Quick Takes on Otis Getting Sued, the Future of AEW's Inner Circle and More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2020

Quick Takes on Otis Getting Sued, the Future of AEW's Inner Circle and More

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    Otis is headed to court after finding out on SmackDown he's being sued by The Miz and John Morrison.
    Otis is headed to court after finding out on SmackDown he's being sued by The Miz and John Morrison.Credit: WWE.com

    Otis getting slammed with a lawsuit courtesy of The Miz and John Morrison on Friday's WWE SmackDown may have been the most fitting way for this week in wrestling to wrap up.

    Mr. Money in the Bank has barely been a focal point on the program in recent months, but his current rivalry with the former SmackDown Tag Team champions could have major ramifications for the opportunistic briefcase. There's also the potential for it to lead to some compelling television, provided that the program isn't purely filler.

    The same can be said for Inner Circle on AEW Dynamite, as their immediate future as a unit is certainly in doubt at the moment. The stable hasn't been spotted together in several weeks and have lost far more often than they've won, begging the question of whether there's even a point to them sticking together any longer.

    On the subject of stables nearly splitting up, it was reported via the WrestleVotes Twitter account this week that The New Day were almost separated by the Brand Split. Although the idea was apparently turned down, it's worth wondering if it would have worked with the right execution and if there's still a chance it can happen in the future.

    Regardless of where both factions go from here, they're at least more fun to follow from week to week than Retribution. There has been a stunning lack of development with Raw's renegade stable since their debut in early August and they've officially reached a point where fans couldn't care less about whatever it is they do next.

    This week's Quick Takes will tackle Retribution jumping the shark, what could have been with New Day, Zelina Vega stepping up as Asuka's next Raw Women's Championship challenger, and more.

What's the Endgame of Otis Getting Sued by the Miz and John Morrison?

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    Ever since resurfacing on SmackDown following an unexplained hiatus over the summer, Otis has sorely lacked direction. His recent rivalry with The Miz and John Morrison hasn't given Mr. Money in the Bank a sense of purpose either as Miz and Morrison haven't won a meaningful match in months.

    Miz getting Otis' on-screen girlfriend Mandy Rose traded to Raw was an interesting development in their storyline, but popular to contrary belief, no mention was made this past week of Rose potentially being brought to SmackDown in exchange for Otis giving up the opportunistic briefcase.

    It could still happen, but it's more likely the ongoing angle plays out without her. Instead, Miz and Morrison will sue Otis and attempt to get the Money in the Bank contract from him that way.

    Unless this leads to a series of segments where Joseph Park will represent Otis in court, which is a possibility, there doesn't appear to be an obvious endgame in sight.

    Otis has been booked as a comedy character and is by no means a threat to the Universal Championship currently. Even if Miz and Morrison were to gain possession of the briefcase, they've lost so frequently lately that it'd be just as difficult to take them seriously if they were to cash in successfully.

    The whole storyline seems like an easy way for WWE to kill television time while they figure out how to get the contract off Otis, but whether it will be worthwhile remains to be seen. It might be in the company's best interest to have him lost to Universal champion Roman Reigns relatively soon so everyone involved can move on.

Evaluating Zelina Vega as Asuka's Next Raw Women's Championship Challenger

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    Since having the Raw Women's Championship bestowed upon her by Becky Lynch back in May, Asuka has had a string of strong matches of champion. She's battled—and beaten—everyone from Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax to Sasha Banks and Bayley.

    That's why it was strange to see Zelina Vega step up as her next challenger on Monday's Raw.

    The Empress of Tomorrow was fresh off a hard-fought title defense against Mickie James when Vega emerged to stake her claim at the championship. Her slap to Asuka looked vicious, but it wasn't nearly enough to establish her as a credible threat to the title.

    Since signing with WWE over three years ago, Vega has only ever won two televised singles matches, both being against Lana on SmackDown in the summer of 2018. Therefore, it is almost impossible to buy into the idea of her dethroning Asuka as champ, at least without her receiving the slightest bit of buildup first.

    To the company's credit, it's nice to have a fresh face in the title picture, especially someone who Asuka has never waged war with on the main roster before. Then again, it makes little sense for Vega to be next in line for a shot in the strap when Bianca Belair—who remains undefeated one-on-one—has been waiting in the wings since April.

