alasdair and Kyle check in for an abbreviated episode. Busy travel schedules mean we’re not caught up on the week’s wrestling, so the two offer some general thoughts on the state of SmackDown and Raw and what they hope tonight’s (or yesterday’s, depending on when you see this) PPV accomplishes. Then Kyle shares a couple stories from his time at the WWE 2K17 event in San Francisco, and Alasdair breaks down the card at last weekend’s House of Hardcore show on Long Island.
We once again fail to book the triple threat as it’s just Alasdair and LaToya breaking down the week in wrestling. They reflect on an immensely satisfying Backlash, ponder the ongoing ballad of jobber extraordinaire James Ellsworth, and maybe mention Raw at one point, we’re not sure. Plus, Alasdair lays down the most demented Miz fantasy-booking you’re ever likely to hear, and it doesn’t even involve Daniel Bryan wrestling again! Then we get our indie on with some discussion of the conclusion of the Cruiserweight Classic, the recent Evolve 69 event, and Alasdair’s jaunt to Long Island for a House of Hardcore show.
Alasdair and Kyle look back at the week in WWE while also getting you ready for Backlash. (We don’t do any predictions. We’re not about that life.) They consider Raw’s difficulties in building stories out beyond the main event, with the ongoing (un)funny business between New Day and Gallows & Anderson being a particularly frustrating example. Alasdair outs himself as not the biggest Sasha Banks fan while also heaping praise on Big Match Roman, because he’s a stupid idiot with bad opinions. Kyle makes an unexpected case for Naomi as the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Then we both close with some big praise for the glory that is the Cruiserweight Classic. Akira Tozawa is life! Also, why not drop us a line at email@example.com?
Just in time for Monday Night Raw comes our story-focused recap of the past week in wrestling. While week one cohost Kyle Fowle completed his Roman Reigns cosplay by getting popped for a wellness violation, fellow A.V. Club wrestling writer LaToya Ferguson ably steps in. We look at the fallout of Kevin Owens’s big Universal Championship win, why 2016 really is the year of Heath Slater (baybay!), and Alasdair possibly breaks LaToya’s brain forever when suggesting one of last week’s intergender tag teams should just straight-up rename themselves the Dana Club. The Dana Club! Plus our hosts accidentally get into a game of indie wrestling can-you-top-this, which Alasdair should have known going in that he damn well can’t.