Jinder is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO f*cking boring. His new thing is to claim to be “a representative of the whole continent of Asia.” The Singh Brothers apologizes to Jinder for failing him last week. Their acting was embarrassing. They’re on the verge of tears for failing Jinder. They apologize to all 1.3 billion people in India and beg Jinder for to allow them to kiss his feet in apology. They take forever to get around to doing it, and Nakamura shows up before they actually do so because this show has no spine of any sort. Like having them beg to do it and getting down and almost making contact is that much different from a parental advisory standpoint than having them actually do it.
Jinder comes out to start a fight but gets taken out by the numbers game until Randy Orton shows up. He takes it to all three
RANDY WILL FACE NAKAMURA IN A #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH NEXT WEEK- Randy pinned Jinder clean and has never lost cleanly to Jinder! Why is he not the outright #1 contender? Actually, the way WWE phrased this is “winner earns a WWE Championship match,” which implies that only one guy will get one even though Randy pinned the champ clean and Nakamura’s title shot was marred by interference. We’ve had crappy authority figures in the past, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one do such an infuriatingly bad job even while being pushed as the ultimate babyface the way Shane and Bryan are.
CHAD GABLE & SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. THE ASCENSION- 5/10
American Beta’s music isn’t bad, but I LOVED the American Alpha music and now it’s gone because neither Jordan nor Gable is using it.
I know that this is the standard tag team formula, but seeing Gable as the babyface in peril here really bothered me. Between Gable having lost all of his singles matches and Shelton being a much more experienced wrestler who was assigned to Gable to by Daniel Bryan, and it just felt all of a sudden Gable was a younger brother in way over his head who needed big bro Shelton to come in and bail him out of trouble.
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS BARON CORBIN- Decent for what it was. Corbin says that Cena is “hiding” from him over on Raw… and Corbin does seem to have something resembling a point there. If Cena is a “free agent” that means he can appear on both shows, so why is he only appearing on Raw right now? Surely someone who loves the fans as much as John Cena does and definitely isn’t a part-timer like Cena has been telling us that he isn’t would be wrestling on both shows if given the chance, right?
AJ STYLES PROMO- he’s doing the John Cena US Title Open Challenge gimmick.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: AJ Styles(c) vs. Tye Dillinger- no rating, great segment.
Corbin follows Dillinger out, thinking that he and AJ had a deal last week when really they didn’t. Corbin shoves Dillinger so Dillinger responds with a bigger shove, the heads to the ring but Corbin attacks him from behind. Corbin gets up on the apron and faces off with AJ but Dillinger runs in and takes him out (much like Corbin did to Cena), then turns to AJ and the match starts. AJ wins clean via Calf Crusher in the most exciting thirty-second match you’ll ever see. Corbin attacked Dillinger after the match and then went after AJ but AJ quickly put a stop to him. Corbin then had a tantrum on the outside.
RUSEV & JINDER BACKSTAGE- Rusev informs Jinder that they are not friends, “we’re not going to do a Ride-Along together,” and after they in tonight, Rusev is coming for Jinder’s title.
BOBBY ROODE vs. MIKE KANELLIS (w/Maria Kanellis)- squash
KEVIN OWENS PROMO & SEGMENT WITH SHANE- bad
He chases Aiden English away from the ring while English was singing. Did English have an opponent scheduled or did Shane and Bryan just send him out there to sing. I only ask because of the number of times they seem to be content just letting guys go out to the ring to talk and don’t actually have matches scheduled. On the one hand this thing here with English seems like they finally recognized that problem, but on the other hand the way they did this seems to show that maybe they actually don’t.
Owens cuts a promo on Shane. Shane comes out, and his music immediately makes me want to punch him. So does his insistence of getting a cheap pop before turning to attention to the matter at hand. Also, in his video, there are small bills like ones and fives floating around along with the bigger denominations. Shouldn’t it all be hundreds and above?
Shane here came off like his father giving a bullsh*t heel explanation. That’s not what happened, but that’s how the tone came off. Shane totally shuts Owens down and answers my earlier question by telling Aiden English to come back out for his scheduled match against Sami Zayn. So he answered by question, but in doing so opened up yet another, because I don’t for a second believe that Sami Zayn would let Kevin Owens come out and kick his match of the card without a fight.
