When SmackDown opened with a New Day vs. Revival and Orton match, I did a double take; didn’t we see that match in the build to the Orton / Kofi Kingston feud? Was this meant to be a way to keep the feud going?
One solid match later and it seemed Kingston had put down the group for good. Considering my fears that they might try to eke out one more Kingston / Orton match, I was relieved. But wait – if Orton’s out, who would be Kofi’s next challenger?
… Oh. oh. Brock Lesnar.
That’s a legitimate surprise, and one that makes a ton of sense. Lesnar hasn't fought on WWE television in quite a while; he’s been behind a paywall, essentially, and putting him on the billing of the first FOX show makes it feel special.
… It also feels like the expiration date on Kingston’s title reign, doesn’t it? Watching Kingston during this old down was interesting. Big E was chomping at the bit to get after Lesnar, but Kofi held up a hand and asked his friends to let him handle it himself. And while I can appreciate Kofi’s confidence … what the hell are you doing, Champ?
Anyway, this should be fun. And considering the fact that the Kofi / Orton feud felt like it got out-shined by some other programs, it also boosts Kofi back up the card – even if it's for one last fight.
Yup, Rowan’s delusional
I'm pretty sure I said this last week – sorry, these run together at times – but Erick Rowan’s perception of himself is so drastically different from reality. He made that very clear once again this week in a sit-down interview with Michael Cole.
Rowan feigned surprise that Cole even knew his name and boasted that he’s smarter than Daniel Bryan and a leader, not a follower. Sure thing, pal.
But that’s also what makes him dangerous, honestly. His ego and his insecurities feed off of one another. Where Bryan thought he actually had a friend in his corner, Rowan felt underappreciated and overlooked. Bryan came out to end the show to express how badly Rowan’s betrayal hurt him, and Rowan had no time for any of it.
Bryan claimed that there’s nothing Rowan could to do him physically that could hurt more than the betrayal and … well. Luke Harper leveled Bryan and the beatdown was on. Roman Reigns came out to try to help, but Rowan and Harper were just too much. They took Reigns out of commission, exposed the concrete floor and dropped some guards onto it, and finally put Bryan through a table to close the show.
On the plus side, Bryan essentially got his apology from Reigns when he came out to help, so … silver linings?
Kevin Owens hits Shane McMahon with a lawsuit – KO has been screwed over big time by Shane in the past month or two; I think we can all agree about that. But is a lawsuit angle really the outcome you wanted from all of Shane’s interferences?
Look, if this results in Shane getting off the show, I'll shut up about it. But it's just not that appealing to me.
King Corbin’s memorabilia didn't last very long – Streak, arrogant Corbin was streak, arrogant Corbin. The short jokes are still a thing, as well. Luckily, Chad Gable’s assault on Corbin’s royal memorabilia went over pretty well with the crowd. But with that said, after this long tournament … that's how it ends? At least we got a feud from the whole thing, I guess.
Charlotte def. Sasha Banks via DQ – Another moment in Bayley’s moral descent. Firstly, the fact that Offset was there to introduce Charlotte was pretty cool; I wish he had been a bigger part of the show somehow, though. This was a really good match as you probably expect, but the story was how Bayley interfered and Carmella, a former friend, came out to rescue Charlotte and get physical with Bayley.
If your other friends are turning on you, Bayley … that should tell you something.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn get revenge on Ali – Ali picked up a win over Nakamura a while back, and the new duo just couldn't let that stand. This was basically just an excuse for Zayn to be a massive tool while Nakamura hit Ali with a Kinshasa when Ali was distracted.
Heavy Machinery def. B-Team – You know what I really like about Heavy Machinery? They don't have any weird stories going on – which is honestly a little shocking considering who’s on the team. They're just an odd, fun spectacle to enjoy for a few minutes.
AoP’s vignette re-run – I missed this in the Raw review. My apologies. Yeah, this new AoP angle is right up my alley. Mean dudes wearing suits who got banned from MMA for being too violent calling out tag teams for being soft? All in
Funnily enough, I also got an advertisement for AEW during one of the commercial breaks. That’s still new enough to be novel.
I liked this show better than Raw. It's still got issues (Shane), but it was fairly solid as a whole.