WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 13 – life in the FASTLANE!

Possible Title Match For WWE Fastlane PPV

So no messing about with this one… we are well on the road to WrestleMania now, and this is our final stop! I have this blog on my final PPV before Mania, the next one will be all about my build to the show of shows, and then it’s time! My main matches for Mania are pretty much all set, so I’m using this show just to add that little bit of extra build. And also bare in mind when I go through the line-up that I’d have this PPV take place in Toronto, Canada! So… here is my card for my Fastlane PPV, and a brief explanation of the build and how I’d get to each match…

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs The Rock & John Cena & Rikishi

This was a match I had planned for this PPV for a long time in advance. Mainly because I wanted to give The Rock a ‘tune up’ match before WrestleMania, but also I felt for the story of ‘who is the REAL Tribal Chief?’ needed a match with Roman, The Usos, The Rock and the final element which I wanted to add in some way, and I do think this man will play a part of the real life build to any Roman vs Rock match,… Rikishi. The John Cena part I would add because (spoiler alert) he’s on my Mania card too, and he has history with both The Rock and Reigns. I’d start the build with Rock’s first promo just being him talking, next week would be The Bloodline in the ring before not The Rock, but the father of The Usos Rikishi answer… he’d essentially defend The Rock before he catches a beating. Rock would make the save and we would look like we’re going towards Rock & Rikishi against The Usos… but then I’d have roman get real personal in a promo with The Rock, and this would see Rock want to get his hands on Roman before WrestleMania… That’s how we get to a 6 man tag IF Rock & Rikishi can find a tag partner… And on the go-home show that’s when we get the reveal of John Cena!

Brock Lesnar (C) vs Keith Lee for the Universal Championship

A dream match in every sense of the word. This felt like my last chance to do it, so now is the time to finally get the reinvigorated Limitless one to take on The Beast! I’d have Lesnar come out and trash Stone Cold on the mic, with Keith Lee coming out to respond, and as a great man once said this would be simply ‘Big Meaty Men Slapping Meat’.

Edge (C) vs Rey Mysterio for the WWE Championship

For obvious reasons, it’s tricky for me to book a heel Edge on this show. It’s also why I’ve chosen not to have his WrestleMania opponent Big E or any of The New Day on this show full stop. With Edge going up against a former friend, and a much beloved legend, I don’t feel like a likely Edge-supporting Toronto crowd would do too much long term damage to Rey in this match. And I did want Edge on this show before Mania, so someone like Mysterio felt like a good challenger. The actual build would see Edge turn on his former friend as he starts to become crazed to cling on to his title, with the WrestleMania challenger Big E and his fellow New Day members continuing to get in the head of the Rated R Superstar…

Charlotte Flair (C) vs Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship

Quite the blockbuster match here. One I in fact once had planned for my WrestleMania… but I guess things really do just… change… Although she couldn’t get the job done in the chamber, I feel Belair is the strongest candidate and biggest name to face Charlotte in the lead up to WrestleMania. These two have history in my universe mode over the title, I’d play on here this being Belair’s last chance to get to Mania, and Charlotte being desperate to prove she’s the best of the best, with Miss MITB Liv Morgan waiting in the wings for the winner (having already announced she will challenge for the Championship via her briefcase at Mania).

Seth Rollins (with Murphy) vs AJ Styles

Another huge match-up between two big names. This too is building to WrestleMania… I have a MONSTER of a match planned for the winner of this one…

Sheamus (C) vs Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship

I feel, given their real life matches, it would be criminal of me not to have these two clash on one of my shows. Sheamus has been on a solid run as IC Champion (at LONG last…) and now he has to defend against maybe his toughest challenge… so far… Got big ideas for the IC title for WrestleMania which should be CARNAGE!

Rhea Ripley (C) vs Mickie James for the Raw Women’s Championship

I’ll be honest now… I wanted Rhea on the card, and Mickie once had a great NXT match with Asuka in Toronto, and she’s a legend who I haven’t given enough love to over the course of my Universe Mode, so I wanted to give her a big match here. It’s another that’s tricky for me with this being just before WrestleMania, but I’m sure irl this would be a real goof match, so let’s see…

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Can’t book a PPV in Canada and NOT have Owens and Zayn on the card can I? This would be part of a mini series with these two teams, with The New Day on Raw now and the tag tiles currently held by The Usos, it’s out of these two for who will get that last match for the titles before I end the series I think…

So that’s the card. Not bad if I don’t say so myself… NOW… On with the show!


Fastlane (Sunday March Week 4, Toronto, Canada)

We kick off the show with the hometown champion…

Edge marches on to Mania, STILL WWE Champion!

Next we have the SmackDown Women’s title on the line…

Charlotte takes the W and sets up a WrestleMania match with Liv Morgan.

Next it’s time for a great tag team match, with two more Canadians in action…

Owens and Zayn with the win in a good match. Maybe a pathway opens up towards tag team gold…

About as good an in-ring match on paper as you could get next between two of the very best…

Rollins with the win in a literally PHENOMENAL match! Onto Mania Rollins now goes… hmm..

The IC title on the line next in a battle of two men who are good friends, but maybe even better enemies…

So Sheamus keeps his title, but not exactly in the ‘right’ way… Maybe next time he wont have the same get out…

A HUGE match next of two literal titans…

I didn’t want to do this to Keith, but at this stage of the Mode, and with me not doing a second year of it, for me it was all about giving Brock the biggest win possible before WrestleMania… Needs must…

A Chance for a legend to get her shot next…

Not to be this time for James. Ripley retaining, but had this show been in the ‘real’ world, I’d of had Royal Rumble winner Sonya Deville attack Ripley after, hold up the Raw Women’s title belt ahead of their WrestleMania match.

And finally, a GIANT main event match. One that I’ve had planned for a LONG time…

Well… that was a lot of fun indeed! WrestleMania and the end of my Universe Mode is nearly upon us. My next blog will be my final shows (Raw and SmackDowns) before Mania (I thought it was important to tie everything up and end everyone’s stories properly), and then the blog after that will be my full WrestleMania show… So I best get booking!

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 12 – UPDATE, & Elimination Chamber!

So… here’s where I’m at with this series… it is A LOT of work to put in to see this game and this mode through to its fullest. And to put in the level of detail I feel I need to in order to do Universe mode justice, it takes me a lot of effort.

My idea for doing this blog series and playing this mode on the game, was to show people how I would book wwe, cause wwe was SHIT. Now… HHH’s WWE is actually REALLY good. So that in turn has made me try and up my game for my own booking, and it’s made me book stuff that has really gone against my own beliefs. So those things and also a lack of motivation has meant I really can’t do these blogs as I have done, booking all the TVs and rosters and PPVs. But also given I’ve just finished my Royal Rumble ppv, I do want to see this blog series and my Universe mode out to at least a full year.

So here’s what I’m going to do… instead of as I did before where I listed each TV shows for both Raw and SmackDown, I’m going to say what happens on my post Rumble Raw and SmackDown tv shows, then I’ll list my new rosters for both brands, then my Elimination chamber PPV line up, then I’ll show you all how my PPV went. Next blog will be Fastlane. I’ll list my Fastlane card and the build I’d of done for those matches. Then I’ll have each of those matches in full (via YouTube). After that I’ll go back to how I was. So the blog after that will be my full build to my WrestleMania. So 4 Raws and 4 SmackDowns where I will explain my full builds to WrestleMania, plus the conclusions to everyone else’s storylines on my roster, for those who didn’t quite make the Mania card. And finally… after that I will have my full WrestleMania card, with each match in full (again via YouTube). This way I can finish the series whilst also not overworking myself to the point I scrap the series altogether. And to do that given how far into it I am, would do all my previous work a disservice.

So… that’s that! And now… on with the show!

Here’s my post Royal Rumble Raw and SmackDown shows, followed by my rosters for both shows going forward!


Raw – Monday February Week 1

Stone Cold Steve Austin in-ring promo, talks about the Rumble match, WrestleMania and that he’s “coming for The Beast!”…

Rhea Ripley defeated Mickie JamesRonda came out after to attack Ripley. Lynch makes the save

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell backstage… they talk about the Women’s tag titles, Candice says “I know THE WAY…”, the Austin Theory enters… followed by JOHNNY GARGANO!

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Rey Mysterio in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

AJ Styles backstage interview… MVP interrupts, followed by Omos!

Ricochet defeated John Morrison (with The Miz)

Edge backstage interview

RK-Bro in-ring interview… then a ‘blackout’… then Retribution attack!

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins (with Murphy) defeated Braun Strowman in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

Shayna Baszler backstage interview

The Way (Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell) (with Austin Theory & Johnny Gargano) defeated Carmella & Dana Brooke in a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s Tournament Quarter Final Match

Tommaso Ciampa backstage promo

AJ Styles defeated Omos (with MVP) in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

SmackDown – Monday February Week 1

The Bloodline (Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman and The Usos) are in the ring. Roman cuts a promo: Says this is ‘MY SHOW’, wants to get rid of both The New Day from SmackDown and Goldberg from all of WWE for good, says that tonight it’s Usos vs New Day for the titles, losers leave SmackDown. The New Day then come out, all 3 speak and cut face promos accepting the challenge.

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Bayley – with Dakota Kai’s help (both are heels now). Kai and Raquel attack Bayley after the match, but Sasha Banks makes the save (her and Sasha are now babyfaces)

Bianca Belair & Kacy Catanzaro backstage …

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo… on Elimination Chamber… and WrestleMania… Liv Morgan then comes out, and says she will be cashing in her MITB contract for a title match AT WrestleMania

Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler

Kay Lee Ray and Nikki Cross backstage promo…

Drew McIntyre backstage interview

Drew McIntyre defeated Roderick Strong

Bobby Lashley (with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander) in-ring promo. Says “Enough is enough with this ‘Beast Incarnate BULLSHIT!… I want my rematch!”

Nikki Cross & Kay Lee Ray defeated Kacy Catanzaro & Bianca Belair in a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s Tournament Quarter Final Match

Drew McIntyre backstage … Apollo Crews (with Commander Azeez) confronts him…

Finn Balor defeated Mansoor

The New Day backstage… The Bloodline backstage…

The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods with Big E) to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Roman helped The Usos win… as a result The New Day must leave SmackDown.

GOLDBERG comes to the ring and goes face-to-face with Roman Reigns… and says “YOU’RE NEXT!”

RAW ROSTER

WWE Champion: Edge – Heel

AJ Styles – Face / Big E – F / Samoa Joe – F

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) – H / ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins (with Murphy – H) – H

Raw Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley – F

Sonya Deville – H / Ronda Rousey – H / Asuka – H / (Teamed with Asuka) Io Shirai – H / Shayna Baszler – H / Shotzi – H

Becky Lynch – F / Tegan Nox – F / Ember Moon – F / Toni Storm – F / Mickie James – F

United States Champion: Damian Priest – F

Tommaso Ciampa – H / Robert Roode – H / Santos Escobar – H (With Joaquin Wilde – H & Raul Mendoza – H)

Ricochet – F / Rey Mysterio – F

Raw Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro (Randy Orton – F & Riddle – F)

Viking Raiders (Erik – H & Ivar – H) / The Way (Johnny Gargano – H & Austin Theory – H with Candice LeRae – H & Indi Hartwell – H) / Retribution (Mustafa Ali – H & Mace – H with Reckoning – H)

The New Day (Xavier Woods – F & Kofi Kingston – F) / Alpha Academy (Otis – F & Chad Gable – F)

Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate – F & Trent Seven – F) / R-Truth – F / Carmella – F / Dana Brooke – F / Titus O’Neil – F

Pete Dunne – H / John Morrison – H & The Miz – H / The IIconics (Peyton Royce – H & Billie Kay – H) / Akira Tozawa – H

SMACKDOWN ROSTER

Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar – H

Bobby Lashley (of ‘The Hurt Business’) – F / Keith lee – F / Drew McIntyre – F

Roman Reigns – H (With Paul Heyman) / Finn Balor – H

SmackDown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair – H

Bianca Belair – F / Sasha Banks – F & Bayley – F / Alexa Bliss – F / Miss MITB: Liv Morgan – F / Kacy Catanzaro – F

Raquel Gonzalez – H & Dakota Kai – H / Kay Lee Ray – H & Nikki Cross – H / Natalya – H

Intercontinental Champion: Sheamus – H

Cesaro – F / Dominik Dijakovic – F / Shinsuke Nakamura – F

Walter (of Imperium) – H / Roderick Strong – H

SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos (Jimmy – H & Jey – H With Naomi – H)

Street Profits (Montez Ford – F & Angelo Dawkins – F) / The Hurt Business (Shelton Benajmin – F & Cedric Alexander – F) / Breezango (Tyler Breeze – F & Fandango – F)

Kevin Owens – H & Sami Zayn – H / Imperium (Fabian Aichner – H & Marcel Barthel – H)

Braun Strowman – F / Dolph Ziggler – F / Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott – F / Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik – F & Lince Dorado – F) / Mansoor – F

Otis (with MVP – H) – H / Apollo Crews (With Commander Azeez – H) – H / Happy Corbin – H / Humberto Carrillo – H & Angel Garza – H / Jinder Mahal – H


Elimination Chamber – February, Sunday Week 4 (New York City, New York)

Thought I’d start the show off with a BIG banger and a great contrast of styles…

BIG win here for Keith Lee, who is slowly trying to rebuild himself up after suffering for a while form the shock of losing the WWE Championship… But he’s back on track here with a win to kick off the PPV.

