It's been another crazy week in the world of pro wrestling with big news coming out of WWE, TNA, and British wrestling. However, lets get on with the biggest news of the week in the form of the return of one Bill Goldberg.
Well this week's Raw was very eventful, if nothing else for the closing segment. As we were promised last week we got the return of Bill Goldberg and he absolutely delivered. The promo was spot-on, and they even managed to use his original WCW music rather than his awful WWE re-tool from 2003. All show long they built it up, so when Goldberg finally appeared the reaction was huge. In terms of moving forward it looks like we are getting Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series which should be excellent if it's just two big hosses beating the tar out of each other for ten minutes. I'm not sure it even matters who wins, it should be a great spectacle. Either Lesnar gets the win and you continue to build him for whoever he finally puts over, and Goldberg retires; or Lesnar gets beaten and you can either set up the rubber match at Wrestlemania or you rehab Lesnar the next night and he loses very little from doing the job. Special praise should also be saved for Paul Heyman who was excellent on Raw building the Goldberg response to his challenge last week. Great work all round, and it clearly paid off with Raw having a surge in the ratings this week.
Another high point from Raw for me was once again Rusev. His segment of "Meet the Rusevs" was really well done, so much so if I'm WWE I'd be careful not to accidentally end up turning him babyface. He was just brilliant here, including some of the most hilarious insults thrown at Roman Reigns' prestigious bloodline. Speaking of Reigns it felt like the audience reaction to him was a bit more friendly, until he gave his cringe-worthy shout out. It's sad with Reigns because if they just let him be himself he could potentially be over massively with the audience, but it's things like this that garner him all those boos. Still, a good little segment.
Elsewhere this week I also enjoyed the sit-down interviews with Sasha Banks and Charlotte. Both got over the importance of their upcoming Hell in a Cell match at the event of the same name. I'm glad the company are making a big deal out of this because it really is, given this is the first time in the 19 years that the HIAC has hosted a women's match, which is yet another reason it should headline the show.
Finally, we had further development in the Seth Rollins - Kevin Owens - Chris Jericho triangle. Well sort of triangle, because although Rollins is currently feuding with Owens, the real story being told seems to be Jericho vs Owens, as the seeds of mistrust are slowly being sewn into the very fabric of their relationship. I originally posited we would get the blow off match at Survivor Series in Toronto, but I actually think that will be the location for the turn from Jericho, probably to a huge pop, leading to a match at the December PPV. You have to feel for Rollins who seems to be in limbo somewhat, but I expect we'll know after next Sunday what his next feud is.
A good show overall, dominated of course by the return of "Da Man", and rightly so.
Another week, another cracking show from the blue brand. The big highlight for me was the star-making performance for James Ellsworth. From jobber to superstar in just a few weeks, his match with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship was great, and while the big story is Styles' feud with Dean Ambrose who once again made a nuisance of himself, Ellsworth played a blinder in his role and more than deserves his brief time in the spotlight. Obviously Styles dominated, but the "No Chin Music" was almost a believable near-fall. A good little angle and a great bit of build for the Ambrose/AJ feud.
Elsewhere Randy Orton and Luke Harper had a fun, slightly bizarre match. The hi-jinks with the casket with Kane and Bray Wyatt felt like a real throwback to days of old, the sort of thing that you might have expected to see during the wacky period of the mid-90s. These two men have surprisingly good chemistry, so this was a fun little encounter.
Finally, I would like to highlight the confrontation between Nikki Bella and Carmella. While Alexa Bliss was defeating Naomi, and in the absence of Becky Lynch this programme has become the most high-profile feud in the women's division on Smackdown. Both women came off really well here, with Carmella getting under Nikki's skin and actually giving a but more depth to their feud and Carmella's issue with Nikki.
Once again Smackdown was very good this week, and while it may have missed out on the hoopla of having a big star return like on Raw, the show was far more consistent overall. Plus on Talking Smack this week Baron Corbin resurrected his "anti-Internet darling" persona which worked very well in NXT, so hopefully we'll see more of that on the main show soon.
Paige and Del Rio
What week wouldn't be complete without more scandal from Paige and her now fiancee Alberto Del Rio. Yes, you read that correctly they are now engaged as of last weekend when she proposed to him on a show in Puerto Rico. While we here at Slammer Jabber wish them both all the happiness in the world. However there have been statements from Paige's family that they do not approve, and some less than positive pictures of the two have appeared in recent days, including one with Del Rio's hands around Paige's injured neck. As I mentioned last week there is so much we don't know about their relationship, and of course if they are the happy then it doesn't matter. However, it certainly seems like a situation that may have more twists and turns yet. Watch this space.
Speaking of developing situations, it appears that the TNA situation might finally be developing into its end game. It appears that TNA President Billy Corgan now has a lawsuit and injunction against the company, with American Express suing the company for unpaid bills, and now reports that part of the tape library has been sold to Anthem, the parent company of the Fight Network, who are also one of the company's creditors. With spiraling debts, legal issues and uncertainty of who owns what, you have to think that TNA is not long for this world and the blame has to fall at the feet of Dixie Carter who has been steering the ship towards the rocks for some time now. I suspect bankruptcy is not far away.
World of Sport to return!
Saturday afternoons during the 70s and 80s were the domain of British wrestling, chiefly on a programme called World of Sport which has come to categorise the wrestling scene on the UK from that time. Household names like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks are held in high regard as legends in this country. However after a downturn in popularity it was cancelled in the late 80s. Now, in 2016 ITV have commissioned a pilot to be aired over Christmas to bring back British wrestling to terrestrial television, making the most of British independent talent, with commentary from WWE legend Jim Ross. This is one of the biggest happenings in British wrestling in the UK in years, and it goes to show the work of companies like Progress and Rev Pro has had a real impact. Details are still thin on the ground, but a televised taping airing during one of the biggest periods of the year seems like a very big deal. Lets hope it works out, and this is a real resurgence for British Wrestling and not another Alex Shane-style false dawn. We shall see.
That's it from me for this week. I'll be back next week with more from all the happenings in WWE, TNA, the go-home for Hell in a Cell and more on whatever scandals break between now and then, While you're here why not check out all the best in Blu-ray, DVD, Movie and Games reviews plus opinions, blogs and competitions. All here at Screenjabber. Until next week, so long folks.