WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Review

So, hello. Been a good while since I’ve done one of these, and with good reason. I decided rather than doing catch-up reviews I’d just actually bother catching up on the PPVs before reviewing them again.

Kick-Off Matches

Kalisto, Gran Metalik, & Lince Dorado vs.
TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher & Drew Gulak

Very solid six-man tag match. Kind of bugged me that the crowd was so dead for most of it, but I guess to be fair the fans had only started getting let into the arena a short while before this match. Best spot of the match was when all three of the faces got up on the same turnbuckle and all hit a moonsault onto someone on the outside. The faces ultimately got the win when Kalisto hit TJ with the Salida Del Sol.

Match Rating – Solid B+

The Revival vs. The Club

Honestly this match was nothing to really write home about. Not a terrible match necessarily, but fairly forgettable in hindsight. The Revival getting the win was nice to see though, since this was basically them getting a win back on Gallows & Anderson. Yeah nothing else to really say. Again, not a bad match, but also fairly by-the-numbers.

Match Rating – Solid C+

US Championship Open Challenge: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Mojo Rawley

Was kind of surprised to see Mojo Rawley be the challenger, but it works. Although I’m a little disappointed in hindsight that Mojo didn’t interrupt someone else answering the challenge by beating them down and taking their place. Would’ve given him some more heat going into it, but oh well. The match itself was okay. Not the best match these two could’ve had by any stretch, but like the former match I didn’t exactly hate it.

The main thing that bothered me was the finish being a bit sloppy. Roode goes or a Tornado DDT from the second turnbuckle but rather than doing it properly, he ends up landing on his feet before hitting a normal DDT. I don’t know if that was a case of miscommunication or not but it was really weird. To the point I thought Mojo would kick out and Roode would hit a normal Glorious DDT. But he didn’t. So yeah, serviceable match, but hindered a bit by that iffy finish.

Match Rating – Solid C-

One last thing I’d like to mention is the absolute hilarity of the crowd hyping themselves up by counting down every time the counter to the main show got to ten seconds and even making a buzzer noise. I got a few cheap laughs out of it. Thanks for the laugh Philadelphia. Hopefully you keep that enthusiasm the rest of the night.

Main Show

Handicap match for the WWE Championship:
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Not the match I was expecting to open the PPV if I’m honest, but a good match none-the-less. I’m definitely glad they also exploited the fact this was a handicap match by having Sami or Owens help the other from succumbing to AJ’s finishers, since it helped to protect them a little. The finish itself was initially a little confusing until I realised they did it on purpose. That being Kevin Owens getting pinned despite clearly not being the legal man.

AJ comes away with the win in any case and both Sami & Kevin looked good despite losing. Hell, the victory roll finish helped with that I’d argue, but generally the way they worked the match made it believable that AJ could beat the two. I assume this feud or the Sami/KO & Shane feud will continue into whatever the next SmackDown PPV before blowing off at Mania, but who knows.

Match Rating – Solid A-

2/3 Falls for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships:
The Usos (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable

Holy shit was this match good. It took forever to get one fall, but the build to it was great. That said I did not see The Usos winning two straight falls coming at all, and the latter fall almost seemed a bit unintentional as well. It legit looked like Gable was supposed to break it up to me but fucked up his timing. That said that’s just one minor nit-pick in an otherwise fantastic tag team match.

Match Rating – Solid A+

Men’s Royal Rumble match

Funny how we have to make that distinction now isn’t it? What a time to be alive. I’m honestly surprised this match was the third match in, but I guess the novelty of the Women’s Rumble being a first-time thing makes sense for it to go on second. That said rather than write out varying thoughts on what happened I’ll list some moments/aspects of the match worth mentioning.

