Welcome everyone for another week of Monday evening gross blanket! I’m your host tonight – or every time you read – and Claire has you covered on her blog.
Let’s talk Brut!
Dance, puppet. To dance.
KO is a smart guy. Accessories to the Canadian for playing Gepetto to Pinocchio by Seth Rollins. Seth is so easy to pull up and it’s so obvious where the strings are, all KO needed was to pull lightly and watch his puppet play. Owens told the number one contestant that a win over Big E this week would give him an entry into the WWE Championship match at Day 1 (ish), turning Rollins’ head-to-head title match into a triple threat affair.
So what did Rollins do? Walk straight into Adam Pearce’s office – as KO told him – and ask the WWE official about a liar’s lies. Pearce and Sonya hadn’t planned this initially, but after hearing the idea from Seth – who of course heard it knocked out – decided it was a pretty good idea and added the stipulation to this match. .
Seth’s paranoia and penchant for the quick-hearted potentially complicated the game he’s been eagerly awaiting since setting foot in a Brut arena.
The knockout manipulation continued because he knows Seth oh too well. Of course, Seth had planned to sit at ringside for BrutThe main event of ‘s with so much at stake. And of course, Seth was just waiting for the right moment to step in and make sure Big E came out of Long Island with his hand in the air.
Yeah, about all of that.
KO goaded Seth during the game just like he goaded him throughout the show. Owens played with Seth just enough at ringside for the visionary to lose his temper and Big E to be disqualified.
And just like that, we get a triple threat match for the WWE Championship in the next WWE pay per view.
It was great storytelling, building on the character, the story, and letting everyone be true to who we know they are while providing some legitimate stakes. Yes Brut done more regularly, the footnotes of those summaries would be very different.
Becky Lynch doesn’t think Liv Morgan really deserves a title shot, but she’s willing to give him one out of sheer kindness. At least that’s the story she tells us and certainly the one she tells herself. This week we got the necessary contract signing – because it’s wrestling and we know how it goes – and what we got was Liv was finally able to have her say in the Becky’s story. I’m not a huge fan of Liv trying to be a vicious person, calling Becky for crying after her last match with Charlotte Flair and for his greed being the reason his friends are no longer in WWE.
Not because it’s not just for a promo. But because that doesn’t ring true for Liv. I don’t really know what her character is, but trying to find out about Becky Becky doesn’t work for her. Liv needed her time to shine, yes, but it looked more like a candle than a ray of sunshine.
There is something interesting about painting Becky as another Charlotte, illustrating that she is now the thing she hates the most. But with their league game taking place next week, we don’t have a lot of time to flesh that out.
But enough of my philosophical thoughts. Becky and Liz’s clash resulted in a 10-woman tag team match. Team Becky (Becky, Doudrop, Queen Zelina, Carmella, Tamina) on one side and Team Liv (Liv, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Nikki ASH, Dana Brooke) on the other.
To stay true, the game didn’t do anything for me in the first few minutes. But once the respective rivalries started to emerge and different stories were highlighted, my interest stung like Everest. Liv needed to prove to Becky, but especially to herself, that she could deliver in a big place. Liv ultimately chose her spot, nailing Tamina with an Oblivion to pick up a W for the babyfaces.
Becky didn’t feel that way. She wants Liv to have no props, not even a handful of them. The champion expressed her frustration with her challenger and was the victim of an Oblivion herself. Liv needed this moment to sell the fact that she force win next week. Becky isn’t taking her seriously yet, but she should.
I just wish they had more time to make this story really pop and serve both women well when it’s over.
Ruthless Tag Team
Here is the problem: I need RK-Bro to change to another speed. Not in the ring, but for their story. We have been in their team saga for several months and we still reach the same marks. Randy is constantly besieged by Riddle’s antics. Riddle, blissfully oblivious, takes it all in stride, insults and everything, with a smile on his face and continues his hero worship. They’re busy — well, Randy — they’re getting into matches seemingly on the brink of destruction, only to get victories like wizards and rabbits. It’s a good turn, but it was sharper the first dozen times we saw it.
That said, RK-Bro has defended their titles and title defenses, in theory, are always a good thing. Especially when there are four cats that are really good at it. WWE logic here doesn’t quite make sense as the Dirty Dawgz haven’t shown they are at the level of tag champions at any level.
