Usually most December PPVs feel lackluster, as the WWE isn’t fully invested in the product themselves. However, that wasn’t the case for this show. This show in particular told a few stories, and was entertaining from start to finish.
The Wyatt Family vs Heath Slater & Rhyno
Damn, that new Orton/Wyatt entrance was absolutely bad ass. It was essentially Wyatt’s normal entrance but with a small tweak. Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.
This was the perfect match to kick off the PPV. The fans love Slater & Rhyno, and the Wyatt Family had built a ton of momentum heading into this match. In terms of the action, it was kept fairly simple but it worked. These men didn’t need to work any complicated spots to make this entertaining. The action needed to showcase the dominance of the Wyatt Family, which it did.
Believe it or not, this was Bray Wyatt’s first title win. It was long over due, but at least he can cross that off his list. Having him and Orton win was the right decision. I don’t know what’s next for their narrative, but I sure am hooked.
Nikki Bella vs Carmella
It took these two a few minutes to get comfortable. The opening few moves were absolutely brutal. Thankfully, that initial style didn’t stick, as the two eventually found the right pace for this type of match.
While the match didn’t last as long as I thought it would, I believe that was for the best. A compact contest with tons of weapons spots worked well for these two, and it also got their hatred across for the audience. Also, I didn’t mind Nikki picking up the win. It would’ve been great to see Carmella emerge victorious, but a loss here didn’t hurt her.
My only gripe with the finish was the promo Carmella cut after she lost. To me, it sounded like she was supposed to get the last laugh by revealing Nikki’s surprise attacker from Survivor Series. Is that supposed to take away from her loss?
The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler
Considering how there were only six matches on this show, the positioning of this was perfect. Also, the smaller card allowed for these two to take their time and tell their story.
The first half felt slow, but I’m glad it was. It wasn’t boring, but instead it showed how the two were doing their best to play it safe. Obviously that’ll never work, hence why the pace became a lot more quick and hard hitting. Another aspect I enjoyed about this was that neither of them spammed the long ladder spots. By that I mean neither of them stood on the ladder for too long reaching for the belt.
In my opinion, the highlight of this match was Miz locking Ziggler into a figure four with the use of the ladder. It wasn’t too flashy, but it looked extremely painful. Along with that, the spot that lead to finish was done extremely well. The use of a low blow is something that works for the Miz, and it was much better than seeing Maryse get involved again. Considering how it’s legal, I’d say that was a clean and decisive win for the Miz. He definitely deserved that, and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Kalisto vs Baron Corbin
These two put on one hell of a match. It was extremely fluid, and the two were consistently moving. There’s no doubt that this was the best match between these to thus far. With that being said, there were some moments that felt somewhat dull. I believe that was attributed to them using the chairs to much. At one point the weapons didn’t even feel special.
With over use of chairs, this match went on too long for its own good. It’s a shame that something better couldn’t be figured out for two talented workers such as these two.
Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss
Based on how Bliss lost the first match between these two, this rematch felt pretty intense.
I found that this match carried a similar pace to Miz vs Ziggler. The two took their time and knew when to turn it up. They knew exactly when to bring the tables into the mix, and when to keep the action strictly to wrestling/brawling. In fact, their table spots were executed brilliantly, and they were so well teased. There were too many moments where I was on the edge of my seat.
The highlight of the match was undoubtedly the DDT Bliss gave Becky. It was a simple spot, yet it was well executed and looked rather painful.
For some reason, I was still confident Becky would retain. Well, that mind set only made the finish more shocking. I personally believe Alexa is ready for that top spot in the women’s division, but I didn’t the WWE thought that way. I for one am looking forward to her reign as champ, as it may be the strongest one we’ve seen in quite some time.
AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose
Going into this show, fans knew this would be the strongest match, and in ring competitors proved it to be so. From the very start, the hate between the two was showcased well. I’d definitely say this felt like a feud ending match.
AJ always finds a way to showcase his incredible wrestling skill, but Dean Ambrose did a brilliant job at standing out. His emotion was raw, and it was noticeable in his wrestling style. It legitimately felt as if he wanted to hurt AJ. The highlight of this match was definitely Ambrose putting AJ through that set of stairs. It was a strong reversal on Dean’s part, but it was an even stronger sell from AJ.
I’m sure everybody noticed the massive rip in AJ’s tights, and it became quite distracting at one point. While it was difficult to not laugh, I’m glad the performers acted like nothing happened. That allows for the viewer to simply forget about it. Also, kudos to the production team for using better angles to avoid that.
After Ellsworth got taken away on a stretcher last Tuesday, I didn’t think he’d show up. I for one enjoyed his appearance and the role he played in this match. After everything James went through with AJ, I can’t say I predicted the two aligning themselves with each other. In order to keep Dean strong, I thought this finish worked perfectly. It leaves the fans shocked, and wanting more come Tuesday.
For the most part, I thought this was a strong PPV, which isn’t something wrestling fans are used to in December. Most stories were given a proper conclusion and that gives the fans a sense of excitement for the next episode of Smackdown, as we’ll be seeing some new feuds. The low point was Corbin vs Kalisto, while the high points were the main event and Becky vs Alexa. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.