• Corbin gets eliminated then knocks out Balor, Rusev & Slater (as Slater comes out)
• Elias sings because everyone’s knocked out
• Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas is a surprise NXT entrant
• Tye Dillinger draws #10 again only to be taken out backstage
• Sami Zayn takes Tye’s place
• Slater eliminates Sheamus in about two seconds after finally getting in the match, then gets eliminated
• All three members of New Day are in at once
• Adam Cole (BAYBAY) is another surprise NXT entrant
• Jinder eliminates Big E & Xavier before being eliminated by Almas
• Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt eliminate each other
• The Hurricane returns then gets almost immediately eliminated
• Almas lasts almost a half hour before finally getting eliminated
• Rey Mysterio is a surprise entrant at #26
• Dolph Ziggler returned to WWE after about a month off TV as #30
• Final 4 are Reigns, Cena, Balor & Shinsuke

And finally, SHINSUKE WINS MOTHER FUCKERS! WAHOOOOO! HOLY SHIT! I am SO happy right now. I’d kind of had it spoiled for me but I marked the fuck out when he won regardless. And they even custom made it to have the biggest pop possible by having him eliminate Cena and then Reigns to win the whole thing. Honest to God this is the best Royal Rumble match I’ve seen in YEARS.

Can’t praise it enough. Sure, some eliminations bothered me, but guys like Rhyno & The Hurricane weren’t gonna win anyway so it’s more of an issue based on personal bias. But yeah, damn, the women’s Rumble match has a lot to live up to now.

Match Rating – Solid A+

RAW Tag Team Championships match:
Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)

Three of these men were in the Rumble that just happened. Speaking of which I really wish the Men’s Rumble had happened after this instead of before. The match itself was interesting, though I’d half think Jordan was working through an injury for how little he was in this match. He got smacked into the post and then did literally nothing aside from tag himself in, then tag back out to sell the post.

Also, I gave so little of a shit about this match that I almost finished writing this review up before realising I hadn’t finished my thoughts on it. Take that how you will. Though I didn’t hate it. But I do hate short title runs, so you know, there’s that.

Match Rating – Solid B+ (Decided to be nice since Rollins put in a good showing considering how long he lasted in the Rumble)

WWE Universal Championship match:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane

I don’t give a flying fuck about this match Why? Because Lesnar won. Fuck you Lesnar. Drop the title or retire already.

Match Rating – Solid Z (Fuck you I can rate this as badly as I want, it’s my review)

Women’s Royal Rumble match

Well thank God, my prayers were answered. Since the men’s Rumble didn’t close the show, this one did. And really, I hope that’s how it goes from now on. That being the men’s and women’s Rumble matches take turns closing the show. Like before I’ll just point out moments of interest from the match as opposed to making five or six paragraphs talking about stuff in detail.

• First women ever involved in this match are Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch
• Lita makes her in-ring return as a surprise entrant at #5
• Kairi Sane makes her main roster debut at #6
• Tamina becomes the first woman ever eliminated from the Women’s Rumble
• Torrie Wilson makes her in-ring return to WWE as entrant #9
• Molly Holly makes her in-ring return as a surprise entrant at #12
• Michelle McCool gets 3 straight eliminations
• For some bizarre reason Vickie Guerrero is a surprise entrant at #16. Way to waste a spot WWE.
• For some other bizarre reason Kelly Kelly is also in this match at #19
• Jacqueline makes her in-ring return in WWE at #21
• Ember Moon makes her main roster debut at #23
• Beth Phoenix returns as a surprise entrant at #24
• Trish Stratus makes an in-ring return as the final entrant
• Final four are the Bella Twins, Asuka & Sasha Banks

And finally, ASUKA WINS! I mean yeah sure, we all knew Asuka was gonna win but damn it’s still good to see happen after how disappointing I’ve heard her main roster run has been so far. Even if the finish was a bit clunky. Then after the match we have this really random and awkward segment where Ronda shows up, points at the Mania sign, stares at Asuka, Bliss & Charlotte, points again, shakes hands with Steph and then leaves. And that’s how the PPV ends.

What should be Asuka’s crowning moment in WWE gets spoiled by a woman who does basically nothing aside from show up. I really feel they should’ve just saved this for the RAW after the PPV instead. Or have just had Rousey be present for the entire match so this whole thing didn’t come out of nowhere. Seriously, watch that segment and try to convince me it didn’t seem anti-climactic.

Either way, Asuka wins, yay, I don’t care who she faces since either match should be good. That said I feel the men’s Rumble was ultimately the better overall match. The women’s Rumble wasn’t shit by any means, no, but I just felt a lot more excited for the men’s Rumble, and ultimately what we got was a better overall experience.

Cut some of those bizarre entry choices out and it would’ve been a lot better than it already was. Again, it was a solid match, but just didn’t live up to the hype for me, unlike some of the other “first time in WWE” women’s matches have.

