Most weeks, the routine for wrestling TV shows is the same. You watch it, you decide whether you liked or disliked it, you discuss it with your mates and you move on to the next.
However we at Team HOW have to confess something about Monday’s Raw: we completely missed the reference to classic NWA: TNA made by one of the roster members who once worked for the organisation.
During the singles encounter between Kofi Kingston and AJ Styles, Kofi’s partner in the New Day, Xavier Woods, blew his trombone to scupper Styles’ launch for a Phenomenal Forearm. However he didn’t just play a couple of random notes. Oh, no siree.
Yes, that indeed is Woods attempting to play (and then sing) “I Am”, Styles’ iconic entrance music for a decade in TNA as he went from junior heavyweight prospect to one of the world’s very best. Woods was there with AJ in the promotion for a few years in the late 2000s, as Consequences Creed.
Truth be told, it wasn’t the most coherent rendition of it (not that a trombone can make a whole lot of melody in the first place). That may be why Xavier belted out some lyrics as well, just to make sure the reference hit home to those who have been watching long enough to pick up on it.
Anyway, the unique distraction worked. By the time Styles’ bodyguard Omos went over to stare down Woods and AJ prepared for the springboard a second time, he was met by Kingston’s S.O.S. move for the pin.
It’ll be New Day defending the tag titles against AJ and Omos, in the latter’s in-ring debut, at WrestleMania.