Following that match was our first of TWO Elimination Chamber matches of the show… this one for the SmackDown Women’s title on the line!

A fairly dominant win for the champion here, and it sets up our match for WrestleMania… or does it…? But for now it is Charlotte Flair who is STILL the SmackDown Women’s Champion!

Next is a match I was really looking forward to, 3 of my absolute favourites!

AND NEW! Yes indeed it is Tommaso Ciampa’s time now as my United States Champion!!!

A HUGE match next, a rematch from the Royal Rumble, but this time with NO HOLDS BARRED!

OK… so yes this was essentially a squash, and a domination for Brock at the expense of Lashley who I’ve somewhat protected on my Universe Mode… but my justification was simply I got to build up Brock for the main event of Mania against Steve Austin… which I think speaks for itself…

Match 5 was another blockbuster match, with 4 of the biggest names in the women’s division battling for the Raw Women’s Championship!

A quite chaotic match eventually saw Rhea Ripley’s amazing reign as Raw Women’s Champion continue! A title she won at the previous WrestleMania and looks to take it all the way to this year’s showcase PPV…

The semi-main of the show is another Elimination Chamber match! This time to decide who challenges for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania!

After being denied at the final hurdle during the Royal Rumble match, this was BIG E’s time! Who against is TBD, but one thing for sure is that Big E will be going to WRESTLEMANIA!!!

AND FINALLY… It is time for the main event! A dream match for the ages, and after failing in his quest to reclaim his spot by winning the Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns looks to take out Goldberg once and for all!

I must add, this was the first time I have seen Goldberg’s entrance on this game… and they’ve done a remarkable job with it!

So a win for Reigns, which was to be expected. It gets Roman back into the swing of things, but he was not satisfied as the post match attack shows…

And if I were to get to book this show in real life… Just as Roman was standing over a beaten down Goldberg and the show looked to be over… is when I would have this…

(again use your imagination here and go with me… pretend it’s at this Elimination Chamber PPV, and Roman is in the ring etc etc…)

Yep… I’m doing it! HE IS BACK!

Josh.

Drew McIntyre – The Chosen One

If there is a wrestler currently on the WWE roster that I have more of an emotional attachment to than the subject of this blog post, I don’t know who they are. Someone whose journey post his WWE release, and after his return during his time in NXT and beyond, that I have followed closely and been very emotional several times along the way… A man who busted his ass, took everything he was given and gave it his all, and slowly but surely made his way to the very top of professional wrestling, and lead the company during the toughest time in not just pro-wrestling history, but the toughest time in most people’s lives. And a man on who on Saturday night gets his dream, the main event of a WWE stadium Pay Per View show in the UK and in a match for the biggest prize in the business.

But let me go back to the start with the story of Drew McIntyre. So we can really understand why this man’s journey is so special. And why it means so much to me. And why I am DESPERATE to get the big win this weekend…

I’m sure you all know the story by now, but I was a fan and vividly remember watching the very beginning, when “a future world heavyweight champion” was introduced to the WWE world. In terms of a prospect, his early WWE career was actually pretty good; Drew made his TV debut, went back down to OWV, but then debuted a second time on WWE TV in 2009. Drew won the Intercontinental Championship in December of 2009 and would hold it for 161 days.

After that was the steady decline, a string of mid-card feuds would eventually lead to him becoming a part of the ‘3MB’ group with perennial lower-carders Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal. Fun? Yes sure. But was he living up to the big-billing he was given? No. And he was drifting further and further away. Until, the dream was ended (for now).

On the 12th June 2014, Drew McIntyre was released by WWE.

But as one door closes, another opens. Or in this case, it is smashed down! What came after was a renaissance of a performer, and one hell of a transformation.

Drew GALLOWAY made his return to the business for ICW (the largest wrestling promotion in Drew’s native Scotland) just over a month after his WWE release.

And we were well and truly off to the races! I could go on and on about Drew’s ‘Indie’ run, but let me give you the bullet points, and then I’ll talk about his final match before his return to WWE, and also my own personal views of his rebirth run…

  • Won the ICW title (for the 2nd time, he was also their first ever champion), and held it for 378 days.
  • Won the Evolve championship (in his debut match for that promotion). He would hold it for 336 days.
  • Won the Evolve Tag team titles (their inaugural champions) with his tag team partner at the time… some dude called Johnny Gargano…
  • Went to Mexico to work for the famed AAA promotion. Competing with the likes of Rey Mysterio and Johnny Mundo.
  • Had a hugely successful run for TNA Wrestling. He won their World title from Matt Hardy, and was also a holder of their Impact Grand Championship at one point, as well as feuding with the likes of Moose, EC3 and Bobby Lashley.
  • Took part in the historic ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ (BOLA) tournament for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Drew also spent some time working for an independent promotion in England called What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW), which later became Defiant Wrestling. And that was how I got my own look and experience of his amazing run.

In November of 2016, I and my friend Stefan (with his younger brother) attended a WCPW show in a Nottingham Sports Hall called ‘DELETE WCPW’ in tribute to the show’s star attraction, BROKEN Matt Hardy. The main event was a 3 way cage match for the WCPW Championship, with defending champion Joseph Connors, Joe Hendry (a top heel in the promotion) and Drew (a late addition to the original singles match). McIntyre had made his return from injury on a previous version of the promotion’s weekly show, coming back to confront his rival Conners who had taken him out long before, and then cutting one HELL of a promo!!!

And it was in fact Galloway who left with the title, with the finish seeing Drew pin Conners as Hendry tried to escape the cage. In something that would become a theme for me, the first time I went to the show of a promotion, I saw their world title change in the main event. Blessed.

Classic blue cage btw!!!

And if you thought seeing Drew (who by this point had become a HUGE star in independent wrestling and widely regarded as one of the biggest names in British wrestling) win a title was special… At the next WCPW show me and Stefan attended, we had the pleasure of seeing Drew as WCPW Champion compete during the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup English qualifying show in Nottingham in March of 2017… against some dude called… Ricochet!

It really was a great match, of two hugely contrasting styles that produced such magic when put together. I would put it top 10 maybe of matches I’ve ever seen live.

By this point, Drew’s stardom couldn’t be ignored. Every top company wanted him, but Drew decided to go back home. And on April 1st, a certain someone got the classic ‘new star in the crowd treatment’ at NXT TakeOver: Orlando.

Drew’s final match before his WWE return would see him face some guy called Cody Rhodes… and after, once again, he cut quite the promo and one which garnered a huge response online…

Given my attachment to McIntyre, and by that point NXT was my favourite thing in wrestling. So for the two to come together was a dream. But I don’t think any of us thought the run would be so quick. In hindsight we know it was always going to be like that, McIntyre wanted to go to NXT given how hot that brand was at the time, but he was always going to be moved to the main roster quickly, he was too good not to. And as a result he only actually had two TakeOver appearances. The first saw him dethrone Bobby Roode to become NXT Champion, and although the win was somewhat overshadowed by the WWE debut of Adam Cole after, it was still quite the moment.

And his second TakeOver just a few months later saw him lose that same Championship to Andrade. And whilst the result of the match was always the plan, what wasn’t was what happened to McIntyre just prior to the finish. And a return to Raw or SmackDown was delayed by a torn bicep. Drew would be out for around 6 months after.

Drew’s NXT run was indeed over. As on the ‘Superstar Shake-Up’ episode of Raw on April 16th 2018, the fka ‘Chosen One’ was back…

Drew spent his first couple of years back on WWE weekly tv as Dolph Ziggler’s henchman. The would win the Raw tag titles, and Drew would aide Ziggler in winning the Intercontinental title too. The two would also join Braun Strowman as part of a long running feud with The Shield. After Ziggler and Drew’s split, Ziggler would eliminate Drew from the Royal Rumble, before Drew went back into a short feud with The Shield (joining Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley in a 6 man tag match at Fastlane that year, against Seth Rollins (who was heading to WrestleMania to challenge Brock Lesnar after winning the Rumble… see if that story comes up again later…), Dean Ambrose (who was only a few weeks out from his WWE departure) and Roman Reigns who was in his first match after returning from beating Leukaemia. The Shield’s win would lead to our first match between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 35, with Reigns taking the win. From here… well some BULLSHIT happened… and I’ll let you look into that if you want to be reminded and feel utter pain… but hey it ended alright… As at Extreme Rules in 2019 we got a tag team match that I don’t think in a million years anyone would A. ever imagine could happen, and B. think it could be good. But file this one under matches that were infinitely better than they had any right to be…

This match was also mega cool for two reasons… firstly this tweet from Drew’s brother:

But also this image from the match (the GIF version is even better), which I just think is cool as fuck!

So after that whole thing was done with… Now it was Drew’s time.

He had started to run up a fairly decent winning streak before the 2020 Royal Rumble, and had just begun a babyface turn. And so what followed was… well… Anyone who knows me knows how much I absolutely adore the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble match. And everyone knows how that match ended. But for me at that time I was going through quite a lot personally, stuff I had never had to deal with and didn’t quite know how to handle it at the time. I was an emotional mess to be honest, and a weekend watching wrestling with my friends was just the tonic. We had no idea then of course that we wouldn’t be able to reunite for some time… but I needed a distraction from my own troubles for a bit… and having a guy I watched wrestle a few years prior in a Sports Hall in Nottingham not only eliminate BROCK LESNAR from the Royal Rumble, but to go all the way and WIN the Royal Rumble… Made me feel a level of emotion I’ve only ever felt a few times watching professional wrestling. Maybe I wasn’t so upset at him winning as much as I needed something to bring me out of a hole I was in at that time, that would subsequently get worse, but to have it be Drew that did that, above anyone in that match… meant the world. FINALLY Drew McIntyre was going to get his chance at immortality.

Released in 2014, the main event of WrestleMania in 2020. Indescribable. I will never ever be able to repay Drew McIntyre for what this Royal Rumble win meant to me.

Throughout this whole thing, Brock Lesnar made Drew McIntyre look like one BILLION bucks… In this picture below for example, after Drew had Claymore Lesnar and the crowd are going nuts, Brock whispered to Drew to pick up his belt, just to get that money shot and to look like even more of a monster. It’s stuff like that that makes me love Brock almost as much as I do Drew.

But of course, as we all know, Drew’s mania moment would be unlike any other before him. Yes he got his main event, yes he got Brock, and YES he won THE title… but he got a mania moment that only looking back on do I realise how beautiful it was…

I needed it. The world needed it. Again I’ll never be able to thank Drew McIntyre enough for what him winning the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania meant to me.

So look, people will have their differing opinions on Drew McIntyre’s run as WWE Champion… to me he held down the thought during the toughest time in the history of the business and maybe most of our lives full stop, he had great title matches with Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Lashley before moving into a feud with Randy Orton. He both lost and won back the title from Orton who was having one of the best year’s of his career from a character performance POV, and Drew stood with him all the way. He even got a match at Survivor Series with then Universal Champion Roman Reigns. He would lose the title to The Miz, falling victim to a cash in shortly after retaining inside Elimination Chamber in the February of 2021. But overall I felt Drew was a more than adequate WWE Champion and flagbearer for the company during the most unique, unknown and all-round difficult period in its history. So all the credit to him for that alone! Oh… and he beat Goldberg as well during his time as champion… Just to remind you all of that…

Drew got his chance to win back the title at WrestleMania 37 against Bobby Lashley. And although he didn’t get the W, he did get his wish in being the first WWE superstar to walkout in front of fans since the pandemic first began and confined us all to watching on from home. And given his service during the Covid era of WWE, I couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate to get that spot.

After that Drew really just went on a solid, main event babyface run. Drew lost twice more to Lashley and so had to move on to other things… He would also fail to win the Money in the Bank ladder match after interference from Jinder Mahal and his cronies. He would have PPV matches after with Jinder, Sheamus and Big E. He would also then be moved over to SmackDown in the draft, before beginning a long feud with HAPPY (?) Corbin and MADCAP (?) Moss that would go all the way to WrestleMania 38 where Drew beat Corbin and also became the first man to ever kick out of Corbin’s End of Days finisher.

With the UK’s first PPV in 30 years fast approaching, there were strong rumours that Drew would be in the main event of the show against Roman Reigns. A UK PPV was something he had campaigned for for years, so it only felt right. And seeds were sewn early with a 6 man tag match taking place at WrestleMania Backlash pitting The Bloodline vs RK-Bro and McIntyre (the match BANGED by the way).

