I thought WWE Day One was a fairly decent show. Maybe not enough to be a PREMIUM (or is it premiere?) live event, but hey, I have the Peacock Network, and it was fun. Nice, lively crowd in Atlanta and furthers one of my 2022 new year’s resolutions: I will attend a MAJOR wrestling event in the next 12 months. Y’all don’t care about that though. You are here to read about my thoughts on what transpired last night…
…mainly, the WWE Championship five way bout. Before getting to that, let’s quickly rewind to about an hour before the opening match.
“Roman Reigns Out With Covid”
That is a worst case scenario for WWE. They even took extra precautions with him, especially during the build up to Day One. Still, things happen. Life happens. Tough luck but as a company, they have to move forward. Since I assume Brock Lesnar was already en route to Atlanta, thus already getting a big fat paycheck, he had to do something, right? I am not sure him just beating up The Usos again would have done the trick. He had to actually do SOMETHING.
Boom. Throw him into the WWE Title mix. Screw his recent interactions on Smackdown. He has been established as a free agent who can do whatever the heck he wants, so why not? Mix it up with the RAW guys for a night and give fans a unique main event. No way he would actually win the title off Big E, right? I mean, he is wrapped up in a big feud with Reigns (and Paul Heyman) on Smackdown currently. Surely, Brock wouldn’t win.
Welp. He did. Ladies and gentlemen, Brock Lesnar is your NEW WWE Champion. If you are shocked by this, you missed the obvious ‘tells’ during the broadcast. First was the over the top reactions to his addition. If he was just there to be a placeholder, it would not have been played up that much. Second was his SPOILER interview. He said it folks. When a face says something like that, it usually plays out. Same with the recent idea of talent (Heyman) giving out spoilers on television. It will happen.
Third is him entering the match last. In truth, I do not care about those little trivial things, but some people do. He came out last and was clearly the most ‘over’ star of the evening. Fourth was his recent record in WWE. At some point, he was going to pick up a big win. I am not sure that was ever coming versus Roman Reigns. over the likes of Big E? Yeah, easy victory there.
Last but not least, the history of wrestling told us this was coming. Whenever there is an injury or a replacement or a change to the main event, it is usually done with a “make good” that sends the crowd home happy. Big E winning would have received his usual polite applause and light clapping, with no trending topics or any care in the world come RAW Monday night. Lesnar winning was the exact type of thing WWE needed right now, as evidenced by the roar of the fans for the final one, two, three.
Sorry Johnny Knoxville, but you entering the Royal Rumble is NOT how we are kicking off the 2022 Road to WrestleMania. Lesnar as champion of Raw and Reigns as champion of Smackdown is much better. Will they meet up again? Are those two still on a collision course? Time will tell, but in the meantime, what about Big E? What about Big E or as Knoxville called him, Little E?
Here is the truth folks: Kofi Kingston stunk it up as WWE Champion, and the company rightfully shifted to Brock Lesnar.
History repeated itself Saturday night. I am not sure I would say Big E stunk as WWE Champion, but he certainly didn’t shine either. It was BLAH from the get go. Feuding with Kevin Owens and/or Seth Rollins was always going to be hit or miss. Throwing Lashley in the mix a few weeks ago was like WWE waving the white flag on his run at the top. Big E wasn’t drawing on TV, wasn’t drawing at live events, and it definitely wasn’t drawing anything but flies. You can’t point at one metric to defend the past three months.
Disappointing all the way around really. Big E was a great choice to win Money in the Bank. He did great things on Smackdown earlier in 2021. His cash in moment was GREAT. However, he had to change brands in order for it to happen. If he was really going to be ‘the man’ going forward, he would have cashed in on Reigns and been THE MAN. Instead, he was just “the man” holding the WWE Title until somebody better came along.
Well, the man has come along, and no, it is not Becky Lynch, it is Brock Lesnar. Now WWE has options moving froward for WrestleMania. In my mind, two options spring to mind immediately. First is we still get Reigns/Lesnar, only with Reigns probably costing Lesnar the title in the next month or two. Then we resume things back on Smackdown like normal.
Second is Reigns faces Drew McIntyre or somebody else, and the company scraps plans for more Reigns/Lesnar. Brock can then face off against Bobby Lashley at Mania, which was strongly teased Saturday night and has been a legitimate dream match for nearly 20 years. What happens with Heyman in this scenario, who knows?
Personally, I THINK WWE will circle back around to Reigns and Lesnar one way or another. Personally though, I WANT that to be over with. Same with The Miz and Edge – I really HOPE WWE moves on from that before WrestleMania. Just have Heyman side back with Reigns and go from there. Lesnar is a fan favorite right now, so just roll with it.
Big E? He can go back to smiling, making goofy faces, and throwing pancakes with The New Day next week. Heck, it’s exactly what Kofi Kingston did after losing the WWE Championship…