This month The Afterglow is going to be a bit different. I was going to write it up, but Mistress Maria and her fiance Zoey were at MITB live, so they have a rather unique look as this PPV. Further, Zoey is fairly new to professional wrestling and this was her first PPV. Now, I could have added in my own little quips, but Marie wrote such an outstanding look at MITB that I’m not even going to try to step on it in any way. I hope you enjoy reading their reactions as much as I did. – Queen KB
Opening bout: Bludgeon Brothers vs The Good Brothers
Well, Zoey may not have paid much attention to this match, but I (Marie) did. It was honestly what the crowd needed as a warmup, with Gallows and Anderson getting enough offense to actually seem like they could have gone over here. I have to say, Harper, Rowan, and Gallows are huge in person. The fact that this match featured three big men that didn’t feel like a “big man” match should be a testament to how well they all work. The Bludgeon Brothers going over here was a good decision as well, because we all know Sanity is coming and that their first feud will be going after the tag titles.
Bryan vs Cass:
Cass, I’m sorry to say, really needs to go back to NXT. His ring work was all over the place, and it really showed live. If there is one positive I can give him, it’s that he can draw heat. Zoey, as new as she was to this, even saw where he was messing up. Bryan worked the match like the workhorse he is and is the only reason it came off well to the crowd, as the fans still love him. I have to wonder where they go from here, as Cass has tapped to Bryan twice now. I’m sure Vince won’t let that be the blow off.
Sami vs Lashley:
Sami’s entrance is so awesome to do live, and he has an incredible fan base. I will be the first to admit that while he is great as a heel, he still has the fan support to go face at any point. Lashley, on the other hand, may as well had crickets for his entrance. It was dead, and even had some boos. The only thing that got a positive reaction for him from the live crowd was the Delayed Vertical Suplex, and he hit it three times because of that fact. Otherwise, this match could have been on Raw, and may have gotten a better reaction.
Rollins vs Elias:
“WE ARE SCUMBAGS!” That was easily, aside from the chants in the Roman/Jinder match, our favorite chant of the night. Elias has a charismatic aura about that isn’t matched by many others on the roster. Seth is just amazing to watch live. This was the match that truly lit a fire under the live crowd, with a ton of fantastic spots and near falls. While I want Elias to hold the Intercontinental Title sooner rather than later, the crowd loved how the ending went. I’m questioning where they will go with this, as it looked like Elias was trying to tell the ref that Seth had the tights after the match. Maybe we can get this again at Extreme Rules?
I have to give WWE credit where it is due: they stepped it up from last year. Becky getting as close as she did multiple times riled the crowd up, as did Lana’s showing in the match. And every single one of the women put it all out there. Bliss winning was the perfect result for the live crowd. She is like Samoa Joe, no matter if she is face or heel, she’s going to have a huge following. And this was very evident in the live crowd, as they erupted when she won. There is a clear reason Vince is high on her, and this is why.
Roman vs Jinder:
Zoey took this match as her bathroom break and regretted it afterward. The crowd was on fire for hijacking the match, and the number of chants during it was insane. And you know it was nuts when Roman and Jinder both crack at the level of craziness that went on. With me starting the “You Both Suck” chant at the start of the match, and all of the chants that follow, it was easily the most fun I’ve ever had at a live event. I mean, where else can you shout “A******e” at security for popping a beach ball and start a protest wave? It was awesome.
Carmella vs Asuka:
I’ll give credit where it is due: Carmella is better in person than I thought she would be. Asuka is amazing to watch, and that isn’t just because I got to walk out the west entrance as she was heading to her car! Overall, the match itself wasn’t anything spectacular, but Ellsworth’s reappearance was MONEY! And yes, we all knew it was coming, but it was still a fun way to do something different. The crowd loved it!
AJ vs Nakamura:
Hands down, this is easily both mine and Zoey’s match of the year. It was perfection. They went out there and told an amazing story, and while it took a while for the low blows to happen, they were perfectly timed. Both men left everything they had out there and the crowd ate it up. We were on our feet for a solid 5-7 minutes just in awe of it. That Phenomenal Forearm!!!! I’m so glad I caught that on video! AJ retaining here sets up some amazing feuds down the line, and I hope Nakamura goes after the US title now, as he is in a perfect spot to build it up.
Nia vs Ronda:
Seeing Ronda live, Zoey and I both agree: She should not have debuted on the main roster, and she definitely wasn’t ready for a 1 on 1 match like this at a PPV. Nia did the best she could to cover how green Ronda was, but it looked sloppy. Especially when she fell out of the ring towards the start of the match! I’m sorry, but it was embarrassing no matter how much the crowd loves her. But the cash in!!! That was beautifully timed, and the beat down by Alexa on Ronda was well done. I have some issues with how she struck Nia, as they looked incredibly weak live, but the excitement more than made up for it. It was easily the pop of the night.
Just… WOW. From the entrances to the final bell, the live crowd was LIT. There was literally no dead moments, and that energy was truly electric. I will say here and now: until you are in a crowd like this, you have never truly experienced a WWE event. I loved that they tried to take Braun out early, which kind of tipped their hand a bit on him. But even still, the other workers did such an amazing job of keeping the mystery of the match all the way to the end. I do want to say that I hope KO is ok, as I broke on here last night that he was stretchered out of the arena. But other than that one thing, I have no words. Braun going over is pretty much the only solution that will help the Raw title picture, and while some (Looking at Botch here) may call it lazy booking, I see that how WWE finally has an out to the Lesnar situation.
This was my first PPV event in a decade, and my fiancé Zoey’s first live event ever. And it amazes me just how much the energy has changed in that time. The crowd was more involved and truly loved just about every moment. As Zoey said to me, the people are what made this show worth so much. We as fans see when a dead crowd kills an event, and I hope it came across on TV as raucous as it was live. I know I will gladly come back to Chicago for ANY PPV that comes to town, and I know that this turned Zoey into a lifelong fan. The biggest change for her was the fact that she didn’t have commentary like she usually does, and she thought she would miss it more than she did. But the energy of the crowd more than made it up for her. She’s normally a very quiet person, so to see her completely break out of her shell was amazing for me, and made me fall even more for her than I already had been. It was a blast, and the next time we go to a show, I hope that we can talk to more of you, our readers, while there!