Gleed’s Blog: WWE Evolution, World of Sport vs. NXT UK, new ROH Champion Jay Lethal, the future of Dalton Castle

By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)

-It’s unbearable warm here in sunny South Wales. I know I’ve been moaning about it for weeks now, but I’m going to continue complaining about it until normality is restored and I can then complain about the rain! Four more weeks of the heatwave is predicted and I can’t freaking wait for it to end. Anyway, you didn’t click on this blog to read a middle aged man complain about the big yellow ball in the sky, so lets take a look at what’s been making the headlines in the wrestling world this week.

-The biggest story by far is the announcement made on Monday regarding WWE Evolution taking place on October 28. The great news obviously is that it will be a female only pay-per-view. There is no doubt in mind that this is a great move by WWE as it will show the world and any fans stuck in their caves that women can put on a show just as well as the men. I’m certainly looking forward to it. The important fact to remember about all of this is if you look at the female wrestlers on the main and NXT rosters, they do have some of the best talent in the world to choose from. This show is the perfect platform for the ladies on the card to showcase what they do best.

There has been a mixed reaction to this with people making jokes about having a kitchen for a set and other stereotypes that were out of place in the ’90s let alone all these years. On the other side, you also have people essentially saying that if you criticize this move in any way then you must be sexist, which is beyond extreme. I was hoping that this shift in the progression of the pro wrestling world might bring people closer together, but it seems to have been more divisive than a Roman Reigns entrance. For those who don’t agree with this move, it’s very simple. Just don’t watch the show! It is your right to express an opinion and for me it’s far more effective to talk with your cash or lack of viewership than to spread hate. Granted, I would much prefer that you give it a chance, but different strokes for different folks.

-The next few weeks are going to be interesting here in the UK with the launch of World Of Sport Wrestling (WOS) this weekend on ITV, plus the first tapings for the NXT UK show on the Saturday and Sunday in Cambridge. I’m looking forward to seeing what WOS has to offer and whether they build from the decent foundation laid down on the New Years Eve special in 2016. There was a lot to criticize abut that show but there was also some promising moments as well. I will bring you coverage of at least the first show later in the weekend. Similarly, when we know the full roster for NXT UK, I will bring you a few blogs to bring you up to speed on the talent involved and the members will hear me and Darren Guttridge talk about them in audio form. So if you’re a fan of the UK independent scene, there’s going to be a lot of content thrown at you in the coming weeks.

-It took a month to make it’s way to television, but the big ROH Title change aired on ROH TV this week. First of all, Ring of Honor really need to sort out their scheduling. I know because of the way the PPV’s fall and the fact that Sinclair requires a show to be turned in a certain amount of days before it airs that they are never going to have a weekly show that is super timely, however I’m sure we can all agree that a show that is taped on June 30 with developments from the PPV held the night before needs to be shown way before July 21 (or even July 23 if you’re watching on FITE TV ). They opened the show with still photos from the Best in the World PPV that happened a month ago. For a second I thought I’d clicked on a previous week’s episode even though it was a brand new show.

-As for the title change itself, I felt it was a good move at the time. Given the allegations that have come out against Jay Lethal since then, perhaps from a PR perspective it would have been the smart move if they had come out sooner. I don’t feel it’s right for me to comment on the actual allegations as we can only go based on the evidence presented in public and at the moment it simply one person’s word against the other person’s word. Nevertheless, if Jay holds the title for an extended amount of time then he will have plenty of opposition that he didn’t have previously. It felt toward the end of his previous run as champion that he had feuded with and beaten everyone, so he needed to take a step back. In that time, Cody, Marty Scurll, Flip Gordon, Adam Page, Punishment Martinez, Shane Taylor and a number of others have either come into the company or been elevated, so there’s definitely a number of people I can see Lethal feuding with moving forward.

-I feel sorry for Dalton Castle. I’m very much in the minority that believes he was given the title at the right time, simply because his gimmick is the sort that is insanely popular to begin with yet could fade over time. By striking while the iron was hot, I felt that ROH created themselves a new credible main event player in the process. The reign itself wasn’t as good as Dalton and ROH would have liked due to injuries, yet in my mind it was also due to circumstances surrounding other big stars in the company. It always seemed like a bigger story was bubbling elsewhere on the card, which was personified by Cody and Kenny Omega being the big selling point of the Supercard of Honor show during WrestleMania weekend rater than the Castle vs. Scurll title match. Nevertheless, the reign is over and I hope Dalton takes the time off he needs. When he comes back, I certainly believe he will be in a stronger position than he was before he won the title earlier this year.

-That’s going to do it for me this week. Cardiff City are back, baby! I’ll be off this Saturday to Burton Albion to watch the latest City pre-season game. Burton also represents the 88th stadium out of the 92 league grounds challenge that I’ve been undertaking for the last ten-plus years so I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully the weather folks are wrong and this time next week I can write a nice happy blog while rain comes down outside. Have a good weekend, everybody!

As always feel free to get in touch either through email haydn.gleed@gmail.com or through twitter @haydngleed




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