Finally, after a few delays, Drew would finally face off with Sheamus to determine who would challenge Roman Reigns in Cardiff. Two best friends who seem to of been born to FIGHT one another… and again the match was GREAT…

And so finally, it was ON! Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. I wont delve too much into the build to the match, because I’m sure you’ve all seen it unfold over the last few weeks. But I think it’s been great, this has been the most excited I’ve been for a WWE match in a LONG time! It feels like such a big occasion, that real MAIN EVENT, BIG FIGHT FEEL! Two absolute specimens, two great wrestlers, two great promos, I just think it’s going to be so so great!

And…

I think Drew is going to win. And I think he SHOULD too!

I am not saying Roman has been bad. He’s INCREDIBLE. This Tribal Chief run has been an all-timer, and one that had turned him into everything WWE wanted him to be all along. BUT… He’s a part timer firstly, and he has BOTH belts. In this new era of WWE we really need a world champion on both Raw and SmackDown every week, and I think Drew is the guy to help us get there. Has there ever been a better time or place or occasion for Roman to lose? Honestly in the last 2 years it just hasn’t felt like it’s someone else’s time… But it just feels like it’s Drew’s time now. Given how much WWE have put into this PPV, I just get a feeling they’re going to want to blow the roof off… and there’s no better way to do that than have the Head of the Table get Claymored and beat.

There’s been two major things in the build to this show that have turned me round to Drew winning… Firstly this insanely good promo segment with KO…

And then this incredible video package…

Honestly… after everything they’ve told and reminded us about his story to get to this point… how can he NOT win? This whole build has been all about Drew, not our champion… They’re not stupid WWE… This surely has been done on purpose… right???…

But hey… whatever happens in Cardiff on Saturday night… I’ll be so immensely proud and behind our man. Someone who as a wrestler has dug me out of so many emotional slumps I can’t even count.

Clash At The Castle. Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns… Do our BROKEN Dreams come true? …

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 11 – I’m here to RUMBLE!

And so it is time… One of the biggest parts of this series, my chance to finally book one of my favourite shows in wrestling. The build to this show I made very heavily about the Rumble matches, so it may not be the strongest, but the show itself was absolutely WILD! I’m going to have a big long think after this blog, to make some serious plans for my Road to WrestleMania. I want to make my WrestleMania the biggest show it can possibly be, and that all starts NOW… So let me get right into it, and here is my build from Raw and SmackDown to my Royal Rumble PPV!


Raw (January Week 1)

HBK in-ring promo, promotes RR… Seth Rollins (with Murphy) comes out, they go back and forth on the mic… then KEITH LEE comes out…

Keith Lee defeated ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins (with Murphy)

Becky Lynch in-ring promo (PASSIONATE… ‘I will get what I want, and I don’t care who or what I gotta do to get it! … THE MAN is about to come back around!’)

Omos (with MVP) defeated Titus O’Neil

Tegan Nox backstage promo

Tegan Nox defeated Shotzi

The Viking Raiders – RK-Bro backstage

Walter defeated Ricochet

Rhea Ripley backstage, runs into Liv Morgan

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Dominik Mysterio (with Rey Mysterio)

Edge in-ring promo … AJ Styles comes out…

RK-Bro (Riddle & Randy Orton) (C) defeated The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar)

SmackDown (January Week 1)

The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley & Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar & Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza)

Bianca Belair in-ring promo, on Sasha Banks… Rumble… Mania… SmackDown Women’s title… Bayley then comes out, promo back and forth…

The New Day backstage segment

Sheamus defeated Shinsuke Nakamura

Kay Lee Ray defeated Billie Kay (with Peyton Royce) – Kay Lee Ray in-ring interview after, talks about the Royal Rumble PPV and Charlotte Flair… ‘I WILL be a champion again!’…

Sheamus backstage interview, Cesaro comes in and eventually Security have to separate them

‘Street Profits’ defeated Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn backstage interview

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Sonya DevilleDakota Kai appears after the match looking on from the top of the ramp

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (C) (with Big E) defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship

Brock Lesnar comes out for an in-ring promo, ‘I’m not going ANYWHERE…’ … BOBBY LASHLEY comes out! Lashley cuts a fiery promo on Brock, and after a promo back and forth, eventually the rest of the The Hurt Business come out after a brawl between Lashley and Lesnar breaks out, and the show closes with The Hurt Business standing tall

Raw (January Week 2)

AJ Styles defeated Austin TheoryEdge on commentary

Becky Lynch backstage interview

Damian Priest defeated Tommaso Ciampa in a Backstage Brawl

Walter (and Imperium) video package

Tegan Nox defeated Io Shirai (with Asuka)

Ronda Rousey backstage, Shayna Baszler approaches…

Damian Priest backstage promo…

Keith Lee defeated Robert Roode

RK-Bro come out for an in-ring promo, eventually Seth Rollins and Murphy interrupt…

RK-Bro defeated Seth Rollins & Murphy – by count out

Ronda Rousey defeated Shayna Baszler & Ember Moon & Becky Lynch & Asuka in a Fatal 5 Way match to become the number 1 contender for the Raw Women’s Championship

SmackDown (January Week 2)

Bianca Belair defeated Bayley

Street Profits backstage … Owens & Zayn backstage…

Santos Escobar (with Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Santos in-ring promo after the match on the Royal Rumble

Shelton Benjamin – Brock Lesnar backstage…

Brock Lesnar defeated Shelton Benjamin in a Backstage Brawl

Cesaro backstage interview

Dakota Kai defeated NIkki Cross (with Alexa Bliss) Dakota cuts a promo calling out Raquel Gonzalez, Raquel comes out… Dakota flees…

Kevin Owens (with Sami Zayn) defeated Angelo Dawkins (with Montez Ford)

Bobby Lashley in-ring promo, he’s MAD… calls out Lesnar… but Drew McIntyre comes out instead, they have a back and forth promo (sets up match for next week)

Sheamus (C) defeated Cesaro to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo, calls out Kay Lee Ray, she then comes out… and eventually ‘punks out’ Charlotte…

Raw (January Week 3)

Becky Lynch in-ring promo, Candice LeRae (with Indi Hartwell) eventually come out after…

Becky Lynch defeated Candice LeRae (with Indi Hartwell)

Seth Rollins and Murphy backstage interview

Keith Lee defeated Omos (with MVP)

Rhea Ripley in-ring promo… Ronda Rousey comes out after

Asuka & Io Shirai defeated Toni Storm & Tegan Nox

RK-Bro backstage promo

Damian Priest defeated Austin Theoryby DQ after Ciampa attacked Priest

Shayna Baszler defeated CarmellaShayna cuts in-ring promo after on Rumble match

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (C) defeated Seth Rollins & Murphy to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship in a match where RK-Bro could lose the titles by a DQ or count out

Edge in-ring promo, AJ Styles comes out after, promo back and forth, develops into a big brawl…

SmackDown (January Week 3)

Brock Lesnar comes out, in-ring promo , Cedric Alexander comes out, promo back and forth, Bobby Lashley eventually makes the save

Montez Ford (with Angelo Dawkins) defeated Sami Zayn (with Kevin Owens)

Kay Lee Ray backstage with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross…

Finn Balor defeated Tyler Breeze (with Fandango)

Raquel Gonzalez backstage confrontation with Dakota Kai

Bianca Belair defeated Natalya

The New Day in-ring promo , Sheamus eventually comes out …

Sheamus defeated Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods & Big E) – Finn Balor attacks E and Woods during the match to distract Kingston

Charlotte Flair backstage interview

Kay Lee Ray & Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeated Charlotte Flair & Natalya & Mandy Rose

Bobby Lashley defeated Drew McIntyreby DQ after Brock Lesnar ran in, standing tall to end the show

Raw (January Week 4)

AJ Styles defeated Edge in a Backstage Brawl

AJ Styles in-ring promo on Edge

‘Heel’ women’s team (in main event) backstage

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Akira Tozawa

‘Imperium’ (Walter) video package

Keith Lee defeated RicochetKarrion Kross (with Scarlett) comes out after and takes down both men

‘Babyface’ women’s team (in main event) backstage

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell defeated Carmella & Toni Storm – Candice promo after on royal rumble match

Samoa Joe video package

Damian Priest (C) defeated Tommaso Ciampa to retain the United States Championship – by count out

John Cena in-ring promo, Robert Roode interrupts, eventually gets an AA over the top rope to the outside

Becky Lynch & Rhea Ripley & Ember Moon & Tegan Nox defeated Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler & Asuka & Io Shirai

SmackDown (January Week 4)

John Cena in-ring promo, ‘Legado deal Fantasma’ interrupt

John Cena defeated Santos Escobar (with Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza)

The New Day backstage interview

Kay Lee Ray defeated Natalya – Charlotte Flair on commentary. After match she gets in the ring after Kay Lee Ray cuts a promo on her … Flair slaps Ray, and a proper brawl ensues!

Bobby Lashley backstage interview

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E with Xavier Woods) defeated Sheamus & Finn BalorCesaro stops the heels from cheating mid-match

Alexa Bliss-Nikki Cross-Bianca Belair… -‘The IIconics’ backstage… Dakota Kai looking on…

Dakota Kai defeated Raquel Gonzalez (Kai cheats to win)

Street Profits backstage segment

Kacy Catanzaro & Naomi defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

Drew McIntyre in-ring promo, Kevin Owens interrupts

Drew McIntyre defeated Kevin Owens

Bobby Lashley – Brock Lesnar in-ring contract signing … eventually develops into a huge brawl with Lashley standing tall at the end


ROYAL RUMBLE (Sunday January Week 4, St Louis, Missouri)

I kicked things off with my WOMEN’S Royal Rumble match. Now the main way this differed from my Men’s Rumble is… I let it play out. And by that I mean I selected the participants to be in it, and then sat back and watched the match play out by the power of the computer, I didn’t actually ‘play’ any of this match myself… Which of course was a risk, but I thought it would be much more fun to let it play out, and then I’ll book off the back of how it goes, and of course adjust my WrestleMania plans to fit whoever wins… so… here it is…

We started in pretty blockbuster fashion, just as she did in the first ever Women’s Rumble it was SASHA BANKS who entered at Number 1…

She was followed by an equally talented woman, and one half of my current Women’s Tag Team Champions, IO SHIRAI at number 2!

After that the match was finally ready to get underway!

In what was somewhat of a shock (and a shock to me too), SONYA DEVILLE was the one who booked her spot in a title match at WrestleMania! I guess now it is up to me to book her in a way that sets her up for that properly, where as usually the Rumble winner gets a bit of a kick start BEFORE they get a one way ticket to Mania… But i have faith I can come up with some good stuff. I’ve enjoyed Sonya’s work in the past when they’ve let her really go for it, part of her feud with Mandy Rose for example I absolutely loved, and she does have an MMA background… but we shall see. One thing for sure is SONYA DEVILLE is going to WRESTLEMANIA!

To follow that, I had another women’s match with a newcomer to my main roster taking on a former Rumble winner herself…

So it was not to be for Kay Lee Ray, and Charlotte as the heel certainly stuck the boot in after the match as well… Still my SmackDown Women’s Champion, still an asshole heel too…

3rd match has potential to be unbelievable… After not being pinned in his previous shot at Edge’s WWE title, AJ Styles gets another shot here… this time in a match his opponent helped make famous…

Some match that! But just not AJ’s time to win or Edge’s time to lose… just yet…

Match 4 promised to be another ‘sloberknocker’… One that I could’ve easily had at WrestleMania…

A HUGE W for Rhea Ripley! One of the few I’ve had as champion all the way through my Universe Mode so far, and for good reasons too! As for Ronda, she might now have to take a very different route to the showcase of the immortals…

Match 5 was indeed one that I had (at one point) had planned for WrestleMania… but, you know… ‘plans change’…

Right then… let me explain why that finish… Firstly it was to protect Lashley, it was also to potentially give me the option to do this match again, and maybe even at WrestleMania as I had once planned… I also needed to turn Brock heel during the course of the match, so I thought having him become frustrated at not being able to put the relentless Lashley would do the trick. I can only imagine the heat if Lesnar ruined what is somewhat of a dream match like this with a belt shot to the ref and a DQ… What now? Well…

And now finally it’s time… for my Men’s Royal Rumble match…

There is A LOT to unpack here… it really is one where I recommend you just watch the footage and make your own conclusions… but I will explain the main goings on of the match… Beginning with my number one entrant… THE RETURNING TRIBAL CHIEF!!!

and to join him in beginning the match? Another former Royal Rumble winner!…

Ok so… Roman coming in at number 1 and getting 10 straight eliminations, is different yes, brave yes, but done so to put my top heel back to where he belongs… at the top. I didn’t want him to win, because as was the case with Lesnar in 2020, the longer term stories were better served and helped more people by giving the heel the big run in the match, but the win to a top babyface… And yes having Roman’s streak ended and then somewhat taken over by Goldberg (a record-SMASHING 15 straight eliminations) was also done for a reason… So stay tuned… Cena getting him out, and then Big E eliminating Cena, all designed to give each of them a big moment leading to stuff going forward. As for my choice of winner, my simple logic was ‘how can I make my WrestleMania as big as possible? How can I make the biggest match I can make?’… which led me to my winner, for the record breaking and extending FOURTH Rumble win of his career, and someone I am very much looking forward to having to book… STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!

