Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar have a long history, the kind of history you can lean on to tell a simple story before another great match between the two. That’s more or less what we got in the main spot of Friday Night SmackDown this week in Atlanta.
Paul Heyman was instructed to say a few words, but he didn’t need to say much. This is the kind of match that sells.
Instead, they went with everything around it, just enough to add some intrigue to it. Theory attacked Lesnar from behind before he could get his hands on Heyman, and Brock completely wiped out the poor guy because Vince apparently forgot to teach him that you don’t attack Lesnar from the back, you attack him. in the crotch.
Straight for the biggest weakness, kid.
As Theory tried to rush in, Drew McIntyre came on stage to expose him with a Claymore before staring at Lesnar. This could very well be what the future holds. Probably not, but maybe!
It was a bit strange to have this show without Roman Reigns, but that’s a reality we should get used to at this point. The part-time status of the top guys is going to be a major talking point for McIntyre going forward, so we’ll just have to deal with that.
A while ago, it was reported that Vince McMahon wanted Ronda Rousey to smile more. If you thought it more or less went against everything that always made Rousey interesting, you were one of the many.
They can actually correct their course now that McMahon is out.
That sure was what it was on this show, where Rousey had become very pissed off herself again, looking to kick ass and take names. She is the “baddest woman on the planet” after all. The main focus should always have been to make the badass look really badass at all times, while finding new and interesting ways to make it clear.
Here they achieved it by having Shotzi brag about getting a win over Aliyah and Rousey arrived on the scene to tell him to get the hell out of the dodge. When Shotzi came back with “oh, hey Ronda” and tried to punch her, Ronda easily put her on the ass and gently replied “Bye, Shotzi”.
She took the mic and tripped over her words a bit while explaining how pissed off she was, which is obviously a step back, but she made up for it by telling a random guy in the crowd “you shut up, and your mother has let you down.”
Also pretty badass.
You don’t have to be a Rousey fan to support this, simply because it’s not so much that it’s Rousey but rather a sign that there are creative minds out there now who understand how to actually use someone ‘one like Rousey. Its good!
This all led to Rousey teaming up with her adversary to Slam summer, Liv Morgan, in a match against Natalya & Sonya Deville. They also told a good story with the match, with Morgan repeatedly refusing to have Rousey participate because she wanted so badly to show that she could win on her own and didn’t need Ronda.
Finally, Morgan got close enough that Rousey could just tag herself, at which point she unleashed on Deville, tapping her with the ankle lock while Morgan dealt with Natalya. What was remarkable was that Morgan didn’t win until after Ronda entered.
It was a great way to prepare for their title match at Slam summer.
- WWE opened this show with Drew McIntyre and Sheamus finally having their good old fashioned donnybrook match, probably because they wanted to set up the next top contender on the September PPV at the start of the show so they could build tomorrow night’s PPV at the end. They still ended that segment with Theory attacking McIntyre, because I’m guessing Theory must have his hand in no less than 50% of all segments on any WWE schedule right now. Regardless, the match itself was a fun brawl that was well received by the fans in the arena. No surprise to McIntyre to get this headlining spot in Cardiff.
- I really like Pat McAfee and hope they get him to work on a few more programs while he’s in WWE, but it would be great if they came up with better creativity for those programs than “a guy who doesn’t have it.” don’t like harassing/attacking him while he tries to do his job as a commentator. This time it was Bum Ass Corbin shouting behind him from the crowd – he apparently bought a ticket for it – as they did a full ad read for the Slam summer map. It was extremely boring, and not in a good way. It also got in the way of the actually interesting thing here, that he was holding a sign with a picture of McAfee’s picture when he was arrested in 2010 for public intoxication. The problem is, there are probably a lot of WWE fans, probably the vast majority, who don’t even know that much. They never bothered to explain it in any way. I just used it for a cheap spot and left it unexplained to an audience that almost certainly needs that explanation. The segment ended with Corbin jumping the rail, of course, and kicking McAfee in the nuts.
- We were supposed to have an Aliyah vs. Lacey Evans match, but the latter was not medically cleared, as we were told, and instead we had Aliyah vs. Shotzi. In the end, Shotzi took the win to a muted response.
- The Usos and The Street Profits sat down with Jeff Jarrett to go over the rules for the tag team title match at SummerSlam. He clarified that his only job is to count to three when someone’s shoulders are down, but that’s at SummerSlam and if they want to brawl here, go for it. So they did, and inevitably Jarrett was completely destroyed by a super kick to the face from Jey Uso. He apologized several times but Jarrett seemed unwilling to forgive him and the segment ended with The Street Profits standing. A nice extra plot I guess, not that this game needs it.
- Max Dupri is still here after all! He showed up with Maxxine to help kick off the Beachwear collection in a pre-recorded backstage segment you might have missed if you blinked during the second half of this show. His beard is growing back and he seemed a bit more relaxed but there wasn’t much to get out of such a short pre-tape.
- The Vicious Viking Raiders beat The New Day and I just can’t care about any of that. The match went well, I’m just not very attracted to it all. After the game, they ran an injury angle on Xavier Woods, using their shields to knock him down and a chair to injure his ankle.
It was a really good show overall!