This Roman Reigns story is so very, very stupid.
That, in and of itself, does not make it bad, of course. I was just struck — multiple times, mind you — by exactly how dumb it is while watching it continue to unfold on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live.
The latest: Roman Reigns unearthed some footage that appeared to show Erick Rowan pushing the steel beams that caused Reigns a minor inconvenience a couple weeks ago. Of course, it also looked just like the dude from last week, who Bryan and Rowan claimed was the actual perpetrator. But Bryan never questioned this, instead smacking Rowan in the face multiple times while screaming about being lied to. He also pleaded with Reigns to believe him, that he had nothing to do with it, that he wasn’t involved.
Reigns speared him anyway.
And that was that.
This story has always asked you to be okay with the premise that someone was quite literally trying to murder Roman Reigns on camera and there was no clear footage of the culprit and it’s been a wild goose hunt ever since. They got increasingly ridiculous with it by bringing in Rowan doppelgangers and having Reigns interrogate poor Buddy Murphy for simply existing in the backstage area at the wrong time. That’s all to say, holy shit, this is all just so dumb I’m not sure I can handle watching even one more second of it.
Especially because the payoff is just Reigns beating Bryan and that being that anyway.
He’s got kids
This Kofi Kingston-Randy Orton feud apparently couldn’t live exclusively on the fact that Orton once shoot yelled at him in the ring, calling him “stupid.” So WWE has used Kofi’s family as fodder for heat. I don’t know how well it works, though, because, well, where do you go with that?
On this very show, Orton threatened to pay Kingston’s son a visit at his hotel, which just so happened to be the same hotel Randy is staying at while in town. What are we to believe he will do when he gets there? Is he going to beat up a child? It’s a bit of an empty threat, seeing as we know they can’t really go anywhere with it.
Where it gets downright silly is when Kofi rushes to find Randy before he can get to the hotel and literally finds him RIGHT BEHIND THE CURTAIN. Orton, then, was cutting a promo on the Titantron just feet away from the stage. This would have been fine, if they played it like Orton was setting up an ambush, but that’s not at all what happened. Kofi just ran back and they started brawling like it was agreed to.
It was just dumb.
Again, they’re up against it a bit because there’s only so far you can go with an angle like this but it isn’t that hard to use simple logic to guide you.
Having said all this, I quite enjoyed Big E’s transformation into Big Mean. That dude just running through people all pissed off would be dumb fun.
All the best to all the rest
Ali def. Buddy Murphy (King of the Ring first round): A predictably fun match. Is it finally Ali’s time? He was all set for a run towards the top title earlier this year and then got injured and replaced by Kofi Kingston, who won the title at WrestleMania and is still champion. More recently, he was in a program with Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and that was just completely dropped out of nowhere. Here, he goes over Murphy, who it looked like WWE was going to get behind, and may be the dark horse of the tournament now. That will be good for us, if it means more matches like this.
Mouthpiece: Had you told me Shinsuke Nakamura was getting someone to act as a mouthpiece, I would have supported it. Had you told me it was Sami Zayn, I also would have supported that. In theory, it’s great. I’m not so sure it’s great in practice, however. The idea behind giving Nakamura a mouthpiece is so the mouthpiece gets him over, right? Tell me: were you more interested in Zayn’s antics or Nakamura’s attack on Miz? Zayn is such a big personality, it’s hard to see any outcome other than Sami overshadowing Shinsuke.
Elevate: I just don’t enjoy the idea that there’s so much talk in the SmackDown women’s division of who is elevating who and who is right as the face of the division. It’s just too meta for my tastes. I don’t need Ember Moon pushing Bayley for giving her a chance and therefore being a better leader because “we’re supposed to elevate each other.” That’s not the kind of attitude any of us should want in a competitive environment (which is what this is supposed to be simulating). I don’t want Charlotte wanting to beat Bayley to win the title because she believes herself to be better on a red carpet. I want her to want to win because that makes her the best, or because she wants to rip Bayley’s throat out. I don’t know, this talk of everyone building each other up is just the kind of thing that should go unsaid. Meanwhile, Bayley managed to have a decent enough match with Lacey Evans, who is very bad, and the fans seemed to respond relatively well. That’s a success for this week.
Consummate: Drake Maverick won the 24/7 championship back, pinning Elias after Kevin Owens put him down. He may actually have the sex now, folks. Let us rejoice.
Chad Gable def. Shelton Benjamin (King of the Ring first round): Not nearly as good as Ali vs. Murphy, and Gable they’re going to have to give Gable something more to work with to get him over with this new character. This was a pretty big disappointment, considering its potential.
This just wasn’t a very good show.