This was a good show, Cageside. A really good show.
It opened with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods announcing that their boy Big E was healthy once more and I couldn’t decide to mourn his live tweeting or celebrate his glorious return to our screens. Big E then mentioned said tweets, his lusty pursual of Becky Lynch’s mother, and tried to eat a present when Kevin Owens interrupted their fun so...yeah. I think celebrating his glorious return to TV is the way to go, here.
Sami Zayn also double fisted two microphones once Owens walked off which was another fantastic moment, but the bitter heel promised that the New Day wouldn’t be having as much fun by the end of the night; in fact, Kofi wouldn’t be walking out at all.
Prophetic words there, Sam.
First, Big E was taken out backstage by Owens right before Kofi’s match. Woods was quick to jump to E’s side and instructed the WWE Champion to go take care of business. That left Kofi fighting Zayn alone – something that he’s been doing a lot of recently, but something that also leaves him vulnerable.
Kofi was able to pick up the victory, but Paul Heyman came out to taunt a battered Kofi with the briefcase. The distraction left Kofi open to a brutal attack from....Dolph Ziggler?
The beating was so bad that Kofi had to be put on a stretcher. At the top of the ramp, however, Kofi forced his way off the stretcher and walked off on his own power. Boss move, Champ.
Ziggler was happy to give an answer for his actions later in the show and I was really intrigued by the tact he took. Essentially, he’s acting as if his actions aren’t totally crazy – you know, even though they are. He told the crowd that he understands why they booed him and that he’d do the same thing in our shoes.
But we don’t understand. What happened to Kofi Kingston? Running the Gauntlet and winning the WWE Championship? That should have been him!
He sounds sick. He sounds like he’s diseased with envy. In fact, he sounds like that envy and greed has broken him.
He claimed that he’d win the WWE Championship in Jeddah and that we will surely respect him and love him then which is...c’mon. I honestly love this. I like broken characters as a general rule. I like folks that snap. And what Ziggler sold us on this show was disturbingly, wonderfully on point. What’s more, bitterness can unite people; and we saw two more bitter men to open the show, didn’t we?
24/7 Championship still tons of fun
Quick, Cageside: did you have R-Truth getting a makeover from Carmella in an unsuccessful attempt to hide from those who wanted his title? No?
I already love the mess out of this silly fun. R-Truth got outraged at Carmella trashing his wig – it cost $12, you know! - before she somehow turned that thing into something actually decent. Of course, none of it mattered. The lower card guys snuffed this out and interrupted Carmella’s match with Mandy Rose to chase R-Truth. The 24/7 Champ sprinted through the crowd with Carmella on his back and kept running all night.
This stuff’s great, man. It should be a chance for wrestlers to pitch fun ideas where they basically do it all. In fact, I’d love to see some upper card guys get in on the action moving forward. Not all the time, of course; just every now and then. It’d be funny as hell to see R-Truth or someone like Drake Maverick pin Roman Reigns, for example.
Roman Reigns def. Elias – I do not care at all about the Shane stuff and I see enough of Drew McIntyre on Raw, thank you very much. Reigns main evented the show by fighting Elias with Shane at ringside and overcame the odds to win. I didn’t think this match should have main evented and the McIntyre interference was pretty much telegraphed on Raw, wasn’t it?
Bayley and Becky Lynch def. Charlotte and Lacey Evans – I like that Bayley got her moment to bask in her success on Sunday, and I’m also glad we’re getting someone to finally challenge Charlotte and Lynch on the SmackDown roster. I just wish we had gotten more out of this match than we did; it was a fairly quick one.
Ali def. Andrade – I am so happy with how well both of these guys are getting over on SmackDown. They consistently put on entertaining matches and Ali got a really good crowd reaction on this show. That rocks.
The fact that they even wrestled this long and this well after Sunday’s ladder match is incredible. Ali snuck out a roll up victory and I’m interested to see what Andrade does in retaliation. Considering he has a date with the Demon in two weeks, I’d imagine Finn Balor will have to make a save next week.
Like I said, this was a really fun show. I especially loved that first hour; I was contemplating an A grade at that point. The second hour had some issues, but it was still higher quality stuff than we’ve gotten recently.
WWE’s clearly trying to shake things up. Give ‘em credit for that.
...Just make sure to trash ‘em a bit for going to Saudi Arabia. Thoughts on the show, Cageside?