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Posted in: The Eternal Optimist
The Eternal Optimist Presents - 10 Things I Liked in WWE This Week (09/11/17 - 09/17/17)
By Dave Fenichel
Sep 15, 2017 - 9:40:48 PM

Hi kids.

I’m back with another edition of “10 Things I Liked in WWE”. Both shows brought it this week, with Smackdown putting forth an unusually strong effort. Without further ado, here’s what caught my eye:

10. Roman Gets the Upper Hand.

After two consecutive weeks of Cena verbally abusing him on the microphone, Roman finally got his licks in. Others want to compare his mic skills to a “lost puppy”, but I disagree. Sure, he completely lied about his drawing power, but it doesn’t matter. Perception is reality and he positioned himself as a big deal. The Cena/Roman train continued to roll along this week, and I can’t wait for their showdown.

While we’re on the subject, Jason Jordan put in another strong showing in his match with Reigns. It’s not rocket science. He’s a great wrestler and the WWE is allowing him to shine by letting him do what he does best. I couldn’t help but think that we could see Jordan v Roman in a really big match on a really big stage in the not so distant future.

9. Dolph Ziggler Entertains Again.

Maybe I’ve set the bar too low because of who is involved, but I found myself thoroughly enjoying Dolph Ziggler’s antics again this week. His impressions of other wrestlers are comically terrible, but they aren’t supposed to be good.

The chances of this angle going anywhere are slim, but I don’t care. He’s provided solid entertainment and comic relief on a regular basis. He took what was a bland and boring character and turned into something interesting. Once again, I am forced to take my hat off to him. He’s doing excellent work.

8. A New Leaf for Zack Ryder.

The first step towards a Zack Ryder heel turn took place on Smackdown. After a loss to Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, Ryder denied a handshake and left Mojo Rawley in the ring looking bewildered.

I’ve always been a fan of Ryder. He’s a guy who took a failing career and made something out of nothing through his YouTube videos. He’s always shown tremendous charisma, but his goofy face persona limited how far he could go. As a heel, I think he’ll thrive tremendously. He’s never going to be world champion, but a strong upper mid-card run looks to be in the cards. Woo woo woo, you know it.

7. The Resurrection of Rusev?

I’m not going to lie. I thought the WWE killed Rusev dead at Summerslam. Getting squashed in thirty seconds by Randy Orton looked like the end of the road for him. My fears seems to be confirmed when rumors surfaced that he asked for his release.

Instead, it appears that the WWE is looking to rebuild his character. His promo this week on Smackdown was strong. I liked how he took the loss to heart and went back to Bulgaria to regroup. His vow to return to form sure sounds like the beginning of a redemption story to me. I couldn’t be happier to see it. Rusev has all the tools to be a huge star, and it would be a shame to see it squandered away. There are plenty of solid faces to pair him up against. I am interested to see where this goes.

6. Goldust is the veteran the WWE needs.

Not everyone can be a main eventer or a rising star. If you have a roster full of only those two types of wrestlers, you end up in no-win situations where you can’t afford to have anyone lose. That is precisely why Goldust is so valuable to the WWE.

He isn’t a jobber, but he’s a grizzled veteran who can be inserted into any angle to put someone else over. His match with Bray Wyatt was very strong, so much so that he earned rave reviews backstage. He made Wyatt look stronger than anything else had in months. He’s a perfect third party to the Balor/Wyatt feud. I’d love to see more of Goldust and Wyatt together. I think he could do wonders for Bray’s career.

5. A Tag Feud of Epic Proportions.

The New Day and the Usos are the two unquestioned top tag teams of the decade. I fully expected their feud to be rock solid. What I didn’t expect was one of my favorite tag team feuds of all time.

Every match that they have has been amazing. What sets the feud apart is the unpredictability. The multiple title changes have really kept their matches fresh. Every time I think the WWE is going to go in one direction, they fool me and go the opposite way. I can’t help but think that this feud could carry on for several more months before it ventures anywhere near a territory of overstaying its welcome. A Hell in a Cell tag title match sure sounds like a great plan to me. Make it happen WWE.

4. Brock Lesnar the Underdog?

I feel the need to praise the WWE for doing something that I didn’t think was possible. They have successfully painted Brock Lesnar as the underdog. He’s been such a dominant force for such a long time that it’s surreal to see anyone else positioned as being the superior being. That is exactly what Braun Strowmann represents.

Paul Heyman’s promo was a step up from his recent work. He portrayed Braun as a monster worthy of his status as the favorite in the match. With so many of the Lesnar storylines revolving around “Brock is unstoppable and his opponent has no chance”, it’s a breath of fresh air to see the WWE go in a different direction. I still think Lesnar wins, but I’m loving that the outcome is in doubt.

3. The Miz is the Best in the World.

I struggle to see how anyone can have any perspective on the Miz other than that he is the most valuable wrestler in the company. He is just about the only heel who gets booed out of the building each and every night. He has the Midas touch. Everything he puts his hands on turns to gold, and anyone who works with him is better off for having done so.

This week, it was Enzo Amore’s turn. The Miz shot on him hard but ultimately put him over in tremendous fashion. I left that segment clamoring for a feud between the two. To be honest, I feel that way about everyone that interacts with The Miz. Whenever the segment ends, I can’t help but say to myself “I’d love to see that feud”. The Miz is doing the best work of his career, and I truly believe he’s brought himself to a level where he’s a cut above everyone else. Imagine that?

2. Jinder’s Best Night.

I spent the first five minutes of Jinder Mahal’s Smackdown promo pondering the thought of whether or not the Jinder Show had finally jumped the shark. The racially based comedic schtick is hot garbage. I felt that his need to resort to that was a surefire indication that his story had run out of gas.

Instead, he surprised me. It was all a ruse – a vehicle to prove that this is how the American people think. He warned Shinsuke not to pursue the title, because he’d be subject to the same ridicule that Jinder himself has been. I don’t see how anyone can continue to #hinderJinder. This promo showed character depth and versatility that even his staunchest detractors have to recognize. Jinder’s road to main-eventing Wrestlemania continues!

1. KO Gets the Ultimate Rub.

I think it’s safe to say that all of you who have been concerned about Kevin Owens’ long term standing in the WWE can rest easy. You don’t end up in the ring with Vince McMahon unless he thinks you’re a star. KO had the most important night of his career on Thursday. He brutally destroyed Vince McMahon in the center of the ring.

Make no mistake about it – Kevin Owens is a made-man now. All eyes were on him, and he was made to look like the biggest of big deals. I have to give Vince props. To take bumps at his age shows how dedicated he is to his company. I found the entire segment to be incredibly captivating. It accomplished the two major things it needed to – make Kevin Owens look like a superstar and provide the spark to ignite the feud between KO and Shane McMahon. That Hell in a Cell main event will be AWESOME.

That’s a wrap kids. What’d you like in WWE this week? Sound off below!

Facebook: David Fenichel

Twitter: @FFFightLeague

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