WrestleZone Forum Files #1: So Two Trios Walk Onto The Main Roster

Discussion in '[Hidden] General Wrestling Discussion' started by klunderbunker, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Welcome! If you're here, there's a good chance you got here from WrestleZone.com. Every so often, we'll be posting a new topic for discussion here on the WrestleZone Forums and you'll get to see the best responses on the site. If you come back here (either via the link on WrestleZone.com or hopefully by just checking around the Forums as a regular member), you can respond to the answers already given or give your own take.

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    First Topic: So Two Trios Walk Onto The Main Roster.

    Two weeks ago, a pair of female trios debuted on the Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live rosters. Raw saw the returning Paige and the debuting Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville while Smackdown added Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, all from NXT. The two new groups have targeted various members of the rosters and sent to want to take over the divisions.

    Discuss whatever you like about the groups. It could be anything (but certainly not limited to):


  2. ABMorales787

    ABMorales787 Lord And Master
    Staff Member Administrator

    Sep 18, 2009
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    One of the downsides of the brand split, since days past is the tendency for one show to mirror the other. Survivor Series 2008 probably being it's ultimate example with identical main events. This past week saw something similar with these two new female groups. The pale, goth lead. The blonde beauty and the brunette brawler. You'd think WWE saw the Powerpuff Girls or something. Now it may not be the best way to debut two groups, hell its actually pretty lousy when you get down to it. Constantly drawing parallels to one another. But it was an effective way to load up both female divisions in one quick go.

    Raw has run roughshod over its list of women as possible stars and while discussing how they've squandered the star potential of pretty much all of them is something for another day, the bottom line is that despite having more women than Smackdown, it was a thin line up. While Smackdown was able to keep most its women looking like legit competitors, there's only so many 5-Way Contender's matches you can do before it gets old. And it was already getting old. Both brands needed new names quick. Bringing up two identical groups may not be ideal for said groups, but it was effective in restocking the rosters and adding new layers of intrigue.

    Raw has "Absolution". Like that ship from Toonami. Led by the returning Paige. This week they've set their goals. This group is firmly about Paige and establishing her with two associates who seemingly worship her at her side. On the other hand, you have "The Riott Squad". Cringe inducing name aside, while Ruby Riott is clearly the leader because of her experience, they act more as a trio rather than a leader and two followers. There's a collective ideal behind them. Where as Absolution is the ideal of one person.

    This second week has also added a second layer to them. The Absolution wants to recruit followers. Acting more like a manipulative cult that wants people to follow Paige as seen when they offered a spot to Sasha Banks and implied when they stared down Asuka and let her go. While The Riott Squad is just about hurting women. Racking up two injuries. Becky Lynch and now Naomi.

    Sure, in some respects, it feels very lazy for WWE to call up two trios (Paige aside) of women and put them into identical roles. As a matter of fact, it is lazy. But they needed these names up quick and to make an immediate impact. And judging by Smackdown taking two out it's seven available female wrestlers off TV, it seems it was crunch time on pulling the trigger on these call-ups. The two groups are starting to show diverging paths already by the second week. The goal in mind should be how different can their respective break ups be and how long will they last. Absolution can easily last for months and maybe a year, with Deville and Rose acting as direct enforcers loyal to Paige, similar to the Miztourage. Minus the comedy of course. While The Riott Squad can easily break up in a few months when the dangling carrot of the SDL Women's title is put over them. Similar to the group Natalya had with Carmella and Tamina earlier this year. In the end, it's the overall impact of each group that will determine their effectiveness and their identical debuts can easily be forgotten if the groups end in different ways. In the end, these unities came by circumstance and while WWE was pretty lazy and formulaic in how they were introduced, the two trios have the lay of the land to make the most of the opportunity. And they both seem ready to take those opportunities in different ways.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  3. Барбоса

    Барбоса doesn't know REAL wrestling...

    Oct 7, 2007
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    A bit of déjà vu with the female NXT trios… and it worked soooo well the first time with the 'Diva's Revolution'… It is all very strange.

    That is not to say that both RAW and Smackdown did not need an injection of new blood. There is only so often we can see the same four/five women having four-ways to find a new #1 Contender, many of which seem to be designed to protect as many individuals as possible, but actually allowing no one to shine.

