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Heel Turns: Shocking news about Reigns

Posted by Achilles Heel On October 27

This was supposed to be a week to feature the elevation of women’s wrestling. WWE’s Evolution, an all-women’s event, takes place Sunday. Unfortunately, the women have been pushed off the front page, so to speak, but the shocking news about Roman Reigns.

Reigns, who held the WWE Universal Championship, revealed Monday that he is battling leukemia.

Reigns also revealed that this isn’t his first bout with leukemia. He said that he was first diagnosed with leukemia 11 years, but put the cancer into remission in relatively quick fashion.

The news was shocking. There have been champions who have relinquished their titles before, but not for this reason. Shawn Michaels gave up the title when he “lost his smile;” Batista gave up a championship at Wells Fargo Center in 1996 due to injury; Daniel Bryan was stripped of the WWE Championship due to a neck injury and gave up the Intercontinental Championship one year later due to career-threatening concussion-related issues; and Edge gave up the World Heavyweight Championship due to his career-ending neck injury.

The Edge and Bryan situations seem closest to what is happening with Reigns. Bryan’s career was in serious jeopardy, and Edge’s career was over. But having your career in jeopardy isn’t the same thing as having your life in jeopardy.

In Reigns’ emotional speech at the start of Monday’s Raw, he insisted this wasn’t a retirement speech. He insisted that he will be coming back to regain the WWE Universal Championship.

The Greek God of Wrestling sends his thoughts and prayers to Reigns as he battles this deadly disease in the hope that his statement comes true.


EVOLUTION IS HISTORY: In a normal week, WWE’s “Evolution,” an all-women’s pay-per-view on Sunday (7 p.m.) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island would have been the biggest story. It’s not an exaggeration to refer to Evolution as a historic event.

There are two women’s championship matches. Ronda Rousey defends the Raw Women’s Championship against Nikki Bella. There’s no reason for Bella, even with help from sister Brie, to win the championship.

The other women’s title match, Becky Lynch defending the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair, should be the best match on the card. Their match is a “last woman standing match,” which means it should be given plenty of time. There are several ways WWE could go with this match. With fans continuing to cheer Lynch after her heel turn, Charlotte could turn heel in this match to capture the title. Another possibility is that Charlotte wins, only to have Lynch attack her again after the match, making Lynch look like a sore loser in an attempt to cement her heel credentials.

There is a six-woman tag team match, with Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya meeting The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan). The old guard should win this match, but Achilles Heel wouldn’t be surprised if Riott pulled off the upset, pushing her into title contention for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Speaking of contenders, there will be a battle royal, with the winner getting a future women’s championship match. Participants include Asuka, Naomi, Nia Jax, Carmella, Ember Moon, Maria Kanellis and Zelina Vega, as well as past stars such as Alundra Blayze, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Ivory and Molly Holly.

Unfortunately, an injury has knocked Alexa Bliss out of a tag team match against WWE legends Trish Stratus and Lita, leaving Mickie James and Alicia Fox as the opponents. Stratus and Lita should have a triumphant return.

NXT Women’s champion Kairi Sane defends her title against former champion Shayna Baszler. These two met in the finals of the first Mae Young Classic, so it’s fitting that the finals of this year’s Mae Young Classic, with Toni Storm facing Io Shirai, will also take place at Evolution.

The first half hour of Evolution will also be available on Twitter. If you want to see history being made, check out WWE’s Evolution this Sunday.


SHE DESERVES IT: The Greek God of Wrestling has consistently offered praise for WWE trainer Sara Amato, better known by her ring name: Sara Del Rey. I have heaped praise on Amato for her role in dramatically improving the quality of women’s wrestling in WWE; therefore, it’s nice to see WWE give her some public recognition on its Web site with a video entitled “Meet the driving force behind WWE’s Women’s Evolution.”


ALDIS REGAINS TITLE: As expected, Nick Aldis regained the NWA Heavyweight Championship from Cody Rhodes in a two-out-of-three-falls match at the NWA’s 70th Anniversary on Sunday. The show, however, was plagued by technical issues, particularly with relation to the audio.


IMPACT CAPTURES TITLE: Johnny Impact captured the Impact Wrestling World Championship at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view, defeating Austin Aries in the main event. Impact has already defended his title on Impact Wrestling, but how many people are watching it? With the move to 10 p.m. on Pop TV, fewer than 100,000 people were watching, according to The Wrestling Observer.


