Well this is a weird show. It was meant to have the return of the Shield but Roman Reigns can't perform so he is replaced with Kurt Angle, in his first WWE match in 11 years. Bray Wyatt is also out and has been replaced with AJ Styles, which improves my interest in that match immensely. Give then 25 minutes and let them go.
Kickoff: Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox
Well, at least it's not Elias vs Apollo Crews again. I spent the first part of this match trying to figure out whose make up had left a big smudge on the mat. Alicia Fox then threw a hissy fit and it was time for the advert break.
Back from the break, Fox forgot the rules of wrestling and tried to pin Banks on the outside. This really isn't a very good match. Fox is hamming it up like a good 'un here. She counts along with the ref on a countout attempt.
In the end Banks picks up the win with the Banks Statement. Well, it was different to most pre show matches, unfortunately it was also pretty shit. *1/2
Asuka vs Emma
We are starting off with what I can only assume is a straight up murder. The crowd is pumped for Asuka, as well they should be. Emma slaps Asuka, bad move. Emma gets the upper hand, knocking Asuka to the floor and keeping her grounded early on.
Asuka started to make a comeback at around the 5 minute mark. Emma manages to get on top again though. We are in a full blown match situation, I hadn't anticipated this. Asuka takes a bump from the apron to the floor.
Back in the ring, Asuka hits a spinning kick and the Asuka Lock for the win. It reminded me of the way they debuted Nakamura on the main roster. She should have entered, kick Emma's face off and been done in 3 minutes. I like Emma quite a lot but she shouldn't have been competitive in this. Saying that, the match was decent enough. **1/2
The main event heels all meet and have a conversation about how they will beat Kurt Angle later tonight.
Elias is out to sing us all a song but is interrupted by Jason Jordan throwing fruit and vegetables at him. Jason Jordan is a weird bloke.
Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander vs Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher
This has potential if the fans give it some respect. Wrestling in a shirt and waistcoat has got to be annoying. They work a nice back and forth to start, with the heels trying to ground the high flying faces.
The middle portion of the match has the heels working the heat segment on Rich Swann. Alexander gets the hot tag and the quality picks up. The finishing stretch of the match features some great wrestling by all four of them.
After a series of crisp, clean saves and reversals Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on Kendrick to pick up the win. This was a fun enough match. I just wish that they would let them go all out. As it is they don't seem any different to anyone else on the roster. Except Cedric Alexander. He is a gem. ***
Raw Women's Title - Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James
The match starts with Mickie showing that her age is not holding her back in any way, as it shouldn't, she is only 38. Bliss tries to slam Mickie down but every time she does Mickie kips back up. Bliss does get a period of control, though, and works over the shoulder of James.
Mickie hits a hurricanrana out of the corner and they both hit kicks for a double down. They trade strikes and Mickie gets the best of the exchange. She counters a DDT attempt into a roll up for a good near fall.
Mickie heads to the top but Bliss cuts her off, causing Mickie to worsen her shoulder issues. Bliss heads up top for Twisted Bliss but there is no water in the pool. Mickie hits a sloppy looking missile dropkick and a kick for a 2 count. Bliss manages to run Mickie into the turnbuckle and hit the DDT for the win.
This was a pretty good match, better than I was expecting. I always thought there was no way that Mickie was winning but they worked hard. ***
Kurt Angle is backstage when Ambrose and Rollins walk in. Angle says that he knows that they wanted to do it 2-on-5 but he couldn't let them. They say they understand and give him his own Shield flak jacket.
Elias is back. He can't be stopped by your 5 a day. Jordan is back to throw more produce at him.
Cruiserweight Title - Kalisto vs Enzo Amore
This could be a match of the year candidate. I can't even write that with a straight face. I missed the beginning of this match as my network connection froze. It came back to Kalisto hitting a suicide dive.
Kalisto went up top. but Enzo took his legs out from under him. Enzo went up top but decided the fans didn't deserve a top rope move so he got down. Enzo then grounded Kalisto with a side chinlock. Kalisto fights out but ends up back in the side chinlock. Cruiserweight wrestling everybody.
Kalisto picked up some momentum and hit a low rana that looked shonky as fuck. He started to work towards a victory but took a thumb to the eye while the ref wasn't looking. This led to Enzo hitting the Sole Food/Eat Defeat to become a 2 time cruiserweight champion.
Well, that went about as well as expected. Much like wallpaper paste it was sloppy and generally unappealing. Enzo's gimmick is actually pretty good at the moment but his matches are trash. *1/2
Finn Balor vs AJ Styles
Now that the filler is done with we can get down to the only 2 matches that are appealing on the card. This should be excellent. The crowd has fully woken back up for this one. Balor elects to still come out as 'The Demon'.
