Based on the main event, I thought this show show carried more importance than Wrestlemania 32. Since the day it was announced, the WWE did a superb job at keeping it a big deal. Along with that, they managed to build an excellent show around the main event.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs Sasha Banks & Bayley
The stage wasn’t very extremely different, but I appreciated the slight change.
I’m glad they opened with this match, because immediately I was hooked. Bayley was strongly rumoured to be Sasha’s partner, but I still marked out during her entrance. Hearing her song in a main roster setting was such a feel good moment. At the end of the day, I believe Bayley was the only choice for this match, as anybody else would have been disappointment.
Since it was Bayley’s main roster debut, this match had to deliver, or else it would have taken away from the moment, Thankfully, it did. Bayley deserves a ton of credit for keeping her energy up throughout the match. Her presence was maintained, and I’m sure she showed to the casual fan base why she’s a big deal. It would have been nice to see the hugger pick up the pin, but it wouldn’t have fit the narrative. Based on the excitement and energy around this match, it only made sense for Banks to tap out Flair.
The New Day vs The Wyatt Family
Even though both teams will be split apart, I still found myself having fun watching this match. In the opening moments, I thought the match was somewhat flat, considering it was going nowhere, however it picked up in the second half. Bray Wyatt was the stand out performer in this contest, because every move he executed looked brilliant, and that allowed him to be the most dominant force. The Wyatt Family winning was the right decision, or else there would have been no point to this feud.
Rusev vs Zack Ryder
From start to finish, this was a pretty fluid match, however it was too predictable. At no point did I believe that Ryder had a chance of beating the Bulgarian Brute. It also didn’t help that Rusev dominated most of the match. Once Rusev started rag dolling Ryder, I knew the title wouldn’t switch hands. With that being said, I’m happy Rusev retained.
Rusev’s reaction to Mojo Rawley was hilarious. It was as if he didn’t who Mojo was, which didn’t do much for his main roster debut. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the Hype Bros being reunited.
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
From the very start, these two had me hooked right away. Both men bring a certain type of intensity that not many can. The pacing was strong, and so was the in ring work. Sami’s springboard moonsault looked terrible, and I have no idea why he would attempt something like that. Fortunately. both him and Owens have a strong understanding of in ring psychology to sell that botch. At that point, his mistake was sold as a legitimate injury, and I’d love to see that more often. Along with all of that, these two still managed to showcase their hate for one another.
In every match, these two continue to find ways to get creative, and in this match it was the vertical suplex on the apron. Everything from the execution to KO’s sell was perfect. The last few minutes of this match were absolutely electric and unpredictable. The ending to this was absolutely perfect, as it told the story of their friendship. Once this match was over, they had set the bar high for the rest of the show.
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
After hearing Michael Cole speak about the relationship Natty and Lynch developed before their WWE days, I wish they had brought that up while building this feud. I found that to be quality material, and it could have easily made the feud more entertaining. As a heel, I thought Natty did a great job at playing to Becky’s babyface persona. The finish to this match was absolute garbage. What does Natty have to gain from making Becky tap out? Wasn’t the whole point of this match to build Lynch as the leader of the Smackdown women’s division? In a sense, it does give Natalya some more credibility, but Becky needed this moment more than her.
Darren Young vs The Miz
There’s been only two weeks of build for this match, yet I was highly excited for it. They’ve done a brilliant job at building Young and his new character, so I was interested in seeing where this match lead to. Also, I had no idea how this would end.
I felt the pacing to this match was quite slow, however that didn’t make it less interesting. The two knew how to work that type of pace. I didn’t anticipate the finish they worked for this match, but it made sense. Young still comes across as strong and the Miz doesn’t lose the title to someone from another brand.
Enzo Amore, Big Cass, & John Cena vs The Club
I can’t get enough of Cena interacting with Enzo and Cass. Their chemistry is just perfect, and it feels extremely natural. John didn’t have to say anything, yet he played off Enzo and Cass quite well. Heck, even Cass sounded more comfortable in his promo.
Oddly enough, this was the third tag match on this show, yet the concept didn’t feel stale. That goes to show when these matches are done right, they don’t become boring. The contest did move slow early on, although each competitor was given a chance to shine. At no point did any of them look weak. The spot of the match was definitely Anderson intercepting Enzo from making a tag. In that moment, I truly believed Amore was about to make the tag to either Cena or Cass. That’s what I call great timing. Karl Anderson looked like a beast in this match, and it’s probably the best we’ve seen in look in a WWE ring.
One aspect of Cena’s super AA that I loved was AJ’s consistent struggle. It showed us how he continued to fight even when his chances were slim, and that does a lot for his character. I’m sure the two will continue their feud into Summerslam, and I’m excited to see how that turns out.
Highlight Reel w/Randy Orton
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard Randy’s music, and it was great to hear. The back and forth between Jericho and Orton was simple, however it was extremely entertaining. Randy genuinely looked happy to be back, which is always something great to see as a fan. Also, Jericho calling out Orton for the RKO was hilarious. Overall, this was the perfect return segment for Randy.
Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose
I probably sound repetitive when I say this, but the video package shown before the match was amazing. It truly encapsulated the importance of this feud.
Honestly, I thought they’d let Roman come out last. Yes, he screwed up, but I’m sure everybody was dying to see him make his return. It’s also worth noting that the beard looks great on Roman, he should keep it because it adds to his “badass” look.
I find it tragic that Roman has so much in ring charisma, but the company still couldn’t find the right role for him. Early on this match, his presence was the strongest, and that’s saying a lot. He seemed to have brought a more power house style, which we haven’t seen since his Shield days. These three knew the expectations were high, and I don’t think they let the fans down. In my opinion, the highlight of the match occurred outside of the ring between Seth and Roman. It looked like they worked a stiff style, and it translated well on screen. While that was great, the spot of the match was the double powerbomb to Reigns. It was mediocre in terms of visual appeal, although there was meaning behind it.
After Seth and Roman carried a majority of the mach, I completely forgot that Ambrose could actually win. Going in, I was sure Rollins would bring the title to Raw, so I was thrown off in their decision to keep it on Dean. With that being said, not only does Ambrose gain credibility, but so does the entire Smackdown brand. It’s great to see them run with Ambrose.
Everything on this show that was supposed to matter, delivered. Even the terrible parts of the show weren’t that bad, as they didn’t ruin the overall experience of this PPV. Oddly enough, this show only tied up one feud, so it still allows for us to look forward to both Raw and Smackdown. The low point of the show was Natty vs Becky, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.