A couple of matches on here could be great, others I think deserve to be higher, and I think more than one performer deserves to be in a more prominent spot, will get to them through the course of the review, let’s see how this goes…
David Otunga shoe story, it is the most interesting thing about this clown, how he still has a job is actually beyond me.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Sin CaraHere is one of the performers who deserves so much more, Almas was on fire before leaving NXT and now he is with Sin Cara. Could have slotted straight into a higher ranked feud, hope they have bigger plans for him. A decent opening spot and a missed dive by Sin Cara led to Almas gaining control of the match. Vega and Almas pose before the break, which I liked to be fair. Hyping the PPV during the match is infuriating plenty of time for that. A spike from Sin Cara looked nice. Almas picks up the win after a distraction from Vega leading to the double knees and Hammerlock DDT. The match was okay, nothing spectacular, not offensive, but Almas deserves more and I hope to see him in a higher profile programme now
Shinsuke Nakamura interview is great, really enjoying Nakamura being an arrogant prick.
SAnitY vs The New Day (Table Match)Why is this on the pre-show? This could be a show stealer if given proper PPV match time. Another ad break, hey who gives a fuck about the wrestling going on, at least we get a split screen. Match is sloppy in parts considering the talent of both teams, but I do think they have a lot to fit in, in not ideal circumstances. Sanity get the victory when Eric Young elbows Kofi Kingston through a table, which is the right choice. Given more time, this could have been great, as it is, it’s okay but nothing more. Disappointing.
Deleters of Worlds Vs The B Team (Raw tag team title)I will be the first to admit, I never understood “The Broken Brilliance”, nor have I ever been a massive Matt Hardy fan, however, Wyatt and Matt Hardy intrigue me and it could be the best thing either have done for a while. The B Team, hardly The Bar, however, they are both competent workers so this match could be better than I first thought. Teased Bo and Bray squaring off, but a quick tag back to Axel put pay to that. Not a lot happens, kinda bumbles along in the typical fashion. We finally get Bray vs Bo as Matt makes the hot tag to Bray after getting beat up a bit. The B Team pick up the shock win, with Bo pinning Matt,for me this was a TV match at best, no real drama, no real heat no real excitement. In fact, would have been good for pre-show and had The New Day Vs Sanity in this spot. How does a rainbow feel is the worse phrase since Sid admitted to having half a brain.
Big news from Kurt Angle concerning Brock Lesnar, a threat of stripping him of the Universal Title. Don’t think many would disagree.
Finn Bàlor vs Constable CorbinBálor is another performer who deserves so much more than this. This has mid-card stamped all over it, in my opinion Raw should be built around performers like Bálor. The authority role fits Baron Corbin well, I like it. One thing Banter does well, he has the art of being a dick head down, shame his wrestling still hasn’t caught up. The Big Boss Man slide around the ring post puts a stop to a Bálor comeback- it feels like Corbin has been on top for about an hour now. Micheal Cole ejaculates over a right-hand from Corbin, Finn out at two, wasn’t that great then Micheal! Bálor makes Corbin look daft, after battering Finn, Bálor wins easily with an inside cradle. Finn Bàlor deserves so much more than this.
Backstage skit, Bludgeon Brothers fighting with Team Hell No, Kane has his foot trapped in door, which he doesn’t remove when the pressure goes off, so he kinda deserves Rowan smashing the door with his (ridiculous) giant hammer. The Bludgeon Brothers look more stupid than normal in green.
Asuka vs Carmella (Smakdown Women’s Championship James Ellsworth in a shark cage match)PLEASE LET ASKUA WIN THIS, PLEASE DON’T RUIN HER ANYMORE. With that out of the way, I am prepared to be disappointed. James Ellsworth has already outstayed his comeback for me. I hate it when the audience’s intelligence is insulted, if I can hear Carmella screaming to James Ellsworth to drop objects, so can the fucking referee who is about three foot away, just ridiculous. Ellsworth escapes and turns this into a comedy match. This is how they treat the killer Asuka, the commentators spend more time pissing themselves laughing like teenagers, Asuka kicks the shit out of all the people trying to get Ellsworth back in the cage, Carmella sneeks in and picks up the dirty victory. This match is absolute bull shit. Carmella is terrible, the story of this match is terrible, how they are treating Asuka is terrible. I cannot put into words how much I hated this, absolute garbage.
