Welcome to the fourth edition of DraftKings Network’s The Three Count. CM Punk made a shortened appearance on Monday Night Raw, The Devil’s minions attacked MJF, Damage CTRL is showing dissension in the ranks, and Randy Orton has officially signed to SmackDown. This week, we are taking a deeper look at Randy Orton going blue, what Britt Baker can get back into the spotlight and who should come out on top of the U.S. Title tournament.
Randy Orton has taken his talents to Friday night. He is on the hunt for revenge over the Bloodline, but what do you think this means for the Viper going forward?
Orton has so much heat right now he can do whatever he wants. His revenge angle on the Bloodline is great because we know Roman Reigns will only be on SmackDown for a handful of shows before the Royal Rumble. I don’t know if Orton will face Reigns at the Rumble, but even if he loses, it’s an easy story to tell with his dishing out RKO’s outta nowhere for a month.
Looking long term, I really want Orton to have another title run. There’s no telling how much he has left in him after the near career-ending injury. I don’t think that he is the one to defeat Reigns, but the idea of Orton turning on Cody if he wins the title at ‘Mania? Well, that’s SummerSlam already set. - Teddy Ricketson, Staff Writer
I think Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns is etched in stone for the Royal Rumble and that’s a hell of a match to go with for one of your biggest shows of the year. We haven’t seen these two wrestle each other one-on-one on ppv since SummerSlam 2014 and it provides Reigns with one more fresh, marquee matchup before his title reign ends at Wrestlemania. I’m with Teddy in that I think longterm, Orton vs. Rhodes is a feud that can carry Smackdown through the summer of next year. By this time next year, we may see the Viper in the midst of his last run as world champion. - Nick Simon, Staff Writer
Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, was outspoken this week over the lack of promo time. What do you want to see her do next to elevate the AEW’s women’s division?
Is it bad to just say, anything? We have seen Baker take a backseat to elevate others around her, and she has been phenomenal. Whether it is injury or something else that has her not featured in the division, hopefully, it changes soon. There are plenty of opponents for her with the rise of Julia Hart and Toni Storm. Baker can manage someone in a debut if she is injured, but she needs to be featured more regularly and was valid in her complaints. - Teddy Ricketson
People have been pointing out the lack of promo time the women get on the show for years and Baker is just now getting around to speaking up about it because its her not being featured. Where was this energy when her contemporaries like Jamie Hayter were getting shafted in that category? Baker has a very close relationship with Tony Khan and as a leader, she needs to be more vocal and demanding of how the women’s division is presented. Khan has shown that he does not value or care about this matter and he will continue to not care unless someone presses him on it. Step up dentist. - Nick Simon
Logan Paul is a man after Tony Khan’s heart, creating an 8-man tournament to name a No. 1 contender for his United States title. Who are you hoping emerges as the No. 1 contender?
There are a lot of intriguing matchups that can come out of this tourney. It feels like it won’t be Austin Theory or Grayson Waller, but there is an interesting trio forming. I think Karrion Kross is a fall guy early on, and Santos Escobar/Dragon Lee are mixed up in their own storyline already. I feel like it is going to be Kevin Owens, but if you want to give Bron Breakker a catapult to the main roster, having him be the mystery NXT competitor and picking up some wins, including unseating Paul is a great start to his main roster career. My vote is Owens, the hope is Breakker. - Teddy Ricketson
This is an interesting tournament and adds some juice to Smackdown’s midcard to close the year. I think Kevin Owens vs. Logan Paul is a lock in the near future, so I’m gonna go with KO to get the job done here. It makes sense as this is a heel-heavy tournament and you need a good babyface foil for Paul. As far as the mystery NXT competitor goes, I’ll predict either Wes Lee or Tyler Bate. Lee could be in line for a call up anytime soon, depending on how his match against Dominik Mysterio goes at Deadline. Meanwhile, Bate is a guy who quite frankly, has been in NXT for way too long and has no purpose there anymore. Call him up already. - Nick Simon
Bonus: Will Wardlow ever figure out a hairstyle that works?
Nope. -Teddy Ricketson
Buddy was having a bad hair day last week, so he’ll figure it out. But, people have pointed out that his messed up hair looked like someone who had just taken off a mask. Hmmmm - Nick Simon