No Hatin' Allowed: The 20 Things to Love About WWE Right NowAugust 11, 2021
WWE has made it so easy to root against it in recent months—what with the plethora of releases and apparent lack of creative efforts—that it is easy to forget there is a lot to like about the company and the Superstars who make up its talented roster.
From in-ring output that is consistently better than it has been to performers who make the most out of the creative handed to them, plenty of good goes unmentioned from week to week when the shows as a whole baffle to the extent that they do.
Setting aside the obvious gripes and negative commentary, these are the 20 things (in no particular order) to love about the WWE product right now.
1. Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox's Success
After their futures were in doubt not that long ago due to debilitating knee injuries, Dakota Kai is now a top star in NXT and preparing to battle Raquel Gonzalez for the women's title while Tegan Nox is partnered with Shotzi Blackheart and chasing Natalya and Tamina's women's tag team titles. It's been an arduous road, but their journeys have paid off.
2. Randy Orton's Attention to Detail
In a company where everything is overproduced to the gills, Randy Orton's attention to little things like positioning, facial expressions and body language are hugely underrated. A master craftsman, he is somehow underrated despite his overwhelming accomplishments.
3. Alexa Bliss' Commitment to Character
Is her current persona a little too over the top at times? Sure, but Alexa Bliss is completely invested in it and the result is a weekly performance that is among the bright spots on Raw.
4. Cameron Grimes
Nothing in particular here, just Cameron Grimes as a whole. The breakout star of NXT over the last year, he is equal parts hilarious and also a hard worker who can entertain and kick ass when the time calls for it.
A star of WWE's future in whatever role he is cast.
5. The Ascension of Jey Uso
He's back in the tag team division with the return of Jimmy and their seventh title win, but Jey Uso has used the last year to prove he is a genuine main event-worthy performer, thanks to his stellar work with cousin Roman Reigns against Hall of Famer Edge and former world champion Daniel Bryan. Hopefully, he gets the opportunity at another run because he has earned it.
6. Johnny Drip Drip
Just when you thought John Morrison would allow himself to be consumed by staleness, he finds his drip and has fun again. The dude is so good between the ropes and outside of them, and he has managed to pair with The Miz to get dollar-store water-squirters over on Monday nights. Someone give this guy a spot on the creative team.
7. Kayla Braxton on The Bump...and Everything Else
Kayla Braxton is not only a charismatic and engaging host on WWE's The Bump but she is also one of the best on-screen personalities the company has had in a long time.
She knows how to engage the Superstars she interviews without overshadowing them, something even the all-time greats in the role have struggled with from time to time. It's time to give Braxton her flowers.
8. Mustafa Ali and Mansoor's Budding Partnership
What at first looked like a nice little midcard feud on Raw has developed into a hella fun tag team in which the overconfident Ali tries to show his lesser-experienced partner "how it's done," all while developing a reluctant friendship with the underdog.
9. Ricochet's Aerial Arsenal
There's a conversation to be had about his place on the show, but there's no denying Ricochet does things most can only imagine. The way he throws his body into the air, twists and turns before landing flawlessly helps him stand out and remain a relevant in-ring performer even when his position on the card may suggest the alternative.
10. The Tribal Chief
Odds are, you have heard about how great Roman Reigns has been since his return at last year's SummerSlam. What you might not have heard is that the previously maligned performer has been responsible for nearly every great story and Match of the Year contender produced by WWE during that time. His excellence since turning heel and buying into the persona has netted excellence we haven't seen out of a Superstar in a long, long time.
With a SummerSlam clash with John Cena on the horizon and a rumored showdown with The Rock at WrestleMania, it appears The Head of the Table will be in that position for the foreseeable future. Fans and the WWE product will benefit from it.
11. Baron Corbin's Descent
The former King of the Ring has fallen on tough times of late following the loss of his crown to Shinsuke Nakamura. Left with no money, a stained dress shirt and an unkempt appearance, Baron Corbin has quickly become one of the best characters on WWE television.
A post-Raw Tik Tok featuring him struggling to get into the building, then being fined for failing the dress code, is pure gold.
12. The Street Profits' Energy
Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford bring a level of energy to their performances, regardless of the situation, that is infectious. The result is a match or segment that keeps fans engaged, rarely allowing them to fade into silence or indifference. They never make anything they do feel lackluster or unimportant, and it resonates with the audience.
13. WALTER's dominance
WALTER is a dominant force the likes of which we simply do not see in WWE. The Austrian has run roughshod over NXT: UK since debuting with the brand and in his time spent under contract with WWE, he has only lost a tag team match (Survivor Series 2019) and by disqualification to Seth Rollins on Raw. There is an aura about The Ring General that few can tout and one that ensures whoever is unlucky enough to stand across from him is about to take a beating.
14. Naomi's Drive
Naomi may not be the most prominently featured competitor in WWE's women's division but you would never know from the effort she puts into each of her performances. She shines in every match, no matter its length, and her entrance is one of the best in the business. She has earned a greater role in the show but makes the most of her involvement in either way.
15. Hit Row
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Ashante "Thee" Adonis, Top Dolla and B-Fab have wasted no time becoming one of the breakout acts of NXT. Bringing rap to the forefront of the brand, they have created a faction wholly unique to WWE by embracing and showcasing it in a way we haven't seen in the company. The fans buy into the authenticity of the faction and, as a result, their stock has skyrocketed in a short period of time.
Scott is the current North American champion, Adonis and Top Dolla have proved a quality team early on and B-Fab screams "star" every time she is in front of a camera. They are changing the game in NXT and should be a prominent fixture with the brand, or on Monday and Friday nights, for the foreseeable future.
16. The New Day's Consistency
It is extremely difficult to remain as over and relevant as The New Day since their breakout in 2015. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E became stars out of sheer will power and dominated the tag team scene for four years before KofiMania swept the wrestling business, when he won Kingston the WWE Championship.
Now, Big E possesses the Money in the Bank briefcase and is eyeing a run with a world title. Not bad for a trio that was never intended to accomplish anything.
17. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Owens and Zayn have been fighting since their days in Quebec, but their ability to stay relevant and entertain, whether as the sarcastic babyface KO or the conspiracy-minded Zayn, is special. They have repeatedly been handed lackluster material in WWE, only to make it infinitely better than it had any right to be. They are special performers, and while they may not always be in a position that reflects their talent, they remain perpetually over because of the connection they have formed with fans.
Some love it, others hate it, but the wacky romance between Dexter Lumis and Indi Hartwell has made for some entertaining television. Hartwell's inexplicable love for the artistic madman has spanned months and recently paid off with the Aussie choosing him over her teammates in The Way–Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae and Austin Theory.
19. Bianca Belair's Rise
It may be difficult to remember given the level of success she has achieved this year, but there was a time when Bianca Belair couldn't buy her way onto WWE television.
However, she forced management to take notice of her athleticism, strength and charisma through her performances and within a year of her debut on the main roster, was headlining WrestleMania against Sasha Banks. She has worked hard to get where she is and is thriving as women's champion.
20. Sasha Banks
She's the best women's wrestler on the roster and a participant in the greatest matches produced in this era of women's wrestling. She's a star, a badass and as over as any performer on the roster. She shows no signs of resting on her laurels and maintains her desire to achieve excellence and make history. A generational talent.
What are you loving about today's WWE? Leave a comment and join in the conversation.