With the draft mostly behind them (we’ll not talk about the “unspecified trade” in exchange for Bliss & Cross), the SmackDown roster has begun jockeying for position. With Brock Lesnar and the WWE title currently out of the picture, the biggest targets are the remaining title holders... or the number one draft pick, Roman Reigns. Despite the fact that Shinsuke Nakamura holds the Intercontinental Title, that wasn’t enough for Sami Zayn, who aired his grievance that they weren’t the first chosen. Meanwhile, King Corbin decreed that Roman would get down on a knee and apologise on behalf of his cousin, The Rock. Roman agreed to a match in the case of the former, but disregarded Corbin entirely.
That may have been a mistake. These days, any match with Shinsuke is essentially also a match with Sami Zayn, unless the ref decides to ban him from ringside. Undeterred, Roman fought on until he reached that state of intense focus when the match is almost over, his opponent in his sights. It was in this moment that Baron Corbin struck him with his sceptre from behind, laughing as Roman fell to the canvas. Stepping between the ropes, Corbin’s demand for an apology was forgotten as he took his frustrations out on the Big Dog in a much more physical manner. Things might have ended very badly, if it were not for Daniel Bryan. Even though he was not successful against the team-up of Corbin & Nakamura, he at least shifted the focus away from a largely defenceless Roman.
After their remarkable tag-team match at Hell in a Cell, people began talking about the chemistry of Roman & Daniel as a team, despite their fraught history. Though they hugged it out in the ring that night, the pair showed no sign of wanting to team together regularly. Still, when Roman was in danger, it was Daniel who came running, much as Roman had done for him in the past. Teams have been built on less. There’s no real sense that any of this is over, and so long as Corbin can call himself king, there’s no telling what powers he might decide he’s been granted. Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan may not be ready to commit to a team, but there’s no doubting this would be a good way to take some of that power back.