Match Rating – Solid A-

Overall Thoughts

Aside from my unbridled hatred for how Brock “I win lol” Lesnar is booked this was a very solid PPV, which makes me happier than I’ve been in a while for a big four PPV. I really hope they keep this going leading into WrestleMania. Mainly I hope Lesnar drops the title at Elimination Chamber. A man can dream, right? Anyway, I may as well stop now or I’m just gonna keep finding ways to bitch about how Lesnar is being used. So yeah, solid PPV, fuck Brock Lesnar. I’ll see you guys again for Elimination Chamber.

Overall PPV Rating – Solid B+
(Would’ve been at least an A or A- but my hatred of Lesnar brought it down)

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Battleground 2016

Hey folks, I’m back once again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. This time around it’s Battleground 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but this PPV DID happen in July. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Oh and be warned, I was extremely tired when watching the vast majority of this PPV. So if there’s a spot that happened that I don’t mention, I probably just briefly fell asleep and missed it. So my bad I guess.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Match

Breezango vs. The Usos

Damn fine match. Both teams came out of this smelling like roses as far as I’m concerned. They really made it look like it could go either way. I like both teams so I didn’t mind The Usos losing. It was also interesting to see Breeze get the win clean. Like damn. I did not expect that. I mean sure it was a small package but he didn’t do any dirty tactics or whatever to set it up is my point.

Match Rating – Solid B-

Main Show

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke

Fairly solid opening tag match. Thank God the crowd popped the way they did for Bayley or it totally would’ve ruined the whole thing. I mean they were expecting her anyway, but still. There was a botch or two here and there but nothing that really ruined the match. Granted Dana needs to just never attack someone with her hands when they’re on the mat. It just looks kind of awkward. Well, that and she usually misses by a mile and the camera angle doesn’t help. Wrestling punches are pretty much always shit though so I guess I can’t entirely blame her.

I must admit I’m kind of annoyed that Charlotte didn’t defend the title at this PPV considering there wasn’t a title defense at Money In The Bank, but the match was good enough to make up for it I guess. Plus Sasha & Bayley won, so that was also nice.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Might seem a bit low but eh, as much as I liked it it was still fairly average)

The Wyatt Family vs. The New Day

The Wyatt Family won. The. Wyatt. Family. Won. No see I don’t think you heard me clearly enough. THE! WYATT! FAMILY! WON!

Match Rating – Solid A+ (THE FUCKING WYATT FAMILY ACTUALLY WON HOLY SHIT!)

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev (champ) vs. Zack Ryder

I must admit, whilst I knew Ryder wasn’t gonna win, the WWE actually almost tricked me. Zack Ryder got to look pretty damn good in this match. Better than Titus got to look I’d argue, which is weird since Titus was more of a physical threat to Rusev. Even the commentators sold how Rusev seemed to be surprised Ryder was putting up this much of a fight. Hell they even had him almost break out of the Accolade, so Rusev had to basically rape the poor bastard just to make him tap out. Damn good stuff.

Match Rating – Solid B-

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

As good as this match was, and it was pretty great, I feel like this match being booked as their “final encounter” would’ve made more sense if one of them was actually drafted to SmackDown. Hell, they’ve even had a RAW match since so they’ve already gone back on the claim. Regardless this match was damn good. I was honestly shocked to see that apron brainbuster spot.

And yes, I did audibly say “BRAAAAAAAAAINBUSTAAAAAAAAH!” because of course I did. Shut up. Don’t judge me. Must admit I was also surprised that Sami actually won the match. But it did seem to take two Helluva Kicks to keep Owens down, so he didn’t really come out of this looking weak, which is nice.

Match Rating – Solid A+

Natalya vs. Becky Lynch

The crowd was kind of dead and damn am I tired so I probably missed certain things in this match, but overall I thought it was ok. Nattie working Becky’s leg for most of the match was cool, though of course there were moments where Becky kinda no sold the leg work to hit some of her moves which kinda bothered me, but not all that much.

Oh also, Natalya fucking won. Holy shit. Honestly didn’t see that coming. To me this legitimised her heel turn. If she’d just lost we would’ve got another tantrum thing post-match and her turning heel wouldn’t have had much of a pay off. So kudos to WWE on that.

