WWE Botches Sasha Banks, Naomi Situation, Lowkey MVPs Step Up, More Friday Takes

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2022

WWE Botches Sasha Banks, Naomi Situation, Lowkey MVPs Step Up, More Friday Takes

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    Credit: WWE

    For the third week in a row, AEW Rampage had an earlier start time than usual. Since this week was only moving the show back to 7 p.m. ET, it kept the block of three hours with SmackDown together.

    Red Velvet was in action against Kris Statlander in a quarterfinal match for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, with the winner going on to face Ruby Soho next week.

    We also saw Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson end up in a huge brawl with The Jericho Appreciation Society following the Blackpool Combat Club's match with Dante Martin and Matt Sydal.

    Over on SmackDown, Sami Zayn battled Shinsuke Nakamura, Shotzi faced Raquel Rodriguez, and WWE stuck its foot in its mouth again with the Naomi and Sasha Banks situation.

    Let's take a look at these moments from Friday night's pro wrestling shows. 

Jericho Appreciation Society vs. Blackpool Combat Club Is Heating Up

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    This week's Rampage ended with Moxley and Danielson taking on Sydal and Martin in an exciting tag team match, but what happened after it was over was the real focus.

    As The Blackpool Combat Club was walking up the ramp, they were jumped by the Jericho Appreciation Society, forcing the show to end mid-brawl.

    Wheeler Yuta is in Japan, and Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz were nowhere to be found, so the JAS had the upper hand in terms of numbers.

    This was a quick and effective way to continue building up this feud between two of AEW's newest factions. Both groups contain veterans, legends and young talents trying to establish themselves in this business, so there are a lot of potential combinations.

    We are going to see a huge 10-man tag match at Double or Nothing, but that likely won't be where this fight ends. The next several weeks will probably include different combinations of opponents from both sides to keep this feud going until it runs its course. 

Red Velvet Was Made to Be a Heel

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Statlander may have defeated Velvet to advance to the next round in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, but the Baddie's performance cannot be overlooked.

    Velvet has always shown a lot of charisma with her character, but her energy after embracing her villainous side has allowed her to show off even more of what she can do.

    The way she upped her aggression with her offense was excellent, and her trio with Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan feels like it belongs together. They all mesh well. 

    This is a big step in the right direction and will likely allow all three women to stand out in the coming months. 

    AEW has a lot of women who are allies, so if it ever decides to introduce a set of tag titles for the division, The Baddies would be an awesome choice to be the first champions. 

Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura Have Been MVPs for Years

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    The first match on this week's SmackDown was a showdown between two men who know each other quite well, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura. The Japanese Superstar's first bout in WWE was against the Canadian, and they have had several encounters since.

    When they get enough time and are allowed to have a clean finish, these guys can steal the show any night of the week on a card with anybody in the world. 

    Not only was this fun, but it is another example of how valuable and important both of these men are to WWE. 

    For the past several years, Zayn and Nakamura have been taking whatever they have been given and making some of the best storylines in WWE, even when they have no right to do so.

    If neither of these guys wins a world title during their tenure with WWE, it will be one of the biggest oversights in years. 

WWE Dropped the Ball with Shotzi, but It's Not Too Late

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    When WWE called up Shotzi to the main roster, it was as part of a women's tag team with Tegan Nox. A few short months later, Shotzi had lost her tank, lost her partner and turned heel.

    Since then, her appearances on TV have been as sporadic as it gets, and it's usually only to put somebody else over. It's such a shame because she could be such a huge star for WWE.

    Not only was she over with the crowd as a babyface in NXT, but she has several things working in her favor. She is a great wrestler, she takes risks in the ring that lead to great moments, she has a unique and marketable look, and she drove a freaking tank to the ring.

    Do you know how many toy tanks WWE could have sold? Neither do we because WWE never gave her a chance to succeed with that part of her character.

    But the good news is it's not too late to remedy the situation. Shotzi is only 30, so she has plenty of time to build herself up and become a champion if given the chance. 

WWE Is Not Handling This Situation with Sasha and Naomi Well at All

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    Credit: WWE

    Monday night, Naomi and Sasha Banks left the arena before Raw took place. WWE released a statement that same night that did not go over well with fans. 

    During this week's SmackDown, WWE announced that both women had been suspended and a tournament would be held to crown new champions, but how they said it was the problem.

    Michael Cole said Banks and Naomi had disappointed WWE and its fans. Other than Steve Austin, it's hard to remember the last time WWE treated a disagreement with talent this way.

    Where were the statements when Ali was publicly asking for his release? Where was the punishment when Charlotte Flair acted unprofessionally on live television? It feels petty and ill-advised on WWE's part to handle it this way.

    If this somehow ends up being a work like a small percentage of fans believe, it will be in poor taste due to real-life issues WWE has had with some of its talents. If it's not a work, then WWE isn't exactly incentivizing Naomi and Banks to stick around. 

    It's interesting to note that WWE has already removed all merchandise for The Boss and Naomi from its online shop, so this situation might not have the happy ending some fans are hoping for. 


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