This may have been my favorite segment of the entire year.
Everyone underneath Roman Reigns is in a constant state of trying to please Roman Reigns, and therefore Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman put together a whole ceremony where they would crown the Tribal Chief with all of Xavier Woods’ most prized possessions. Reigns, like the absolute boss he is now, rejected this idea outright.
“The only reason I took this crown last week is because I can.”
That is some baller ass shit to say right there.
Xavier Woods hit the scene to make clear that Reigns can have the robe, the scepter, the throne, and even the crown, because it aren’t the possessions that make the King. But Reigns wasn’t buying it, considering literally everything we’ve seen from Woods for years now.
So he had Jey grab the robe and wipe his nose with it before throwing it to the mat and stepping on it. Woods kept his cool. “Clothes don’t make the man,” he responded.
This time it was the scepter, which he broke in two over his knee, casting it aside like the trash he just treated it as. Woods wasn’t as steady, but he held firm.
The throne was next, with both Uso brothers slamming it to the mat, breaking off a leg and dismantling the glorified chair. There are tears welling up in Xavier’s eyes now, and the facade is falling apart. All that was left was the crown, and it was here that Woods finally broke.
He rushed the ring, despite the massive disadvantage, into the waiting arms of a 3-on-1 assault, as pure an exercise in futility as you’ll ever see, born of a desperation so suddenly apparent you could almost feel it through the screen. Reigns, having proven his point, made Woods watch him crush that crown under his boot.
This was brilliantly executed to bring across just how much all this really does mean to Woods while driving home just how much of a piece of crap Reigns is for how he used it against him.
Later, Woods, who couldn’t stand for what happened, called Reigns to the ring to face him without all the help. When Roman showed up, he didn’t make it to the ring before a mysterious force tossed both Jimmy and Jey around the stage.
This was both a really fun reveal that entirely made sense in context of the program they’re working and worked as a way to build to a match at the pay-per-view in just a couple nights. I’ll be damned if it didn’t feel incredible watching Woods and E put the boots to Reigns, then The Usos.
Of course, Reigns got one in on Big E, but they established an even playing field while also making clear we aren’t finished with Reigns vs. Woods either.
They really couldn’t have started and ended this show any better.
All the rest
- Sheamus won a Fatal 4-Way to earn the last spot on the men’s Survivor Series team because Ridge Holland is a huge fan and has decided he’s willing to interfere in matches to ensure his hero succeeds. This might actually be an interesting angle, depending on how they play it moving forward. For now, it’s a wait and see type of deal.
- Natalya & Shayna Baszler beat Naomi & Aliyah thanks to a crooked referee using a fast count. Sonya Deville is very clearly behind all this, and we still don’t quite understand why. I remain hopeful this is going somewhere, anywhere.
- Jeff Hardy won a sprint of a match against Madcap Moss while Drew McIntyre put the boots to Happy Corbin in a fun segment just to put the babyfaces over and make the crowd happy while commentary could tell us about how they’re the anchors for Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Sometimes simple is just fine.
- I’m not quite sure why the Intercontinental championship has taken a full blown backseat to having Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick BOOGS as a tag team, more or less, but I’m into it if only because it means more BOOGS in our lives, and we all need more BOOGS in our lives.
- Shotzi vs. Sasha Banks was predictably good, and it’s quite clear the former, if she isn’t forgotten about like WWE is wont to do at times with its women’s roster, she should be at or near the top of the division for a long time to come. I’m looking forward to what her story will look like after all this stupid Survivor Series nonsense is up.
- How about that Toni Storm promo? I’m not all the way on the bandwagon just yet but I’m very, very close to jumping on board.
There wasn’t a ton to the middle of this show, but it was bookended by some really incredible work.