By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)
Hello friends, neighbors, readers and my Nanna, who just got her first computer and has liked every single picture I’ve ever posted on Facebook. My name is Nick Perkins and I am your flag-bearer, your Paul Bearer, your Ring Bearer in the world of professional wrestling. Take my hand and follow me as I lead you through the week that was. We’re delving into the highs, lows, mediums and ‘mehs’ of pro wrestling and there is nowhere I would rather be than right here, right now, with you. Whether you’re an old fan, a new fan, or you land somewhere in the middle and just hate-watch these shows out of habit, I am proud to be the bearer of good news, bad news and the downright ugly news from WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact and more. With that being said, let’s step through the ropes and into the proverbial ring, as Pro Wrestling Dot Net presents Ring Bearer: Exploring the Week that Was in Professional Wrestling.
- It’s been a weird week in the world of wrestling, you guys.
- I hate to be the bearer of bad news all the time, so let’s start with the good news.
- WWE is really, really onto something with Bray Wyatt. Without even having a single match on Raw or Smackdown, Wyatt has become the hottest act in WWE. When this new version of Wyatt first made his presence felt, I didn’t know what to make of him. But through the following months, he has somehow turned out to be the highlight of any show he is on.
- For proof of this, look no further than this past weekend’s Clash of Champions, as well as the following night’s Raw.
- Clash of Champions itself was fine for what it was. The problem is, what it was, was a non-vital pay-per-view where the rules were made up and the points didn’t matter. Rollins and Strowman lost their tag team titles, inevitably, to Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. But it didn’t matter. Because Rollins and Strowman were a team that had only been a team for a few weeks, and Ziggler and Roode are a team that has only been a team for a few weeks.
- Rollins ended up beating Strowman after four Stomps and a Pedigree, thus completely removing any sense of invincibility that Strowman somehow still possessed. So, whatever. The end of the show, however, featured an appearance by The Fiend and it was a hot close to an otherwise lukewarm Network Special.
- The same can be said for Monday Night Raw. This time, instead of losing a match to one tag team, Strowman came out by himself and absolutely obliterated both sets of tag team champions, showing that it must have been Rollins who was the weak link of the team. Except then, later in the night, Rollins beat Strowman. So now everybody looks weak, from Rollins to Strowman to The Revival and Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Everybody looks weak. Or maybe nobody looks weak. My head hurts.
- The Fiend was on display once again, this time attacking Kane who surprisingly came out at the end of Raw to save Seth Rollins from a beatdown after Seth Rollins was already beaten down. No matter. Kane saved Rollins and then The Fiend attacked Kane. Imagine how much more powerful this would have been if Kane hadn’t been made into a joke for the last five years. Regardless, The Fiend taking out the former BMOC (Big Mask on Campus) firmly cemented himself as The Devil’s new Favorite Demon (Clown).
- Elsewhere on Raw, Baron Corbin became King of the Ring, pinning Chad Gable after a (I know…I know, I don’t know what’s happening either) surprisingly good match.
- I cannot believe I wrote that. I hate myself and I hate WWE for making me do it. Baron Corbin was supposed to be bad at his job. That was his whole thing. It’s why we hated him. He talked a big game but actually sucked. Now, he talks a big game and is starting not to suck. It’s like his whole identity has changed and now art is dead and nothing matters.
- What does matter is the fact that Luke Harper returned at Clash of Champions, helping his bludgeoned brother, Erik Rowan, defeat Roman Reigns.
- On Smackdown a few nights later, Harper and Rowan again attacked Reigns, but they also attacked Daniel Bryan again, after Bryan delivered an impassioned speech. All of this has me questioning myself about whether this was all a ruse. Again, Daniel Bryan’s character is unhinged and pedantic enough for him to make his supposed ‘sacrifice’ work. But now, I’m not sure. But it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. If he turns on Reigns, it was predictable and we saw it coming a mile away. If he doesn’t, then this was the most anticlimactic ‘babyface turn’ the former biggest babyface in the world could ever have.
