There’s no denying this show had it’s slow moments. It was filled with a ton of wrestling, but luckily there was quite a bit of story progression.
IC Number One Contender Battle Royal
I fully expected Vince McMahon to open the show, but this battle royal was a neat surprise. The match itself wasn’t anything spectacular, although the idea of a new number one contender being crowned was quite exciting.I felt the best spot in this match was between the Usos when one tried to eliminate the other, and they proceeded to just laugh it off.
Let’s not forget that this was Darren Young’s first match with his “make Darren Young great again” gimmick. Why wouldn’t this be advertised beforehand? They’ve put a great amount of effort into the vignettes, so I thought his first match would be more publicized. With that being said, it was a smart move to have him win. His fluke win was a nice touch.
Brock Lesnar UFC Slideshow
Did anybody else expect them to do/show more than just a slideshow? That was slightly underwhelming.
Sheamus vs Zack Ryder
Even though the two squared up on Smackdown, I absolutely loved how they set up the rematch. Ryder’s current story is simple, and it’s easy to get behind him. Also, I applaud the announce team for consistently talking about the significance behind this match.
The finish to this contest made me scratch my head. Why on earth would Ryder lose, but still receive a title shot against Rusev? Sheamus has a worthy claim to be in that match as well. For a match that started off strong, it completely fell flat with nonsense booking.
Breezango vs The Lucha Dragons
There was a lot going on in this show. We had Vince returning, IC battle royal ,the Wyatt Family compound, and the Rollins report, so I can’t say I was overly intrigued. I’m sure these competitors also knew that, but they did their best to keep the crowd entertained. Kalisto and Breeze specifically put on a great show as heir chemistry is quite strong.
The Rollins Report
The second Seth said he had a sit down interview with Roman, I knew we were in for something funny. I laughed pretty hard throughout most of this. It was actually reminiscent of the fake interview Kurt Angle had with the Rock.
When Ambrose and Rollins interact, a lot of their promos are based on comedy. After seeing that fake video from Seth, I was convinced the rest of the promo would be comedic. However, I respect how these two were able to change the tone of this promo seamlessly. Both men were amazing at showcasing their passion for the title, especially Ambrose. I can’t recall when he last showed that type of emotion.
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
Only Kevin Owens would refuse to enter the ring until Sami left the announce desk. His booking is perfect in the sense that his character is always displays an attitude that fits him. Once him and Zayn began brawling I shouted “OH SH*T!”, as the moment was just right for an altercation. Plus the way it started felt so real. I was actually hoping they would just continue fighting, because at that point I didn’t care to see a match.
It’s known that these two have great chemistry with each other, and they showcased that once again on this show. Even though this was one of the longer matches on the show, it was never dull. I’m sure neither Cesaro or Owens will go top three in the draft, but Cole and JBL did a good job at making an argument for them. The finish to this match was well done, because I like how Owens didn’t have to win with a powerbomb. In my opinion, saving your finisher and winning without it only makes it stronger.
Heath Slater vs Titus O’Neil
I’m sure this was purely a filler match, but it was fun. Heath and Titus do have some history (Slater Gator) which made this match interesting. There’s an obvious size difference between the two and I’m glad it was shown
The Wyatt Family vs The New Day
There’s no hiding that this was the WWE’s version of Final Deletion. Thankfully, it was an exact duplicate of that match. Were the Wyatts trying to murder the New Day? That’s exactly what I took from this brawl. At first they tried to hit them with a car, and then Bray tried to hit Xavier with an axe. Apart from those moments, I thought they did a great job at keeping the tone serious. At no point did the New Day make any jokes, instead they showed up to fight. Also, the editing ad after effects were awesome.
The Club vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
For those of you that noticed, Enzo recycled the “chicken tenders” line from a NXT promo. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, it made me laugh again. It was wise to have Enzo and Cass explain their alliance with Cena. It came out of nowhere, and we needed to know why they chose to team with him.
I don’t know why, but I completely zoned out for the match. The action just felt dull, and it didn’t help that half of the crowd was chanting for John Cena. Coincidentally, this match didn’t pick up until Cena showed up and saved the day. Like most fans, I genuinely believed that Cena wouldn’t be on this show, so his appearance caught me off guard.
Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke
In terms of in ring, this might have been Dana’s best outing to date. She didn’t work a complicated style, but she was fluid in all moves she executed. I really enjoyed this match. It was a tad bit one sided earlier on, but it truly picked up once the two started to wrestle a more even pace. Both competitors did a good job at making sure their characters were well illustrated. I believe both of them are great trash talkers, and they used that to their advantage. The crowd support for Sasha is a clear indication of why she should always be on the show. This Detroit crowd was just as excited for her as they were Cena.
I didn’t know what to expect from this segment (other than a commissioner being named), but I loved the McMahon family drama that we were given. The banter between these three never feels scripted, and that’s why I enjoy seeing them in the ring. Plus, after an in ring heavy show, this type of promo was refreshing. I won’t lie, when the drumroll was going off, I was at the edge of my seat because I part of me was thinking Vince would swerve us.
I was under the impression that both Raw and Smackdown would have one authority figure each, so Vince telling them to hire GMs threw me off. I’m assuming this means Shane and Steph won’t consistently be on their respective shows. Also, that probably means we won’t be seeing Vince on TV. As long as the authority figures aren’t the focal points of Raw and Smackdown, it should be fine.
As I mentioned above, this show was heavy on in ring action. The only thing wrong with that was once the show had gone two and half hours deep, I felt mentally exhausted. However, the three main segments (Rollins Report, Wyatt Compound, and Commissioner announcement) all delivered and they balanced out the show quite well. The low point of the show was Ryder vs Sheamus, while the high point was the Rollins Report. Overall, I give this episode a 7/10.