Going into this PPV, the WWE product was struggling to build anything for the fans to look forward. It appeared that the best case scenario would be that the wrestlers would put on good matches, without any major story progression. Surprisingly, the WWE may have changed the minds of many that thought like this.
Tag Team Title Ladder Match
I wonder if the WWE read my predictions and took my advice on opening with this match. The second this started, these six had my full attention. I was under the assumption that they’d take a while to bring ladders into the ring, but they brought them in right away. The Usos were the standouts early on, as they didn’t hold back from any spot. Yes, these wrestlers are trained to be safe, but most of these moves looked extremely painful for all men. What made this match even better was Xavier’s presence on commentary, he was spot on with all of his comedic remarks. The spot of the match was undoubtedly Kaisto’s Solita Del Sol onto Jimmy Uso, everything was perfect about it. This match was incredible and I knew it would be tough for the rest of the roster to top this.
Rusev vs Ryback
Only the WWE can make a two week feud look like a six week feud through the use of video packages. Even though they put together a flashy montage, I still had no interest in this contest. It’s quite a shame, because the effort was there from the performers, but terrible booking was hurting them. Hopefully Rusev’s clean win can give him some momentum.
Jack Swagger vs Alberto Del Rio
Similar to Ryback vs Rusev, I had no interest in seeing how this played out. However, I’m glad they put the two matches back to back, and that way I didn’t have to worry about them appearing later on in the show. I forgot this was a chairs match, so the stipulation made this more enjoyable. With the use of chairs and nonstop action, this contest went by quite fast. I don’t understand how Swagger’s ankle lock was more devastating with a chair wrapped around Del Rio leg.
Team ECW vs The Wyatt Family
This match was nonstop chaos from the start, and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as the opener, but had a similar appeal. I especially loved the use of other weapons such as garbage cans, kendo sticks, and baseball bat. My only complaint here was how the table D-Von was laying on accidentally broke, but he wasn’t eliminated. Technically, when Rowan flipped over, he still made contact, so why didn’t it count as an elimination? The middle part of this match became boring, but as the finish neared, it got exciting once again. Bubba’s tease for lighting the table was rather intense, and it could have made for an amazing spot. Overall it was a good match, and it really allowed for the Wyatts to look strong.
Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens
I don’t know why, but I thought this would be a ladder match. In fact, I was shocked that it wasn’t, although I didn’t mind. After watch multiple gimmick matches, it was refreshing to watch two amazing talents wrestle a normal match. Dean may not be the best technical wrestler, but he knows his way around the outside area of the ring. Ambrose and Owens were brilliant around the barricade, and I wished they had stayed out there longer. The two kept me quite entertained, and I highly enjoyed the finish. I’ve never see someone use rope break with the use of a finger, and it was one of the most creative things I’ve seen of late. In no way did I anticipate Ambrose winning, and when he did, my jaw dropped. It was about time that they gave him something, and I’m curious to see where they take Owens from here.
Paige vs Charlotte
It was obvious that Paige was not stingy on her use of make up last night. I mentioned how excited I was to watch this match in my predictions, but once it started I felt confused. I can’t recall the last time two heels wrestled while both of them used heel tactics. I hope someone tells Charlotte that her shouting in the ring doesn’t work that well. Some wrestlers can do it because they have the voice, but Flair just doesn’t. The spot of this match was the running knee from Paige. I know it’s routine for her, but it connected well and the camera angle was great. While I’m enjoying this new character for Charlotte, what do they do with Paige now? She’s lost so many title matches that I can’t possibly see her in another one.
Roman Reigns vs Sheamus
Despite the way this narrative has gone, my interest is still there because I want to see if they can recover. You know you’ve angered fans when they start chanting “We want Cena” in a match that doesn’t even include Cena. The live crowds wacky chants would continue throughout the match, and it made it difficult to pay attention. The match itself was pretty good, but when the live crowd isn’t buying it, it makes it difficult for the performers. Normally a move such as white noise through a table would garner some type of pop, but it was just crickets. This would have been the spot of the match, but then Roman executed a superman punch at the top of the ladder, and I marked out like a little kid. The only thing I could notice during the League of Nations interference was the absence of Barrett. Where was he? The Roman Reigns we saw after the match is the Roman Reigns I want to see all the time. I was loving this pissed off version of him, and it suited him so well. Along with this, it was getting over with the crowd. That is how you get fans to love Reigns as a babyface. We started this match with chants for Cena, and it ended with “thank you Roman”.
Touché, WWE. When the fans had you cornered, and demanded something new and interesting, you came back swinging. Usually this PPV is a one off, considering the time of year, but they found a way to garner excitement for the product once again. The low point of the show was Rusev vs Ryback, while the high points were the opening match and the beat down of Hunter. Overall, I give this show a 7.8/10