Asking to avoid a clean finish in a WWE match sure feels weird, given the promotion’s tendency to end bouts in distractions or disqualifications or huge brawls or whatever it is they’ve decided to dodge reaching a conclusion with. For John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, though, planned for next week’s episode of SmackDown Live to determine who faces Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam, avoiding a clean finish is the only finish that makes sense.
WWE is touting this as a dream match, except they’re kind of coming at it from that weird, narrative-less angle indie dream matches are born from instead of the one where WWE has three weekly television shows and, in theory, an extended narrative to play with. John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is a dream match: just, maybe, WWE could spend some time building to it instead of throwing two guys willing to work together in a match against each other like they’re booking a show in a gym.
With that being said, there is a workaround here, and it’s to keep from having an actual winner. Let Cena and Nakamura feel each other out a little bit, but before we can see just who would have won for real, run interference. Have Baron Corbin show up to reinsert himself into Cena’s field of vision and to take out Nakamura, who he has been feuding with. Given Corbin has the Money in the Bank briefcase, that would plant seeds for him cashing in on either of the two should they eventually get Jinder and the WWE Championship.
Or, have Jinder Mahal show up with his entire retinue, and proceed to interrupt the match in a show of strength to make it known that no competitor is worthy of taking on the Maharaja one on one. That gives Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan an easy in for putting together a triple threat at SummerSlam, and one with a narrative in place, even, since it would leave the question of Cena vs. Nakamura unanswered, and keep suspense in place for who would actually win that three-way dance.
There are times where WWE has clearly booked themselves into a corner by creating situations they don’t need to create, such as Battleground’s Corbin vs. Nakamura match. That one could have had a finish, but WWE decided neither should lose, so instead, no one won, where “no one” includes WWE and its viewership, too. Cena vs. Nakamura is different, though, since it can clearly build to something else. That something else should be the current dream — give Cena and Nak more time before throwing them together for an actual dream match between the two.
- Speaking of John Cena, there will be a Cena-centric edition of the upcoming WWE 2K18 video game to celebrate his 15 years in WWE.
- Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens might be getting on each others nerves for a reason, but you’ll have to check the Rumor Roundup to see what it is. What? I respect spoilers.
- Talking Smack might be gone, but now WWE is touting (get it?) Smacking Talk.
- While Renee Young won’t be on Talking Smack weekly anymore, she will still be on your television a whole lot, as she’s now working both the Monday and Tuesday shows.
- Ember Moon will get another chance to take the NXT Women’s Championship from Asuka, this time at TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
- Also from NXT: Thea Trinidad got her new name.
- The Global Force Wrestling president said the company is “moving on” from dealing with the Hardys, and it does not sound like good news for Matt and Jeff.
- If we do hear any new developments, though, at least we’ve got a template for them.
- While we’re on the subject of GFW, here’s your preview for this week’s episode.
- No, a warrant has not been issued for Paige’s arrest.
- ESPN’s Ric Flair documentary will air on November 7.
- Talk of Brock Lesnar vs. Jon Jones is heating up, so don’t expect those “Lesnar wants out of WWE” rumors to quiet down anytime soon.
- Scarlett Harris over at Paste wrote about how Netflix’s GLOW understands women’s wrestling better than WWE.
- Ricochet has mostly sent out vague statements about his free agency, but he finally clarified with details exactly when we can expect said free agency to mean something.