Fastlane: Review/Recap

RESEM50037fastlane2016MEBecky Lynch And Sasha Banks Defeated Team B.A.D.:

Don’t really have much to say about this. It was actually a pretty good match, all things considered, from both teams and did a decent job kicking off the night and managed to avoid any kind of gaffs (unfortunately the latter women’s match wouldn’t be so lucky). This thing is obviously just a way to build up the feud of Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks going after Charlotte and the Diva’s title. I’d presume it’ll be a three-way for the belt at WrestleMania, or just a straight up Sasha/Charlotte match. I’d be more keen to the Sasha/Charlotte match because you know that both the company and the women want a star-making match of not only showing off the skills of the women on this huge stage and they can be just as good if not better than the men, but they also want to make huge starts out of these women as the torchbearers for the division for the next decade+. So, it’s easier to make a great singles match with planned ideas, spots and fluidity (the latter part which often plagues divas matches) than to create a great triple threat match which often includes dealing with a lot of timing issues and having to eliminate one person so much that it always seems like a revolving singles match. Anyways, I’m not complaining either way, and I’m sure either match will be great, I just sense that this is a match execution that they’ll want to pull off in spades to further benefit and lend credence to the division as wrestlers.

Kevin Owens Defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Championship:

This was your prototypical Kevin Owens/Dolph Ziggler TV match that was really no different than the last 567 times they faced off. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad by any stretch. They’re basically the king of kicking off shows, and if it wasn’t for that extra women’s match that’s what they would’ve been doing, although this was basically the same. Owens was obviously going to win, since he just won the belt and WWE seems like they actually have and want Kevin to do stuff (not that it’s apparent lately) and Ziggler has been doing nothing since that whole Rusev/Lana thing that we’re probably just better off forgetting.

I have no clue what Kevin Owens will be doing for WrestleMania. I’m thinking either a program with AJ Styles for the title, which I’d love, or maybe a program with Chris Jericho for the title, which would be fine, especially since Owens/Jericho worked a bunch on house shows over the past year and their dueling promos would be a lot of fun. I mean, a Sami Zayn feud would be awesome, but I don’t think that’s happening so soon, especially with Zayn dealing with NXT stuff, but I wouldn’t fret since I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot of it over the next decade.

Big Show, Kane and Ryback Defeated The Wyatt Family:

This wasn’t even all that bad! I was surprised! I couldn’t even think of a match I’ve been looking forward to less than this one (although, I feel like I say that on ever PPV review I do). I mean, it makes absolutely no sense why didn’t give the Wyatts the win, as that seemed a foregone conclusion. The booking on the Wyatts is the most schizoprenic, they’ll languish in the background and lose to everybody, then they’ll be pushed like they finally want to build them as legit monsters who win and dominate, but then they’ll just get pushed down again and back to scrape the doldrums. In a perfect world it would be cool to see the Wyatts as legitimate threats and not just glorified jobbers in the skins of people who in theory would be a lot more successful.

Charlotte Defeated Brie Bella to retain the Divas Championship:

Oh, man, this thing was terrible. Not too many other ways to put it. The whole match both Brie and Charlotte seemed to be on a completely different page. This is where that fluidity thing I mentioned in the Sasha, Becky/Team B.A.D. thing comes into place. Often in women’s matches they’ll seem so stiff and so hesitant of the next move and spot that it becomes so blatantly and painfully obvious that this is staged and everything is pre-determined. There’s no seamless back-and-forth, but rather waiting and stumbling around to set up the next move, or wait an unrealistic amount of time to do something or just do something so strained and removed that it looks painfully manipulated. This match was that idea in a nutshell. There was countless times where Charlotte would have to do some many unnatural delays or moves to make sure she and Brie were in the proper position to do a move that it was so blatantly stunted. It wasn’t just Brie, where I think the problem lies in both women being not having much experience with each other and neither really taking charge. The whole thing culminated in a finish apropo of the entire match with Brie having Charlotte in a single leg crab, until she decided to seemingly launch herself into the ropes and give up the move only for Charlotte to magically recover put her in the figure-8 and win. What you were supposed to know is that Brie’s leg was injured and thus the pain of putting pressure on her leg in that move launced her out of the move? I dunno, it was a bad match and a bad finish. Charlotte will redeem herself at Wrestlemania with some more worthy competition, and Brie I’m sure will have a better showing as she winds her career down and remains thankful that this wasn’t her goodbye match.