Match Rating – Solid C+

WWE Intercontinental Championship match:
The Miz (champ) vs. Darren Young

This match was a lot more technical than I can honestly say I was expecting, which was a nice surprise really. I mean at points certain parts of the crowd tried to get a “boring” chant going, but I was fine with it. The finish was a bit of a mess though. Granted, it was cool to see Darren Young go apeshit for once and just drag Miz to the ground with a Cobra Clutch.

Apparently this was a “Double DQ” finish but I don’t see how. Maryse slaps Bob Backlund then claims Backlund hit her….I’m sorry but how do either of those scenarios result in a DQ for the people in the actual match? Maryse didn’t slap Darren and Bob never touched The Miz. A no contest I could understand since Darren goes apeshit but otherwise it’s just weird.

Match Rating – Solid C

John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club

Very solid secondary main event, and I’m also very glad to see WWE didn’t waste the second Cena/AJ singles match on a PPV like Battleground, because that would’ve been a dumb move in my opinion. Hell their first encounter being Money In The Bank was weird, but I guess it’s had enough big moments to be a PPV where that could make sense.

Regardless the match was pretty good. Enzo & Cass came out of this looking great, as did pretty much everyone else really. I also appreciated that both major fake-out finishes involved someone breaking up the pinfall, rather than AJ & Cena just kicking out of each others respective finishers. Team Cena winning didn’t bother me at all, but mainly because (as I said earlier), both teams came out of this looking great.

I am surprised the final decision involved both AJ & Cena though. I thought they’d have had AJ pin Enzo or Cass; or Cena pin Gallows or Anderson. Interesting way to go about it I guess.

Match Rating – Solid B+

Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
Dean Ambrose (champ) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

Fairly solid main event, though I really wish they’d saved this specific triple threat for WrestleMania. That said that might be why, as solid as this match was, they didn’t seem to entirely go all out for it. So that was smart. Giving us a taste now for something they can go all out on later.

Dean & Seth teaming up on Roman was kind of funny considering how much the crowd popped for it. That said it also made sense since he was the biggest guy in the match, so it had that going for it too. Though I feel Roman started to stir from that announce table Powerbomb a bit early.

The finish of Roman spearing Seth only for Dean to hit him with Dirty Deeds was about what I expected, and I’m honestly glad that’s the kind of finish they went with. Though I do wish Roman had either got his foot on the rope or Dean had broke up the pinfall when Seth hit Roman earlier with a Pedigree. Can’t win ’em all I guess.

I also generally liked that Dean retained, but mainly because I hate short title reigns. Shane & Bryan’s reaction to the win was honestly pretty funny too; just running around for a bit, and I think high fiving each other as they ran past each other. Good stuff.

Match Rating – Solid A-

Match Of The Night – Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Overall PPV Rating – Solid B+

Top to bottom this was the best PPV so far this year. And really? That about sums it up right there. Even if some matches were kind of iffy, nothing was really terrible and there was only one finish that kind of bothered me, but not enough to get me riled up. With that said, I have one more PPV left to cover before I can FINALLY get to Backlash.

As of writing this Backlash has indeed happened, but I was probably going to cover it the day after it happened anyway, so this works out. I will try to get my thoughts on SummerSlam done as soon as possible though. And with that, I’ll see you next time folks.

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts on WWE Extreme Rules 2016

Hey folks, I’m back once again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. This time around it’s Extreme Rules 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV, like Payback, was from May. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Match

No DQ match:
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Not a bad match, but nothing particularly memorable happened. Also it was No DQ, but the only illegal thing that happened was a low blow right at the end. By Corbin. Ok.

Match Rating – Solid C-

Main Show

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Usos

Very hard hitting opener, and honestly a pretty solid match. Though of course, The Usos have been hampered by over exposure and now being associated with Roman, so they got booed quite a bit during this match. It kinda bugged me cause I really like The Usos, but I guess I can see where people are coming from.

I also liked that this was a tornado tag match. Holy crap was that refreshing. Gallows & Anderson win but The Usos got in quite a lot of offense so neither team really came out of this looking weak. Best outcome you could hope for and a solid show opener. That said, the match itself was fairly unmemorable, so I can’t rate this too highly.

