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    • Smackdown has been pretty bad as of late, especially with this whole dog crap thing. As this is the go home show to TLC, I am hoping it will be a good one. But as I said I don’t expect much. Honestly I wished they shoes more in the preview, and just not stuff I don’t care about, because maybe then I would be into looking at Smackdown tonight. 
    • The Women’s Tag Team Championships have been in good hands of recent times. Asuka and Sane have really made three titles prestigious in some ways. I’m hoping their title reign lasts a little bit longer, but I see Becky and Flair holding those titles very soon. 
    • This thought came to mind recently while reading through the old lineage of the WWF Women's Tag Team Championship. About how at chosen times throughout the companies existence they might create a championship that in all sense is equal to one they've had previously but they start the lineage new for various reasons. Obviously the first cut and dry answer is WWE creates a new belt for the reasons such as it gives them a platform to showcase and legitimise the newer talent while also disassociating from the bad parts of the older belts' lineages. But does the bad outweigh the good? In the past it's been an odd situation with the belts that any time they have had to make a new one for the other either brand or during the periods where the brands ceased to exist and they formed two championship in to one, the fans in the know of the history can always feel the lack of lineage behind the new belts but with the right booking they will quickly feel "caught up" and for new fans they feel they're watching history as WWE is able to without relative ease compared to the past create moments. WWE achieved this well in 2002 with the WWE Tag Team Championships that were introduced for the Smackdown Brand being placed on top-tier talents like Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. Again in 2016 with the return of the brand split what was introduced were new Smackdown Tag Team Championships with another fresh lineage. It wasn't long before they were on a main eventer, this time in the form of Randy Orton during his time with The Wyatt Family. Another prominent example is the returning Cruiserweight Championship in 2016. The lineage of the original championship can be traced to WCW in 1991 and then when the company was bought by the WWE, so did the rights to the belt and WWE continued with it until in 2007 when they discontinued the title entirely after its relevancy on television dwindled. In 2016 a whole new Cruiserweight Championship lineage was introduced due to the Cruiserweight Classic tournament and that belt is still used to this day which opened the door again tot he question, despite the new design will the lineage continue? Fans split down the middle as to if it should or shouldn't (at least at the time of the news and now everyone has mostly moved on.) On one hand the opinion of nobody should be torn up about disassociating with a title that includes Hornswoggle, Daffney, Ed Ferrara, and Madusa as former champions. While on the other you have some of the greatest cruiserweights to associate with by holding the same championship they once did. One of the newest additions to the WWE programming are the WWE Women's Tag Title Championships which in the next few weeks will be reaching their one year anniversary and over the last few months have finally reached a level of relevance and consistency many hoped it would when first won by Banks & Bayley last year. Looping around to the opening of this subject it might be good to take a look at the first era of WWE Women's tag team champions. Back when WWWF was a part of the NWA, Vince McMahon Snr booked the NWA World Women's Tag Team Titles. Technically the NWA World Women's Tag Team titles were created in the 1950's, but after the collapse of Women's wrestling in that era the belts were forgotten. Vince McMahon Snr and The Fabulous Moolah rebooted the women's tag team division in 1970 with the first champions of that era being The Fabulous Moolah and Toni Rose. After some shenanigans with the title lineage (ha), the first long term champions became Toni Rose and Donna Christanello.   When Vince McMahon Jr bought the Fabulous Moolah's NWA World Women's Championship, he also bought the NWA World's Women tag team Championships alongside it. Unlike the NWA World Women's title, the NWA never recognised another set of Women Tag Team Champions, and the NWA linage lead cleanly directly into the WWF lineage, allowing current champions Princess Victoria and Velvet McIntyre to continue their reign similar to Moolah.  One of the big questions when the news of the return championship concept was if the six year history under the WWF name would continue on similar to tag team championships in the past or if it would start anew. A question that was quickly answered  through online news and on screen talent - with Sasha Banks going out of her way to acknowledge teams such as The Jumping Bomb Angels in the process but again a new history was started. This one possibly more reasonable given the length of time and company change. This partially reminds me of a conversation i started a while ago of Sports vs. Entertainment. Where the reboots of certain accolades come into play. Over the history of the company there have been many instances of company championship history being halted, started and selectively chosen to continue which is within their right as the promotion but as a fan how do you feel about the process? Has there been an instance where you've been disappointing that a lineage had been stopped just for the company to start anew with a similar championship or do you feel the pros of the choices far out weigh anything else?
