Kevin Owens interrupted a great moment for The Bloodline. Sami Zayn, still euphoric of Survivor Series, celebrated with Jimmy & Jey Uso, pledging their love and allegiance to one another. Jey and Sami embraced with so much joy as all three men stated The Bloodline has no clots in its system. Actually, they said no cracks, but blood clots, it doesn’t crack.
As the three men created the happiest group hug ever, they looked at stoic Solo Sikoa. Solo didn’t smile and resisted their pleas. But then he moved just a bit and it looked like he might actually hug his brothers and his adopted brother. But then KO’s music blared through West Virginia and I, along with the crowd, felt dejected. How dare you, Kevin.
Kevin didn’t want to scrap with Sami. In fact, he’s happy for Sami. He’s happy the world finally gets to see Sami’s greatness. But he’s done with Zayn. Not just as a friend but as an enemy. He doesn’t want to fight him, fight with him, or drive up and down the road together. Sami is cool with that too because he doesn’t need KO anymore; he has a new family. KO, always a downer, reminded Sami that no matter what he or anyone in The Bloodline says, he’s not their real family.
Continuing the fantastic character work done in this story, it was Jey Uso who stepped up in Sami’s defense. Jey told Sami not to sweat KO and he has no problem fighting KO on Sami’s behalf. Fantastic progression for two people always at odds, and a great moment illustrating Jey’s love for Sami. In a family, when one of you have beef, you all have beef. And in wrestling, nothing says “I love you” like fighting on someone’s behalf.
The KO and Zayn stuff felt real in the way only true friends can make it feel real. They dropped the pretension and talked to each other like people. That part of the segment is worth your time, even if you miss everything else before or the match after.
Oh but the match after? Excellent. What started as a back and forth turned into a question of how much could KO endure? He hurt his lower back, he took multiple Superkicks to the chin—including one where Jey actually flew—and of course, dealt with a few Bloodline shenanigans. Jimmy tried interrupting, Solo swiped his legs on the ring apron, and Sami coached Jey on the outside. Jey worked on KO’s back after Sami pointed it out to him, and eventually that back betrayed Owens when he went for a Pop up Power Bomb. That was the moment I figured Jey had the W in hand.
But Owens never gave up. He took all that punishment from his body, a forceful interruption from Solo, and kept going. He played possum, escaped Jey’s splash attempt, and finished the Uso off with a Stunner. Kevin got out of dodge almost immediately while the rest of the Bloodline looked on in shock.
Everything with this angle is the best part of WWE television at the moment, so the more we get of them the better. Saving this for the main event was a great idea, especially after all that emotion we got earlier. Without taking the rumors into account, I wonder what the next part of the story is and how it plays out. Sami’s loyalty is solidified (right?) and the Usos have a tag title match next week with Elias & Riddle. Perhaps it’s building in the short-term to another confrontation between Sami and KO that only happens because Roman Reigns demands it so. Sami says he’s done with Kevin but his loyalty to Roman might be the one thing that makes him go back on his word. My guess is Jimmy gets a shot at KO next, then Solo, and neither get the job done. Roman forces Sami into battle and then we go from there.
Whatever it is, I’m down because they have me hook, line, and sinker.
Rhea Ripley wrestled Mia Yim in Raw’s first bout. I kept asking myself why no member of The O.C. accompanied Mia since she’s working with them as their solution to the “Rhea problem.” Then Dominik got involved, which brought out AJ Styles and everything clicked in place. Needless to say, Mia vs. Rhea ended in a no contest but an eight-person tag match emerged from the wreckage.
But we know what it looks like when The O.C. goes against Judgment Day’s three male members. Yup, I know what I wrote and I’m not changing it. Anyway, with that in mind, it makes sense that seeing those two square off within the context of the tag match got the most excitement. Or just any time either of them did anything in the match. Whether it was Rhea beating up on Karl Anderson for a bit, or Mia powerslamming Finn Balor. But the minute Michin put her hands on Dom, Rhea struck with a Riptide. Don’t mess with Mami’s man.
I want more of this and thankfully, this feud isn’t over yet. If Mia is the solution, we need the proof.
It’s time. If the Street Profits aren’t getting those tag titles, then break them up for solo runs because they’re both ready. Angelo Dawkins looks better and better while Montez Ford, returning from an injury, keeps adding power to his game. This week, he showed Bianca Belair isn’t the only one in their household with an ability to carry Otis. While not as impressive as that feat, Montez power slammed the big man with ease. The Profits looked great in their match against Alpha Academy, I just think the writing is on the wall.
Speaking of moving on, Austin Theory is done with everyone. His promo packed convention as he celebrated the fact he regained the United States championship. Of course he rubbed that in everyone’s face, which is his right. But there’s also a chip on his shoulder the size of the Golden Nugget. Seth Rollins showed up dressed like he’s working the Victoria’s Secret runway and issued a challenge. The new champion said sure but on his time. Of course, Seth called him a kid, which always gets under Theory’s considerably thin skin. That’s his kryptonite and more than likely the key narrative device for his title run. He’ll either overcome said shortcoming or fall victim to it.
An okay segment that sets up the future not just for these two, but a look at why Theory’s second run with the US title will differ from his first.
Me Against the World
Dexter Lumis’ Anything Goes match against Miz was too long. This isn’t an indictment on the men involved since they both came to play—no pun intended. Lumis surviving an actual vice grip on his skull was a fun moment. But it’s an Anything Goes match against a psychopath, so anything going longer than a few minutes feels like wasted time. Especially since we all know the outcome with Adam Pearce ringside, contract in hand, and Miz is the bad guy at the end of a very long and tedious story.
I’m just glad the ordeal is over.
Back for the First Time
Candice LaRae came back with Damage CTRL in her sights. Candice wants a little revenge since the crew put her on the shelf for a month. First on her list? Dakota Kai. And the match started perfectly with Candice attacking Dakota Kai as Kai made her entrance. But the match didn’t maintain that aggression level and energy once it settled. The fight became a wrestling match and the story, at least at this point, calls for a lot of the former and less of the latter. I didn’t dislike the match because both women know what they’re doing in the ring. But the booking, along with the time, did them no favors.
Eyes on This
Alexa Bliss is plotting. During a backstage interview with her, Bianca, and Asuka, Alexa looked disinterested and in her own world. On the real, this isn’t new. For the past few weeks, Alexa looked like someone wishing they were anywhere else in the world than following Bianca’s lead. Bianca and Asuka finally noticed this week, which means a heel turn is possibly on the horizon.
Maybe I expected a more exciting show coming off a really great outing at Survivor Series, but this whole left me wanting. The opening and closing worked on every level, but it’s Raw’s middle that leaves me wanting. There was nothing objectionable but nothing truly stood out either. Not quite a 40 degree day, but nothing newsworthy. Truly one of those episodes that makes me pine for a two-hour show. Make it brief, son. Half short and twice strong.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.