Match Rating – Solid C+

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev vs. Kalisto

After Ryback/Kalisto on the Payback pre-show, this match was honestly kind of lame. It wasn’t crap, but it really doesn’t measure up, so I don’t have much to say about. But holy shit, that Accolade though. Kalisto is the only person to really make that move look brutal as hell. It also kinda bugs me that Kalisto dropped the US Title, but ah well, it’s not like WWE were really doing anything with his reign, so I guess it was for the best.

Match Rating – Solid C-

WWE Tag Team Championship match:
The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) (champs) vs. The Vaudevillains

I feel bad for The Vaudevillains getting little to no reaction outside of an initial boo. But in any case this match was good. Nothing too memorable but it wasn’t bad. It was also nice to see Xavier defending the belts. One thing I didn’t like about this match though was how The Vaudevillains hit their tag finisher, but Xavier kicked out of it. As far as I’m concerned, tag finishers are something that should have to be broken up.

Sure, within the context of the match Big E & Kofi were down, but the LEAST they could’ve done is have Xavier get hold of the ropes or something rather than kick out. It completely took me out of the match in that sense as, by rights, The Vaudevillains may as well have won then and there. Or at least they could’ve done a false finish where it turns out Xavier wasn’t legal so the pin didn’t count and they restart the match.

Overall the match wasn’t bad, but Xavier kicking out of the Whirling Dervish really bugged the hell out of me. And like most of the show, this match ended up being fairly forgettable in the long run for the most part.

Match Rating – Solid C

Fatal 4-Way For The WWE Intercontinental Championship:
The Miz (champ) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens

I’m honestly gonna keep this very short. This is the match of the night. Everyone brought their A game and it worked out out to be a damn fine match. The Miz even technically went over clean. Hell, the fucker broke out a leg-trap belly-to-belly for this. I think it turned into an exploder or something before he actually hit it due to them combining it with a German suplex from Cesaro, but even that aside it was interesting to see The Miz go for that.

Match Rating – A+ (Seriously don’t remember having any negative opinions of this match)

Asylum match:
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

Honest to God this match was actually pretty boring. Even the crowd died for most of it and only really picked up again when the thumbtacks were brought out. Which I called, by the way, without trying. I thought to myself it’d be funny if the bucket turned out to have thumbtacks in it but figured there was no way WWE would do that. Lo and behold, WWE proved me wrong. Though visually I think it would’ve been more of an “OH SHIT!” moment if the thumbtacks had just been in the bucket itself rather than a little black back within the bucket.

That said, yeah, whilst this match had it’s moments, it really did drag on way longer than it needed to. The match was a few minutes shy of being a half hour long for fuck’s sake. Had it been more of a brawl or more fast paced near the end then ok. But it wasn’t. I do give WWE credit for also actually letting Jericho use the barbed wire 2×4. I wasn’t expecting it to get used so the fact Jericho actually landed a few hits with it was nice.

Also massive kudos to Jericho for being the one to take the initial thumbtacks spot. I mean I wouldn’t call the Dirty Deeds where Dean basically put himself into them kind of a proper thumbtacks spot but it counts I guess. I fully expected Jericho to not take the spot, but I did like the teasing of “who’s gonna take the bump” before the spot finally happened. But that and Dean’s dive off the cage couldn’t really save the overall match from being fairly mediocre overall.

Match Rating – C- (I could’ve been harsher, but honestly, there was a fucking thumbtacks spot in WWE that Foley was nowhere near. Plus this match wasn’t so much shit as it was just mostly forgettable)

Submission match for the WWE Women’s Championship:
Charlotte (champ) vs. Natalya

I hated the referee during this match. It’s like someone forgot to tell him there were no DQs or count outs because IT’S A FUCKING SUBMISSION MATCH! Also, Dana Brooke comes out as fake Flair and causes a distraction to help Charlotte retain……fucking hell. Two honestly dumb finishes in a row. No wonder why the crowd stopped caring.

For real, those alone are actually bad enough for me to rate this really low. That and the match being fairly forgettable, even if it wasn’t horrible.

Match Rating – Solid D- (FUCK YOU YOU STUPID REF! REMEMBER HOW SUBMISSION MATCHES WORK!)

Extreme Rules match
for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. AJ Styles

I honestly preferred the Payback match these two had to this one. This wasn’t necessarily anything horrible, but I guess I had slightly higher expectations for an EXTREME RULES match. I mean sure I wasn’t expecting any ECW-ish spots or anything, but come on. Not even a single traditional table spot? Sure they did announce table spots but come on, no normal ones?