    The concurrent debuts of two trios on the same week again demonstrate the lack of imagination in much of WWE Creative. All three brands are already awash with trios - Shield, Miztourage, New Day, Undisputed Era, Sanity and perhaps even some form of British Strong Style to come. If that bankruptcy of ideas was not bad enough, the two new female trios seem awfully similar; a cookie-cutter of (to paraphrase NorCal) "pale goth leader, pretty blonde and tough fighter." It's almost as if someone in WWE Creative watched some TFS: Dragonball Z recently and noticed the misfit minions of many a main villain - "pretty one, weird one, and big tough stupid one."

    Falkon pointed out that Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose do have a connection to Paige in that they were both contestants on Tough Enough when Paige was a judge. But are we really to believe that the only connections between these two trios is Tough Enough and NXT? Tough Enough is hardly fresh in everyone's mind and suggesting that NXT is their connection is as weak as the annual RAW/Smackdown 'we hate each other' in time for Bragging Rights or Survivor Series.

    And even if you accept the Tough Enough connection with Sonya and Mandy and they are there to make Paige dominant, it still does not take away from how strange the trio are. The development of a manipulative and expansionist almost cult-like gimmick could be interesting though and could be used to explain the misfit minions of Paige.

    Such a definition of Absolution is sorely needed as there is an even stranger "pale, pretty and tough" combination in the Riot Squad; Liv Morgan in particular sticks out as an odd choice for a heel in general, never mind a rough and tough heel team. There were certainly others down in the Performance Centre who would have been a better fit such as Jazzy 'Alpha Female' Gabert or even Nikki Cross seeing as how individuals are being promoted to the main shows before their time was up in NXT.

    There are even more logical groupings from with in the two trios as well: Liv and Rose as a Blonde Bombshell team, perhaps as back up to Alexa or Carmella (or for whenever WWE finally dump enough money on Toni Storm's doorstep). Sonya and Logan in Ruby Riot's Fight Club would have made sense too. Sure, those are a little stereotypical, but teams usually are.

    In terms of the benefits to their respective divisions, while they provide something worth focusing on, the introduction of two trios also does not solve one of the main issues with both women's divisions - the lack of depth. Sure, there are now more bodies but in the end it seems like both groups are being plugged straight into programmes in which the entirety of both rosters are involved. For the moment, the trios have not increased storyline depth as they are the focus their respective rosters.

    These needs to be something else going on for both RAW and Smackdown's ladies. While Absolution deal with Sasha/Bayley, Alexa should be defending against someone else even if it is a series of one-offs against weak opposition like Dana or Alicia, while Asuka slays the Jaxx giant; similarly on Smackdown, there should be something else going on other than defending against the attacks of Riot Squad, but that would entail someone turning face.

    With Becky off shooting a movie and Naomi seemingly shelved, there is only Charlotte as a face, with the Riot Squad only exacerbating the imbalance between heels and faces on Smackdown. We have already seen the need for Charlotte and Naomi to team with the only recently de-throned heel champion Natalya. All the while we have Carmella conveniently absent so we can forget about her in time to cash in and steal the title from Charlotte after a potentially strong feud between the champion and the Riot Squad. The imbalance is not quite so bad on RAW with Asuka, Bayley, Sasha and Mickie, but it is still not great.

    Worse still is that being in a trio for the sake of being in a trio gives the five new talents very limited room to develop and/or display any kind of character or even in the ring for as trios they may be somewhat limited to gang muggings.

    WWE also seem to have been blinded by the success that Alexa Bliss has been despite having been called up too soon and essentially having to learn on the job. How many of the five call-ups are actually ready? I would find it difficult to any of them except Ruby Riot, and I thought that she still had a good few months' worth of matches and feuds in NXT with Sane and Moon.

    So these NXT call-ups could be for a double-whammy of difficulty - too soon and not enough room to shine or develop.

    Just how many of the Nexus are still employed in the company again?

    For all that criticism, I have enjoyed the limited exposure the two teams have had so far. The surrounding of Asuka by Absolution, while stolen directly from Shield/Nexus, was at least interesting, while the Riot Squad have not been encumbered with any kind of clumsy nuance so far; they just beat people up. Unfortunately, everything the Riots do is tempered by the fact that we have just seen something very similar the night before on RAW.

