The first episodes of WWE TV in 2018 have been strong and hopefully continue that way as the month and year continue. These couple weeks are notoriously slow, and sometimes boring, in the WWE, until the Royal Rumble and the Road To WrestleMania really starts taking major curves and corners. So much excitement in store for us, but rather than making us wait for the week before the Royal Rumble, they’ve started off 2018 with solid shows. Fingers crossed that things only get better from here!
Is Bryan A Yepper?
This is where AJ is meant to be! The way he was glowing in the ring, that smile, and how the fans chanted for him. He reminds me a bit of Bryan in the awe he so obviously feels when a huge arena is all in for him. He is phenomenal, and so much more!
I’m very transparent about loving promos from this group of superstars on SD. The whole storyline/feud has been beautifully crafted and executed. More questions each week, and very few answers add so much to SD, and get me that much more excited about the WWE as a whole going down Road To WrestleMania. I’m downright giddy.
Which Uso Is Which Uso?
Gable saying, “Let’s them know Oose!” while the Usos say it as they come to the ring looked strange. They moved the camera fast, but it still came through. Further, those two need a team name! Team America Alpha?
This was a solid match that was well fought and a bit dirty, which is always good, but the end is what made this match really interesting. So much screwiness is great, but I really don’t like ‘instant replay’ being used in the WWE. Much of the time I don’t like it in the NFL, but I get it in this day and age. But the WWE is scripted, and scripting an ‘instant replay’ moment when not at a PPV seems strange to me.
And then back to the fighting in and outside the ring. This match has been good for that, and it’s really giving Gable a chance to shine while Benjamin shines in the ring. But it was the Usos who stole the night with the way this match ended. Between thwarting Gable and Benjamin’s big move, and then taking Shelton out the way they did, they showed that they really have grown into a serious force in the ring as well as their character/mic work. That being said, Benjamin and Gable will be Tag Team Champs sooner than later – unless they break up and feud, but I think it’s way too soon for that.
KO is a great heel, possibly the best heel the WWE has seen in years. KO is a great talker, possibly the best talker the WWE has seen in years. But Sami has always been the cute sidekick, the nice guy, the guy who hid under a hood for years because he didn’t think his facial expressions matched what he was doing in the ring. Then, one little comment from McMahon to Sami about how to play a heel – be who you are, continue to dance around, but exaggerate it and everything else you do (paraphrased) – and Sami is the one who keeps my attention, even when KO is the one talking.
I’ve always referred to wrestlers I like and respect by their last names in my writing. But Sami has always been Sami because he’s that sexy ginger next door who doesn’t get how cute he is, and doesn’t really see that he’s anything special. I really need to remind myself to start calling him Zayn, because he’s taken who he was to a whole new level. No longer is he Sami, the fun guy who gets the short end of the stick. He’s now Zayn, the guy who takes what he wants with a smile on his face, and a spring in his step. He is downright spectacular!
So Much For That Match!
I so want to love the Bludgeon Bros, but this whole Breezango/Ascension thing is stupid! First, they take Fashion Files off SD and put it on YouTube, and then they get destroyed by Rowan and Harper. I don’t know where they are going with this, but I think this is a cluster all the way around. Time for Ascension and the BBs to face off and then blow the whole thing off.
Woods Is Skywalker?
No, he got Lasik.
I know Sir Mitch doesn’t agree, but the work between New Day and Rusev and English has been top notch, and only gets better each week. That Rusev gets some of the best lines of the segments – talking about eating fluffy pancakes – is not the direction you’d think they’d go, but it works so well. Sometimes two workers are put together out of the blue, and it usually flops. But the WWE is on a roll! Cesaro and Sheamus, now scrawny Cesaro (English) and Rusev! Whoever thought to put them together deserve a raise on each and every Rusev Day! Yes, I said that last week, but I want the powers that be to really listen to what I’m saying, so I’m trying again.
Seeing Mojo talk so slowly and quietly was really kinda scary. I know that when I get quiet like that it’s only because if I don’t, someone will have to duck a flying shoe. I love Mojo like this!
