OPENING SEGMENT- meh
Jey Uso is out to brag about Roman’s win at Survivor Series, but Roman is angry at him for losing. He says that the Smackdown team didn’t respect Jey, and not only is that why they lost, but it also reflects badly on Roman.
This feels repetitive. Jey thinks he has done well but Roman yells at him. I’d say that this would start a feud between Jey and SD team, but he was already feuding with at least one of them.
Otis, who was scheduled to wrestle Baron Corbin next, came out while Jey was still on his way to the back, so Jey beat the sh*t out of him with a chair.
BOBBY ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER CALL OUT THE STREET PROFITS- meh
Barbs were exchanged. Also, apparently a match between them has already been booked.
BOBBY ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE STREET PROFITS- 6/10
Roode & Ziggler worked over Ford’s previously-injured ribs and got the win. There was a spot where Ford hit the big splash but was too injured to make the cover and had to tag out, allowing the other heel time to recover and break it up. Obviously this sets up the return match with the angle of were Ford not injured, would the Street Profits have won, and it’s always good to have your return angle build into the finish of the first match, but if the whole reason of putting Roode and Ziggler over here is to instantly create challengers where there weren’t any before, this seems to make them look unnecessarily weak via giving the Street Profits an excuse.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS DANIEL BRYAN- good
I like the consistency of Bryan continuing the quest he started with AJ to get the IC Title defended more, and I’m also really happy that they had him get revenge on Jey Uso for injuring him before continuing that quest.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS THE MYSTERIOS & BUDDY MURPHY- meh
Rey was fine. Corbin didn’t like his touchy-feely stuff and so he decided to interrupt and be a jerk.
DANIEL BRYAN vs. SAMI ZAYN- 7.25/10
We got the usual pre-match promo from Sami before Bryan cut him off. These two went on to have a great match while still saving a lot for the inevitable rematch. They managed to give us a f*ck finish that actually worked for me here. Sami Zayn knew he was losing so he ran to the back. Bryan followed to get him. Sami returned and made it in just before then. When Bryan wasn’t following Sami as one would assume, we then cut to the back, where Jey Uso was attacking Bryan at Gorilla until Kevin Owens made the save. This keeps Bryan vs. Uso going but also keeps the idea of Bryan vs. Sami alive until Bryan can be done with Uso/Roman.
KEVIN OWENS INTERRUPTS JEY USO TALKING TO ROMAN REIGNS- good
Jey said he was acting under orders from Roman, but whether those were direct orders to attack Bryan or Jey’s interpretation of something Roman said we don’t know. Roman’s face offered s no hints. Jey is becoming extremely annoying, but not in a change the channel way, so that’s good.
Kevin Owens showed up to confront them. He called Roman a hypocrite for saying that family is important to him but treating Jey poorly. Owens left, and Roman told Jey to make sure Owens looks at him with respect from now on.
NATALYA vs. BIANCA BELAIR- 3/10
Because this is definitely the sort of match you’d want to throw out on TV for free with no build. Bayley came out to do commentary.
Fun fact: Nattie and Sasha have never had a singles match together that went more than 7:35, and of their few singles matches, most have ended in DQs. They have never had a singles match against each other on PPV. Nattie uses power moves and a submission that targets the back. Sasha takes great bumps and has a back that bends in crazy ways. How is this not a feud WWE is building up?
Nattie and Alexa Bliss! have never had a proper feud. Ditto for Nattie and Becky Lynch. Nattie and Bayley have never even had a singles match! With all of the pushing of women’s wrestling they’re done over the past few years, how the hell have they managed to squander arguably the best female worker on the roster so damn badly?!
The match was short. Bayley bothered Bianca so Bianca punched her, letting Nattie get the advantage, but when Bayley tried to get into the ring to attack Bianca, she bumped into Nattie, allowing Bianca to win. Unless you’re going to do Bayley vs. Nattie out of this, it would have been better to just let Bianca win clean and have Bayley bother her after the match.
BARON CORBIN vs. BUDDY MURPHY (w/the Mysterios)- DUD!