- The bottom line is this whole story has sucked. If WWE just wants to reset and pretend it never happened, along with everything else that has happened with Daniel Bryan this year, then I’m all for it. Let Daniel Bryan be Daniel Bryan, now that he’s done projecting his own inner-angst into a wrestling angle. He got to be mean to the fans for a while; now it’s time for us all to love him again.
- Most fans loved the live NXT show this past week, even though the layout of it was weird. The first hour of NXT aired on the USA Network as promised, but the second hour returned to WWE Network and, due to technical glitches, many fans didn’t even see the whole hour. This won’t be the case for much longer, but it makes you wonder why they didn’t just wait until they had the full two-hour time slot to debut NXT.
- Wednesday nights are about to get a lot more interesting though, as things are heating up with AEW. Much of that heat can be attributed to the ‘Dynamite’ that will serve as the name of the Wednesday night show. AEW: Dynamite doesn’t impress me so much, but the talent in front of and behind the camera do. So I’ll reserve judgement of the show until I actually see the first episode.
- A story that deserves all of my judgement, and yours, is the story between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon. On Smackdown this week, Owens served McMahon with a lawsuit, like the true badass he was.
- Listen, we get that Owens and McMahon is trying to be this generation’s Austin vs McMahon. That will never work, but let’s roll with it for the sake of this argument. Do you remember what happened when Steve Austin did not fulfill his obligations as a referee during a WWF title match between Kane and The Undertaker? Vince fired him. When Kevin Owens did not fulfill his obligations as a referee during a match I don’t even f—ing remember now, Shane fired him. Okay, so far so good. But what happened after? Owens, as we saw on Smackdown, served Shane papers. Do you remember what Austin did to Vince after Vince fired him?
- Go on, I’ll wait. You remember.
- HE PULLED A F—ING GUN ON HIM!!!!
- Now, granted the gun was a prop gun with a funny punchline, but still. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would never threaten Vince McMahon with a lawsuit. He would literally threaten him with murder before threatening him with a lawsuit. You can see the issues here.
- Oh, also Brock Lesnar is taking on Kofi Kingston on the live Smackdown premiere on Fox. It was fun while it lasted, Kofi. Thanks for the memories. Maybe, just maybe, we can get a proper Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan feud now.
Thanks for reading this week and please feel free to give your opinions below. Just like, be smart about it. Don’t be a troll. This is a safe space. Any offensive comment will either be deleted or, more likely, completely torn apart by me. But we certainly want to hear your opinions, so share them below and be sure to follow me on Twitter (@WesternRebel). Good fight, good night from your Resident Ring Bearer.
Great writeup, Nick. Thanks for analyzing the shows because I just find WWE unwatchable. I’m all in for AEW but decided to check out that first hour of NXT. Seeing a WWE brand in front of 500 fans just made the show look like what it is, WWE’s grade-C brand. I know WWE marks will embrace anything WWE but to think this will compete in any way with AEW is a joke. AEW bring me back to something different than a WWE brand, and that’s all that matters. Have a great weekend.
AEW is spot monkey cosplay trash.
AEW features wrestlers with more than one style. If we’re painting with broad brushes though, WWE has 205 Live, so WWE is spot monkey cosplay trash.
” When Kevin Owens did not fulfill his obligations as a referee during a match I don’t even f—ing remember now”
That’s actually not true. Owens did everything Shane asked, and the timekeeper rang the bell when Shane was tapping out to Gable. He did his job as a referee.
Austin on the other hand stunned both Kane and Taker instead of officiating. He had no case for wrongful termination by Vince. I do remember him going to Shane (pre turn) and other WWE executives over the years to intervene when Vince got too out of hand. So its not as outrageous as you’re suggesting for Owens to sue.
Bray needs a better catchphrase. Maybe something like “shabooyah roll call” or “theyyyyyy’re great!” His current one is terrible.