AMBROSE TURNS HEEL: Achilles Heel was waiting for Dean Ambrose to turn heel. On the night that Roman Reigns revealed he had leukemia, it would be dastardly for Ambrose to turn on his Shield brothers. So when the main event was announced as Ambrose and Seth Rollins challenging Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler for the Raw Tag Team Championships, the opportunity was perfect for Ambrose to turn on Rollins.

But then Ambrose and Rollins won the tag team titles. It was a sentimental ending to a show that opened with Reigns’ emotional speech.

And then it happened. Ambrose attacked Rollins. And then he attacked him again. And again. It was a beautifully executed heel turn, adding a surprising element even for those of us who were expecting it.


CROWN JEWEL IN SAUDI ARABIA: WWE has decided to keep “Crown Jewel” in Saudi Arabia despite controversy surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who writes for the Washington Post. After initial denials, Saudi Arabia has admitted Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, although significant questions remain surrounding the circumstances of his death.

Crown Jewel, which takes place Friday (noon). features a battle between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship vacated by Roman Reigns. With Lesnar transitioning back to UFC, Strowman seems like the logical choice to capture the crown.

Shawn Michaels is coming out of retirement to reform Degeneration X with Triple H. Their opponents are Undertaker and Kane, with this match being set up by the attack by the Brothers of Destruction after Triple H defeated Undertaker at Super Showdown in Australia.

The match that could steal the show is the WWE Championship match, with AJ Styles defending against Daniel Bryan. The Greek God of Wrestling thinks the audience reaction to this match would be better in the United States.

There is also an eight-man World Cup Tournament. There are reports that John Cena will pull out of the tournament. That still leaves Seth Rollins, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz in a star-studded tournament. At his age, I don’t know that Angle can effectively wrestle three matches in one night. Rollins is the logical winner, but Dean Ambrose may get involved and cost him the match. That leaves Orton, Hardy and Mysterio as the most logical winners, although the tournament is wide open.

Crown Jewel also features a return match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, with Cesaro and Sheamus defending against The New Day.


GAME OF TAG: With Dean Ambrose turning heel, it will be interesting to see what happens to the Raw Tag Team Championship. Will the feuding Ambrose and Seth Rollins be forced to defend the titles or will the titles be vacated. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler could regain the titles, but Achilles Heel would love to see The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) back in the picture. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) capture the titles.


HONOR IN PHILLY: Ring of Honor’s final show of 2015 will take place at 2300 Arena on Dec. 15 (6 p.m.). Tickets are on sale for the show, which comes one day after Final Battle in New York.


MJF RETAINS: Maxwell Jacob Friedman successfully defended the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship against David Starr at “Better than our Best,” but Eddie Blackwater was not successful, losing the CZW Wired Television Championship to Jordan Oliver.

Oliver will defend his newly won title against Andrew Everett at “Night of Infamy” on Sat., Nov. 10 at the Colossal Sports Academy at The Coliseum in Voorhees. CZW legend Masada will also appear at Night of Infamy.


HATFIELD DEFENDS: Dasher Hatfield, who became interim Grand Champion after Mark Angelosetti, his partner in The Throwbacks, broke his fibula during a first-round match King of Trios, will defend the title again Saturday (Oct. 27) against Sloan Caprice at La Loteria Letal at The Wrestle Factory (3 p.m.). There also will be a tag team tournament with randomly selected partners.

Boomer Hatfield, Dasher’s son, will be in action on Sun., Oct. 7 at Hour of Power at the Wrestle Factory. Boomer will face Sloan Caprice. In other announced matches, Thief Ang will battle Volgar, and Officer Warren Barksdale faces Frantik. Six days later, CHIKARA returns to The Wrestle Factory for the wonderfully titled “Piano Lessons Can be Murder.”


GARGANO TURNS: Johnny Gargano has been revealed as the individual who attacked Aleister Black. It makes sense in terms of the story line, but Achilles Heel isn’t convinced that Gargano will be a good heel.


SLATER DIES: Condolences to the friends and family of Dick Slater, who died last week. Slater was a top heel in the Southern territories and had a short stint in WWE.


GRAND NIGHT: The 1,000th episode of Smackdown was a fun night. Among the former wrestlers returning, special mention goes to the Evolution reunion and Edge, who hosted “The Cutting Edge” with Becky Lynch. And let’s not forget Rey Mysterio, who defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to earn a spot in the World Cup Tournament.

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