Bobby Lashley is your new WWE Champion.
And, in what is something of an indictment of Vince McMahon's tentative approach - one that requires him to place a certain trust in his talent - it only took him 16 years to strap up a monster of a man built from his fever-dreamed blueprints.
Did the punishingly carny ends justify the means last night? Did The Miz have to win the title first, thus transitioning it from a heel to a...heel? Did The Miz have to spend three hours as a parodic chickensh*t heel just to create a contrast, and get Lashley over as a far more legitimate champion by towering over him?
The show-long hook reeked, but Lashley's push has not. After d*cking about for two years with inadvertently sinister backstories, ass pose routines and desperate sub-Attitude Era cuckolding plots, Lashley has finally become the wrecking machine he should have walked back into WWE as. He is a frightening bastard of a man, and nobody is going to call him a bathturd anymore, which, in a weird way, rather articulates this super-rare all-in modern WWE success.
This reheat job was far better than the man's original introduction...
10. His "TNA" Run
Upon Lashley's 2018 re-debut, WWE served Impact Wrestling.
"My tag team division is full," said Kurt Angle, in response to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's begging. "But I hear TNA is hiring." This was a burn that incinerated more than one layer of skin. WWE was either unaware of the Impact rebrand (per the Wrestling Observer at the time, Vince McMahon still believed "TNA" was his competition, hopelessly ignorant of NJPW's western rise) or knew full well that the name of the company is as irrelevant as the company itself.
WWE is very careful to acknowledge the achievements of AJ Styles, Robert Roode et al. They do so in the case of the former by prioritising his work "in Japan", more or less their shorthand for "acclaimed, but dry and impenetrable". In the case of the latter, Roode is a man who had "honed his craft all over the world". Translated: Roode is experienced at getting himself over everywhere, and deserves the attendant respect. Lashley's Impact run was a boon - he was no longer the chosen one lacking the depth to bond with the audience, but an act of real talent and substance - but it was also in some circles perceived as the preserve of the past-it.
Lashley just did MMA. That's all. Or nothing, since they barely said owt about why he'd been gone so long.