So we’re going back maybe to full time review of WWE, specially as my shifts at work are changing and I’ll have time in the afternoon to watch wrestling, we’ll start with MITB. Fun times are ahead!
THE CLUB vs THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS
SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : The Bludgeon Brothers
Nothing special, typical Pre-Show match. Neither team went out there trying to prove a point so it was a bog standard TV match with advert for the PPV stuck in the middle of it.
Up until now I’ve been honest that I don’t really watch RAW or SmackDown just catch the PPVs so haven’t seen The Club really for a while but its nice seeing them have a match to the quality we knew they could have. I’ve been disappointed with their matches and direction since coming to WWE, it seemed to be very lukewarm for them but this was much more what I wanted and whilst I never really thought that they would win the belts it was nice to see a more dominant Gallows and Anderson.
Good win for Harper and Rowan BUT they made Gallows and Anderson look stronger. Not sure what they are doing with the Bludgeon Brothers but feel their time will be up very soon.
DANIEL BRYAN vs BIG CASS
Winner : Daniel Bryan
When Bryan didn’t just win the match it went on too long.
If they wanted this to go on for as long as it has they should have had Cass win the first match to give the fans something to care about, as it is Bryan won the match and we’ve been subjected to Cass telling us constantly that he’s tall… Like we’d forget he already lost to Daniel Bryan after telling us he’s tall and that is something really important.
The chants said it all. No one wanted this match, no one wants to see Bryan stuck in this feud and we really didn’t want to see Cass get as much offense as he got.
On a positive the WWE Universe seem to be on the same page when we all say seeing Bryan back in the ring makes us happy from the deepest part of our beings. It isn’t even that we hate Cass, some might but not all of us, we just want to see something more interesting and just better for a man who thought he’d never wrestle again and the fans have been dying to see wrestle again.
KEVIN OWENS BRIBES NEW DAY
One of the best things I’ve ever seen, Owens shows up with a bag full of pancakes, New Day seem to be interested in talking to him about strategy to get rid of their biggest problem in the MITB match, that being Strowman, just for Owens to insult pancakes, breakfast stuff other then maybe toast and New Day’s own cereal.
Big E’s reaction to anything and everything gives me life.
SAMI ZAYN vs BOBBY LASHLEY
Winner : Bobby Lashley
Another dreadful feud but this time I was hoping for at least a good match.
I never got Lashley anyway, Lesnar is different I can get Lesnar but Lashley’s matches are very slow and kind of only work if you WANT to see Lashley win it. I say this because he’s got a few big moves to “torture” his opponent and show off like his vertical suplexes, but they are boring to watch if you don’t actually like him.
Thing is I love Zayn and I love Zayn’s wrestling… I knew he was losing but I didn’t want to see him destroyed in boring fashion then pinned the way he was.
Zayn deserves better.
WALK WITH ELIAS
So… Walking with Elias might be my favourite thing. His prolonged guitar solo between “I am Elias” and “I have one question for everyone here tonight” was great. I can’t believe from his time in NXT how far he’s come and how much I enjoy watching him. Shame it’s Rollins he’s up against because I can’t bet against Rollins.
ELIAS vs SETH ROLLINS
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Seth Rollins
Really good match to be honest, the PPV is starting to heat up. Rollins is one of the strongest guys in WWE anyway and Elias seems to be getting better all the time. Its one feud I have kept completely up to date with and have enjoyed and the match was a decent showing from both.
Rollins can be scary to watch, I said it on Twitter, the dive he did to the outside looked like it was CM away from going wrong, he lands on his neck way too often and it becomes hard to watch. Its one thing I don’t like about him because other then that he works well with pretty much everyone he works with, he always gets the best out of his opponent and tells a great story and its why it was the strongest match so far and whilst maybe not going to be the most exciting of the night will be one of the strongest matches of the night.
Rollins showing his smarts, in a roll-up show down he kept the tights held to keep Elias down for the three count. Good match.
WOMEN’S MITB MATCH
SASHA BANKS vs BECKY LYNCH vs EMBER MOON vs LANA vs NATALYA vs NAOMI vs ALEXA BLISS vs CHARLOTTE FLAIR
Ms MITB 2018 : Alexa Bliss
Carnage from the opening but good carnage. The women just got on with it. Ladder matches can be a mess at the best of times, specially with anyone who hasn’t been in a few and the women don’t do them so to be honest they did really good with the experience they have in a match type that can be unpredictable in general.