AJ Styles Defeated Chris Jericho:

Looking back Chris Jericho was pretty much the perfect fit for AJ’s first feud in WWE. They’re both decade+ vets in the business, are of similar sizes and can put on great matches with seemingly anybody. In the end I never got that classic match I expected from the two that I know is in both of them, but instead we just got some really, really good matches, which especially on this show shouldn’t be anything to complain about. I think, funnily enough, that this match was similar to the Brie/Charlotte match (I know.. hold on, let me explain), but on the opposite side of the spectrum. As good as the matches were and this one was, both men just seemed to slightly be on different pages. Whether it was AJ still getting used to the new ring and relative new style (yet he’s still better than 95% of the roster being this new to the company) or if it was Jericho’s age and style not being able to keep up with AJ. Sometimes you’d see them just off on a spot, like that AJ springboard off the ropes to Jericho drop kick, where to anyone less skilled than them it would look blatantly obvious, but instead these guys are so good that slight misses go largely undetected.

I also had a pretty big issue with having Jericho kick out of the Styles Clash, especially when he was just going to give up the submission to Styles, anyways. I would’ve loved to have seen them build up the Styles Clash as this great move, maybe not Japan levels of building it up, but at least have it built up enough to help out another guy that could use the rub rather than wasting it on Jericho a week in. Especially when they have AJ using the calf slicer as his main finisher now and the Styles Clash could’ve been used as a “big match” move that AJ only busted out when absolutely necessary. We’ll see, though, I guess I should just be happy they gave AJ the win over Jericho and actually made him tap out.

The Cutting Edge Peep Show with The New Day:

I rolled my eyes at first because it just seemed like a lame time filler to pimp the new Edge and Christian show, and it was that, but the dreaming side of me actually thought they’d use this to debut Enzo and Cass on the main roster to feud with The New Day into Mania. But, nope, as soon as The New Day started talking about the League of Nations I knew this thing was only destined to get worse. It makes total sense in retrospect that they’d go with this feud since neither has nothing to do, but I could care less. The New Day act is sooo played out with me and always goes on about 5 minutes longer than it should. As if things couldn’t get much worse on this show…

Curtis Axel Defeated R-Truth:

Yep, you read that correctly, the co-main event match on this show was Curtis Axel with the Social Outcasts beating R-Truth in two minutes when a Goldust accidental distraction led to the pin because we absolutely needed that story continued on this show. How this makes it on, even as a dumb time filler when Kalisto/Alberto Del Rio languished on the pre-show is beyond me, because you know full well they could’ve just shifted things slightly and had that match on here to at least bring up the mean.

Roman Reigns Defeated Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar:

The theme of this show really was if you came into it expecting exactly what everybody knew was going to happen (which it did) then it probably didn’t bother you too much. As much as you might’ve wanted Ambrose to win and how fun it would be to throw a wrench in everything, you knew WWE wasn’t doing anything to mess with the story they had of Roman and Triple H with Roman gunning after that belt yet again, he’s already won it twice somehow! The match was good, nothing amazing and pretty serviceable to all. It will never get old watching Brock get built up like the monster he is and just destroying guys left and right.

I’m writing this after RAW, so WrestleMania is becoming a lot more clearer. We got the match that nobody say coming with Shan McMahon coming back to the company to face Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell match to win the rights to Monday Night Raw. I’m sure there will be a lot of strings pulled from now until then and the match itself will probably be a cluster in terms of guest spots and smoke and mirrors towards whoever will win. Regardless, I’m excited for the match and at the very least the idea of it because it sounds like the most fantasy booking thing ever, especially in 2016.

