Welcome, one and all, to the glorious debut of the Rajah Debates! For years, the best and brightest minds of the Rajah forum have done battle with words about a myriad of fascinating topics from the wrestling world, seeking to answer the questions that plague the wrestling community. Is John Cena actually a good wrestler? What's the greatest wrestling show of all time? Is anyone as good as Bobby Lashley? (No.) But for the first time ever, we're bringing the debates to you and letting you guys act as judge, jury and executioner.
The way this works is simple. Each match will involve a maximum of 3 250 word posts from each participant going in order. At the end, you guys and our panel of judges will vote to see you moves on to the next round to get one step closer to Rajah immortality. Over the course of the next month you'll grow to know and root for these brilliant weirdos until we eventually crown a grand champion.
Your part comes in at the end where I have a poll posted for you to vote on the winner. If you'd like to see the trash talk going on behind the scenes, or jump in to let these brave bastards know what you think of the debate, just to join us in the rajah forums. If you sign up and join the chat, you are automatically in the running to participate next year!
Sound good? I thought so! So let's jump right in!
Once upon a time in wrestling, big time free agent acquisitions seemed to be the only way to make splashy, significant debuts happen in WWE, with guys like Chris Jericho, the Big Show, and Goldberg offering super exciting moments of shock and awe as they debuted before our very eyes. Those days are largely gone, and have been replaced instead by the anticipation of the call up from NXT. The mass callup of all the best talent has become a week after Wrestlemania tradition, but with WWE looking to reload going into Wrestlemania season, and an NXT roster stocked full of hungry people looking for their shot, there's only one question...
The coin toss dictates that Peter Griffin will go first.
Well this is a tough topic as there are a few choices, However I have chosen the team of Akam and Razar W/Paul Ellering, The Authors of Pain.
Clearly as evidenced by the picture, They have a tremendous look and size, But, When they made their debut a little over a year ago I think most people were thinking 'Who are these guys', However since then they have gone from green as hell to putting on consistently good matches while becoming the best monster tag team I can remember in a long time.
Having just lost the NXT tag titles the time seems right to unleash them on the main roster, Personally I would choose Smackdown as I feel they have more chance of succeeding there and translating their 'act' as a monster team, Amplifying it and carving a path of destruction the likes we haven't seen in the tag division in a long time. And with Paul as the mouthpiece they may well become the biggest, Most successful tag team of the modern era.
NXT serves two masters. It has to get wrestlers ready for the main roster and it has to draw on its own. This has been the model since NXT started to show potential to draw larger crowds when Balor and Bayley were the top stars, and HHH has since replaced those that have gone on to the main roster with wrestlers that have buzz on the internet. Drew McIntyre, reDRagon, Adam Cole are now in the drawing positions. Then you have guys with a wealth of experience like Kassius Ohno who are almost defacto trainers helping prepare those not ready for prime time. The former La Sombra, Andrade Cien Almas does not fit into either of those boxes. Under a hood the man had undeniable charisma.
As a founding member of Los Ingobernables he was an amazing arrogant heel who lost his mask in the main event of a show that drew the first million dollar gate in the history of wrestling's oldest promotion CMLL. He showed the ability to cross cultures. Almas was very popular in New Japan Pro Wrestling including a well received rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura over the IWGP IC Title. I understand this has not translated as well to NXT. To me with the track record he has that just means a trip to Raw or Smackdown would be a much needed reset button. He is a great wrestler. He oozes charisma. Just got off on the wrong foot, and is not needed in NXT.
You say you 'understand' he hasn't translated well to NXT. Certainly when he first came in he floundered like a fish, However in recent weeks and months having turned heel and adding Zelina Vega (Thea Trinidad) as his manager I feel he has really come into his own, Added an extra dimension to his character and is improving rapidly, recently picking up a big win over Gargano at Takoever Brooklyn 3.
His talent is undoubted and you say he is not needed at NXT, Which may be true, However I would argue that at the moment he needs NXT, For as much as he is improved I feel he would be best served staying where is and fine tuning and polishing his act and really establishing himself as top NXT star before moving up, I think given the time of year and the path he is on he would be a more realistic 'Night/Smackdown after Wrestlemania' debut as opposed to the here and now.
You may well say 'Well the AOP need more fine tuning, Which in terms of ring work may be true, But, For what they are (A wrecking ball like monster team) they can hold their end of the bargain just fine and as mentioned with Ellering as a mouthpiece promos aren't an issue and they are poised to make a huge impact.
Like I said there are two tracks in NXT. Guys that they deem need to be there to learn, and guys who are there to draw. In my first post I explained why Almas doesn't fit either category. In this post I will explain why AOP do.
Go back and look at the last few years of Takeover cards you see a pattern with their tag division. American Alpha vs Revival begat Revival vs DIY begat DIY vs AOP. DIY vs AOP even main evented a Takeover which normal tag teams never do in WWE. Meaning tag teams are meant to draw in NXT unlike the main roster. Another pattern there is Revival became top team and Alpha went up. DIY became top team and Revival went up. AOP became top team and DIY did a heavy heat angle. AOP is now ace tag team in a division that is pushed to draw. Let's be honest here an Eric Young tag team in 2017 is just a place holder at best. That means the tag feud NXT is going to roll with based on the past is AOP vs reDRagon. Once reDRagon is put over by AOP and becomes top team with another team probably brought in from the indies then it will be time to go. But again based on NXT's booking pattern and business model that's at least two Takeover's from now on which AOP will be needed to put butts in seats.
Certainly the tag division in NXT currently holds a lot more weight than the main roster and I would be a liar if I said your data analysis from reading results didn't have some credibility, However being a guy that watches week in week out, I can tell you, in my opinion, That SAnitY are far from placeholders.
As with AOP, they have spent the last year, Since their inception, Developing their characters and forming a formidable group who initially where flat out wacko heels but in recent times have taken on more of a bad ass face role though obviously where their act is concerned there are many shades of grey with that.
And frankly when watching Takeover Brooklyn 3 SAnitY winning the titles from AOP and Fish and O'Reillys subsequent attack clearly sets up SAnitY vs Fish/O'Reilly and frees up AOP to make waves on the main roster.
But as you say reDRagon attacked both teams. Also Sanity won via interference by their stablemates. This strengthens AOP's babyface cred while building up reDRagon as the ultimate heels. The logical booking is a threeway at Takeover with reDRagon winning followed by AOP chasing reDRagon and facing them at the Takeover after that with Sanity as a classic transitional champion.
One other thing about AOP. Other than Paul Heyman WWE never uses male managers, and that is a unique case because of Brock. History tells us Ellering would not be long for the world off NXT. So AOP will have to start doing their own promos, and by your own admission Ellering is the reason promos would be no issue. That needs to be addressed in NXT.
AJ went right to the main roster. Almas has a resume that's really not that far off from AJ. Almas worked an 18,000 seat building every week, worked on Televisa a network akin to CBS in America, worked an American friendly style in New Japan which WWE style these days is just a watered down version of. Interest in AJ from WWE came after his NJPW run where the only bigger building than Arena Mexico they run is the Dome, TV Asahi is akin to Televisa and again NJPW style just like Sombra. AJ had Bullet Club, but these days LIJ has surpassed BC in NJPW. Los Ingobernables is a perfect WWE gimmick. Unsubtle arrogance. All character stuff. They'd love it.