Some great sequences with the ladder, it was used really well in the match. Also some brilliant story telling, great to see some random face offs like Naomi and Ember whilst others stepped up the game to the highest degree like Lana who excelled sneaking in when people were least expecting her.
Naomi had some of the best moments with the ladder, being dumped whilst doing the splits on them, ducking and diving using her athleticism to miss being hit and then being part of Becky Lynch’s daredevil attempt to climb a ladder being held by Naomi and Ember Moon are just highlight reel moments.
Everything last years MITB match should have been. Couldn’t predict who would win, couldn’t even figure it out whilst watching it. Just a fantastic match all round and the women completely nailed it from beginning to end. Said it on SnapChat but the women can do what the men do just as well with less experience.
Alexa is going to make a good briefcase holder. I did say on Twitter if the briefcase was going to be cashed in tonight it would be Alexa winning, hope I’m wrong though.
JINDER MAHAL vs ROMAN REIGNS
Winner : Roman Reigns
Not the main event. Fans chanted NXT, boring and just generally boo’d the entire match.
It wasn’t a terrible match. I mean it could have been a lot worse. Compared to most of Jinder’s matches since his title run and all that it wasn’t as predictable and bland as usual.
Went on too long, the Sunil interference was done twice just so the second time Roman could have it scouted and attack him before winning the match and the crowd just hated it. On RAW it would have been fine. On PPV in Chicago it was a bit of a disaster. I don’t think it was as bad as the crowd made it seem but of course they were never going to give it a chance anyway.
Roman wins, lets just never have this happen again please.
ASUKA vs CARMELLA
SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S MATCH
Winner : Carmella
Its hard for me.
Carmella isn’t as good in ring as Charlotte or Asuka. You don’t have to be to make a good champion, she’s a bad guy and should have a group around her helping her win matches. Promo wise she does what she has too, in the ring its hard to swallow her dominating Asuka just on “skills”.
For me its one thing having her beat Charlotte pretty much clean, this match was a little too much for me after the dominate building Asuka had in NXT, the beginning of her main roster career and even her defeat to Charlotte. The build to this match didn’t look like mind games that got into Asuka’s head and whilst I believe that Mella really believes she’s better then Asuka because she defeated Charlotte who in turn defeated Asuka the match story wise didn’t work. Carmella is OK in ring but not anywhere near Asuka’s level and up till Asuka tumbled out of the ring I just didn’t buy the match.
Was waiting for Ellsworth’s return and it was played nearly perfectly. Feel that Mella should have just got the win from the roll up but waiting that extra few seconds for Ellsworth to take the mask off. Not a terrible match I guess.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs AJ STYLES
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
Winner : AJ Styles
Again said on Twitter but the fact the last match was a double count out and they want to battle that happening again by having the stipulation that could end in a double count out as the stip for this match makes me laugh.
Their matches keep getting better and I really enjoyed this one. You could see how much they just hate each other right now, Nakamura has gotten inside AJ’s head and AJ just wants to beat the everlast shit out of Nakamura.
It was crazy and showed the heart of the champion as the challenger slowly got more and more tired of his opponent standing up from everything he throws at him. Nakamura got to be his most eccentric of selves whilst AJ was able to get up time and time again. One of their best matches which unfortunately suffered coming on after two matches that weren’t so great. Or at least personally for me. I was fatigued from trying to keep myself interested in the last two matches that putting on a much more high octane match like the men’s MITB match before this which was a long and grueling battle would have woken me up a little. That’s a personal thing and obviously I suffer from being in the UK so this match was on very late and the Jinder/Roman Mella/Asuka matches had just been kind of boring.
So much fantastic story telling. The frustration, anger and need to cause so much pain to each other. Its been a slow burning feud but worth it in the end.
NIA JAX vs RONDA ROUSEY
RAW WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH
Winner : Ronda Rousey (DQ)
I was worried that they’d make Nia look bad to elevate Ronda more then Ronda already has been elevated. Thankfully they actually booked it so that Nia looked like a monster and like she could be a dominate champion given a chance and Ronda had to really find a way to take down the monster in front of her.
Problem is WWE didn’t book that story in the build up, neither woman is actually in that position in WWE so it was kind of out of character for Nia to be dominate like this against someone WHO KICKED TRIPLE H’S ASS AT WRESTLEMANIA. I liked it but I would have liked WWE to have actually booked THIS as the story and not the mess they did.
