If I Were In Charge – Episode 9 (RAW is XXX = Samoan Road to WrestleMania)


Subsequent weeks “RAW is XXX” is the thirtieth anniversary of the present that revolutionized the wrestling enterprise. One of many primary issues I’ve all the time loved concerning the nostalgia reveals is that they really feel rather less scripted. That is the primary one underneath Triple H’s artistic, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see the way it flows. Just a few “who cares” with the thus far introduced appearances, but it surely’s all the time good to see The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Ric Aptitude and particularly these wonderful legends, The Bella Twins! If we’re fortunate sufficient, Nikki gained’t be capable to make it – that manner we will hear Brie Bella’s banger of a solo theme! Brieeee Moooooodee. Yikes!

Essentially the most important a part of RAW is XXX is the very fact it’s loaded up with Samoans. Not simply our common Usos, Solo, Sami (honorary) & Roman, however the outdated Samoan legends are coming in for the Acknowledgement Ceremony. Afa and Sika, the Wild Samoans, (with Sika being the daddy of Roman Reigns) are being introduced in. That is important for a lot of causes. These two aren’t spring chickens anymore, being 80 and 77 respectively. It’s tougher on outdated of us, particularly ones who’ve beat the heck out of their our bodies for the reason that 70’s to not solely make the trek, however to additionally sit round for a full day of TV. Looks like one thing necessary happening, no?

Additionally exhibiting up are The Headshrinkers, Samu and Fatu…Rikishi Fatu! Rikishi is the daddy of present RAW & SmackDown tag group champions, Jimmy & Jey Uso. That additionally appears fairly rattling necessary, doesn’t it? I’m fairly comfortable Samu is ready to be a part of the present, because the man hasn’t had it straightforward the final 4-5 years. He was recognized with stage 4 liver most cancers in 2018, which sucks, however was capable of get a transplant in 2019 and at the moment appears to be doing OK most cancers sensible. At the moment, WWE and the “satan” himself, Vince McMahon, partnered with WXW C4, (ran by Samu & Afa Jr.) sending some expertise for a fundraiser again in 2019 to assist out Samu together with his medical payments. All the time good to see a contented ending when this enterprise appears to have extra unhealthy endings than good generally.

Now if we have a look manner again to the start of all this, “Excessive Chief” Peter Maivia was the unique Head Of The Desk. He received his begin within the 60’s with the NWA, first often known as “Prince” Peter Maivia, transferring round territories and discovering large success as a consequence of being a pure and a really fast learner of the enterprise. One factor most have observed is the quantity of Samoan members of the family that appear to duplicate within the wrestling enterprise. This all appears to be because of the Excessive Chief, who knew there was cash to be made in wrestling. Wanting large, scary & unique, the Samoans had been (and nonetheless are) a pure match. They may simply play a heel, particularly out of their very own territory, however had been absolute large faces when being anyplace close to the Pacific Islands.

The Chief unfold the love and skilled Afa Anoa’i, with assist from Rocky Johnson. Peter Maivia and Afa Anoa’i didn’t have any relation, but it surely’s been advised Afa’s father made himself and Peter Maivia “blood brothers”, and from that time on they thought of Peter a part of the Anoa’i household, from his genetics down. Quick ahead – Rocky Johnson was a WWF expertise who ended up marrying Peter’s adopted daughter, Ata, daughter of promoter Lia Maivia. These two ended up creating some of the proficient people on the earth as we speak. Scent what I’m cookin’? Rewind – With Afa being skilled, the household noticed there was much more cash to be made. Afa helped skilled his brother, Sika, with the assistance of Kurt Von Steiger. Afa and Sika traveled the world as The Wild Samoans, successful tag gold on a number of events. Loads of proficient kids got here from this dynasty, with Sika giving the wrestling world Rosey (RIP) and present Head Of The Desk, Roman Reigns.

With so many uncles, aunts and cousins, there was certain to be extra passing down of expertise. The subsequent era began to indicate curiosity within the enterprise, and Afa and Sika knew precisely what to do to assist out the household in the easiest way they knew how, coaching some youthful members of the family! This ultimately gave us The Headshrinkers, Samu & Fatu, who earned their WWF(E) contracts after busting their chops world wide. Samu & Fatu loved tag group success and never solely had the tag group gold, but additionally particular person success, with Fatu difficult Bret Hart for the WWF(E) World Title on an episode of RAW. Though the household connection wasn’t acknowledged, Samu & Fatu would additionally assist their cousin in disguise, Yokozuna, who was portraying a Japanese sumo wrestler, win a casket match in opposition to The Undertaker on the 1994 Royal Rumble. Numerous historical past between The Undertaker and the Anoa’i household. May that come into play throughout RAW is XXX?

