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Cup of coffee in the big time: Notes from a week of ‘change’ in WWE

Change is necessary in this world. And it’s certainly necessary in the world of television.

We were promised a heaping helping of change by the McMahons this week. But we didn’t see much of it. We know some NXT call ups are happening, Shane McMahon decided rematch clauses are “antiquated,” some GMs lost their jobs (which is a travesty in the case of Paige) and ... we saw a couple minor opportunities granted.

I’m not turning my nose up at Mustafa Ali, SmackDown Superstar. And there is no combination of Ali, Daniel Bryan, Andrade Almas and A.J. Styles I would not pay to see. But SmackDown wasn’t really the show in need of change.

So, opposed to Raw, the minor tweaks felt like they led to a much better show on Tuesday — but what’s new.

Ali is a great addition to the SmackDown locker room and there are tons of great matches for him there. Freshening up the tag division by adding some mostly overlooked teams to the mix is all good.

But the best story in the company remains at the top end of the SmackDown women’s locker room and Bryan is a fascinating character and tremendous heel champion.

The decision to “demote” Paige is a clumsy one, though. Fans connected to her and removing the role because Baron Corbin is a charisma black hole as an authority figure is ... meh. Especially when it means more McMahons on my TV.

These last several weeks have been difficult as a WWE fan. I remain hopeful because there are some very good things happening, and SmackDown has been mostly good to great. But Raw has been so off-the-charts bad and WWE keeps finding ways to say they know and take the blame while also not really doing that very thing.

At least I know I can count on my Tuesday nights remaining a highlight of my week.

Another week halfway done.

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