Latest posts by Ciaran (see all)
- The Review, Pro Wrestling Chaos Present’s Control, Alt, Delete - February 19, 2018
- Saturday Spotlight #40 NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis - February 17, 2018
- WWE Round-Up 16th February 2018 - February 16, 2018
Smackdown this week was as good as any other episode, it featured the build towards Elimination Chamber and the continued push of Baron Corbin. He didn’t have the easiest time on the main roster in the post Wrestlemania season, after his debut on Raw he was saddled with lukewarm Dolph Ziggler. The feud went nowhere and their matches didn’t really excite the paying audience, Corbin’s image was starting to fade after soft losses to Dolph. Due to the growing roster the brand split occurred in July, this was a blessing for Corbin, used sparingly at first he finally came into his own in the latter part of 2016. Being off TV helped him, he recovered from his torrid time on Raw and he resurfaced as the Lone Wolf who we saw in NXT. As arrogant and confident as ever the smash mouth bully slowly worked his way towards the main event scene.
His first SD feud proper was with Kalisto, in backstage vignettes we saw the bigger stronger Corbin seemingly bullying the smaller luchador. The aggressor Baron continued his unlawful attacks, he stayed true to his character throughout and seemed uninterested when Daniel Bryan attempted to reprimand him. The behaviour portrayed and the increased quality of his matches started to turn the heads of fans and critics alike, what Baron said he did. We live in a time now where every heel turn results in said person becoming an automatic coward, where this is true for some villains in wrestling, it’s not the rule for all. It’s been so refreshing to watch Corbin play the heel yet still stay strong and be the bully, he doesn’t retreat and he backs up what he says. He has gone toe to toe with every big name on Smackdown, Styles, Ambrose, Miz & Cena don’t faze him, he relishes the challenge and it only makes him better.
At the TLC PPV in December Corbin settled his feud with Kalisto in a chairs match, all were pleasantly surprised at the match quality. Both performers received plaudits but the Lone Wolf got the credit he so rightfully deserved, he also emerged victorious which capped of a great night for the former NFL player. The mid-card match seemed to be a turning point in the career of Baron Corbin, on the next episode of Smackdown he walked with more swagger and confidence, he quickly made clear how he proved himself against Kalisto and wanted further challenges from Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. Corbin radiated confidence, he wasn’t taking no for answer as he confronted No1 contender Dolph Ziggler and challenged his championship opportunity. Their match ended in a stalemate so Bryan decided to make the WWE title match on the last episode of 2016 a Triple Threat Match.
The fastest rising star on Smackdown did not disappoint, he looked the part next to seasoned veterans Ziggler and Styles, and the match was received well. Corbin also avoided being pinned, Dolph took the hit. As we moved into the New Year Corbin once more set his sights high, he made his intentions known about the Royal Rumble and even went up against John Cena after he returned. As well as his in ring skills Corbin’s promos have improved dramatically, he delivery and acting is top notch. After making himself known to Cena they faced off in Baron’s biggest singles match to date, on the January 10th episode of SD he again looked every inch the star. Cena sold and sold as Corbin dominated the match, he looked Cena’s equal before his first pinfall loss against the now 16 time world champion. The Lone Wolf took the loss in his stride and kept looking forward, he had an okay Rumble with the highlight being his surprise elimination of Braun Strowman, which I believe could come back into play in the future. He has also been named as one of the entrants in this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match.
Since the turn of the year the fan reception to Corbin has been changing, as I mentioned earlier fans like a guy who does what he says and never backs down. Baron also show signs of being anti-establishment but without pissing the audience off, a trait which Stone Cold Steve Austin portrayed and many other aggressive face characters in wrestling. The title of this piece relates to the fact that Baron booked as he has been and with a few tweaks could easily be that ass-kicking aggressive face, he is by no means a Steve Austin because Steve was Steve. Baron must stay Baron because slowly he’s turning the audience, they like the character, the like the aggression, when he stood up to Miz this week it was met with applause. It also seems as of both Shane & Bryan have cooled on him too, there seems to be an uneasy alliance between the GM’s and Corbin. With continued great performances, a great showing at Elimination Chamber and a possible Wrestlemania moment there is no reason why Baron cannot be a red hot face and world champion within the next six months.