|He's not just the King of the Ring, mate|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Is he just Wade Barrett again? Jerry Lawler referred to him as “Wade” multiple times, but that's coming from a senile old man. Then again, it's been ages since we had a good dose of actual bad news, so maybe Barrett has been given his first name back. As is befitting a king. A king who inspires FRIENDSHIP! His initial match against Dolph Ziggler ended when Sheamus came out to interfere, and you can put that down to Sheamus' ongoing rivalry with Ziggler if you want, but I think that it takes something pretty special -- like the power of friendship -- to make an Irish man team up with an English king. The two of them then took on Ziggler and Neville, and there's no real reason for those two to team up either. Outside of their matches, have we actually seen them interact? Nothing's keeping them together but the friendship that Barrett inspires. Unfortunately, our gracious monarch did end up losing the match. He's still the king of losing, no matter what title he's got.
Possible Friendship Reunion? – Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
The question mark is there because I'm not exactly sure what the deal was between Harper and Rowan, but there was definitely a thing that happened between them. Harper had a match against Fandango and I was sighing over what a massive waste of my time that was (I actually like Fandango and I wish he had more stature than he does, but he absolutely should not be getting in any offence against someone like Harper) when suddenly Erick Rowan appeared, kicked the already prone dancer, and then left. What does it mean? Well, it could mean that Rowan is putting Harper on notice that he's not the only monster in town...but beating up a guy who is already thoroughly beaten up isn't really the most effective way of conveying how tough you are, and he didn't go after Harper at all. I think that violence is the only way that Rowan really knows how to communicate, and taking out other wrestlers together was probably something of a bonding experience between him and Harper back when they were in the Wyatt Family. So maybe this was an attempt to re-establish that bond? Harper, meanwhile, looked by turns apprehensive, confused, calculating, and maybe hopeful? At the end I'm pretty sure his eyes were saying, “My brother is maybe coming home and I'm glad but also I have no idea what just happened.” Me too, Harper, but I would really love to see a Wyatt reunion.
Should Not Be Friends – Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, and Ryback
I doubt that this team-up is going to occur often in the future, but I'm still going to state that it should never happen again. Throwing Ryback into the mix against the New Day just slowed things right down (though it was still a fun enough match) and there was no real reason for him to be there. I said it last week and I'll say it again - if you want to do a trios match, PUT. NATALYA. IN. It seems like such a no-brainer to me. I'm pretty sure Natalya wouldn't be distracted by a Bray Wyatt blip o' fear and cost her team the match. Just saying.
Most Unfairly Maligned Friends – Naomi and Tamina
Naomi and Tamina recently formed a partnership and they showed up on SmackDown looking appropriately bad-ass. While Naomi was having a match against Emma (I loved seeing Emma, but at this point I'll take LITERALLY ANYTHING over the same women week after week) commentary mostly discussed the new team's methods. Byron Saxton made the excellent points that (a) Naomi is constantly praised for her athleticism but that empty praise has never earned her much in the way of opportunities so she clearly had to do something else, and (b) The Bella Twins are together all the time helping each other out and cheating, so how is Naomi pairing up with Tamina any different? Tamina didn't even get involved in the match at all; she waited until after Naomi's victory to join in taking shots at Emma. This is how little sense the women's division makes: The Bella twins have changed absolutely nothing about their characters or methods, but we're supposed to cheer for them because of reasons, while Naomi has been proactive, changed where she saw change was necessary, and got herself an ally because she's smart enough to know that going up against one Bella means you're going up against both of them, but we're supposed to root against her because of reasons. It's absurd.
Friendship in Peril – Los Matadores
After losing a somewhat lacklustre match against the Lucha Dragons (guys, I know it may seem like it, but Kalisto can't do EVERYTHING himself), Los Matadores appeared frustrated with their situation and with each other. Poor Los Matadores have been floundering for a while and I'd like to be sad about their possible dispersal, but I'm really not. It was a terrible gimmick from the start, and all three of them deserve better. A break-up might be for the best.