    Basically, there is enough promise here to provide some interesting women's division storylines and matches and both trios are only in their early days, but there are also significant sinkholes for the whole thing to fall into dug by the errors already made in splitting the division and the odd choices, and I do not have the confidence that WWE Creative (particularly on RAW) has the ability to navigate around those sinkholes.

    On a more positive note, having watched some Jumping Bomb Angels recently, it would be nice to see Absolution, Riot Squad or even the Iconic Duo competing in a good women's tag team feud.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  4. Jack-Hammer

    Staff Member Moderator

    Mar 26, 2009
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    Allegedly, the chief reason why they were brought up, according to various reports, is that Vince thought the divisions on both brands had gotten stale. If true, then I actually agree with him though it's partially his own fault. With Raw, Alicia Fox is a dingbat, Nia Jax is about as one dimensional as it gets as far as a character goes, Sasha Banks & Bayley have had their credibility as champions shattered by recklessly stupid booking, at times, and that pretty much leaves Alexa on her own with Asuka waiting in the wings. As for SmackDown, Nattie has the charisma of a turnip, Naomi is the brand's resident smiling babyface, Becky Lynch is out filming a movie, Tamina is a massive waste of space with nothing going on, Lana can't wrestle and they're keeping Carmella on the backburner so Charlotte is pretty much all they have left.

    Right now, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville seem more like flunkies for Paige, which is fine for the time being as they're both still quite green. I do like how they haven't gone for a match right away with them. Liv Morgan has been in NXT for almost 2 years and she's okay, though nothing to brag about from what I saw. Sarah Logan is someone I've heard good things about on the indie scene but, then again, indie fans make out like damn near everybody on the indie scene is some spectacular game changer for the business.

    One thing I've noticed about both groups is that all three women from each group are so friggin' different. Paige & Ruby come off as a couple of quasi-goth chicks, though Ruby seems more genuinely inclined because of her hair style, the tattoos, etc. while Paige just has her pale skin and jet black hair. Liv Morgan, in NXT, was a peppy babyface with a touch of tomboy while Sarah Logan comes off as more of a hardcore tomboy. I felt for certain that Mandy Rose was being groomed to be the new Eva Marie, so I don't know what's going on with her now. Sonya Deville, as of right now, is basically Ken Shamrock with tits.

    I'll reserve judgment in the long run after we've seen more of what they can do, especially Rose and Deville, but it's anybody's guess right now.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  5. Mighty NorCal

    Mighty NorCal SHALL WE BEGIN?

    Dec 5, 2006
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    Everyone involved other than Piage (Maybe Riott) looks AT LEAST a year away from being ready.

    Morgan looks like a child, and the others look totally lost. I could not believe they had Mandy Rose cut that promo on the ring apron, I was just waiting for her to fall and bust her shit.

    Terrible decision all-around, especially since you have Peyton Royce and Billie Kay ready to rock, with a gimmick tailor-made to work (being snooty and thinking you are great despite no accomplishments on the main shows)
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  6. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Rear Naked Bloke

    Aug 24, 1973
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    I'm no sure something so obviously symptomatic of the problems with women's wrestling on the main roster is deserving of much analysis - i.e. it's not been very well thought out, it doesn't make a lot of sense, it wouldn't have required a lot of effort to make it work a whole lot better, and it will be of no significance in about three month's time. There is, of course, the added bonus of depriving NXT of talented wrestlers, and of depriving wrestlers who still need time to grow of NXT.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  7. FunKay the Inevitable

    FunKay the Inevitable People Like Me, We Don't Play

    May 11, 2008
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    This really seems like an unusual idea, especially if no discernible link is created between the two sets of trios. In theory it hides their weaknesses and accentuates their positives, even in Paige's case, as she is likely somewhat rusty having been on the shelf for well over a year. The most obvious example of this is the Shield; three future world champions who spent the better part of two years in one of the hottest trinities in wrestling history. Sadly reality seems to indicate this is closer to the 'Divas Revolution' angle of 2015.

