John Cena and AJ Styles
I loved the back and forth between Styles and Cena. It was both well written and well delivered, and AJ has slipped into his heel persona like a glove. There were some edgy lines in there, particularly Styles saying that John Cena buries guys like him. I’m a bit concerned where the feud is going to go though. Cena talked about how Styles has done nothing but lose all of his big matches since debuting – that’s not something that they should be reminding fans, especially if Styles is about to lose to Cena. Styles needs a clean win over Cena in the worst way, but I’m afraid that between The Club and the fact that Money in the Bank will be Cena’s first big match back, it’ll likely be Cena getting the win.
The six man tag was pretty fun and well done. The New Day looked good in taking the fight to The Club with Xavier on the sidelines, and The Club looked pretty ruthless in the way they took out Xavier. I’m glad they didn’t go with Cena filling in for him, as I think that’s what everyone just expected. And Styles came out of the whole thing looking pretty good while Cena got his run in and retribution on Gallows and Anderson by the end.
Money in the Bank match ups
The three match ups between the MITB participants went down pretty well. Some of it was a bit repetitive. We’ve seen Owens and Ambrose a ton of times before. But I really liked the Jericho and Cesaro match, and Cesaro getting a clean submission win over Jericho was made out to be a really big deal. I hope that’s a sign that they’ll do something with him. I don’t expect that he’ll win the briefcase, but it would be nice if he gets a decent place in the upcoming brand extension and isn’t just lost in the shuffle.
I loved the two interviews and video packages with Rollins and Reigns. My criticism would be that I have no desire to boo Rollins and support Reigns. They’ve really made Rollins look like a hero, returning to take the title that he never lost. It’s silly to push this guy as a heel when no one wants to boo him, and push Reigns as a face when no one wants to cheer him. It’s just baffling. But the interviews were good, and I’d like to see them do more sit down interviews with top guys in future feuds.
Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains
A minor hit for a short match that had a fun Enzo & Cass promo, and a finish that still sort of protected The Vaudevillains. Cass is very clearly the favourite in this pairing, I just hope that doesn’t mean a premature breakup is in the cards for Enzo & Cass.
Teddy Long and Stephanie
It was nice to see Teddy to start with, but the humour didn’t do it for me and the gag quickly fell flat. I’m not sure if Teddy’s back as a recurring character or if this was a once off because he was in town or something. I don’t really have much desire to see Teddy Long back as a character, particularly if he’s just going to be a parody of himself. And I found Stephanie unbearable in these segments. I have no idea what they’re doing with her, but I’m so tired of it and her character is so incredibly inconsistent from segment to segment.
The Golden Truth and Breezango
I’ve complained about this enough over the last few weeks/months. It’s just a weak storyline that’s dragged too long. I’m hoping with the brand split, guys like Breeze and Fandango will get some spotlight and can move on from the curtain jerking comedy spot that they’ve been slotted in.
I don’t want to say that the women’s division has regressed, because it hasn’t. But recently it’s felt like the women have had a smaller role on the show than they did back around Wrestlemania time. I get that they’re likely getting ready to kick off the Charlotte/Sasha Banks program, but this program isn’t really clicking.
I like that the opening segment was fresh and something completely different. And some of the lines, particularly with Jericho, were pretty funny. But at the end of the day, it felt a bit too cutesy and having them all sit on top of a bunch of ladders was just a bit awkward since there was no real purpose to it, outside of symbolism I guess?
Rusev, Swagger and Titus
I couldn’t care less about this feud. It’s just such a cold feud that’s come out of nowhere. Rusev and Swagger have wrestled SO many times over the last few years, there’s nothing new there that I haven’t seen before. I want this MITB match to be a quick squash match to get Rusev over, but I’m afraid that won’t be the case.
All photos via WWE.com