Three matches in, and we are getting recaps, if they need to play for time then do something else I can remember things that literally just happened.
Jeff Hardy vs Shinsuke Nakamura (US Championship match)Jeff Hardy is in the best form, in my opinion, of any of his previous runs. I love Nakamura and like I said earlier his prick gimmick is marvellous. Hopefully business picks up here. Low Blow from Nakamura before the match, Kinshasa and the win, way to make me look stupid on my pre match comments. Randy Orton returns to suck up any excitement like a fun sponge and attacks Jeff Hardy, Jeff’s balls take a beating here, it should be noted that Randy Orton is the only man capable of making a post match bollocks stomp boring, is Jeff injured it can be the only reason to have him lose like this.
0 stars for the match 5 stars for the result
Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens (Steel Cage match)This card desperately needs saving, the booking is madness. Hopefully consistently good Kevin Owens and the ever improving Braun Strowman can produce here. Owens tries to escape immediately, which at least shows some continuity from the build up arc, apparently all it took to convince KO was Braun shouting fight me. Nice call from Corey Graves- “Braun just kick Owens in the soul” coming after a brief flurry from KO ending with a frog splash and one count. We are then treated to Braun Smash and he literally destroy s Owens. Owens manages to hit a stunner it had little effect. Owens manages to handcuff Braun and opens up on him, announcing goes from Graves soul kick to Coach “one handed chokeslam” as opposed to any other. Kevin Owens wins by being chokeslammed from the top of the cage through the announce table, it is an impressive spot. This was good, not the best cage match ever, and relatively short, the final spot probably pulls it up, it will be on the Strowman highlight reel. Owens character work was top class as always.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs Team Hell NoDaniel Bryan may have to work hard in this one, Harper and Rowan haven’t been great in this role. The nostalgia has been fun, because Team Hell No were great. The pop for Bryan is still fun to watch the yes chant is marvellous. Looks like a two on one match with Kane no where to be seen, yet…. Daniel Bryan gets the upper hand for about 3 minutes, even getting the Yes Lock on Harper until double BB start the what will be the long beat down until Kane makes his eventual arrival. Just as I wrote that Kane’s music played and he limped down to the ring. Chokeslams to both Brothers from Kane gives Team Hell No the advantage, leading to the Yes kicks from D.Bry. Bludgeon’s win after they hit there finish in another under whelming match up.
Way to book your new tag champs- like a couple of jokers. Backstage skit with Roman Reigns which could be one of the high points of this card.
Roman Reigns vs Bobby LashleyHonesty, couldn’t give less of shit about this match. Not because of Reigns, I quite like Reigns, he is a good wrestler and since he dropped the “sufferin succotash” garbage has been a lot better on the mic. It’s Bobby Lashley, I can’t stand him, he is bad on the mic, bad in the ring, and for such an enormous guy doesn’t project an intimidating aura. I also hate that fucking stupid sweat band, it looks ridiculous. So, I am going to make a brew, have a fag and ignore this match, I really don’t need bringing down anymore. Lashley wins, don’t know how check it out for yourself
Can’t rate, didn’t watch
Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax (Raw women’s championship Extreme Rules match)I don’t have much faith in this encounter, Bliss would probably make up any top five character performers in WWE right now, however beer ring work, although not bad, isn’t on the level of Asuka, Flair, Bayley etc. Jax as well, although much improved, is still a generic monster, booked at the moment a bit like Big Show, face, heel, face turn after turn after turn. But we shall see. Bayley Vs Sasha Banks Ironman match, Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks Hell in A Cell, Womens MITB matches, Royal Rumbles etc. This match doesn’t belong anywhere near them, as far as women’s wrestling has come, the ladies in this cluster fuck seem to want to take it backward, think WrestleMania XXV and the diva’s battle royal. Weak weapon shots, poor moves, poor on the outside, Rousey gets involved and achieves next to nothing. Wouldn’t bother checking it out I feel like they stole my life. The only reason it scores higher than Smackdown match is because the result didn’t annoy me.Bliss wins after some terrible looking chair shots and DDT. A sorry night for women’s wrestling.