WWE tells us all the time that these two are an odd couple on a bad day out of a breakup. But we never see that manifest in games. We also don’t see them taking on opponents that can really make them sweat and test their bond. As well as putting Randy’s conviction that they have to “be ruthless” and “10 steps ahead” to defend their belts. I’m sorry, but you don’t need either of those two things to beat Big Bob and Dolph.
Hopefully we’ll build on that because there’s a dope story to tell if WWE ever gets to write it.
Advantage over the competition
If you’re an AEW fan then you know CM Punk ruffled MJF’s feathers last week when he called the Long Islander “less famous Miz”. The Chicago crowd ate it and yes, that was a pretty proper line.
Well, as fate willed it, Miz made his return to Brut this week and moved on to a returning Edge. Much like the Lesser Miz, the WWE A-lister has taken all kinds of shadows with Edge not mentioning Miz as someone he’s eager to compete against. With WWE copying AEW here, it was only a matter of time before anyone mentioned the elephant in the room.
I’m just going to let Edge’s words do the work for me, “You’ve got people in other shows saying your name just to get a cheap reaction. You live rent-free in a lot of heads.
While the idea of Edge and Miz having a one-on-one doesn’t do much to me, I’m convinced that they can both, if allowed, sell me. Or, and that was foreshadowed a bit with the way Miz put Maryse in the limelight, maybe we’ll have Maryse, Miz, Edge, and Beth Phoenix! It has potential, right?
Blind man’s Bluff
Guess who said he was blind this week after being sprayed with a fire extinguisher last week? AJ Styles. Guess who really wasn’t blind? AJ Styles! Gasp! AJ’s cunning was discovered when he took the time to step away from his highly entertaining commentary to interfere in the Street Profits v Alpha Academy match.
It did not work.
And now Styles is strengthening his personal colossus because Omos didn’t support him? Or didn’t you catch it? OR, and that’s what I legitimately believe: AJ didn’t let Omos get into the gag order. Omos really thought AJ was blinded and the big man was stunned, shocked and whatever adjective you can think of when he found out his partner had full 20/20 vision.
Omos looked at him for a moment in disbelief. Do you know who else didn’t like AJ’s plan? Vincent Kennedy McMahon, as he said immediately after the game. He called it “very horrible”.
Same, Vince. Same.
The dark side of the force
Damian Priest and Apollo Crews are two cats who can make a convincing match. It was not this. Even with the United States Championship at stake. Championship games require some construction rather than just happening for the sake of basketball.
And since the story with any priest match lately is his Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde routine, until there’s a story behind the actual matches, then it’s just a character quirk with no real meaning or impact.
The Hurt Business hurts me. My soul is distressed by the constant state of purgatory that Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander find themselves in at this time. Especially since they are former team champions! And they are treated like tramps. Not to mention the fact that there is no MVP, no Bobby Lashley, and no Hurt Business pageantry. If not for comments calling them Hurt Business, nothing Brut shows me says it’s even a thing.
After being wiped out by the All Mightys last week in a handicap match, the Mysterios took the win over Lashley’s “teammates”. Quotes around that because they’re a fair team for the show at this point. It’s like Chats. These are not real cats walking and talking. Just people dressing up and putting on a show.
The artist formerly known as …
Do you remember when Finn Bálor was a thing? I do of course. WWE might remember it too, but it clearly has no intention of reliving the past. This is the second week in a row Finn has been here just to get Seth Rollins through. Which is odd considering Rollins was the only survivor of the men’s team to Survivor Series.
Unlike last week, we had a real game between the two. And it was a fun match! But like any story, the script needs a reason to exist. For all the money in my pocket I can’t understand why these two need fight now. Especially when the result is never questioned.
Oh, and Seth announced he had his WWE Championship shot at (down since) Day 1 (ish) on new year’s day.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Brut is average. The Women’s 10 match covered up some of the missteps of the Brut History of the women’s championship, while everything with KO x Seth was there this week. We also had this weird ongoing story of Vince McMahon and Austin Theory watching the show so the former could teach the latter to expect the unexpected. It was obvious from the jump that this all led to Austin being assaulted by the President, but apparently Austin doesn’t watch WWE programming and hasn’t watched it for 25 years.
It’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.