Well, as the year dies down, it’s time to look back on our favorite moments of the last 365 days or so. I have to come forward and confess something. I really enjoyed the ending of Battleground this year. No, don’t leave! I have a reason I swear!
I sometimes wish I wasn’t the kind of wrestling fan I am. When you’re constantly keeping up with rumors, news, podcasts, and opinions, it’s really hard to be surprised. Plus, I’ve been watching wrestling for a long time. This means that I can identify certain patterns and predict story-lines with a reasonable rate of accuracy. I guess this means I am a bit jaded.
That’s what made the ending to Battleground so perfect for me. I genuinely didn’t see it coming. As Kahli walked down the ramp my jaw found itself suddenly agape before bursting into laughter. I mean, it was super surprising but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a little stupid. Was it just a swerve for swerve’s sake? The kind of plot twist worthy of Vince Russo? I don’t think it was. I seriously think it was genius.
The Punjabi Prison match and The Great Kahli will always be inherently linked. After all, the match was created for him and then everything went downhill. He missed the first one because of injury and lost the second one. So, despite being a match type created for him, he never managed to capitalize on the stipulation. That’s what makes the finish for Battleground 2017 such a great moment. It represented Kahli finally getting a positive finish on one of these matches. And it only took him a decade.
On a similar note, the debut of Absolution was a great moment of WWE subverting expectations. We all knew Paige was coming back. There had been rumors, teases,and social media posts that suggested the lady from Norwich was returning to a place she calls her house. It would have been difficult to make that moment surprising and yet they did. We all knew Paige’s return was going to be good, adding Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville made it great.
Call-ups have become a bit formulaic. Someone loses a big feud in NXT and you can count on them showing up on the main roster within a few weeks. This was nothing like that. We all figured Sonya Deville was going to challenge Ember Moon at some point. And Mandy Rose hadn’t been on TV for months. A call-up that went against expectations and formulas is one of my favorite things, mostly because it’s incredibly fun to watch. And in the case of Absolution, not only was their call-up great but it seems to have lead into a very promising story line.
Anything that catches my smarky heart by surprise will always be a real highlight. I love when WWE, or any other promotions, manages to make my jaw drop and remind me that I don’t know anything about the business. Pro wrestling has plenty of stories left to all after all.
Now let’s hope there’s more unpredictable stories in 2018.