Dean Ambrose is facing off against Brock Lesnar in a street fight, which sounds amazing and has the potential to steal the show. The street fight stipulation is a good idea, because it’s the only way that things can sway in Ambrose’s favour towards a fair and believable fight, because realistically Lesnar should mop the floor with the scrawny Ambrose. I’m much more excited about this than I am the before rumoured idea of Lesnar/Bray Wyatt which was seemingly being set up at the Rumble. I was looking forward to the legit Lesnar/Wyatt match, but not the tedious month+ long build up of boring promos and attacks.

I don’t know what’s truly happening with the tag belts outside of New Day/League Of Nations feud, but don’t know how that’ll play into WrestleMania. They’ve been putting together a few tag teams of late like Social Outcasts, R-Truth/Goldust, plus the Dudleyz and Usos feud that seems to be happening and now it seems like Styles/Jericho are going to be a team which I’m not the biggest fan of. So maybe they’ll do a big multi-team match like they did last year?

It seems like the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will be back, as it’s now just an easy match to throw all your leftover guys into, and especially since a ton of the big guys have nothing to do like Big Show, Kane, Ryback, the Wyatts etc. I have no clue what this means for Bray Wyatt as I can’t see anyone relatively big or decent for him to feud with that he hasn’t faced already. Who knows.

Of course you got John Cena posting cryptic things on Twitter about him pushing hard to make some certain goal. Hmmmm. This is the same dude who posted about him struggling to regain the mobility in his weak arm and then two days later posted him squatting 300 lbs. The dude is a freak, so he’ll probably be back, but I have no clue facing. The fantasy booker in me wants John Cena vs. AJ Styles for the dream match we’ve always wanted over the past decade.

And, oh yeah, that whole Triple H vs. Roman Reigns for the title thing. It’s hilarious that WWE thinks that continually putting bigger and bigger things in front of Roman for him to “overcome” to win the title will somehow get people to like him, yet it’s having the opposite effect where it gets comical how much he beats out to get what he deserves. I’m sure there will be a special ref or special enforcer or people in each of their corners or whatever, but I don’t think much will work and the fans are just too far gone on Reigns in this iteration to see him win like this.

I was getting pretty skeptical of Mania with all the injuries, lack of big matches and the mess the world title picture is, but the whole Shane/Undertaker thing has really piqued my interest and the Lesnar/Ambrose thing is bound to be a lot of fun. Plus, I’m sure they still got a few surprises up their sleeves since it’s the “biggest WrestleMania of all time” (haven’t you heard!?!?), and given we’re still more than a month out a lot is bound to change, but I’m back excited for Mania, and hey, we at the very least get an NXT Takeover special to look forward to, no matter the Mania card.

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TLC: Tables, Ladders And Chairs: Review/Recap

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The New Day Defeats The Usos and the Lucha Dragons to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in a ladder match:

This year the ladder match opens the show once again and once again it steals the show right out of the gate. Originally, I thought and expected the ladder would go to the Owens/Ambrose Intercontinental match, which would’ve been great in its own right, but after seeing this I’m glad it went here. I can’t even remember the last time WWE had a multi tag team ladder match and that alone provided a fresh aspect to a match we haven’t seen in awhile. Of course, as expected, this thing was just a gigantic spot-fest with all three groups utilizing their high-flying abilities (+ Big E) for some fantastic moments. Highlighted by the incredible Solina del Sol delivered by Kalisto to *insert name of the correct Uso* off the top of a ladder in the middle of the ring, collapsing down through a ladder wedged in between the ropes. I can’t remember a move in recent memory that made me jump out of my seat like that. Big E also did a pretty cool move where he was trapped under a ladder and bench pressed it off him while the Lucha Dragons were climbing the ladder. I’m always amazed that people still find new and inventive things to do in ladder matches after all these years and this thing definitely delivered.

I think the New Day are getting a bit stale, due in large part to their constant long-winded promos that they deliver each time they’re out, but it was no question they were going to retain. It’s hard to tell when their time will run out with the belts, I’d imagine sooner rather than later, but still expect them to be a major player in the tag division for the foreseeable future. It seems like only a matter of time until the Lucha Dragons get a run with the titles, hopefully only pushing Kalisto’s stock even higher, because that dude has star potential.

