Just when you think WWE is finally starting to get the ball rolling, we encounter a speed bump. Or two. With WWE's first pay-per-view post-Mania this Sunday, RAW and SmackDown weren't terrible, but rather disappointingly average. Monday obviously more so than Tuesday. SmackDown at least has a fighting champion. RAW has Brock Lesnar, contracted to appear every so often. It also doesn't help that the main event for Payback is between two Superstars on two different shows.
So here they are. The five "best" moments of the week, and the five worst.
10. WORST - The House Of Horrors Build-Up
This Sunday, WWE Champion Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt meet in a non-title House of Horrors match. What exactly is a House of Horrors match? Nobody has a clue, but it'll probably be horrible. You remember their "innovative" Asylum match?
The problem is, nobody views Wyatt as a threat. WWE playing it so he's the heel, and Orton's the face hasn't worked either. We like Wyatt. We (sorta) don't like Orton. Why can't Vince McMahon just listen to what the fans want? And why isn't it for the title? Isn't Bray Wyatt granted a rematch? Kevin Owens switched brands, but Chris Jericho still gets his rematch.
9. BEST - Alexa Bliss > Bayley
Okay, okay. Alexa Bliss isn't a better wrestler than Bayley (yet), but when it comes to talking on the mic, Alexa Bliss is the Meryl Streep and Bayley is the Kristen Stewart of professional wrestling. Bayley does play the sympathetic character pretty well, but I just want to see her evolve a bit more. It'll happen I'm sure, but as of now I'm much more interested in Alexa Bliss.
8. WORST - Apollo Crews
It's good to see Apollo Crews get a win since coming to RAW, but if WWE wants the audience to start caring about him, a win over someone more over than Curt Hawkins would have been a better start. Also, I'm 50/50 on this pairing with Titus O'Neil. If WWE decides to keep Crews face, it probably isn't going to work. If they slowly turn the pair into an evil duo, then maybe.
7. BEST - Jinder Mahal Steals Orton's Title
Jinder Mahal. Jinder Mahal. Hmmm. I'm warming to the idea of him being a top star, but I have to see him wrestle a real match before I decide to fully like him or not. Can he pull off a five-star classic? Or even a three-and-a-half star? I'm not confident he can, and neither are you, but hey, maybe he'll surprise us.
On SmackDown, he and The Bollywood Boys triple teamed Orton, stole his WWE Championship and ran away with it. Now, Orton's beltless but still champ so I guess this is sorta interesting. At the same time, seeing Orton without the belt just makes me wish Orton really wasn't the WWE Champion.
6. WORST - Emma and Dana Brooke
Why bring Emma back now to do this? After all these months, all creative can think for her to do is to screw with Dana Brooke's mind? Brooke, who just so happens to be one of the least likeable faces on the roster?
Sorry Dana (but it's kind of true).
"It's all about me" Emma says. So make it about her. Why mess with Dana Brooke, when she could be messing with Bayley, or Sasha?
PS. Alicia Fox deserves much better.
5. BEST - SmackDown Women Close Out The Show
While Charlotte may be no stranger to the main event, this is new ground for Naomi so a round of applause to her. The match ended in disqualification when new Mean Girl trio Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella (and James Ellsworth - obviously the Karen Smith of the group) interfered to let it be known that Charlotte will NOT be stealing their spotlight on SmackDown. Simple, yet effective storytelling at its best. It's obvious SmackDown likes to take more chances with its women than RAW does, and it's nice to see every one of their women organically involved in the title scene.
4. WORST - Dolph Ziggler Insults Micheal Jackson?
What the hell was this? We get the comparison of Shinsuke Nakamura and Michael Jackson, but did Dolph Ziggler have to be so disrespectful? Why did the writers make Dolph speak such horrible dribble? It wasn't clever, edgy, nor funny. Saying that Nakamura was a freak just like Michael Jackson is mega rude, especially when Dolph's the one with freakishly orange skin.
3. BEST - AJ Styles vs. Barin Corbin
In a rematch from last week, AJ Styles and Barin Corbin put on one of the funnest matches on SmackDown. We all know AJ's phenomenal, but you have to give it to Corbin. He's hanging in there with the best of the best and wrestling some great matches (except with Dean Ambrose). Barin Corbin has actually become a good whether you want to believe it or not. Give him a year or two, and the sky's the limit for this cocky son of a b****.
2. BEST - Kalisto Defeats Strowman
Kalisto has been getting the shaft for quite a while now, so I was happy to see him defeat Braun Strowman in RAW's first ever Dumpster match this week. I don't think anybody saw that coming, and who doesn't like a good surprise? Obviously, it was a fluke, but it was a believable fluke. And hey, we now know Braun Strowman can be outsmarted. All BRAUN and no brains, right? HA!
1. WORST - The Dumpster Fall
Braun Strowman locked Kalisto into a dumpster and rolled it off the stage. Seems cool on paper. Brutal even. But it wasn't. The thing is, the stage is a foot, maybe two feet high nowadays. What damage would that have really inflicted onto Kalisto, seriously? In the Attitude Era, when The New Age Outlaws did it to Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie, it was a lengthy fall so it made sense. Hell, Trish Stratus even took a scarier fall, and that was into a pool of mud.
Until next time! Lets hope Payback is the best kind of b****!