HAPPY HALLOWEEN! That’s the most important thing so let’s just get into it so you can dive into the candy and all the other treats from a night of fun and tricks.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Michael Myers is an entity with whom you cannot bargain. He’s like the terminator or a great white shark in that he just does what he does and there’s no stopping him. The Miz found out Roman Reigns is similar as he tried bargaining with the Undisputed champ to no avail. The Tribal Chief returned to Raw this week with a message delivered courtesy of Paul Heyman. Why Heyman? Well. he’s Heyman for one but for two, Roman says he’s tired of hyping up opponents for two years and then smashing every single one of one of them. More importantly, he’s tired of lying to us.
That’s an interesting tactic because it’s basically Roman admitting what we all know: Logan is no competition for Roman and what happens in Saudi Arabia stays in Saudi Arabia.
There’s another reason I went with that title though. Halloween 4 marked the moment the Halloween franchise brought back its boogeyman and firmly declared him the main attraction. Essentially, the bad guy became the most compelling character and the reason audiences showed up. They wanted to see what new ways Michael sliced and diced his way through Haddonfield rather than see his victims escape. Which is probably why a lot of those victims became nameless or lacked actual character.
The scuttlebutt says Roman and Paul don’t want a face turn but, newsflash, it already happened. Peep the reaction he gets in any crowd now. Peep the “Ucey” chants. Peep how many 1s hit the air when he shows up. This is the organic reaction WWE tried engineering years ago and failed miserably. But now, simply through being the best character in the territory and giving us fantastic matches, Roman is probably WWE’s top babyface even if he still sees himself as a heel behind the scenes.
Does anyone really want to cheer Logan Paul? Of course not. Ironically, the one person who might turn the crowd against WWE’s Shape is in the Bloodline: Sami Zayn.
Outside of that, look for louder Tribal Chief ovations, whether in this country or any other. The man’s work over two years truly is some of the best ever.
You can’t kill the Boogeyman.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
We got new Women’s tag team champions! Asuka and Alexa Bliss returned tonight after three weeks. They showed up during Bianca Belair’s match with Nikki Cross and lent her some help as Damage CNTRL did what they do best. Bianca got the win over Cross but she and her friends weren't finished with Bayley, IYO, and Dakota Kai. Asuka & Alexa challenged the tag champs to a title match for Raw’s main event. So that’s what we got.
And it was a hell of a match. Nothing fancy, just great wrestling start to finish, with a big ending and more development between Bianca and Bayley. With their Last Woman Standing match days away, Bianca and Bayley went to blows when the latter distracted the referee just long enough so that the ref missed IYO tapping out. Bianca rushed Bayley, they fought into the audience, and Bayley hit Bianca with a Bayley to Belly suplex onto a table. Good set up for their Crown Jewel match and a smart move at getting them both out of the way for the finish.
With the odds even, Asuka & Alexa handled their business, as a Twisted Bliss to IYO ended the night and crowned new champs.
While the ending might surprise some, I think it’s the right call. If Asuka & Alexa are a team, they need something holding them together besides shared hatred. Winning the titles and avenging their injuries is a good way to do that. Kai & SKY showed their dominance and will no doubt go after the titles once again. But this is the right move going into the winter so let’s see what develops.
There’s one sequence during the Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory match this week. And, yes, it was a fantastic match well worth every second of its 20 minutes. The ending is where the poetry revealed itself. Seth believes Theory is a child, not quite ready for the heights Seth ascended many years ago. Theory wore that chip on his shoulder the whole match and finally lost it in the final moments. He talked his trash to Seth after going back and forth, and got extra disrespectful. Adding insult to injury, Austin tried beating Seth with the Pedigree. But all that time he took talking ish backfired, as Seth reversed it, got Theory on his knees, and nailed him with a curb stomp.
Great match but that moment stood out as great character work from both men.
“How do you neutralize the threat that is Rhea Ripley?”
That’s the question WWE commentary posed after Karl Anderson won the match against Damian Priest but lost the war. The Judgment Day attacked Anderson, the O.C. had his back, but Rhea tips the scales every single time. The match was serviceable but the true star here is the story. And the story gets better every week.
Freddy Vs. Jason
Two titans clashed this week in the mandatory pull-apart brawl. Bobby Lashley thought he and Brock Lesnar scheduled a face-to-face interview. Lesnar made other plans. The Beast showed up to the ring, called out Lashley, and The All Mighty accepted the challenge.
The locker room emptied, security did their best, and even Haitch showed up amidst the chaos. He threatened both men with cancelling their match if they kept getting out of line. A very fun segment that didn’t get me more hype for their match but it didn’t curb the appeal either.
Look, this Trick or Street fight won me over the second Alpha Academy came out as Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley from one of my favorite SNL sketches. It was chaotic, it was fun, it was perfect for Halloween. Otis even did the worm for one night only. AND, he took an RKO from Riddle while wearing a jack-o-lantern! Otis is the night’s MVP for that alone, so props to him.
A Dario Argento reference. Because of JBL’s very old man yells at cloud rant in a deep red state like Texas? Or because I’m seeing red at the yet another instance where the word “woke” is co-opted by someone who has no idea what it means? Or am I just bored with Baron Corbin and would rather watch Deep Red? Maybe a little bit of all three. Thank God for R-Truth, who added some flare to the segment. Of course, he was no match for a Corbin blindside attack. I’m not sure if a Corbin vs. Truth feud in itself does anything for me, but Truth and JBL going back and forth on the microphone might entertain.
Meh. Not good but also not terrible. But nothing worth remembering as Monday turns to Tuesday.
Rough night for Miz. First he took a Superman punch from Reigns and then took an L from Mustafa Ali. Even worse was the fact Dexter Lumis showed up in the crowd and attacked him once again.
But still have questions. One week Lumis has entrance music and a video, the next security is running after him for being in the building? That’s some incongruity. Especially since he had all those things without a WWE contract.
BUT, at least we finally got some answers. Apparently Miz and Dexter have a “financial arrangement.” The attacks? Not real. At least according to Johnny Gargano on WWE’s 60 Minutes parody. It’s worth a watch for the sheer red string connecting the dots Gargano does but the bottom line is that Miz stopped paying Dexter and Dexter wants his money.
That said, this thing is going on way too long and we need to wrap it up, B.
This was an entertaining show from start to finish. We got new champs, meaty men slapping meat, story revelations, good to great wrestling, and it moved at a good pace. Good setup for Crown Jewel and not a bad way to spend Halloween.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it.