Five Hot Takes From The Week In Wrestling: What We Wish Had Happened & More (4/4/2024)

Welcome back to another edition of Rllegends's weekly hot takes column, home of our strongest and spiciest opinions from the week that was. Which is to say, these are the takes that have been rattling around our heads as we consumed the last week of pro wrestling content; they could be things that should have happened (but didn't), things that should happen (but won't) or things that are simply true (in our individual subjective opinions). Of course, just because we think these takes might be controversial, doesn't mean they actually are. Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments!

And now, our hottest takes from the week beginning Friday, March 29, and ending Thursday, April 4!

Damian Priest should cash in on the new World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 40

Now, let me preface this by saying that this take on purely contingent upon Drew McIntyre first defeating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 40, momentarily making him the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

For the last three years, McIntyre has been fixated on winning another world championship, and in some instances, he came very close to doing so. Unfortunately, all of McIntyre's title pursuits have ended in failure, sometimes to no fault of his own. On April 7, McIntyre has an opportunity to rectify those previous losses as he challenges Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship on night two of WrestleMania 40.

The night prior, Rollins will team with Cody Rhodes in what will likely be a grueling tag team match against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "The Tribal Chief" Roman Reigns. Regardless of this match outcome, there is no doubt that Rollins will be walking into his subsequent title defense against McIntyre at a physical disadvantage. For this reason, I believe Drew McIntyre will assert dominance in this title match, and finally fulfill his quest of capturing his third world championship in WWE.

Just as McIntyre revels in his victory, though, an opportunistic Damian Priest should charge down with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Priest, of course, is not particularly fond of McIntyre, as the two butted heads before and after teaming together in the Men's 2023 WarGames. Priest even attempted to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract in one of McIntyre's previous title matches. That respective attempt was ultimately thwarted by McIntyre.

Given their history, and the uncertainty of McIntyre's WWE contract status, WrestleMania 40 would be perfect setting for Priest to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract and secure his first world title in WWE. Aside from this, a vengeful CM Punk has more than enough motivation to assist Priest in dethroning McIntyre after wrapping up his commentary duties in the preceding title match.

Written by Ella Jay

Ricochet is ready for more than a Battle Royal win

Ever since Ricochet made his most recent return to WWE programming, he has been white-hot. He is on a four-match winning streak, having blown through The Judgement Day's JD McDonagh and "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio this past month on "WWE Raw".

Honestly? Let him continue his undefeated streak. Ricochet is ready for a revival.

I'm not saying this just because he's won four matches in a row — while it is impressive, it is not the entire reason that I am begging for a Ricochet dominance era. Ricochet has improved so much in his overall presentation since he's been back. No longer is he stumbling over his words like a kid trying to sound cool amongst a bunch of his older colleagues. No longer does awkwardness roll off of him in waves, no longer is he treated as the butt of bald jokes. Ricochet has come back with a cool and confident swagger to him, not unlike Jade Cargill's brand of silent self-assuredness. The Ricochet of the past would not have even dreamed about taunting The Judgement Day to send Finn Balor, Damien Priest, or even "Mami" Rhea Ripley, but he said so with smooth confidence just two weeks ago on an episode of "Raw Talk". Ricochet has made leaps and bounds with his character and mic skills, which was the most significant thing keeping him back. Now that he's gained some newfound confidence on the microphone, the sky's the limit for Ricochet.

Literally, the sky's the limit. I don't need to remind you of Ricochet's incredible high-flying skills, but I would be remiss if I didn't bring up his incredible performances against McDonagh, Mysterio, and even Ivar. Ricochet has an incredible ability to show up and show out with anybody he works with. This flexibility is vital, because there are some feuds and some matches where two people just aren't compatible in the ring. Whether that's personal beef, differences in size, incompatible styles — there are feuds that just aren't good because the in-ring performance is not there. With Ricochet, however, he has shown us not just these past few weeks, but his entire career that he can hang with anybody in the ring. That kind of flexibility is an incredible talent, and it is a shame that it has not been taken advantage of. With how talented he is not just on his own, but as a supporting actor to whoever he's working with, he should be on as many pay-per-view cards as he wants.

Between his improved microphone skills and his consistently top-notch in-ring performances, there is no legitimate reason to not push Ricochet to the moon. To omit him from the WrestleMania card is a travesty — to place him in a Battle Royal where his talents are drowned out by the cacophony of several other men for a majority of the match is even worse. Even if the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale wasn't on just on Friday night, and was on the WrestleMania card where it belongs (rant for another day), Ricochet deserves more than just a Battle Royale spot. Ricochet is showing us that he can hang with the most dominant faction on Monday nights, so let him hang! Let him hang with everyone else on the Monday night roster — let that man jump and reach as high as he can, because with his current performance both in and out of the ring, he is showing us that he is more than capable of doing so. Ricochet himself told Jackie Redmond that he thrives when he has a disadvantage. Imagine how great Ricochet will be when he has the upper hand.