When the whole “Ronda is the greatest thing since sliced bread” hype has died down I’ll probably be right behind her, she really does look like she was born to be in WWE and reacted perfectly to Nia’s attack. This match was just as good as everyone hyped it to be but kudos to Nia for looking just as bad ass as Ronda. People thought it would be one sided and even if Nia got offense in it would just look terrible but she looked every part the champion she is. Great match.
Match was ended when Bliss came out and attacked Ronda ending the Ronda/Nia match and cashing in herself.
MITB CASH IN
Winner : Alexa Bliss
Didn’t last long, after attacking Nia with the case before cashing in it wasn’t too hard to then take a already tired and injured Nia down and a Twisted Bliss later Alexa has herself her belt back.
MENS MITB MATCH
SAMOA JOE vs FINN BALOR vs RUSEV vs BOBBY ROODE vs KEVIN OWENS vs THE MIZ vs BRAUN STROWMAN vs KOFI KINGSTON
MITB Winner : Braun Strowman
Owens didn’t have to worry EVERYONE had the idea to attack Strowman first and it ended up with Strowman on the stage being buried under ladders by the entire match whilst The Miz “tried” to get the briefcase whilst they were busy. It was a little clumsy but the PERFECT Miz tactic. Its why he is my pick to win because I just love the idea of him holding that case and playing mind games with AJ Styles and then Daniel Bryan AND THEN CASH IT IN FOR A WRESTLEMANIA MATCH AGAINST BRYAN AFTER BRYAN BEATS AJ FOR THE TITLE….
Or something like that.
So many moments from Strownman being buried to holding onto the ladder that Balor was trying to drag away, Kofi and Balor both flying over the top rope, Owens on the stupidly tall ladder being abused by Strowman… Strowman on the war path just running THROUGH a ladder…
Very well thought out match to be honest, there was a story and only having the one big man that EVERYONE was trying to get rid of helped a lot. To be honest I think it helped having Strowman in there because a lot of people are like me and just get real excited when he does his thing and there were plenty of Strowman moments in this match. Every guy in the match was top tier and they all kicked ass but I love the crazy stuff and Strowman does the crazy stuff perfect.
Strowman wins, instantly I didn’t like it then people started going on about Monster in the Bank and him probably sticking his nose in on another Roman vs Brock match and I instantly changed my mind. Great winner.
Rollins/Elias was probably the best non-stipulation match on the card, Nia/Ronda comes close but I think personally I would just put Rollins/Elias above it. Both MITB matches were well thought out, strong matches that made the guys and gals in the matches look strong as hell. Last Man Standing was everything we wanted Styles/Nakamura to be from the start.
So that is over half the night being at least a little above average with three poor-ish matches and a meh match on the pre-show. Not bad to be honest!
Bliss holding the belt now opens up interesting options going into Extreme Rules and building the long game towards SummerSlam, could see a possible Triple Threat between Nia and Ronda at SummerSlam with maybe a number one contenders match at Extreme Rules with Bliss getting involved leading to both facing her together.
Strowman with the Briefcase won’t be as fun as Kofi or Miz, he didn’t grab a mic and declare when he’d have his match like many people believe Samoa Joe would have. He doesn’t really need the briefcase as I struggle to see how he couldn’t just get himself into matches if he wanted to be there in the first place… Its hard to see where they are going to go with him and as I said at first I was disappointed and then Twitter came to the rescue and there are a few possibilities including being a Rollins type block for a Roman/Brock match if they decide to do that again sometime soon. Then again he might declare when he wants to face Brock on RAW so we’ll have to wait and see.
Hoping a few of the more dull feuds are now over. Bryan needs to go onto better whilst Cass needs to drop the “I’m tall” thing and find something more interesting to feud with away from Bryan. It was never going to work, whilst I get that they wanted to get the fans against Cass and going after a returning Bryan after they were both cleared on the same day was a good way of making him a bad guy at the same time out of all the feuds and matches people wanted to see Bryan in this wasn’t one of them so it was always going to fail (maybe a strong word) to fans because it isn’t what we waited for Bryan to be cleared for.
Jinder/Roman better just stop and I really hope they just take Jinder away for a little bit and bring him back with a better character. Him being the bad guy because he’s foreign is annoying, it didn’t work when they started it it doesn’t work now. There are plenty of things that Jinder could be angry for that doesn’t make the audience look like dicks for booing a guy who is being discriminated against.
WWE’s be a star campaign is just terrible with bullies reigning supreme, monsters bullying everyone in general and them promoting us to be bullies by booing someone for being different. Nice work. Just be a star.