    • Arius - Black Rin Akane - Emerald KENJI - Crimson Returning from a commercial break, the titantron of Carnage transitions to the opening black screen of a pre-taped segment. The scene fades into view of an expansive mansion estate in the countryside, it's brick chimneys impaling into the fading light of the clouds as the evening. The camera pans down from a high-up angle of the estate to a man walking up the long driveway wearing a dark red suit. His dark hair holds the signature small green highlights of KENJI, small glimpses of a yellow mustard dress suit collar poking out from his crimson red jacket as he reaches the porch. From his stance and how his arm is positioned, he is holding something obscured from view. As he approaches the large door, his expression changes to one of slight bemusement as the door dramatically opens by itself, with nobody on the other side. After a moment's pause, KENJI steps through the doorway into the dark mansion. He walks through the dark hallway towards the one origin of light through what seems to be an archway into a sitting room. KENJI enters the room slowly, his eyes adjusting to the now well-lit room he was occupying. He stifles a sigh as he isn't greeted by his tag team partner, but rather his director, Rin Akane. She approaches with what seems to be an equally withheld sigh as she sees him, the restrained look on her face becomes a lot less so when she sees that KENJI is holding the North American Championship on his arm. Nonetheless, she bottles the frustration to welcome their guest. Rin Akane: ".....KENJI.....Welcome to the Arius Estate....I trust that you found the place well enough.....Dinner will not be served for a little bit, and Arius is.....somewhere, regrettably he could not welcome you himself..." KENJI: "Oh, don't apologise, I'm sure that Arius is very busy man. A champion has to do what they have to do..." KENJI smirks slightly as he draws slight attention to the championship he holds at Rin, much to her chagrin. There is clearly some underlying tension between the two as they're mainly engaging in the pleasantries to avoid the snipes and jabs, although KENJI seems to revel in the fact that Rin takes umbrage with his presence here. KENJI notices a Ghoul standing stoically in the corner of the room, most likely stationed there to answer Arius' and Rin's beck and call. The North American Champion steps very close to the Ghoul in attempt to make them flinch, or react in anyway. However, it is is vain. KENJI taps his finger against the forehead of the Ghoul's mask before turning back to Ms. Akane. KENJI: "You know what? I really think that we've gotten off on the wrong foot. I know that given the past, you don't trust me, and that's ok.....But, have you ever been in the ring, Ms. Akane? When you find someone that resonates in such a way, even though Arius defeated me, I have unequal respect for him. And together we can bring not only the Clapspiracy Tag Tournament, but also the Tag Team Championships here. The way I see it, the North American Championship is back on home soil, even when I stand here. Yes, I may hold the title your client once held. Yes, I wanted to win this title from Arius. But the past is the past, I don't see a reason why we should either shy away or obsess over it. In the now, right now as I stand here, Invictus are ironclad. Arius earned my respect on June 14th as that final bell rang. And while I can't speak for his own voice, but I'd like to think that since winning this North American Championship, that respect is reciprocated. Also, believe it or not, I do respect you.....Without your guidance who knows if Arius would have found the success that he enjoys.....However, it is fun to see that get a certain reaction from you...". KENJI holds out his hand for a handshake with the Director. Hesitantly, Rin is about to respond when KENJI is suddenly thumped on the back by an emerging Arius, standing behind the North American Champion with a gracious, but enigmatic smile on his face. The now black-straped Intercontinental Title belt over his shoulder.  Arius: "How enthralling, two disparate forces on the verge of treaty. We often find the one's we are closest with on the other side of the line, but now, Invictus have removed the line. I am glad to see you here, KENJI. The invitation make have been for dinner, but I have a fun experiment I'd like to perform. If you could participate, it would be appreciated". Arius turns and guides KENJI through the the adjacent room which is more elongated and empty, a large space in the centre of the room is purposefully sparse. Arius: "Have you ever sparred, KENJI? And not in the wrestling sense......" The Revenant glides over to where a ghoul is standing next to what seems to be a medieval weapons rack. KENJI furrows his brow in curiosity. He and Rin watch as Arius browses the plethora of weaponry at his disposal, a slight glint in his eye as his hand grazes the pommel of a middle ages broadsword! Much to the relief of KENJI, Arius' long gaze at the absurdly large blade turns to something more manageable, opting for a fencing rapier. He throws one to KENJI, who precariously catches it with a slight fumble, juggling the North American Championship in the other hand. He places the title on a chair in the corner of the room and walks back to Arius, who is already brandishing his own rapier, eagerly awaiting his opponent. KENJI sighs in relief as he lightly presses his finger to the point of the rapier, luckily they are dulled blades for sparring, avoiding the event that of being skewered by his tag team partner. KENJI: "Not exactly what I was expecting when I walked through the door.....but I suppose this might be somewhat normal here....Be warned, Arius, I haven't done this before, so try not to destroy my suit". Arius says nothing and motions for the dual to start. They tentatively feel each other out with slight movements of their blades, only for KENJI to exclaim at the feeling of the blade striking his arm. Rin can't help but grin a little as this occurs a handful of times more, seeing KENJI hopelessly spar with Arius. KENJI: "Ok, you're the superior fencer. I almost get the impression that you've done this before". Arius: "Not quite the point I was going for, but yes. For us to prevail in the next round of the Tag Tournament, this little revisiting of our match in this form is good. Now...." Arius clicks his fingers as two Ghouls carrying their own rapiers enter the room, while Arius moves to stand beside KENJI. Interestingly, one ghouls is wearing a black suit and a white mask, the other in a white suit with a black mask. Arius: "We were, and still are, singles competitors. As were our opponents in round one, and as are Bailey and Slim, represented by my wonderful volunteers here. We may have the unity advantage, but these men are not to be taken lightly, even when they're at each at one another's throats. One is content to blaze through the tag tournament on their lonesome like a tornado, the other has the more pressing matter of the Undisputed Championship. So, KENJI. I wonder how we fair in this makeshift contest". KENJI: "They're two of the all time greats, but just look at how volatile they are. Sure, that combustion is powerful, but an explosion doesn't last as long as a fire. I'm surprised that they managed the first round without costing each other the match, or some other juvenile scheme. Last time we defeated a man that might be challenging for my championship, they were united. Is it strange that I worry about this match more? Animosity and rivalry is good, but that contempt might even galvanise some morbid need for them to reach the summit together.....it's impossible to read them when both heads wish to tear the other one asunder...." Rin Akane: "One start might be to not be so doubtful of your team. If they're on the verge of self-destruction, and could use that to their advantage as you say, then they will surely prey upon your doubt, KENJI. Doubt seeded by their tenure in the company, their stature in the industry...." KENJI turns to Rin with a raised eyebrow, a little taken aback. KENJI: "Their long list of accolades doesn't concern me in the slightest. I went into Survival Games as the one with the most to prove, and it paid off for me. What I worry about, is that regardless of their vitriol, Bailey and Slim are walking the fine line between fizzling out, or burning the whole tournament down with them....." To be Continued..... (Planned Response)

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