It seems that Vince McMahon and the creative team love throwing curves at the audience. Some might even say they thoroughly enjoy “trolling” their fans that attend live events or tune into their programming on a weekly basis. The company did it once again this evening by teasing a Mr. McMahon appearance to announce the “biggest acquisition in SmackDown Live history.”
There was a great deal of speculation about who that Superstar might be with some hoping it might be the return of a former Superstar such as John Cena. The WWE built up this angle via social media for the day and continued to tease the announcement throughout the show. McMahon would make his way to the ring at the end of the show and greeted the Montreal audience to a resounding round of boos.
McMahon did a great job of building up the mystery Superstar joining SmackDown by stating “seldom do I ever put a seal of approval on any Superstar.” He went on to sing his praises before announcing that the biggest acquisition in the show’s history was Elias.
The crowd once again voiced their displeasure as Elias made his way to the ring, shook Vince’s hand and started strumming on his guitar to give one of his performances. As with every other Elias musical interlude, he was interrupted when Roman Reigns music hit.
Reigns walked slowly to the ring and once inside, attacked Elias hitting him with his Superman punch finisher. Vince looked at the three-time WWE Champion and started yelling at Reigns. Mr. McMahon found himself on the receiving end of a Superman punch as well.
With both men lying prone in the ring, he pronounced “I don’t care what he says. SmackDown Live is my yard now.”
He started to leave the ring area but would return to give the recovering Elias a spear.
Obviously the Elias announcement was meant to build up the suspense around Roman Reigns switching brands but it was yet another angle that really missed the mark with fans. Reigns has seen an increase in his popularity since his return after leukemia treatment but it feels like the WWE is once again trying to influence who fans cheer for.
McMahon taking Reign’s finisher was meant to get the crowd behind the company’s desired top wrestler but fans in the audience did not seem to like the way the company made that happen with this particular storyline.
The reaction was similar to the the one the company received during last week’s RAW when the “Winner Takes All” match between Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston was interrupted by The Bar. The match was then turned into a tag-team match much to the displeasure of the audience. It was also widely criticized by fans online.
SmackDown is generally a better scripted show than Monday Night Raw but tonight’s episode really had the old style booking that McMahon is so well known for. It’s also a style that most wrestling fans are simply tired of.