Corbin vs. McAfee Could Be Great, Time to Bring Back Elias, More Friday Takes
We're in the middle of two big events right now, so this was an interesting Friday of pro wrestling.
Not only did we get Forbidden Door last Sunday, but the Money in the Bank pay-per-view airs Saturday, so wrestling fans are spoiled this week for content.
Friday's Rampage followed up on Jon Moxley's interim world title win by choosing a new No. 1 contender in a Battle Royal. We also saw Toni Storm battle Nyla Rose in the main event.
Over on the blue brand, Ezekiel showed up to compete for a spot in the men's MITB match, Pat McAfee and Baron Corbin teased their SummerSlam match, and Alexa Bliss competed alongside Asuka and Liv Morgan in a six-woman tag match.
Toni Storm Needs a Boost
Storm came into AEW with a lot of momentum after exiting WWE. The fans were behind her, and she had never been more popular.
Unfortunately, she hasn't had as many chances to shine as some would like, and the chances she's been given have not led to many memorable matches.
Back when she was in NXT UK and NXT, Storm was one of the best talents on the roster. She had some great matches with a long list of other women, but it feels like we haven't seen that same level of performance since.
It's possible this is all just a short slump and she will eventually drop a Match of the Year candidate out of nowhere, but until that happens, some fans are going to want more from her in AEW.
Booking is important, so it's also on the company to put her in a position to succeed.
Ezekiel Was Fun for a Minute, but it's Time to Bring Back Elias
This week's SmackDown included a Battle Royal to determine the final member of the men's Money in the Bank match on Sunday, and Ezekiel made the trip from Raw to participate.
The whole Kevin Owens vs. Zeke feud somehow ended up exceeding all expectations, but it also exposed a big problem with this whole situation.
As soon as Ezekiel brought back Elias for one night, it was crystal clear that he was far more engaging as a character when he had the street clothes and guitar.
This doesn't mean Zeke can't be successful, but WWE took him from being a unique character with his own look and turned him into a generic wrestler in trunks and boots. It's usually the other way around in WWE, so it feels like a strange decision.
Maybe we will get lucky and Elias will return someday, but for now, we have to hope Zeke can maintain the momentum KO helped him build.
Pat McAfee vs. Baron Corbin Might Be Good
The Happy Corbin gimmick has been more miss than hit, but there is no denying that the man behind the character has talent.
Not only did he win over a lot of fans during his time as The Lone Wolf, but his Sad Corbin phase produced some of the most entertaining segments he has ever been in.
Pairing him with somebody like Pat McAfee, who has so much love and respect from the WWE Universe built up, was a smart move by management.
Corbin is a reliable performer who has a reputation for being able to take care of his opponents while making his offense look good, so he is the perfect person for somebody with McAfee's level of experience to work with and learn from.
When they meet at SummerSlam, it could end up being one of the best matches of the night if McAfee lives up to his past performances.
Alexa Bliss should be a top priority
When Bliss returned after a monthslong hiatus, it didn't seem like WWE knew what it wanted to do with her, so her character has only been used sporadically in recent months.
However, we have seen an increase in the number of appearances she is making, and it has reminded everyone just how good she is at every part of this business.
She is a great athlete, has more charisma than she knows what to do with and can work with just about any kind of opponent. She also has one of the most marketable looks in WWE and has a loyal following among fans.
She and Liv Morgan have both been getting more and more exposure recently, so let's hope the back half of 2022 sees the women's division become a more competitive place again. We have seen the same handful of people carrying the titles for quite some time. New blood is needed.