Last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown featured a segment where “King” Baron Corbin mocked Roman Reigns. This segment saw the 2019 King of the Ring winner introduce someone in a dog costume while accompanied by a version of Reigns’ ring theme, with barking puppy noises edited in. This segment, as noted by Cageside Seats, was criticized not only for its tacky nature but also for the fact that Corbin was heavily featured. However, a new report suggests that WWE owner Vince McMahon was a big fan of the segment, much as he appreciates Corbin’s perceived improvement as a performer.
Over the weekend, Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported that per his sources, McMahon was purportedly “howling” backstage while the Reigns parody was taking place. He added that while the WWE boss apparently enjoyed watching the segment, that wasn’t the case for a number of his employees, who are “not going to express those thoughts” to McMahon.
“Remember, the writers are trying to make Vince happy,” a WWE source was quoted as saying. “If he’s happy then it means that jobs are safe. Vince has always been a fan of segments that parody his wrestlers. As long as Vince is around, you will always see segments like that one.”
As explained by Davis, WWE has long been known to parody its top performers in on-air skits, especially in the late 1990s, when the future Hall of Fame faction D-Generation X lampooned two rival stables — the Nation of Domination and McMahon’s own villainous group, The Corporation. One far more recent example of such a parody took place last year when Big Cass attacked a little person made to look like Daniel Bryan, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
In addition to reporting on how McMahon seemed to love the Reigns parody segment, Davis wrote that the 74-year-old WWE owner “loves” what Corbin is doing as part of his “King” gimmick and is impressed by how the former NFL player has worked so hard to improve. Currently, Corbin is set to lead Friday Night SmackDown as the blue brand’s team captain against the five-man units of Monday Night Raw and NXT at Survivor Series on Sunday.
After Survivor Series, it is expected that Corbin will continue feuding with Reigns as they build up to a match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view next month. However, The Inquisitr recently reported that WWE is considering placing both men in a dog collar match — yet another tie-in to Reigns’ longtime moniker of “The Big Dog.”