WWE’s Payback pay-per-view featured a triple threat main event for the WWE Universal Championship. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defended his newly-won Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns.
Reigns ended up walking out as the new champion to add some fuel to his new heel attitude, but that wasn’t what the internet was buzzing about.
Instead, the internet was buzzing about the ring collapsing when the Fiend and Strowman crashed to the mat from the top rope after a superplex.
The ring imploding is not a new moment in WWE history. They’ve done the spot numerous times. However, this moment came across incredibly forced and lacked the shock factor.
Fiend and Strowman weigh a combined 670lbs. For comparison, when Brock Lesnar and Big Show weighed a combined 786lbs when they imploded the ring. Big Show also imploded the ring with Mark Henry and they weighed a combined 860lbs.
I understand that the viewer is supposed to suspend their disbelief. But sometimes it’s impossible to ignore illogical decisions. At this rate, Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles will implode the ring.
It’s too far fetched to think that a WWE ring would ever collapse. WWE is a multi-billion dollar company and for their rings to not be able to maintain the weight of wrestlers who weigh a combined weight over 600lbs is comical. I’d expect a local wrestling promotion in a high school gym to have its ring implode before that ever happened in WWE.
Thousands of fans on thousands of television screens only made the moment worse. They’re not reacting to the moment. It was incredibly lackluster watching highlights of people staring into their webcams and having minimal reaction. Had there been a live crowd, I’m not confident that the fans would have been rabid for such a spot between two guys that don’t come across as men who are big enough to justify such a moment.
Back in 2003 when Big Show and Lesnar originally caused the ring to collapse, people at least thought that someone like the Big Show could cause some serious damage coming off the top rope. In recent years, Show has lost quite a bit of weight. But back in 2003, he was all 500lbs and then some. Lesnar has always been nearly 300lbs full of muscle. Plus, it was something that WWE had never done before. As a result, it became a moment.
Naturally, when the moment goes viral with the crowd the WWE is going to figure out a way to make the moment again. As soon as that thought enters your brain, the next time the ring explodes won’t be a real genuine moment.
It’s like a movie. When you see the remake of the original, it’s almost never better. The ability to replicate viral success is very hard to do.
WWE failed to create a memorable moment and instead created a new punchline for fans and critics of the product.