WWE SmackDown Live preview (Sept. 3, 2019)
Much can be said about the Roman Reigns “Who Dunnit” angle. It’s stupid. It’s silly. It’s entertaining. It’s a waste of time. But from a straight storytelling perspective, you’d have a hard time convincing me it’s actually good. So bad it’s good? Sure. Actually good? Probably not.
The start was ridiculous when the Roman WWE Smackdown was mildly inconvenienced at the end of a SmackDown when scaffolding fell on him in a very cheesy segment. Then we had Daniel Bryan revealing he’s done all the work and revealed it was a Rowan lookalike who did it. And of course there’s last week when a grainy video of actual Rowan doing it completely negated the lookalike, it’s all quite stupid.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been good aspects of it. Finally getting Buddy Murphy big TV time and meaningful matches, including a win over Daniel Bryan, has been great. And that’s also not to say the rest isn’t enjoyable. In fact, I usually end up enjoying it weekly. But that’s not because it’s really good but more because of how utterly ridiculous the story is.
Certainly people were disappointed in waiting an entire episode two weeks ago for Bryan to reveal the attacker only to find out it’s a Rowan lookalike. That’s totally understandable. Personally, I appreciated as a comedy gag, building expectations and giving us something very silly instead. It’s not something everyone is going to have a good laugh at, but it’s there if you have resigned not to take this storyline seriously at all. (And asking people not to take a storyline where Roman was almost murdered by a hit and run is a big ask.)
Daniel Bryan’s utter commitment to the bit helps. His over the top delivery, which is on brand with his current character, is a big reason this otherwise ridiculous story can continue to entertain. Roman is almost playing the straight man with his reactions. His standard facial expression when it comes to Bryan and Rowan has been “What the hell is this BS?” He is all of us here.