Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon in a ladder match? Well this is going to get violent.
In what was essentially our main event of the show, Shane McMahon brought out some lawyers and demanded Owens’s presence in the ring. It was all a show of dominance and meant to intimidate Owens, but Shane’s words betrayed the act.
He acted like Owens had only two choices after all, and framed one as a mercy: Either Owens could continue to rebel and spend years losing money in court, or he could start anew, have the $100,000 fine rescinded, and have his job back.
A mercy? No. That’s weakness. If we’re going to be reality era here, Shane’s actions would absolutely get him in real-life legal trouble. And the way he played this essentially confirmed it.
Why else would he offer Owens his job back? Why else would a “big, powerful” McMahon make concessions?
Because he would lose. Owens seemed oblivious to all of that, to be fair. All he wants to do is hurt Shane. And the irony of him saying as much in Finn Balor’s “Peace, Equality, & Kindness” brand shirt is pretty funny.
So here we are. A ladder match to remove Shane McMahon from power. The finish line to this whole Shane power trip is in sight.
And luckily, they picked a match that should be tons of fun. Hopefully one day we can look back fondly on this Shane stuff, but it’s going to be a while for yours truly.
Is this it?
I don’t mean to criticize too much, but this Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch feud has hit a serious lull.
When Banks returned and started a feud with Becky Lynch, I was hyped as hell. Their first match was tons of fun and it’s given us an intriguing heel turn from Bayley as well, so don’t take this the wrong way, but...
Is this it?
Since Bayley’s heel turn and the match at Clash of Champions, Banks and Lynch have not done much of consequence. They’ve argued and fought a bit, sure, but that’s not enough for a top feud.
My suspicion is that they’re waiting for the new FOX show to do something big, but that doesn’t excuse the absolute lack of progression in the meantime. What was actually accomplished with the Banks/Lynch feud this week? On Raw, Lynch said she’s not sold that Banks has an advantage in the cell; Banks, for her part, won a match via some shenanigans over Nikki Cross.
On SmackDown? Not much changed. In fact, the story that was better serviced was the Carmella/Bayley storyline. Carmella was awesome in a backstage segment with Charlotte where she basically stated that she has no idea why Bayley’s behaving the way she is. In Carmella’s words, “That’s not the Bayley I know.”
Well that Bayley had no problems beating the mess out of you, Carmella.
WWE rushed through the KO/Shane segment to show a backstage brawl between Lynch and Banks, but it just didn’t have much fire. I’m ready for this feud to make another huge splash.
Erick Rowan def. Daniel Bryan – I was wondering when we’d get around to the Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan alliance, and here it was. Bryan, incensed and hurt from his friend’s betrayal, demanded a match to open the show. Rowan accepted, and this was our first taste of babyface Bryan in quite a while.
It was great, too. Bryan is the one guy in WWE who always has something happening with his character. He ebbs and flows at the right times, and he did that here by pulling out the “good guy” move set, even if he’s still at odds with Reigns and hasn’t totally come around to the crowd.
Kofi Kingston thinks he can beat Brock Lesnar – These backstage segments with Michael Cole are consistently solid.
The story here was essentially just Kingston saying that he’s never taken this run of his for granted. It’s why he’s enjoyed it so much, and it’s also why he feels like he can beat Brock Lesnar; he’s at the top of his game.
I’m...skeptical at best that he can win, but I also think we shouldn’t take this for granted, either. Kofi Kingston is about to main event the biggest SmackDown in history against Lesnar. What a ride.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Ali – Okay, Ali - you can’t be this dumb, man. I’m down with the light. I love what you do in the ring. Your promos are nuts as well. But you can’t just have a guy beat and then go “HEY SAMI ZAYN COME HERE REAL QUICK-”
Chad Gable def. Mike Kanellis – Because size matters hurhurhurrr...
It feels like we’re done with Gable vs. King Corbin for now, which I actually like. They’ve killed it twice now, but there will eventually be mitigated returns. By separating them now, they can both claim victory and move into another story to progress what they’re doing.
And Elias is a great choice for Gable! Elias does a fantastic job generating heat and he’ll get creative with the short jokes. And while he’s doing that, Gable will suplex him into oblivion. Perfect match.
The Kabuki Warriors def. Fire and Desire – Hey! Asuka and Kairi Sane still exist!
Mandy Rose was handing out Maxim covers because she was on the cover and let this be a lesson, folks: Don’t become a massive narcissist. If you do, some dude like Otis will eagerly snatch up any photos they can get of you.
The match was fairly short, and it was stuck on the show right before the main event. Maybe this was meant to get them on the show again before they change shows or something.
New Day def. B-Team – This was another match that was just on the show. Not that I’m complaining or anything – Xavier Woods and Big E took a backseat in the Randy Orton feud. Makes sense that they’d need to start somewhere.
This show had its moments and featured tons of really good wrestlers. It definitely wasn’t a bad way to spend a Tuesday night. However, nothing of consequence happened outside the beginning and end of the show.
Agree with me, Cageside?