We got an announce table spot last time, give me a spot where Roman tries for a splash on AJ through a table or something and maybe misses and goes through it anyway. Like holy christ this was tame as hell. One thing I would like to point out though was one of the Usos pulling AJ off of Roman when AJ went for a pin near the end. I honestly was surprised because that was a fairly heel-ish move for a face team to do.

As I’ve seen someone else say, even the finish is kind of marred by being almost exactly the same as the Payback main event finish. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Elbow, only to get a Spear for his trouble. I do give them credit for Roman catching him mid-air with a Spear this time though. One thing this match has over the Payback match really was just Roman doing the Undertaker dive over the top rope.

Ultimately even though this match wasn’t too bad, it was a very lackluster main event for me, and might as well have just been called a No DQ match or something because God damn it, I just won’t let it go that this was labeled an EXTREME RULES MATCH, but the most hardcore thing that happened was like….AJ Styles unloading on The Usos and Roman with a chair for like a full minute. That’s it.

When the Asylum match was more hardcore than this, something is wrong. Though I guess one thing this match had over it was this one didn’t feel like it dragged too much. Regardless, this was still a very lackluster main event overall so I’m ultimately disappointed in the overall thing.

Match Rating – Solid C- (Could’ve been harsher but hell, this is Extreme Rules not WrestleMania, so it’s a little easier to swallow this not being all that great)

Match Of The Night – Intercontinental Championship match
Overall PPV Rating – Solid C

This show was honestly so forgettable in the long run that it took me several days to write this whole thing. I’m not even kidding. And honestly, that about sums up my thoughts on this PPV overall. Forgettable. Aside from the match of the night I can barely remember anything. I don’t even have much to say here.

The show wasn’t bad enough for me to truly tear into it, but not good enough for me shower it with praise. And really that’s one of the worst kind of PPVs you can have. And I think that’s where I’ll end it. I’ll see you next time folks.

Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Payback 2016

Back again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. First was WrestleMania 32, and now it’s Payback 2016. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV was from May. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Matches

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Not a bad match. Nothing special but it didn’t bore me or anything either, so that’s good. Dolph won with a roll up, which made sense given the whole “working his neck” thing Corbin was doing for most of the match.

Match Rating – Solid C

WWE United States Championship match:
Kalisto (champ) vs. Ryback

Best match Ryback has ever had. Period. Also I found his pre-match antics of mocking both CM Punk and Hulk Hogan to be quite hilarious. But really the match truly was pretty damn great for a match they only allowed to happen on the damn pre-show. This match actually made watching the two pre-show matches worth it. great little guy/big guy dynamic and Kalisto/Ryback honestly was a really good pairing for matches from what I’ve seen. There were a few botches I think, but the overall match quality made them easy to forgive.

Match Rating – Solid A+ (Hey, when you can get me saying good things about Ryback with nothing really negative to add? That shit gets top grades)

Main Show

The Vaudevillains vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass

I mainly wanted to touch on this one because holy fuck, poor Enzo. The match was going so damn well with only maybe one slip up, then bam, Enzo smacks his head on the ropes in a weird spot and ends up being rendered unconscious. Wisely after some EMTs run up the match is pretty quickly thrown out. The whole thing was treated very seriously, which I’m very grateful for. The commentators could barely talk but obviously had to, and I commend them for their efforts and showing just how serious it was.

Not the best start to the night ever but you really can’t blame anyone. Accidents happen and sometimes they have pretty horrible consequences. I’m just glad to know there was no long term damage and that Enzo came back to some capacity fairly quickly. And obviously since the match never really got going, this one won’t get a match rating. But regardless I felt I had to talk about it.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Well, from something tragic to something great. I guess if there was any silver lining to Enzo’s injury, it was that this match probably went longer than intended to make up for it. Both guys just completely went for it, and the crowd was obviously very into it as well. I must say I’m glad that Owens won clean. They have had him kinda cheat once or twice but it just doesn’t suit what he’s trying to do with his character, so I’m glad they stopped doing that.

Besides, his sore winner routine works just fine anyway. I also assume the kind-of-awkward interview segment they did post match was also a way to fill time due to what happened in the opener, but luckily it was at least entertaining. In my head I joked that Saxton was kayfabe thinking “Oh God I thought being a commentator on the main shows meant I was done with this crap”. Regardless the match itself was great and looks to be a top contender for match of the night.

