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Bobby Roode Wins WWE United States Championship

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Bobby Roode captured the WWE United States championship during the Jan. 16 episode of Smackdown Live – possibly ushering a new era for the title – a glorious era.

Roode defeated former WWE champion Jinder Mahal in the finals of the United States title tournament. During the match, Roode hit a spinebuster and countering Mahal’s Khallas with a Glorious DDT.

Prior to facing Mahal, Roode won his semifinal match against Mojo Rawley. After the match, he was attacked by was later attacked by Samir and Sunil Singh. After the attack, Mahal taunted him, resulting in Roode requesting their U.S. title match taking place the same evening. Mahal refused, but Smackdown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan ordered the finals to take place in the main event.

He began the tournament with a victory against former United State champion Baron Corbin. After the match, Roode posted a tweet of his reaction to winning the championship.

This is the first singles title for Roode since he made his main roster debut back in August.

The Glorious One was widely known for his run in NXT, which included a 203-day reign with the NXT Championship that ended at NXT Takeover Brooklyn III. Anyone who has followed Roode’s professional wrestling career knows the WWE United States title is another piece of hardware for his large trophy case.

Fans were excited when Roode made his Smackdown Live debut, but there have been concerns from fans about his lackluster feud with Dolph Ziggler in the beginning weeks of his run.

Roode’s first championship feud saw him challenging Corbin for the U.S. title in what would be a triple threat match with Ziggler, who went on to win the title. Ziggler would later relinquish the championship, resulting in the tournament.

Now that Roode has the title, he’ll have a big target on his back. Potential feuds for his first few months for his title reign include Mahal and Corbin. Xavier Woods, who lost to Mahal in their semifinal match, may throw his name in the hat. There is also a chance Ziggler could return to Smackdown Live and challenge Roode for the title.

2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Roode. Not only has he captured his first taste of WWE gold, he is also set to tag with Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair in WWE’s Mixed Match Challenge. The two will have title belts to along with their robes.

Flair was one of many superstars who congratulated Roode on his title win. 

In all seriousness, the United States title is akin to the WWE Intercontinental Championship on Raw in that it is the midcard championship, but it can be used in high profile storylines. It also carries a long history with many WWE Hall of Famers holding onto it at some point during their careers.

A who’s who of wrestlers have also held the U.S. title on their way to winning a WWE world title.

Will Roode be one of the superstars who captures a world title after holding on to the U.S. championship? Only time will tell, but the fact that he has the United States championship is a good first step.

 

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? April 16, 2019

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The Good

For Raw, they got the best addition from the shakeup to their show, which was AJ Styles. After Styles really made his mark on Smackdown, it seemed like WWE creative was running out of ideas of what to do with Styles on Smackdown. So, having him on Raw is really intriguing now and it should be interesting to see what the future holds for him on Raw.  

For Smackdown, their biggest addition from the shakeup was Roman Reigns and the way they introduced him to the show was entertaining. After Vince McMahon announced that the “biggest addition in Smackdown history” was Elias, Roman Reigns interrupted and ended up clearing out the ring and declaring that Smackdown is his yard now. Reigns needed a change of scenery after being on Raw for few years, so this is something the WWE universe should be excited for.

The Bad

For Raw, while it was great to see an NXT tag team called up, the name they gave him is horrible. Formerly known as the War Raiders, who are the current NXT tag team champions were called up to Monday nights. But, they decided to change their name to the Viking Experience, which is one of the worst name changes in WWE history.

For Smackdown, they had a match between Carmella and Charlotte Flair and this felt like filler. After all the new names that they brought onto Smackdown during the shakeup for the women’s division, they could have had one of them in this match instead of putting them all together in the 8-women tag match that was featured on the show later. 

