Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
The opening promo of the night might have been a bit shaky for Reigns, who was not nearly as effective on the mic as he was Monday on Raw, but he made up for it in the main event. For the first time since he and the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, clashed in the Money in the Bank Battle Royal, the two of them squared off in a huge main-event match.
Why WWE wasted such a potential money bout on an episode of SmackDown in front of a crowd in Ottawa, which was not particularly loud or excited for anything, is a mystery. Still, that did not affect the work of either Reigns or Rusev, who both delivered fine performances during a quality contest.
Rusev looked very good, taking down a Superstar who had been portrayed as invincible for the last month, keeping him grounded for the most part. Reigns, facing very real adversity for the first time in quite a while, did a solid job of selling his opponent's onslaught.
The story was incredibly effective. Here you had the tale of the unstoppable force and the immovable object coming together in a titanic clash. Something had to give, and while Reigns appeared to be on his way to dealing Rusev his first loss, the interference from Randy Orton and the disqualification finish leave many questions as to who would have won had it reached its conclusion.
The outcome creates a scenario where WWE can save the match for further down the line, perhaps after Reigns captures the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and is legitimized as a main-event star. Hopefully, Rusev can maintain momentum until then.
Frequent readers of the Good, the Great and the Awesome know of this writer's affinity for the Bo Dallas character. Friday night was the perfect example of why said affinity exists.
With El Torito lying face down, obviously hurt, Dallas could be overheard asking: "Is he hurt?" He feigned showing concern, trying to help the mascot up, then proceeded to lay him out with a Bo-Dog. While the intention was to get the crowd to boo his actions, it was clear that the canned heat did not match the very obvious cheers from the crowd.
WWE has to be very careful with how they book Dallas. So desperate are they to make him a heel that they are resorting to cheap villainous activities straight out of the 1980s. The problem is that Dallas is so invested in his character and so effective in the role that fans recognize how good he is.
They appreciate his dedication to the inspirational gimmick and are likely to cheer him regardless of what he does.
At this point, WWE Creative would be wise to let the fans dictate which course the Bo Dallas character takes.