    If we cast our minds back, Stephanie McMahon announced the arrival of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch all at once to take part in a bizarre trios feud involving the Bella Twins, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Tamina and of course Paige. The moment when three of the four horsewomen stormed the ring and all locked on their respective submission finishers was by far the highlight of what proved to be a poorly executed programme.

    Its issues were numerous, but most pertinent was the fact that it was, like much of WWE's micro-managed product, far too contrived and forced. What was especially frustrating was that the foundations of natural progression had been laid; Paige was being constantly outnumbered by both the Bellas, their lackey Fox and the heel tandem of Tamina & Naomi. She needed allies and who better than a squad of NXT recruits who were proven and ready for the spot.

    WWE decided against that and instead had Stephanie McMahon promote them in yet another example of her character's tendency to be an overbearing and malignant force. Battle lines were drawn out for the characters by McMahon; they were not masters of their own destiny, but pawns in a larger game, and it immediately marginalised all involved, once again stoking the already inflated ego of the powers that be, in particular Stephanie.

    And so we arrive in 2017 with a returning Paige announcing that she has returned and with yet more allies. This time she has been allowed to bring in her own comrades, but why Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville? Why two clearly undercooked performers who couldn't get screen time in NXT outside of being victims of Asuka? Why isn't Paige aligning herself with more proven commodities like Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, even Ruby Riot(t)? There is nothing to connect them as a unit. It is the same with Riot(t), Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan.

    The group consists of near identical components: One 'edgier', dark haired leader, the 'tough' one and the 'pretty' one. That just makes the parallels more obvious, especially with WWE failing to acknowledge the similarities. I personally had hoped that this was part of a larger angle where the five NXT call-ups fell under Paige's leadership to take control of WWE's Women's division as a whole, and while it may eventually be revealed as some masterplan to win a war on two fronts, I doubt its on the cards.

    As a result, what we have are two carbon copies of each other where neither trio looks like a unit, and five of the six performers look exposed, with only Paige truly looking like a worthy member of the main roster. Even Riot(t), the best of the SmackDown bunch, looked completely out of her depth last Tuesday. In practical terms, this allows NXT to introduce large swathes of signees recruited out of the Mae Young Classic and that may very well be a good thing for Wednesday nights, but it only serves to damage and expose the (lack of) credibility of Riot(t), Morgan, Logan, Deville and Rose.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  8. Rainbow Yaz

    Rainbow Yaz Sing about me, I'm dying of thirst
    E-Fed Mod

    Dec 27, 2011
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    I said I had no original views on this, I lied.

    I recently came across an ESPN article that interviewed the five NXT call ups and covered, among other things, how they feel their groups fit together. Rose and Deville talked at large about their time on the most recent incarnation of Tough Enough and how they formed a friendship through the show and their time in NXT and the Performance Center. That is all fine and well, but thus far WWE has made no mention of this or the fact that Paige served as a judge that season as well. In fact, I don't think WWE has mentioned anything about Tough Enough outside of hyping it while it was airing. The only real success story thus far from that season has been Patrick Clark, aka The Velveteen Dream, and no mention of his time there has been mentioned.

    On the Smackdown side, Riott and Logan talked about being long time friends from their days on the independent circuit, where both made decent names for themselves before putting pen to paper on a WWE contract. Again, no mention has been made thus far of the two of them both having that bond from their pre WWE days, though I'm not holding my breath. Morgan, who I feel is the biggest sore thumb among the five, mentioned she had no real connection to her trio, other than some matches with them while in NXT. While you could argue that WWE might make mention of the Tough Enough days for Absolution given that it occurred under the WWE umbrella, it seems that we may never get an explanation as to why the Riott Squad came together. While Riott, with her punk rock persona, and Logan, with her backwoods tough girl persona do at least look the part of heels who are intent on destroying a locker room, Liv and her blond hair, bright eyes, and bubbly personality further stick out as miscast. Even in a recent WWE photo shoot featuring the girls, Liv looked uncomfortable and out of place, almost as if she inadvertently walked into a grimy mosh pit outside a Hot Topic as opposed to her scheduled trip to Sephora.