Written by Angeline Phu

The AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament is pointless

AEW has an extensive tag team division that deserves to have the spotlight shone on them. Tournaments are a great way to do that, but they become less enjoyable when the inevitable winners could've won the prize they were competing for in a much easier way.

I understand wanting to have Sting win his final ever professional wrestling match at AEW Revolution, which is good and all. However, it seems pretty clear that The Young Bucks are poised to become the next AEW World Tag Team Champions when they win the AEW World Tag Team Tournament with how much television time they've been given on a weekly basis. It honestly makes the entire point of the tournament pointless when you think about it. If the plan was to make The Bucks the tag champions this whole time, it makes the point of having them lose the match only to have the titles vacated and inserting them into the finals just to accomplish what they would've at Revolution.

It certainly doesn't help that their opponents in the finals are FTR, as it feels like the feud is a few years too late with how cooled off Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood feel as though they've become. It would've been much more exciting back then, but now it feels like AEW is just rehashing old ideas and reviving them in an attempt to generate something new.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

GCW working with WWE is a very dangerous game

Collaboration in professional wrestling is a wonderful thing, just look at the success of both Forbidden Door pay-per-views that AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling have hosted. People love to see two worlds coming together as it opens up worlds of possibility that fans simply can't get enough of, which is why it's so exciting to see WWE getting involved with GCW over WrestleMania weekend.

For those unaware, multiple WWE stars recently performed at Josh Barnett's Bloodsport X event on April 4, while other major WWE names like CM Punk, Nia Jax, and even the company's president Nick Khan were backstage to take in the atmosphere. It's certainly cool to see WWE being so open to collaboration after decades of the company being an island that doesn't acknowledge the outside world. However, if history has taught us anything, it's that Game Changer Wrestling needs to be careful.

It wasn't long ago that WWE's goal of collaboration was less "let's bring the wrestling world together" and more "WORLD DOMINATION!!!" This started in 2017 with the introduction of "NXT UK," a brand that worked with multiple companies in the United Kingdom, but ultimately destroyed what was considered at the time a hotbed for independent wrestling. Of course, things like the Speaking Out movement and the COVID-19 pandemic didn't help it, but it's clear as day that the British wrestling scene was worse off after WWE got involved.

"NXT Europe" and "NXT Japan" are still being discussed, the latter of which may or may not have prompted all of the top companies in Japan to create United Japan Pro Wrestling as a way to stop a potential takeover of the country's wrestling landscape. GCW is just one company, and endorsement from WWE is certainly a feather in the cap for them, but if they are to potentially enter into a working relationship with the biggest company in the world, they need to make sure they know what they're getting themselves into. The business will be better off if GCW exists as its own thing with its own stars and stories, rather than a potential feeder system for WWE.

Written by Sam Palmer

WrestleMania Weekend is all about WWE now (and it's probably AEW's fault)

Leonard Cohen has a song that starts with the line "I used to be your favorite drunk, good for one more laugh, then we both ran out of luck, luck was all we ever had," and that is kinda where I'm at with the concept of "WrestleMania Weekend."

There was a time when I would watch as much wrestling as I could until I hit the wall and then I'd watch some more wrestling. "WrestleMania Weekend" was thrilling at first — independent promotions would bet big on one big show out of town, local indies would have their 15 minutes of fame, worldwide superstars like Kazuchika Okada or Will Ospreay might be in town. Maybe Hiroshi Tanahashi will show up! The thrill was feeling like the non-WWE wrestling world was converging on one place in the United States and providing a proverbial buffet of action over the course of the weekend.

In 2024, the thrill of WrestleMania Weekend can be found 52 times a year during the weekly programming of AEW, where Will Ospreay can randomly face Katsuyori Shibata with seven days' notice, and it's left the independent promotions so desperate for some kind of WrestleMania weekend hook that this year's Bloodsport event features WWE star Shayna Baszler. Joey Janela's Spring Break — named for the once indie superstar turned TV star turned indie superstar again — once used to boast talent like Ospreay and other huge names, and this year is seemingly built around Matt Cardona facing a guy who I can't legally call "Blue Kane" (but that's who he is). It seems like the WrestleMania Weekend selections get more and more random, and the ones that haven't outright offered themselves to WWE's corporate clutches feel small-time. This was probably an inevitable result of a company like AEW forming, but it's nonetheless sad to see.

The party's over, and I've landed on my feet, and I'm standing on this corner, where there used to be a street.

Written by Ross Berman

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