Rusev Defeats Ryback:

This is just a dumb, filler of a feud that was pretty meaningless and lacked any teeth whatsoever. They tried to to this whole thing of Lana feigning getting attacked by Ryback and such, but it’s all just so boring and pointless. I remember they tried doing this feud a few months ago and nothing happened to it, unfortunately they actually went forward to this. I find Ryback pretty boring and he’s pretty much lost in the shuffle nowadays after his Intercontinental reign went down in flames. Rusev on the other hand is a better worker than he’s given credit for on the card, and has been wallowing in sub-standard stuff to what he’s capable of since he got run over in the Cena feud from earlier this year. It wasn’t a noticeably bad match or anything, just wildly forgettable and unnecessary.

Alberto Del Rio Defeats Jack Swagger to retain the United States Championship in a chairs match:

Del Rio obviously was going to retain over Swagger, who only got this title match because of the connection of his former manager Zeb Colter being Del Rio’s manager now. Except for the fact that Del Rio broke things off with Zeb the previous week, possibly hinting of interference or an appearance by Zeb in this match to return to Swagger’s side, except nope, none of that happened. Del Rio won in this chairs match (which might be the dumbest gimmick match currently used) with little fanfare, with the most noticeably dumb thing to happen in the match was when Swagger had Del Rio in his ankle submission Patriot lock move where Del Rio proceeds to get out of the move and no-sell it, walking around perfectly fine, but not only that it leads directly into the finish where Del Rio’s does his stomp off the top rope, driving his supposedly injured foot into Swagger, but showing no effects, and getting the 1-2-3. So, Del Rio keeps the belt, until presumably Cena comes back in the ensuing months and takes it back. You don’t just get to keep your win over Cena.

The Wyatt Family defeats The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno in a tables match:

This feud was presumably made because a. Like 90% of why the Dudleyz came back is so they could compete in a tables match at this PPV and b. to get the Wyatt’s a win in a feud, even if it’s against some 40-year-olds. That’s the biggest thing to come out of this thing, the Wyatt’s actually got a win over somebody, whether it actually means anything. It’s funny because WWE always projects the Wyatts as this immovable faction full of creepy ass-kickers, except for the fact that they lose to pretty much every body they’re in a feud with. It’d be nice to see them actually get meaningful wins and put some tangible cred behind their names to book them into an actual top force, not just glorified jobbers. This one was at least a step in the right direction with the Wyatts dominating having only Erick Rowan (the Wyatt family member that I think the other family members couldn’t care less about) be eliminated while the rest of the team stood strong the rest of the match.

Dean Ambrose defeats Kevin Owens to win the Intercontinental Championship:

This was really the only surprise of the night for me, Ambrose finally getting a win and getting the taste of some gold as he was on fire for a lot of the year, but never got anything done. Owens with the title was great, as he has been in every storyline, and I just don’t think we were close to telling the end of his story with the belt, granted I’m sure he’ll be chasing his rematch down. Not really sure what this means going forward for both men, there was always the rumoured Sami Zayn feud for Owens now that he’s coming back and looks less and less destined for NXT in the long run. Does Dean Ambrose settle in as the Intercontinental champion and try to give his U.S. title reign a run for its money?

Charlotte defeats Paige to retain the Divas championship:

I’ve never been invested in this feud, but I don enjoy the how it seems WWE doesn’t even know who is heel or face in this thing anymore. Charlotte literally plays the full out heel in this match for her first time, and thus Paige is playing the babyface role, where just a few weeks ago she was heel and a few before that she was face. Then in a post-match segment Charlotte is being a dick to Becky Lynch, along with Ric Flair, but then she seems to be legitimately regretful to things she said to Becky while her father keeps yapping away. It doesn’t make much sense, especially when Charlotte as a full-out heel is a lot more interesting and fun, anyways.

