By: Frank Hyden
GOOD– Roman Reigns and Jey Uso promo
Paul Heyman and Roman came out and talked a bit before having Jey come out. Roman said the family was proud of Jey but he was going to whup him because the Universal Title is his. Then they set up a tag match for later of Roman and Jey vs. the complaining King Corbin and Sheamus. This was solid, nothing great, but solid. Nobody is giving Jey even a slight chance to beat Roman (not just because it’s Roman, though that’s a big reason, but because someone who won a belt almost never loses it in their first defense in WWE) so that takes away most of the interest but the family dynamic adds a little interest.
GOOD/BAD- AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy ends in DQ, Sami Zayn attacks
The match was pretty good before Zayn interfered. I don’t know why up until this point, no one has called for a triple threat match? That’s clearly where they’re heading so why not do it now? So the plan is to wait until one show before the Clash to announce it? That seems kind of pointless.
BAD- Lucha House Party beats Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
The Street Profits came to The Champion’s Lounge that Cesaro and Nakamura have and they played footage of them partying in there, which distracted Cesaro and Nakamura so the Lucha House Party could get the pin. This is so dumb. For one, because it was so predictable. Everyone watching knew that was going to happen. But two, it makes Cesaro and Nakamura look incredibly dumb. Why does any company do this? It’s so ridiculous and stupid. All to set up their Champions vs. Champion match on RAW Monday to try to counterprogram for Monday Night Football. Yeah, there you go, make one of the teams look like idiots, that’s great…
GOOD- Bayley promo
Bayley came out and talked about why she turned on Sasha Banks. She said she did it first because she knew Sasha would turn on her eventually. She said she was only using Banks and that after they lost the tag titles, she become useless to Bayley. Good promo. After the promo, Nikki Cross came out for her 4-way #1 contenders match and Bayley used the chair she was carrying (the same one she brutalized Sasha with) to wallop her.
GOOD- Nikki Cross win the 4-way
It was predictable that Cross would win, given the chairshot from Bayley, but being predictable isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yeah, I would have rather seen either Tamina or Lacey Evans win and get a title shot but I like Nikki so I’m okay with it. Part of the way through the match, Alexa Bliss gave Nikki a Sister Abigail on the outside of the ring. That pretty much ends their friendship and will led to them feuding, I imagine. I’m guessing Alexa will cause Nikki to lose against Bayley at the Clash, but we’ll see.
BAD- Otis beats John Morrison
First off, Otis shouldn’t be beating Morrison clean. Morrison is a way better wrestler, better on the mic, and has more charisma. I don’t get WWE’s obsession with Otis. He’s way too much of a comedy wrestler to be a main eventer yet he has the Money in the Bank contract? He’s clearly going to lose it someway because he’s not going to win the Universal or WWE Titles. I see a lot of people say he’s going to cash it in for a tag team title shot which I agree is likely but is still ridiculous. The contrast between Otis and guys like Roman and The Fiend is like the Mr. Rogers side of Bray Wyatt, except Otis doesn’t do any of the underlying evil stuff with his character. He’s just all goofy all the time. I’m not saying Otis should copy Bray but sometimes you need to act serious.
BAD- Firefly Funhouse crap
Speaking of Bray, this was just too cheesy. I get that that’s the point but the mugging for the camera and the overexaggerated way of doing everything is just too much. If someone is flipping through the channels and comes across this segment, they’d keep flipping and never come back. They’d say “This is wrestling? Screw that, this is lame.” Or people watching the whole show to give it a chance or because their friend told them to watch or something. This kind of stuff would completely turn them off of wrestling. First, you have the mentally handicapped fat guy bouncing his rolls around to deflect damage then you have this Mr. Rogers wannabe guy talking to everyone like they’re 5 years old. No thanks.
This leaves a horrible impression on people. One of the reasons The Attitude Era was so appealing to people is because WWE finally left behind the kiddie crap. Yeah, there was a LOT of really stupid stuff during that time but there was also lots of cool stuff. This kind of shit with Otis and Firefly Funhouse and all that is just barely a step above Hornswoggle putting a black circle on the wall to run through it and Carlito tries to follow him. Or the Eugene shit, which I will say Nick Dinsmore did a nice job with, but it’s just lame. It’s fucking lame. You’re not going to grow your audience with this stuff, if anything you’re going to push some fans away.
One of the biggest problems is the disconnect in style. You have super serious Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman and The Fiend (I also have problems with the superpower shit they do but I’ll address that another time) and Bayley and Sasha Banks and AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy and Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura and Sheamus and so on. Then you have Saturday morning cartoon stuff. You just had a segment where Bayley talked about why she beat the hell out of Sasha Banks and tried to destroy her knee and put a chair around her neck to take her out and sent her to a “local medical facility” and you follow it up with this? A fat guy dancing and a Mr. Rogers ripoff mugging for the camera? The tonal disconnect is just crazy, you could get whiplash.
I know I sound like Jim Cornette but damn, this is crazy. I know former wrestling fans who won’t watch because of this stuff. Friends and family who say, “Eh, I can’t watch it anymore, it’s so stupid now.” I’ll tell them about cool stuff with Bayley, Sasha, Aleister Black, Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Asuka, The Hurt Business, Drew McIntyre, and so on. And they get interested until they see Otis or Bray Wyatt or Braun overturning a damn semi or the Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders Anything You Can Do challenge, etc.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just too much like an old man now. The weird thing is, I have a great sense of humor and I like watching comedies. I just don’t like comedy at inappropriate times. All right, rant over, I’ll move on.
GOOD/BAD- Roman Reigns and Jey Uso beats Sheamus and King Corbin
Roman didn’t even show up until the match was about over. Jey hit a top rope splash but Roman tagged himself in before he jumped so he came in and hit the spear and got the pin. I’m already over the “Wreck Everyone and Leave” and “Show Up and Win” stuff because it’s so predictable but I won’t knock it too much. This was just about the match between Roman and Jey at the Clash and further setting that up so the match was secondary. It did what it was supposed to, though Sheamus and Corbin didn’t look very good here.
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