I had really expected a lot going into SD this week, possibly more than possible coming off Survivor Series. I’m glad the repeat matches didn’t happen and storylines moved forward, but I really expected even more from the show, somehow. It’s not at all bad, just not as much excitement as I’d hoped for.
Reigns Isn’t Happy
I have always said that Reigns just doesn’t have the charisma and mic skills to be the top guy Rocky was. I still feel that way, but for the first time I actually believe Reigns’ character. His mic work and everything around this storyline/character has been jaw-droppingly fantastic. I didn’t like any of it the first week, even through HIAC, but they have really pulled it all together. Jey is doing an amazing job with his character and getting played the way he is by his egotistical cousin. I always say besties make for the best teams and feuds, well, family that grew up together is that much closer than besties. One of my favorite matches was Bret vs Owen in a Cage Match. At one point Owen started biting Bret to keep him from escaping through the door. It was such a sibling thing to do, but not something most wrestlers would do. Besties and family members can do so much more than two superstars who are thrown together into a feud for no reason.
Botch: I wasn’t asked to add anything to this but I was asked to proofread. This simply couldn’t have been any better with this segment. There’s nothing about it I would have changed. Roman was fantastic here and Jey was too. His reactions were EVERYTHING. I have loved it from the very beginning and I love it now. Jey, in particular, is on the run of his life and we’re finally seeing how good Roman can really be. Paul Heyman is the perfect accent for all of it. This has all be done so well and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Not sure why Queen graded this as she did. It gets all the love from me.
Jey fell right into Reigns’ manipulation. The team didn’t fear Jey, so now he’s going to prove to Reigns that they should fear him. Reigns is playing him like a fiddle and I have to wonder how far they’re going to take this. Seeing as they are family, I’m guessing this is going to be massive and really well executed.
Roode & HBK?
I loved Street Profits calling Ziggy HBK, and picking on him and then went after Roode’s previous facial hair. They are so good at creatively taking their opponents down verbally as well as physically.
Roode is so much better than anything we’ve seen him do on Raw or SD. He’s just not had the chance to shine in a way that I know he can. Sticking him with the bouncy blond wouldn’t help anyone, even though SD is in serious need of solid tag teams. There’s less than no chemistry between Roode and Ziggy, and I truly don’t understand why they’re still stuck together other than McMahon not having a clue what to do with either and is too far into his own ego to not chop up each show just before or during it airing live. Seems to me like they need to learn to work smart rather than having a dozen writers for each show and having most of their work ripped apart and completely rewritten in five minutes before the segment is about to start. Personally it seems to me that they could have streamlined a lot while in Orlando, and they’ve done nothing of the sort, which leaves us with matches like this that make very little sense in the grand scheme of things.
Botch: No clue why Roode & Ziggler won here. They aren’t over and winning in this fashion after Street Profits just took out the New Day at Survivor Series is a real head-scratcher. Very inconsistent booking.
Bry’s Friends Are Dropping
Bryan talking about his friends and what they are doing wrong. He was solid here, total passion and heart, even though I’m still not used to his hair. He’s a face, though some of what he said was fighting words.
So Rollins is out so he can be home with The Man and their bun in the oven, that means the Mysterio family is now feuding with Corbin? I think I like it. Yes, the Telemundo was a bit much at times, but now Dom has an ally his own age so Rey doesn’t have a lot more wear and tear on his body, and when it comes to fruition, Dom will then feud with Murphy. All those ducks are in a row, I’m just annoyed at how much Louis Vitton that family wears. Each week, at least one of them are wearing the designer, usually two or three of them are, though Angie was one who was always in LV clothing. It’s a pet peeve for me as most fans will never be able to afford a piece from LV, even second hand, and for them to wear it on TV every week just rubs me the wrong way. I know they want to look their best, but to me, it feels like too much. While unspoken, they make Rocky’s thousand-dollar shirts look like nothing.
He Stood On My Hair!