They are saying the apple doesn’t fall too removed from the tree, and on this case, that saying is spot on. In what looks as if Samoan custom, Rikishi Fatu ended up having some very proficient kids. Three of them are at the moment extremely concerned on this lengthy brewing storyline, with Jimmy and Jey Uso being the Uncooked & SmackDown Tag Staff Champions. The opposite brother, Solo Sikoa, has been tremendous spectacular since exhibiting up on NXT. He’s now on the primary roster serving to the household preserve their grip on the enterprise. However it doesn’t matter what member of the family reveals up, Roman Reigns has made certain he’s acknowledged because the Head Of The Desk, no holds barred, going so far as beating it into any member of the family who disagrees. Keep in mind when Jey Uso tried to step up and inform Roman he was performing out of line? We had been handled to some fairly rattling good matches between the 2, with Roman successful not solely the matches, however the loyalty of Jey. At this level, anybody who even speaks out of line in the direction of Roman will get the worry put in them.

The most important Acknowledgment Ceremony but is going on at RAW is XXX, and I count on a whole lot of stress. Not from the present Bloodline, however from the outdated schoolers. To me, this might be the easiest way to lastly start the construct for the large match between The Rock and Roman Reigns, if that’s the precise plan. Having the younger Bloodline crew deal with Afa, Sika, Samu & Fatu like they’re fossils who have to bow all the way down to Roman is only the start. It’s been teased earlier than, however that is the time to hit large and run with it. Begin the showcase with Paul Heyman, who has large historical past with the outdated guard, explaining to Afa, Sika, Samu & Fatu (who he managed years in the past earlier than they had been in WWE, then often known as the Samoan SWAT Staff) precisely what is anticipated of them. Heyman will clarify how Roman needs them to “bend the knee” on the Acknowledgment Ceremony. As RAW is XXX goes on, backstage interactions between Usos, Solo, Sami and the outdated boys might be stuffed with stress and anger. Furthering the large story of the night time, having Jey, Jimmy and Solo disrespect Rikishi Fatu, their dad, would present nice heel work. Afa and Sika could be completely disgusted with how the younger crew is performing, voicing their disdain in the direction of them. After all, having Sami mouth off the legends wouldn’t solely be hysterically humorous, however it will additionally trigger the legends to query simply what within the hell the younger Bloodline is considering.

That is the place issues may get actually good. Backstage cameras would catch Afa, Sika, Samu & Rikishi Fatu questioning if Roman and the boys actually needs to be those calling the photographs. Dare I say, questioning if Roman Reigns ought to actually be Head Of The Desk, particularly if that is how they’re going to symbolize The Bloodline. Organising these fractures within the household all night time is precisely the way in which it ought to play out earlier than the Acknowledgment Ceremony begins. We all know how effectively WWE can produce drama, with this storyline being one thing that’s been years within the making. I’m considering we’re lastly going to get some payoff with a glimpse to the long run.

When the Acknowledgment Ceremony begins happening within the ring, the disrespect in the direction of the legends continues onerous. Jimmy, Jey, Solo & Sami operating their mouths as they do finest, would trigger much more friction. The easiest way to seize some warmth right here, even when it’s low-cost, could be to have Solo or one of many Usos get pushy with both Afa or Sika. Seeing one in all his children put their arms on their elders would piss off Rikishi to the purpose of no return. Rikishi can nonetheless go, so why not have him try to educate his children some respect! It wouldn’t be a lot of a struggle, however at the very least Rikishi would stand his floor and attempt to get some respect from his boys. At this level, have Roman step up, flaring his nostrils like he does finest, angrily saying “acknowledge me” to the damaged legends. All it takes here’s a actually unhappy Sika, Roman’s father, wanting up from the bottom and saying a really highly effective “NO!” into the mic. This is able to ship ‘indignant nostrils’ Roman over the sting. Roman stomping the large outdated afro into mat seals the deal. Whether or not they wished to or not, the Samoan legends have been proven they don’t have a selection with who’s on the head of the desk…or do they?

As a result of their ongoing feud, Kevin Owens wants to come back out at this level and go for The Bloodline, particularly his Royal Rumble opponent, Roman. Owens clearly will get beat down as a result of he’s outnumbered, but it surely’s what “face” Owens would do. Sami can get some extra warmth right here and actually give it to Owens, too…why not? Continuance is sweet. The scene is ready with The Bloodline standing tall within the ring performing like nothing can cease them. Legendary Samoans scattered across the ring. Kevin Owens, present #1 contender to Roman Reigns has been taken out. There’s just one factor left to do right here, and that’s start the feud which was meant for WrestleMania Hollywood. The Rock’s music hits! The group would naturally find it irresistible. Lastly…the true Head Of The Desk is……house. The legends made the decision earlier asking The Rock to come back put Roman in his place, and right here he’s to do it.

Roman is likely one of the finest in the case of facial expressions. Sure, generally they’re ridiculous, however I find it irresistible. Simply think about the faces Roman makes as The Rock is standing on the entrance, with Jimmy, Jey, Solo & Sami taking a look at Roman with broad eyes. That proper there may be video package deal magic. Then when the precise face off occurs between The Rock and Roman? Wow. As a lot as some individuals crap on Kevin Dunn, this could make a fairly rattling good WrestleMania video package deal.

