By Big Red Machine
From August 30, 2020
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH:
Apollo Crews(c) vs. Bobby Lashley (w/the Hurt Business) - 5.75/10
Lashley won clean. Crews attacked him from behind after the match and got pulled off by Shelton Benjamin and MVP. Obviously, I don’t approve of a babyface acting like that, but I did LOVE the conviction in Apollo’s voice on his way up the ramp when he told them “I WILL get that title back!”
KAYLA BRAXTON TRIES TO INTERVIEW PAUL HEYMAN - Wait… they’re still teasing that Roman hasn’t signed the contract for the title match yet, and yet they’re advertising the match?
JBL TRIES TO PITCH KEITH LEE SOME HEDGE FUNDS - Yes, really. Okay… this was a clever way to build Lee up with someone as real potential.
BIG E. vs. SHEAMUS - 6.25/10
Big E. gets his leg worked over, but overcomes it and gets the clean win.
ALYSE ASHTON INTERVIEWS MATT RIDDLE - Did not see that coming. Riddle gives his usual interview and answers the basic question. Alyse then asked to respond to a Tweet by Corbin saying that Riddle would prove to be a failure in the ring just like “he has already proven that he’s a failure at home.” Riddle’s mood darkened very quickly upon hearing this, he took a deep breath, and then walked off. I did not think they would ever go there. Wow.
NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER ARGUE ABOUT WHICH OF THEM SHOULD BE IN CHARGE - Haven’t we already seen this segment this week?
Holy crap they actually plugged the ICW, EVOLVE, wXw, and PROGRESS shows they uploaded to the Network!
MATT RIDDLE vs. BARON CORBIN - 6.75/10
Riddle shout absolutely not have been doing his usual entrance after his reaction to Corbin’s Tweet a few moments ago. Other than that, I thought this was very good. Corbin jumped the bell on Riddle, lariating him as he jumped up to flip off his flip-flops, and they kept the intensity up throughout. I still can’t get over the fact that they gave the MMA guy a top rope flip as a finisher, though.
Corbin jumped Riddle from behind during a backstage interview after the match. This felt like a necessary escalation of the feud rather than just treading water. This was moving a program to the next phase, forward, which is what PPV is supposed to do.
WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Sasha Banks & Bayley(c) vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler - 7/10
I was completely shocked at how much I enjoyed seeing Nia and Baszler learn that they had to work together. This match was pretty darn great, with some decent babyface in peril stuff, some very good twists and turns, and last forty-five seconds or so that made Shayna look like a huge f*cking star.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER - Entertaining. These two actually make for an entertaining odd-couple team when they’re not being given poorly-scripted lines to argue with.
RANDY ORTON vs. KEITH LEE - 5.75/10
Well f*ck. I guess they really are going all in on Lee. He beat Orton clean in less than seven minutes.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS PAUL HEYMAN - Pointless.
SETH ROLLINS & BUDDY MURPHY vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. & DOMINIK MYSTERIO - 7.5/10
Didn’t we just see this on Raw? Oh. Right. Retribution ran in. The fact that I forgot that they ran in on a big match that happened less than a week ago should tell you how just how unimportant Retribution has been.
This was just great tag team wrestling, and easily the best thing on this show so far. I’m disappointed that Murphy is being treated like a jobber and I wonder how they’re going to handle Dominik once this feud ends, but for now, things are going well.
NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE:
The Fiend(c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) - 6.5/10
The Fiend entered first… and apparently Braun Strowman has gained magical powers of teleportation, as he appeared while The Fiend was posing in the ring and jumped The Fiend during his entrance. The referee rang the bell for the match to be started, even though one of the participants had not yet entered the ring.
By the time we were seventy seconds in, each man had kicked out of a finisher. The Fiend wound up controlling things after putting Braun through the announcers table, and they cut to Alexa Bliss! backstage so we could see her watching and twirling her one Fiend-esque hair-braid. Still no Roman Reigns, by the way.
The Fiend went under the ring and pulled out his comically large mallet that got sh*t on in the Hell in a Cell match. Braun got hit with it. They fought onto the stage and went through a gimmicked portion of it. Back in the ring, Braun went to the top rope but was sadly cut off before he could jump off. Then The Fiend Superplexed Braun off the top rope and the ring imploded. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen that one enough times before that it’s just not impressive. It looked even less impressive than usual this time, as the ring was still mostly standing and we only really lost one post (and thus also the ropes).
During the double-down after the ring imploded, Roman finally decided to join in. He came out with Heyman and signed the contract on his way to the ring, which makes you wonder why Greg Hamilton announced this as a three-way if Roman hadn’t signed the contract yet. Roman came out carrying a chair… and then dropped it before getting into the ring. That was dumb.
He gets into the ring and goes for a pin but there’s no referee, so he yells for a new one. Rudy Charles runs out and counts the pin but The Fiend kicks out. Roman made some more covers but they didn’t work so he went and got his chair. He hit Braun a bunch of times but Braun kicked out. The Fiend caught Roman in the Mandible Claw but Roman broke it up with a kick in the nuts. Roman then speared Braun and pinned him to win the title. This was a little better than I’m making it sound. The stuff with Roman was laid out well, and the opening few minutes between Braun and The Fiend were actually really darn good, with them just running into each other at full speed.
This was an okay show from WWE. It wasn’t good by PPV standards, but it wasn’t frustrating, either, and it was short enough (2:32:17) that I didn’t feel like I wasted my time watching it. The women’s tag title match was a pleasant surprise, and there was nothing really bad on this show, either. This felt like something perfectly fair for what it was, which was a shorter than average PPV coming one week after a huge PPV.