This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown was all about further establishing the already well established faction that is The Bloodline. Paul Heyman has taken to calling Roman Reigns the greatest of all time, and throwing out names like The Rock to make that claim.
We’ll keep right on thinking that match is coming sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Heyman also put over the opportunity The Usos would have on this here show to become the greatest tag team of all time. He made clear they were either becoming that by defeating RK-Bro and unifying the titles or they simply wouldn’t be coming home to the so-called “Island of Relevancy.”
It was one hell of an opening promo from the master himself, who put everybody over while hyping the main event match-up that already had all the hype it needed. Reigns took it a step further by making clear exactly what he expected. The pressure was on.
It was a brilliant opening segment.
It was especially brilliant because wouldn’t you know it, Reigns was never going to simply let his cousins do the job themselves. He was always going to show up and ensure they won, because The Bloodline has a reputation to uphold and he is the man upholding it.
So he showed up when the time was right, and he cheated, and they won. The details will get lost to history — and it’s written by the winners anyway.
The Bloodline stands tall.
And that’s a damn thing for us all. SmackDown remains largely interesting because of their presence and this even creates intrigue in what’s next for Orton & Riddle.
I’ll be tuning in for it.
I understand completely that WWE is a business and the way businesses are run dictates the powers that be have to play PR games to make the company look as good as possible at all times. Sometimes that means having Michael Cole utterly bury two of the top stars in the women’s division for walking out on a show they were scheduled to work because they were unhappy with how they have been treated.
I get it.
It still sucks.
It still feels ugly.
It still feels wrong.
There’s no need to have Cole throw in comments like “they let us all down” while claiming they “disappointed millions of fans and their fellow WWE Superstars” with the decision they made. The only reason to do so is to make Banks & Naomi look like the enemy, and all that’s going to do is galvanize the section of the fan base who is eager to defend WWE’s every move against two stars who are almost surely going to come back to work eventually.
Whether or not you agree with the decision to walk out — and I’ll at least admit there are valid enough points regarding how professional it is to do what they did — there’s something to be said about the number of wrestlers in recent memory who have decided they’re better off just straight up leaving as fast as their legs can carry them — Toni Storm, Jeff Hardy — than spending even one more second dealing with the bullshit that comes with working for WWE.
How is what they did on the air on this show going to help anyone feel better about working there? Does it even matter to them?
All the rest
- Sami Zayn, clad in a Bloodline shirt, still of the belief he’s representing the crew, took on Shinsuke Nakamura in an attempt to deal with him so Reigns and co. wouldn’t have to. Naturally, he was beaten in comical fashion. After continually trying to win via count out, Zayn had to scramble to the ring to avoid getting counted out himself. He was promptly met with Kinshasa and pinned. He’s incredible.
- Did I just watch a promo where Baron Corbin went ahead and co-opted the “Big Bald Wolf” name Madcap Moss gave him and made it work while saying “I huffed and I puffed and I put him in an ambulance”? Bah gawd, I think I did. Also, how many years in a row has the Andre trophy been busted? I feel like it happens every year.
- GUNTHER beat the trash out of Drew Gulak before Ricochet made the save. It would seem WWE remembered the Intercontinental championship and a GUNTHER vs. Ricochet match is intriguing if only for that massive a gap in styles. I’m ready to see how that matches plays out.
- LA Knight is finally here, and his new name is Max Dupri, the CEO of a male modeling agency. He was entertaining enough in NXT, so I’m fully ready to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’ll make this work. Stay tuned.
- How can anyone watch Shotzi eviscerate Raquel Rodriguez right to her face the way she did and think she deserves anything less than consistent TV time? Instead we’re getting the ever smiling, not terribly interesting Rodriguez, with Shotzi putting her over. For my money it should be the other way around but your mileage may vary.
- Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and BUTCH are now known as the “Brawling Brutes.” I’m not crazy about it but it’s fine. Xavier Woods scored a win over BUTCH but the heels stood tall because it was 3-on-1 and BUTCH, the madman, got some revenge as they went out.
Outside of that crap WWE had Cole spewing about Banks & Naomi, this was a pretty damn good show. But he did spew that crap, and it’s hard to ignore it.