AJ Styles vs Rusev (WWE Championship match)Styles needs no plaudits and I don’t need to hyperbole him. Rusev has been mis-used and under rated since his match against John Cena at WrestleMania 31. The current Rusev Day gimmick is wonderful, and the fans can’t be ignored forever. Hopefully, this is Rusev making his mark at the top of the card and lengthy stay in the main event. Aiden English introduction is brilliant as always, I hope they don’t break these two up. Duelling AJ Styles/Rusev Day chants, tells you all you need to know about how over Rusev is currently. A fairly decent story, the smaller man working over the left leg, with Rusev powering out. It appears that Rusev has been told to move in slow motion and clamp on the old school foreign heel moves, we have a bear hug for example. The portion when AJ is driving is a lot quicker. The closing segment is good, Calf Crusher by AJ (played into the story well), Ruesv reached the bottom rope thanks to English, the trade kicks Pele and Muska (think that is what it is called), Ruesv goes for the Accolade but sells the leg and can’t get it on, Ruesv runs head first into the buckle (which English exposed) letting Styles hit the beautiful springboard 450 for two. Phenomenal Forearm follows and so does the three. Not a classic, but certainly the best match so far. It did feel like a long TV match, but they told a nice story, the feud could have legs
Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship 30 minute Ironman match)This will be only the third time, that I can remember the Intercontinental Championship being the main event, Bret Hart vs Bulldog Summerslam 1990, The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler No Mercy 2016. Ian may correct this as he is a walking Wrestling encyclopaedia. However, both of these matches were great, let’s hope this continues in that vien, I am desperate for something marvellous to make the time invested seem worth it. The first fall comes with 25.25 with the Buckle Bomb and roll up. Seems odd to have Rollins, the obvious face, take the lead and have Ziggler under pressure and facing adversary. Micheal Cole announcing is really grating on me, pointing things out like “the ref is counting, because countouts count as a fall” No shit Sherlock. Unfortunately the crowd seem flat for this, but they have has
22.04 and Seth Rollins goes two nil with the stomp. This match is not following any sort of logic, at 21.00 McIntyre assaults Rollins making it three nil to Rollins. Drew continues to batter Rollins for a good minute before the ref does something, he hits the claymore kick and still no second DQ the referee is a fucking joke. 19.37 Picks up a fall to make it 3-1 after the McIntyre assaults. 18.52 3-2 Superkick pin-fall. 3-3 17.50 Zig Zag. This is the strangest booked Ironman I have ever seen, in the first 12 minutes 10 seconds we have had six fucking pin falls, why make both of these look so weak? 15.45 and 4-3 to Ziggler, a pin after a palm strike and feet on the ropes, at this point I think a strong fart would pin either man. The fans in the arena have switched off and are doing the Rumble countdown for the final ten seconds, can’t blame them, this is shit. A sleeper hold from Dolph on Seth lasts longer than the time between falls 4-6. The crowd come alive at 9.26 left, it must be because the night is almost over. Frog splash from Rollins at 6.38 left, and suddenly Ziggler can kick out of anything. The narrative of this match is dumb. Coach can join Otunga and Cole on stupid announcers. 4.41 left and Ziggler kicks out of Superplex Falcon Arrow combo, we are supposed to forget how easily he was pinned earlier in the match. Then at 3.08 left Ziggler, who has kicked out of a Frog Splash, and the aforementioned Superplex/Falcon Arrow, gets pinned by a fucking slingshot into the buckle. This match keeps getting dumber and dumber. The final minutes tick down with Dolph surviving a Sharpeshooter and a Cross Face, perhaps Rollins should have hit an Irish Whip that would have destroyed him. Rollins kicks out of a Fame Asser because of course he fucking would. Rollins hits the stomp but can’t get to the cover in time. What a shit match- hold Kurt Angle is out, probably to announce overtime, don’t do it Kurt, let it finish please. Sudden death is called, fucks sake. Thank God it is over in seconds, McIntyre interferes letting Ziggler hit the Zig Zag to win 5-4. Nobody came out of that match looking good, both were pinned at first far to easily, then they developed John Cena level kickout ability, Rollins looked like a fucking idiot to throw away a 3-0 lead, just terrible.
Don’t bother. Nothing happened, the best match of the night is AJ vs Rusev which is a a good TV match. It is events like this one that put people off Wrestling, and with the talent available to them, there is no real excuse. I would suggest separating the brand PPV’s again, this was too crowded and matches suffer because of it. Overall, 1 Star.