We have arrived at the last PPV of the year, and true to form it doesn't look good on paper. I hope I am surprised though.
Kickoff: Zack Ryder vs Mojo Rawley
I don't like Mojo and I'm indifferent to Ryder, so I'm pumped for this. Looking at the ring is like looking at the sun. It is bright as fuck. Ryder jumps Mojo at the bell and takes control early but it is just a matter of time until Mojo took charge. Advert break.
The rest of the match showed a good intensity. Ryder got enough in to make it seem competitive but in the end Mojo won with what appeared to be a running punch. It was better than I expected but advert breaks hurt everything. **1/2
United States Title - Baron Corbin vs Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler
The build to this has been awful, so I hope the match is better. We get the classic three way stand off to start. Corbin is the one that gets isolated and gets clotheslined over the barricade. He ain't out there long and he comes back more annoyed than when he left.
Corbin spends the next few minutes getting his beatdown on. He finally gets sent to the floor again, and Ziggler gets a near fall with a Famouser. Corbin returns, does some more ass kicking, and hits a Deep Six for 2. TOWER OF DOOM! Corbin gets 2 on both Ziggler and Roode.
Corbin spears himself into the post. Ziggler and Roode have a nice back and forth, with Ziggler reversing the Glorious DDT into a big DDT of his own for a 2 count. Roode hits a Glorious DDT but Corbin makes the save.
Corbin hits a chokebreaker on the floor and rolls Roode back in. He goes for the End of Days but Ziggler hits a cheeky Zig Zag and pins Corbin for the shock victory. This was much better than I thought it was going to be. Admittedly my expectations weren't very high, but it was still very good. I'm not sure where they are going with Ziggler. ***1/2
Smackdown Tag Titles - Usos vs New Day vs Rusev & Aiden English vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
Rusev and English do the 12 Days of Rusev and it's over like rover. As it should be. Rusev is the hero we deserve. The rules are that one member of each team is legal at all times, as opposed to only having 2 people in at once. We start of with a bunch of pin reversals before it breaks down. Rusev has had enough of that and kicks some ass.
The weird 4 people in the ring at once style is somewhat off putting. The match seems somewhat slow because of it. It's a bit of a mess until it settles into a more solid 2 teams at a time format, upon which it becomes a very good match.
Gable and Benjamin take over and Benjamin hits a great looking powerbomb on Kofi after he springboarded in. English & Rusev take over and the crowd could not be more up for Rusev becoming tag champ. They were positively rabid for it. They get a couple of near falls and then Rusev locks in the Accolade
Big E goes for the Midnight Hour but Rusev puts him in the Accolade too. Gable comes in and breaks it up before proceeding to hit Chaos Theory German suplexes on everyone that came near him. This included one that I swear killed Aiden English.
Gable tries to land a German on one of the Usos but they cut him off and hit him with the top rope splash to retain the title. This started off a bit ropey due to the way they set it out, but it got much better and the go home stretch was excellent. ***1/2
Smackdown Women's Title, Lumberjack Match - Charlotte Flair vs Natalya
Lumberjack matches almost always suck. They have a bit of a match before the lumberjacks get involved. There is also a pretty bad botch in the early stages as Natalya fails to clothesline Charlotte out of the ring. It's not a great start.
Saxton says that Sarah Logan tossed off Carmella. I think Saxton has Pornhub on. As is to be expected the heels, of which there are many, beat down Charlotte but not Natalya. This has broken down into a big old pile of nonsense.
Naomi does a big dive, Carmella teases cashing in but gets beaten up by other heels, Charlotte hits a moonsault on to everybody, they end up back in the ring and Charlotte reverses a Sharpshooter into a Figure 8 to pick up the win.
This was a fucking dumpster fire. Is this really the best thing they can come up with? They have a bunch of talented wrestlers in the Smackdown women's division but they don't seem to know how to use them.
After the match, Charlotte cried and said that if the WWE Universe was going to turn their back on her, she would turn her back on them. DUD
Breezango vs Bludgeon Brothers
I see a Bad Moon Rising. There may be a murder on the horizon. Yep. They murdered em. NR
If Owens & Zayn Lose They Are Fired From WWE, Special Referees Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan - Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
This reffing situation is gonna be a pain. They both go down for pins and count with different cadences. The crowd isn't gonna put up with that for long. In the end they decide to take half of the ring each. This show feels like WWE are just trying stuff, knowing full well that December PPVs are notoriously lackluster.
They settle into a normal match, with Owens & Zayn working the heat. Nakamura gets the hot tag and Shane visibly fist pumps. As I have said before, Shane is not the face here. Shane shouts at Bryan for counting Nakamura's shoulders down. His reasoning is that he had a triangle choke locked in. Shane doesn't know the rules apparently.
It's a pretty run of the mill affair until they head outside and Owens splashes Nakamura through the announce table. Back in the ring Orton hits an RKO on Zayn and goes for the count but it is broken up when Owens knocks Bryan into Shane. This causes Shane to blame Bryan, as is customary.
There are a sequence of rollups, with each referee taking turns to count, before Shane just straight up refuses to count the pin for Zayn. Bear in mind that Shane has been presented as a face, though the build up has been a bit of a mess and he has just came across like a prick.
Daniel Bryan understandably asks Shane what the fuck he is doing. They get into a bit of a shoving match and Bryan ends up fast counting a pinfall by Zayn on Orton. Owens and Zayn keep their jobs. Shane is pissed, and Saxton is apoplectic on commentary, but the moral here is that you reap what you sow. This whole thing, I don't really want to call it a match, was far more about Shane and Bryan than it was about the wrestlers. They were props here. **
WWE Title - AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal
The announce table is fixed. Way to break the illusion. In the early going Styles works over the knee and Mahal works over the ribs. Would it pay off in the long run? Let's find out.
They head out to the floor and Jinder sends Styles into the exposed barrier. He also suplexes him into one of the announce tables. They head back to the ring and Mahal applies a body scissors. This is good work.
Styles fights out but once again Mahal gets the best of him and refocuses on the ribs, and gets a near fall off a gutbuster. They head to the top but Styles slips out and turns the tide with an electric chair drop. Styles fights back with an array of forearms. Styles hits the Ushigoroshi for a near fall.
Mahal escapes the Styles Clash but Styles does hit a Northern Lights suplex for a 2 count. He goes for a sliding forearm but Mahal gets his feet up to block it. Mahal gets a couple of decent near falls and Styles gets one of his own with a 450 splash.
The Singhs make a nuisance of themselves, so Styles decides to take them out. The distraction allows Mahal to recuperate and he hit a running knee and the Khallas, but Styles wasn't going down that easily and he kicked out at 2.
The crowd gets behind Styles as Mahal teases going for the Styles Clash. Styles rolls him into the Calf Crusher and, despite almost fighting out, Mahal is forced to tap. This was a far superior match to what I was expecting, with Styles proving why he is the best wrestler on the planet. This is as good as Mahal has ever looked. Good way to finish the show. ***1/2
Overall Grade - C+
This was a weird show. It had some matches that performed above all expectations but it also featured an awful women's match and a tag match that was more about the refs. Nothing is must see here but I didn't hate it. Merry December everybody.