Quietly one of the best matches of the week was Kenny King and Austin Aries. It wasn’t just that the action in the ring was on point; the story of this friendship and how it has evolved was told very well. We live in an era where fan favorites and faces are often confused, but a well to story can put things into perspective. Shout out to King and Double A for putting that perspective to the forefront. Kenny has been watching that Cobra Kai series even going as far as donning the tights. Kung Fu Kenny took to the sweeping of the legs. By the end of it, Austin went to the lengths that Kenny wouldn’t to take the win from his friend.
The Riott Squad has a new name to add to their list of enemies when Liv Morgan was pretty much dominated by Ember Moon. Moon did not have the luxury of having an ally at ringside but also only had one other member of the Squad watching. Morgan turned on the intense offense early; it all was for naught because Ember turned the momentum each time. The final tide changing scenario allowed for Moon to be portrayed as an aware competitor. She avoided Sarah Logan’s interference when landing the eclipse and again when she rolled out the ring as soon as the match was over.
There are lead off batters, and there’s Willie Mays Hayes. The Willie Mays Hayes of wrestling has to be Jonathan Gresham. The man also known as the Octopus would challenge Kenny King for a matter of gaining ground and a win on his way to stiffer competition. King promised to make Gresham bend the knee and was the target of a series of technical holds as a strategy to even the field. King turned the tide and picked up the pace countering Gresham’s offense. King eventually took the fight to JG; he dropped the Octopus with a royal flush out of nowhere to complete his earlier promise.
The saga of Sasha Banks and Bayley continued this week with the two attending Kurt Angle mandated anger management training. Dr. Shelby is back to find a common ground between the two. Some wise soul at WWE decided to introduce this idea on the heels of the reunification of Team Hell No, who also were directed to a similar fate. It’s a safe assumption to think that these two women will not turn out the same way.
The road of redemption continued for Jay Lethal; taking his quest to avenge his past losses into Best in the World, he faced off with Kushida. Lethal took a nonchalant approach to the match. Lethal’s performance just seemed off from what the actual situation dictated. It seemed much less like he was seeking to prove a point and more like he was not excited about being booked on the card. The contest stayed between the ropes for the most part with each competitor targeting a different body part. After going through the motions for long enough, Jay landed the lethal injection for the win.
The audacity of them to make Bobby Lashley seem like the bad guy in a situation where Roman Reigns, not only didn’t heed the warning of not participating in two matches, he didn’t even tag Lashley into a match where he was getting worked over by the Revival. So naturally, the proud Lashley took to the ramp when the match ended in a DQ and the Top Guys put boots to Roman’s ass. The end result was Lashley and Reigns at Extreme Rules with the laziest of set ups in a few weeks.
I spoke too soon about two things last week. The first being the in-ring antics of the New Day being minimized in exchange for actual performance, and the second, SANity was paired with them this week suggesting a feud brewing. My hopes is that SANity is just moving through the SmackDown roster and that the New Day’s pancake contest was just another holiday work that we always get. I know that receiving a beat down does nothing for positive powers.
It took only a week for them to clarify how Lio Rush would be booked when he made an appearance during an Akira Tozawa squash match.
There was a bit of a cooler put on the Velveteen Dream during the NXT airing. Chris Dijak was sent down to punish Dream for his atrocities apparently. Number one, Dream is not here for any of this said punishment; second, Dijak was the second large, physical competitor to fall victim to the Velveteen Dream.
Rich Swann got back to the action again this week. Swann and Fenix got to the high impact action and trying to step up the intensity. I have to give Swann the sell of the week with the spit and dazed eyes following a vicious pile driver. Nonetheless, Fenix would get the win and Swann the rub of a new wrestler who could possibly take his opponents the distance.
On the same Impact show, Kongo Kong amazed once again. The main event featured Kong and Brian Cage that was billed as the monster versus the machine. The 300+ lb. man landed a sweet hurricanrana with the assistance of Cage carrying him from the top turnbuckle. There would be no drill claw, but a massive F-5 would close the match to show exactly how they want portray the machine. The monster was built to put Cage over.
It was about a week or so ago when I realized that the Authors of Pain had been off TV for some time. Now that they’re back, they’ve continued to run through teams as if they’re getting Ryback’d. At least this week it was a main roster team in Titus Worldwide. Side note: I don’t know what that strut to the ring that Apollo did was all about.