This Friday, WWE will present its second show from Saudi Arabia (or some non-disclosed location if you listed to WWE) in the form of Crown Jewel. That means some very good news: we’re less than a week away from never having to hear about this show again. The show has been one bad idea and bad result after another to the point where WWE has almost seemed embarrassed to talk about it in detail (again: where is the show taking place from WWE? You haven’t made it quite clear.).
With all the problems surrounding the show though, one specific part has come off as worse than all of the others: the main event tag match between D-Generation X and the Brothers of Destruction. This match, which sounds like it should be one of the biggest and most important of the year on paper, has turned into the anchor that we have to deal with every single week while everything special about it has been thrown away. Today we’re going to look at this mess and why it’s become such a disaster on the way to…wherever the heck this show is taking place.
First of all, there’s the biggest aspect of the match which has turned into a complete afterthought: Michaels is returning to the ring after an eight and a half year absence. Yeah did you forget that part of it? WWE certainly seems to have forgotten about it and Michaels has barely acknowledged it either. Other than the opening challenge for the match after Super Show-Down (as in the show that set this up less than a month in advance), Michaels and WWE have either glossed over the return or not mentioned it whatsoever.
How can that kind of a story just be an additional detail to the match? For years and years, fans have speculated about Michaels returning to the ring, downright begging him at times for ONE MORE MATCH. Well now you have it and it’s more of an “oh yeah that’s happening too” moment instead of something we’ve been waiting so long to see. Instead of videos looking at Michaels’ historic in-ring career or how hard it is for him to get back in the ring, there’s been….nothing really. They might mention it every now and then while a graphic for the match is on the screen, but I could go for a little more than that.
What has the focus been on instead? That they’re all old. Whether it’s D-Generation X talking about how “maybe old means better” or the Brothers of Destruction saying that “the reaper waits for no man and when your time has come, your time has come” (again: the UNDERTAKER is talking about people needing to be done when their time has come. Let that one sink in for a few seconds.), this whole thing feels like a weird ad for a bad movie set at a retirement community.
You have these guys in the ring for what is likely going to be one of their final matches, yet the youngest person involved is Triple H, as in the guy who is going to run the company one day, at forty nine years old. They couldn’t get someone a little younger in there instead? Drew McIntyre couldn’t kick one of them in the face and get the biggest win of his career? AJ Styles (still old, but a spring chicken compared to the four of them) couldn’t say he wanted to prove that he’s the best in the world (or something else because the World Cup winner gets that designation) and challenge Undertaker?
It comes off like the biggest waste of the value that these four still have. This should be some huge moment and instead it’s being used on everyone who doesn’t need the rub from someone else of this stature. Let someone new or at least regularly active get the spotlight instead. That’s been a major problem for so many years in WWE and these four are often at the center of the issues. How many times can you play up the old guys fighting before you need to make someone else?
So anyway, they’re old, but maybe they have some epic story about why they’re fighting. Why is the match taking place? Well mainly because the script says it needs to. Undertaker, Triple H and Michaels had an absolutely epic story over the course of four WrestleManias (Kane has somehow managed to be presented as tacked on and a necessary piece to this story at the same time, which is really an impressive accomplishment) and then just stopped for about eight years.
Then we needed a main event for Super Show-Down so they dusted off the feud for one more match with Kane and Michaels involved. That more or less was the first round of the tag match with Michaels and Kane interfering several times each and Triple H pulling off the victory. After the match, Undertaker and Kane laid out Triple H and Michaels (because…..reasons), thereby setting up the challenge for the tag match at Crown Jewel.
In other words, they’re fighting because of a contrived post match attack that only took place to bridge the gap. Now they’re cutting promos about burying each other (Complete with tombstones and dirt to hype up a match on a show that is controversial because of a journalist being killed. How someone looked at this and approved it is beyond me, but never let that get in the way of a bad story.) and talking about how they’re going to end the story that was already ended perfectly once and for all. That’s supposed to be some huge story that makes me want to watch a show on a Friday afternoon?
Sticking with the theme of not knowing how to properly present a match, can D-Generation X please decide which way they’re supposed to be acting? When the match was set up, it was this big talk about how there was no respect between the four of them and how all of their good feelings were a lie. It was a serious story and while it might not have been the best thing in the world, there was little doubt about what they were shooting for with the match.
Then WWE aired a D-Generation X video package, focusing on their comedy over the years. There was little to no time spent looking at them being a successful serious team who went toe to toe with Rated RKO and winning the Tag Team Titles. Instead it was all about them being jokey and having a good time, which went completely against the point of the promo they had cut.
Ok, so it’s kid friendly D-Generation X. Fine enough. Well then they cut another serious promo and turned the whole thing around. Then last night on Monday Night Raw, Triple H came out with glow sticks and the team crotch chopped at the Brothers after using their regular antics to take Undertaker down. It’s like every single week they change their mind about how D-Generation X is supposed to look. It’s too late now but having them pick a side would have been a very nice idea.
Overall, this idea could have been something interesting, but instead we’ve been stuck watching these same four people have another match that isn’t exactly interesting with the major focal point being ignored. The four guys have been doing everything they can to make this seem epic but having the main talking point be “we’re old” has almost turned the match into a self parody. With Crown Jewel being the disaster that is has been, this is the kind of icing on the cake that has made the show feel even worse than it would have been on its own. Move on and retire already, because it’s just sad at this point.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews.
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