SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
CORBIN POWER TRIP…
Recap: The show opened with Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Lio Rush in the ring. Corbin berated the fans for stuffing themselves with carbs over Thanksgiving and referred to himself as being in peak physical condition. Corbin said he’s thankful for the job he’s doing as GM. Lashley said he’s thankful that unlike the beta males in the audience, he takes what he wants. Drew said he was thankful for the savage beating he gave to Braun Strowman. A recap of the beating played.
After the video recap, Corbin cut to a video of Strowman prepping for surgery. Strowman said he’d much rather be in Milwaukee to deliver some payback. He commented that his doctor wasn’t sure if he could work on an arm as big as his, but said that the surgery will be a paper cut compared to what he does to the heels for revenge. He said they would “get these hands.”
The show cut back to the ring, where Corbin mocked Strowman. He said that their match was still on, and that when Strowman doesn’t appear due to injury, Corbin would win by forfeit and become permanent GM. He said the entire locker room needed to decide whether they wanted to be on the right side of history. The lights then went out.
When the lights came up, Elias was on stage. He said that anyone would be a better GM than Corbin. He did a song ragging on Lashley.
After a break, Lashley faced Elias in a match. Elias scored a visual pinfall on Lashley, but Rush pulled the referee out of the ring. The referee rang the bell, however Corbin took the mic and stated that due to Elias’ earlier interruption, he hadn’t been able to announce that it was a no DQ match. The match restarted.
The three heels beat on Elias on the outside, punctuated by a catapult by Drew onto the steps. Lashley then scored the pin.
Backstage, Corbin fired someone for dimming the lights for Elias. Alexa Bliss then approached him, complimenting him as GM and offering her help. Corbin put her in charge of the women’s division, saying “you look good, I look good, it’s simple.”
In the main event, Corbin faced Finn Balor. Mid-match, he chaged the rules, adding Drew McIntyre to make a handicap match which the heels won. After the match, Lashley came out and beat on Finn as well.
Evaluation: When I write this column, I try to be mindful of my own biases. To me, mocking the audience for eating garbage and acting like beta males is a babyface move, but I fully expect to be in the minority.
That said, even to me, Corbin doesn’t have a nearly good enough body to be trashing eating habits and comparing his looks to Alexa Bliss.
Giving Corbin babyface foils such as Elias and Finn is a fine way to keep him on camera to build to his match with Braun at TLC while Braun is on the shelf. There isn’t really much that can be done other than a few short term rivalries such as this while keeping Braun on the fans’ minds.
Forecast: Corbin’s confidence that Braun will have to forfeit his TLC match makes it a near certainty that Braun will be at TLC.
Alexa being placed in charge of the women is a bad sign that her concussions will keep her out of action for a while.
MORE VIDEO FROM DEAN…
Recap: Dean Ambrose appeared via video in a doctor’s office. He said Seth is relieved he’s not there tonight because he’d never otherwise issue an open challenge for his title. As the doctor gave him shots, he said it was flue season and he couldn’t risk catching something. He insulted the hygiene and stench of the fans. He closed by saying there is no medicine for him that can cure the sickness that is in Seth’s soul, and that he’d put him out of his misery.
Evaluation: I wasn’t crazy about the random comments about the fans smelling from last week, but tonight the combining insulting the fans’ hygiene with video of Dean being vaccinated (presumably against their diseases) worked.
Forecast: These videos are getting across the mean version of Dean’c character, so I’d expect more of them.
BETTER REACTION FOR RONDA…
Recap: Nia Jax and Tamina came out for a promo. Playing on Corbin’s early “thankful” theme, she said she was thankful for breaking Becky Lynch’s face. She did an impression of Ronda’s “true champion” promo last week, mockingly stating that true champions win by DQ. She said she was on a roll and would reclaim her title. She was then interrupted by Ronda Rousey.
Ronda said Nia was lucky to be from a warrior culture where one punch could make her the Facebreaker. She threatened to rip off Nia’s arm and slap Charlotte with it. She then challenged Nia to fight right then and there, unless she and Tamina had a “double date.” Nia declined the match, but Nia and Tamina began to surround Ronda.
Natalya ran down to help Ronda, but was ambushed by Riott Squad. Ronda came down to help and fought them back. Nia and Tamina remained in the ring laughing. Ronda’s music played.
Evaluation: The fans really, really hate Nia for what she did to Becky. WWE seems to be using that heat successfully to try to overcome the fans wavering on Ronda as a face over the past few weeks. If tonight was any indication, it’s working as she was cheered. It was perplexing that she brought up the Charlotte attack, however, since Charlotte seems to be moving in a face direction on SmackDown.
Forecast: When facing Nia Jax, Ronda should be cheered.
The Drake Maverick urine angle seems to not be dying….
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – RAW 11/19: Braun Set, Seth Chases Dean, Mixed Reaction for Ronda, Awful Potty Humor