Plus, Roman and Cesaro deliver a classic, AJ Styles catches the Singh Brothers in a lie, “Woken” Matt and Bray laugh maniacally, and more!
Greetings, awesome loyal Wrap Up readers who are awesome. It’s time to turn a pile of blerf into a succulent bowl of crawfish etouffee. Yup, we’re still in the WWE holiday season dead zone right now and hot headlines are hard to come by.
(heads up: those who don’t normally make it to Page 2 might want to take a peek today)
First off, foremost on my mind, Sami Zayn is a marvelous, miraculous heel. Kevin Owens is amazing, but we already knew he was when he landed in WWE. Sami is a revelation. He’s so vile and annoying on so many levels – even levels you weren’t aware existed. He’s the perfect storm of obnoxious. He’s like an airhorn with a cozy cap. What a gift.
Now let’s delve into Daniel Bryan. Well, “delve” is the wrong word. Really, truthfully, honestly, not much happened this week. But Clash of Champions, which is a SmackDown PPV that’s using the old WCW gimmick name to more or less absorb the Night of Champions slot, is this Sunday and so the most interesting element to happen on TV was Daniel Bryan getting fully incorporated into the story. As…a heel? Kind of?
That’s the tease anyhow. That he’s somehow going to side with Owens and Zayn against Shane. They’ve been building up he conflict between the Commish and the GM for a bunch of weeks now, so I get that, but I’m not sold on Bryan being an official part of the “YEP!” movement.
Then again, I did love Bryan when he was a heel. Even when WWE tried to squash the “YES!” chants by having Bryan scream “NO!” This could be shades of that. Bryan could get behind this wonky bastardized version of his famous catchphrase for some serious heat. Then again, the fact that he’s being so heavily teased to turn on Orton and Nakamura probably means that the opposite will happen. Because of the long-standing science that is Opposite Momentum. Or, as it’s sometimes known, Reverse Momentum. Also known as, in other corners of the globe, the Ol’ Flim Flam Switchback Swervaroo McFadden!
Whatever winds up happening, you know WWE knows that it’s currently in a dry patch. An arid area. They’ve got their final PPV of the year coming up and it’s mostly rematches and/or reworked versions of battles we’ve already seen. Even Shane being the guest ref wasn’t enough to spark interest. Bryan being in the match now, as Special Guest Ref Part Deux, was the company’s last ditch attempt to spice up the spaghetti. That’s a terrible analogy, I’m sorry. Spaghetti isn’t spicy. I mean, sure the sauce can have some zip. Some kick. Some “hooo boy!” tang to it. But spicy spaghetti? That’s terrible. Arrabiata is as far as I’ll take it. That far, no further.
WWE still sees value in Bryan, even as a heel – or at least a heel within the context of him going against Shane – but just not enough to let him lace up and grapple his apple off. I’ll tell you what, I reaaaallly wanted Bryan to briefly come out of retirement on SmackDown and knee Byron Saxton right in the eyeball. That was a fun commentary segment. It was mostly meant to manufacture ambiguity about Bryan’s alliances, but it was the closest thing we’ve gotten to an old episode of Talking Smack in a while. He and Byron got into it.
I think it was mostly jarring because…Byron Saxton all of a sudden had an opinion. A terrible terrible opinion, but an opinion. He was both confrontational while also being a stooge mouthpiece. That takes a bit of skill. It was weird because HE was almost heelish in the way he was trying to accuse Bryan of possibly being a heel.
Side quest: Is Kane freakin’ Mayor of whatever yet? Holy hell. Nothing is worth any of this. Public office is the pits. I feel like he’s been campaigning since he was X-Pac’s tag team partner. Also how nightmarish is Mayor McCheese? How the f*** do you get a burger for a head? I guess it’s never to late to teach kids about gypsy curses.
Hey, another thing I’d like to bring up this week was the awesome Roman/Cesaro match.*CHEF KISS* A thing of beauty. It was both inspiring in its presentation and – well- deflating in its finish since, when the dust settled, it stood as another reminder of how spectacular Cesaro is while also reminding us that he’ll never be made a world champion in WWE. Watching the Bar feud with Seth and Dean always sort of reminds me of that anyhow since he’s the only one of the four who hasn’t been a top guy at some point, but this match really drove the point home more than I would have liked.
Still, it was a superb bout and a nice example of how much effort these guys put in even when not many folks might be watching. Relatively speaking, of course. They’re still performing for a large audience, larger than any other promotion, but we’re in that aforementioned dead space.
Even though, technically, we’re in the midst of WWE WEEK on USA. Side note: It will be kind of cool to watch NXT on TV tonight. I mean, it’s always on my TV, regardless…you know what I mean. Honestly, I can see how this wouldn’t be a big deal at all to some folks. Especially “youths.” To them everything is just platforms and streaming and “what’s a channel?” and – UGH! – that girl in the Apple commercial who’s on her laptop and is all snidely “What’s a computer?” Grrr. And she’s not even a Millennial. She’s part of The Lost Continent of Lemuria or whatever they’re calling that super-young generation now. The Sh**ties. What does she call her f***in’ tablet anyhow, a Smart Plate? Content Shape? My Third Hand? Steve?
Continue on for more from RAW and SmackDown Live…