Ladies and gentlemen, the new Daniel Bryan is the best heel in WWE. I’d give him a crown, but he’d probably call it a waste of precious resources and kick me in the groin.
I cannot even begin to express my delight in his performance on this show. Donning a t-shirt that sported a tree heart, a green flannel, and an earthy sweater, Bryan visited The Miz on MizTV to explain what makes the new Daniel Bryan tick. What followed was probably the most wonderfully deluded villain-speak I’ve ever heard.
In essence, the people are fickle. FICKLE! They are sheep, and giving power to the masses is dangerous, according to Alexander Hamilton. It’s the reason folks still chant “WHAT?” and why they chanted for him, and it led him down a path of destruction. And by the way, how dare you judge him for one kick to the groin? Do you have any idea the havoc you wreak with your plastic consumption?!
Oh, he wasn’t done either. After besting the Miz and AJ Styles in a brawl, Byron Saxton tried to get Bryan to see reason. What sort of message does this send to his young daughter? The message, Bryan claimed, is clear: kick all men in their groins. He then beat AJ Styles to a pulp and berated the crowd while standing upon the same announcer’s table as when he the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
Do you know the reason why this works so well? We’re all so invested in Bryan, good guy or bad. He’s had the highest highs and lowest lows in wrestling and we’re willing to go wherever he wants us to go as a result. I can’t say the same for certain heels in WWE at the moment. And that willingness allows us to both admire Bryan for his absurdly prodigious skills at being a pro wrestler and heartily boo him because he proved on this show that booing him is going to be so much fun.
The new Daniel Bryan: there’s a million things he hasn’t done...but just you wait.
Let’s Sell a Main Event
I’m making assumptions, but I can’t see any other match headlining WWE TLC other than the SmackDown Women’s Championship triple threat. We already knew plenty about Becky Lynch and Charlotte, though. What about Asuka?
This show was all about establishing Asuka’s motivations. After Lynch called her two opponents “dopes” and questioned if they were willing to go where she was willing to go, Charlotte stepped up to mock the champ and continue their ongoing issues.
But what about Asuka?
She had heard enough at one point and shouted to interrupt them. Asuka despises Charlotte for “getting lucky on one night” to end her undefeated streak. She resents Lynch for picking the wrong person to face Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series – especially when Lynch has never beaten her. And during a very fun tag team match against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, Asuka certainly wasn’t going to put up with Charlotte’s...flair.
Charlotte hit Asuka with a stray shot, but didn’t look very sorry about her mistake. Asuka retaliated by obliterating Charlotte with a kick that allowed Deville to pick up a win. And I love the decision all around! The win gives Rose and Deville more reason to be obnoxious and Asuka’s stood her ground. She belongs in this triple threat, and her opponents need to get that through their skulls.
I think we’re perfectly poised for some fireworks next week. I can’t wait.
The Rest of SmackDown
Jey Uso def. Cesaro, Xavier Woods - This triple threat was nuts. It’s crazy how talented these three tag teams are, by the way; I wish I could see them all get some singles love at some point. Jey and Xavier worked together at times and had this really cool countering segment. Cesaro did superhuman stuff, too, but you probably already assumed that.
I love Rusev Day and you should too – This man has double decker taco traps. Folks, I’d follow Rusev to the ends of the earth.
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy – This is probably the only match on this show that was just...fine, you know? It was average. What wasn’t average was Samoa Joe playing bartender and turning friendly public service announcements heel, though. My goodness, this dude is the worst. Kick his ass, Jeff!
Give me a (Dance) Break – I want R-Truth and Carmella to find a new way every week to troll Miz with a Dance Break. I neeeeeeed it.
It’s really funny watching Raw and SmackDown back-to-back. I’m learning that there are things I like on Raw, but I have to almost...pull them out of myself. I have to sift through the sand for gems.
SmackDown, on the other hand? From top to bottom, the entire show is fun. You should be watching this show.
Gonna give myself a little wiggle room for a better grade later, but there really wasn’t much to complain about with this episode, was there? What did you think, Cageside?