Dave Meltzer's WWE WrestleMania Diary: TakeOver fallout, ROH, Sami Zayn
Posted On July 20, 2020
I just would like to personally thank everyone I came in contact with the past few days here, particularly those at our banquet yesterday at the Texas de Brazil steakhouse. All the nice things said are really appreciated and to be able to meet people from all over the world. I want to mention that this website, the newsletters, and the audio aren’t just a product of us, but also of everyone. If you see shows or great matches from around the world, we’re always up for reports and links.
Again, it was just wonderful to see so many people who share a common passion and just how nice everyone was. I will be heading home today because for my job, WrestleMania really has to be viewed on TV. But for everyone I met at the banquet, thanks so much. e all work so hard and it’s days like the last two that really make it feel like it’s worth it.
To the news and notes:
– NXT was a great show last night. Bobby Roode and Kota Ibushi were surprise announcements and in both cases, they makes sense. When Ibushi announced he wasn’t staying with DDT and New Japan, WWE made sense as the next step, particularly with cruiserweight tournament. For Roode, once he left TNA, it made sense for both sides for him to be in WWE. It looks like NXT, and they can use a veteran in the ring.
– The big questions coming out of last night’s TakeOver show is what’s next for Nakamura, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. We already know what’s next for Sami Zayn. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see him win the title tomorrow although WWE has a ton of different ways to go. But Zayn and Kevin Owens seem like the only logical picks. Zayn could use the big boost and the story of Owens complaining that he lost the title, how Zayn never beat him and how he hurt Zayn before makes sense. But there are really a lot of directions because A.J. Styles needs to be in a top program. I could see a big blow off with Chris Jericho in a month or so, at that point there are new things needed for both.
– I have to watch the NXT show when I get back to get the feel of it from a TV perspective. Live, it was a great show, well placed. I didn’t leave thinking it was the greatest show of the year or anything like that, but I know people who saw it did. Nakamura and Joe should be main roster main eventers. Joe should be in the mix with people like Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. In watching the match last night, and the aura he had, it really felt like Lesnar vs. Joe should have been built for nine months for Mania this year more than the original plans for Bray Wyatt or Dean Ambrose.
– We only saw some of ROH with the big news at the show being Colt Cabana’s return to face Jay Lethal. All the key shows were packed.
– Evolve’s business was through the roof as compared to their normal standards or last year’s Mania. They were expecting close to 1,500 for the noon show today with Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet. I didn’t see Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr. from yesterday but last night there were people who saw that and Zayn vs. Nakamura and said the former was better. But aside from NXT, that match as the talk of the weekend so far.
– The dark matches at NXT last night were Manny Andrade over Chris Girard which was said to be good but short, and Apollo Crews over Elias Sampson, which was originally scheduled for the special. They are taping TV at Fan Axxess from 1-5 p.m.
– Last night I was at the Kaiju Big Battel show. Not a lot of say about it. A show ending at 3 a.m. would be the second latest time I think I’ve ever been to a wrestling show at. Kota Ibushi wrestled a stuffed animal. It was actually pretty impressive how he did it. He made an entertaining spectacle, out of it and did some cool things without taking any actual risks.
– Regarding the UFC situation with Daniel Cormier pulling out of the title match with Jon Jones, the real question is how badly hurt is Cormier. If he’s hurt enough that he would need surgery, it’s one thing. If he can go by July, and be healthy at that point, they should take their lumps on 4/23 and it’ll just make UFC 200 even bigger with that fight added.
If he can’t, things get tricky.
Rumble Johnson would be the obvious replacement, and is also the most dangerous fighter as far as an opponent for Jones because he’s got the most power. Jones has been training for an entirely different type of fighter and if he were to pull out or just say he wants to wait until June or July for Rumble, I can understand it. At the same time, it may be the best thing for Jones to face Rumble in a short notice fight because he’ll be facing his most dangerous foe when not at his best. Really, if he were to lose to Jones on a short notice fight and Jones ends up as champion, he’s got far more at risk. Jones is going to be a superstar either way. For Rumble, the Jones match, when it happens, is a career and life changer for him if he wins, and a loss, even though he won’t be at his peak conditioning wise and people should know it, it will hurt him.