The idea behind Roman Reigns defeating John Cena at No Mercy last night (Sun., Sept. 24, 2017) in Los Angeles, California, if it wasn't clear enough in how the match played out, was outright explained by the latter on "Raw Talk" after the show. The long and short of it is that Cena didn't pass the torch to Reigns, Roman took it from him.
Because that's how it's supposed to be.
The match showed us that Reigns is, quite simply, bigger, faster, stronger -- he's basically better in every way. Cena threw everything and the kitchen sink at him and it didn't matter. It was never going to matter, because John Cena is not what he once was.
This was about showing us that while Cena used to be the guy who could talk and always backed it up, he is no longer that guy.
But Roman Reigns sure is.
It was entirely appropriate that Cena hit his finish time and again and Reigns kicked out each time. This wasn't two heavyweights slugging it out. This was Cena trying with everything he had to hang with the very best and being unable to do so.
In the end, though, I wonder if this didn't end up being less about Roman's newfound standing and more about Cena's fall from it. Then again, this was always just another bump in the path leading Reigns to the WrestleMania main event and yet another showdown with Brock Lesnar.
Speaking of The Beast...
I can't help but be disappointed by this.
Yes, that largely has to do with the fact that I'm a huge Braun Strowman fan. But it also has to do with the fact that I don't quite get why it is that the entire story was built around the fact that Brock Lesnar has been unable to affect the "Monster Among Men" physically and then it took just one F-5 to finish him off.
The story, I guess, was Lesnar simply needed to survive the beating Strowman was going to put on him long enough for Braun to get tired, just tired enough that the German suplexes would actually do damage, and therefore the F-5 would be enough to finish the job.
Still, it didn't feel like Brock did nearly enough here.
What's more, something was missing from the match. The sheer brutality these two typically bring to the table was absent. I wanted violence. I wanted a clash of titans. This felt entirely too much like, well, an actual wrestling match.
And a standard one at that.
These two can do better, but the finish and Lesnar's lighter schedule make it likely this was it for these two, at least for the time being. As a Strowman fan, I feel bad about that.
All the best to all the rest
How ya doin: I like the progression of the Enzo Amore character not because it's some kind of mirror for real life but because OF COURSE this guy is cheating to achieve glory. It's literally the only way he can! This is what it is to be human! When faced with the decision to accept your fate or find the workaround, even if you sacrifice morality in doing so, many will choose the latter. That will always be a legitimately interesting story because you will constantly be faced with that very dilemma throughout your life. You'll always relate to it. What's more, you'll always want to take the moral high ground, and it's super easy to dump on Enzo for not doing so, even if you would have made the same decision in a similar position. I loved this. It's also great because a pissed off and/or depressed Neville is one hell of a character.
A star: The women's title match saw Alexa Bliss pin Bayley to retain her title but the bigger story, to my eyes, is that this was a star making turn for Nia Jax. She went all out to make this the best match she could, despite the conditions, including taking a powerbomb to the outside in what was arguably the spot of the night. The direction should absolutely be Jax vs. Bliss, because it offers the most entertainment for your dollar.
Tag team titles: All there is to say about Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeating Cesaro and Sheamus is that it was an incredibly fun match and OH MY GOD CESARO'S TEETH NO WHY GOD WHY NO OH MY LORD HIS FACE HE'S BLEEDING EVERYWHERE.
Man is enough: Bray Wyatt couldn't defeat The Demon and now he cannot defeat The Man. I don't understand the point of Bray Wyatt anymore.
Growth: The Miz retaining his Intercontinental championship felt like the right move here for the growth of Jason Jordan and his character. If it wasn't clear in the match, it was crystal clear in the post-match interview: it's time to turn him heel. He's simply not connecting as a babyface and bland interviews after standard matches aren't going to change that.
There was some really good stuff on this show, but the main event fell flat.