I started this column several weeks ago writing about why I enjoyed Brock Lesnar winning the Money In The Bank contract.
And then I wrote about why I thought Chairman Rollins was great.
Soon after, though, I was writing about what happened to Rollins and why I was disappointed to see Lesnar cash in.
But here we are. A couple of days after SummerSlam and I’m about ready to close this story arc. Well, I hope I am. You never know with WWE – I wouldn’t be shocked if somehow Lesnar takes the WWE title and we see Lesnar/Rollins 3 at Survivor Series. But for now, let’s just enjoy what we have. I’m going to analyze this from my own point of view. I know no one with knowledge of the inner workings over there and mostly I just make things up as I go. Don’t believe me? Go listen to The Rich Dickman Show. (cheap plug out of the way)
Somewhere along the way someone in WWE decided it would be a good idea to pair the real life couple of Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch. I’ll spare you the gory details, but aside from an entertaining main event at Extreme Rules it didn’t work. It weakened both of them but more-so Rollins. How can your top guy also be “The Man’s Man”? Doesn’t work. Couple that with a too long feud with Baron Corbin and Rollins stock was dwindling. The people, me included, were losing faith in our Champion so much so that Lesnar had to come in and take the title away from him at the end of Extreme Rules.
At that point I thought it was all over for Rollins, honestly. The steam had run out of the engine and he was moving to the back. Sure, he won the battle royal to get the match at SummerSlam but I figured this would just be a crowning moment for Lesnar heading into the new TV deals. Then Lesnar beat the ever living crap out of him. The brutal beatdown with the F5’s on the chairs was actually a pretty marvelous site. But I figured they were beating him up in consecutive weeks to give him a reason to lose. “No mere man can overcome The Beast, especially one with ‘busted ribs’”. At that point all I hoped for was a decent match. I fully expected Lesnar to win.
And then the bell rang.
Well, actually, before the bell Rollins was met with boos during his entrance! And even after the bell there were boos. Yep, I thought, it’s going to be a SummerSlam squash.
Nope. Suplex turned into a flip turned into a superkick turned into a stomp. And then we had a match! These two wrestlers told an amazing story of a Beast who quickly realized not to take his wounded opponent lightly and a warrior who absolutely refused to give up, despite the mounting injuries and the odds stacked against him. He used his quickness and his wits to try and stay one step ahead of Lesnar. He had enough sense to roll to the ropes after taking an F5. He fought and survived and fought some more until finally he pinned The Beast for the second time and captured the Universal Championship once again. And during all of that he won the crowd back! He came in to a lukewarm, slightly hostile crowd and at the end of the match they were eating out of the palm of his hand. I was on the edge of my seat the entire match and was legitimately thrilled when Rollins won. That’s how I know it was a good match. Meltzer’s rating system doesn’t take into account my own emotions or my audible reactions. This was the only match of the night that grabbed me and didn’t let me go.
Like him or not, Brock Lesnar is one of the best to step in that ring. He doesn’t do a lot now for a few reasons, money and age being the biggest. But when he has the opportunity to work with a good opponent he can still put on a show. And Seth Rollins. Man oh man. Yeah, I get on the promos he does because the overscript him to the point of absurdity and he’s terrible when strictly script reading, but he is an amazing wrestler and, in my mind, is truly one of the best out there right now. Give me Seth Rollins on fire any night he wrestles and I will be thoroughly entertained. Give him a promo outline and let him improv with his fire and his passion and he can keep the fans on his side. These two men were allowed to go out to that ring and work. They had a solid story to tell. They both sold for each other amazingly well. They put in some great spots like the Rollins splash from the ring post to Lesnar on the announce table and most of all, it all made sense. It was a great story from start to finish and it’s my hope they can keep this going for Rollins.
A few other thoughts now this week in wrestling is through.
NXT Takeover: Toronto – what a great show. Aside from the women’s title match (was Shayna hurt?) each match was simply fantastic. It’s amazing to me how each Takeover is the best show of the weekend. Who in WWE watches Takeover and then says to the wrestlers, “okay guys and gals, take it easy out there.” Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish don’t get nearly enough credit for how good they are and make others look. Candace LaRae and Io Shirai had an AMAZING match and what else can you say about Gargano/Cole?
SummerSlam – It didn’t grab me until after the Bayley/Ember Moon match. Maybe it was the show, maybe it was me, but I wasn’t into it until the nine o’clock hour. I enjoyed the last few matches but how can we have SummerSlam with no tag title matches and no Intercontinental title match?
Sasha Banks! I wrote in a recent article that the women’s division needed help. Sasha’s return was brilliant! Natalya is out there crying over her dead father, Sasha arrives and promptly beats the hell out of her. And then Becky! Good stuff. The women’s tag titles are on Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and finally we’ll have more women’s tag team wrestling.
The Fiend’s entrance was cool as hell. I love that he uses the mandible claw as a finish but it’s even better because he took it from Mick Foley. As long as they don’t overexpose him this should be a fun ride.
And why was Shane McMahon back on SmackDown? Yeah, long term story-telling but I, like many of you, am just sick of that story and want Kevin Owens moving on to bigger and better.
And finally, Drew McIntyre. Here comes a Rem Indie Story. I saw Drew (Galloway at the time) wrestle Matt Riddle for Evolve at La Boom in Queens, NY. Chris O’C and I sat on the stage and Drew picks up Riddle and slams him on the wood stage. And the thud was sickening. Amazing match though. Anyways, last week he and Owens had a hell of a match of SmackDown and this week, on Raw, he and Cedric Alexander put an amazing match on as well. This guy can be a great heel champion when the time is right and I’m here for it.
That’s it for this week. King of the Ring starts again next week and that’s exciting. I think we’ll see either Ali, Ricochet, or Kevin Owens winning. Make sure you check out my podcast, The Rich Dickman Show, for my thoughts and experiences in life outside of wrestling! New episodes every Saturday at richdickman.com or on your favorite podcast apps. See ya next week!