Welcome to the most recent edition of Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison. STIWTW returns to highlight several rather unique recent occurrences in wrestling. One story that dominated discussion in the last week, involving a monster taming a beast; sounds like something that Freddy Kruger and Michael Myers would fear. This column won’t push you to watch films about creepy clowns intimidating children, or get you to listen to ‘Despacito’ (especially since the summer has ended). We may, however, share the excitement over how John Cena and Roman Reigns are managing to spit fire against one another each and every week leading to No Mercy.
What we do is hit fans with several topics that you may not have noticed, or possibly ignored, and try to understand their purpose. This week’s edition includes shots being repeatedly fired, monsters and beasts not playing well together, beating down a grandfather, what happens when an Englishmen’s tea gets cold and finally having the winner of a tournament after the earlier rounds were recorded weeks earlier. We, unfortunately, won’t talk to you about why Mike Kanellis is missing in action, or why the Perfect 10 is a phenomenal challenger for AJ Styles. They aren’t part of our discussion, but we sure do wish they were. We also won’t try to understand the purpose of Fashion Peaks, as it just seems odd, especially when they show up on 205 Live. Without further ado, here are Strange Things In Wrestling for the week of September 15th.
As No Mercy quickly approaches, a number of different matchups are taking shape. We have seen the build for matches between John Cena and Roman Reigns, and the Raw tag team championship match appears to be all but set between Ambrose, Rollins, Cesaro, and Sheamus. However, the build that has managed to turn the heads of fans beginning the day after Summer Slam has been the lead-up to the match for the WWE Universal Championship. The story of the match is that it pits a monster against a beast, as Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar are set to square off against one another.
On this past Monday’s edition of Raw, Lesnar and Strowman had a face-to-face confrontation. What happened was something fans could not have imagined. Lesnar avoided an initial attack by Strowman, but when he hit the monster among men with a German suplex the result stunned not only the fans watching, but the beast incarnate himself. Braun immediately popped right back up and took out the beast with a power slam. The reaction on Lesnar’s face after Strowman popped up was a pure shock, and there seemed to be fear in the face of the Beast Incarnate. To see the Beast completely destroyed was strange to see.
Did you hear the one about the failed drug test and the failed actor?
Over the past few weeks, another build for No Mercy has been pretty well-done. Whether they are feeding off one another or demonstrating their ability to improvise, Roman Reigns and John Cena have continued to spit fire at one another every week since Cena arrived back on Raw. While their encounter this past week wasn’t the most notable, at least in comparison to their previous ones, it did feature the two men throwing out a couple of clever lines that got some oohs and ahhs. The first one was directed at Cena and why he was still with WWE. Reigns stated that Cena was there because he needs WWE since he won’t make it in Hollywood, but he shouldn’t worry because ‘I know a guy.’
The comment alluded to the fact that his cousin, The Rock, IS successful in the movie industry. While that managed to capture everyone’s attention, the kicker was the line that ended the segment. As the encounter was drawing to a close, Cena said something to the effect of ‘Let me explain this to you in a way that you will understand: Like a drug test, you won’t get past me’. Cena was clearly referring to Reigns failed drug test just over a year ago, which resulted in his removal from a title match. He once again left Reigns speechless, but in doing so continued to add to the build for their match at No Mercy.
Preparation for the Kevin Owens Show…or not
Throughout this past week’s edition of Smackdown Live from Sin City, fans were treated to a number of things that would make them think that the show was going to be renamed. Throughout, Kevin Owens was doing what he could to lay the foundation for ‘his’ show next week, whether it was promises of how the program would look or who would sing the theme song. In fact, Aiden English was asked if he would do it, and he accepted! However, what resulted was a scenario played out where it became clear that ‘The Kevin Owens Show‘ was not going to happen; it was canceled before it started.
In the closing moments of the show, Vince McMahon addressed Owens and said that ‘The Prizefighter’ would be bankrupt before the lawsuit ever saw the courtroom. Vince said that Shane McMahon was going to be reinstated, though it wouldn’t be until Hell in a Cell. In response, Owens asked for Vince’s word that he wouldn’t be fired if he beat down a McMahon if provoked. And then after a handshake agreement he headbutted Vince and beat him down, and the chances of Smackdown Live being renamed became less likely with each strike on Vince McMahon. In a surprising turn of events, even Stephanie McMahon showed up, disgusted with Kevin Owens’s performance, after once having once supported his reign as the WWE Universal Champion.
Finals of a tournament…two months after the match was decided….relatively quickly.
After weeks of the Mae Young Classic tournament being discussed, the final has taken place. What is unique, or even strange really, is that this tournament was filmed over two days in July, the 13th and 14th. However, while we were aware that this tournament was happening, and spoilers from the filming were revealed weeks ago, the actual episodes weren’t made available until the last couple of weeks. The first four episodes were put on the WWE Network toward the end of August, and the fifth to the eighth episodes only last week. To make the episodes available on demand made it difficult to follow or be excited about. In any event, after weeks of publicity and a special being aired about the road to the finals.
Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane faced off against one another this past Tuesday, right after Smackdown Live. The end result was that in less than a half an hour Sane defeated Baszler. There wasn’t a match shown prior to the main event to hype the finale, like what was done, for the Cruiserweight classic. The women involved in the tournament should all be pleased with their performances, but airing the previous episodes on a weekly basis would have benefited the build to the finale, which seemed to fall flat. With that said, congratulations to Sane and Baszler for putting on a solid performance in the tournament’s finale.
On this most recent edition of 205 Live, we saw something that was rather shocking! OK, shocking may be a bit of an overstatement, but it couldn’t have been predicted prior to the show, or even after witnessing the events of previous weeks. We were witness to a heel turn by a beloved performer, and it wasn’t because his tea was cold or someone had stolen his umbrella, but rather because we believe, he had to. In recent weeks, fans saw Gentleman Jack Gallagher facing The Brian Kendrick and being told he’s considered a joke. After being beaten down in a street fight by Kendrick, Gallagher was left a heap and the former Cruiserweight champion walked away victorious.
We don’t believe that he attacked Cedric Alexander at the end of Alexander’s match against Kendrick in order to prove that he wasn’t a joke, but rather because, well…we aren’t entirely sure, there wasn’t any rhyme nor reason for it. Since he attacked Alexander, it would lead us to believe that Cedric did something that motivated the change in character. However, in the end, fans really have nothing to go on, but the stunned look on the face of The Brian Kendrick. While it may turn out to be a fake heel turn simply intended to scare the hell out of Kendrick, we still are scratching our head a bit as to why. After all, Alexander had to endure the whole Dar/Fox storyline, hasn’t he suffered enough?
This ends Strange Things In Wrestling This Week with Marc Madison, for the week of September 15th. We covered everything from why it’s important to embarrass your boss with a headbutt, to why umbrellas can do more than just protect us from the sun or rain! Not to mention why it’s important to explain mistakes again and again. What develops over the next few weeks will be interesting to see. Will Alexa Bliss remain the Raw Women’s champion or will a certain Empress come in and wipe out the entire division? For their sake, they had better make like Bray Wyatt and run when Asuka arrives!
For Strange Things In Wrestling, this is Marc Madison saying, if you catch the strange things in wrestling, be sure to always make fun of them, or claim that you love them. However, not if you’ve hidden the truth for twenty years, that’s a bit sketchy…
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