Hot Takes Now 10/7/2019
I really wanted to dedicate this month to Halloween and horror, however WWE is testing my patience. With less than an hour before Raw tonight, I need to talk about the bullshit WWE pulled in the last 72 hours. Friday Night Smackdown’s debut was littered with half formed ideas, and some fully formed terrible ideas. WWE’s biggest almost-was of recent years, Braun Strowman, is being thrown into a program with a boxer because Fox wants to tie into sports. It was one thing for them to do it with Big Show because he was already passed his prime. Braun still has the potential to sit atop the championship mountain, Vince just needs to accept him.
However the biggest ‘f.u.’ to the fans was the WWE Championship match at the end of the night. Kofi Kingston came off as stupid by dismissing the threat of Brock Lesnar and actually starting the match by running straight into an F-5 to drop the belt in under 10 seconds. Brock is once again a champ, but he was immediately thrown into a program with the debuting Cain Velasquez. Once again, this is a story being told for Fox’s benefit, but shitting in the face of every die hard wrestling fan. Even worse, the Brock/Cain feud doesn’t need the belt as a prop between two part timers (admittedly Cain may show up regularly, but that seems irrelevant in the big picture of the title scene). All that development, and nothing was followed up during the PPV of the weekend.
Speaking of the PPV, Hell in a Cell was last night, and going into the night there was only four matches announced. WWE announced four more an hour before the kickoff. The PPV was mediocre for the most part, however the current jerker of Sasha Banks challenging for the Raw Women’s title held by Becky Lynch in a Cell match was easily the match of the night. It’s incredible that WWE could have a PPV with such a great HIAC match to start, and end with…
… there’s no better way to say it but the main event of the night was disrespectful to the fans, the legacy of the match, the competitors in the fight, and everyone involved. Seth Rollins defended his Universal Championship against Bray Wyatt’s The Fiend in the Cell, and it was evident that WWE creative had no idea how to book this match. Seth hit Bray with every move and weapon he’s ever utilized and The Fiend kicked out of everything. Vince seems to think that what fans appreciated about Bray was The Fiend’s resiliency, when in fact most of us just want to watch him destroy people. It was too soon to book him in a title match, especially one with no dqs or no stoppage. That is until Seth “went to far” apparently. After hitting Bray with a chair, a ladder, a tool box, a kendo stick, and virtually every other weapon imaginable, however when Seth brought out a sledgehammer, the ref tried to stop him. When Seth went through with it anyway, the ref called for the bell, stopping the match… Two years in a row, WWE has ended the Hell in a Cell PPV with no contests in a match stipulation that is no holds bar.
I see no way to salvage either championship storyline, however the best I can think is that Raw kicks off with Seth already in the ring getting the shit booed out of him. Before he can say anything The Fiend appears and destroys him, stealing the belt. Then for the rest of the show, neither of them should appear again until next week’s Raw where Bray destroys the belt. At the next PPV they have a rematch for the belt and Bray wins debuting a new, darker, Universal belt.
As for Kofi and the WWE belt? He needs to be pissed. Kofi has to show up and almost heel on people. He’s got to be angry, embarrassed, seething and willing to do anything to get a piece of Brock Lesnar. This should last a few weeks, up until the Smackdown before the Saudi show. Finally, tired of being interrupted Paul Heyman grants Kofi a rematch, and he wins the belt back with the help of Cain Velasquez. Now Cain and Brock can have their title-less feud, and Kofi can lose the belt to a more worthy opponent in a better fought match.
Neither of these things will come to pass because Vince will never admit he’s made a mistake, and he and Fox are too hung up on the “sports” aspect of the business. I see dark days ahead for the WWE which only gives room for AEW to get a bigger foothold in the ratings. That’s the only way Vince will change, when competition knocks on his door.