Match Rating – Solid A+ (Just to clarify Ryback/Kalisto got a rating but can’t be MOTN so yeah, this is currently the match to beat)

WWE Intercontinental Championship match:
The Miz (champ) vs. Cesaro

This match was pretty good, though in hindsight not too memorable to be honest. Also some parts of the match dragged on a bit. Cesaro almost made me never want to see him do another European Uppercut. No lie. As another negative, Kevin Owens was on commentary……..stay with me here, put the pitchforks down. It was a negative for me because even though Owens was entertaining on commentary, most of his stuff berating Byron Saxton & Michael Cole ultimately took attention away from the match itself.

Hell there were spots I’d end up missing and having to re-watch because of Owens’ antics. Then of course there’s the finish. The finish didn’t entirely bother me, with Sami coming out and brawling with Owens leading to a ref distraction that allowed for Miz to steal a win.

However. What did bug me was how forced it was to see them get in the ring then be out on the apron to brawl. Cesaro getting pissed due to their antics distracting the ref and then knocking them off was a nice touch though. But it just felt too forced. It seems like an easier way would’ve been the ref just ducking out of the ring to try and get Sami & Owens away from the ring area (or break it up entirely). That way you can do basically the same thing; Miz taps out but the ref doesn’t see, so Cesaro breaks the hold.

Cesaro could’ve then tried to get the referee’s attention only for Miz to grab him in a schoolboy. The referee notices, gets back in the ring and makes the count. Miz retains. Alternatively, whilst the referee was outside the ring, Miz could’ve either lowblowed Cesaro or hit him in the back of the head with the title, possibly following up with a second Skull Crushing Finale to cover up the heel tactics and get the ref’s attention for a normal pin.

Either way the match was good, but a few things here and there prevented it from being as good as it could of been. Oh also Cesaro attacking Miz after the loss was a nice touch, even if the Neutralizer was sort of botched.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Would’ve been a B level rating if not for the issues I
brought up)

Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho

There’s a very easy way to say how much I liked this match. It was far better than BOTH of their respective WrestleMania matches. Jericho looked slow as hell at WrestleMania for some reason, but here he looked a million times better. That said, I’m very, VERY thankful that Dean won. Jericho was still riding off a huge win at Mania, but Dean got destroyed by Lesnar. He needed to be built back up, and they did that with this match.

There were a few iffy moments in this match that knock my overall rating down a tad, but otherwise this was a pretty solid effort from both men. Aside from that I don’t really have much else to say about it to be honest, so I’ll just leave it there.

Match Rating – Solid B+

WWE Women’s Championship match:
Charlotte (champ) vs. Natalya

Holy crap was I excited when I realised Nattie was getting a title shot for some reason. I literally had no idea this match ever happened. Now, was it the best match either woman has ever had? Probably not. It dragged in spots and Nattie had some unfortunate botches, but nothing too huge. The main negative from this match, really, was the crowd itself.

Seriously, fuck the crowd during this match. If I was Nattie I would’ve found it hard not to break character and flip them all off for those “We want Sasha!” chants. Seriously, fuck you Chicago crowd for chanting that bullshit. Nattie might’ve slipped up a bit, but I just joked that she was so used to having to wrestle like a “Diva” that when the opportunity to wrestle how she used to came up, she was out of practice.

Besides, everyone has bad days. It happens. I do think the match went a bit longer than it needed to though, but that’s just me. The “screwjob” finish was bullshit though. Like, really guys? That’s the best you could come up with? “lol Bret Hart’s gonna be there let’s reference the screwjob with another worked one for the one millionth time!”….fuck off. Now, if it turned out Charles Robinson had just made a kayfabe “judgement call” due to Nattie selling a leg injury as part of the match, then that’s fine.

But if it really was Ric “probably broke as fuck now” Flair paying off the ref then like…what? Why? There was no reason to do this and the only way to resolve it would’ve been Nattie winning the belt later or the match starting over cause Robinson “just fucked up”. Once again a perfectly good women’s match screwed up by a dumb finish.