The Road to WrestleMania has begun! And it will now be WrestleMania 3:16!!!

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 10 – There’s HELL (in a Cell) to PAY(back)!

As a new era dawns in WWE, so does to in my own Universe. As I mentioned in the last blog, I’m going to try and do things a little differently from here on… You’ll notice a fair few new names popping up in the next couple of blogs, and I’m going to keep the rosters quite loose for now as I sort things out. Raw is pretty much set, I’m fairly happy with where that’s going… And although SmackDown still needs a little bit more work, I still think it’s a solid show in the meantime. So now then… With Survivor Series in the books, we now creep upon the start of the Road to WrestleMania, with my December shows culminating with my PPV for the month, And for some… it is time for some well deserved PAYBACK!


Raw (December Week 1)

TRIPLE H in-ring promo, announces Payback main event, BROCK LESNAR comes out! Brock in-ring promo on Roman and Heyman… “See you on SmackDown!”…

Randy Orton comes out for his match… but no Riddle… he’s been laid out backstage… by The Viking Raiders…

The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Randy Orton in a 2on1 Handicap match

Asuka (and Io Shirai) in-ring promo

Ember Moon defeated Asuka (with Io Shirai) – Toni Storm ‘bats away’ potential Io Shirai interference

Seth Rollins V Samoa Joe video package

Tomasso Ciampa defeated R-Truth

Rhea Ripley in-ring promo, Candice LeRae comes out but stays on the ramp… eventually Indi Hartwell attacks Ripley from behind!

Becky Lynch defeated Shayna Baszler (with Ronda Rousey) – after the match, Liv Morgan comes out and ‘goes ROGUE’ on Baszler and Rousey with a chair! She attacks them both, making the save for Lynch…

Edge in-ring promo, AJ Styles out after… Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) eventually out after too, and soon Styles and Kross get into a brawl as Edge makes a swift exit…

Damian Priest defeated Austin Theory

Triple H backstage… runs into Keith Lee, gives him a ‘pep talk’… “Show everyone who the REAL Keith Lee is!”…

Robert Roode video package

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe in a Last Man Standing match

SmackDown (December Week 1)

Cesaro (C) defeated Roderick Strong to retain the Intercontinental Championship – Sheamus runs out and attacks Cesaro after, then holding the IC title belt aloft

Bianca Belair defeated Natalya – Bayley comes out and has a back and forth promo with Bianca (from the ramp)

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo… SD Women’s Championship ‘Open Challenge’… KACY CATANZARO answers!

Charlotte Flair (C) defeated Kacy Catanzaro to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship

Charlotte stays in ring… asks ‘who’s next?’… Raquel Gonzalez comes to the ring, they have a staredown, and Flair eventually backs away…

Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza with Santos Escobar) defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander

‘The Kevin&Sami Show’ with guests The New Day & Finn Balor – in-ring segment…

Drew McIntyre defeated Happy Corbin

Alexa Bliss – Nikki Cross backstage… Peyton Royce & Billie Kay confront them…

Dolph Ziggler defeated Apollo Crews

Brock Lesnar in-ring promo, Paul Heyman then Roman Reigns come out not long after… very passionate, back and forth promo segment, Lesnar BITCH SLAPS Roman, with Paul Heyman and The Usos backing Reigns away as Lesnar laughs and challenges Reigns to stay and fight…

Raw (December Week 2)

Edge in-ring promo – Seth Rollins (with Murphy) follow… after a promo back&forth Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) follows next, but then AJ Styles is out and they all get into a big brawl…

Robert Roode defeated Titus O’Neil (Roode does the ‘title belt’ gesture after)

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell backstage interview

Tomasso Ciampa backstage promo

Keith Lee defeated The Miz (with John Morrison)

Tegan Nox & Shotzi walk backstage, they are talking as they walk to the ring for a match… but then Shotzi attacks Nox!

Becky Lynch defeated Shayna Baszler in a Backstage Brawl

Ember Moon&Toni Storm – Asuka&Io Shirai video package

Mysterios come to the ring for their match, then Imperium do so, before then cutting a promo on Rey&Dominik…

Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel with Walter) defeated Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio

The Viking Raiders video package

Rhea Ripley defeated Indi Hartwell (With Candice LeRae)

Ronda Rousey in-ring promo, she calls out Liv Morgan, they then have a back&forth promo…

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated AJ StylesEdge and Seth Rollins on commentary

SmackDown (December Week 2)

The New Day in-ring promo

Big E (with Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) defeated Sami Zayn (with Kevin Owens & Finn Balor)

Bobby Lashley backstage interview

Charlotte Flair backstage… Sasha Banks & Bayley approach her…

Dolph Ziggler defeated Roderick Strong

Kacy Catanzaro video package

Bianca Belair & Raquel Gonzalez backstage interview, Kacy Catanzaro eventually joins…

Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza with Santos Escobar) Bobby Lashley distracts LdF…

Brock Lesnar in-ring promo … Usos come out and try to jump him, but Lesnar suplexes and F5s them both…

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeated The IIconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce)

Pete Dunne backstage… runs into Shinsuke Nakamura…

Sheamus defeated Humberto Carrillo

Sheamus in-ring promo, Cesaro runs out… Sheamus runs off

Kacy Catanzaro & Bianca Belair & Raquel Gonzalez defeated Charlotte Flair & Bayley & Sasha Banks in a 6 woman tag match

Raw (December Week 3)

Keith Lee defeated John Morrison (with The Miz)

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell backstage… run into Asuka & Io Shirai

Ronda Rousey defeated Becky Lynch in a Backstage Brawl

Imperium in-ring promo

Tomasso Ciampa defeated Dominik Dijakovic

Edge – Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) – ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins (with Murphy) – AJ Styles in-ring contract signing

Shotzi defeated Dana Brooke

backstage interview – Rhea Ripley & Toni Storm & Ember Moon

Shotzi backstage interview

Riddle in-ring promo, calls out Viking Raiders, Erik promos back…

Riddle defeated Erik (with Ivar) – Randy Orton comes in and RKOs Erik after Ivar tried to distract the referee…

Robert Roode – Damian Priest video package

Candice LeRae & Asuka & Io Shirai defeated Toni Storm & Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley in a 6 woman’s tag match

SmackDown (December Week 3)

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) in-ring promo, BRAUN STROWMAN interrupts!

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Peyton Royce (with Billie Kay)

Drew McIntyre backstage interview, Sheamus interrupts…

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (with Finn Balor) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods with Big E)

Kacy Catanzaro backstage interview

Bobby Lashley (with Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) defeated Santos Escobar (with Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde)

Braun Strowman backstage interview

Street Profits backstage promo

Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyreCesaro joins commentary

Charlotte Flair backstage promo … turns into a brawl with Raquel Gonzalez

Pete Dunne defeated Shinsuke Nakamura

‘DING DONG, HELLO?!’ (Bayley with Sasha Banks and guest Bianca Belair)… in-ring segment

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) defeated Braun Strowman

Raw (December Week 4)

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) in-ring promo, calls out Edge… but Retribution come out instead…

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Mustafa Ali (with Mace & Reckoning)

Liv Morgan backstage interview

Asuka & Io Shirai (C) defeated Ember Moon & Toni Storm to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

Keith Lee backstage promo

Imperium in-ring promo

Ricochet & Rey Myserio & Dominik Mysterio defeated Imperium (Walter & Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) in a 6 man tag team match

Tegan Nox ‘hunts’ Shotzi backstage… Shotzi eventually makes an escape out of the arena…

The Viking Raiders vs RK-Bro video package

Damian Priest (C) defeated Robert Roode to retain the United States Championship Tomasso Ciampa absolutely destroys Priest after the match

Liv Morgan defeated Shayna Baszler

Ronda Rousey cuts a promo from the ramp on Liv Morgan…

Rhea Ripley – Candice LeRae in-ring segment

AJ Styles defeated ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins (with Murphy) Edge and Karrion Kross both come out after and a huge brawl ensues

SmackDown (December Week 4)

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo … Kacy Catanzaro comes out, back and forth promo and then Flair attacks Catanzaro… Raquel Gonzalez runs out and makes the save to run Charlotte off…

The Usos defeated Street Profits

The New Day backstage promo

Sheamus defeated Cesaro in a Backstage Brawl

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross backstage interview – Sasha Banks & Bayley interrupt…

Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki CrossBianca Belair makes the save after the match when Banks & Bayley attack Bliss & Cross

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (C) (with Big E) defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (with Finn Balor) in a match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship by DQ after Finn Balor attacked New Day with a chair!

Jinder Mahal in-ring promo

Drew McIntyre defeated Jinder Mahal

The Hurt Business backstage promo

Charlotte Flair (C) defeated Kacy Catanzaro to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship Raquel Gonzalez on commentary

Brock Lesnar comes to the ring, followed by Roman Reigns (with The Usos and Paul Heyman) for an in-ring contract signing… eventually it develops into a huge brawl that empties the locker room!


Payback – December, Sunday Week 4 (Atlanta, Georgia)

I opened the PPV with what I see as a perfect kind of match to get the crowd hyped and get the night off on the right foot…

I’d of had Big E get the pin here. That leaves me open still to do KO and Sami vs Kofi and Woods for the tag titles, and possibly a big singles match at some point with E and Balor. Just think this would be a great match with 6 fantastic wrestlers.

Next up, the first of our 3 women’s matches of the show…

Thought this was a decent match. I liked how Raquel took a lot of it, but in the end the steel and wherewithal of the champion was enough to see her past yet another challenger…

What I couldn’t make happen in the game, but would want to happen, was after Charlotte had left the ring with her Championship belt… I’d have DAKOTA KAI come in and attack her former best friend/turned rival Raquel Gonzalez… this would set up the next feud for the defeated challenger…

3rd on the card I had another high stakes women’s match… this time it was the Money In The Bank briefcase that was on the line!!!

What a performance from Liv Morgan! I felt she really needed this win, particularly after what happened at Survivor Series. For her to become only the second woman to pin Ronda Rousey in WWE gives her a huge boost… but what now for Ronda? She’s failed to capture the MITB briefcase… she still has Becky Lynch to deal with, and plus the Royal Rumble and the beginning of the road to WrestleMania is just around the corner… The future is uncertain for Rousey after this tough loss…

Another solid PPV match follows…

Two guys who I think really should FIGHT FOREVER… So I just had to have it happen in my Universe Mode at some point….

Yeah I had wanted to give Sheamus the final piece to make him a Grand Slam champion in WWE from the very start to be honest. I just think it’s long overdue… And the way the finish went as well just worked perfectly with him being a heel too…

The WWE Championship was on the line next… About as stacked a 4 way as I could make on Raw I think… I had hoped this would be a great match…

I was not disappointed…

I genuinely think this was one of the best matches I’ve ever played out on a computer game! And the finish went exactly as I had intended as well, with Edge pinning Rollins… GREAT stuff!

After this was another banger… Weapons all over the place in this one too…

Ripley retains, which she was always going to, but given the fight Candice put up, I don’t feel like she’s hurt too much here in defeat. So good stuff all round.

And… FINALLY… it is TIME… My very own FINAL EVER Brock vs Roman match…

My one idea I had for how I wanted this match to go was I just wanted to make it… FUCKED!

I think I did a decent job of that…

Yep… I did that… Recovering from being flung off the top of the cell TWICE… BROCK LESNAR IS MY NEW UNIVERSAL CHAMPION!!! The Reign of the Tribal Chief is OVER!

I won’t give too many of my ideas away, but in short I’ve gone this way because it just opens up a tonne more possibilities for me, and possible things I can do leading up to WrestleMania… So what now? Well you’ll just have to read my next blogs in the series to find out… Next blog will be my build to ROYAL RUMBLE… and the beginning of the road to WrestleMania… All with my NEW UNIVERSAL CHAMPION…

BRRRRRROCK LLLLLESNARRRRRR!!!!

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 9 – SURVIVOR SERIES!

Survivor Series 2020 Review WWE | Writebase updated. 2022

The original idea for this blog series was not only would it give me a chance to play a mode that I LOVE on a WWE game that’s actually good for once… but also it would give me the chance to right the wrongs of the (at times) abysmal modern day WWE booking… Well… A LOT has changed in the last few weeks (as you may of heard or even read about in my two recent non WWE 2k22 blog posts)… So it only seems fitting now that I have my own creative shift… whereas before I wanted to do things how I wanted to see them booked in WWE, now that WWE is (hopefully gonna be) good, instead of booking how I think things should be, I’m just gonna book how I want. What that looks like I don’t yet know, but I wanna book some really fun stuff. Some really cool stuff that maybe even in a world where a dude can drive a TRACTOR and LIFT UP THE RING you may not be able to witness… Now this blog itself is a big one, and whilst the creative shift I want hasn’t taken effect yet (look for my next blog for my fallout from the ppv and the beginning of the road to my next ‘Big 4’ show when shit starts getting WILD) it’s still a pretty big occasion, as it is time for my second ‘Big 4’ PPV … I’ve gone quality rather than quantity for the show itself, so just 7 matches… but before we get there, here is my build-up (and quite the build if I do say so myself on both Raw and SmackDown) to SURVIVOR SERIES!


