There is always, of course, the Y2AJ corrollary but the new Deleters of Worlds shirts from the WWE Backwoods collection seem to indicate some kind of run with the tag titles for Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy, who have always had pretty great chemistry but seem to have finally figured how to balance Wyatt’s genuinely cryptic moods and seemingly personal thoughts with Matt Hardy’s “faux” eccentricity, where he calls weird things stupid shit but in a way that somehow feels organic. They are also, at least according to our research, the first team to ever get two separate lower thirds *AND* have both be custom. WONDERFUL!
Once Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre were eliminated almost immediately from the Battle Royale, three things became clear:
- The B-Team were definitely winning, because there’s literally no way Heath Slater and Rhyno, Breezango, Titus Worldwide and The Ascension had a single chance of winning among the lot of them in this match, even in an a multiverse of infinite possibilities.
- The Revival is in the good kind of holding pattern
- Drew is eventually going to Murder, Death, Kill Dolph. It’s impossible to have a moment like this not eventually come back to haunt someone, especially when you take into account how quickly Dolph and Drew ran through the entire non-AOP tag division after Ziggler’s elimination. While I’m not a man who believes in the power of the divine, I’ll be a hopin’, a wishin’ and a prayin’ that what ever happens between the two, it ends with Dolph getting Claymore’d all the way to a permanent spot on the Fox News panel desk so I never have to worry about seeing him again but in a way where he lands on his feet (after skinning the cat for the 11th time in the match.)
As I mentioned on the twitter box last night, while this is yet another week of as the Bobby Lashely turns, Sami Zayn managed to end it with the crowd chanting for Bobby — or, America, but Bobby IS America, it seems — as the logo for his fan club flashed on the screen. And, that’s why Sami gets paid the medium bucks, relative to his co-workers. Because Sami clearly understand what his character is being asked to do: to answer all the questions we have about Bobby Lashley. is it possible he’s really as nice as seems to be? Is there anything to anything he’s doing, or does he exist entirely a cipher upon which to project our hopes? What is up with this dude’s hat game?
These are all seemingly legitimate questions, which Lashley laughs off until Zayn accused Lashley of stolen valor. While obviously a very serious charge, it pushes what appears to be an expose on Lashley’s disingenuousness — a kind of “hey what’s the big idea!” kind of heel turn that you’d do for a performer as… limited… as Bobby is on the mic — into something that challenges not just his reputation but his very character. That it’s immediately completely no-sold by Michael Cole on commentary takes away from at least some of the potential dramatic tension but remains an interesting choice by the writers/Vince.
Since we are now to presume that Zayn is lying or misrepresenting most, if not, everything he’s claimed about Lashley to this point, it helps build sympathy for Lashley as a babyface to the people at home, while the crowd’s reaction to rush to the side of Bobby shows the power of what Sami said in the moment. This feud has very much grown on me, in no small part because of the work Sami is doing, but eventually we’ll need to give credit where credit is due and recognize that, while he’s not perfect, Bobby Lashley might not be terrible at this whole professional wrestling thing.
WOAH, BOBBY, I said NOT terrible! We’re on the same side here!
While I still believe Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan to be fundamentally useless as anything other than cannon fodder — because of the way their characters are written, at least so far, as I find Logan to be the kind of lady hoss a fellow could fall in love with as a performer — there seems to be real affinity and chemistry between the three members of the Riott Squaddd. As we’ve said several times in this space, Ruby Riott is a special talent who belongs at the top of the women’s division, so I may be bias, but I think that’s the only part that’s *not* holding her back as a member of the Riott Squaddd. It will be interesting to see going forward whether or not they are able to build value in the brands of Morgan and Logan through her or if they will never be seen as anything more than the dead weight that Rubydropped right before making her way to the big time.
On the other side of the chemisty spectrum, Alexa Bliss‘s involvement in this tag match was both completely logical and totally out of place. With all three members of her team — along with Sasha Banks and Ember Moon — part of the Money in the Bank ladder match, it’s not as though these three were thrown together randomly, nor does having Natalya in this match instead of Alexa make more sense than what happened here. But it seems like, if a partnership is doomed from the start because one of the people is a jerkass, maybe just have her leave either more dramatically — by turning on her teammates — or simply not show up for the match at all. Either option would have been better than Alexa pretending to not pretend that her leg injury turned out to be
gas totally fine.
This choice is ultimately “saved” by having Bayley come down to cost her friend and the other (new) girl a match. While we will get to it in a minute, having this happen with the same referee involved in the Elias chair fiasco was a bit of a masterstroke for a show that spends not nearly enough time planting easter eggs or concerning itself with continuity too often. Must be the new guy on the writing staff.