The story of this match was that every time Corbin got the advantage, the Mysterios would distract him or interfere. Did I miss a double-turn last week? This was competently wrestled, but everything else about it was so ass-backwards it was painful. Even Michael Cole was acknowledging that this was total bullsh*t.
Corbin challenged Murphy to a rematch next week.
They just now announced that a shot of Paul Heyman talking to Adam Pearce earlier has resulted in Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso being booked as tonight’s main event. This was one of those little moments that probably doesn’t bother too many other people, but it does bother people like me. They had all of the necessary components here to have it actually make sense that a main event is being booked in the middle of the show. All they had to do was explain that the attack on Otis threw the whole card off and so they moved everything up had to fill as they went, using the impromptu matches of Corbin vs. Murphy and then Owens vs. Jey (and for bonus points, you say this during the Street Profits vs. Roode & Ziggler match and say that officials are trying to get a main event signed, so it looks like the promotion is actually acknowledging the logistical problem that has been created and makes things feel more organic because you’re flat-out telling the viewers “we’re filling on the fly.”
But they didn’t. Instead they just let it appear as if they went on the air with no main event scheduled, and if Corbin hadn’t bothered the Mysterios and Owens hadn’t bothered Roman and Jey (the latter of which was as a result of Jey choosing to interfere in a match, so that’s another level “fortunately for the plot, this happened), we wouldn’t have had any wrestling in the last forty-five minutes of the show!
And yes, even if this only bothers a certain subset of fans, it’s worth putting the time in to fix, because it’s not like having the show make more sense will chase anyone off! If you can make 97% of the people happy or 100% of the people happy with a minimal difference in effort, why not put that extra effort it?
SAMI ZAYN TELLS BIG E. AND APOLLO CREWS TO STOP HORSING AROUND IN FRONT OF THE INTERVIEW SET WHEN HE HAS AN INTERVIEW TO DO- bad
Yes, Sami was mean to Apollo, but at the same time, there are a million f*cking places in the building these two can horse around. Why are they doing it somewhere where they would be in everyone’s way?
Apollo left after Sami was mean to him and Big E. had to do all of the making of the logical points. While his points were solid, he got WAY too goofy towards the end, and the “super strong handshake” gimmick is one that you really shouldn’t do with anyone who isn’t a bottom of the barrel geek, as it makes the person getting their hand squeezed (in this case the freakin’ IC Champion) look like sh*t. Also, STOP IT WITH THE F*CKING CAMERA SHAKING! You’re not making things look any more violent. All you’re doing is making the viewer nauseous and making the your crew look incompetent.
On the bright side, they at least had Kayla ask Sami if he wanted to do the interview and have him yell at her, rather than what I was worried would happen, would be that this interview with a guy who loves to talk and complain was scheduled but never happened with no explanation, even though both the wrestler and the interviewer were right there.
BILLIE KAY IS GIVING AWAY PHOTOS AT THE COMMENTARY DESK- Is she dumb? Does she think she doesn’t have a job?
CARMELLA PROMO AND ATTACK BY SASHA BANKS- meh
She has turned heel for the standard “listening to the fans wasn’t getting me anywhere” reasons. She demanded her drink at the end but Sasha’s Bank’s hand popped into the screen to give it to her. Sasha threw the drink on her, then attacked her. This would have been a lot better if instead of offering her the drink like the servant would, Sasha would have just dumped it on her head before attacking her. Why give your enemy the chance to process what is about to happen? Sasha is a babyfaces, yes, but she is going after a heel who has jumped her from behind multiple times. She’s perfectly justified in a sneak attack.
Adam Pearce and Pat Buck pulled Sasha off of Carmella.
JEY USO vs. KEVIN OWENS- 6/10
They had a good match with Uso working the arm until Uso grabbed a chair and hit Owens for the annoying DQ. Owens made his own comeback and beat the sh*t out of Jey with the chair while taunting Roman.
I was very hesitant to put over the finish to Bryan vs. Zayn, and crap like this is exactly why. There was no reason to do a DQ here. You could have gotten to the same point by having Owens win clean and having Jey try to attack him after the match. Instead, we got yet another non-finish in a main event.
This was an absolute mess of a show. Save yourself the time and don’t watch it. Not even Bryan vs. Zayn.
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