Kevin Owens’ ability to get the things he wants out of the people in charge is perhaps his greatest asset. If Dean Ambrose is Deadpool, Kevin Owens’ is definitely Gwenpool. He feels like the first wrestling heel who grew up watching wrestling and wanted to be a bad guy. Even the Miz seems like he mostly wanted to be a wrestler and kind of fell into being a bad guy. But nearly everything KO does seems to indicate that he’s study his forebears and learned from their mistakes, only rarely flying so high his wings melt, and even then, he usually ends up winning the match on a technicality.
Most of the few, the proud, the people who read this column every week are acutely aware of my love of Serious Mojo. But I think what I love even more is that he’s become the barometer by which lower-tier wrestlers are measured. He’s just the right amount of over and talented that the WWE has to give him wins, but without a bright enough future that they can start the jobber parade to get him over. Over the last few months — after he merked Zack — he’s become a bouncer for the midcard and reestablished the undercard in a way that is incredibly beneficial for everyone involved. Except for Ryder, of course, who can’t even be bothered to do his hair any more.
There’s nothing wrong with this match between Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre, but there’s also really no reason for it to exist. The payoff for the match was Seth Rollins getting a match with Dolph Ziggler and did almost nothing to further anything involving Corbin, Finn or Drew. The match was even announced before the show, so it’s not even as though Corbin put him in it to mess with him. This was just, on every level, a pointless — if totally good! — match between two people better used very deliberately.
That it was then followed by a (to be clear, very good to *almost* great for Raw, but still relatively meaningless) match like this felt particularly egregious. There is literally not a single good reason that the tag match couldn’t have been booked during the show — instead of, say, spending five minutes on Finn’s Fun House — and had the same consequences. Instead, we spend 30 minutes on this entire thing, at least a third of which could have went to making Mickie vs. Natalya or Ember vs. Liv a full match that actually told a story on the same show they announced the biggest news in the history of the women’s division.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, I stand by what I said two weeks ago — sorry, there was a wedding and a vacation without internet involved in my not writing a review last week — regarding Liv Morgan. She’s turning into an exceptional saleswoman, but given her clear athletic gifts (you don’t just roll out of bed being able to take those bumps) it feels like she should be more dynamic offensively. She has immense potential, especially considering she was born in 1994 and looks to be a HUGE asset for the company going forward. But these matches with Ember Moon seem to be giving her a foothold as a jobber to the stars and not the star she can be herself.