Sami is a pro at manipulating the match, the ref, and even Bry in the ring. Between his trash talk, complaining at the ref at every turn, and hugging the ropes more than being actually in the ring, he knows exactly what type of heel he is in this match. I know I go there a lot, but I really wonder where Sami would be now if he hadn’t spent as many years of his career under a hood, all because he didn’t think his face emoted right. He’s grown so much without the hood in WWE, but imagine what his charisma and mic work could be if he’d been cultivating it all along.
That brainbuster on the apron made me cringe. I know that they take more risks than they should most of the time, but this is Bry and we never thought we would see him back in the ring. I think that was a bit unnecessary, but that’s me. Other than that, Bry flying from the ring twice, and the dirty way Sami won, this match was downright beautiful to watch. Honestly, that was a really creative way for Sami to win this match as it was only time before Jey attacked Bry again.
Make Sure He’s Okay
It was a given that Jey would be beating up on Bry backstage, but I’ve been waiting to see KO in this mess with the cousins. I think the faces need to come together as it will be their only defense from Reigns and his cousin the pitbull. Not that they will come together and stay together because most factions are heel. It’s the way things seem to go in pro wrestling that I have always found daft. It has never made sense to me that most great factions are heels until they implode, but faces rarely do well in a faction.
KO was annoyed enough that his accent came out in a major way. I love his accent, it so feels like home to me. Even more so this year as there are no Canadian tourists in Maine, KO’s accent warms me. I love how medieval Reigns sounds when he’s talking down to Jey.
I wanted to see Bianca work the ring, not use a comedy of errors to win a match against someone she could easily beat with no issue. Yes, I’m thrilled she’s on SD and I know Cole is right about Bianca being champ within her first year on SD, and I’m glad she was in a match, I just think it was a really piss-poor match for early in her time on SD. She’s so much better than this match showed because we all know how amazing she is and this feels like they’re holding her back. The grade is for the work in the ring and the timing with Bayley, not for the booking of this match or Bianca.
I have to admit it was a lot of fun to see a heel get screwed over by a bunch of faces, the way only heels normally act. They really screwed Corbin over in there, and it was great to see. Sadly at times it looked like Murphy needed the help, but given time he will be able to beat Corbin clean. I have to say that the family took to him rather quickly, but the twists and turns have made this storyline last longer than I thought it would when Dom first debuted.
Burning The Foundation!
Big E climbed all over Sami here. This is exactly what Big E needed to do alone. Since they split New Day I’ve been worried about E, but this is exactly what he needs to do – show his mic work, charisma, and creativity against someone else who can carry on mic as well.
Here Is My Headshot!
I honestly don’t know what Billie Kay is doing with her headshots, but I’ve found her much less annoying like this. It really feels as though she’s taken at least half of the screech out of her voice, and in doing so has also lost at least half of my annoyance with her existence.
I’m loving that Mella is back and really hard-hitting. She can carry that, the problem I have is that she’s too much like a cross between Evil Marie and Emmalina. The worst of both of them are coming out in Mella. I think most of it is her gear, but I’m not completely sure on that yet. I love how they handled the glass of champaign.
I really wanted to be sucked into this match, but after seeing the way Heyman was watching Reigns with one brow raised and that eye bugging out, I couldn’t think of anything else. I kept trying to get into the match, and it was a solid match in parts, but not as good as I expected from these two. They didn’t look off at all, they just didn’t draw me in to the point of forgetting that I’m supposed to be writing about the show. This match just didn’t capture me the way I really feel like the main event between these two great wrestlers.
It was only after the match when KO gained control and beat the heck out of Jey while addressing Reigns did I finally feel the passion I was hoping to feel in this match. It brought the grade up from what I’d originally assigned it. KO stole the end of the night from Jey and Reigns. Interesting to note his accent didn’t come out at all when he was yelling at Reigns.
Shut Up Corey, I’m Yelling Here!
I have to say they dropped the ball with the women this week. One rather lackluster match – even with Bianca in there – and one short segment backstage. I’ve been really mouthy about my feelings toward AEW and how they handle women, but I have to say SD dropped the ball tonight. I know it’s just one night in years of greatness, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t complain about the lack of women tonight.