AIDEN ENGLISH vs. SAMI ZAYN- no rating, bad segment.
Kevin Owens is on commentary so he can repeat the things he just said. He also steals the referee’s shirt, and I guess Shane is going to allow this. Owens hits Zayn with a pop-up powerbomb, then fast-counts Sami on the pin. This is an example of a time when I think playing off of the Owens vs. Zayn rivalry actually makes Owens’ actions here mean less because I can see Owens screwing Zayn out of a match just because. If you put someone in that spot who Owens isn’t already heavily predisposed to screw it does a better job of showing how far Owens has been pushed.
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SHANE ABOUT OWENS’ ACTIONS- terrible.
Shane very calmly tells us that he’s really angry with Owens in a voice that managed to sound even less angry than Dennis Coralluzzo in that famous promo he cut for ECW after Shane Douglas threw down the NWA World Heavyweight Title. He says that the match shall be stricken from the record books (and yet Dolph Ziggler’s world title reign where he never won the belt and never once defended it is still there) and that Owens left the building, so therefore he will leave to. What?
DASHA FUENTES INTERVIEWS DOLPH ZIGGLER- Dolph was pretty good until he started going off on individual people. Then this went off the rails quite quickly. He says he’s debuting his new ultra-gimmicky gimmick next week instead of this week.
WINNING TEAM CHOOSES THE STIPS FOR THE TAG TITLE REMATCH: The Usos vs. The New Day (w/Xavier Woods)- 5/10
This was short, but good for the time it got. I am struggling to remember a feud that has had such great matches while still being so cold.
CARMELLA & ELLSWORTH BACKSTAGE- fun.
Then Nattie showed up with terrible dialogue. They must be actively trying to sabotage her.
NATTIE & NAOMI BACKSTAGE- more bad dialogue. Also, Nattie faces Carmella next week, then defends against Naomi the week after that.
MAE YOUNG CLASSIC COMMERCIAL- No! You haven’t “come to make history.” You’ve come to WIN THE F*CKING TOURNAMENT!” The sooner WWE realizes where their focus should be, the sooner the product will improve.
A JOBBER vs. TAMINA (w/Lana)- squash
Byron Saxton said the following: “Lana told us she’s determined to raise the Ravishing Revolution as a way to empower Tamina.”
Seriously. What means more to someone to isn’t obsessed with buzzwords and branding (i.e. all inhabitants of the planet Earth who don’t work in PR, advertising, or WWE Creative): Tom Phillips’ simple explanation that Lana is trying to “unlock the anger inside of Tamina” or the buzzword soup that Byron just vomited up?
The announcers all told us that the jobber looked “terrified,”… and, of course, the moment the bell rang the jobber charged right at Tamina, showing no fear and making the announcers look like idiots. I laughed my ass off.
After weathering the jobber’s opening flurry, Tamina tossed her into a corner… at which point Lana grabbed a mic and started shouting instructions like “get her!” and “crush her now!” in a way that could not possibly have done anything but annoy anyone who heard it- and especially Tamina, at whom Lana was shouting generically unhelpful advice. If I was Tamina I would have rolled out of the ring, snatched the mic away from Lana, and chucked it as deep into the crowd as I could.
Tamina squashed the jobber, and the announcers told us that this pairing seems to be working, as if Tamina couldn’t a f*cking jobber on her own before hooking up with Tamina.
FASHION FILES- fine. I laughed. Especially at their word association of the word “artist,” which were simultaneous shouts of “Shinsuke Nakamura!” and “Bob Ross!” That being said, they still shouldn’t be putting this crap on the air.
RANDY ORTON & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. RUSEV & JINDER MAHAL (w/the Singh Brothers)- 5.25/10
Remember six months ago when Rusev & Jinder were tag partners who were about to engage in a feud against each other because they kept losing?
Jinder and Rusev both had their entrances cut, and we joined Nakamura’s in progress. Bad time management. Randy goes to do his pose on the turnbuckle but then quickly turns around and then he and Nakamura charge at the heels to start things off. Yup. They’re definitely feeling pressed for time.
The babyfaces won a relatively boring main event cleanly when Nakamura pinned Rusev after a Kinshasa. After the match Randy gave Nakamura the RKO that everyone but Shinsuke saw coming. Randy is a douche.