Baron Corbin looked like an absolute fool on SmackDown Live this week. Kalisto didn’t look like an idiot for once, which is great, as he took advantage of a big opportunity.
It was really nice (and fairly surprising) to see WWE go back and take a look at the storyline reason that Kalisto has been out of action for the last few months.
What is the reason Corbin was taken out of the SmackDown Live men’s team for Survivor Series? There are no reports that he is actually injured. Did he upset somebody backstage? Chances are low, in my estimation, that he was abrasive in the manner that caused him to be pulled from such a high profile match.
My thought? It’s all about his character. Corbin’s nickname, his moniker, if you will, is “The Lone Wolf”. He opted out of the 6-man tag match on this week’s episode of SD Live because he wasn’t interested in teaming up with anybody. The only reason he was going to stay on the team at Survivor Series, one would have to assume, is because of the high-profile nature of the match. It would benefit him personally to be on that team, win or lose. If they won, it was thanks to him. If they lost, it was because the other 4 guys dragged him down.
Let’s ignore the stupid way he got “injured”. We can make believe Kalisto used his speed to catch Corbin on his way out of the ring and tripped him up, which caused him to fall and hurt his knee.
That feels better.
So Kalisto kicks his knee into the ring steps and then destroys it with a frog splash. Corbin is off of the Survivor Series team, and Daniel Bryan selects Shane McMahon to take his place. Corbin is already upset with Bryan for not treating him like the kind of star he thinks he should be, and now he gets replaced with the Commissioner? A man who is coming up on his 47th birthday and has a legacy of falling from high places is going to take the spot of a stud like him? That has comeuppance written all over it.
Survivor Series comes and goes. Kalisto wins the Cruiserweight Championship from Brian Kendrick and takes the title, and the division, to SmackDown. This causes a conundrum. Baron Corbin, you would expect, would be looking for retribution for what Kalisto did. But no, that’s not the case. Corbin doesn’t hold grudges, he just kills whatever is in front of him. Kalisto may have taken advantage of a situation, but Corbin accepts and even, deep down, appreciates it.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are the ones who have been holding him back. If it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t have had to make an example of Kalisto. The GM and Commissioner weren’t taking him seriously, and Kalisto just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Kalisto’s attack on Corbin gives him some credibility heading into his title match. That is fantastic, and what happened on SmackDown this week is the end of the conflict between the two men. The good guy came out on top and both men have bigger fish to fry. Corbin didn’t have to lose a match and Kalisto got to show some aggression.
Corbin goes after both Shane ‘O Mac and Daniel Bryan and gets Shane eliminated from the tag match. Afterward, he destroys the eldest McMahon kid and leaves him in a heap at ringside. He lays out Daniel Bryan, too, just for good measure when the GM comes to the ring to calm him down.
At TLC, Baron Corbin goes one-on-one with Shane McMahon in a ladder match. If Baron wins, he gets a shot at the World Champion. If Shane wins, he has to move to the back of the line and work through everybody Shane and D-Bry choose in order to get a chance to get into the title picture. He wins, of course, but loses to Styles at the Royal Rumble in what turns out to be his breakout match. Because that’s exactly what AJ Styles does.
Corbin doesn’t lose much momentum and goes on to beat Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship (which Sami Zayn obviously doesn’t win) either some time before WrestleMania or at the event itself.
I don’t like fantasy booking, but that would be pretty sweet.