Reign Falling From The Sky
Man, this week felt a little lean didn’t it? Like, there were clearly things happening, but since a lot of the matches were set a week or more ago, there wasn’t much to do aside from cement them a bit more leading into Clash of Champions . There was the further unraveling of Mick Foley as the RAW GM who is clearly losing control of the talent. I do love that he gets to dip into some past stories to get points across, but by and large he goes ignored. On top of that, he’s torn between doing what’s right, and what makes his boss happy, and in trying to please everyone, it pleases no one. The match he made between Rusev and Seth Rollins was a prime example. Each of these guys interrupted a match, and “assaulted” talent, so their punishment was to fight each other? There was no heat there, and punishing someone to do their job is something that can only happen in wrasslin’. I don’t think it works the same way for say, a mailman. Then again, i’m sure a janitor wants to spend as little time as possible doing their job.
The next match Foley made was a cage match between Intergalactic Champ, Kevin Owens and Tactical Pirate Reigns. The thought process being that with a cage, no one else can interfere, and Roman gets a legit (non-title) shot at the champ before Clash of Champions. Since the match at the PPV is still only between Rollins and Owens, all this match did was give Roman a win to make him look strong, Owens a loss that doesn’t hurt him, and something to fill that main event spot on RAW. There weren’t really any stakes, again, because the matches were pretty much set in such a way that changing any of them now throws the PPV out of whack. So it was fine, just not must see.
The Dance of Life
I don’t know if it was in response to fans, how obvious it was on screen, or if it was planned all along (all three are totally possible), but the RAW Women’s Championship match is now a triple threat between Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley thanks to the double pin from RAW last week. Which more than likely means Charlotte will retain in order to build her up as a dominant heel again. We haven’t had a back and forth on title changes in quite a while on WWE TV, and in establishing the Women’s Division, it would be a mistake to have it trade hands too many times. This match being a triple threat gives her an out of sorts. The other women will likely cancel each other out, setting up the Bayley/Banks feud that was so integral to the revolution over at NXT. If we get some damn fine wrasslin’ out of this, then count me in.
Beginning of the End?
Cena lost to Dean Ambrose, clean, on Smackdown Live. This may not seem like a big deal, but coming off his loss to AJ Styles back at SummerSlam, that’s two “big” losses in as many matches. They’re working his shortcomings into the twilight of his career in an effort to make that eventual title chase mean something more than just a check box on Cena’s way to the WWE Hall of Fame. Which means the internet will get more Sad Cena as he sits on the entrance ramp after every loss to the new blood.
Despondent Cena is one of my favorite Cena’s. The other being “Now I’m Super Serious” Cena. Mainly because both versions force him to do reach for a win, and actually come off like he’s trying, or in the very least, could lose to the person he’s standing across from. Cena with the jokey jokes comes off too dismissive, especially in feuds where the other guy has a less than stellar gimmick. Word around the campfire is Cena will take some more time off to film that reality show of his, so this will likely excuse his absence. “Cena had to go hustle up some loyalty so these youngin’s would respect him!”I don’t see him winning out anytime soon, and I don’t know when the best time to work him in is given the overwhelming amount of PPV’s we get now. They have to somehow make those events seem relevant by giving them big moments, but there is a risk of watering down the product in this case. Tricky stuff.
The State of The Tag Team Is Strong-ish
Chris Jericho brought back his list shtick, or at least a version of it. He’d taken to writing down everything Mick Foley has done wrong as a GM, specifically things that affect his best friend, Kevin Owens. While explaining the list to the audience, in classing heel Jericho fashion, calling back to his “Man of 1,004 holds” days, he was interrupted by practically the entire RAW Tag Team Division. When this happened…
This led to a 10 man tag, heel teams vs. face teams with Sami Zayn and Jericho thrown in. It was a fun match that got the crowd excited before the RAW PPV this Sunday.
Over on Smackdown, The Usos are continuing their run as baddest boys on the block. Everything about them being bad guys just works for me. Even them coming out to the most generic rap in decade makes my blood boil. SO they’ll likely take the Smackdown Tag Titles away from Heath Slater and Rhyno in order to get that mega heat they could have gotten at Backlash. Leading up to that, they’ll just continue injuring the other teams. The division needs some bruisers, and The Uso’s answered the call, with a superkick to the face.
Stuff and Thangs
I don’t want to gloss over the Smackdown Women’s Championship, but Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss, while compelling, comes off a little predictable. It’s waaay too early to put a championship on Bliss, no matter how good a heel she is. This is a perfect first defense for Lynch, and will work for the time being until the other women in the division build their characters a bit more. It works, just doesn’t grab you.
The Cruiserweights made the RAW debut on Monday in a well recived match. It was a little slow to catch on, seemingly because the average RAW viewer likely doesn’t religiously peruse the WWE Network. The Cruiserweights did eventually win the crowd over, with the frantic pace and flippedy doos. Of course there is more to the division than that, but a fatal-fourway for #1 Contendership lends itself to a spot fest.
In a strange move, they spent a lot of time building up to the action the crowd was going to see instead of showcasing any of the participants, or even the Cruiserweight Champ TJ Perkins, who didn’t even appear on the show. Even if they were concerned about the crowd not knowing who the wrasslers were, wouldn’t it be better to do a brief introduction instead of nothing at all? Eh, not my call. I’m still of the mind that Smackdown Live could have benefited more from the division, but with Monday Night Football back, RAW needs something to grab eyes for that third hour. The Cruiserweights could provide that excitement.
That’s all for me. I’ll be livetweeting Clash of Champions a bit and putting another PPV recap out for Monday. Feel like I skipped something you hold dear, let me know on the Twittah Machine, then we can become pen pals and play chess via letter. Till then…