Sheamus defeats Roman Reigns in a TLC match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:

This thing went as expected with wins teased for both until the inevitable run-in by the League of Nations members to beat down Roman to help Sheamus score the win. There were a few moments where they got me and I thought Reigns might overcome all the odds against the interference and Sheamus’ sure win and take the title, but nope, at least not for another 24 hrs. or so…

That would’ve been the expected WWE ending and have the show close out there, as they’ve done time and time again. But, nope, this time Roman had enough and snapped on Triple H spearing him, beating him down, slamming him on a table, elbow dropping him through said table that didn’t break on the first go around, spearing him again after deciding he just wasn’t done after walking up the ramp. Reigns beat HHH down, HHH sold hilariously flopping around like a fish for some bizarre reason and for once Reigns actually looked like a beast that his look so much demonstrates he should be. This silent ass-kicker who just destroys with no regard for consequences or repercussions that could come. It looked like a step in the right direction for Reigns.

So, since I’m writing this after the Raw that followed the PPV, it would be kinda foolish not to talk about that since it’s directly follows from the events of the PPV and includes something pretty big. Nope, Reigns wasn’t taking the title from Sheamus on the Sunday night PPV, instead he took it on Raw completing a mini-arch for Roman over the two nights that actually genuinely seemed to cash in on a storyline with him that seemed relatively unforced.

Stephanie opens Raw with Reigns saying she’s not going to fire him because Triple H didn’t want to (I have no reason why he didn’t want to, and I hope they actually explain this when Triple H comes back), but she claims some guy named Vince McMahon is coming to the arena and he of course has the superseding end-all opinion on Reigns’ employment. Then because Stephanie is Stephanie she slaps Reigns a couple times. Later in the show Vince comes out lambasts Reigns, Reigns calls him an old man and just because of that he gets a world title match that night that if he loses he gets fired but if he wins he gets the title(?), and then Vince kicks Reigns in the balls and then it becomes crystal clear that Reigns is winning the title since Vince and co. backstage would never have their golden boy Reigns get doubly humiliated by Steph and Vince that way without him achieving something memorable in the end. So, in the main event Vince tries to provide a distraction to the ref, only to receive a Superman punch from Reigns which Vince sells beautifully, a brogue kick hits Sheamus that he amazingly kicked out of, into the spear for the win. Then cue the Philadelphia fans cheering Reigns in this rousing coronation of the man finally winning this title. Yeah, you read that right, the same city that booed Reigns out of the building this past January when he won the Rumble and his right to the WrestleMania main event and world title shot, cheered this man because for the most part things actually worked this time and the dude had enough crap piled on him, just give it to him and let him run with it already. Plus, people seemed to have rather wanted to put the tile on a dead fish than have Sheamus continue to run around with it.

Now where they go with it I have no clue. Obviously at least up until the Rumble Reigns and Sheamus will continue to feud with it, but after that I have no clue. It seemed like Reigns would be winning the belt at Mania with his celebration on that grand stage, but looking back now I think there’s no way WWE could last that long keeping the belt off Reigns, and really they couldn’t have kept it on Sheamus much more than they have. So, who wins the Rumble to go against Reigns. Realistically there’s only like three options Lesnar, Cena and Undertaker. Who legitimately else has a shot that they would let main event what they are attempting to make their biggest Mania yet. That’s it, and I doubt it’ll be Taker in the title picture. Lesnar seems like the best bet, since they could do the rematch since last year, even though I don’t think there’s a single person clamouring for that. It’s been rumoured WWE would like to do the whole Cena vs. Reigns Mania match with Reigns going over and Cena passing the torch, but is it time for that now? Who knows, but it seems like WWE doesn’t have the most varying options what to do with the title since their roster seems thinner and thinner by the day. Hell, at the end of Sunday night it seemed like it was going to be a Reigns/HHH feud going forward whether that would be at the Rumble or stretched to Mania, but now Reigns has the title, so what now. Killing two birds with one stone and having HHH go for the title would be hilariously amazing and I probably shouldn’t joke about. I look forward to looking back at this in four months and laughing.

