It was a late October night and the WWE had a ton of pressure on them to deliver a quality show. With their inconsistent programming, HIAC may have been the saving grace, as the roster came to work prepared. Not only was the pacing of this show great, but the results meant something.
John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio
Well, there was probably no better way to kick off this show. Regardless of who Cena’s opponent was, this match would set the bar pretty high for the rest of the show. I had put my laptop aside, and I was ready to mark out over the challenger. Needless to say I marked out like a 9 year old kid when Del Rio came out with Colter introducing him. I applaud the WWE for keeping this a secret, because there’s no way I thought they’d bring in someone from outside the WWE. This was a contest that needed to start off slow, because I needed time to comprehend the fact that Del Rio answered the challenge. The two men went from a slow pace to a fast pace seamlessly. Every move was executed smoothly, and the two had me on the edge of my seat. This was the most unique open challenge I’ve ever seen, since there weren’t many near falls. Del Rio winning that decisively is a perfect way to book him back into the roster.
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
I did not expect for them to place this match early on, but I guess the WWE wanted to start this show off strong. My predictions stated this match would steal the show, so my expectations were set rather high. Since they started off slow, I was slightly worried, although I enjoyed Wyatt’s early domination. Having Bray take control early shows the audience he can easily hang with Roman. The match became fun the second Roman took over, as he was ruthless with the kendo sticks. Was it me or did Reigns whack Wyatt in the head with the kendo stick? While the match was moving at a slow pace, the spots continued to get better. In terms of spot of the match, I’d give it to any table spot. Each one was absolutely incredible. The camera men were on point, as that superman punch looked astonishing. The match wasn’t as amazing as I thought it was, but it kept me thoroughly entertained.
The New Day vs The Dudley Boyz
Believe it or not, I had guests over that didn’t enjoy the New Day. I found this strange, because I love the New Day, and believe they might be funniest tag team act ever. Since these two teams have wrestled multiple times, I didn’t find the match very captivating. The WWE definitely ruined the freshness of this matchup. The spot of the match was undoubtedly the trombone snapping, because I legitimately popped. I didn’t expect the New Day to win, but the way the won wasn’t surprising. Overall, it was a good match to have after two action packed ones.
Charlotte vs Nikki Bella
For a match I wasn’t looking forward to, the video package was great. I was explaining to my friends how Charlotte was more talented of work rate, but Nikki was easily the stand out. Once the match got going, I still had a hard time investing, just because the two didn’t seem to emotionally connect. While the bloody nose was unintentional, I thought it was a great touch. I assumed the match was over once the figure 8 connected, but I was surprised Nikki was able to counter. After that I thought Bella might win, but instead Charlotte won with a weak figure 8.
Seth Rollins vs Kane
I thought this match started out with a faster paced than the rest, but they needed it. Part of me felt the divas match sucked the life out of the crowd, and it was up two these to restore the energy. Even when it did slow down, I enjoyed how both men used their skill to make rest spots effective. What I love about Rollins is how crafty he becomes in main events, it subtly adds a lot to his character. The powerbomb spot made Seth look much stronger than normal, as his character would normally avoid situations like that. The spot of the match was easily the frog splash from Seth, it was extremely fluid. At no point did I predict Rollins to win clean, and that was one of the most shocking moment of the show for me.
Ryback vs Kevin Owens
Have you ever shown your friends Kevin Owens and tried to convince them that he’s an amazing wrestler? Well that’s the scenario I was put in, as nobody watching with me bought into KO. To give my readers an idea of their wrestling IQ, someone asked me if Visera was still wrestling. Usually Owens is good enough to make the most mundane matches look good, but I felt this one fell flat. This was one match that needed to end quickly.
Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker
I don’t care what anybody says, Taker’s entrance alone excited me for this contest. These two men know how to make an atmosphere feel grand. I was predicting blood, but definitely not that fast. Lesnar was busted open within the first five minutes. I was pretty confident Lesnar’s dizziness was a complete work, simply because he’s been through much more than this. The best part about this match was how each of them was willing to fight dirty, and never hesitated. One thing these two did better than Reigns and Wyatt was use the actual cell. I guess it takes a veteran to properly work details in this type of match. Taker’s fatigue was quite noticeable towards the last half and it had me wondering how he’d finish the match properly. Maybe I was being worked. The exposed floor board in the ring completely changed the dynamic of this match, as I cringed watching Lesnar take that chokeslam. Once it was all said and done, these two rightfully stole the show, without a doubt. I had room full of people confused about the post match antics, but I loved it. We never got closure with the Wyatt-Taker feud, and I think Survivor Series is the perfect time to settle the score, if not create more from it.
There were a few matches in the middle that fell flat, but I enjoyed most of this PPV. At first I thought it would be terrible because I was watching with a ton of non wrestling fans, but the talent was too good to ignore. The low point was the Owens-Ryback match while the high point was the opening match/main event. For a PPV that wasn’t highly anticipated, this show delivered. Overall, I give this edition of HIAC a 7.9/10.