The second week of WWE with the Wildcard Rules in play was…a little rocky. We’re heading into Money in the Bank this Sunday, though, and in addition to a whole lot of video packages, Raw and Smackdown both opening with The Miz and Roman Reigns, and the return of questioning the paternity of Rey Mysterio’s son, some notable things happened! (Keep an eye out this week for my Money in the Bank card preview, which will have all the details on this Sunday’s matches and storylines going into them.)
1. Sami Zayn is going to Money in the Bank!
One of the cooler developments going into this Sunday’s PPV is that Sami Zayn will be taking Braun Strowman’s place in the Money in the Bank ladder match. With the help of Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn was able to pin Strowman in a falls count anywhere match, securing his spot and taking Strowman’s opportunity away.
That match itself was whatever, but I’m always excited to see Zayn participate in a ladder match. Also his promos this week finally hit the right smug, self-righteous tone. (I know because I have been smug and self-righteous my whole life.) All of that on top of him appearing on both Raw and Smackdown for two weeks in a row? Dare I say things might finally be looking up for Sami Zayn? Or maybe he’s just going to keep feuding with Braun Strowman and occasionally showing up to help out Kevin Owens. Who can say?
2. Bray Wyatt became a spooky clown
Guys, I still love Firefly Fun House. Yes it probably thinks it’s cooler and smarter and edgier than it actually is, but? It’s so stupid that it’s cool, and Bray Wyatt is really committing to the bit in a way that I can’t help but respect. This week, after revealing that Rambling Rabbit is still alive, Bray Wyatt explained that he’s learned how to harness his darkness. Then he did a costume change into a scary clown mask with a black leather tailcoat and some red and black striped Mr. Brightside-ass pants. And then he growled his little kids show catchphrase “yowie wowie.”
What is the one thing that every major wrestling company should have? (Other than fair compensation and as much healthcare and worker protection as possible.) Scary clowns!!! A scary clown in WWE can only mean good things and I am praying they give Bray Wyatt some sick pyro.
3. Two blonde women put Becky Lynch through a table
The good news is that Becky Lynch did a fantastic job on the mic this week. The London crowd was completely behind her and it is always a treat to see her performing in her element. The other good news is that, as always, heel Charlotte delivered steady, consistent performances, AND brought back the overalls crop top. The bad news is that there’s only one women’s title storyline going on. After there was already only one women’s title storyline going on. Because they couldn’t maintain two women’s title storylines, which is a worrying trend! The baddest news is still that one of those people is Lacey Evans, who isn’t self-aware enough to understand how to make her gimmick funny. She also talks like she’s a 12 year old who got the lead in her school’s heavily edited version of a Tennessee Williams play just because she was the prettiest.
4. Tag Team Divisions… I’m pretty sure you’re not okay
The Usos, who are on Raw, are challenging Smackdown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan for their titles, putting their weird humiliation-based feud with the Revival on hold for now. The Raw Tag Team Champions, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, were nowhere to be seen on TV this week. Their presumed next challengers, the Viking Raiders, who are the NXT Tag Team Champions in spite of being on Raw now, were also absent from main roster TV. However, they did appear on NXT to try to relinquish their titles, and then they defended them? But their defense ended in a no contest due to interference? And they’re still listed as the champions on the WWE website? I have no idea what’s going on.
Update: An article on WWE.com announced that the NXT Tag Team Championship has been vacated
5. Asuka and Kairi Sane are now known as…
The Women’s Tag Team Titles actually seem to have a pretty cohesive storyline in comparison. (They still feel much weaker than they did when Boss N Hug Connection held them, though.) At least we know who the champions are and what teams are interested in challenging for them? Even if one of those teams now has the unfortunate name of The Kabuki Warriors. Like… seriously!? This isn’t even Viking Experience funny, it’s Viking Raiders boring. Why couldn’t they have been the Pirates of Tomorrow or the Clown Pirates or something? There’s nothing kabuki about them.
6. The Undisputed Era are together again
Last week we watched Roderick Strong quit/get fired from Undisputed Era after his involvement led to Adam Cole losing his match against Matt Riddle. This week, Strong brought Cole a peace offering: a bloodied Nike slide. Matt Riddle was later shown getting treated from his injuries wearing only one shoe. The image of Adam Cole being so moved by a sandal covered in fake blood that he brought Strong back into the fold was one of the funniest things I’ve seen on WWE television in recent memory. NXT has a good thing going with Undisputed Era, and while it’s fun to tease a split, I hope they don’t go through with a permanent one. Look at these boys! Never break them up.
7. Stokely Hathaway looked for his CD player
And finally, my favorite ongoing WWE storyline these past few weeks! Recent signee Stokely Hathaway has been chronicling the search for his missing CD player on Twitter. The short vignettes feature Hathaway interrogating different members of the NXT roster about its whereabouts, and they’re just… genuinely very funny. The most recent left Hathaway on the floor of a hallway after NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler stole his wallet, but promised an interesting lead…
Honorable mentions: Finn Bálor vs Ali vs Randy Orton vs Andrade, Mojo Rawley’s Bull Nakano tribute makeup, Nikki Cross got on TV, Cesaro vs Rey Mysterio, Naomi’s cool dive, Keith Lee is back, THEY’RE SETTING UP DREW GULAK VS KUSHIDA!!!!