Raw (November Week 1)

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins ‘re-anoints’ ‘The Prophet’ Murphy (Samoa Joe interrupts, runs of the heels)

Walter (with Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) defeated Dominik Dijakovic

Murphy & Seth Rollins take out Samoa Joe backstage

Toni Storm defeated Reckoning

RK-Bro backstage interview

Damian Priest defeated R-Truth (with Carmella)

Liv Morgan defeated Shayna Baszlerby DQ after RONDA ROUSEY interrupts and attacks Liv! Becky Lynch comes out and makes the save.

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (C) defeated The Miz & John Morrison to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship

Rhea Ripley in-ring promo, CANDICE LERAE interrupts!

AJ Styles defeated ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins & Omos & Karrion Kross in a Fatal 4 Way match to become the new Number 1 Contender for the WWE Championship

SmackDown (November Week 1)

Charlotte Flair… Sasha Banks (with Tamina)… Bayley… Naomi in-ring segment

Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander defeated Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo by DQ after Finn Balor interrupted and attacked Benjamin & Alexander

Finn Balor backstage promo on The Hurt Business

Kevin Owens defeated Angelo Dawkins

Bianca Belair is backstage… Asuka & Io Shirai laugh at her…

Cesaro (C) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the Intercontinental Championship … RODERICK STRONG attacks Cesaro after the match

Drew McIntyre in-ring promo, Legado del Fantasma interrupt

Drew McIntyre defeated Joaquin Wilde (with Santos Escobar & Raul Mendoza)

Sheamus video package

Sheamus defeated Tyler Breeze (with Fandango)

Naomi defeated Sasha Banks (with Tamina) (Bayley on commentary, Charlotte Flair watching on from backstage)… After the match Sasha Banks and Tamina ‘split’, with Tamina pushing Sasha down and then walking away and to the back…)

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) in-ring promo… they ask ‘who’s next?’ for Roman… BIG E answers the call! E cuts a mega PASSIONATE promo, Roman and Paul eventually leave (the segment isn’t physical at all, but both men are very passionate in their promos)

Raw (November Week 2)

Edge in-ring promo, AJ Styles interrupts…

Candice LeRae defeated Carmella (with R-Truth) – Rhea Ripley watching on backstage

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) defeated Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan Miz & Morrison attack RK-Bro after

Edge backstage interview, introduces Robert Roode (with Dolph Ziggler) as his tag team partner for the main event…

Mustafa Ali (with Mace) defeated Ricochet

Seth Rollins backstage promo on Samoa Joe (promotes Murphy vs Joe next week)…

Keith Lee defeated Elias

Keith Lee in-ring interview after, Karrion Kross & Scarlett interrupt on the titantron…

Ronda Rousey defeated Becky Lynch in a Backstage Brawl

AJ Styles & Rey Mysterio defeated Edge & Robert Roode (with Dolph Ziggler)

SmackDown (November Week 2)

Big E in-ring promo

Santos Escobar defeated Drew McIntyre in a Backstage Brawl

Sasha Banks-Bayley backstage segment

Bianca Belair defeated Asuka (with Io Shirai) after Raquel Gonzalez came out to help Belair

Roderick Strong Video Package

Street Profits backstage promo

Montez Ford (with Angelo Dawkins) defeated Sami Zayn (with Kevin Owens) by DQ after Owens got involved

Sheamus backstage promo

Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi after Bayley and Sasha Banks distracted Naomi, but Charlotte wasn’t happy about it though…

Shelton Benjamin backstage promo

Finn Balor defeated Shelton Benjamin (with Cedric Alexander) – Bobby Lashley comes out after and stares at Balor from the ramp

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (with Big E) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)

Kofi & Woods in-ring promo on ‘The Bloodline’, say ‘we want ALL the Gold!!!”…

Raw (November Week 3)

AJ Styles in-ring promo, Robert Roode interrupts…

AJ Styles defeated Dolph Ziggler (with Robert Roode)

Asuka (with Io Shirai) defeated Nikki Cross

Candice LeRae backstage interview

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Titus O’Neil – Kross cuts an in-ring promo on Keith Lee after

Damian Priest – Walter – Omos: US Title video package

The Miz & John Morrison defeated Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado)

Ronda Rousey in-ring promo, Liv Morgan interrupts

Samoa Joe defeated Murphy (with Seth Rollins)

Rhea Ripley backstage…

Candice LeRae defeated Rhea Ripley in a Backstage Brawl

Edge in-ring promo… AJ Styles comes out after… ‘very personal’ promo back and forth, develops into a brawl, Edge eventually delivers a CON-CHAIR-TO to Styles!

SmackDown (November Week 3)

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo, Naomi interrupts… Bayley and Sasha Banks come out, stand on ramp…

Roderick Strong defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (Cesaro watching on backstage)

Sonya Deville (with Mandy Rose) defeated Alexa Bliss Natalya comes out to attack Bliss after with Deville and Rose, Nox and Shotzi then come out to even the odds…

Bobby Lashley defeated Happy Corbin – Lashley calls out Finn Balor after during a fiery in-ring promo

Drew McIntyre & Rey Mysterio (with Dominik Mysterio) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde with Santos Escobar)

Cesaro backstage interview

Sheamus defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott

Sheamus backstage promo

Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Naomi & Charlotte Flair

‘The Bloodline’ go out to the ring, in-ring promo by Roman, ‘The New Day’ come out, in-ring promo … ‘After Survivor Series, it’s OVER!’… Eventually develops into a huge brawl!!!…

Raw (November Week 4)

Damian Priest (C) defeated Walter & Omos in a Triple Threat match to retain the United States Championship

Keith Lee backstage interview

(Ricochet in-ring promo before his tag partner comes out…)

Ricochet & Dominik Dijakovic defeated Retribution (Mustafa Ali & Mace with Reckoning)

Liv Morgan backstage interview

Candice LeRae defeated Toni Storm by DQ after Rhea Ripley interfered

RK-Bro backstage segment… // …Miz & Morrison backstage segment

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Keith Lee

Edge – AJ Styles in-ring contract signing segment

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (C) defeated The Miz & John Morrison to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship

Samoa Joe – Seth Rollins video package

Ronda Rousey (with Shayna Baszler) defeated Liv Morgan Ronda & Shayna attack Liv and try to put her through a table after, but Becky Lynch comes out and makes the save!

SmackDown (November Week 4)

Asuka & Io Shirai (C) defeated Bianca Belair & Raquel Gonzalez to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

The New Day backstage interview

Alexa Bliss & Shotzi & Tegan Nox defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville & Natalya in a 6 Woman Tag match

Roderick Strong video package

Drew McIntyre defeated Santos Escobar

‘The Bloodline’ backstage segment

Street Profits backstage segment

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defeated Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Bobby Lashley backstage segment on Finn Balor

Finn Balor backstage segment on ‘THE DEMON’

Sheamus defeated Fandango (with Tyler Breeze)

Charlotte Flair – Bayley – Sasha Banks – Naomi in-ring segment

‘The Bloodline’ (Roman Reigns & Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) defeated The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)


…Well… Let’s get to it then…!!!

Survivor Series – November, Sunday Week 4 (Brooklyn, New York)

We open with what should be a BANGER for the Raw Women’s title!!!

So… the finish was by design, in the sense I wanted something that would allow for me to keep the title on Rhea, but protected Candice too… Nonetheless, the Raw Women’s title stays on Ripley!

Next was a match that I feel like, if anything, I’ve done too much… but all for a very good purpose…

Yep… bet you didn’t expect that result! Well for me, it just felt time. Time for The Usos to lose, and time for Kofi and Woods to win. With this PPV marking the definitive end to the Bloodline-New Day story in my Universe Mode, looks like a new direction for both is now on the horizon…

In order for me to balance the card out properly, the THIRD match of the show is a little bit tasty…

So The Ultimate Opportunist strikes again to retain, yes, but with AJ kinda getting screwed or more Edge getting a shitty W… this means… we can run it back later down the line…

My next match was probably my hardest to try and get to go how I wanted (gameplay wise)…

But eventually…

Charlotte picked her moment, and with Sasha and Naomi on the outside, The Queen pinned Bayley to retain her SmackDown Women’s title!

Another women’s match followed this… a non-title women’s tag on a big 4 PPV? Must be big right? Well… what about this?…

So… firstly I want to apologise to Liv. She did kinda get shat on here, and I do need to big her up a little more at this stage I feel, given she is still holding the MITB case after all… But the story here was that Becky Lynch didn’t get tagged in to the match ONCE… Further adding to the build to my eventual Rousey vs Lynch showdown… when? Time will tell…

Next up, a match that served two purposes… it got Lashley on a big ppv, and I FINALLY let loose… THE DEMON!

(Seriously… the fact entrance music doesn’t carry over when you record your gameplay on PS, it is no more of a tragedy than when showing off just how AWESOME Demon Finn’s entrance is on this game…)

A solid win here for Balor, but I’m kind of hoping this loss doesn’t hurt Lashley too much… I guess that’s up to me… Cause I got big plans for both these two going forward…

AND FINALLY… Time for my Survivor Series main event!!!

(Should point out, annoyingly, that once again the game has decided during the match that Big E was champion and Roman the challenger… just to point out that definitely wasn’t how it was… but whatever… here’s the match…)…

So a fairly solid win for Roman… but after the match was when Roman decided to add a little extra in…

So Survivor Series closes with Roman Reigns still being champion, Big E being left in a mess now that the Bloodline-New Day feud is over (so no more title shots against Roman for Big E…), and seemingly nobody left to try and end Roman’s reign…

or is there…

Josh.

TRIPLE H named as Head of Creative for WWE

If Friday night’s announcement of Vince McMahon’s retirement wasn’t music enough to my ears, today’s announcement was. One thing I referred to in my blog about Vince over the weekend, was who would now be in charge of WWE’s creative? Yes it was definitely for the best that Dinosaur Vince was gone, but who would follow him in being in charge of what we saw on our TV screens? Well, for me we have the best possible answer.

I could only dream that Paul Levesque would be named as head of creative for WWE. My worry was not only his previous health troubles, but also a possible conflict of interests when (to compare it to a more regular place of work), the person in charge of HR was now also their supervisor/manager. But to be fair, HHH did essentially both of those roles in the Black and Gold era for NXT. And that went pretty well for the long part, until Tony Khan and his millions came along, made a cooler and bigger version of NXT with a bigger platform and simply the allowances to be able to grow and grow. Tony Khan had to answer to… Tony Khan, so his vision could go as far as he wanted. Regardless of what you wanted to say, and as much as me and everyone else LOVED Black and Gold NXT, Vince McMahon was still in charge. That was why despite successes in NXT for the likes of Karrion Kross and Aleister Black and Bobby Roode, they were never even close to as big stars when they made the jump to Raw and SmackDown, because Vince just didn’t see them as much I guess. I mean, Keith Lee went from DOUBLE champion in NXT, to fucking ‘BEARCAT’ on Raw in a stupid singlet…

NXT was this cool little brand that people liked for some reason, but it was never close to Raw and SmackDown and never would be. That was what Vince thought. That’s Triple H’s thing, let him deal with that, and then when someone gets hot down there, let me take them and do whatever I want with them, cause WHAT I SAY GOES! Adam Cole? NXT grand slam champion? And one of the top stars on the brand for his whole run? I want him as a MANAGER… Christ…

And then when AEW was going to be a thing, Vince’s idea was lets use this cool brand Triple H has created, and use that as the tool to beat AEW up with. Lets have NXT invade main roster and lets give them the big win over Raw and SmackDown at Survivor Series.

And then if NXT doesn’t do as well as AEW, then we’ll just blame Triple H for the whole thing and we will change EVEYTHING! And that’s exactly what happened. Hence the creation of NXT 2.0. And yes to be fair I do adhere to the argument that NXT 2.0 works better as a developmental brand than Black and Gold NXT did, because it sets people up for the main roster and VINCE’S vision better. With Vince running both, there would be less of the dramatic changes to people’s characters we have seen in the past, when people went from HHH’s NXT to Vince’s Raw or SmackDown. Well… FUCK THAT SHIT now! Vince’s is vision is no more, thank FUCK! But I don’t watch NXT 2.0, so I’ll leave that be in this blog. I trust that Shawn Michaels and his team will do a good job getting the future main roster stars prepared adequately.