    It is also worth noting in the interview that both Rose and Morgan made mention of the fact that neither of them traveled with the NXT crew for their recent trip to Houston over Survivor Series weekend, because they had no place on the televised card or the series of live shows scheduled in the area. Morgan was scheduled to put in time at the Performance Centter and Rose had to cancel travel plans she made to visit her family for the Thanksgiving holiday before they received news of the call up. It further reinforces the idea that WWE brass simply drew a few names from a hat and threw them together.

    I do try to find some positives in the situation, and while they are few and far between, they do exist. Above all, I have been a fan of Riott since she was performing in the indies under the name Heidi Lovelace, as well as Logan when she was known as Crazy Mary Dobson so getting to see them get a chance on the main roster is a treat for me. Always nice to root for a couple of gals with connections to my home state. I also like the idea that there are paths from NXT to Raw and Smackdown that don't include winning NXT gold, holding it for a couple of TakeOvers, then dropping it and debuting soon after. Riott had been in position a few times, even appearing in a triple threat for the Women's Title, but the other four girls were mostly fringe contenders, or in the case of Logan, fresh out of the Mae Young Classic and they never really had the opportunity to establish themselves in NXT. The two trios also will provide fresh blood to the already thin women's roster and should provide a few fresh match ups before we fall back into the routine of multi woman matches to determine number one contenders.

    If it were up to me, Riott would have been the only one of the five call ups who were close to the main shows. Morgan and Rose especially looked very green in my time watching them in NXT, and thus far Logan has only shown she is capable of producing a groan inducing Southern accent. That said, if WWE feel that the gals are ready for the big show, who am I to argue with a near billion dollar company? That said, this reeks of WWE's lack of creativity and foresight in regard to women's wrestling, the same division they claimed to revolutionize while continuing to beat us over the head with the same simple tropes and ideas.
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  9. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    I love the Women’s Revolution. To go from the mess we were in just a few years ago to this day when a women’s match getting ten minutes is pretty much the norm rather than something worth writing home about is a great thing. There’s real talent in the women’s division and a lot of money to be made there. That means needing to change things up a bit every now and then and that’s what’s been done on both shows.

    We’ll start over on Monday Night Raw, with the team of Absolution, consisting of Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille. There’s no secret to the fact that Paige is the star of this team with Rose having very little in-ring experience (though they had to do something with her after all the time and money pumped into her) and DeVille is more of a work in progress, though she’s much further along than Rose.

    I like the idea of bringing up the two NXT women as you can only put a fresh coat of paint on the main roster women so many times. This is a nice mix of talent with the established name in Paige, the bombshell in Rose and the enforcer in DeVille. They make for an interesting and potentially dangerous trio, especially when it wouldn’t be shocking to see someone like Paige win the Women’s Title in relatively short order.

    They also have a bunch of built in feuds, with names like Bayley, Sasha Banks, Asuka and Alexa Bliss right there for them. Let them see what they can do as a team and, once Rose and DeVille are more established names, see what they can do on their own. I’m interested in seeing where things go with these three and that’s a great feeling to have.

    On the other hand, we have the Smackdown trio of Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Aside from the slight issues I have with the two two similar sounding names, this group suffers from the problem of showing up the night after the originals. They have the same look (tattooed, dark haired leader, great looking blonde, tough brunette) and a rather similar story, which makes them feel more like a copy.

    That being said, the benefits are the same: fresh stories, fresh matches and some fresh blood in general. Riot as the leader might not be the best idea in the world but she’s definitely the best performer and most established name of the three. They’ll be fine as a whole, though I’m not sure if they’ll have the same instant success without as much of a reason to be together. Oh and Logan’s voice is going to be a major issue as she sounded rather horrible.

    Finally….my goodness the names are terrible. Absolution sounds like a perfume and Riott Squad is fine until you get to that second T. It’s going to be annoying when you have the commentators driving the names down your throat, especially when they would have been just fine as “here are these three again”.

    Overall, I really like the idea of bringing them in, though there are some rough edges to work around. That being said, they haven’t even been around for a month at this point and the good far outweighs the bad. Just don’t run them into the ground and let us have something entertaining while also avoiding the same matches over and over again. It’s a good move, though one that could stand a few tweaks.

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