So, if you’re still reading after all that — which, God bless you — I think we can talk about what was, for real, the worst and most nonsensical thing said all night, once again by Alexa Bliss: the Visigoths’ Sack of Rome and the causes that led up to it are much more complicated than simply saying they “used the element of surprise” to take control of the city.
Ember Moon‘s win over Bliss was surprising if only for the ways in which Alexa seemed completely incapable of keeping up with her. And, for the second time in recent memory, Alexa’s had the “what in the hell am I doing?” face whilst wallowing in self pity on the outside about her misfortune. Hopefully her losing to an up-and-coming but still very rookie-ish Ember will lead her to reevaluate at least some of her tactics and worldview. Alexa’s character needs an upgrade, even more so than a change. I don’t mind if she continues to be a conniving person whose strongest asset is her inability to be herself and not some performative version of herself, but I’d appreciate it if the performative version of herself was a devious mastermind and not second tier villain on a children’s cartoon.
The trope of Chekov — more commonly referred to as Chekov’s Gun — is one that the WWE in particular employs frequently (see: every TLC match ever), but rarely is it as well executed as it was during the backstage segment between Finn Balor, Braun Strowman and Stephanie. From Steph offering both the fruit, to Finn asking for a tag match through this:
the three of them manage to do what’s essentially a “serious” comedy sketch. This was a very very simple backstage segment, but it shows the power of that simplicity by working independently as a compelling scene with intrinsic entertainment value while also informing both the match that would come of it and that match’s aftermath (which we’ll get to in a bit.) It also helps to serve as an ideal of what it would mean to actually have the WWE pull off some kind of not-entirely-self-aware variety show conceit, as long as their recent good fortunes mean that they can dramatically increase the fruit budget.