What a great episode of SD! I was feeling off Tuesday night and missed part of the show, so I went back and watched the whole thing today. This is exactly what the Road To WrestleMania should be! So much greatness on the mic and in the ring. They made me excited for more than just Becky Lynch in the main event at WrestleMania. They made me excited for more thank Kofi Kingston. This episode of SD made me excited about wrestling in a way I feel has been missing in me for quite a while now.
Talk It Off
Miz is one of the best talkers in the WWE today and probably lists in the top twenty-five talkers ever in the top of the industry (WWE, WCW, ECW). That man wasn’t given a chance from the start and persevered to get to the top of the food chain. I will admit that he beat Cena at WrestleMania for the strap too early in his career, that being said, he’s well past due another WWE Championship or Universal Championship run. When they dropped his feud with Bryan before actually finishing it, I was annoyed. I was further annoyed when Miz became a face and got into this thing with Shane. I adore Shane but think Miz should be working a match higher on the card for WrestleMania. All that being said, this feud has brought about some of Miz’s best segments on the mic. He’s really stepped up that much more in his segments with Shane, culminating in this segment that was amazing. Some superstars need to have another person to work off while on the mic, but Miz doesn’t need anyone else. He is great with someone else but doesn’t need another person, and this segment proved that. Hopefully Miz will get into a feud with Kofi later in the spring, leading to them facing off at SummerSlam for the strap. Or, if Miz were to go to Raw, he would be great working against Rollins for the Universal Championship.
I honestly don’t know what Billie Kay is doing in the WWE. She’s so graceless and ungainly in the ring. She moves awkwardly between each move. There’s no flow to her ring work, nothing in it that makes sense. It’s almost painful watching her try to play that she’s a wrestler. I know she and Peyton have been friends forever, the way Edge and Christian have been from a young age, but Billie Kay isn’t a wrestler the way Peyton, Edge, and Christian are. Peyton isn’t wonderful in the ring, but she’s leaps and bounds above her partner and is being held back by her. The thought that Billie Kay is most likely going to be in a match at WrestleMania with the likes of Sasha, Bayley, Nattie, Beth, Nia, Tamina, and her own partner Peyton about makes me ill. Even if you were to tape her mouth shut, she’s not a WWE superstar by any stretch of the imagination.
KO Show Me The Fighting
Speaking of great talkers! KO is another on the roster who could read the phone book and make it interesting. As I typed that I realized what an antiquated phrase that really is. Anyway, it felt as though this episode was really talking heavy at this point after Miz, then the women talking before their short match. Anyway, as always, KO was fantastic on the mic and really set up Charlotte and Becky who destroyed each other. It was great to see, and I cannot wait for what they do next. I’m still not thrilled that Charlotte is in the middle of this, but it is what it is.
AJ is so much better scripted than he ever was on the mic in TNA. If I can figure out how Twitch works I hope to see some vintage AJ Styles from TNA to be reminded of how far he’s come from those early days when he was thrown to the fans with barely an idea of what he was supposed to say. Then there’s AJ facing Orton at WrestleMania. Which is a travesty for AJ because he deserves better. Only if he totally destroys Orton will I be at all happy with his WrestleMania match.
Even More Chatter
By this time I was feeling like nothing was ever going to happen but talking on this episode of SD Live. Bryan, as always, was great here. Calling Kofi all the names that Bryan himself was called not that long ago was fantastic. I honestly thought there was no way Bryan could be a heel after the years of fans behind him and the love he got for so many years. Yet here he is, the most over heel on the roster. He’s downright fantastic.
And Then The Gauntlet…
I knew the gauntlet was coming; I was just so overwhelmed by the great mic work that it took me a bit for it to really click that the first hour was mostly talking. So that the second hour could be dedicated to Kofi and how far he’s come recently after too many years of wallowing all because Orton got cranky and pulled his weight around backstage.
Kofi versus Shane was solid. Kofi versus Cesaro was really a great match, and I hope we get to see them work one on one again soon with plenty of time to let them really work the ring.
I wasn’t sure how Rowan would be handled as we all knew Kofi had to win this match. That he was disqualified was perfect, but that left a huge question mark over Joe’s head. I knew Kofi had to go over Joe somehow, and I think they did it in a way that worked quite well. Joe had that scary look in his eyes after he lost, and then he held Kofi close, cradling him in his favorite hold, giving Kofi a chance to have a brief nap before having to face Orton.
We were all waiting for Orton. We all really love it when Kofi faces off with Orton these days. Now, I honestly don’t care how Orton feels going under Kofi these days, but myself and I think almost everyone who writes for and reads WR, thinks that Orton losing to Kofi is fantastic to watch. Kofi coming full circle taking out that arrogant jackass makes me smile more each time it happens.
Then there’s McMahon. We love to hate the man, and he did exactly what he would have done to Austin, he threw another swerve and another screwing at Kofi. After all, Kofi had been through already, there was no way he could defeat Bryan, but there will be more to this story, and I love that. We know we will get Bryan versus Kofi at WrestleMania, but they’re not making it easy, and in this process making the fans that much more invested in Kofi and his WrestleMania match. This is what they did with Bryan, and it worked so perfectly, as it’s working for Kofi. Two more episodes of SD before WrestleMania, which gives McMahon that much more time to screw with the fans before giving us this match we all are itching to see.
This show felt very talk-heavy for the first hour, wrestle heavy the second hour, and balanced perfectly. This was a great Road To WrestleMania episode of SmackDown, and hope the next two weeks are as good, if not better. Finally, it feels like WrestleMania season!