SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
LESNAR AND STROWMAN FACE OFF…
Recap: After a video package recapping Roman Reigns’ announcement from last week, the show opened with Baron Corbin in the ring. He commented that the announcement was last week, and that “life goes on,” to boos. Corbin commented that the Universal Title looked good over his shoulder, but was then interrupted by Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman.
Corbin attempted to hype up Lesnar until Paul Heyman interrupted him and told him they should each stick to their own shtick. Heyman then proceeded with his normal Lesnar intro and stated that Lesnar winning on Friday was a spoiler, not a prediction.
Braun Strowman then made his way to the ring. Corbin attempted to keep Strowman and Lesnar apart, which led to Strowman shoving Corbin. Corbin responded by attacking Lesnar from behind. Lesnar quickly dispatched him with a bodyslam and then stood face to face with Lesnar. Both the fans and Lesnar goaded him into bodyslamming Corbin a second time, followed with a powerslam on the third attempt. Lesnar used the opportunity to grab Strowman from behind and hit him with a F5.
Evaluation: There was nothing fancy here, just a straightforward segment meant to cement Strowman as the face and Lesnar as a heel by attacking from behind.
Heyman already used the “spoiler” bit during the long feud with Roman Reigns, so it felt tired here.
Forecast: Smart money seems to be that Strowman would have to win the match, but if WWE is panicking after the loss of Reigns they could make a huge contract offer to have Lesnar continue as champion. I still think the former is most likely, but the latter is far from an impossibility.
SETH AND DEAN FACE OFF (FROM AFAR)…
Recap: At the top of the third hour, Seth Rollins came to the ring. He wore the Intercontinental Title, but not his tag title. Seth said that the outpouring of support for Roman Reigns had made him happy. He said that winning the tag titles should have also made him happy, and that he should have been celebrating with his friend and brother, Dean Ambrose.
Seth said that what happened last week may have been his fault. Dean may have been frustrated after four years of built up resentment. He emphasized that when he double crossed Dean years ago, he at least did it to his face. Seth said that only Dean knows why he did what he did, and then called him to the ring to explain himself.
Dean’s music played, but he didn’t show. He instead appeared in the crowd where the Shield would normally enter. Seth told him to come to the ring like a man, but Dean stood stone-faced.
Seth then called him a cold-hearted bastard. He said he took Roman’s announcement and made it all about himself. Seth then began to make his way into the crowd, but Dean left before he got far.
Evaluation: This was fine as the beginning of the build to their presumed match at Survivor Series. Rollins used Roman’s illness to get heat on Dean. That didn’t bother me, but other fans may feel differently. The constant video recaps of the announcement over the past week, however, probably go a little far.
Forecast: Seth facing Dean at Survivor Series seems obvious. Considering Seth did not bring his tag title to the ring, I would assume the tag titles are vacant and would expect some sort of multi-team Survivor Series style match at the pay per view to crown new champions.
DX AND BROTHERS OF DESTRUCTION — YOU GUESSED IT — FACE OFF…
Recap: In the show’s main event, the Brothers of Destruction came to the ring for a promo. Undertaker and Kane cut a spooky promo with the lights down. They talked about how the Grim Reaper was inescapable. Kane called DX to the ring. Undertaker attempted to say they wouldn’t “rest in peace,” but was cut off by DX’s music.
Triple H came to the top of the ramp, throwing glow sticks into the crowd. He feigned concern that Shawn wasn’t with him, and did the DX double point to the stage to create the expectation that Shawn would appear. Instead, Shawn appeared in the ring and blindsided Undertaker.
After Shawn left the ring, Undertaker sat up, clearly concerning DX.
Evaluation: DX did their antics; Undertaker and Kane cut a spooky promo about the Grim Reaper. You got exactly what you expected here.
Forecast: In a tag match, Undertaker’s immobility can be hidden better, so I’d expect a better match than last month.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 10/22: Sad News from Roman, Top Factions Split, More Hype for DX & Brothers of Destruction