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Cup of coffee in the big time: WWE is doing the heel thing right this week

Good heels are the foundation of good wrestling.

WWE doesn’t always get that right, but on last night’s SmackDown Live, they really nailed it.

Samoa Joe cutting a promo on A.J. Styles, accusing him of being a bad father, Randy Orton symbolically destroying the symbols of Jeff Hardy’s connection to the fans, Shinsuke Nakamura jumping in and getting a few shots in before heading for the hills, Carmella channelling Mark Henry — not on Henry’s level, but still — with the sincere promo swerve, and The Miz being ... well, The Miz. It was all effective and made stakes seem higher, matches more important and feuds far more personal.

Sure, Styles wanted to beat Joe to retain his title and get some revenge for the previous attack. But now, after Joe brought his family into it? Styles must want to kick his head off, right?

Hardy was already struggling with having his connection to the fans cut by Orton, what will his reaction be to Orton taking that symbolic destruction even further? Will he break or come roaring back? Also, teasing the RKO and then refusing to do it was a strong move given the move remains over with the fans no matter Orton’s heel/face status.

It’s not as though The Miz is ever not fire on the mic these days, but the history he and Bryan have to draw on makes things even better. I just wish that segment didn’t end with the weird baby thing because I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to not wonder how WWE had those graphics and audio bits all ready on the fly during a “natural” back-and-forth.

And Carmella’s promo felt sincere enough to reveal the underlying jealousy and anger of her character. That adds depth to her as a champion. It’s not just about bluster, it’s about proving her worth to everyone — no matter how underhanded she has to be to accomplish it.

Coming off a very effective night of Lesnar-as-true-heel, it’s almost like WWE has got this strong heels thing clicking.

Now, if they could just never do whatever they were going for with the New Day commentary fade back-and-forth again, that’d be great.

It’s only Wednesday?

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