The face off within the ring needs to be solely that, a face off. Have The Rock clarify to Roman that till he beats The Rock, he’s not Head Of The Desk. By this level, Owens and the Samoan legends could be coming to. Paul Heyman, the implausible Particular Counsel that he’s, tells the troops it’s higher to go away than to get into it. Have RAW is XXX go off the air with The Rock and the legendary Samoans being featured within the ring, with the present high face, Kevin Owens by their facet.

After all I’m “fantasy reserving” this state of affairs like so many individuals love to say, however I predict this or one thing related is what is going to occur. There’s extra questions than solutions proper now, however some fairly attention-grabbing hints are being thrown at our faces.

First, we’ve seen the tiny cracks between Sami and The Bloodline start to occur. He’s a fantastic scapegoat when issues go flawed. To not point out, he’s not actual blood!

Second, having Afa, Sika, Samu & Rikishi Fatu present up on what’s anticipated to be essentially the most watched RAW in a very long time is important.

Third, the Acknowledgment Ceremony. Attention-grabbing to have this whereas all of the Samoan legends are round. Additionally excellent timing – tensions are excessive in The Bloodline, tempers are flaring. The legends gained’t take any disrespect, and I assure they’ll be disrespected.

Fourth, we’ve been advised the Tag Titles will now be defended individually. Why impulsively are they being break up up once more? Nicely, The Usos shedding some tag gold will amplify the cracks in The Bloodline’s basis. The RAW Tag Titles might be defended on RAW is XXX in opposition to The Judgement Day, who’ve been pushed closely recently. May somebody value them the RAW Tag Titles? Additionally, on the next SmackDown, January twentieth, a tag group event will start to find out the brand new #1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Staff Titles. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre appear to be the entrance runners to win that, and everyone knows they’ve a lot of historical past with The Bloodline.

Fifth, this can be a large WrestleMania, going down on the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. WrestleMania 39 – WrestleMania Goes Hollywood, simply screams ‘The Rock’. This was the unique house for WrestleMania 37 till the pandemic prompted havoc. It’ll be a sight to see, as this can be a lovely stadium with high notch expertise. The Rock is all the time one of many high paid stars in Hollywood, so it looks as if that is meant to be. I count on this to be one of many extra star studded WrestleManias in historical past.

Final however not least, The Rock wants to advertise the XFL. Earlier than anything, he’s a particularly clever enterprise man. Actor, second. Wrestler, third. After a pair 12 months hiatus for the XFL, he is aware of he’s going to wish as a lot promotion as attainable to get the soccer league some consideration. It’s been by way of rather a lot! What higher method to begin selling the February 2023 debut return of the XFL then to get on WWE TV. If The Rock goes to be a part of this years WrestleMania, I 100% assure that he put hundreds and a great deal of XFL tie-ins and promotion in his contract. Get able to see that partnership shoved down our throats. XFL seasons run from February to April, so excellent timing for The Rock to get eyes on his new funding.

If The Rock does return for WrestleMania 39, some attention-grabbing issues may occur between at times. Kevin Owens is being pushed onerous as the #1 child face. Odds aren’t in his favor to win in opposition to Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble, and it wouldn’t make sense for Roman to lose earlier than WrestleMania. However The Bloodline is a giant group, sufficiently big that The Rock can’t take all of them on, and sufficiently big Owens can’t both. To fill in time on TV and in addition the Elimination Chamber PLE that occurs earlier than WrestleMania, if historical past repeats itself right here, I can see a tag match or two taking place. As we noticed ultimately years WrestleMania, Kevin Owens is a trusted employee. If Steve Austin trusts him sufficient for a match, I can see Owens and Rock teaming up in opposition to members of The Bloodline to assist with the ring rust. The Rock is aware of Owens would ensure that every thing goes as easy as attainable.

I’m ready patiently to see what occurs at RAW is XXX, and in addition for the Royal Rumble to see how they ebook the end. I really feel just a few large questions might be answered at RAW is XXX. With rumors of Cody Rhodes successful Royal Rumble, what’s the purpose of The Rock returning? I assume we are going to discover out shortly if the plan is really to separate the Unified World Title, with one being defended on every night time of WrestleMania. I for one am comfortable every present may doubtlessly have their very own World Champion once more, so long as the secondary titles (IC & US) proceed to be pushed and made to really feel necessary like they’ve been. Nice reserving for these titles recently, particularly the US Title.

What would you wish to see occur for the primary occasions of WrestleMania? Ought to the Unified World Title be break up again into two? Ought to The Rock be the one to dethrone Roman Reigns? Is Cody Rhodes too apparent to win Royal Rumble? The street to WrestleMania is coming fast, will it’s easy or bumpy?

James Bones
@violentshadows



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