Elisa Marie checks in with her review of WWE Stomping Grounds! Did she enjoy the show? Who was she mad that was left off?
WWE Stomping Grounds place on Sunday and I must admit I was not too sure whether I should watch it or not. But I always give WWE a chance to redeem itself especially after WWE Super ShowDown, which for me was a disappointment. So let’s review my thoughts on it match by match, shall we?
Cruiserweight championship: Tony Nese (c) vs. Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa
From the moment the bell rang, this triple threat title match kicked off at a maximum speed level. As it wore on, it managed to rev up its momentum and bring the crowd to its feet. Nese looked to be on the verge of victory multiple times, but the unexpected ending was quite the shocker. Nese did everything in his power to eliminate the competition, but Gulak and Tozawa met him every step of the way. A series of slick three-man spots and a hot mid- to closing-stretch kicked this bout into a higher gear. Nese’s German Suplex to Gulak while hanging over Tozawa, Tozawa’s top rope Senton Splash onto both men, and Gulak’s Superplex to Tozawa that led into a failed 450 Splash from Nese were all awesome moments. Gulak’s surprising victory put some extra sauce on one of the best Kickoff Show matches of the year. Clearly BEST MATCH OF THE NIGHT-my opinion. A great way to kick off Stomping Grounds.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
I have to say this was a pretty good opener. It may have been a step below their Money in the Bank match-up, but it was still a fun rematch. Becky’s signature turnbuckle kick spot was the only major blotch on this entire affair. Lacey is constantly progressing and this match was a clear indicator of that. Becky and Lacey’s chemistry has reached an acceptable level that allowed them to try out a few new maneuvers and lengthen their time in the ring this time around. I thought for a split second that Lacey will win it but I guess WWE still wants “THE MAN” to keep the title. A third match between these two women sounds like a great idea since both of Becky and Lacey’s matches have been worthwhile.
New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Owens and Zayn followed tonight’s Cruiserweight Kickoff Match formula by starting off hot. The opener to this one sucked me in, which I didn’t expect it would at first. Woods took a ton of punishment from Owens and Zayn – thankfully, their assault on Woods was far from boring. Big E’s hot tag comeback was pretty entertaining since it seems like he got some extra prep in his step thanks to him overcoming a previous injury. The New Day’s known for having good to amazing matches on PPV – this match fell right into the really good category. The fast-paced opening, long but interesting extended beatdown of Woods, hot tag sequence from Big E and the exciting closing moments made this match a blast to sit through.
United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Ricochet
The match I was most looking forward to definitely delivered on its high potential. Joe and Ricochet put on a match that gradually built up and improved as it arrived at its dope climax. Joe dominated Ricochet with his brutal repertoire, which Ricochet did an awesome job of selling. Once Ricochet really got going though, his high-flying maneuvers kicked this match up a notch. Joe’s power-based offense looked great as always and Ricochet’s slick counters kept the audience (and me, of course) enthralled the whole way through. I wished this match had more time. With 10 more minutes added to it, this match could have possibly entered the five-star category. As it is though, this title bout was definitely a barn-burner. Let’s set up a rematch between these two ASAP! IT MUST HAPPEN.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) vs. Heavy Machinery
First off, let’s give a Shout out to Heavy Machinery! One of the more underrated tag teams on the WWE roster showed its critics just how capable they are at having long matches with a lot of moving parts. Otis and Tucker are not only a comedy duo, they’re also a powerhouse tandem who you can take seriously once the bell rings. Daniel damn near has a good match with anyone he’s pitted against and Rowan has been holding up his end of the bargain during recent bouts. Both of these teams produced an engaging tag team encounter that was a fine showcase for Otis and Tucker. Even in defeat, Heavy Machinery came out looking way better than they ever have. I’m open to seeing this one take place at Extreme Rules with a Two-out-of-Three Falls or Tag Team Elimination stipulation attached to it. Let’s make it happen, WWE.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss
This match was simply not what I was expecting out of both women at Stomping Grounds. It moved slowly and for me, did not excite me. I am not sure whether it was lack of chemistry in the ring or what, but this match proved that just because you cut a great promo does not mean it will transition to a great match in the ring. I love both Bayley and Alexa Bliss and for that reason, it saddens me to even say this. I still do not want is Nikki Cross involvement in all this but this match was disappointing.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
First of all, why couldn’t we get this at WrestleMania 35 instead of Stomping Grounds? I always knew both of these guys had it in them to give us a hard hitting match with plenty of life and excitement to it. This rematch thankfully proved my theory right (FINALLY!). Once again, we got a match on this show that bypassed the slow-paced headlocks and arm holds and got straight to the good stuff.
Roman and Drew tore into each other from the word go and maintained a solid pace throughout, which is something I wish we got when this went down at MetLife Stadium. The action that transpired on the outside gave this match the extra heat it needed. Even Shane O’Mac’s interference didn’t take away from this rematch one bit (and I can’t stand that guy right now!). I enjoyed this and I honestly didn’t expect to.
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
I personally believed this one might have ran a bit too long for me. It was decent in parts, but it would’ve been much better off without all that extra time tacked onto it. You can tell both men wanted to give the crowd one of those epic Steel Cage title matches, but they didn’t do enough to reach their goal. The action itself was pretty basic, plus the constant ankle lock submission holds and counters got super repetitive near the end. Now that Kofi has jumped over the hurdle that is Ziggler (who no one cared to see come back in the first place), let’s pit him against someone far more legit. I wish both men would have cut the fat by leaving out all of the boring limb work and keeping the rest of the action that actually mattered.
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
Special Referee: Lacey Evans
So the special guest referee reveal was pretty…okay. I mean it made all the sense in the world – Lacey has a major beef to pick with Becky Lynch (Rollins’ girlfriend), so everyone figured she’d have every reason in the world to screw with the reigning Universal Champion. Lacey’s biased officiating and constant stipulation changes got on my last nerves seriously, so I guess she did her job well here. Becky coming out to even the odds was pretty cool, though.
As for the match itself, it started out horribly with Corbin in control and picked up once Rollins started landing his signature moves. No surprise there. It was far better than their Super Showdown match, but that really isn’t saying much. The hardcore elements saved this main event from being complete trash. Rollins got the win, so I’m just happy that the show ended on a good note. No more Corbin in PPV main events WWE, I beg of you! PLEASE!
Stomping Grounds was solid at best. Better than Super ShowDown with some takeaways. Definitely some matches were a plus and I would suggest to cut time to watch those as you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed them. On a side note, I am wondering why Finn Balor did not have the opportunity to defend his title, which annoyed me as well. You cannot expect to give a man a title and not defend. But as long as I do not see Baron Corbin in the main event again, then WWE can improve a bit better. Please WWE do me that favor.