When Charly Caruso asked Bayley if she felt overshadowed by Becky Lynch, there was a flicker of something upon her face. She squinted for a moment and pursed her lips, but shook her head in denial a moment after.
I think we all got the real answer by the end of the show.
We already knew about Sasha Banks. She’s jealous, hurt, and feels overshadowed. It’s the storyline justification for why she went away and also the reason why she’s returned. We’re starting to see those motivations in her behavior as well. She dyed her hair to get people talking. She’s shouting down reporters to get people talking. And she’s refusing to fight Becky because – you guessed it – she wants people talking.
The funny thing, however, is how easy it is to forget about Bayley. She went through the exact same issues that Banks went through. And while Bayley seems to have channeled that energy into a title win of her own, it certainly hasn’t gone away. Ask Becky Lynch’s back.
Man, that smile Bayley gave Banks before pummeling Lynch with a chair. Priceless.
The crowd exploded, too. It’s the sort of reaction that reminds me how intelligent wrestling fans can be; we all knew on some level that Bayley’s time as a babyface was finished. There was nothing left to do, really. And her turn to the dark side makes this Banks vs. Lynch rivalry all the more intriguing.
I’m really excited about this feud and where it’s going. All I know is that the side ponytails have been left by the wayside.
King of the Ring, Round 2
I wrote an entire thing about the tournament getting too predictable, and then they ran that double pin so let me just scrap alllll of that...
Okay. First thing’s first: Cedric Alexander went out and killed himself to get his match with Baron Corbin over with the crowd. The Club attacking him backstage essentially gave away the result, but he and Corbin were awesome. The match got the Baltimore crowd firmly in Cedric’s corner where they were chanting his name by the end. And all during Cedric’s valiant fight to move on, I was thinking how fun a face vs. face matchup would be in the semifinals.
Nope. Hopefully Alexander gets to feud with AJ Styles now; that would have the potential to be fantastic.
On the other side of the bracket, shenanigans happened. And I’m upset online.
How on earth can you run an angle like you’re taking this tournament super seriously when your company regularly runs angles about referees being stupid? And then the ref just leaves ringside to let the two guys brawl!?
So yeah, that’s where we are, I guess! Triple threat in a one on one tournament. Sure!
Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman is losing me
When this feud started, I was optimistic. It was Rollins’s first title feud that wasn’t Brock Lesnar or Corbin, after all. That’s promising!
Now? My optimism is waning.
The show started with Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman attempting to sign a contract for their Clash of Champions match. They said the things you’d expect them to say. In fact, I’d imagine you could say some of their promo word-for-word without hearing it at all. Seth said he slayed the Beast and he can slay a monster as well and I died inside a bit.
Well, AJ Styles and the OC showed up to ruin the fun. AJ was pissed off that Strowman got a title match just by looking at the Universal Championship a bunch and proceeded to rip up the contract. That led to a tag match was fun enough, but I’m not a huge fan of how it influences the Strowman/Rollins dynamic.
For starters, the “can they get along” storyline is just overplayed by this point. Whenever that’s a story in wrestling, the answer is overwhelmingly no. Strowman accidentally steamrolled through Rollins during the brawl after the match, furthering the dissension. He griped afterwards about Steve Austin coming to handle the contract signing next week as well, accusing Rollins of being buddies with the guy. Rollins countered by spewing so much exposition that I nearly turned the channel.
“Look Braun! I know what you’re thinking: Whoever turns on the other at Clash of Champions is going to have a huge advantage going into our Universal Championship match...”
It’s unbearable. It really is.
The Firefly Fun House is still incredible – The image of Bray Wyatt paying Vince McMahon off by feeding him wads of cash before throwing the remaining money flippantly over his shoulder warms the cockles of my heart.
Let you in, Bray? The door’s already open, friend. We’ll feast in hell together.
Baltimorons – Okay...I can get behind this. If you don’t have anything good for the Viking Raiders, interviewing some dorky jobbers beforehand at least gives me a reason to want to see the, um...the pillaging.
Actually, this is way more fun than the usual squashes.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler def. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder - I actually liked this new team’s night. Instead of getting pissed off by AJ Styles’ words, they kept their eyes on the prize and assaulted Strowman and Rollins with the OC’s help. There’ll be time for payback later.
Lacey Evans def. Natalya – Natalya was fun in this one. The story was really all about Evans throwing a handkerchief in Natalya’s face to set up the Woman’s Right, though.
Rey Mysterio’s not done – Rey is still so wonderfully easy to empathize with. I’m a bit worried at how well Dominic will be woven into this moving forward, but this was solid.
The Miz def. Cesaro – Quick win for Miz, setting him up for Shinsuke Nakamura.
I think this show had some really good moments and some that were nauseatingly bad. The babyfaces are scripted to the point of no return, and some of the lower card stuff feels trivial.
However, Bayley turned heel, Cedric Alexander looked like a star, and Bray Wyatt is incredible. That’s more than enough for a decent grade.
Gush about Evil Bayley in the comments below, Cageside. You know you want to.