2018 has not been a great year for WWE pay-per-view (PPV) events. It’s been baffling, honestly, given the amount of talent available to the promotion. No matter how bad the weekly TV is, a PPV should be almost entirely match time, and that should mean a lot of good wrestling action.
That theory has largely not proven true, though.
But last night featured a lot of good, especially at the top end of the card. Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey still have great in-ring chemistry (even if their promos on TV were mostly bad), Daniel Bryan and A.J. Styles put on a great match, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka tore the place down. Setting aside the dreadfully boring match between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose — a match that should be all fire and not at all so dull as to receive “this is boring” chants — that’s a pretty high success rate for the show.
But more importantly, it set up the potential for positive change for the weekly TV.
Regardless of if he is “good” or not, Baron Corbin as GM was killing Raw. It was an angle that wasn’t working with a guy who fit fine as constable but did not work as the absolute focal point of a weekly three-hour show.
Having faces who’d been screwed over by Corbin deliver his karmic beatdown so Strowman didn’t have to lift a finger ... or arm theoretically put that situation behind us. A new status quo can be established and hopefully move the show into a new era.
As pointed out in today’s Raw preview, a pre-Royal Rumble draft would be an even better move to freshen up both shows amid tanking ratings. But even without such a major shake-up, I’m expecting tonight to feel fresh.
Of course, WWE TV is always a crapshoot, and bringing in Vince McMahon could be exactly the wrong move to shift focus to the better aspects of the show.
But after a good night of action we’re left with reason for hope.
- Check out the full TLC recap and reactions here.
- We also have all the video highlights you may need over here.
- Asuka as champ is fantastic and they did the finish in a way that doesn’t hurt Becky or Charlotte at all — but I don’t know Asuka should be dipping her toes into the waters of calling herself “The Man.”
- Daniel Bryan was on fire before TLC even started.
- “The List” is dead if Chris Jericho ever returns to WWE. Also, he really loves saying swear words.
- Did you see The Elite’s goodbye at ROH Final Battle?
Happy Monday, here’s a classic: