This week, Behind the Barricades, we crown our third-ever Two-Time NXT Champion, Bray Wyatt gets a new friend, and the Tribal Chief addresses his next opponent. All this, and more, as we dive into the Good, the Bad, and the “what the *bleep*” moments in wrestling this week! Let’s go!
Cedric Alexander gets “Hurt”.
Finally! Something good happening with Cedric Alexander! This could lead to a welcome and rejuvenating change for the Cruiserweight superstar, as he turns his back on Apollo Crews and Ricochet to join The Hurt Business alongside MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin. The Hurt Business, with MVP as the mouthpiece, has been highly entertaining in all segments, even the subpar Raw Underground scenes. They command the attention, and very much deserve it. Now, Alexander can get the recognition he deserves as well.
The Tribal Chief speaks.
It’s a shame that it took WWE this long to see the potential in a Roman Reigns/Paul Heyman pairing. The duo works so well together, as opposed to the dynamic between Heyman and Brock Lesnar. With Heyman and Lesnar, Paul does all the speaking, while Brock stands there intimidatingly. On the flip side, with Heyman and Reigns, Paul isn’t the “advocate”; he is the Special Counsel to the Tribal Chief, Universal Champion Roman Reigns. And when Roman speaks, we all want to listen, because this is the side of Reigns that we’ve all wanted to see. Wreck Everyone And Leave.
Now that we know the relationship between Heyman and Reigns, we can take Roman’s promos to heart, and he cuts a good one this week. Roman talks about his cousin Jey Uso getting the title shot at Clash of Champions. In one promo, Roman goes from supporting family member to determined champion, and does it in a cold-hearted manner. It’s a great change that Reigns has made to his character; Heyman is just there to reinforce it, instead of lead it.
Balor on top again.
Man, what a fantastic match between Adam Cole and Finn Balor for the vacant NXT Championship! I would go so far as to say that it’s the best match that Balor has had since returning to the black and gold brand. And now, the Prince is back on top of the brand. More interestingly, is the story post-match and later in the night, where we see the tremendous show of respect between Cole and Balor, which begs the question: What’s going on with Cole and the Undisputed Era? It’s a fantastic story being told, burning slowly but keeping us interested.
For whatever reason, WWE thinks that having a wrestler return from injury by arriving in an ambulance is a good idea. News flash: it’s not! It’s cheesy and lame, even if it’s the Scottish Psychopath, WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. It didn’t work for Dean Ambrose, and it doesn’t work for McIntyre. It’s the lone sore spot I have in the rivalry between McIntyre and Randy Orton, which has been one of the best things going in wrestling.
24/7 Title Segments.
Look, it was fun at first, but now, it’s just dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I love the R-Truth character. But what we’re being subjected to lately, it’s almost an insult to our intelligence. Can we just get rid of the title and put Truth into a legitimate feud with someone, and get him away from being a 40-time holder of a title that has zero relevance?
What the *Bleep*???
How do you ruin a great recurring segment like Firefly Funhouse? Easy, you let Vince McMahon try to add his own sense of humor to it. Bray Wyatt introduces us to the newest member of the Funhouse: Special Advisor Wobbly Walrus. The puppet is clearly a mockery of Paul Heyman, and it’s beyond ridiculous, even for Firefly Funhouse standards. It was so deplorable, and it does nothing to help the Bray Wyatt character.
“Breaking News” from Cody.
Throughout the last 30 minutes of Dynamite, the announcers kept talking about a “breaking news” update coming from Cody, who hasn’t been seen since he was destroyed by TNT Champion Brodie Lee. They continued to hype up the announcement, until finally at the end of the show, we get to hear from Cody. What’s the big news? A game show…are you *bleeping* kidding me?!? You hyped us up for that?!? SMH…
All in all, it was a fairly good week in pro wrestling. Lots of good to great segments that I didn’t even highlight (the collapse of the Elite, Ripley vs. Martinez in a steel cage, Bayley’s explanation of the attack on Sasha Banks). No new news to report this week, so that’s all for this week, Behind the Barricades! –Josh L.
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