So… now what? For years I wanted this, and now it’s happened what will Raw and SmackDown look like? Well first of all I should make the point that what I DON’T think would be a good idea is to directly replicate Black and Gold NXT under the banners of Raw and SmackDown. Now HHH is pitching to a far wider audience, a more diverse audience, on a ungodly bigger scale, with far more people (fans and performers) to please and use adequately. But I’m sure Triple H is well aware of this, and I’m sure that brining in someone with his philosophies and creative vision can only be positive. Helps that you’re a WWE Hall of Famer, a 14 time world champion, a widely respected and like figure backstage, oh… and your wife runs the company now…

As someone who watched NXT religiously from 2016-2021, here’s just SOME of the things you MAY see implemented and changed on Raw and SmackDown in the next few weeks and months… HOPEFULLY…

LONG TERM BOOKING

How many times have we seen guys and girls on Raw and SmackDown get a push, and then 3 weeks later Vince gets bored and they’re back down the card? With whatever storyline they had going on gradually faded out… Cedric Alexander, Apollo Crews, and maybe the best example was Aleister Black… Weeks of vignettes and promos, he makes his in-ring arrival, and then he’s gone and given his future endeavours. In NXT of old, we had storylines and rivalries that went on for months, and in once particular case YEARS (see image above). Stories that had a start, middle, end and then maybe another story that was built off the back of that. GREAT! Continuity is the key to pro-wrestling storytelling for me, stuff that makes sense and makes the TV product compelling to watch. It’s what makes you not want to tune in next week, but makes you HAVE to do so, because you can’t miss a beat of the story.

BEING YOURSELF

Karrion Kross went from the unbeatable 2x and reigning NXT Champion, to wearing a dumbass stupid costume and losing his Raw debut in minutes… LA Knight is (or was) running a bloody modelling agency… Pete Dunne turned into BUTCH… WHAT?! It makes you wonder what the point of their NXT runs are when they go to Raw and SmackDown and have EVERYTHING changed? Previously the idea of brining people to NXT was to give them a soft introduction to WWE, in terms of how the company works and to the part of the WWE audience that watches NXT as well. It surely can’t do anyone any good if you change everything about the character, especially with the performer having to get to grips to the differences between Raw and SmackDown, as well as a new role to play… Again the continuity point I raised before must be figured into NXT call ups going forward, as well as those who come in to WWE. Cody Rhodes coming in to WWE as the exact same act as he was in AEW must no longer be something that’s unique, if it ain’t broke and all that…

world WRESTLING entertainment

For someone who ran a wrestling company, I don’t think Vince McMahon likes the actual wrestling stuff too much. And I get it, he wants and very successfully did make his company more than a ‘rasslin promotion. But the in-ring stuff should still be the main focus, the bread and butter. The NXT TakeOver shows became renowned for being amazing and featuring fantastic matches start to finish, and given the talent that’s on the Raw and SmackDown rosters, WWE are more than able to have each PPV and TV show have great matches all over the place. I can’t tell you the amount of times in the past I’ve skipped through most matches on WWE TV shows in the past, because they barely lasted a few minutes or they were just so basic and un-inspiring they didn’t need to be paid attention too. The old NXT TV shows had at least one banger match each week, and like I said WWE have the talent in abundance, they’ve got to start having good matches more often than not. Let your wrestlers WRESTLE, no more of what we had on SmackDown some weeks back when every match went just a few minutes, have less matches but have them go longer and have the time they need to be great if needs be. A WRESTLING company’s priority should be the WRESTLING… surely…

Size DOESN’T matter

How many times down the years have we heard about Vince having a ‘type’ (steady…)…? People who you look at physically and just know if Vince will like them or not. Adam Cole was going to be made a manager, he immediately stuck a singlet on Keith Lee, we had rumours a couple years ago of the ‘big’ guys in WWE being sent to a special class at the PC to learn how to work (?)… All this is just horseshit. Your size as a pro wrestler, or your look, shouldn’t dictate if you succeed or not. There’s plenty of ways to skin a cat surely? In Triple H’s NXT he had Drew McIntyre drop the title to Andrade, Adam Cole lose the title to Keith Lee… further back he put the title on people like Neville (PAC), Bo Dallas even… Do you think Vince McMahon would’ve ever made Bo Dallas (regardless of his star power or ability) a world champion? I doubt it. Nobody should be pre-judged by their size or physical appearance. Personal opinion I get, but maybe when WWE recruit new people, they shouldn’t be just going for college athletes that are chiselled from stone… Be more open minded and you open yourselves up to getting in the most talented performers, as opposed to the most physically appeasing…

‘You Can’t Win Anything with Kids’

Football fans will remember the famous line used by Alan Hansen when discussing the Manchester United team of the time. And he was right. But what Manchester United actually had was the correct mix of youth and experience, the youngsters learning from the elders and raising their own game in the process. And I know I said I was going to talk about what main roster WWE could look like going forward under the creative direction of Triple H, but this point is more referring to NXT 2.0, which looks like it is headed up these days by Shawn Michaels. My hope for that brand is, as has been rumoured, they alter their recruitment policy once again and become more open to bringing talents from the indies in to not only have a spot in WWE for themselves, but also to help along those NXT 2.0 stars fresh out of the PC. For me NXT 2.0 right now seems to be a lot of green wrestlers taking on other green wrestlers, and nobody improves because they both suck because neither knows YET what they’re doing. I think NXT 2.0 could benefit from keeping the greener talent in the PC a little longer and not rushing them onto TV, and maybe with HHH and Michaels relationship they can talk more about the talents from main roster who could go down and lend a hand to 2.0, as Natalya and AJ Styles did a little while ago…

Rome wasn’t built in a day…

My previous point about long term booking kind of goes hand in hand with this one, and I’ve probably overlapped… but I don’t want to say how NXT Black and Gold would gradually push guys and girls, and they wouldn’t just give up after a few weeks… I can only hope HHH’s Raw and SmackDown has a lot more of these slow build stories. I could write a whole blog about the ‘Who attacked Aleister Black?’ in NXT, but it was such a great example of a long story, that had many twists and turns, and got many people more over as a result, but it’s just one example of how taking your time and gradually building stories and individuals can make for such good TV.

Everyone deserves a 2nd chance

Some of the first things I thought about when Vince retired, and more so today when Triple H got the creative head role, was who this might benefit on the roster. Triple H made Johnny Gargano his absolute top babyface, and made Karrion Kross a double champion… both left WWE after their time with NXT was done, both are currently free agents as are both their wives, and I should say both Candice LeRae and Scarlett are tremendously talented as well. Could any of those (ideally all 4) come back now? I’d say it’s a lot more likely with HHH at the helm… That can only be good right? And will we now see second chances for those who Vince had seemed to of given up on, as the top level anyway? And my ultimate dream… could this mean… HE… is let back in…

HERE COMES THE GIRLS!

NXT Black and Gold, as the Women’s champion of the time Shayna Baszler recently claimed, had THE best women’s roster I’ve ever seen assembled! And they had some BANGER matches and storylines, Io vs Candice, Shayna vs Rhea Ripley, Asuka vs Ember Moon, heck the women’s evolution STARTED in NXT for god sake! The booking of the women has been something that WWE and even recently AEW has been criticised, and I’m sure Triple H will have the spotlight shone on him and how he books the women. So I hope he books them how they deserve to be, given the platform and stars he made of women in NXT, I’m very hopeful WWE’s women’s division will be something to be envied in the years to come.

BIG FIGHT FEEL!

Maybe this was helped by the fact there were only 4 or 5 NXT TakeOvers a year, and maybe it will be hindered by the fact WWE make their money from their TV deals as opposed to PPVs these days (given they’ve already got their Peacock money for the PREMIUIM LIVE EVENTS, so they’re grand)… but NXT TakeOvers and their main matches always felt important. Like they were must-see and the culmination of something special. I’ve had people say to me that the upcoming SummerSlam card isn’t all that good… Now that’s a different topic for another day, but for that to even be a debate for WWE’s 2nd biggest show of the year is a shambles! Often I remember looking at a TakeOver card and thinking WOW, and I think this is the case with most AEW PPVs as well, but again maybe because WWE have one of these a month it’s hard to make everything seem important all the time… but that’s their job surely? I just remember how the first Ciampa vs Gargano match, or the War Games NXT matches feeling massive… even matches lower down TakeOver cards felt big… aside from Roman Vs Brock, can you tell me anything else on that SummerSlam card feels unmissable? Something isn’t right about that, and Triple H’s job will be to have the build-up to big matches be much more compelling and to make the payoff be something people have to see!

‘Tony, cut the shit!’

Now NXT being an hour and then only 2 hours long (Raw is 3) helped this, but when NXT was an hour, I never felt like there was much shit on the show. everything I saw had a purpose, but my god we don’t half see some shit on Raw. This might be Triple H’s hardest issue to solve, or maybe the easiest, but there’s got to be a lot more quality control for what happens on Raw and SmackDown. So many just god awful segments that has to be something Triple H looks at changing dramatically How you do this would be have to vary depending on what it is… Maybe pre-record more stuff so you can edit after if needs be? Maybe just booking better stuff? Maybe scripting promos less where needed and letting people talk like humans and not like robots? Just maybe that’ll make people want to watch your TV shows more…

So that’s just some of my thoughts on what Triple H’s Raw and SmackDown could look like going forward. It may be something we have to be patient about, but I’m hopeful in the future both shows will be far better for us fans, and far better for everyone who’s involved in putting them together.

This new era of WWE with Triple H running the creative is a HUGE chance for them to win some people over, and to win some fans back. In my opinion, particularly with the continued rise of AEW, it really is now or never.

Josh.

Vince McMahon RETIRES!

And just like that, it was over. The most influential person in the history of professional wrestling, announced he was leaving the business in an active role. As I write this, he still owns most of the company, but… and I genuinely can’t believe I’m writing this, Vince McMahon is no longer in charge of WWE’s business or creative operations.

In my lifetime, I can only really compare this to the news of the retirement of long time Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Sure, Ferguson changed one club and made them THE club… Vince McMahon changed an entire industry. I genuinely didn’t think I’d ever see this day, even in the light of recent allegations, I assumed he would only leave his role when he passed away.

You could say so many things about Vince McMahon. For what he did to make the World Wrestling Federation into the global juggernaut that World Wrestling Entertainment is today cannot be understated in any way. What also cannot be understated is the vile nature of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Vince McMahon that have been out there in recent weeks. I won’t go into those, you can all do your own research into them…

I can’t help but feel he has jumped before he was pushed out. Maybe that will come out soon enough… but even after the allegations came out, he was still running creative. And for us fans, well me anyway, that was still something that stung… but now he himself has announced he is gone fully. From a couple weeks ago, when Vince apparently shouted backstage “FUCK EM” in an apparent response to the allegations hanging over him, to now him leaving… my word how things change…

Earlier in the day we had the news that Triple H was back as head of talent relations. And now we have the news, upon Vince’s announcement, that Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan are now jointly in charge. From what I’ve seen and read, I’m sure Stephanie will continue to do great things for WWE, and as for the controversial Nick Khan… well he’s been put as the guy to blame for all these mass WWE releases in recent years and months, and it does look as if he could well be preparing the company for a sale??? I don’t think that’s impossible now…

In the immediate future… well I think I’d as fans we’re most immediately concerned about the creative. What we as fans see on our tv screens. The business I don’t know the ins and outs of… an educated guess would be Stephanie and Nick Khan will continue to grow and evolve the juggernaut that WWE is. On tv… is Kevin Dunn (and his obsession with horrific camera cuts and shaking) going to be phased out? Bruce Prichard? Michael Hayes? All long-term stalwarts of the backstage going’s on in WWE… All well known as “Vince guys”… what of people like them now? Surely we won’t have Stephanie or Nick Khan constantly ripping up and changing plans last minute now as Vince often did? …

And that’s just it isn’t it… This is something wrestling fans have asked for forever. More the last 20 years or so when the general public opinion of WWE’s creative has really dropped. It seems a constant that people who moan about WWE’s creative will point the blame (rightly or wrongly) at Vince. Now he’s gone. So who we gonna blame now? I adored Black and Gold era NXT, but even I will say HHH’s booking wasn’t faultless. Same with Tony Khan and AEW nowadays. But I think it’ll be the little things we see change… it’s hard to say what (until we know exactly who is gonna be leading creative) what the tv product on Raw and SmackDown is going to look like… maybe I’ll do another post when that has been announced… but for me, as someone who watches less WWE now than I have ever done as a wrestling fan… this can only be promising surely? I’m excited by the possibilities for what the wwe product could look like going forward… and with the recent news that SummerSlam (which is Saturday 30th July btw) is going to be TV-14 rated and NOT PG (as wwe tv has been since 2008), you’d imagine a significant change to what the tv shows look like… right…? We can only hope… but the amount of missed open goals by WWE creatively in recent years has become an absolute embarrassment, I could write 10,000 words about all the missed chances and people they treated appallingly creatively… hopefully with the head of the snake now cut off, that will HOPEFULLY be dramatically less now, and WWE’s creative batting average will get far better… again, we can only hope… I’ve not watched WWE much as I’ve said, I think me and many others will now give it far more of a watch just to see what changes. I for one want to see WWE be better, I guess now we will find out if Vince really was the issue… what will this mean for storylines? For the roster? 3 years ago HHH has a vision, and everything (a roster, backstage names etc) all were in place in NXT black and gold to be the blueprint for the future WWE main roster… and then Vince blamed AEW’s “win” on HHH and fucked all that off… does at least some of that come back now? Who knows what that looks like, but again we can only hope…

