I've seen a lot of different reactions to what happened at the end of Smackdown this week. Some of them are positive, and some of them are negative.
I'm not one of those conspiracy theorists that feel Baron Corbin is being punished by Vince McMahon because he (Corbin) had a Twitter "beef" with Dave Meltzer, or because of another Twitter incident with a member of the United States Armed Forces. Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Corbin, and I never have been. He isn't good in the ring. He's scripted to sound terrible in his promos. His lack of hair is something that even Hulk Hogan would make fun of. He's just... tall. That's it. I don't like him, but I don't think he was being punished for anything.
Indirectly, he was most definitely punished on Smackdown because he was made to look like a bumbling, stumbling idiot, the likes of which are usually reserved for comedic relief characters like James Ellsworth or Santino.
As a heel holding the Money In The Bank briefcase, you have to be very careful and cerebral about when you're going to cash in. You have to use it to your advantage and gain the best possible odds of winning and becoming champion. That's pretty easy to figure out. We've seen men like Edge, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Seth Rollins do that to perfection in the past.
Baron Corbin, in his infinite wisdom, decided to give Jinder Mahal several minutes to recover before even deciding to cash in. It's not like Jinder was beaten within an inch of his life to begin with, either. Yes, he had just been in a match with John Cena, and had been on the receiving end of a Attitude Adjustment from the top, but again... he had several minutes to recover. That was Corbin's first mistake.
His second mistake was not getting rid of John Cena. You know, the guy he's currently feuding with. He hit him with the weakest briefcase shot known to man, but that was it. Did he think that was going to incapacitate Cena for a good 30 minutes? Making the entire thing worse was that, while Corbin was waiting for his title match to begin, he was caught on-camera looking over his shoulder at Cena continuously. He KNEW Cena was right there on the apron, and he went ahead with the match, anyway. Sure enough, he went over to Cena as the match began, and Jinder used the distraction to roll him up for the pin and the win.
When I watched it happen, I had to rewind my DVR and watch it back a few more times. Partly because watching him lose in such a fashion was hilarious, but also because I wanted to see if I missed anything. For months, it looked like WWE had high hopes for Corbin, and then... that... happens? Did they lose faith in him? It was just weird.
We've all seen the rumors by now that SummerSlam was going to see Shinsuke Nakamura defeat Jinder to win the WWE Title, only for Corbin to cash in immediately and become the new champion. That was a nightmare scenario for many fans, myself included. With that now out the window, what does it mean for SummerSlam? A victory for Nakamura and an actual attempt to see if he can run with the title for a while? One of the worst title reigns in recent wrestling history continuing on for at least a couple more days? Time will tell.
For now, we can only look at what happened on Smackdown and speculate. Why did it happen? Why did it happen in the manner it did? Maybe this is my bias speaking, but I don't see how Corbin can be taken seriously after this. He looked like an absolute schmuck out there, and for no real reason. Short of beating John Cena into retirement, what is he supposed to do now, in the short-term, to bounce back and look like a threat again? As it stands, he's now responsible for the worst Money In The Bank cash-in ever.
It's funny that the only person who really benefits from that entire thing was Jinder Mahal, the one person who nobody wanted to see benefit in the first place.
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