When Friday night of SmackDown It started this week with Sami Zayn rolling into the ring with a boot on his foot and a neck brace, flanked by two nurses, he knew something magical awaited us. He cried conspiracy, because of course he did, and then Paul Heyman showed up, surprisingly, and the two exchanged a few spikes before almost getting into a physical confrontation that only stopped when Brock Lesnar appeared, clad in jumpsuits, no less.
I forgot he was going to be on this show, and boy, what a treat awaits us.
Look at the way these two interact:
They immediately make you laugh, while Zayn responds to Lesnar, with a shitty smile, asking “how are you” with an incredulous “I’m not cool!” Brock continues to joke around with him, genuinely treating him like a friend who’s having a hard time. He plays it very well. The way he nods his head and looks at the ground right at the end of the clip after Zayn tells him how much his feelings are hurt by the situation makes me lose him again.
These two are fantastic together. Here’s some real chemistry that you don’t see often with Brock. He invites Sami over to Canada where they can bond over hunting and fishing and generally being Canadian dudes in Canada, and even starts pulling him out, even when Zayn seems less than enthusiastic. You get the idea that this is just Friend Lesnar, and it has a terrifying charm.
As entertaining as it all is, there was a payoff for all of this.
Heyman, seeing this display of affection and affection, reacts with a mixture of confusion and disgust. Who the hell has Lesnar become? Is this really so when Brock is left alone with his own devices? The aggressive nature of the trademark is still there, you see how aggressive it tends to be, even when it’s friendly it’s just lurking underneath. Turns out he needs someone to help him get that out.
Turns out that someone is Paul Heyman.
They head straight back to the schtick, with Heyman giving him that legendary introduction and Lesnar feeding off of it as he goes, growing stronger and stronger, finally unleashing an impressive blast of violence on the two nurses before doing the same to poor Sami Zayn, all. while Heyman was smiling. Like in the good old days.
So then we go back to Final Boss Brock and wonder again if Heyman is really still on his side or not. Roman Reigns, for the record, was not on this show and therefore was unable to get involved in any of them. I am sure he will have a lot to say about it when he returns next week.
Well done everywhere.
Later in the show, Lesnar caught up with Adam Pearce for a really weird segment where he went into detail about hunting a moose, killing it, eating it, and also hanging it up and naming it “Pearce.” In that way, he remembers being suspended, which actually made him happy.
Also, Brock uses a flip phone.
This boy, man. It sure is something.
All the rest
- Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs defeated The Lotharios in an oddly short match considering they lobbied over comments that the latter team was undefeated since hitting SmackDown. It seems strange to throw that away for a random game on a random Friday night, but that’s life in WWE.
- Oh no, there is a higher authority again.
- Drew McIntyre was told that the higher authority didn’t want him in battle royale, and that he also had to stop bringing that great sword into the ring, probably because he tried to murder some guys with it. Even without him, he beat Sheamus cleanly in the middle of the ring and “continues to roll on Friday nights,” as Michael Cole put it. However, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss stole his sword.
- I’m not sure how crazy I am to debut Xia Li, the one who helps the downtrodden, making me save for Naomi. It makes sense from that character’s perspective, I guess, but I really dislike how one-sided this whole show has been between Naomi and Sonya Deville. Naomi badly needs a win here, somewhere, somehow, and without someone else coming to save her day. In this case, Li was more or less acting like an equalizer, and there is still time to leave Naomi, but they have been delaying this too long and now the focus is on the big debut that they promoted for weeks and it is a lot. less about Naomi finally getting hers. Okay, it just didn’t sit well with me while watching it live. Your experience may be different.
- Toni Storm was given a “championship contender match” against SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and landed a beating. She won by disqualification because of that, of course, but it was done in such a way that Flair decided she was done with someone she saw below her and made it clear in a very physical way, regardless of the rules. We’ll see if this somehow means Storm gets another match, but Sasha Banks joined her earlier in the evening, so maybe we’re not far from her getting involved once more.
- The main event of this show was a triple threat tag team match that pitted Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro against SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. the best tag team in all of WWE. Naturally, the match was completely built around making the crowd want Randy Orton to come in, he did, he freaked out, and then they got him out late to give Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston time to steal the match. Immediately, the comment said that “they are the best tag team in WWE tonight.” Funny how they added “tonight” to that. However, it was a fun game.
I’m a huge Lesnar fan and I loved all this interaction with Zayn, so this show was fun for me. The non-Lesnar stuff was mostly bland, although there was a lot of solid fighting throughout the night.