There’s a natural order to the world. Certain inalienable truths that should never be tampered with. Bayley should always be a babyface. Samoa Joe is more engaging as a frightening monster. Shane McMahon can’t help but be a giant douche. These are the universal laws upon which our civilisation is built.
SmackDown Live is coming dangerously close to disturbing that natural order.
The current main event picture is a case in point. Admittedly Daniel Bryan’s heel run has been a stroke of genius I never could have predicted. The ultimate underdog transforming into the ultimate environmentalist. Thinking back to when Bryan was occupying Raw to get the opportunities he so deserved or when he was beating two stars in the same night on the path to WrestleMania immortality, he always felt like such a natural babyface. Now I can’t imagine a world without his smug grin and condescending delivery. Although it’s not enough to make me stop eating meat. Obviously.
So I’m prepared to be proven wrong. In fact, I welcome it. Nothing would make me happier than WWE exceeding my expectations. But I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that Kevin Owens as a face just isn’t working for me, and I don’t expect that it ever will. The man who built his entire WWE career on being a vengeful opportunist, always willing to throw a friend under the bus to advance his own interests, is now suddenly the good guy? I don’t buy it.
And, to be fair, WWE hasn’t exactly done KO any favors with its questionable booking. Owens, out for several months following knee surgery, made his triumphant return last week. But when confronted with the question of how to present Owens as a returning babyface, WWE elected to take the most morally ambiguous path. They chose Vince McMahon – the singular most villainous character in all of wrestling – to be the one to announce his return to SmackDown Live. To make matters worse, Owens was then immediately placed into the WWE Title picture… at the expense of true fan favourite, Kofi Kingston.
Is that really a character we should be cheering? A man who simply gets handed a title shot at Fastlane, without having wrestled a competitive match in half a year? It just doesn’t work for me.
"I believe I speak for the entire @WWEUniverse when I say, you deserve to get your stupid, condescending mouth SHUT, and I'M the one to do it!" – @FightOwensFight to @WWEDanielBryan #SDLive pic.twitter.com/z6FcR15XHQ
— WWE (@WWE) March 6, 2019
So I’m reserving judgment on this ‘New’ Kevin Owens. I’m not convinced he should ever be a fully-fledged hero to begin with and am certainly far from sold on his newfound babyface traits following last night’s opening promo with Daniel Bryan. It was all a bit generic and uninspired as far as I’m concerned. But, as always, I’m prepared to be wrong. In fact, I truly hope I am.
What else went down on SmackDown Live last night though? Well, quite a bit as it turns out. From title changes to exciting returns to Becky dropping naughty words, last night’s show certainly left us with a thing or two to talk about. So, let’s start off with the good.