JC’s Top Rope Report: Sometimes The WWE Still Gets It Right
We all know it. As wrestling fans, especially fans of the WWE, it has been a struggle over the last couple years. RAW becomes tired some to watch at times. I actually fell asleep during the main event of RAW this past Monday. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Trying to sit through three hours of RAW, then two hours of Smackdown Live, then maybe NXT and 205 Live along with a three hour PPV is a lot of damn TV.
And the WWE isn’t making it any easier with some of the storylines they put out every week. How sick of Jinder Mahal are most WWE fans? And just when we are sick of the same old anti-American schtick from Jinder, he cut what might have been the worst promo of his career this week on Smackdown Live. Taking pictures of Nakamura’s face and making poop and constipation jokes? You just know Vince McMahon wrote that segment. It was childish and beneath anyone holding the WWE Title.
But on the same show, we had a great storyline with the man who likely wrote the jokes for Jinder. How is that possible?
It goes to show you that the WWE still knows how to book a good storyline. The Kevin Owens/Vince McMahon segment to close Smackdown Live this week was great. Vince sold everything Owens gave him like a Champ. It is a shame Vince can’t take a pop-up powerbomb anymore because that would have been the icing on the cake. And thankfully, the WWE didn’t have Stephanie McMahon actually come out and slap and belittle Kevin Owens when he was walking to the back. That would have taken away from the entire segment.
Instead, the segment built up Kevin Owens as the top heel on Smackdown Live. Jinder Mahal may be the WWE Champion, but Owens is number one on the heel side. The crowd loves Vince and especially Shane, so Owens getting good heat to close the show is a positive. The crowd had not seen Vince take a beatdown like that in awhile. And it was probably shocking to see Vince McMahon take punishment in the first place. That crazy old bastard taking a headbutt to bust him open is nuts. It is good news for Kevin Owens. Vince McMahon just wouldn’t do any angle to come back on TV. That shows that Vince has faith in Owens. And hopefully this means that Vince McMahon has big plans for Kevin Owens in the near future. His “Face Of America” gimmick was good, but killer heel Kevin Owens is even better.
Over on the RAW side of things, BRAUN Strowman continues to look like a million bucks. He came out of SummerSlam looking like a star. And now his program with Brock Lesnar leading up to No Mercy continues to make BRAUN the guy on RAW. You could argue that he should be the new face of the WWE. And I’m not kidding. In one years time BRAUN went from member of the Wyatt Family to becoming the top home grown singles star the WWE has made in forever. BRAUN’s wrestling ability may be limited. But the crowd doesn’t care. BRAUN is presented as a big deal to the audience and the audience is responding by cheering him.
The WWE is going to run into a major problem with BRAUN’s match against Brock Lesnar at No Mercy. BRAUN should win the Universal Title and beat Brock Lesnar. If he doesn’t win, it stops all of BRAUN’s momentum that he still has going. You have to put the Title on him at some point. And it has to be done sooner rather than later. It gives a different dynamic to the BRAUN character and probably allows him to expand as a performer. But if you don’t let BRAUN win, you run into the same problem that the WWE did with Ryback. Ryback started to get over, so they put him in a WWE Title match against CM Punk. But the WWE had plans to have Punk lose the Title to The Rock, so they had to figure out a way to have Ryabck lose but still come off strong. So they had Brad Maddox, referee at the time, low blow Ryback and make a fast count. It was an awful finish. And Ryback lost all momentum that he had and never recovered.
If BRAUN doesn’t win the Title at No Mercy, you have to think there will be some kind of Double DQ/No Contest finish. You can’t have BRAUN take a clean loss. That kills him. The smartest thing to do would be to have BRAUN win at No Mercy. And if you are hell bent on doing Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, you can put the Title back on Brock at the Royal Rumble. If it was me, I would completely change course and go with BRAUN/Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. I would completely change course and build the RAW brand around BRAUN Strowman. The crowd wants it more than they want Roman Reigns. And just think, BRAUN is still growing as a wrestler and performer so the best is likely still to come with him.
All I know is that every time BRAUN is on RAW it has my attention. The WWE has treated him like a big deal and it has won me over. BRAUN Strowman has even gotten me to care about Big Show matches for the first time in years. The two have had three different matches and each of them have been very good.
What this week goes to show us is that the WWE still knows how to book a good storyline if given the opportunity. Both top storylines on each show have been booked tremendously. Of course, as WWE fans, we are also programmed to expect the worst out of said storylines. We can only hope the WWE does the right thing with both of them when the time comes. And if they do, they will be the right decisions for the good of the company.
Until Next Time,
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