I was extremely happy once this PPV ended. Not because of the quality, but it meant the end of a long streak of PPVs. In last 6 weeks we’ve been given 3 PPVs, which can be overwhelming, even for the most hardcore fans. Last night’s show was oddly booked and it left me with many questions. A lot of these questions were based on their booking decisions.
King Barrett vs R-Truth In all honesty, their opening promos were the most entertaining part of their interaction. I just didn’t understand why there was a commercial break during the opening of their match. Did the crowd in attendance also see it? The actual contest between the two felt slow and I had a tough time getting excited for it. The commentators didn’t sell for Truth whatsoever, as Cole said it would be embarrassing to lose to Truth. This match felt like a joke and it ended as such. Barrett should have picked up the victory here. 5/10
Money in the Bank Ladder Match I was surprised they opened with this match but I thought it was a good way to get the crowd amped for the show. The opening spot was very comedic, I thought it was a good way to start everything. The worst spot of the match was Dolph’s DDT because the sell was botched by Kane. The rest of the moves were done ever so smoothly, and surprisingly there weren’t any other big botches. Sheamus was a stand out in this contest, I thought he did a good job at maximizing his time and impact. The spot of the match was easily Roman’s powerbomb to Kofi on the ladder, just because it made me cringe. Orton’s RKO to Neville was a close second in terms of match highlights. For a man that hasn’t been given a feud since Payback, Orton knows how to make his presence felt. There was a brief moment when I believed that Ziggler would actually win, because he really spent a good few seconds holding on to that briefcase. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pop for Roman’s apron kick, that man flew out of nowhere. Wyatt’s interference was worth the mark out moment, but I’m not sure if it was the right time. I thought this match brilliant, right up to the finish. Sheamus was a bad choice, pretty much because I can’t see him fitting into the plans for the future.
Nikki Bella vs Paige The early spot of the match was Paige’s flying senton. I really like how she’s using it in most of her matches. The electric chair from Nikki was also a nice touch. These two seemed to have a chip on their shoulder because I thought they truly gave it their all. All moves delivered were hit smooth and hard. Both women paced this match well, they knew when they needed to pick things up. The knee from Paige looked very devastating, definitely the second spot of the match. The second half of the match truly intensified, and the near fall spots had me going. After a hard fought battle, I thought they found a neat way to end everything. Two weeks ago I absolutely hated how they used twin magic, but this was an effective use of it. My only negative about that ending was that it was the second consecutive swerve of the night, so the show began to feel stale at this point.
Ryback vs Big Show This was going to be a slow match, and I wasn’t expecting much. Their performance relied on the use of big spots and drama, hence why the Miz was there on commentary. The arm bar executed by Ryback was absolutely horrendous, and I don’t know why he would even attempt that. Having Ryback kick out from the chokeslam was smart booking, it made look much stronger. I did think that the big guy should have pinned Big Show clean. The Miz’s attack would have been better saved for the end of the match.
Kevin Owens vs John Cena This match was the saving grace of this show, I just knew they were going to deliver. I was happy the two men took their time with this match, because there really wasn’t a rush for them to pick up the pace. I thought both of them worked the first half of the match with smooth transitions and solid selling. They found a way to make every move looked devastating. I always know a Cena match will deliver when he begins to use moves we hardly see him use. John’s counter of the pop up powerbomb was done very well. Normally putting a knee up to counter a top rope move doesn’t look painful, but Owens found a way to make it look like his back was broken. The match reached its peak when Cena had to show frustration to the ref, because he hardly ever does something like that. Oddly enough, the spot of the match was Cena’s flying DDT, it was beautifully executed and sold. The many near falls, and multiple moves made this encounter more intense than their first match. These two could easily headline Wrestlemania. I didn’t think Cena would win clean, but it was well deserved. I loved everything in this match, especially Owens posing with Cena’s belt at the end. I didn’t think they could outdo each other, but apparently they could.
The New Day vs The Primetime Players The New Day would feed off the previous match as they cut a pretty funny promo. Even their match started off hot. After that, there wasn’t anything particular that stood out. I’m glad the New Day carried the momentum for most of the match because it gave them credibility. The best spot of the match was undoubtedly Titus’ hot tag, as usual. I was extremely shocked that PTP one, it just didn’t add up. Much like the first match of the show, this was done for the sake of swerving the fans.
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins Triple H’s pep talk to Rollins got me motivated. I thought it was a great promo before the match. At this point of the show I was emotionally drained, especially after the odd swerves and that amazing Owens-Cena match. Similar to the Owens-Cena match, I’m glad they took their time. They found a way to make every move meaningful, but at a slow pace. The early spot with Rollins running into the ladder seemed unnecessary, because I don’t understand how he didn’t see it. The middle portion of the match was well worked because I thought they found a good way to transition in the use of weapons. I really liked the spot with Rollins using the figure four on the post, and his trash talk also added to this moment. Rollins’ counter on Ambrose’s larriot was brilliant just because it was creative. The spot of the match was Dean throwing the chair at Seth while he was on the top rope. After this I’d probably put Rollins’ enzigiri counter on Ambrose’s larriot, that spot was very well done. I absolutely loved the camera angle on when Rollins hit Ambrose with the monitor, because the viewer at home had no idea he was coming. The finish of the match was quite odd, but I’m glad it was a clean win for Rollins, as he really needed that.
Conclusion When I think back to this show, I’ll remember how the WWE felt the need to swerve us for no reason whatsoever. I know fans complain about the product being predictable, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing. There’s many moments in wrestling history that were extremely predictable but still resonated with fans. The low point of the show was Sheamus’ victory, and the high point was the Cena-Owens match. Overall, I give this show a 6.7/10. For more in depth analysis, make sure to listen to the podcast featuring myself and Aaron Flow.