    The best thing Vega can do is go to Clash of Champions, take Asuka to her limit and look great in defeat. That way, she'd be proving herself as a viable championship contender and not a random wrestler who was awarded a title shot out of nowhere, never to be in the Raw Women's Championship conversation again.

    This is Vega's time to shine as a solo competitor and one can only hope she will rise to the occasion.

The New Day Going to Separate Brands Could Have Worked

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    By all accounts, Big E's singles run has been a resounding success so far on SmackDown. He's secured victories over the likes of The Miz, John Morrison and Sheamus and has his sights firmly set on becoming champion eventually.

    Once his current rivalry with Sheamus runs its course, it wouldn't be a stretch to see him involved in the Intercontinental Championship picture. There's also been talk among fans of him potentially winning the men's Royal Rumble match next year and advancing to WrestleMania 37 to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.

    While The New Day shouldn't break up, it makes sense for each of them to start branching off on their own. That's why the idea that WWE insider Twitter account WrestleVotes floated about Kofi Kingston going to Raw without Big E and doing something similar wasn't all that far-fetched.

    The report also indicated that in addition to all three members maintaining their New Day entrance music and gear, Xavier Woods would appear on both brands in a managerial role. As talented of a talker as Woods is, he deserves a shot at singles success as well and shouldn't be a supporting character for either man.

    This direction was denied as the three of them would likely prefer to stay on the same show and team when necessary, but it's worth keeping in mind for the future. The decorated trio has done everything they can do in the tag team ranks, so testing the waters in singles competition without formally splitting up would be ideal at this stage of their run together.

WWE Must Get to the Next Chapter of the Retribution Angle

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    If it wasn't already apparent, it was pretty clear by the conclusion of Monday's Raw that Retribution wore out their welcome weeks ago.

    For some, it was intriguing angle at first, especially after they wrecked the ring on SmackDown with chainsaws and laid out everyone in sight. Once they became exclusive to Raw and resorted to giving out generic beatings again, however, they lost any mystique they had to begin with.

    Despite every member still wearing a mask, there isn't anything overly exciting about the group as their motives remain unknown. They made their presence felt three times on Monday's Raw, but no matter what they did, Retribution accomplished no more than they did the week before.

    At this stage of the storyline, WWE needs to either get to the next chapter or abandon the angle all together. It has hindered the quality of the show each week and the relentless attacks don't appear to be leading to anything significant.

    The interference finishes got old weeks ago, so a reveal of some sort is overdue. Even once that happens, there's no guarantee the angle will be any more bearable than it has been lately.

    Until the company can come up with a reason for why fans should want to invest in the Retribution storyline, it will continue to fall flat.

Is Inner Circle on the Verge of Going Their Separate Ways?

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    Inner Circle started off strong upon their debut at the end of the premiere edition of AEW Dynamite last October yet haven't done much of note as a unit since then.

    Of course, Chris Jericho's exceptionally entertaining reign as AEW World champion was a highlight, but that's about the only thing the group has accomplished collectively so far. The five-man faction of Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz never seem to win whenever it matters most, including in the Stadium Stampede at Double or Nothing 2020.

    This year alone, only one of them has won on pay-per-view, and that was Hager at Revolution in February. Other than that, he's failed to win the AEW TNT Championship and AEW World Championship, Jericho dropped the AEW title to Jon Moxley, Sammy Guevara has accrued multiple losses to Darby Allin and Matt Hardy, and Santana and Ortiz have hardly sniffed the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

    In other words, it's high time Inner Circle go their separate ways.

    As noted last week in last week's installment of Quick Takes, Jericho and Hager entering AEW's tag team scene is an unnecessary move considering Santana and Ortiz are already there. Meanwhile, Guevara hasn't had real momentum in many months and may be better off flying solo from here on out.

    AEW has enough factions at the moment that Inner Circle breaking up wouldn't be much of a loss for the company or for anyone involved. In fact, if rumors regarding a new Four Horsemen-esque faction with FTR and Tully Blanchard wind up being true, then Inner Circle have no reason to continue teaming together, especially if nobody is benefiting except for Jericho.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.