These are in no particular order.
1. The Ring of Honor Stable
In something that was rumored for several weeks leading up to the show, a group of former Ring of Honor talents banded together to end “Takeover: Brooklyn III”. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly had already made their debuts earlier in the summer but it was Adam Cole showing up at the end of the show and attacking new NXT Champion Drew McIntyre that really sealed the deal.
I like this idea a lot as NXT has so many people around that putting them into groups is a good move. There’s only so much TV time to go around and it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to try to squeeze them all into singles roles. Cole is fine for a first challenger to the title and having ReDRagon by his side will only make him seem more impressive. Fresh blood is almost always a good thing and that’s what we had in this case.
Unfortunately this isn’t as awesome as the roar at the beginning of Strowman’s music so we’ll try again.
2. New Day vs. Usos
I’m not sure how much that needs to be said about this match. It ran nearly twenty minutes and featured two of the best teams in the world tearing the house down in the second best match of the night. The ending was a surprise as I would have bet on New Day retaining but at least we had a fun time in getting there.
They went flying through this match and the second half was all over the place with both teams hitting one big spot after another. The spear through the ropes at the end with Big E. nearly killing Jimmy Uso would have looked to be a turning point, only to have a far too long series of superkicks eventually put Xavier Woods away. It’s the best match they’ve had yet, and that’s quite the accomplishment.
It would have been a bigger accomplishment to have the match of the night, but that honor belonged to Strowman’s match. We’ll move on.
3. That Alexa Bliss “No Mercy 2017” Promo
I don’t remember the last time something as beautiful as Bliss scared the heck out of me so much. The video shows an army of Blisses in masks doing a creepy cheer to hype up the pay per view. The real Bliss then asks if we have any questions as the show’s information pops up on screen.
Just….yeah. It’s disturbing, creepy and somewhat sexy at the same time. It goes very well with a great line that Corey Graves had about Bliss: “She’ll break your heart, she’ll break your jaw and you’ll still look her up on Instagram.” It was a very effective promo and got my attention immediately while putting the name of the pay per view in my head at the same time. Well done indeed.
I mean, not as well done as if it had been an army of Strowman’s but that’s more than the world could handle.
4. Bobby Roode is on “Smackdown Live”
And it was GLORIOUS. No really it was. Roode lost the NXT Title on Saturday and then made his main roster debut three days later to the delight of the Brooklyn crowd. He only beat Aiden English in a match just a step above a squash, but at least it got the job done and gave him a great moment in the process.
At the end of the day, Roode didn’t have anything left to do in NXT, save for his match with Roderick Strong. He might get another match with Drew McIntyre for the NXT Title but I can’t imagine it goes anywhere as Roode is clearly going to be a big deal (at least at first) on the main roster. Roode has grown on me tremendously with the GLORIOUS stuff getting hotter than almost anything else in NXT. Hopefully it all goes well for him on the blue show.
You know who it’s gone well for on the red show? Like better than Roode will do on the blue show? Strowman. Moving on.
5. Shawn Michaels is the New Colonel Sanders
I’ve been watching wrestling a long time and I’ve been watching Michaels for a lot of that time. Sunday night, I was waiting on the next Kickoff Show match to start (because there were so many of them) and I saw part of a KFC commercial. Then I saw someone dressed as Sanders come down the aisle and…..I actually didn’t recognize him. He started doing the strut though and it all became clear.
I’m really not sure how to feel about this. I know it’s just a marketing campaign and odds are there’s only going to be a handful of the commercials at most but sweet goodness it was disturbing. If there’s one person I don’t think of when I think of Sanders, it’s Michaels and vice versa. Yet somehow it kind of fit, at least better than everything Dolph Ziggler did the year before.
Speaking of things I don’t associate together, there’s the combination of this moment and being more awesome than Strowman.
6. Cesaro Breaks a Beach Ball
We might have the biggest threat to Strowman and the Crown of Awesome. I was in Orlando earlier this year when Beach Ball Mania broke out again and it was one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen at a wrestling event. If you’re that bored with wrestling, stop coming to the shows. Why is that so hard?
In addition to being annoying, it’s also highly disrespectful to the wrestlers. Thankfully this time there was a monster strongman by the name of Cesaro. Upon seeing the crowd ignoring his match to mess with a beach ball, he ran into the crowd and tore the thing to shreds. Now why did no one else ever think of that? It got a great pop from the audience (not to mention the ball itself) and thankfully ended that part of the evening’s festivities.
I mean, Strowman got a bigger pop in his match and would have blown the ball up even better, but that’s what you have to expect from someone that awesome.
7. That Four Way Promo From “Monday Night Raw”
I’m always a fan of mixing up feuds into one big segment. This past Monday, we saw John Cena come out to talk about wanting to face a specific wrestler, who happened to be Roman Reigns. This brought out Reigns, who was interrupted by Miz. The Miz wasn’t pleased with being overlooked (as he shouldn’t be) and wanted a tag match later in the night. This brought out Samoa Joe, who was put in the tag as Miz’ partner.
This was a heck of a segment with Miz being moved back towards the main event. There’s a good chance this is going to set up a pair of matches at “No Mercy 2017” and that’s quite the amount to put together in a single segment. If they can build more on the card than just that and the main event, they’ll have a heck of a show on their hands.
That segment was full of Miz’s awesome. However, the main event on Sunday was even more awesome because of one person. Any guesses as to who it was?
8. The Kickoff Show Crowd
The final spot on our list goes to the one that involves the fewest people. When the first match on Sunday night got started, the Barclays Center was nearly empty. Based on photos that have shown up on Twitter, there might not have even been 500 people in the building yet. That’s how the Miz and the Hardy Boyz, three future Hall of Famers, were greeted when they came out to the ring for a six man tag that we had already seen earlier in the week.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s the kind of embarrassing visual that WWE deserved. It was a match that didn’t need to happen on Sunday (and seemed to lead nowhere on Monday) and the result looked horrible. aI’d like to believe it would be a lesson to WWE that they don’t have to cram as much onto the cards as they already do but you know they’re never going to learn that kind of thing.
— Pottsy (@PottsyGaming) August 21, 2017
One lesson they did learn though was that Strowman was the most awesome thing they’ve had in a long time. In the main event and a Match of the Year contender, Strowman manhandled Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe, wrecking all three of them plus most of the ringside area. He looked like someone who should be Universal Champion for a long time and thankfully he’ll have that chance at “No Mercy 2017”.
There was a lot of stuff going on in WWE this weekend but nothing impressed me as much as Strowman. Being able to make Lesnar look like a rag doll is something only a handful of people in the world can do and Strowman did it twice. If that’s not a reason to be impressed, I have no idea what is. Everything associated with him over the weekend was awesome, which over shadows quite a few things that were awesome in their own right. Now please don’t screw this up WWE.