A poorly conceived “First Man Standing” ended almost immediately after it began tonight, leaving fans of sports-entertainment bewildered and embittered.
The match, which pitted Shinsuke Nakamura against rival AJ Styles, was over mere moments after the opening bell as Styles quickly sprang to his feet from a seated position.
Nakamura was still performing is signature bent-over-backward limbo pose when the bell rang, rendering him incapable of “reaching a vertical base,” as the commentators phrased it, as quickly as Styles.
According to the ringside timekeeper, the entire match lasted 1.8 seconds from bell to bell. Fans booed as Styles’ hand was raised in victory, amid chants of “We want re-funds (clap-clap-clapclapclap).”
WWE later issued a statement admitting that “the First Man Standing match seemed like a good idea at the time, but we clearly didn’t think it through.”
The match was reportedly the idea of a new member of WWE’s Creative Team, who, remarkably, wanted to try something creative. The statement promised that it “won’t happen again.”