This is out of character for me. I hope you’re all paying close attention, because you may never get to revel in a moment like this again.
I was wrong. About the tournament. I was wrong about the tournament.
Now witness as I admit to being wrong and prove myself right simultaneously!
Last Monday, I went on a tirade. I just about knocked myself out with fuming rage over the ridiculousness that was the WWE solving the Seth Rollins-is-injured problem with another tournament. (Note: for anyone who is interested in watching me get lit up like Luna Park, that post is over here.) My basic argument, after you cut through all the shouting, is that it’s boring. The WWE did something similar (oh no, actually it was EXACTLY THE SAME) two weeks earlier to come up with a number one contender to face Seth Rollins at Survivor Series. That individual was, of course, Roman Reigns. Now Reigns is the presumptive favorite going into the third round of the title tournament and will likely face Dean Ambrose in the main event of Survivor Series and win the title. *yawn*
So here’s the thing: it turns out that the tournament for the title is actually the most interesting thing happening on WWE television right now. The tournament is giving us matches that long enough time to create something exciting and powerful, and are also giving us pairings we’ve been aching for on the main roster. It’s also putting eyes on people who maybe wouldn’t otherwise be as heavily mentioned on social media at the moment like Neville and Kalisto, as well as proving what an absolute monster someone like Cesaro is. So I was wrong. This is actually worth watching…
…when you compare it to the sub-par, shameful drivel WWE is force-feeding its fanbase in every other aspect of the program. No, I wasn’t sold on the tournament after last week’s RAW. And I wasn’t even entirely sold on it during SmackDown. But after watching the other matches and storylines leading to Survivor Series that were paraded before us like a live WWE Worst Of list, it’s hard not to grasp onto this tournament, begging for the sweet embrace of death.
I already posted yesterday about the stunningly shoddy booking that was Breeze vs. R-Truth and The Dudley Boys vs. The Ascension. I barely even made mention of the fact that the New Day, a hilarious and super over tag team deserving of equally entertaining though decidedly more straight-laced babyface opponents, are in a feud with The Usos. How this happened, I don’t know. No one knows. Don’t try and tell me you do. According to the progression of the canon stories played out on the past three episodes of RAW, The Usos have earned this particular honor by siding with their cousin Roman Reigns, Roman’s title match opponent Dean Ambrose, and the twins new BFF Ryback in a traditional Survivor Series match against Rollins, Kevin Owens, and the New Day. What does that have to do with ANYTHING AT ALL? How do you make a feud out of that? There was a brief mention this week about Jay getting injured in a match with them at Wrestlemania 31, but – NEWS FLASH – they were not alone in that match! In fact, both the Usos AND the New Day (along with Los Matadores) LOST the match to the tag team champs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro! So, we’re still basically creating this feud out of thin air and a serious draught in the tag team department at the moment.
Meanwhile, in the land of pyrotechnics, no one knows what is going on with the Brothers of Destruction/Wyatt Family feud – apparently not even the Brothers of Destruction or the Wyatt Family. One week Wyatt is out on TV claiming to have kidnapped Undertaker and Kane, consumed their souls, and is in possession of their powers. He then goes on to prove it by summoning fire and lightning. Cool. Awesome. Goodbye Taker and Kane, it was nice knowing you – seems Bray didn’t know how much WWE spent on those “25 Years of Undertaker” promos for Survivor Series. But no wait – last week on RAW, here come the Brothers of Destruction to totally deconstruct this storyline! Not only are they not kidnapped, they still have their powers! Then, to prove it, they lay waste to the Wyatts. But when the Wyatts issue a challenge for Survivor Series, the brothers accept. What? Why? You beat those guys up, it’s over. And to make matters worse, apparently now Bray is in control of Undertaker’s druid minions who attack the brothers – and are promptly cleared out. So, obviously, Bray is out of ammo, no? Why is this story still a thing? Does WWE actually think – wait, WOW, I’m coming to this realization as I write – do they think that this feud is going to get Bray Wyatt over? This feud is actually making me consider skipping an Undertaker match, kids. What a tremendous backfire there!
And finally, the Diva’s Title match. (ATTN: I am not commenting on the content of the promo because that is a very wide hole filled with quicksand.) Not only am I not interested in watching Paige try to find a way to sell Charlotte as the stronger competitor in this match-up, listening to either of them say words out loud is painful for me. Look, I admit it – I am an oratorical snob. I expect everyone to be cutting promos that bring people to their knees – the audience should be coming unglued with a wrestler gets on the mic. And if they don’t that wrester should get themselves a mouthpiece as fast as humanly possible. When Paige cuts a promo she is always reaching for her next line. You can actually watch it happen, because she has a tell. She two-steps whenever she’s forgotten something or when she can’t see the next line in her head. She just sort of sways from side to side, moving her weight from one foot to the other. Paige’s other major issue is she gets red-light fever. When the cameras are on her and the crowd is chanting, she doesn’t get flustered like Lana used to. She goes into hyper-drive. She tries to shove too many words into her promos and may very well choke on one. This is a woman who needs to learn some memorization techniques and how to calm down in a hurry. Charlotte, on the other hand, is an actual travesty. Someone backstage has clearly told her “if you can’t remember your line, just cry. Or pretend to cry. Or pretend you’re trying not to cry. Just get emotional and no one will care that you’ve COMPLETELY STOPPED SPEAKING.” I cannot tolerate this kind of nonsense. This is live television. Charlotte’s inability to cough up anything more than half her assigned dialogue is a detriment – not just to her and her scene partner, but to the program and to WWE because every second she’s standing doing nothing in the ring she’s costing them money. And I’m starting to think that when WWE loses money, the first place they cut back is in creative.
So why on earth would anyone watch Survivor Series this Sunday? Maybe to see if they do something special for Undertaker’s 25th Anniversary that has nothing to do with his really, really silly feud with the Wyatts. Or to see what kind of a match Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose put on. Or even to see how they end up putting Reigns over in the end so he can become the hated babyface champion we all know he’ll be. At this point the tournament to me is the only thing worth it’s weight to watch. So I apologize again to everyone – I was wrong.
But just barely.