John Cena vs. AJ Styles Contract Signing
This was the best segment of the whole show. I find WWE’s unwillingness to mention TNA on the air to be hilarious. This is even crazier than them pretending Sting was just in “obscurity” for so many years while he was in TNA. I really don’t think it would hurt WWE or boost TNA that much to mention their name on air. But eh, it is what it is. The back and forth on the mic was great. Styles has really been impressive in his promos, for a guy that’s never been known as a particularly strong talker. And I’m glad we’re getting Styles vs. Cena without The Club. I’m still not convinced that we won’t see some kind of shenanigans at Money in the Bank, and I really, really hope we don’t see Styles just beaten clean as a whistle. But I liked this segment, and this feud is easily the best thing going into MITB.
The Ambrose Asylum
I could have done without Dean Ambrose trying to shill Money in the Bank as a Wrestlemania calibre event. Everything he said before Rollins and Reigns came out just sounded so incredibly forced and scripted. Those lines were so Vince McMahon and it sounded uncharacteristic for Ambrose to be trying to sell the show to people. I thought Rollins was actually the most impressive here in his talking, and Reigns wasn’t bad either. The way this went down though very heavily implies that Ambrose will win Money in the Bank, or at the very least, a Shield triple threat is brewing. If not, then why the hell did Ambrose lay out the WWE Champion?
Rusev attacks Titus
A minor hit. I still don’t care much about this feud. But Rusev looked like a strong and easy to hate heel by cheapshotting Titus on the stage. The fact that Rusev stood tall here makes me a little afraid that he won’t win at MITB, or at least, won’t have a good clean win. But still, this was fine for what it was.
Apollo Crews run in
This is the most I’ve cared about Apollo since his main roster debut. He ran in to save Zack Ryder and get some retribution on Sheamus and the crowd popped for him. It’s very simple and easy booking, but it works. Happy, smiley Apollo Crews won’t go anywhere. Angry assertive Apollo Crews might have something though.
Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn
A nice little hit for a strong match. We know what Cesaro and Zayn can do together, and while they can obviously do better, they still go above and beyond for just a simple throw away TV match. And that back drop into the Code Red is such a cool and impressive spot, I’m glad it finished the match too.
Owens & Del Rio vs. The Lucha Dragons
This was silly, but entertaining as well. The Lucha Dragons didn’t come out of this looking great, but I think WWE has kind of given up on them (if they were ever invested in the first place). The bickering between Owens and Del Rio was funny and it really makes me want to see Owens get the briefcase.
Steph, Shane and Corporate Kane
I tune out the second I see a McMahon on my screen now. Or at least, I try to. There were way too many cut aways to Shane and Steph backstage, and the Corporate Kane stuff was average at best. I laughed a bit at the throwback to the jumper cables on the testicles thing between Kane and Shane from years ago, but everything else was pretty horrid. What’s worse is that we’re probably going to get another month of these GM returns yet, and so far they’ve been duds.
Tag Team Opening Segment
I didn’t find this funny. It felt like everyone in the ring was trying to be too cute. It wasn’t an engaging opening segment. And I don’t want to see The Club out there getting involved in the silly PG humour alongside The New Day and Enzo & Cass. I’d rather them be treated as a serious tag team that the other teams don’t want to joke about. Instead this just puts them all on the same level. Not a great way to open the show.
Jericho vs. Ambrose
The match was fine, the chaos that came after it was alright, and Owens was funny on commentary. But I’m so over the silly six man booking they’re doing, where we see the same matches over and over again, the same guys fighting the same guys. I don’t care about Jericho and Ambrose in the ring because they just finished a two month program. The outcome of this match doesn’t matter because all they are doing is trading wins and no one ever gets a clear upperhand. It was a fine thing to turn your brain off and watch, but as a main event closing segment, I couldn’t care any less.
Make Darren Young Great Again
When is this going to go somewhere? These little clips don’t do anything for me. Darren Young may be able to do something if we actually see him in the ring with Backlund at ringside. But these pre-taped things are just getting worse by the week.
Charlotte and Dana
I’m really concerned about the direction of the women’s division. Charlotte and Paige had a mediocre match where they rushed to a finish, and Becky and Nattie added next to nothing on commentary. The real story was Dana throwing Charlotte in the ring and inadvertently costing her the match. Dana and Charlotte have been together for like two weeks and they’re already teasing a split and a big babyface run for Dana Brooke – who, in my opinion, should still be in NXT. Dana is not the babyface we want to see right now.
All photos via WWE.com