WWE

The Miz and Charlotte are ready for the 2016 WWE Draft

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The fate of the WWE roster will be determined Tuesday night at the 2016 WWE Draft.

For the first time since 2002, the authority figures for both Raw and SmackDown will stand on stage and announce their picks as two separate rosters will be created by the end of the night. It’s an exciting time for every wrestling fan due to the unpredictable nature of the draft, but is it exciting for the performers who have no idea what to expect on Tuesday night?

“Everyone is nervous. Your life changes,” The Miz told NBC Sports.

“I am excited. It’s another opportunity to raise the bar for the women and maybe main event a Pay-Per-View,” says Charlotte.

In terms of draft experience, Charlotte is a rookie, but The Miz is a veteran. The current Intercontential Champion has been drafted three times in his career (‘07,’09, ’10), which means he understands just how significant the 2016 draft is.

“This one feels extra special because we haven’t done it in so long. Every superstar wants to compete; every wrestler wants to have the best ratings,” he said.

So what show does The Miz want to compete on?

“I want the best competition no matter what show it is.”

Charlotte echoed a similar sentiment when asked the same question.

“Whatever show I get drafted to, I want to make it the best show.”

If Charlotte is going to make her show the best show, she’s going to have to do it with a thin roster of talent. Out of the 52 names eligible to be drafted, only 10 are women and only seven out of those 10 women have received television time over the past few months.

In my mock draft, I wondered if it would be better for the women’s roster to be exclusive to Raw. With the extra hour of television that needs to be filled every week, it would be beneficial for the women to grow as performers because they would have additional time to tell their stories.

“I definitely thought about that and I think that would be great, but I don’t see them only having women on one show,” Charlotte said when I proposed this idea to her.

If the WWE is going to have women on both shows, does this mean the women’s champion is going to have to pull double duty and bounce back and forth between Raw and SmackDown Live?

“I would absolutely like to work both brands, but I have no idea what’s going to happen,” she said.

Charlotte did mention that the “new talents [from NXT] will add a lot” and she’s absolutely right. The addition of performers such as Bayley, Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax…

(Yes, the sound you heard was the collective groan of the Internet. I think she will be just fine on the main roster, but creative needs to be careful with her early on.)

…will give the women’s roster a shot in the arm, but there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered on Tuesday night regarding the future of the women’s championship.

There is one question that we already have an answer to: how important is Tuesday night for every performer in the WWE?

The Miz said it best, “this is a career changer.”

I suppose that is why he’s awesome.

Twitter: @ScottDargis

WWE’s Kairi Sane wants to make women feel strong

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Kairi Sane became the inaugural Mae Young Classic winner after defeating Shayna Baszler in the final match of the tournament last night in Las Vegas.

I had the chance to speak with her about winning the tournament, her world famous elbow drop, and the differences between working in front of a Japanese crowd versus and American crowd.

Note: The interview was done through a translator

Me: What went through your mind as you stood in the ring as the first-ever winner of the Mae Young Classic?

Kairi: “I was very proud of myself to be there as one of the finalists. It was surprising that I made it so far. I felt nervous, but it was such a happy day for me.”

What made you want to peruse a career in professional wrestling?

“To help become a professional athlete, what’s been very important for me is my audience. They are there for me, watching me perform and I want to give them courage, challenge and then my vitality if possible, especially in this tournament.

My female fans, they touch my heart all of the time and I want to give them the message that women are strong.”

Your elbow drop has become world famous, how did you come up with such a unique variation of a move that’s been around forever?

“I’ve been doing this for about six years now and at first the diving elbow drop did not work. I got injured and it wasn’t my finisher at first, but the move was important to me. I wanted to win using my elbow, so now it has become my form. It’s my favorite thing to do when I perform.”

What are some differences between working in front of an American audience as opposed to a Japanese audience?

“I have to say American fans make me happier. I love their reactions. It’s very exciting and fun. It’s as if they’re fighting together with me.”

How has the world of acting helped you in the world of wrestling?

“It’s relevant because when I perform as a professional athlete, it’s very important to me that I encourage my audience and fans by giving them the vitality I have. I believe that’s my role. For example, my facial expressions will show if I’m happy and having fun or if I’m disappointed. I want to make sure that my audience sees those expressions.”

Twitter: @ScottDargis 

Six kids get once in a lifetime experience by transforming into WWE superstars

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If you’ve watched WWE programming in September you likely noticed numerous superstars wearing Connor’s Cure T-shirts and pins:

 

 

Once again WWE is teaming up with The V Foundation through Connor’s Cure to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

Six children at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh had the opportunity to live out a dream by creating their own character and making an entrance in front of a live crowd. Lance “The Tumornator” even called out The Miz!

I know before I go any further that some will think that this is just an #ad for the company and it’s not. I could have passed on writing this, but seeing these kids light up by becoming WWE superstars while hanging out with the likes of Stephanie McMahon, Finn Balor, Alexa Bliss and The Miz and Maryse is heartwarming and will bring a smile to your face.

Here’s some more information:

To assist fund raising efforts for Connor’s Cure, WWE produced a limited-edition Connor’s Cure Collection featuring t-shirts, pins and the original Connor’s Cure bracelet. The Connor’s Cure t-shirts were created in partnership with apparel company Represent and will be available for purchase through WWEShop.com. 100 percent of net proceeds from sales of Connor’s Cure merchandise will directly benefit pediatric cancer research through The V Foundation’s grant-making process.”