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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Lana debuted on SmackDown this week, and immediately requested she be either put in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, or given a championship opportunity against SmackDown’s Women’s champ, Naomi. She literally got laughed out of the ring, but got a measure of revenge later by attacking Naomi and costing her the six-woman tag match that followed Lana’s public embarrassment.
This was meant to goad Naomi, and to Lana’s credit, it worked: while Shane McMahon still didn’t agree that Lana deserves a title shot, Naomi has her pride, and she’s also got a boot that needs to greet Lana’s head. So, now we’ve got ourselves a title match.
You could see this as Lana just being handed an opportunity she doesn’t deserve, but that’s oversimplifying. Lana’s request was rejected by Shane, and the rest of the women in the ring — heels, too — laughed at her request. No one disputes that she’s done absolutely nothing to earn this chance, but she played the heel’s game and forced Naomi’s hand. Now, Naomi could let it slide, but that’s not going to get Lana to stop sneaking up behind her and making life miserable for her. Nah, Naomi knows the score here: giving Lana a chance and making her regret ever asking for it is the only thing that’ll work.
So, maybe Naomi crushes Lana at Money in the Bank, and Lana has to figure out a new, more cunning plan to get another opportunity at the title and recognition she craves. Naomi gets to move on to her next opponent, while also keeping an eye out for whoever wins the Money in the Bank briefcase. Or, maybe Lana is already plenty cunning, and she’s coming up with a plan for cheating Naomi out of that belt as we speak: then, the story becomes Lana as the heel who stole the championship, and Naomi’s story turns to how she let things get here by putting pride before common sense.
There’s a lot to work with here, and SmackDown already succeeded once before by putting the strap on the relatively untested Alexa Bliss, which in turn took it off of the clear top performer in the division, Becky Lynch. And hell, we all enjoyed Eva Marie threatening Bayley’s reign at NXT, didn’t we? This feels like a combination of the two, and seeing how it all plays out — and what the aftermath will be — should continue to make SmackDown feel so much different than what goes on with RAW’s own women’s division.
- Here’s what that women’s Money in the Bank briefcase looks like.
- New Day, Styles vs. Ziggler, and Mojo Rawley (yes, Mojo Rawley!) were all highlights of this week’s SmackDown for Andrew Swift.
- New Day guest starred on the latest episode of Fashion Files, which continues to be so, so good.
- Good news if you like rumors, too, as apparently WWE plans on continuing to make Fashion Files episodes.
- Mick Foley discussed Cactus Jack and his emotional connection with the fans over at Sports Illustrated.
- Paste has a feature up on the depressingly current issue of white supremacy on the indies, which is a problem whether it’s real or booked that way.
- Ian Williams writes at Vice Sports that Samoa Joe’s win at Extreme Rules gives him a chance to be a main eventer on a global stage... and that it might be his last chance at that.
- Miz beating up an inanimate object was great on its own, but now you can watch it in slow motion!
- Kevin Owens has a broken thumb, but he’s not planning on missing any time with it.
- NXT stars visited one of the victims of the Manchester attacks. Breaking kayfabe is okay, y’all.
- If you want more details on the Mae Young Classic, well, you’ve got them.
- AJ Styles is a pretty good character, but his initial ideas were... not.
- There’s a Maryse, Kelly Kelly, and Eve Torres Table For 3 set to air later this month.
- ESPN wrote a profile of Raven and his career, if you’d like a trip down memory lane and to catch up on what Raven has been up to.
- So... hey. Who is attacking Enzo and Cass?