Many wrestlers (Usos, Seth Rollins, Neville, Kevin Ownes) use the splash from the top rope and react the same way every time, grabbing the ribs. When is a move too risky to keep using?
I could see why you think this but most of the time the wrestlers are just selling the impact of the move. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't tickle, but there are actually very few injuries that occur from the Frog Splash. There are plenty of other moves that are riskier and injure more people. Right now the hot topic debate is whether or not the Buckbomb Seth Rollins uses should be banned or not. It was the move that caused injuries to both Finn Balor and Sting. There are those that argue the move should be banned and there are those that say no move should be banned, but if you're going to do it do it right.
It seems like the General Managers are irrelevant given the 'Commissioners' appear with them every time, all the time. Do you think the constant appearance of the Commissioners is rendering the General Managers' role insignificant/irrelevant?
It certainly seems that the General Manager role has been strictly for audience appeal in the last few weeks. This reader actually went on to complain about Stephanie McMahon's current role, but, ironically, I think Raw is doing a better job of utilizing their GM than Smackdown. Think about how many times we've seen Mick Foley doing his own thing on Raw. I can count several off the top of my head both backstage and in-ring. We still see Steph, but I wouldn't expect her or Shane to vanish off TV entirely. On the flip side, whenever we see Daniel Bryan we see Shane also. It's very rare to see one without the other. It's also interesting to note that while Smackdown promised it would be more about the wrestlers and less about the authority members, Shane and Daniel have been in the opening segment every Smackdown in one way or another. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that General Managers are irrelevant, but I certainly think that WWE could do a better job of spacing them away from the Commissioners a bit more to really show off their strength as an authority figure. It should be a bigger deal when Shane or Steph step in.
In your opinion, how do you bring prestige to the WWE Universal Championship? As of right now, it's just a leather strap with some jewelry and no pedigree behind it. How would you solve that and turn it into something Superstars want to fight over and something that fans respect?
This is definitely an uphill battle for WWE. The first problem the new championship has is that they went with the name Universal Championship. It just doesn't sound very good and many thought it was a lazy choice for a name. WWE could have gone with something simple like World Champion and let Smackdown be home to the WWE Champion. Instead, they tried something new and it didn't pan out how they wanted. Then they decided to create an entirely new belt instead of bringing back the big gold belt design (one that already had prestige). A new design isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the design that they went with was not good. The reused the WWE Championship design and made the whole thing an ugly red color. Fans saw this as lazy and rejected it. Now WWE has a new championship for their flagship show, the championship that's supposed to be "the" title in WWE, and fans hate the sound and look of it. How do they add prestige to it? Well outside of a renaming and redesigning they are going to need to push it as the end all be all. They need a long championship reign from whoever wins tonight's Fatal Four Way and the champion needs solid victories. The old expression "the man makes the title, the title doesn't make the man" needs to hold true here more than ever. Going back to this title being the end all be all, it needs to main event every single event possible. The champion needs to open and close shows, he needs to be the last match at Pay Per Views, even over Lesnar, Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena, everyone and anyone! They need to drill home that this title is the highest prize in the WWE and even challenging for the title is a huge honor. To give it prestige, the Universal Championship can't be treated like just another title. Finally, if WWE has the courage to do it, I'd have the Universal Champion beat Brock Lesnar. It's a perfect way to transfer all the momentum Lesnar has into the Champion AND Championship. WWE already messed up the name, the look, and they put it on before Lesnar/Orton and the US title. Let's see if they can dig themselves out of the hole they've dug.
Who would you have win the Fatal Four Way Universal Championship match tonight?
Our very own Justin Watry did a great article that's worth checking out on the subject. Definitely a good read. To sport the question I'll do a quick breakdown of each man in the match tonight and give my answer at the end.
First is Big Cass, he's new but has a ton of potential. Right now, Cass and Enzo are a pretty hot team in the WWE and have a ton of momentum going forward, even after losing to Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens at SummerSlam. I wouldn't put the strap on Cass right now because it's just too early for him. Though he held his own pretty well as a singles wrestler when Enzo was hurt, they'd need to establish him more as a singles guy before having him win the big one. Like I said above the Universal Champion needs it's best foot forward.
Next, we have Roman Reigns, a guy who, for all intents and purposes, should be able to win the championship and give it that prestige it needs. Roman has everything a great champion needs and is a great worker. The only reason I wouldn't strap Roman right now is that the crowd isn't behind him and the last thing WWE needs is Roman getting booed out of the building again, this time holding a belt that people already don't like much. There can't be an association between that heat that Roman gets right now and the Universal Championship. Roman will hold the Universal Championship in the future, but right now it's too soon off his "de-push" and the crowd will reject it.
Third, we have Seth Rollins. Seth is the easy choice to go with here, and that's part of why I don't want him to win it. Logically, you'd have to question having Rollins go under to Dean, twice, and then to Finn, only to win the title tonight. Yes, Seth is absolutely one of, if not THE, best on Raw right now, but Seth has been in the title picture for a very long time. Think about it, he was WWE champion for nearly a year when he was injured, then he returned and was right back in it. He actually won the title for a few minutes before Dean Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and won, then was immediately placed into the Universal Championship picture. Seth is without question a main eventer and probably a no-brainer for the WWE Hall of Fame already. With that said, I'd like to see what Seth can do outside the championship picture.
That leads us to our last contender, Kevin Owens. I think Owens is the right time right place guy to win. Owens has been killing it since he first got called up to the main roster and is arguably the best heel WWE has right now. On top of being able to carry a promo like it's nothing, Owens can carry a match with the same leisure. Owens is the perfect guy to win the championship and have a good face "chase" the championship. The important thing about Owens is that he can win a match and look dominant doing it, or he can win looking like a slimeball. It's important to have a heel who can do both. It wouldn't be hard for Owens to be in two, three, or even four segments a night without growing boring or dull. Owens has a natural charisma that could easily carry Raw and give prestige to the new Universal Championship. That's why Owens is my pick to win.