What a wild week in professional wrestling. Between the 25th Anniversary Raw episode, Enzo’s legal issues and release, and the Royal Rumble coming up! This time of the year always makes me giddy. I’ve stated over and over that the Royal Rumble is my favorite PPV of the year, and, if anyone ever wants to take me to a Royal Rumble, all you have to do is ask – and pay for most everything (lol). But in all reality, I think of Survivor Series as the start of the Road To WrestleMania, and the Royal Rumble the halfway point where everyone who is a dedicated pro wrestling fan really gets hyped for the coming two months of storylines, feuds, and a whole lot of fun. Add in the success of the Dignified Discussion for the 25th Anniversary Raw, and I’m giddy beyond all belief.
All that being said, I need to ask you what you want from us. I’ve asked before, but it’s been a month or so and things are starting to ramp up. What can we do to keep you happy? What do you want that you’re not getting from WR? What can we do to make WR bigger and better? And, while I hate to ask this, and no, there will be no premium subscriptions as that’s a business profile I don’t want to touch as I’ve seen the worst of it in practice, what can we do to bring in a little bit of cash? None of us will ever make a living at this, but we would like to break even. Buying the URL, hosting, hardware for podcasting and videocasting, advertising, and other little incidentals that pop up, we have spent some money, but are doing this on a shoestring. We are not asking for money, but for ideas on all these things, so, again, what can we do for you?
KO claimed that they’re the future of the WWE, but, aren’t they the now of the WWE? Yes, slamming Raw’s 25th was a great way to start, but stating that they’re the future when they are the now is confusing.
Zayn is so much greatness as a heel. He’s so impressive, and so surprising. Each week he gets better and better! And, unlike so many, he knows how to work the fans. He was about to say something, but when the fans started chanting for AJ, he stopped, thought, and obviously worked off them to make it that much better. That last moment when Zayn said they’d hurt AJ, he gave so much face, it was incredible to see him drop the smiles and become dead serious!
Then there’s AJ who takes what is written for him and delivers. AJ has never been great at rolling with the fans on mic, but he’s proof that it’s possible to take the scripted words and make them into so much more. If only they all could do that in their own unique way.
Jey In The Gable
After a bit of back and forth between the two and Gable got the three. Honestly, it was rather slow and boring until the end of the match, and by then I didn’t care at all. I hope their match at the Royal Rumble is better.
Loves me some Nakamura. He’s so adorable! Corbin says the fans don’t pay his bills. I think he’s either spouting rhetoric or delusional, or mindlessly reciting what he was told to say without questioning it, and that’s just as bad as saying crap that doesn’t make any sense.
Feed Me Face
I love Liv’s reaction in the ring! She’s facially expressive, which always makes me happy, but she’s also funny. I know she’s a heel, but the way she moves and her expressions makes me think that she might have a great sense of humor and will be a great, and funny, face when she eventually turns – or Ruby and Sarah turn on her for some reason, possibly that they’re not living up to being as invasive and scary as they were supposed to be, and Liv is the least of that of the three.
The botched pinfall on Naomi was a bit wonky, but Liv is still new and needs some time to get seasoned in front of the WWE fans. But the end was solid and set up for the teaser for the Women’s Royal Rumble Match.
I knew when Nattie came to the ring that we were going to get our teaser for Sunday night. I am shocked to say that Lana’s kick wasn’t horrible! Possibly the best move I’ve seen from her so far. Actually, they all looked decent in there, and I loved Becky trying to toss Naomi out of the ring. But I wanted more. This one here and one there thing didn’t work as well as the similar thing they did on Raw. This was just too slow to be good.
Charlotte sounded a bit stilted here. It’s as if she was channeling her own heel self, even though she’s girl-next-door face.
RKO Outta Nowhere!
Nakamura played Corbin beautifully! His ring psychology is so much a part of who he is, but Corbin doesn’t seem to understand or care. Yes, he did what he was supposed to do out there, but I got nothing from him as a superstar or human being. He’s almost a void out there. Yes, I see him in the ring, but he’s so flat and boring that it’s like he has no aura, no excitement to his life force. Okay, I know I’m sounding New Agey, but it’s the only way I can think to explain it.
Only at the end of the match did Corbin give any real reaction at all. I want to love Corbin, he seems to have so much to give, but there’s this wall he won’t let the fans through.
I have already written most of my predicts for the Royal Rumble, and even after Orton caused the DQ here, I stand by my statement about him. I know you won’t get to see it until the WR Predicts are posted, but that RKO doesn’t make him relevant again.
Roode really seemed to be having a blast with New Day here. I love that he’s having so much fun, but I want him to turn heel and really show the WWE fans what he’s made of. I’ve been watching Impact TV on the Pluto App. Not whole PPVs most of the time, but a couple matches here and there. First off, it’s fun to see what the guide says the PPV is, and then I suss out the reality from context clues from the show. I think the guide has been right twice lately, and once was for an episode of Impact that I had to turn off because it was that bad, and most of the wrestlers looked as though they’d been pulled from the indie scene with not a care about how they look or how they work the ring. Anyway, between the horror of that Impact, I’ve seen a lot of Roode’s work, and he was always so much better as a heel, or anti-hero. He could out-anti-hero Orton any day of the week, and twice on Saturday! He can get the fans to ‘GLORIOUS’ with him whenever he poses, imagine how much more over he’d be doing that as a heel!
It’s A Glorious Day, Oh Yes It Is!
This seemed off to me at first, like why have one of New Day stay outside the match, but this worked really well. It continued to push Rusev Day and English feuding with New Day, which has been a lot of fun. Now, Mahal just needs to go away. Yes, I’m a broken record when it comes to Mahal, and I’m sad to say I will continue that way unless he does something to prove me wrong. Has he proven any of you wrong yet?
Shane-O-Mac In Charge
My internet was blipping in and out during this little bit, but I like how Shane continues to cause troubles for Zayn and KO. It’s a great storyline all the way around, and hopefully building toward something amazing – as long as Bryan doesn’t get hurt, which is why I’m hoping he doesn’t work the ring again.
AJ seemed to take out KO faster than made any real sense. He’s KO, he’s beaten almost everyone at one point or another. Yes, I know they’re setting up for their Royal Rumble match, getting the fans that much more interested, pushing the feud that much more, but it was still really fast for KO to lose a match.
Blue Thunder Bomb!
It really seemed to take them way too long with KO outside the ring with the EMTs. Knowing the WWE, it looked wrong, as if they were setting this up. It was so obvious that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for it. Yes, a creative way for KO to stay ringside, but it looked so fake that it really hurt this match.
I love watching Sami and AJ work the ring together. They are a wonderful pairing, and while I love Sami and KO being buddies again, I’d love to see a serious feud between AJ and Sami, just the two of them. The ring work in this match was great! They were crisp and solid with almost any move. This match made me that much more excited for their match at the Royal Rumble.
This episode of SmackDown was better than the four hours of Raw we watched the night before. Now, there were certain parts of the 25th Anniversary Raw that were jaw-dropping, but much of it was just boring. I expected so much more from the show, but it flopped. On the other hand, SD made up for a lot of it and helped continue to set up for the Royal Rumble. Now, I’ve already written up most of my predictions for the Royal Rumble, and I really don’t see any reason to change them after SD.
This episode was solid and enjoyable but didn’t really add or change anything going forward. That being said, I’m giddy for the Royal Rumble, as I’ve always said, it’s my favorite PPV of the year, and nothing will keep me from it, even though I’ll be medieval most of the weekend.
I’ll see you Sunday night for the Rumble, and don’t forget to check our predicts article before joining us for the Dignified Discussion during the PPV!