A look at the Three Stars Of The Night for the 2018 edition of WWE Money In The Bank!
WWE presented Money In The Bank on Sunday night, in front of a packed and raucous Chicago crowd with whom the WWE always has a love/hate relationship. The crowd really only impacted one match (you can guess which one), and the event was quite well done from start to finish.
But now–the Three Stars Of The Night!
The Third Star:
I actually commented that Alexa Bliss seemed disinterested during her entrance, but she delivered in the end. Really in the end, as in near the end of the night!
Bliss won the Women’s Money In The Bank briefcase, later interfering in the Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax match (which likely could have closed the show). Her interference gave Ronda the disqualification victory, but Alexa continued the attack on both women.
The eventual result saw Alexa cashing in her briefcase, winning the Raw Women’s Championship and becoming a five time champion in WWE.
The Second Star:
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura (tie)
Personally, I was worried that the stipulation would hurt the match, but these two world class performers proved me wrong. They maximized the stipulation, and while I picked Nakamura to walk out as WWE Champion, I can’t help but think the right guy won.
I’m not alone in my assessment of the match/performers, as Andrew Balaz gave it 4.5 snowflakes in his MITB ratings.
Others given consideration:
Seth Rollins, Elias, Jinder Mahal, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor
And now…a distinction usually reserved for the top performer of the night…the first star!
The First Star:
Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax (tie)
It wasn’t a traditional match at all, but with each match–admittedly only two so far–Ronda Rousey is proving her worth to WWE. We knew she’d bring mainstream media attention, but damn she’s bringing it in the ring as well.
I also have to give Nia JAx a ton of credit here. When it comes to Nia, I am not a fan. WWE backed themselves into a corner at WrestleMania, and after Nia’s win her story was done. Now it really is done, with Alexa Bliss as champion.
But that does not negate what happened tonight, where Nia Jax proved that she can hang when she wants to. Maybe she’s lazy? I am not 100% sure, but this is called “Three Stars Of The Night,” not the career. Nia deserves equal praise on this night.
In hockey, a game’s “three stars” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own three-stars-of-the-night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.
Andrew’s Impact YouTube Ratings & Analysis (2/15/2019)
Andrew takes a look at the YouTube performance for this week’s IMPACT!
A look at the YouTube performance for this week’s IMPACT!
As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for wrestling. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television.
As you’ve become accustomed to this with WWE product, let’s continue the Impact YouTube! Here is this week’s IMPACT YouTube Report, compiled approximately 48 hours after IMPACT went off the air:
- Taya Valkyrie vs Tessa Blanchard: Street Fight for Knockouts Title – 122k
- Johnny Impact vs Brian Cage vs Killer Kross vs Moss: World Title – 116k
- Team Impact vs Team AAA: World Cup – 59k
- Top 5 Must-See Moments from Impact Wrestling: UNCAGED – 54k
- Top 5 Craziest Moments from Taya vs Tessa: Street Fight – 45k
Well now, very similar to Twitch views, we see a spike since this was a named event. Also for the second week in a row, Knockouts take the top spot, as well as the 5th spot. It’s no surprise that Tessa draws attention. Her last name, her wrestling prowess and overall reputation has given her one of the larger followings for non-WWE female wrestlers. Taya definitely carried her own in the match, and has some popular reach thanks to Lucha Underground, but Tessa is in a league of her own.
Also it’s no surprised that the World Title match would garner solid attention. I’m honestly surprised it’s as close to the Knockouts match in viewers as it is. Johnny isn’t really a home run of a champion for the IWC, but Kross is a breath of fresh air and Brian Cage has a lot of love. So maybe that’s carrying the view count, just like Cage carried Johnny in the match.
World Cup slides in at the 3 spot, and that’s fine. With just shy of 60k views, I feel this was just curiosity since elimination matches are fun and it’s also a quick way to get familiar with luchadors, otherwise unknown to some.
Lastly we have that Top 5 Must-See again, in our Top 5. I clicked through it this week and it is snippets from other videos they have available on their YouTube. So I suppose showing a cool spot from the match, may inspire some to click on the corresponding video, but given that there’s usually a huge drop off from the Top 5 and the rest…I don’t think it’s having the desired effect.
2.1.2019 – 311,000
2.8.2019 – 293,000
We see an uptick of 100k views for UNCAGED, so this is also interesting to follow moving forward. Given that I think there have been reports recently that only between 10-15,000 people are watching on Pursuit, the number on Twitch is between 6-10,000 – that means only a maximum of 25,000 people are watching the program live. These YouTube numbers prove there’s still some interest in the Impact product beyond the tangible numbers since even if 25,000 watched the Top 5 videos, that’s only 125,000. The remaining 200,000 or so views, correlates well to the fact that Impact was averaging about 150,000 viewers on Pop TV towards the end of things.
So everyone decrying the death of Impact, it’s a little early for that. They may not be in the most fantastic shape, there’s no denying that. But they still do have interest, just a matter of people finding ways and time to engage with the product.
The number 1 video of the weekend!
Andrew’s WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 Ratings & Review Notes
Andrew gives us ratings and some review thoughts on WWE Elimination Chamber!
Andrew gives us ratings and some review thoughts on WWE Elimination Chamber!
Well admittedly, I had no hype for this show. I figure the Chamber matches will be fine, but this really feels like one of those cards that get smothered a bit since all it does is feed to Mania.
Also it’s a little odd how WWE tends to bring back titles, but then not use the lineage when they setup these new incarnations. It’s definitely frustrating that a company that prides itself on history and “Then, Now, and Forever”, tends to forget the Then in favor of the Now.
