SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Roman Reigns currently rules over WWE Friday Night Smackdown as its Universal Champion and Tribal Chief. Now, as we know, Smackdown is the land of opportunity and Roman is a great and giving leader.
That’s about all the explanation I’ve got for the brand split being completely ignored about a month after they’d had a whole other draft. Seriously, there was nobody else they could have used? Nobody fancied a shot against the Big Dog, or at least the Big Dog’s Little Dog? We’re running with Little Dog Jey Uso, right?
Smackdown is opened by Roman Reigns, wearing blue trousers. Yes, that is strange enough that I need to highlight it. Usually the championship is the only color anywhere near Roman. Roman will face either Drew McIntyre or Randy Orton at Survivor Series. We’ve seen quite a lot of those potential matches but not with Roman like this.
Reigns speaks softly again, not even allowing Paul Heyman a microphone. He hypes up his personal ratings in the popular political style before being interrupted by Drew McIntyre. This is apparently such a surprise that his graphics have all had their color changed to fit the blue layout of Smackdown. The production team are so shocked they turned his videos blue in advance!
Drew hypes himself up. The man can really sell himself. He declares that in Roman’s absence he became The Man. I’ve got to say, bit disrespectful to Becky Lynch that. She is still The Man, thank you very much. It’s worth pointing out that Roman’s record against Drew McIntyre is exemplary. Roman’s counter to this? He makes the point that everyone is watching their Tribal Chief on Smackdown and nobody is watching Raw.
I mean, it’s about as on the nose a statement as I’ve ever seen, personally. WWE isn’t usually anywhere close to that honest.
Jey Uso charges down to the ring once Drew McIntyre has finished talking. He’s polite like that. He gets in Drew’s face and challenges him to a match tonight. He’s impolite like that.
Backstage, the Little Dog gets a verbal beating. Roman’s in control and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He rants, he raves, he shouts. He then calmly walks back to his dressing room, probably for a nice cup of tea.
Elsewhere, Adam Pearce tells Drew McIntyre that he can not sanction a match with Jey Uso. Instead, he sanctions the match between Drew McIntyre and Jey Uso. I love how when the WWE makes no sense it goes all the way to self-parody without even realizing it. Later during the night, Drew makes it clear that fighting Jey Uso will send a message not to Roman Reigns but to Randy Orton. That’s a bit of a leap, isn’t it?
The match is made for the main event. It is unsanctioned and, as such, is given twenty minutes in the main event spot. That’s how much this match isn’t allowed! Jey Uso has a new 3D effect when he makes his entrance. That’s cool. Nothing compared to Roman’s giant screaming dude, but it’s a start. It’s good to be the Little Dog, isn’t it?
McIntyre dominates Jey Uso. Not only that, but he is super smug about it. I’m realizing recently that Drew McIntyre is exactly the guy they wanted Roman Reigns to be. Would we still have our new and improved Roman without Drew essentially filling his previous “I’m a good guy, look at me smile” role? Jey Uso manages to get into the match with some groin based offense. It doesn’t last.
With Jey Uso all set to take the loss, Roman Reigns shows up to cause a win. He strides down to the ring casually, not so much with purpose as with the due diligence required to walk down a ramp without falling. Ramps are slippery. Jey takes advantage to get the upper hand. He throws McIntyre back in the ring, celebrating an incoming victory like a man who can’t quite believe he’s in the main event now but Roman stops him. The Chief tells his subject to make McIntyre understand. McIntyre doesn’t. He hits a Claymore and that’s that.
Jey Uso out of the picture, Drew gets right into Roman’s face and asks if Roman understands him now. We close on the image of the two sweating angrily at each other.
I’ve got to say it’s hard to do an odds counter when Roman no longer competes in six or seven matches a night but, on this occasion, methinks the Big Dog lost by proxy.