Sometimes when you’re sitting at home and watching a run-of-the-mill episode of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown, something special happens. Something that holds some importance or at least that stands out from everything else you have been seeing recently. It might be the return of a wrestler who hasn’t been around for quite some time or maybe somebody doing a signature move they haven’t used in the past 10 years. It may be the words that come out of a performer’s mouth that makes you put everything else down and listen.
Here are some of the top quotes of this week:
Roman’s Missing The Point
Roman Reigns, with one of his many annoying character flaws, laughs at Lana and all of her complaints about how he ruined her on-screen wedding.
Lana made it very clear that she was truly hurt by what Roman did when he interrupted the celebration she and Rusev were having a couple of months ago on Raw. He says that he is “The Guy” and by association, a grown man and Lana specifically called him a boy, and flat out said to his face that she wasn’t joking. So what did the leader of the “Roman Empire” decide to say in reply?
“You’re clearly getting hot. You need to relax. Do me a favor. Why don’t you just go to the back, deliver your husband his Bulgarian balls and tell him to come out here and say it to my face.” – Roman Reigns to Lana
Now he’s not only disrespecting two different families (Lana and Rusev as well as his own bloodline), but also Lana as a woman. Talking to her as less than a human being while insulting the man whose testicular fortitude she allegedly keeps in her purse — wow. That’s real talent. Not only is Lana completely worthless as a human in Roman’s eyes, but Rusev is so low that Lana, who apparently isn’t even worth talking to, is still his superior.
I understand that we are talking about pro wrestling, but this is just not a good way to have your babyface behave. He’s starting fights with people for no reason, and insulting newlyweds. In this specific situation she was attacking his manhood, but at least she has a reason. If he is going to be a defender of all that is good, which seems to be the narrative WWE is trying to cling onto with Roman, he should act like it.
That point is beleaguered, though.
It does make me sad that WWE is so dense that it doesn’t even realize that by not reacting to Lana’s comments, he is insinuating that his bloodline is unimportant to him. Samoan heritage is supposed to be a gigantic source of pride and inspiration, and Roman just stood there laughing while his family was disparaged, to his face, twice. The man has no respect for anybody, apparently.
Who Knew He Had The Ability To Speak?
“I am the gift of destruction. And you are wasting my talent on these weak fools week in and week out. You tell Foley that if he doesn’t get me some real competition next week, there might not be a next week.” – Braun Strowman on being tired of being put in the ring with enhancement talent
We have been discussing Braun Strowman quite a bit on Today’s Powerbomb since he made this statement on Raw. The importance of this quote to me is less the context or content, but rather the delivery. Not only does the lumbering giant appear to be a lot less lumbering these days, but it was surprising how well he spoke. The “gift of destruction” line was somewhat silly, but otherwise he delivered the two important sentences he was given to speak absolutely perfection. I truly did not see that coming. Strowman may be more than just another Heidenreich or Snitsky. Still better than Nathan Jones, though.
Refusing To Go Out With A Whimper
“Even a couple of years ago, the night after WrestleMania. I cashed in the Money in the Bank contract and I became world champion. Do you know why that was so magical? Do you know why the hair is standing up on my arms right now? Because everyone in that arena and everyone at home was a part of it. They were the reason why I became champion and that — that is why — that’s why I can’t walk away, man. That’s why I can’t walk away. But I came to a crossroads, Miz, and I knew I had to put my career on the line. Because if I can’t deliver, I don’t belong here. But what you forgot, Miz, is that there is one last shred of dignity that burns in my guts that tells me I will deliver on Sunday. I will beat you and I will become Intercontinental Champion. Miz, you’re not taking my career from me. Not today, not tomorrow, not the week after, not Sunday, not the week after that, not ever.” – Dolph Ziggler on how important his career is to him
Ziggler has been cutting the promos of his life since being drafted to SmackDown. I believed that he was going to be nothing more than a stepping stone to help younger performers make a name for themselves, but that is the opposite of the truth. The guy pinned AJ Styles after spending months getting destroyed by Baron Corbin and immediately challenged for the WWE World Championship. He lost the match and failed to earn a second chance. Ziggler is somehow having a career resurgence based upon the fact that he has been continually unable to “win the big one” while he continues to be unable to win the big one. That is some second-level stuff.
Dolph has been involved in great storylines for the last couple of months. He continues to be an in-ring standout and has been, through sheer will and passion, able to get the audience to buy into him possibly more than ever before. Win or lose this Sunday at No Mercy, Ziggler has been delivering intense quality every week. This is either only the beginning of something greater or a great way to be the end of something very good.
Dean Ambrose Pulls No Punches
“Mr. Respect, you got no respect for me. I know that. You have zero respect for me because I’ve never been one of those guys who came in here and kissed your ass, and came to you looking for advice, and played your little game… I’ve never played by your rules. Not now, not gonna start. So I guess, if being like, fake, plastic, suckass behind the scenes is what it takes to become a bonafide superstar in your eyes, you can have it. I’ll be over here. I’ll be Dean Ambrose, because that’s real. Have fun being the guy who plays John Cena on TV.” – Dean Ambrose on John Cena’s tarnished legacy.
Much like Dolph Ziggler’s impassioned speech, this is just a small excerpt of a much longer attack on the morality of John Cena, in which Ambrose used “hustle, loyalty and respect” to cut him down. The disdain in his voice was nearly palpable. Like Dolph Ziggler, former WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose has been bringing top notch performances to the table every week since the move to SmackDown. There were a few rough spots while WWE was still trying to force far too much comedy into his act, but it has cut that from his repertoire. The serious passion he was allowed to show while trying to light a fire under Ziggler, for example, was the kind of stuff most wrestlers couldn’t bring on a night when they were performing better than their best.
Both Ambrose and AJ Styles cut into Cena and tried to get under his skin on the final segment of the final show before No Mercy, and it appeared that their combined efforts did exactly that. He wasn’t allowed to speak and his face grew more and more pained as Ambrose went on. It felt like Cena wasn’t able to brush it off this time. Maybe he isn’t really a conniving jerk backstage, but it’s possible that he does feel less connected to the rest of the locker room due to all of his extracurricular responsibilities. That’s what hurt him.