We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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It’s difficult to know if it was always WWE’s plan to redo the women’s Money in the Bank match nine days after the pay-per-view in the hopes of adding viewers to an episode of SmackDown, or if their decision to do so came as a reaction to the fans who were furious at the company for the outcome of what was supposed to be a historic first for women.
What we do know, though, is that a redo is happening, and it’s happening because the non-Carmella women in the division and SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan won’t stand for having James Ellsworths’ grubby dude mitts all over their shining moment. The question now is about how WWE makes all of these last few days of decisions worth it.
There are numerous ways to screw this up — having a man stop Ellsworth from getting involved again, for instance, or accidentally turning Carmella face by having her win completely on her own that puts the appearance of a moment over her alignment and story. There are also ways to do this right, one prominently sticking out enough that you’re going to read about it now.
Carmella should win again — there’s no question of that. Her promo on Tuesday to open SmackDown, where she derided making history in favor of winning, succeeded at redirecting fan anger back at her rather than WWE’s creative team. She should build off of that promo and its attitude by cheating once again to win, only this time, she should recruit a woman to her cause instead of Ellsworth.
Going out of her way to taint her victory a second time, only using another woman as her shield by throwing the action in everyone’s face as being literally what they asked for, would bring this all to a close that allows for the visual of a woman deciding a story about women, while also making sure Carmella remains the absolute worst as a heel competitor. Who that woman could be, though, is a little tougher to figure out.
Anyone on the main roster besides a switch of Summer Rae’s brand is out, and it’s unclear if she’s even available. You wouldn’t want to split up Peyton Royce or Billie Kay at NXT, nor stop what they have going on, so they’re out. Liv Morgan isn’t ready for the main roster yet, not as an everyday competitor, but as someone who continues to wrestle at NXT and is simply joining a Long Island-New Jersey Pro-Leopard Print and Athletic Wear stable to help out in the same way Ellsworth has would work. She’s a face now, and not as notable as other competitors at NXT, but that would only help with the surprise factor of it all.
Listen, it’s that or Asuka comes up and murders James Ellsworth on live television before taking the briefcase for herself. As amazing as that would be, it won’t help Carmella at all. Having her build off her promo, add additional heel heat, and giving her a reason to split from the Welcoming Committee by adding a third to her personal entourage would. And it might even help justify, to a degree, the mess that got us here in the first place.
- Lana is getting another SmackDown Women’s Championship shot, as Naomi doesn’t want to hear her excuses and plans on just beating her a second time.
- We also got the return of American Alpha, even if it was just for a few seconds. Jason Jordan went backstage once more so Chad Gable could take on Kevin Owens, and it was a great way to make people want to see more Chad Gable.
- Overall, it was a fun episode of SmackDown with an ending that’s going to be difficult to fully judge until we see what happens next Tuesday.
- Wednesday’s Rumor Roundup is full of promising items, from thoughts on WrestleMania 34’s main event to an update on Rusev.
- Enzo and Cass worked well together, as they complimented each other’s strengths while heading their weaknesses. Now they’ve broken apart, though, so what’s next?
- It seems pretty clear (especially now that Braun Strowman is back and Roman Reigns is gunning for the Universal Championship) that Brock Lesnar is going to defeat Samoa Joe. That hasn’t stopped this feud from working, though.
- Al Snow wants to tell you how to enjoy pro wrestling. Thanks, Al, but we can take it from here.
- How did Triple H think this was the proper response to all of the legitimate concerns of fans following the women’s Money in the Bank match?
- This was a pretty cool thing for H to do, at least.
- Paste spoke to Jay Lethal about what it was like to be a teenage wrestler.
- Alan Sepinwall has reviewed Netflix’s GLOW, describing it as “delightful.” Oh, and lots of other words, too, but you’ll have to click over to read those.
- The last time Daniel Bryan and CM Punk spoke went about how you would expect.
- ESPN caught up with Baron Corbin to discuss his reaction to becoming Mr. Money in the Bank.