As I write this… Twitter is completely full of all sorts of news, tributes and tweets about this… naturally, it’s the biggest story in wrestling history so what would you expect? But I did mention about what changes could happen now with no Vince… well looks like we have one immediate one…

Yep… it’s currently 10.26pm on Friday, and it appears Brock Lesnar (currently scheduled for tonight’s episode of SmackDown to appear, promoting his match with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at SummerSlam) has walked out… Penny for the thoughts of Triple H rn… ‘welcome back, our number 2 star has walked out on the eve of the main event of our second biggest pay per view event of the calendar year’… Christ… and given how Sasha and Naomi were treated ON AIR after they walked out… is Brock going to be given the same if he has indeed walked out? Hmm… and also… Sable SUED WWE, and NOW (upon Vince leaving) is when Brock apparently walks out?? Hilarious…

I’ll be staying up all night now I’m sure. And I am updating this post as I write it, as the news just keeps flooding in and things are changing all the time… but for those of you who have been living under a rock… this is the timeline of recent events…

Yeah… it’s been wild… and I don’t think we’re done at all… but this is the most excited I’ve been about WWE for some time, and I don’t think I’m the only one… so take that for what you will…

I don’t want this to become a news stream… but with news coming in and changing so much… but it now appears that Kevin Dunn and Bruce will be gone soon, that more WSJ (Wall Street Journal who broke the Vince allegations) stuff could be coming, that BILL GOLDBERG could be called to replace Lesnar if he doesn’t show for SummerSlam… there were always going to be SEISMIC changes and tidlewaves when someone who was in charge for as long and ruled with such an iron fist left… but my word… Then again… do the positives outweigh the negatives? Remains to be seen but I’d be leaning towards a yes it’s a good thing …

So now… I’m going to make my first of what I’m sure will be a couple of coffees tonight so I can stay up for the latest developments and to see how SmackDown (possibly without Brock Lesnar) plays out… the latest on Mr Lesnar is there is a replacement lined up (for SummerSlam) but they are of course wanting to get Brock back… the rumours I’ve heard are Bill Goldberg (let’s hope they get Brock back…)… but my immediate thoughts are this (if they’ve got a back-up already lined up) can only be a good sign for the long term for WWE, Vince would often book on the fly… and it’s ironic his departure has triggered events that could lead to the new team having to book one of the biggest matches possible on the fly… but a good sign of strong leadership and one that isn’t afraid to act…

I’ve just seen this… the apparent internal letter Vince sent to the WWE talent…

My goodness… Here this motherfucker is acting like he’s the all-loving happy grandad figure… hilarious… and now I have just read that Bruce is going to be running creative in the interim, with some direction from Vince… but I can’t see that remaining the case long term. Personally I would always lean towards Paul Heyman in that spot, if Triple H is to stick with talent relations and doing both would be a huge conflict of interests. But who knows… who knows anything anymore with regards to WWE…

Stephanie McMahon is now kicking off SmackDown. I can only hope she cuts the babyface promo of the decade…. I have just read the plans for SmackDown, so I think I will stay up to see what Stephanie has to say, and then call it a night, finalise this blog post and get it all out to you Saturday morning. God knows by that point what more news could break before then… and to confirm Brock Lesnar is NOT on the apparently re-written SmackDown show…

Stephanie McMahon did indeed open SmackDown…

I thought this speech, and the thank it was just a thanks to Vince, rather than ‘this is a new era’ etc. was nauseating to say the least…

I tweeted as much in reply to Sean Ross Sapp… Looks like I wasn’t the only one with that opinion…

The rest of SmackDown played out as just another SmackDown really… until the very end…

Yep, it appears he came back… Wrestling hey? …

So… what now? Who knows really, but the future of WWE really starts right now… For better or worse? We shall see…

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 8 – THE HORROR SHOW!

Now this really is one I’m looking forward to!

Given I’m playing out this fantasy world of WWE in my own image on a PS4 game, any chance to do ‘gimmick’ matches is one I will happily lap up. And so whilst I haven’t gone quite as… extreme… as WWE used to do with this PPV (where every match was contested under a different ‘extreme’ set of rules), nor have I had any matches where someone loses their EYE… But I’ve used this show to put on some quite spectacular matches. In the build I’ve also began a subtle build to some of my matches at my next ‘Big 4’ PPV, which is just around the corner…

And of course as mentioned in the last chapter, this will feature the debut in my Universe Mode of a certain BEAST…

So without going on anymore, let me get into how the run up to THE HORROR SHOW at Extreme Rules went down…


Raw – October Week 1

Edge comes out for an in-ring promo, Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) interrupts…

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe in a Backstage Brawl

Becky Lynch backstage interview – ‘I didn’t get pinned (at the ppv), respect to Rhea Ripley, but now it’s time to take back the title I never lost’

Elias does his entrance ‘gimmick’

Damian Priest defeated Elias

MVP & Omos in-ring promo, Omos SCREAMS for AJ Styles, AJ Styles comes through the crowd with a chair and fights away Omos & MVP, then makes the challenge for Extreme Rules!

Rhea Ripley defeated Mickie James

Asuka fumes backstage in locker room (over failure to win Raw Women’s title at COC), Io Shirai calms her down (in Japanese), whispers something to Asuka, and after Asuka is now very excited and happy

‘Viking Raiders’ defeated Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

‘The Dirt Sheet’ (on RK-Bro)

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Ricochet

‘Imperium’ video package

(Billie Kay enters with Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross enters with Toni Storm and then chases Billie Kay to the back… R-Truth comes out with Carmella, he shrugs his shoulders and then ‘joins in’ the chase to the back…)

(All the women enter for the main event. Becky Lynch is due to enter last… her music plays but she doesn’t come out, we go backstage and see she has been attacked! She therefore is no longer able to take part in the main event)

Shayna Baszler defeated Reckoning & Toni Storm & Peyton Royce & Carmella in a fatal-5-way match to become the number 1 contender for the Raw Women’s Championship

SmackDown – October Week 1

Drew McIntyre in-ring promo, Brock Lesnar interrupts, Paul Heyman out (on rampway)… Drew and Brock brawl, locker room empties to separate them

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley & Raquel Gonzalez in a triple threat match (Bliss pins Bayley) to become the number 1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship

Shinsuke Nakamura backstage promo, Bobby Lashley, then Cesaro interrupt

‘The New Day’ backstage, ‘The Usos’ approach them…

Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott defeated Austin Theory

Finn Balor defeated Cesaro in a Backstage Brawl

Sasha Banks and Tamina backstage, Asuka and Io Shirai approach…

Sheamus defeated Tyler Breeze (with Fandango)

Bobby Lashley is found backstage (by Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander), having been attacked and laid out…

Asuka & Io Shirai defeated Sasha Banks & Tamina to become the new number 1 contender’s for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship (Naomi distracts Tamina to allow Asuka and Shirai to get the win)

‘The Sami & KO Show’ with Special guests ‘Street Profits’

Shinsuke Nakamura (C) vs Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship ends in a no contest when Cesaro and Bobby Lashley come out, eventually we get into as big brawl, with all 4 men staring each other down to close the show

Raw – October Week 2

Omos (with MVP) defeated Trent Seven (with Tyler Bate)

Shayna Baszler defeated Nikki Cross – after Rhea Ripley is seen watching on from backstage, when an injured Liv Morgan says ‘she wants next’…

Tegan Nox & Shotzi backstage interview, Asuka & Io Shirai confront them

‘The Dirt Sheet’ on RK-Bro and Viking Raiders

Damian Priest vs Ricochet – ended when ‘Imperium’ attacked them both

Keith Lee in-ring promo, Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) interrupts via the Titantron …

Reckoning (with Mace) defeated Carmella (with R-Truth)

AJ Styles backstage promo, challenges Omos to a CAGE match!

‘RK-Bro’ defeated ‘Viking Raiders’

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins video package (on Samoa Joe)

Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee in a Backstage Brawl

SmackDown – October Week 2

‘The New Day’ in-ring promo

‘The Usos’ (Jimmy & Jey) defeated ‘The New Day’ (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods with Big E) – Legado del Fantasma attack Big E, this distracts Woods & Kingston enough for The Usos to get the win.

Cesaro backstage, runs into The Hurt Business

Cesaro defeated Shinsuke Nakamura

Bianca Belair backstage interview, Bayley just laughs at her…

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defeated ‘Street Profits’

Alexa Bliss in-ring promo, Charlotte Flair interrupts her

Io Shirai defeated Tegan Nox in a Backstage Brawl

Sheamus backstage interview, Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott interrupts

Naomi defeated Tamina

Finn Balor defeated Cedric Alexander (with Shelton Benjamin) – Bobby Lashley on commentary, Nakamura/Cesaro backstage (different locations) watching on…

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) in-ring promo, Drew McIntyre interrupts, eventually hits a CLAYMORE!

Raw – October Week 3

Edge in-ring promo

Samoa Joe defeated Oney Lorcan (with Danny Burch) – Joe wins quickly, then destroys Burch too, then goes marching to the back to look for Seth Rollins

MVP backstage interview, ‘Retribution’ come in, then Mustafa Ali cuts a promo on AJ Styles

Randy Orton defeated The Miz (John Morrison and Riddle on commentary)

Keith Lee backstage interview

Damian Priest defeated Fabian Aichner (with Marcel Barthel)

Samoa Joe is on a rampage backstage (destroying everyone and everything in his sight, as he is seething!)… Eventually he finds Rollins, before Seth then escapes into a car, and drives away…

AJ Styles defeated Mustafa Ali (with Mace & Reckoning)

Walter defeated Ricochet in a Backstage Brawl

Rhea Ripley in-ring promo, Shayna Baszler interrupts

Keith Lee vs Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) in a number 1 contenders match for the WWE Championship ends in a double finish… Keith Lee taps out when in Kross’ hold… AS Kross’ shoulders are pinned on the mat for a 3 count. The ref counts the 3, however another ref comes down and pleads with him to watch a replay, arguing that Lee tapped out so can’t be declared the winner. They eventually call the match a draw. Edge (who is on commentary) is baffled and confused by this… (eventually on social media the match for the PPV is announced as a 3 way).

SmackDown – October Week 3

Charlotte Flair in-ring promo, Alexa Bliss interrupts

Bobby Lashley defeated Finn Balor

Roman Reigns is in ‘The Bloodline’ locker room. He is FURIOUS (The Usos and Paul Heyman are also there)

Bianca Belair is backstage, Bayley confronts her

Chad Gable (with Otis) defeated Murphy

Shotzi backstage interview

Sheamus defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott

Shinsuke Nakamura backstage interview, Cesaro interrupts, Finn Balor then attacks both men with a chair, Bobby Lashley then comes in and they all get into a big brawl.

Shotzi defeated Io Shirai (with Asuka) – Tegan Nox comes in and fends off Asuka

‘Street Profits’ backstage promo

Sasha Banks & Tamina are backstage… Bayley can be seen watching on in the background…

Santos Escobar defeated Xavier Woods

Alexa Bliss & NIKKI CROSS defeated Charlotte Flair & NATALYA – Bliss pinned Flair

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) in-ring promo, Brock Lesnar comes out, then so does Drew McIntyre…

Raw – October Week 4

Rhea Ripley defeated Mickie James – Shayna Baszler on commentary, goes to sneak attack Rhea, but she is wise to it

Keith Lee/AJ Styles/Samoa Joe all backstage together

R-Truth & Carmella backstage – Mustafa Ali, Mace, Reckoning confront them

Walter defeated Ricochet – Damian Priest watches on from backstage

Tegan Nox arrives with a baseball bat, security lead her away and out of the building, Asuka and Io laugh…

Riddle (with Randy Orton) defeated John Morrison (with The Miz) – Riddle wins by DQ after Miz interferes, they all brawl after, then a furios Riddlechallenges them to a tag match next week

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins – Omos – Karrion Kross all backstage (Scarlett and MVP work as mediators)

Io Shirai leaves the arena…

Shotzi defeated Asuka in a Backstage brawl

Mustafa Ali & Reckoning defeated R-Truth & Carmella

Edge backstage interview (then his entrance and he joins commentary)

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) & ‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins & Omos (with MVP) defeated Keith Lee & AJ Styles & Samoa Joe in a 6 man tag – FINISH= Keith Lee hits a Spirit Bomb to Rollins, then Omos hits the Tree Slam to Lee, then Styles & Joe take Omos out of the ring, Styles then does a big dive onto Omos on the outside, and finally Kross comes behind Joe and takes him down with the ‘Kross’ hold to get the win when Joe passes out.

