Taking No Chances
And just like that, everything falls into place. It may seem like the obvious choice now, and it was pretty evident for most leading up to the Money in the Bank ladder match, that Dean Ambrose HAD to win. Not just from a meta, we want our guy to win, standpoint, but even in story. Going all the way back to The Shield’s debut and following months, Dean was tagged as the breakout star. The unstable, slightly squirrely guy, that captivated with his idiosyncratic behavior. Then, it was Roman. Then Rollins, all the while, Dean got pushed further and further back. The 3rd wheel who couldn’t quite keep up with the other two, but not for a lack of effort. Dean needed to win in order to stay relevant, and given the circumstances, he was the only one that could win. This story needs to be told, and we knew it was only a matter of time. So WWE, likely tired of this sure fire feud being delayed by injury, is fasttracking it. Not for Wrestlemania, not for SummerSlam, we’re getting The Shield 3-Way at Battleground.
Dean assured us, that should he win the MITB briefcase, he would definitely be inserting himself into the title match between Reigns and Rollins. Which was a solid bout. I’ll never understand the “you can’t wrestle” chants directed at Reigns. Yes, he needs a good dance partner, like most young stars, but he’s far from inept. He works the match that he’s supposed to. That said, as great as their bout was, the drama was the anticipation of an Ambrose cash in. Would he come mid-match, or wait till one of his compatriots was beaten, similar to what Seth had done back at Wrestlemania 31. Instead, Dean let one of the men actually win out. hold the belt high, then smash then in the face. So, each of the former Shield members were champions in one night. This all carried over into Monday Night RAW, as Dean, cocksure and full of gusto, strided out to the ring, while thousands of people cheered.
Rightfully, each man has a claim to the title, whether through rematch clauses or their place on the totem. The #1 Contenders match was a very typical way to go about things, as it could possibly stretch the story out a bit more, until a more noteworthy PPV was available to host the match. Instead, when both Reigns and Rollins were counted out, Shane saw fit to make their triple threat official for Battleground, a move I understand, but still don’t quite agree with. This is a big money match, and while it may bring eyes to a 2nd tier PPV, it does make it seem like we’ll be getting this dream match a few more times. For what it’s worth, I like the belt on Dean. I don’t think the champion should make the man, but in his case, it gives him something to prove. Something to fight for. A small reasoning to his lunacy if they play it right. Which is what he’s been missing for quite some time.
Stuff Your Sorries In A Sack
Hey, wrasslin’ smarks, you guys know that AJ is a bad guy now, right? In the “New Era” where lines are supposed to grey out a bit more, akin to what took place during the Attitude Era, morals will have slightly more levels to them other than hero and dastardly villain, but this is a John Cena feud we’re talking about, where even the Rock had to come off as slightly more aloof and douchey to keep Cena’s sheen. In this case, the indie darling (because TNA shall never have their shite letters uttered on WWE TV), AJ Styles had to turn his back on his new fans in order to topple the great John Cena. I’ve come around on Styles as a heel. If only because he’s been so good at it. His Bullet Club days had him heeling off all over the place. Even in TNA, he eventually went full phenomenal, and carried himself with such a God complex, that if I saw him in the streets, i’d spit brandy in his eyes, if only to make sure he felt pain.
Which brings me to MITB, yes, AJ signed the contract, and had a hell of a match with Cena. Which told the story that smarks were sure to eat up; that Styles could out-wrestle John Cena, he can’t, but that’s an easy story to sell. So Styles put on a clinic, having scouted Cena to the letter, countering, out-maneuvering, and essentially proving he could take the Face That Runs the Place to the limit….but couldn’t push him over it. Styles gave all he had, only for Super Cena to continually survive, and keep coming back. Once the ref was out of the picture, and Cena’s pinning moment ruined, The Club made their presence known. Styles may have said he didn’t ask them to come down, but plausible deniability in wrasslin’ is a heels best defense. It makes their actions even more deplorable, as they’re technically right. It’s like that little kid who sticks their fingers in people’s face while saying “you can’t get mad, because i’m not touching you”. The Club’s apology to Cena was insincere and they eventually beat the hell out of him again just to get that point across. Eventually, we’ll get that “dream match” between the two men, but as long as AJ is playing the technical high ground, to Cena’s take all comers attitude, this will continue to be a 3-on-1 affair.
Ya Wanna Go?!
I’m not saying i’m tired of Zayn/Owens matches. Quite the contrary, I could likely watch these dudes go at it for all eternity like Red Skull and Captain America.
But the commentary has got to do a better job of making us believe this is a constant battle, and not the start/stop feud they make it out to be by contradicting themselves. So, Zayn got the win on RAW, but since neither of them has anything else to do just yet, they’ll be going at it again sometime soon.
Bray made his return to WWE TV, only to have his speech interrupted by New Day. I think this is an intriguing matchup, if only because it’ll cause New Day to get a little more serious. All three guys are talented in-ring workers, and only got small chances to show their more brutal side while they were heels. This could get interesting very quickly. Or burst into flames. I’m hoping for the former.
Enzo and Cass saved us from the return of John Laurenitus. It wasn’t a remarkable segment, but it did give us this gem.
Oh, and during MITB Cass hit my favorite move, which is hitting motherf**kers with other motherf**kers.
Charlotte had two lackluster matches, one in which Becky Lynch was betrayed by yet another friend, firmly giving her Bayley’s storyline from NXT with almost all the same players. Making matter worse(for her) and MUCH better for us, Sasha Banks returned to RAW, and is likely all up in the Women’s Title hunt.
Stuff and Thangs
So the draft will be taking place on the first live Smackdown, July 19th. No word yet on just how much things will be split, but commentary is using the precedents from the first draft where any, and everyone could go to either brand. No mention yet on splitting the belt again, but i’m thinking the WWE champ(s) should be on both shows, with US and IC titles settling on one brand.
AJ Styles was on the Stone Cold Podcast, and while it was a nice little interview, they could barely cover the topics as everything was squeezed into a nice hour long package. If you really want an in depth AJ interview, his appearance on the Talk is Jericho from 2 yrs back is pretty good. It’s just after he’d left TNA, and he’s fairly transparent about how he felt during his time there, and why he left.
Aight, that’s all I got. MITB was okay, RAW was surprisingly good, and i’ve suddenly gotten the urge for pizza rolls. Things are looking up. Anyway, wanna loudly disagree with me, hit me up on the twittah machine. Till then…