Hiking boots and mediocre shows built up to this. Do we get a surprisingly good show? Does the WWE main roster continue to languish?
Well we kick off with a Cruiserweight Triple Threat! Nese has been fairly underwhelming, so here’s to hoping we see a title change!
Dolph and Baron need to finally have their angles ended here. Dolph is boring, people have lost faith in him the last few years. Baron does a decent job at being a true heel, so after enough loses he may be able to excuse them away, but he needs to drop down a little.
Well let’s see what kind of show we get!
- Cruiserweight Championship Match: Tony Nese (c) vs Drew Gulak vs Akira Tozawa: Gulak wins via TKO @11:15 – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Lacey Evans: Lynch retains via Disarm-Her @11:20 – *** 1/4
- Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs Xavier Woods & Big E: Owens wins via Stunner @10:55 – *** 1/2
- United States Championship: Ricochet vs Samoa Joe (c): Ricochet wins via 630 Senton @12:30 – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles: Heavy Machinery vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan (c): Bryan retains via Small Package @14:20 – ***
- SmackDown Live Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs Bayley (c): Bayley retains via Bayley to Belly @10:35 – ***
- Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre: Reigns wins via Spear @17:25 – ** 3/4
- Steel Cage WWE Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston (c): Kofi retains via Escaping the Cage @20:00 – *** 1/2
- Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs Baron Corbin: Rollins retains via Stomp @18:45 – **
Constant action defined this match. Gulak kicked things off with a Dropkick at the bell, and it was pedal to the metal from there. Tozawa breaks up the Gu-Lock with his Top Rope Senton, which the camera didn’t focus on, so it was cool to see Tozawa just crash down from the sky. Each man had a legitimate shot at different points in the match. Gulak however took advantage of the situation, tried to TKO Nese, but Nese wiggled out to the apron, Drew dodged Tozawa’s Dropkick, grabbed Tozawa and hit the TKO for the win. Gulak finally gets the belt, which is a bit overdue, and he didn’t win via submission. Things should be interesting on 205 Live. Great start.
This match got a bit more time than I was expecting. Aside from the Springing Back Kick in the corner missed spot, the match was alright. Some spots were a little clunky, but it wasn’t a bad match at all. Hard fought match, a few close calls for Lacey, but Becky continues to be the benchmark for the women’s division.
Owens and Zayn come out the gates with Superkicks, Frog Splashes, Blue Thunder Bombs and just beat the hell out of Xavier. Xavier was isolated for a while, but he kept kicking out. When Big E got in, New Day started to take control back in the match. They broke up Owen’s Pop-Up Powerbomb, Big E wipes out Zayn for Xavier to take to the skies. But Owens crotches him and catches him with the Stunner before Big E can recover. So after being on the receiving end of most outcomes in the lead up, Sami and Kevin finally get a win.
Well I’m surprised with this outcome. Samoa Joe dominated the early goings, Ricochet had a few flurries, but Joe just enforced his will on the challenger. The Coquina Clutch attempt is what did in Joe oddly enough. Ricochet was able to position himself to outside and drop Joe over the top rope. This gave Ricochet enough momentum to string together a few impressive evasive maneuvers, hit the Codebreaker and follow up with the 630 for the title change!
This was one of those matches where you can tell all participants tried, but it just didn’t click. Numerous awkwardly timed spots, poorly executed spots and what seemed like second guessing in transition. Was the match awful? No. But a match that was trying to prove a focused Heavy Machinery is serious business, missed the mark with too many goofy spots and just some things that didn’t make sense.
Alexa has definitely done work on her ring positioning and skill set during her time out of the ring. Her moves look more crisp and even though she’s not the most fluid wrestler, she’s figured out how to incorporate her character as well as her ring awareness. Nikki Cross eating the Dive on the outside seemed to play well to continue this alliance between Alexa and Nikki. Bayley winning seems correct and the fact they didn’t do some kind of turn between the Crazy Goddesses makes me happy. The match was fairly enjoyable as well.
Well Roman versus Drew was what we expected it to be. Two bigger guys slugging it out. Pace was a bit on the slow side though. Shane getting involved made sense for the story, it effectively being a handicap match all made sense, it was just too long and too slow. Still not bad at all, plus it allows for the angle to continue. I just wish the match was more engaging.
Cage match had a lot of weird posturing throughout. Both started off by trying to sneak their finisher immediately, and then we got a fairly mediocre match with a couple interesting spots. The match picked up towards the end, but not because of in-ring action, but because of ring positioning. Dolph hit a Superkick and nearly kicked Kofi out of the cage. From then on it was a cat and mouse game of trying to escape the cage. Dolph looks like he’s about to win, but Kofi literally dives out of the door and hits the floor before Dolph to retain.
So, umm…where to start. I did like the fact that Corbin picked Lacey as the referee. I saw a fan theory that said he should pick Charlotte for similar reasons, and it was clever. Also, Lacey constantly changing the rules to the match was reminiscent of Baron being GM (good or bad is for you to decide). But aside from that, this was just overbooked to the point of being a chore. With Becky coming in to take out Lacey and John Cone being the substitute referee, this whole match were nice call backs. It was still rough to sit through even though I could see the moving pieces. But yeah Becky and Seth walking out hand in hand was the cute babyface victory moment.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
The show started off really well with a great Cruiserweight match and was really good up until Roman versus Drew. It’s a little sad to say the show lost points because of the main and semi-main event matches, but it really did end awkwardly.
I would say the show was better than most people expected, and better than it had any business being since the lead in was so lame. So all in all, I was fairly entertained by the show. Above Average, just a shade away from Good because of the final stretch. Also let’s not understate Drew Gulak winning is totally the right call! I may pay closer attention to 205 Live now.