We start with a spot of back and forth oneupmanship. Balor gets the upper hand but Styles cuts him off with a clothesline. They continue to work a quick, smooth back and forth for the next few minutes until Balor sends Styles to the outside.
Balor hits a dive and sends Styles back in and hits the slingblade. Styles cuts off Balor's momentum with an Ushigoroshi. He attempts the Styles Clash but it's too early for that, and we are at an impasse.
Styles attempts to hit a springboard but gets knocked to the floor. Balor hits a shotgun dropkick into the barricade. He lifts Styles back up but both men end up spilling over the announce table. They both beat the count.
Both men are on the same page and keep hitting each other with simultaneous moves, leading to double downs. Balor hits the 1916 for a great near fall. Balor then hits the shotgun dropkick into the corner and heads up top but Styles cuts him off with a Pele kick and hits a springboard rana for another great near fall.
Styles misses the springboard 450 and Balor takes advantage. He hits another shotgun dropkick and lands a brutal looking Coup de Grace to pick up the win. After the match both men Too Sweet each other, which is a nice twist.
This was a top notch match, especially considering the match was a last minute thing and Styles had to travel back from Argentina for the match. It was nearly 20 minutes but it felt like it was barely half of that. I would love for them to be given a really long match to sink their teeth into but I realise that probably won't happen. These are two pretty good wrestlers you know. ****1/4
Elias vs Jason Jordan
Elias came out again and this time we are having an impromptu match. It was better than expected too. That may have been because my expectations were nonexistent. They have a solid match that ends with a screwy finish as Elias gets pinned despite his shoulder being up. **1/2
3-on-5 Handicap TLC Match - Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & Kurt Angle vs The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman & Kane
Angle is in full Shield mode, entering through the crowd with the flak jacket on. Kane's wig looks weird tonight, it looks daft. The faces take complete control in the early stages, taking out everyone with chairs and ladders. Angle even has a go at Braun. They set up Kane on the announce table but Braun makes the save.
The numbers game is too much for Braun and he ends up on the other announce table. They set up two ladders and Rollins and Ambrose put the two big men through the tables. This leaves Angle alone with The Bar and Miz.
They work Angle over and go for the Shield bomb but Ambrose and Rollins make the save. Angle runs through them with a series of trademark German suplexes, much to the crowd's delight. He gets the ankle lock on Kane but Braun isn't down with that shit so he gives Angle a running powerslam through a table.
This leaves it at 5-on-2 and the heels take full advantage. Booker T is heeling it up to the max on commentary, ripping into Kurt Angle for causing this situation. Ambrose and Rollins make a brief fight back and Kane accidentally hits Braun with a chair. Braun is not a happy bunny.
The Bar try to put Ambrose through a table with a crucifix bomb but the table doesn't break so Braun lobs him through it. Miz signals for something in the back, it turns out it's a garbage truck. They throw Ambrose and Rollins into it but that just pisses them off. They take out everyone except the Miz with dives from the top of the truck.
They go to work on the Miz but Kane cuts them off. They manage to get the best of him but Braun makes the save. Kane then chokeslams Braun through the stage for some reason. Braun grabs onto Kane's leg so Kane pulls down the chairs from the set to crush him.
The faces try to take advantage of the situation but Kane cuts them off and gives them a double chokeslam through tables. Ambrose's table doesn't break and it looks rough as fuck. Braun Strowman isn't dead and he's fucking angry. He takes out all of the members of his team.
They decide to gang up on Strowman and throw him into the back of the garbage truck. They then crush him with the compactor. That is spectacularly dumb. The crowd chants 'that was murder'. Yep.
They take Rollins back to the ring and go for the win but Ambrose breaks it up. Kurt Angle's music then plays. Kurt's back! He gives Sheamus an Angle Slam on the floor and gives Cesaro one through a table. The faces run wild and Angle applies the ankle lock on Miz. Miz fights it off but only temporarily. Angle kicks out of the Skull Crushing Finale and Ambrose and Rollins spear Kane through the barricade.
All 3 members of the face team end up alone in the ring with Miz. He eats all the finishers, including a Shield bomb and Angle pins him for the win.
This was complete chaos. Some of it was good, some of it was complete nonsense. The whole thing with the garbage truck was completely bollocks it was one of the most overbooked matches you will ever see. It was also pretty fun all things told. It's an oxymoron. I also don't know why Kane came off like he was a massive star. The whole thing is confusing. I hope Braun turns up on Raw slightly flattened. ***
Overall Grade - C
I have literally no idea how this show would have gone if the illnesses never occurred but as it stands now this show is all over the place. You should check out the Styles vs Balor match because it is really good and the main event because it is really mental. The undercard will not last long in the memory.