Well, a pretty interesting week of wrestling wasn’t it? NXT Takeover was a phenomenal show, probably one of the best in the past five years. Payback far exceeded expectations with some solid matches and intriguing storylines. Monday Night Raw, while not great was an improvement over the past few weeks and left us with a huge twist. After NXT Takeover, I was starting to think about what I wanted to write about today, I was fully prepared to slam the WWE Main Roster and creative, but it seems they got the message from the NXT youngsters, and that message was, “Step up your game!”

Many WWE fans, and in many ways myself included, were ready to write off the Main Roster. Send everyone from NXT up, and send all the Main Roster guys down! There was certainly that sentiment going around the web Thursday night. NXT Takeover was incredible, it showed how wrestling should be done. It was simple, but in-depth all at the same time. The storylines were not overly complicated, but the stories in the ring had emotion and depth. Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville, Natayla vs. Charlotte all 5 star matches.

When was the last time you saw three absolutely incredible matches on one card? It’s been awhile. Not even Wrestlemania 30 could say that, and that was a great event. Tyler Breeze came out of NXT Takeover a star, Sami Zayn continues to impress, Natalya and Charlotte stole the show and brought relevance to the Diva’s division, Tyson Kidd show’s he has what it takes to be a main stay on the WWE roster, and Adrian Neville solidified himself as NXT Champion and gave us a glimpse of what could be. It appeared the name for the event was coming to fruition, a Takeover. The night had a big night feel to it, and it appeared the future had arrived.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Payback was shaping up to be a very underwhelming event. No Daniel Bryan. No CM Punk in Chicago. The third match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt (which few believed would be a stellar match). It seemed to be destined for a below average event, but then the main roster woke up. Cesaro/Sheamus, Big E/Rusev, Barrett/RVD, Fox/Paige all put on solid matches. Interesting match up’s that lead up to our Main Events.

John Cena and Bray Wyatt stole the show last night. Keeping a crowd interested and energized during a Last Man Standing Match is not the easiest thing to do, but Cena and Wyatt skillfully conducted a masterpiece last night. Eric Rowan, Luke Harper, and The Uso’s were used an intelligent manor that did not effect the result of the match. The match had several great spots, told an interesting story, and had a unique ending. Bray Wyatt continues to step up his game. He does little things during matches that add to his character. I thought it was genius when he stood a top the steel steps in the middle of the ring and conducted his followers in a melody of ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Little things like that add dimensions to his character and matches that make him stand out and be memorable.

To close the night we got an incredibly physical match up between The Shield and Evolution. These six men told a great story in the ring. The Shield were beaten down, but found a way to triumph. To be honest the match had a passing of the torch feel to it.Evolution gave The Shield their best, but in the end The Hound’s served Evolution their own brand of Justice. Roman Reigns once again showed why he is a future star in this business, but Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were not overshadowed. This match was very different from the one we saw at Extreme Rules, far more physical and told a great story through out the match.

WWE follow up a great pay per view, with an improved Monday Night Raw, granted the bar was set pretty low. This past Monday night will be remembered for Seth Rollins turning on The Shield, and joining Evolution. Fans were left with countless questions; Why did Seth turn on The Shield? Will The Shield find a new member? Is Evolution still together, or did Rollins just leave The Shield? Most importantly, what will happen next? Wrestling fans desire to have this lack of knowing what’s next to come. Despite the fact we all read the dirt sheets and spoilers, we still love being shocked and anticipating unknown events.

Now, with all the praise out of the way, Payback and one decent Raw does not excuse the crap that has been fed to the WWE Universe over the past several weeks. For months now fans and analysts have been saying how deep the WWE roster is. I think the past few weeks have shown it is not as deep as we thought. Raw has gotten very repetitive. Bray Wyatt promo, Cena comes out, Stephanie McMahon says she hates Daniel Bryan, average match, some Bad News, average match, Heyman talks about Lesnar and not Cesaro, average match, The Shield beat down Evolution or Evolution beats down The Shield. The order may vary, but this is the format they have gone with since Wrestlemania, and the fans have been getting sick of it.

With the lack of creativity over the past few weeks I was going in to Payback very pessimistic. I expected a C show at best, it turned out to be a great event. I was happily wrong. However, it felt like the Main Roster guys had extra motivation. Maybe they finally sobered up from their Wrestlemania hangover? Perhaps they stepped up their game because of the Chicago crowd? Or maybe they knew the NXT roster just showed them up and they felt they had to deliver? I truly believe that was the reason. They saw all the admiration NXT got for the Takeover event, and knew what people were saying, but I’m sorry it should not work that way. Have you ever heard of a Triple A minor league team being better then the MLB team? No. Do you think the New York Yankees are motivated by how great the Triple A team is? Hell no. The Yankees are motivated by winning championships and being the best team in the world. Why does it seem the WWE Main Roster was not? The NXT roster is filled with guys who are hungry and motivated. They want to be the best in the world (no pun intended). Hopefully, the Main Roster guys got the kick in pants they needed. Going in to the summer is when we often get some interesting and unique storylines. With the talent that’s down in NXT, this could be a make or break summer for a lot of guys.

Let us now forget we have seen a major influx of young talent to the main roster. Rusev, Lana, Xavier Woods, Adam Rose, Paige, and Bo Dallas have all debuted recently and have made an impact. We are witnessing a changing of the guard. Guys like Del Rio, Ziggler, Sandow, and Swagger, while all very talented performers, could become expendable with the influx of young talent. The roster needs to show improvement from the bottom all the way to the top. The younger talent is coming, but these veterans can still contribute to the product and add value.

After this NXT Takeover it appeared as if the future had arrived. Now, after Payback the future is on hold. The Main Roster talent bought themselves some more time, but if creative does not pick up, the future could be here sooner than expected. Guys like Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville are close to making a huge impact on Raw and Smackdown. If we don’t see vast improvement on a weekly basis, don’t be shocked if some guys get future endeavored. The future is not here just yet, but it’s coming, and if NXT Takeover is any indication, the future may be better then ever.

WWE Main Roster, you have been Burned!


For more wrestling blogs from Bryant Burns, visit WrestlingOpinion.com!


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