HUMBERTO CARRILLO vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega) - 7.25/10
Andrade & Zelina don’t look anywhere near as confident as usual after their miscue on Raw. This was an excellent opener, and a great illustration of why you all should have been watching 205 Live for the past two years. Andrade blamed his loss on Zelina for no real reason.
Bray Wyatt is now happily shooting promotional voiceovers for the company’s PPV’s. Whatever people found cool about this character is surely now all gone.
LADDER MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLES:
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E.)(c) vs. The Revival - 7.5/10
Everyone worked hard and took risks. They tried some new things but… it’s a ladder match. We’ve seen it all already. I was actually a little disappointed that The Revival didn’t try to work limbs a little more, just to make this match different.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS BARON CORBIN - Fine, I guess. It would have been good if he wasn’t forced to add in the part about having to use tables ladders and chairs. Why are they trying to tell the match when everyone watching this has already bought the PPV?
ALEISTER BLACK vs. BUDDY MURPHY - 8/10
Again… aren’t you all sad you didn’t watch 205 Live? These guys had an awesome match. Both men tried to win via knockout, and to help that story, Murphy worked over Aleister’s jaw. The blood coming from Aleister’s mouth and/or nose certainly helped visually as well. These two guys rock and this match rocked.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS RUSEV - Great!
WHY IS THERE A RAW RECAP IN THE MIDDLE OF MY F*CKING PPV?! Everyone who is watching a damn PPV knows the major angle from this week’s Raw!
WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Viking Raiders(c) vs. the OC (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) - 6/10
They had a good brawl that ended in a double-count-out. WHY? You have SIX WEEKS until the next PPV. Why didn’t you just do this on TV? Why piss the fans off by doing a f*ck finish on a PPV?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Bad. The OC attacked the Viking Raiders and tried to put them through the wacky KFC-sponsored table at ringside but the Viking Raiders made a comeback and put Gallows through said wacky sponsorship table instead, so we’re not even getting any heat out of this.
MIZ PROMO - Awesome babyface stuff
Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin - 5.5/10
This was a TLC match you can win by pinfalls because… um…
I was really enjoying this until the f*cking interference started. Because this is Roman Reigns, of course, it took ELEVEN PEOPLE to beat him. But of course this won’t be over, so we’re going to get more of the same for weeks on end. Even when Vince has things going well with Roman, he just can’t help but go overboard with the guy.
Michael Cole was particularly insufferable here, reminding us every three minutes that there were no DQs or count-outs or whatever. My favorite commentary moment of the Cole-Graves tandem was Cole whining that Corbin isn’t a “locker room leader” just because four guys follow him, to which Graves responded “that’s four more than follow Roman Reigns.” And as we sat here watching Roman have to fight off eleven men all by himself, not one person came out to help him. Not much of a leader then, is he, if no one is willing to stand up for him.
WWE described their commentators from India as speaking “Indian” instead of Hindi. Oops.
BRAY WYATT vs. THE MIZ - 2/10
Maybe it’s be fairer to rate this as a segment, but I don’t give Bray Wyatt that kind of courtesy with all of the time of mine he’s wasted over the years. Miz beat Bray up a bunch and Bray didn’t fight back. He just laughed. Miz did the Pentagon Jr. arm-snapper but Bray jammed his shoulder back into place. Bray eventually hit one Sister Abigail on the outside and one in the ring for the win.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Meh. First a picture of The Fiend appeared on the Torn and Bray became very happy. He then went to get his giant mallet, which Michael Cole reacted to like had never seen before. Then the usual Fiend sound effects and lights began but stopped halfway, and when the lights came back on, Daniel Bryan had teleported into the ring. He tried to hide his identity with a hoodie but everyone knew who it was, which makes the announcers look like idiots. Bryan laid Bray out with the Busaiku Knee, then revealed himself to be back to his circa 2007 haircut. The American Dragon is back! He went to murder Bray with the mallet but more Fiend lighting effects happened and Bray teleported away.
Cole tried to make a point about how “everyone The Fiend has touched has changed,” which seemed like an interesting point (Balor, Rollins, Bryan), until I remembered that he had also attacked people like Jerry Lawler and Booker T, who hadn’t changed at all.
I thought that this was the usual overproduced wreck. I could have gotten behind it if they hadn’t used The Fiend’s usual cues for Bryan, too, as that sort of thing makes it clear that this is the powers that be trying to fool us rather than something happening any sort of organic way from the characters.
Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana) - 6.5/10
They told a fine story with Rusev’s rubs getting worked over. Lashley got the win after Lana interfered.
THE STREET PROFITS SAY EMBARRASSING THINGS BACKSTAGE - Dawkins was urging Lashley to get a vasectomy so that he didn’t impregnate Lana. He described the process of fertilization in graphic detail. Thankfully he was soon interrupted by Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin leading a brawl through the area. The Street Profits randomly joined in.
TLC MATCH FOR THE WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLES:
Kabuki Warriors(c) vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch - 8.5/10
They used many weapons and did a lot of creative stuff. My favorite spot was when the rope the Kabuki Warriors used to tie Becky to the ladder came into play later and Asuka used it to pull the ladder over from outside of the ring. The downside here was that in a match that went so long and after seeing so many weapons shots and table-bumps already tonight, I definitely caught my mind starting to wander several times. I should not be trying to remember what year that 59-minute Tenzan vs. Kojima match happened in during a TLC match. That is one of the major downsides of just doing spots rather than crafting a real story. I’m not saying the match wasn’t awesome (I gave it an 8.5/10!), but I do think there are things they could have done better based on the spot they were in.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Bad. Remember that random brawl from backstage before? Well it has now snowballed to include the entire locker room, and they all spilled out into the area by the stage, because of course a big gaggle of eighty people fighting all stayed together and didn’t split off into separate directions. After, King pointed out to us that this brawl has been going on uninterrupted for THIRTY MINUTES NOW. That’s not a brawl anymore. That’s a f*cking riot! Call the police already!
Roman and Corbin went into the crowd and onto a platform while everyone else fought under them. This was done so that Roman could spear Corbin off of this ledge and onto the pile, because I guess the fans are too weak-hearted to accept that a heel won to close the show. Either that or because we didn’t get enough footage of cool stuff during the show, I guess. Or because needing eleven guys to take him down wasn’t enough protection for Roman so he had to get his revenge by the end of the night. Probably the third one.
This was a good show from WWE, I guess. It certainly had more ups than downs, but the downs came in a big chunk in the middle that is hard to shake from my mind. It was definitely well above average for WWE, and that’s for a show where none of Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, Drew McIntyre, Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, Ricochet, Sasha Banks, Bayley, the Usos, Mustafa Ali, and Chad Gable all didn’t wrestle.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Michael Cole claimed that Kofi Kingston has a “stellar record in ladder matches.”
2. Michael Cole said that he thought Dolph Ziggler had been “taken out for good” and thus wouldn’t be able to interfere in this match because Roman Reigns put him through an announcers’ table on Friday.
We see people go through an announcers’ table and continue the same f*cking match! What kind of idiot would think this would keep someone out of action two days later?