Going into SD I was more excited for NXT TakeOver: WarGames than actually watching and writing about SD, but as they started celebrating Pat Patterson and the flow of the show took hold of me, it really became a much better show than I was expecting.
I’m Not Crying, You Are!
I love how WWE is honoring Pat Patterson. Most of us know him as a Stooge, more than the work when he was young, that he was the first IC Champion and the first openly gay pro wrestler, but he had a heck of a career and a very full life. Much of what we think of as pro wrestling now, he had a hand in creating. He booked the Royal Rumble every year until recently where he taught Triple H how to book it. He wasn’t perfect, but he was loved by many and it appears as though WWE is doing a solid job of honoring him. The grade is for all of the love poured out for Patterson, including the video shared on NXT, and that later in SD.
There’s A Lady In The Ring
Dang, Reigns really ripped Kayla a new one. I said it last week, but I’m in awe that Reigns has found his character, his niche, and he’s running with it. I wasn’t sure he’d ever find this niche, but he has and it’s jaw-dropping. I don’t know if it was pairing him with Heyman or that this character is perfect for him, or a mixture of the two, but he’s found it and I’m loving every moment of his mic work. He was downright nasty to Kayla, but it’s how he did it that leaves me in awe. I honestly never thought he’d find his niche, and I wasn’t sure Jey would find something without his twin, but the beauty of all of it has left me smiling every Friday night.
KO has been a fave of mine from ROH, and he’s so much fun. I love it when his accent comes out, but it didn’t here. The dichotomy between Reigns and KO is really interesting, though I have to say I love how normal KO is in a lot of ways compared to Reigns’ new teeth and a massive amount of ink.
Why? Just Doesn’t Make Sense!
Nattie is, should have already, approaching the end of her in-ring career. She’s just not up to par to keep up with the best of this era. She’d be a great trainer, but not continuing in the ring every week. She’s milquetoast through and through and bores most of us to tears when she’s on any WWE TV. It’s time because there’s no way she could keep up with Bianca, Io, Rhea, Raquel, Shotzi, etc., ad nauseum, and shouldn’t be trying. It’s time!
Why did Bayley go UNDER to Nattie? Why did Bayley tap out to Nattie? It makes no sense and didn’t look very good from bell to bell. Only because of Bianca on announce and where they’re building this feud between her and Bayley did I not fail this match.
Tribute To Patterson
I loved how Bry looked up as a nod to Patterson as he came out. So touching that they are doing this match, and then I completely marked out when Big E got into the bowl of chalk. I’ll admit I’ve not seen enough of Big E’s NXT work, but I know the chalk is a throwback to his character there. They’ve also teased the Big E 5 count as well, which makes me giddy. Normally I don’t like characters back-tracking, but Taker went back to who he was at WM20 after being ABA for a couple of years, so if it’s good enough for Taker, it’s good enough for Big E. I think it’s a smart move for him to tweak the character subtly while heading up the ranks as a singles competitor.
These six men absolutely paid tribute to Patterson with this match. He would be very proud of them and how hard they worked just for him, and how happy they were doing this. This match was really great, and the post-match felt very AE, but in the best of ways. It was also a great way to continue building Big E as a top guy.
His Accent Is Back!
KO in the ring earlier didn’t show his accent, but it’s here. I really wonder why it comes out so clearly at times and not at all at other times. I also wonder about Kalisto coming out in the middle of this segment. On the other hand, I think I love the idea of Otis and KO tagging a bit. It would help give Otis some credibility after he was totally screwed out of the MITB case by Miz.
I don’t understand how Carmella looks like a Diva but is supposed to be believed as a wrestler. Further, Mella’s pretty, but she has almost no emotion in her face. She seems to have lost every bit of emotion she used to have. On visuals, Sasha killed this and Mella was blah. On words, Sasha was leaps and bounds better as well. I get where they’re going, but it just feels silly to me right now.
Not So Forgotten By Corbin?
It was interesting to see Cutler and Blake with Corbin. I think it makes perfect sense. He needs minions, and after what their partner did on Twitter, it makes perfect sense, though they should have done it months ago. I’d love to go on and on about how happy I am with this grouping, but I can’t get over Dom trying to dress like The Rock circa 1999 in the most mortifying pic of him out there. While Rock was dressed for the times, Dom looks like a middle school kid whose voice hasn’t yet changed, but he’s trying to dress like his hero from 1999. I have been complaining for weeks about all the Louis Vuitton clothes, but this pink with the chain over it has left me in awe of what the kids are wearing these days!
I loved how Blake and Cutler waited for Corbin to motion for them, then finished the match. It’s exactly what we expect from Corbin. I hope this means Corbin will be going into another push. He’s just been kinda lolling around, waiting for his next feud, storyline, or character change. Looks like they finally decided on his next thing, unless McMahon changes his mind in the next week.
Backstage Tag Ire
I love Street Profits, but add in Roode and I’m giddy. Roode looked amazing, dressed of the time, and rocking the leather, but Cesaro’s outfit is a bit odd. Not sure about a tie and sweatshirt, but I can be funny about neckties. The mic work was great, as always, but I was so distracted by all the fashion worn by those four. Many in the DD agreed that Roode and Cesaro make more sense as a team than the teams they’re in right now. Their chemistry in this segment was so much more than either have shown with their current partners.
This match went exactly as I expected it to, right down to Reigns doing whatever he wanted, being vicious, and taking out everyone, including his own cousin. I know a few people don’t like this storyline because of how real it feels, and I’ll admit a few moments have bothered me, but I get what they’re doing with it and I think it’s working.
So many people say they want WWE to be more AE, well this storyline has all the key elements of an AE storyline without all the blecht that was just unwatchable, and yet they complain about this. I’ve been SCREAMING for more grit in WWE, and that’s exactly what this storyline is, GRIT! I can’t complain as they’re giving me what I’ve been BEGGING for, even though I find some of the beatings rather uncomfortable.
Botch: Absolutely everything involving Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman has been nothing short of brilliant. This is wrestling entertainment at its very highest level. The ending was just incredible. Kevin took his chair beating extremely well and I like how careful Jey & Roman were to make it look real without decimating Kevin. Roman earlier referenced consequences for Jey earlier and we saw what he meant here. Roman’s in the brainwashing business and he’s got Jey in his clutches. Paul’s reactions while all of this was going on were just inspired. Just fabulous stuff all the way around and I’d have given this five crowns without any reservation.
Shut Up Corey, I’m Talking Here!
This SD had its ups and downs, but I don’t think anyone can complain that they didn’t give Pat Patterson enough love, or that the show wasn’t gritty enough. Other than a few moments and one horrid pink shirt, this was a pretty solid SD!