But let’s see what we get out of this show.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) vs Akira Tozawa: Murphy retains via Murphy’s Law @13:25 – ****
- Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber: The IIconics vs Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs Tamina & Nia Jax vs Bayley & Sasha Banks vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs Carmella & Naomi – Banks wins via Modified Bank Statement @33:00 – ****
- SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Shane McMahon & The Miz (c) vs The Usos: Usos win via Crucifix Pin @14:10 – ** 3/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Intercontinental Championship Handicap Match: Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley (c) vs Finn Balor @9:30 – ** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs Ruby Riott: Rousey wins via Armbar @1:40 – N/A
- NO DQ: Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via Shield Powerbomb (Lashley and McIntyre interference) @10:50 – *
- WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton vs AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan (c): Bryan retains via Knee Plus @36:35 – **** 1/2
Pre-Show is mostly forgettable save for Liv saying they’ll be first ever Women’s Tag Champs and five minutes later Beth Phoenix references the Glamour Girls and Jumping Bomb Angels…so yay consistency. Sam tries to call out the fact that Finn Balor sucks without the Demon and there’s a Moment of Bliss that’s amusing, but generally typical pre-show stuff.
Cruiserweight match was a bit better than I expected. Murphy used his size to dominate Tozawa for a while, but then we get split screen so Kayla can talk to Xavier and Big E about Kofi in a throw away amusing spot. Why has WWE decided to interrupt so many of their matches lately for dumb crap? Yes New Day is funny, but why did that have to happen during the CHAMPIONSHIP match? Ugh. Both Tozawa and Murphy shine at different points, Tozawa hits his big Senton while Muprhy is draped across the middle rope for a near fall. Bicycle Knee and a quick Murphy’s Law later, Murphy retains in a fairly close fight.
Well the beginning of this chamber match started off pretty awful actually. But once the rest of the teams got involved, the match actually got better. Riott Squad performed really well, IIconics had a nice tandem pin to eliminate Naomi and Nia took the Big Show bump of crashing through a pod. Honestly a little surprised they put the belts on Sasha & Bayley right away. With Sasha’s injury and faces chasing belts usually being an easier way to write a Mania angle, they instead took the easy route and just put the belts on the fan favorites right away. Surprised not because it doesn’t make sense, surprised because WWE usually takes detours and goes around the block a few times before eventually ending up where it should’ve been. But yea, bad first couple minutes, but turned into a damn good match.
Miz starts things off with announcing that Maryse is pregnant with baby number 2! The match was more or less what you’d expect, a few interesting spots, Shane jumping off of stuff and getting caught once or twice. Miz did a Springboard Axehandle and after connecting, he surprised himself and played to the crowd. The match was perfectly fine, Usos barely won the match, so I’m not sure if we’re slowly setting up for someone’s turn, but I’m a little curious to see where this goes.
Oh it’s the handicap match…I just remembered I still have Ring Dings. Ahh those are yummy. Oh- the match? Do I care? Do YOU care? No…stuff happened, it was underwhelming, Lio’s arrogance was the undoing of the team. Finn rallied against the smaller man, kept Lashley out of the ring and Coup de Grace wins the match and his first title since his Universal Title 24 hour reign and the first without the Demon. So yea…that’s something I suppose. But Ring Dings…
Oh – and Lashley slammed Lio after the loss, so I guess they’re done. Again, no one cares.
Charlotte comes out and drones on in an anti-Becky, ‘she panders too much’ promo. Cause we need a vapid promo on a PPV from someone who cuts a promo as well as cheese cuts bricks. *falls into a coma*
Well now Ronda comes out dressed like Sonya Blade, and squashes Ruby. Liv and Sarah look competent, but the leader gets run over. That makes sense…sure. Thank go Becky Lynch shows up and just starts beating up everyone with her crutches and her inverted Kill Bill color schemed motorcycle outfit. Cause she’s not The Bride, she’s The Man. And if that’s the reference they were going for, I’ll take it. So hey at least now I care more about this show then Ring Dings again.
Dammit wait, that means Baron vs Braun is next. BACK TO THE COMA!
Stuff stuff stuff, Braun Running Powerslam’s Corbin through a table, but Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley show up. Corbin’s group is back together and they take out Braun. Punctuated by a Shield Powerbomb through two tables. Gives everyone something to do moving towards Mania, but it wasn’t a good match, those kind of finishes are always lacking…just…it is very whatever. Maybe the Samoan Sex Machine returns as one of Braun’s teammates, and the Shield Powerbomb was a hint.
Not gonna lie, this Chamber match started off slow and awkward. Bryan trying to run away from Joe was fine and perfect for his character, but some of the spots were just big for the sake of being big *coughJeffHardycoughcough*, or stupid like the Spider German Suplex/Superplex combo. But towards the end the story telling came into play much more and Kofi trying to will himself to his dream, caused for some surprising kick outs and moments. Even though Bryan retained in the long run, Kofi was the real star of the show.
Overall Score: 6/10
This was a weird show. Cruiserweight and Chamber matches were great, but the rest of the show was kinda lame. They book ended the show well, and the main event was awesome…but getting from the beginning to the end felt like work. Miz will probably stay babyface since he seems the most broken up and disappointed with the loss, plus a baby on the way will make him hard to boo. So if that angle is going the way most of us see, I guess Shane is going to go full “McMahon” for the WresleMania match.
Finn winning without the Demon should’ve been something, but in a weird match, with a dumb stipulation in a feud that had no buzz/heat, it fell so flat. Good for him, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Finn, but, it’s not how you’d expect his second main roster title. Ronda…meh. Braun/Baron was just a means to I guess get everyone involved in an angle, and that’s fine. But as I said, the match was pretty crap so we’ll see if this goes somewhere decent.
So yeah, the show was fine, but would’ve scored a lot higher to me, if the middle wasn’t coma inducing.