Let me take you back two weeks ago to NXT. Finn Balor grabbed a microphone and spoke from the heart, calling out the “Twitter tough guys” who made jokes at his expense for his loss to Bray Wyatt. His anger was palpable, and that anger was then directed towards Johnny Gargano when Balor threatened to put him in the hospital again if he ever returned to NXT. Gargano’s been missing for two weeks, and Balor’s promo received rave reviews.
Let me take you back to an even more recent promo – one made this past Wednesday night. On the go-home show before AEW Full Gear, Cody Rhodes’ voice broke as he swore to defeat Chris Jericho. He put all of his future title opportunities on the line and aggrievedly spoke about how long he’s been overlooked. He went, in his own words, “from undesirable to un-goddamn-deniable.” That promo, too, hast received rave reviews.
And then we have SmackDown...where Baron Corbin’s promo consisted of mocking the size of Roman Reigns’ testicles, having an animated dog yap like a puppy, and pulling out doggie bags to talk about cleaning up Reigns’ shit or whatever.
One of these things is not like the other. And this led the damn show off; are you kidding me WWE?
Instantly — INSTANTLY — I emotionally checked out of the show. I no longer cared about anything else they had to show me. That’s how watching WWE television goes these days for me; either they hit on a few early segments and I become invested in the show, or I check out emotionally right off the bat.
And it’s a shame, because they have so many wrestlers I genuinely like. Hell, I like Corbin when he’s not saying intolerably stupid stuff.
...And then the dude carrying around poop bags won. He had help because he’s Baron Corbin so of course he had help. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode came down to the ring during the main event to cause issues for Reigns and that’s literally the least exciting trio of heels I could even think of pairing together. What a dumb show.
That’s the main event you were hoping for right, United Kingdom? No? Ah well, what’s one more disappointed crowd these days?
“Come on, big man!”
Daniel Bryan has been an intriguing character as of late – but of course, he’s pretty damn good at this wrestling thing. When challenged by Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn a few weeks back to not go back to the Yes Movement, Bryan never gave them a definite answer. And after losing to Adam Cole last week for the NXT Championship, Zayn was quick to isolate Bryan and to continue trying to win him over to their side.
All of that is good. You know what’s better?
Ooooh, let’s add the scariest character in WWE to the mix in a way that also suits that character. Bray Wyatt may forgive, but the Fiend never forgets. And it may have been years ago, but Bryan was one of the first people to cause Wyatt pain by turning on the Wyatt Family.
This was the one thing on the show that made me perk up and take notice. Zayn was talking to Bryan in the locker room and suddenly the Fiend was there, bathed in red light, cackling maniacally as he attacked Bryan and sent Zayn fleeing in fear.
They have a lot of history to play off of, and Wyatt and Bryan have always been brilliant in their interactions. This could be lots of fun.
The New Day win number 7
I love how Big E is always willing to rag on Charlotte Flair. His quip about trying to keep pace with her in title wins was great. But despite that and the feel-good win for New Day, this also feels slightly disappointing.
Maybe the negative emotions I have concerning WWE these days is influencing my opinion, but let me try to explain. The Kofi Kingston WWE Championship run ended in such an unsatisfying way, right? I think we can all agree to that. He jumped into an F5, got squashed, and was immediately out of the main event scene after winning damn near every match for 6 months. That should cause some sort of emotional reaction from Kofi other than just shrugging and moving on.
And we just haven’t seen it, really. Perhaps the Xavier Woods injury is overriding things a bit, but Kofi just sort of...swerved back into the tag team lane on this show. It feels like there should be more to his story, and I’m not sure we’re ever going to get anything else.
Sasha Banks def. Nikki Cross – I dig the new theme remix for Sasha; it suits her well. Aside from that, this match was what I’ve come to expect from Banks and Bayley these days. They are each other’s biggest fans and will cheat for one another. I suppose the thing to remember with all of Shayna Baszler and Becky Lynch’s posturing is that Bayley is not alone. Not quite the splash I wanted her to make, but there’s still time.
An underwhelming invasion – That Imperium invasion fell really flat to me. You’re going after Heavy Machinery, guys? Whew, glad you went after the big guns on the show!
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro def. Ali and Chad Gable – This was part of that Bryan storyline and featured 4 really talented wrestlers. Like I said, this was the one storyline that I actually, actively liked on the show.
Good match, too.
Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury are now buddies, beat up B-Team – That’s how it works, right? Punch each other until you like each other?
Honestly, it works well enough. These two are overgrown cartoons in terms of their motivations; might as well give them a cartoony way to become friends. B-Team was pretty great with their jokes on the way to the ring, as well.
Carmella and Dana Brooke def. Fire and Desire – Ah, the newly-formed tag team picking up a win for an established team. I’m fine with it if it doesn’t just immediately turn into a Women’s Tag Team Championship match, but who else is out there for Carmella and Brooke to beat?
Some good, some disappointing, and some really bad. One compelling storyline is not enough.