Match Rating – C- (Had the finish not been what it was, and the match not felt like it dragged in parts, this would’ve rated in the Bs probably. Nattie getting a title shot alone stopped me from being too harsh and dropping it to a D rating)

Oh right, then there was that whole segment with the Vince, Shane & Steph McMahon. Honestly the most entertaining parts were Vince acknowledging the Punk chants, and Steph gaining some heat by acting as if the “You’ve still got it” chant was directed at her. Otherwise it was a segment that easily could’ve just opened a RAW or something. Or just generally not have been right before the main event.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. AJ Styles

Like the Dean/Jericho match, I felt this match was better than both efforts these guys had at WrestleMania. That said, there were a few bits that fell flat or bugged me. Roman kicking out of the Springboard 450 Splash being one of them. I also just don’t like the Superman Punch as a signature move because……it’s just a fucking punch. Not a very effective looking one either.

One thing this match proved to me is that Roman should, in my opinion, never be allowed to have a match with a pure heavyweight wrestler ever again. I mean look at his feeble attempts to deadlift Triple H at WrestleMania. Now compare that to him lifting AJ Styles up in a similar spot with little to no trouble. For as “strong” as they want Roman to look and that people joke about, Roman himself easily ruins that image when put against bigger guys.

The outside interference didn’t really bother me by the way. Though I was expecting a bit more when the No DQ stipulation was added due to the two fake-out finishes. Speaking of, I knew AJ obviously didn’t win and even if I hadn’t been aware, but I give WWE credit for the fake-outs. In the sense that it allowed people to have hope that AJ might actually win the thing outright. That said, I was also glad AJ lost.

Do I think AJ should win a major title in WWE? Yes. Do I think he should’ve won a top tier belt this soon into his WWE run? No. If WWE are smart (and AJ doesn’t piss anyone off) he’ll get a title run in due time, but for now this was for the best. I mean, the finish itself was pretty stupid, fake-outs aside. Though I do at least like that Roman sold all the crap he’d been through to only just kind of fall on AJ for a pin rather than being able to hook a leg or something.

So yeah, overall the match wasn’t perfect, but it was a damn sight better than the main event of WrestleMania, so overall I’m at least somewhat content with it, despite its flaws. Though I want to know who thought it was a good idea to linger on that shot of Roman just leaning on the ropes and looking up the ramp for so long. That shit felt like it went on forever. It was even more awkward because the commentators had already stopped talking for like a minute. So it’s just holding on Roman……but he’s not doing anything…..so it’s just odd and pointless.

Match Rating – B- (I could’ve been a bastard and rated this lower, but it WAS still far better than the Trips/Roman and Jericho/AJ, so I felt I had to rate it higher than both, despite its flaws)

Match Of The Night – Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Overall PPV Rating – Solid B

The whole PPV overall, despite it’s faults, was FAR better than WrestleMania 32 could ever hope to be. Like, holy shit. I’m honestly kind of conflicted about it too. On one hand I’m glad the PPV wasn’t utter garbage, but I’m also annoyed that THE PPV AFTER MANIA WAS BETTER THAN MANIA! I’d keep going but I’ll just stop now before I go into a long-winded rant. So, Payback 2016? Good stuff. Here’s hoping Extreme Rules is just as good or better. I’ll see you guys next time.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Daytime-Mania (WrestleMania 31 Review)

WrestleMania 31 poster

 

Having managed to sit through it all without pulling his hair out, Thomas gives his thoughts on WrestleMania 31.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Levi-Mania (WrestleMania 31 “Predictions”)

On the eve of WrestleMania, Thomas gives his thoughts on how he thinks the PPV will go down.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Peasant Squabble (Royal Rumble 2015 Review)

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas bitches about how mediocre the Royal Rumble was for the 2nd straight year.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – Tender Love, Caring…..and Sharing (WWE TLC 2014 Review)

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas gives his thoughts on the last WWE PPV of the year, Tables Ladders and Chairs…….and Stairs……..seriously whose idea was that?

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor Series 2014 Review)

Not having been able to watch it live, Thomas gives his delayed thoughts on the 2014 edition of the Survivor Series PPV.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Hell Froze Over (Hell In A Cell 2014 Review)

After putting it off due to finally being able to use his PS4, Thomas gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Hell In A Cell 2014.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – WWE Night Of Champions 2014 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas can’t think of a clever alternate name for the PPV……..oh and gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Night Of Champions 2014.