SmackDown – October Week 4

Tegan Nox & Shotzi defeated Sasha Banks & Tamina

Asuka & Io Shirai promo on titantron to Nox & Shotzi

Kevin Owens (with Sami Zayn) defeated Angelo Dawkins (with Montez Ford) – Zayn helps Owens win

‘The New Day’ and Drew McIntyre backstage

Otis (with Chad Gable) defeated Murphy

Intercontinental Championship match contract signing = Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro & Bobby Lashley & Finn Balor

Charlotte Flair defeated Alexa Bliss in a Backstage Brawl

‘The Usos’ and ‘Legado del Fantasma’ are backstage, Heyman and Escobar act as mediators, before Roman Reigns enters…

Bianca Belair defeated Bayley

‘The New Day’ (Big E & Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) & Drew McIntyre defeated ‘The Usos’ (Jimmy & Jey) & ‘Legado del Fantasma’ (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza with Santos Escobar) in an 8 man tag match – Big E pins Joaquin Wilde for the finish.

After the match… BROCK LESNAR comes out and… “SUPLEX CITY, BITCH!” … Then Reigns and Heyman come out, but Hyeman persuades Roman not to enter the ring so they stay on the ramp, that’s when Drew McIntyre recovers to give Lesnar a Claymore Kick to close out SmackDown…

Quite the build to a PPV huh? Well, you aint seen nothing yet…


The Horror Show at Extreme Rules – October, Sunday Week 4 (Detroit, Michigan)

We open with what should be an absolute BANGER…

My winner here… was CESARO!

Yes indeed, it’s the Swiss Man’s time here! Not that Nakamura did anything too wrong in his title reign, but putting the IC title on Cesaro is part of a longer term plan for he and that belt. Hopefully I can have him have a few bangers defending it from here on…

Next is a repeat of one of my favourite NXT Women’s Title matches irl (seriously go watch when Ripley won the NXT title from Shayna, listen to the pop for the finish!)…

Yes Ripley retains here. But all is not lost for Baszler, as I’ve a huge storyline planned involving here leading up to Survivor Series… same goes for the champions Ripley as well…

Now time for a real grudge match, and the culmination of a feud I’m disappointed they barely touched in real life, but for me it deserved a big spot on a PPV like this…

For me, it had to be the big man getting the win. He needs it so much more, and Styles is eternally over just cause of how great he is, so he can take the loss and be fine…

Should be a fun one this next match, although with lots of moving parts could also be a little chaotic…

Had to be New Day winning here, for reasons that will become very apparent in the lead to Survivor Series…

Next a match that on paper could I would love to see really happen, maybe one day…

Another title change here! Again much like with Nakamura earlier, Nox & Shotzi weren’t bad champions at all, it is simply time for Io Shirai & Asuka. I’m really going to try my best to make these women’s tag titles a big deal now, I’ve already got a big WrestleMania match in mind for them…

Another grudge match next, and one that although has been done before irl, I’d love to see it again…

Rollins wins, but in my world I’d of had MURPHY return to joins Rollins’ side once again, and cost Joe the match. Yes, although I can’t quite get the full crew, I am going to give The Messiah gimmick his followers and disciples…

What a match this next bout should be…

Edge the slimeball retains here. I simply have way too much left in the tank to take the WWE title from him now, as tempting as giving it to Kross is…

Another match with some big stars next in the semi-main…

Whilst Bliss is a worthy contender, Flair retains. Gotta get some heat on Charlotte and having her beat big names like Bliss, for me just makes her a bigger scalp when it’s her time to drop the title…

but I’ve a feeling that’s not going to be for a while yet…

and finally… THE main event…


(JUST AN FYI, I’VE NO IDEA WHY AT THE END OF THIS VIDEO MY GAME DECIDED THAT ROMAN HAD JUST WON THE TITLE FROM BROCK, AS OPPOSED TO RETAINING IT… BUT WHATEVER…)

After just pure chaos, Roman Reigns retains here. I was unsure of how to have this match go finish wise… but the end result was always going to be the same.

Onwards we go in the Reign of the Tribal Chief…

But have we seen the last of Brock Lesnar?… We shall see…

My next chapter is a big one as it’s the build up to and the playing of the show itself for Survivor Series! And with the matches I’ve already got in mind, my build up is going to have to be something else… As I want my 2nd ‘big 4’ PPV to be just as good as my SummerSlam was… Find out next time if I can deliver…

Josh.

WWE 2K22 Universe Mode: Chapter 7 – Champions Clash!

So after the last chapter where we had not only a NEW WWE Champion on Raw, but a new challenger for the Universal Championship set up over on SmackDown, we now look towards our next PPV, where EVERY title will be defended. But how do we get to Clash Of Champions… well… here’s how…

Raw – September, Week 2

Edge in-ring promo

Samoa Joe defeated Elias

Rhea Ripley backstage interview. Becky Lynch joins mid-way through, ‘Alliance’ made

R-Truth entrance with Carmella

Omos (with MVP) defeated R-Truth

MVP & Omos in-ring promo – AJ Styles interrupts

Damian Priest backstage interview

United States Championship Number 1 Contender’s Match: Mustafa Ali defeated Walter & Ricochet in a Triple Threat

‘The IIconics’ backstage promo (call-out to Tegan Nox & Shotzi)

Raw Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s Match: ‘Imperium’ defeated ‘Moustache Mountain’ & ‘Miz & Morrison’ in a Tag Team Triple Threat

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins defeated Mansoor

Karrion Kross & Scarlett video package

Becky Lynch & Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka & Io Shirai

SmackDown – September Week 2

Drew McIntyre in-ring promo, Paul Heyman seen watching on from backstage

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s semi-final match: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defeated ‘Street Profits’ (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

‘The New Day’ backstage segment

Mandy Rose backstage promo

Big E defeated Apollo Crews – Legado del Fantasma attack Big E after. Woods and Kingston come out to make the save and run off LDF.

‘The Hurt Business’ video package

Naomi defeated Natalya – Sasha Banks & Tamina are sat front row in the crowd. They turn on and attack Naomi after the match.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Theory – Dunne, ‘Swerve’, Cesaro all seen watching on from backstage

Sonya Deville backstage promo. Mandy Rose joins, “let’s Go!”…

Alexa Bliss backstage interview

Alexa Bliss entrance. Bayley promo.

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley

Drew McIntyre defeated Finn Balor – Usos & Roman surround the ring after the match, trying to intimidate McIntyre

Charlotte Flair – Raquel Gonzalez – Bianca Belair in-ring segment

Raw – September, Week 3

Karrion Kross & Scarlett entrance, in-ring promo. Dominik Dijakovic interrupts

Tegan Nox & Shotzi (C) defeated ‘The IIconics’ to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

AJ Styles confronts Omos & MVP backstage, MVP tells him “You got your match”…

Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan defeated AJ Styles in a 2on1 handicap match

‘The Monday Night Messiah’ Seth Rollins in-ring promo, calls out Samoa Joe

Becky Lynch backstage promo

‘Imperium’ backstage promo

Randy Orton (with Riddle) defeated Fabian Aichner (with Walter & Marcel Barthel)

Damian Priest backstage, backstage confrontation with ‘Retribution’ (Mustafa Ali, Mace & Reckoning)

Becky Lynch defeated Io Shirai (with Asuka) – Rhea Ripley on commentary, and she eventually takes out Asuka

‘The Dirt Sheet’ (with John Morrison and The Miz) on the tag team division

Shayna Baszler defeated Liv Morgan – Backstage Brawl

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Dominik Dijakovic

Keith Lee returns, attacks Kross, Edge runs out with a chair and attacks Dijakovic before running off again

SmackDown – September Week 3

Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre – Backstage Brawl

Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman in-ring promo

Charlotte Flair backstage promo

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s semi-final match: ‘Alpha Academy’ defeated ‘The Mysterios’

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn backstage promo

Sonya Deville (with Mandy Rose) defeated Tegan Nox (with Shotzi)

‘The Hurt Business’ backstage. Sheamus, Jinder and Murphy confront them.

Intercontinental Championship number 1 contender’s match: Pete Dunne defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott & Cesaro in a triple threat match

Bayley backstage promo on Alexa Bliss

‘The New Day’ in-ring promo

‘The New Day’ defeated ‘Legado del Fantasma’ in a 6 man tag match – Cesaro interferes and stops LDF cheating

Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi – Sasha and Tamina attack Naomi after, Gonzalez and Belair make the save

Raw – September, Week 4

Keith Lee in-ring promo, Edge responds from the ramp

‘The IIconics’, Asuka & Io Shirai defeated Rhea Ripley, Becky Lynch, Toni Storm & Nikki Cross in an 8 woman tag

Seth Rollins video package on Samoa Joe

Damian Priest defeated Mace (with Mustafa Ali)

RK-bro backstage interview

Samoa Joe backstage promo on Seth Rollins

‘Imperium’ defeated RK-Bro & Ricochet in a 6 man tag

‘The Dirt Sheet’

A ‘beat up’ AJ Styles confronts Omos, MVP, Burch and Lorcan backstage. Burch and Lorcan are paid by MVP. Styles then ‘clears house’ with a weapon. Match set up for later.

Reckoning defeated Dana Brooke

Shayna Baszler backstage interview on Liv Morgan

AJ Styles defeated MVP – (as a result Styles earns a match against Omos). Omos attacks AJ

Edge & Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Dominik Dijakovic & Keith Lee

SmackDown – September Week 4

Bianca Belair in-ring promo, Sasha Banks comes out to confront her

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Happy Corbin

Pete Dunne appears after on the titantron and cuts a promo on Nakamura

Santos Escobar defeated Cesaro

‘The Hurt Business’ defeated Sheamus, Jinder Mahal & Murphy in a 6 man tag

Nox&Shotzi – Rose&Deville split-screen promo ‘back and forth’

Paul Heyman backstage interview on Usos vs Alpha Academy or Owens&Zayn

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley – Bayley gets herself DQ’d

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender’s match: ‘Alpha Academy’ defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Finn Balor video package

Bianca Belair, Raquel Gonzalez and Naomi defeated Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks & Tamina in a 6 woman tag

Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) in-ring segment… BROCK LESNAR comes out to confront them and stands on the ramp. Drew McIntyre then comes from behind and Claymores Roman. Drew then holds up the Universal title belt whilst staring down the ramp at Lesnar.


Clash Of Champions – September, Sunday Week 4 (Columbus, Ohio)

So with all the titles on the line, this was a show with 9 title matches. However on the day I played out this PPV on the WWE 2K22 game, it was EXTREMELY hot! To the point my PS4 sounded like it was going to take off and fly, such was the volume coming from the console’s fan… So I only actually played out 3 of the matches on the show… but with those included, here’s what went down…

We opened with a triple threat match…

With not one but TWO challengers to contend with, the odds seemed stacked against Charlotte… but… The Queen seems to always find a way…

As you may be able to work out from this image, with Gonzalez on the outside, Flair took advantage and used a steel chair to beat down Belair, get the pin, and to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship!

Next we had the US title on the line…

I had Priest go over here. As much as maybe Ali and Retribution (given I took T-Bar from them) might of needed a belt, it just wasn’t time for Priest to drop it here.

Next it was the turn of the blue brand’s tag titles to be on the line…

It just had to be The Usos here. I’ve given a mini-push to Gable & Otis in my tv leading to this PPV, but I’d have it be a case of close but no cigar. I’m still not sure who, when or even IF I’ll stop the Reign of the Bloodline…

A fatal 4 way next up…

I went with Rhea Ripley to retain the Raw Women’s title here, I’d of had her pin Io after Becky and Asuka took one another out. But this would’ve been a big banger and a showcase for all 4 women involved.

Next title match would see recently crowned IC Champion Shinsuke Nakamura defend against number 1 contender Pete Dunne.

Nakamura retains here. Good solid match, but not to be for Dunne.

A really good match-up follows, with the Raw Tag Team titles at stake…

RK-Bro retain. Another good match by worth contenders, but just don’t feel it’s time for Riddle and Orton to drop the titles yet. Not too sure on my plans for this team long term, but I’m excited about it as they are both two of my favourites.

Woman’s tag titles next (yes in MY WWE world they DO in fact exist…)…

Tegan and Shotzi retain against the reunited team fka ‘Fire & Desire’. i do have long term plans for the women’s tag titles, so now it’s time to keep Nox and Shotzi with the straps.

A HUGE rematch next up…

I thought this match turned out fairly well. I don’t really like beating big Keith, but needs must here. Edge needed a proper win to get his run as champion really going, and it helped my story with Lee being busted open before he finally succumbed. The Rated R Era continues…

This little extra bit after the match might mean I can tell a different story now, with regards to what’s next for Lee now his time in the WWE Title picture is done for now…

AND FINALLY… THE MAIN EVENT!!!

And that was my Clash Of Champions PPV then… Yes I know, all titles retained… but honestly I didn’t want to have a change for the sake of it, or have that mess up my longer term plans. So now at least I look onwards to the next PPV, (THE HORROR SHOW AT) Extreme Rules… I’ve a feeling already that this is gonna be without question an EXTREME occasion…

And my first active use in my Universe Mode, of THE BEAST…

Josh.