Anyways, that’s where things stand and I’m semi-excited to see where things go, even if I’ll probably be let down. I was actually really optimistic for the PPV, and while it ended up being pretty disappointing, the Raw angle with Reigns winning the title on TV (something unseen in over four years) has my interested peaked. I’ve never hated Reigns as much as most, I definitely had my problems with him, and he’s definitely much better now, even if his promos do suck. But, I’m glad they finally stuck the belt on him and hope they just run with it and I hope it’s as great as they think it’ll be. I think Regins will get better just with the belt around him through some sort of osmosis, but we’ll see.

Survivor Series: Review/Recap

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Roman Reigns defeats Alberto Del Rio to advance to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament finals:

This was probably the most obvious outcome of the night, because no matter what would happen in the main event, it was all going to concern Roman somehow. It’s a smart opener, too, as they could get a good pop out of the crowd with Roman coming out to kick off the PPV, although he got pretty soundly booed, so maybe not the best with this crowd. This actually ended up to be my favourite match of the night and I think definitely Albert’s best since he came back to the company a month ago. The finish was never in doubt, but both were good enough together to really sell the near-falls.

Dean Ambrose defeats Kevin Owens to advance to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament finals:

Another good match, not as good as the first, and actually a bit disappointing given the talent between the two guys, but it was never anything outwardly bad, just could have been better. It was pretty certain that Dean was going to advance, to push the whole Roman vs. Dean thing, but I don’t think a Kevin Owens win would’ve been too far out of the picture (especially with how things eventually ended). It seems like Owens and Ambrose were going to feud for the Intercontinental title into this PPV anyways, until the Rollins injury mucked everything up and I’d imagine they’ll continue this going forward. Hopefully the matches get better, I have no doubt that they won’t, and from the in ring work to the matches this could be a top mid-card feud that has the potential to be the best thing going for the company right now.

Ryback, The Usos and the Lucha Dragons defeats The New Day, Sheamus and King Barrett:

This was the “oh, damn, this is Survivor Series and I guess that means we need a 5v5 elimination match, so, uh, what scraps do we have around the locker room to fill this out.” Seeing as we had no clue who the participants were going into the match I thought they might have some mini-storyline reason of choosing these people, but nope it was just random leftover heels and faces to fill out the card, who are just a bit above working the pre-show. The match was actually pretty fine, at least until the New Day left with an “injured” Big E to leave Sheamus stranded alone, which I thought was setting them up coming back or complaining when they eventually lost that technically they hadn’t been eliminated, but nope, Sheamus just eventually got beat by the faces.

Charlotte defeated Paige to retain the WWE Divas championship:

Man, I barely remember this match, and I guess it makes sense because their feud is nothing to really retain either. Besides the lame attempt at giving this feud some depth and teeth with that random Reid Flair death comment on the previous RAW, there isn’t much that really makes you invested in any of this. I don’t think Paige is a particularly good heel in the first place and I’m not the biggest fan of hers either, and as well Charlotte is clearly lacking on the mic. You’d think since they’re such great wrestlers within the ropes they’d be able to at least put on something good, but unfortunately it was unforgettable with Charlotte eventually winning after an awkward submission spot. I’d hope this thing would be done here, but I imagine they’d want to keep pushing with Paige at the title.

Tyler Breeze defeats Dolph Ziggler:

I was looking forward to this a lot, actually, but it kinda just felt like a dud all the way around. The crowd seemed long sucked from the building and they only got just over five minutes to make this thing work. It was a fine enough match, but I was just expecting more given the calibre of performers in the ring. I’m glad Tyler got the win, even though I’m sure they’ll harp on his pseudo-cheating with tripping Ziggler for the win. I don’t see this thing ending anytime soon, so hopefully like Owens/Ambrose they can only improve on things.

The Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) defeats The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper):

I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I’m surprised it was even worse than I was expecting. I was 99% sure that Undertaker would get the win since this PPV was centred around his 25 years in the company, but a part of me thought they might flip the script and have the Wyatts triumph when everything was seemingly against them. But, nope, this was just a glorified squash match for Undertaker and Kane going through their greatest hits for a short ten minutes with the easy win by an eventual tombstone to Undertaker. Taker and co. were taking it super easy, and hopefully this was just an easy stepping stone to honour his 25 years and he’ll prepping for a more worthy match at WrestleMania, since we know he still has some good matches left in him given his last two against Brock. And who knows where the Wyatts go from here, given that they’re basically glorified jobbers by now, with WWE trying to give them the illusion that they are all high and mighty powerhouses, yet they lose every feud they’re in, losing all their credibility.

Roman Reings defeats Dean Ambrose to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship, but…

I was really looking forward to this, given the whole storyline business of Reigns and Ambrose being best buddies and everything coming down to them taking each other on one-on-one to see who’s the best, and beyond that it’s a fresh match for once! I guess the theme of the night was short matches and I was astonished how short this thing was. I couldn’t believe how early they were going for their finishing moves, telegraphing the end, I thought it might just be an entertaining close call for the middle of the match, but nope eventually Reigns got the spear on Ambrose in just under ten minutes for the win. Don’t get me wrong, the match was good for what it was, but it felt so condensed and rushed, and for what reason I have no clue, since by the time ended the show was still a good 20 minutes short of the 3 hour window.

I was certain that the big angle here would be the Dean Ambrose heel turn on his best buddy that I thought was going to happen way back at SummerSlam, giving the main event a big feud with a backstory and cementing the big heel with Rollins out of the picture. Instead, they decided to go the whole other route, and actually stick with it, so outcomes Triple H to congratulate Reigns who responds with a spear to Triple H all to turn around from a brogue kick from Sheamus and him cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Sheamus kicked out of the first brogue, and I thought, “oh, okay, now they’re just going strengthen Reigns by having him best Sheamus’ attempt at the title,” until another brogue kick smashed in Reigns’ face and Sheamus got the three for the title.

I’m really not up in arms about this finish as most are, mainly stemming from how much people hate Sheamus. I used to, too, I mean I still don’t necessarily like him, but he’s an actual heel in this day-and-age who actually gets legit heel heat, has a stiff moveset and can be used correctly. Now, I don’t really think this is the best move to put at the top of your card, but I mean it is the deadest period of the year where people tune out, and I’d be surprised if they had Sheamus with the title going into Mania.

With Rollins out it seemed the no. 1 thing WWE wanted/needed was to establish a no. 1 heel and that’s what they did (or at least tried to do) with Sheamus. They needed a top heel (in their eyes, anyways) to go against Reigns, and in doing so gave him the belt to help generate that. Obviously, they’re trying to build sympathy for Roman with the fans and try to build him up and actually get people to cheer and like him before they put the belt on him, because apparently Vince sees him as the face/top of the company for the foreseeable future and he wants to set everything up right. If Reigns isn’t standing tall with the belt at the end of WrestleMania 32 then either something drastic happened, but I would be stunned if that wasn’t the case. I’m interested to see how they work this thing and if they can actually get Reigns over, or at least moreso, this time, because if they screw things up or fail to pull the trigger it might be too little too late with Roman. He’s still pretty terrible on the mic, but his ring work is very solid and I can definitely see him succeeding and winning over the fans to be a draw on top for all fans, but the booking will ultimately decide this in the coming months. I’m fascinated to see how this plays out.

Ultimately, I didn’t hate the PPV like most did, largely stemming from the Sheamus ending, but mostly I just felt underwhelmed. I was actually looking forward to a bunch of these matches, none of them were terrible, but the only one I really liked was the Reigns/Del Rio one, one that I wasn’t even looking forward to. Reigns/Ambrose was good, but seemed so much like a tease at an actual full length match in the future, possibly when one is heel, and I can’t wait for that.

It’s going to be an interesting an interesting time in the WWE due to how uninteresting things are right now. They’re heading into December, their biggest dead time, with no Rollins or Cena (along with the load of other injured stars) with a new champion that everybody hates and a no. 1 contender that most are just so-so on at best. I’m being like The New Day and trying to stay positive!