Four matches? Two hours of show and they had all of four matches? That’s bloody crazy! They usually have more than this on SD, and I expect more than this on SD. The promos and vignettes were solid, and the show really was good, but I still expected more. Maybe Tucker is right, maybe I am more jaded than I thought, but I’ll address that in another article that I started on before SD started when he said I was jaded. Keep your eyes open for that one, because it could be a lot of self-abuse, and that’s always fun for those who think I’m too crazy for my own good.
Joe’s Gonna Climb
Joe on mic after getting the case from above the ring was great. Joe has been loved by the fans since he came up to the main roster, but he turned here. As I said when Cass was doing it, the best way to get over as a heel is to attack the underdog. The most beloved underdog is, and will always be, Daniel Bryan. Further, that Bryan came out seething over Brie and Birdie made him that much more endearing.
It was the perfect start to SD. Then, Cass came out. Cass needed a brace on that knee and needed to sell his ‘injury’ so much more than he did. So while he was better on the mic here, he completely failed selling the injury. Honestly, I blame whoever it is who let Cass go out there without any brace on that knee. I noticed it well before he got to the stairs, but that was where he completely lost any obvious injury he was trying to sell. Not sure who to blame for the lack of brace, but I would think that Road Dogg should have made sure it was on Cass as he has been booking the show.
Nakamura Can Count!
I loved how simply Nakamura counted down the numbers as he walked. It also led into his match with Tye! This right here is proof that some of those short little backstage segments are better at moving things forward than the long and drawn out messes they give us in the ring. Not cutting on the opening segment, just on long segments that don’t work.
I have to say that Paige might be a bit soft to be a GM, which surprises me, after all, we have seen from her, both in the ring and in her real life. She has seemed to be a very strong woman, but it’s not coming across as well here. She looks a bit apprehensive, but even Vickie wasn’t amazing from day one, so I’m more than willing to see what she can do with it. She is getting better week by week.
10! 10! 10!
I’m kind of shocked that Tye managed to get some of those moves off on Nakamura. He’s had one of the worst times after being brought up from NXT, and this didn’t help in the least. What a mess. I know McMahon has done a great job of burying all but the top guys from NXT, but this is one of the worst, because Tye has so much potential. I do love the use of Tye’s gimmick for Nakamura, but how much abuse can one man take before asking to go back to NXT where he could actually work on a regular basis?
Are we back in the Divas Era? Corey said Ginger Kelly. I think he meant Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly!
English rapping is funny, but the fans are eating it up. I was so worried when it came out that McMahon doesn’t like English’s look and wanted to split him from Rusev while adding Lana back in, but this is so much better than I thought possible! He’s wonderful for Lana, just as he is for Rusev.
Lana can dance, and looked decent out there. Okay, so she looked so much better than Nidia did when she was in a dance off back in 2002, but she couldn’t keep up with Naomi.
The dancing with Naomi was great, though I thought Rusev was going face, until this!
Hotcakes vs Naruto
Miz dodging hotcakes thrown by The Bar was great! I’m not getting his Naruto look, but to each their own. Well, actually, I love his sleeveless trench he’s been wearing, and would love to make something similar, though a bit less fiddly, and in pink, for myself.
Hotcakes vs Naruto Too
This match was a lot of fun to watch, as well as being well wrestled. So much creativity in this match, most of which from Woods, but they all looked great. Such a great match and so thrilled to see these six men booked in a match that let them all shine in the way that was best for each of them. That should be happening in each and every episode of Raw, SD, and all PPVs.
Seeing how Woods was pushed in this match, I have to wonder if he will be the one in the MITBLM. He really is the best suited for that type of match, even though Big E would be the best of the team to win the match. Hey, who is to say that Woods couldn’t win the MITBLM and then give the contract to Big E. Stranger things have happened.
Bros vs Bros
I’m still not sold on the Good Brothers. I want to see them succeed, but things just are not working for them. The Bludgeon Brothers, on the other hand, are really great as who they are and have sold everything they are, completely. The only thing is I have to wonder if they can do as well with live promos. They’ve been relying on taped promos so far, and I love the whole vision they create, but I think they need to talk live as well as taped, as they move forward.
Neither Ready For Asuka!
Asuka needs her roots done and I’m shocked at that. She always looks so perfect, so seeing her roots left be a bit perplexed.
So sick of Mandy Rose being pushed as a sex symbol. I know she’s drawn that way, but she’s one of the stronger wrestlers between the two factions that debuted at the same time. Obviously not as great as the leaders of both factions, but she’s the best of the four women, by far. She’s so much better than the IIconics too! Not that she talks much, but her ring work is leaps and bounds better than Sara, Liv, Sonya, BK, and Peyton. She needs to be legitimized on the roster, which would have meant looking good against Asuka without Sonya taking her out before the match! Yes, Asuka is one of the best wrestlers on the SD roster, and I don’t think Carmella has a chance without cheating, but having really well-booked matches between Mandy and Asuka could be great for both of them. This match impressed upon me that Asuka helped Mandy look better, and Mandy worked hard to be better in the ring with Asuka.
Carmella looked great in the ring the way she was dressed. I miss the days when I wore overalls with short shirts. I still wear overalls, a lot, but don’t have the body to pull that off! In other words, wow, she looks great!
Becky had rings in her hair. I like the look on her. It’s actually a medieval look that’s coming back. Maybe I’ll have to try them mundanely. Charlotte’s hair was a mess with that strange braid on the top of her head.
All About Zelina
Sin Cara and Almas weren’t bad, but Almas had little to do with it. Zelina was fantastic here, as always, and she was rocking the braids in a huge way. So much great hair going on at SD this week!
Joe’s Gonna Kill You!
What a match! These three left it all out there. Further, with Bryan and Joe in the match, Cass looked that much better. I’d rather this was just Joe and Bryan, but they keep trying with Cass, and I will give them props for not dropping this feud when it wasn’t working perfectly. I know I complain about the WWE continuing with the wrong people, feuds that don’t work, storylines that don’t make sense, but they’re also just as bad about dropping things that might work, but McMahon isn’t invested in. So, as bad as Cass has been since his return, I’m glad they haven’t completely trashed this. I don’t expect things to suddenly change for him, but I hope he’s learning and growing through this storyline.
While short on wrestling matches, what they did give us was (mostly) really solid. In fact, this was a really solid episode of SD, and I hope next week is even better as they’re leading up to MITB. This episode excited me for more, and that’s very high praise.