It’s good to remember what pro wrestling is, and where it came from, when considering Vince McMahon’s appearance on this show. There are plenty of folks speculating why it is exactly he showed up on Friday Night SmackDown this week, and what the ultimate goal of his appearance was. I’ve seen folks mention he was saying goodbye, I’ve seen others say he was thumbing his nose at the investigation into his conduct by the WWE Board of Directors, I’ve seen talk that he was just trying to make clear what he means to the company by getting the pop he knew he would.
Maybe one of those things are true, maybe not. It doesn’t really matter, though, because any or all of them would accomplish the same thing, the central goal at the root of everything they do at WWE.
This was done to capitalize on something that could get them better ratings. It’s as simple as that.
He didn’t say anything, because of course he didn’t. What could he say? Nothing! But that hardly mattered. All he needed to do was appear, so that they could promote him appearing, and the world would tune in to see what would happen.
That nothing did hardly matter.
It’s a carny business, folks.
Riddle’s promo early in the evening, and really his work in general over the past however many months, has worked wonders for Randy Orton. Not that Orton needed the help or anything but I’ll be damned if this isn’t getting Randy (I can’t say that name without thinking of Riddle and how he says it anymore, damn him) over like crazy.
All because Riddle loves and misses his friend.
Truly heartwarming stuff.
Later, he had his match with Roman Reigns, where he challenged for the WWE Universal championship under the condition he would never get another crack at it as long as Roman is champ if he loses and, of course, he lost. We knew he would lose, that much was never really in doubt, but I found it meaningful that Reigns gave him so much throughout the course of it. Riddle was never treated like he was underneath Reigns — he was treated like an equal.
He may have lost the match, but in the end this was a victory for Riddle when considering the long term.
Now to get to the other big thing that happened on this show — the return of Brock Lesnar.
I love me some Brock Lesnar.
Even all this time later, even after seeing all those matches that don’t vary all that much in terms of content but captivate me nonetheless, I’m still all in any time I see him on my screen. I can at least understand why so many others wouldn’t be, and I can absolutely sympathize with anyone who dislikes the idea of WWE going back to the well and doing yet another Reigns vs. Lesnar match.
I just don’t reside on that side of the fence. I love when these two fight each other, and I genuinely wouldn’t mind seeing them fight forever. Two big beefy dudes just battling it out over the top title in the land is what this whole damn thing is supposed to be about.
I’m ready for more.
Also, just think: we might get more of Lesnar and Zayn together again!
all the rest
- Madcap Moss got the “last laugh” on Happy Corbin by defeating him in their latest singles match. It was a dominant win, a clear and definitive victory that finally ends the feud between the two. Moss went 3-0 against Corbin. After, he grabbed a microphone and laughed at Happy. After a commercial break, Corbin still hadn’t left and decided he wanted to get in Pat McAfee’s face about all the trash he’s been talking about. Remember the “Bum Ass Corbin” stuff? He threatened Pat Mac, who responded by grabbing the microphone and leading the entire arena in laughing Corbin to the back. “Hahahahahaha you suck,” McAfee shouted. It was a great time. Even The New Day came out and laughed at him as they walked by! It was fantastic. I wouldn’t hate if this was leading to McAfee vs. Corbin at summer slam.
- Skyscrapin’ Shanky and Jinder Mahal were having their way in a match against The New Day when Xavier Woods got creative and broke out the trombone. Shanky couldn’t help but break into dance, and it cost them the match. Goofy but fun.
- Both Sheamus and Drew McIntyre were added to the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match in a funny segment. Adam Pearce said he reviewed the footage and announced Sheamus was in. So he talked trash, McIntyre beat him up, and then Pearce, who was trying to separate them, stopped it by saying he was going to announce McIntyre is in too. Should be fun!
- Raquel Rodriguez beat Shayna Baszler to qualify for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. There wasn’t much to the match, and what we’ve seen of Rodriguez on the main roster so far doesn’t seem terribly interesting, but here’s to hoping things improve.
- Max Dupri was supposed to debut his clients on this show, but refused because Pearce didn’t give him the exact lighting he wanted. The artist formerly known as LA Knight is somehow making this damn thing work through these backstage segments with Pearce where he invades the ever loving hell out of his personal space. It’s delightfully dumb.
- I liked what they did on this show where some folks appeared but only in the form of a quick interview or promo backstage. We don’t need everyone on TV every week — a simple promo in the back does just fine. In this case, Natalya put over the Sharpshooter as superior to Ronda Rousey’s armbar and Ludwig Kaiser claimed GUNTHER will be Intercontinental champion forever. Simple but effective promotion.
I enjoyed the show, especially everything in the main event.