G5: Clash of Champions, Total Bellas, Sakura Events, more

We’re almost a week removed from Clash of Champions. How did Raw’s first pay-per-view since the WWE Draft stack up?

Total Bellas premieres on E! this week. How interested are most people in the Bella Twins’ Total Divas spin-off?

Plus, now Bad Luck Fale won’t be getting an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match, we pitch some ideas for the main event of Sakura Events On the Mat.

Join us as we discuss these, and more, issues in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. Clash of Champions took place on Monday. What did you make of the first Raw-exclusive pay-per-view since the WWE Draft?

David:
I enjoyed Clash of Champions. It’s crazy to think it was only a single-brand show, too. There’s so much talent on the Raw roster. It’s probably not the sort of thing I’ll be looking up on WWE Network a year from now, but was certainly worth going out of my way to see live on Monday.

Blake:
People seem to be fairly divided on this topic. However, there was one review that I saw which I entirely agree with. That review said that it was a night of great wrestling, but because great wrestling has become so commonplace, it alone is no longer enough to determine whether an event is good or not. This pay-per-view didn’t really do much in terms of story and there was no major surprise (other than Cesaro momentarily becoming a tree). It wasn’t good, it definitely wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t that special. 5/10 for me.

Grady:
It was a very Raw pay-per-view. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I will watch it over and over. Cesaro and Sheamus really brought something that night for the culmination to the Best of Seven Series. I also liked the outcome to all the matches I got right in the NZPWI Roundtable…

Richard:
It certainly wasn’t a bad pay-per-view, however I think I’m starting to get a bit of WWE overload. Clash of Champions was the second three-hour pay-per-view last month, plus three four-hour Raws, and four two-hour SmackDowns, not to mention NXT or pre and post-shows.

 

2. Total Bellas (a Total Divas spin-off featuring Brie and Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan and John Cena) hits screens in New Zealand next week. Where is your level of interest at?

David:
I’m over the moon. My favourite episodes of Total Divas (and, I should point out, I’m a big fan of the show) are the ones when Daniel Bryan and John Cena spend time at each other’s houses. Now you’re telling me there’s an entire show dedicated to Bryan living in Cena’s house? This will be on MySky hard-drive for years to come.

Blake:
Is there anything less than zero interest?

Grady:
Is there an interest-level below zero?

Richard:
I don’t have Sky, but I’m not too worried I’m missing out on this.

 

3. Bad Luck Fale came up short against Kazuchika Okada at last week’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima event, meaning he won’t get an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match in New Zealand. With that off the table, what are your hopes for the main event of Sakura Events On the Mat, November 12 at The Trusts Arena?

David:
I’m holding out hope for a match with some combination of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. Their matches have headlined Wrestle Kingdoms and are some of the absolute best I’ve ever seen.

Blake:
With New Japan, you can only really have one expectation: you will see the best wrestling in the world. It won’t necessarily be the greatest story with the flashiest moves, but the in-ring work will be beyond technically sound. I don’t really mind who is in the main event because, regardless, I hope and expect to see a top-quality match.

Grady:
I’m not the most familiar with NJPW, but I just got another ticket for my group and it’s the new guy’s first show, so I’ll take anything good – and I don’t doubt the NJPW roster will put on something good.

Richard:
Okada vs. Omega, or Okada vs. Tanahashi would obviously be a great match.

 

4. The cruiserweight division has had a couple of weeks to settle in on WWE Raw. What does the future look like for the 205-pounders?

David:
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick at Clash of Champions went a long way toward showing the WWE Universe what the cruiserweight division can be. Because everyone’s debuted at once it’s a lot harder for any given audience to connect with specific Superstars, but as long as we’re given a few longer title matches to show there’s more to cruiserweight wrestling than just flips and multi-man matches, I’ve high hopes.

Blake:
The future seems a little bit wobbly at the moment. Something that I think that WWE forgot is that they’re WWE. So far, TJ Perkins has received some level of storytelling in regards to his background (regardless of the heat he’s been getting for it), but the closest thing we have had to a storyline is Brian Kendrick’s headbutt. There is a solid division who can put on excellent matches every week, but that isn’t good enough and is something that needs to be built on sooner rather than later.

Grady:
I have loved everything they have done on the shows they have appeared and am very disappointed in the live crowds, but hopefully that is a teething phase and we can move on to bigger and greater things. My only worry is that it puts a glass ceiling on the cruiserweights moving out of the division.

Richard:
I loved the Cruiserweight Classic on WWE Network. The matches on Raw haven’t been bad, but I’m not sure they were at the same level as the tournament. I feel the crowd reaction, or lack thereof, is one of the big issues with the matches at the moment. Hopefully as the crowd start to learn about the competitors and start to emotionally invest in them we will see that crowd reaction change.

 

5. Jack Swagger recently made the jump from Raw to SmackDown. Who else would you like to see follow in Swagger’s footsteps and move shows?

David:
I’d like to see Kalisto shift over to Raw. He’s not doing anything of note, and seems tailor-made for the cruiserweight division, doesn’t he?

Blake:
Ignoring free agents at the moment, there are a few I would like to see switch brands. Probably not surprisingly, I feel Cesaro would be a much better fit for SmackDown. I also think Kalisto would have a much better opportunity for relevance were he part of the cruiserweight division on Raw (assuming the aforementioned changes were made to the division). I would also like to see all the women Superstars moved to SmackDown to create a deeper and more diverse division, maybe even allowing for the creation of a secondary or tag team women’s championship. While I would probably make a few more changes, these are the main ones.

Grady:
I’ll move Curtis Axel (to see more of his talent) and Cesaro (same reason as Axel) from Raw to SmackDown). The other way, I’d trade Erick Rowan (to get him away from The Wyatt Family) and Kalisto (for the cruiserweight division).

Richard:
I’m not sure I’m ready for anyone else to move. The draft is still only a few months old. The only change I would be making at this point would be for one pay-per-view a month, not the current two. That would help me get more invested in the stories and stop me feeling like my life is being consumed by WWE wrestling product.