Rusev So Cannot Sing!
But Woods can win. The sad thing is that he’s going to have to face Mahal – ugh! In all reality, this was a pretty solid match. They worked the ring for a rather short time, but they worked hard and looked good doing it. Seeing Woods work a singles match is odd enough, but against English, it was a strange dichotomy. It’s sad that we see Woods in the ring as little as we do because he’s really good and so much fun to watch.
The eye rolls for Nattie talking on mic was great! Too bad the interviewer doesn’t have any facial expressions. Yes, I said it. She’s boring!
While I Lana being on Tamina’s side has worked well ringside, it’s not been as great on mic. Tamina has a beautiful voice and solid delivery. Since she returned she seems like a whole new woman, and that woman should be allowed to do her own promos. She’s proven herself, so now it’s time to let her run with it!
More Welcome To SD
There was some great work in this match! Just wow! There wasn’t one weak link in this match. Okay, Ruby is better than Liv and Sarah, but not by a lot. Further, I love the diversity of the three in the Squad. None of them are cookie cutter, even Liv who could come off as a typical blonde if you’re not paying enough attention. Further, I love that Sarah was the one who took the win. It’s easy to have Ruby do it, but more interesting for Sarah. It’s nice that they really are working as a team.
Charlotte, Naomi, and Becky looked great taking on the Riott Squad. (Yes, I got sucked into the extra T after all the complaining I did. I had to post something official on the site about them, and I needed to spell it correctly there because news has to be correct.) Charlotte bringing out Naomi and then Becky was great. Not thrilled with Becky’s hair color, but she did just make a movie. Hopefully she goes brighter again before the Royal Rumble.
Well, sorta. His face moves as he talks, but they are not expressions that really tell us anything. Plus, with the camera so close in on his face all you get is a hipster who forgot his hat and is showing just how far back his hairline is sliding. Corbin thinks people should go back to being a nameless person in the audience for saying that, but I’ve had a recognizable name in the wrestling industry longer than he has, so he can bite me. Sorry, the way he attacked the fan on Twitter was a bit much, even if he is a heel. I will say the person who called him out was wrong about Corbin’s ring work, but right on about his waist and his hairline.
How Many superstars Does It Take To Screw Up The Main Event?
Not saying that this match was bad, or someone screwed up, just that it was wonderfully screwy on so many levels. The growing ire between Shane and Bryan has become so much fun to watch and leaves us each week with more questions than answers each week. Bryan throwing Shane out of ringside when the ref threw KO out was fantastic. We don’t know who is going to turn which way each time we see these five on WWE TV. This wouldn’t have worked with Mahal as WWE Champion, and I’m thrilled they didn’t even try.
I was a bit surprised that AJ suggested a Handicap Match, but that’s basically what he’s been doing the past couple weeks. I have to wonder who will be ringside for this match, and who might be a Special Guest Ref, or Special Guest Enforcer, or something along those lines. There’s no way this match will go down without Shane and Bryan being involved, and that will make it that much more fun. The only question is, why are they going this way rather than putting KO and Zayn in the Royal Rumble Match? I’ve not even thought of who might win the match, but it seems to me that either of them had a solid shot at it if they were in it. Or, at least give us some great moments if neither won. I know that only time will tell on all this, but I’m so excited that we are getting such a great storyline in such a slow burn. This is slow burn at its best! Charisma, everyone involved is great on mic, all are over with the fans in one way or another, there’s a great group chant, the WWE Champ, a McMahon, and some of the best wrestlers in the industry.
Coming off a really great Raw I was hoping that SD would stand up as a great first step into 2018. while not as great as most of Raw was, this was a solid show and hopefully the WWE continues in this vein going forward. This is a great start down the Road To WrestleMania, and it’s making me more giddy with each episode of Raw and SD. Other than the fact that it’s bleeping cold here and we are looking down the barrel of another major snowstorm, followed by more bitter cold weather, I’m very happy.