The Final Verdict

For these being the superstar shakeup episodes, both shows felt a little underwhelming. While we are able to think of the possibility of matchups that we will see in the future because of this shakeup, the introduction of these new names felt like they should have been a bigger deal. Along with that, it seemed like WWE either was confused on how to handle some of these shakeups or they purposely wanted to confuse the fans. A prime example is how Finn Balor went to Smackdown with the Intercontinental championship. Since this was introduced to us on Smackdown, is there no secondary belt now on Raw? Or did Samoa Joe just automatically move to Raw because he currently was holding the original secondary belt on Smackdown? Overall, as to who had the better show, I will have to say that Raw had the better show. The additions of the Miz, the Usos, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, AJ Styles, and Naomi are all new faces that were due for this. In conclusion, while the shakeup could’ve been handled better, the future should be intriguing as WWE prepares to fully move on from Wrestlemania.

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Matt Hardy Responds to John Oliver’s WWE Segment

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John Oliver, host of HBO’s popular ‘Last Week Tonight’, took WWE to task in a recent episode over their lack of healthcare for their performers, bringing a dark element of the treatment of WWE superstars to light.

Since then, wrestlers have spoken out, both in support of Oliver’s segment and coming to the defense of WWE.

One of those coming to WWE’s defense is WWE superstar and future Hall of Famer Matt Hardy, who praised WWE and how far they have come over the years.

“When I first started here [1997/1998] the locker room, everything was like the wild wild west then” Hardy said in an interview with FOX Sports (h/t Wrestling Inc). ”  The change that has happened in those 20-plus years has been unreal. I mean, now the drug testing is very stringent. … You have to be here, and you have to be good and you have to be on top of your game. You have to be a professional. The physicals they do as far as cardiovascular and just checking you over and over — [there have] been several guys they caught that have had serious [health] issues that could have been life threatening if they didn’t catch it here, and just the way they take care of you. “

“Every surgery I ever had, WWE has paid for. They’re very faithful and very good about that. It’s just some of the stuff that the John talked about was kind of passé, kind of outdated because now they really do [take care of wrestlers’ health]. They take care of everything especially stuff that happens in house. As far as the whole health insurance thing, that’s kind of a different argument, because we do a different gig in many many ways. But WWE has never done anything but be great to me.

“They’ve taking care of me in every capacity, every front. And they’ve given me a great life. I mean one of the characters I play is ‘Big Money’ Matt, who’s like this millionaire that’s been around for a long time, and you know there’s a lot of truth to it in some ways, and I wouldn’t have that persona and I wouldn’t have the great life that I have right now if it wasn’t for WWE.”

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WWE Hall of Famer Stevie Ray Talks Not Joining WWE After WCW Buyout

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WWE Hall of Famer Stevie Ray, who was inducted as part of Harlem Heat, alongside his brother Booker 2, in this year’s WWE Hall of Fame, recently discussed why he never joined WWE following his career in WCW.

Stevie Ray recently appeared on an episdoe of ‘Conversations with the Big Guy’ with host, and former WWE superstar, Ryback and talked about his thinking when WWE bought WCW.

Although his brother Booker T went on to WWE, Stevie Ray didn’t want to do the same.

“I didn’t want to go to WWF (WWE). As a matter of fact, the last WCW Nitro, I didn’t even attend and they sent me a ticket. Bu,t I was always in the mindset of this is competition to me. This is NFL vs AFL, or National League versus American League in baseball. WCW vs WWF, to be honest with you, bro, I didn’t want to go out like a bitch.”

The Monday Night Wars were hard to get past for Stevie Ray.

“We had been fighting for the team (WCW). But when I heard Vince McMahon had come in, and stuff like that, which I knew was coming, it’s like, you saw the writing on the wall and you put it in the back of your mind.

But at the end of the day I knew it was going to happen. But I didn’t attend the last show because my brother [Booker T] said that they (WWE) are going to be auditioning people. I told him that he should do it, but I’m done.”

Stevie Ray was concerned that WWE would change to Harlem Heat, stripping them of the elements that made that tag team so special.

“I wanted people to remember Harlem Heat as an ass-kicking tag team of color, you see what I’m saying? I didn’t want us to be something else. I didn’t want us to turn into a “Doink the Clown”. So, I’m not saying that they would have done this with Harlem Heat, but, I didn’t want to lose the edge that we once had as Harlem Heat.”

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