Okay, first things first…
The memoriam cards were cute. How on Earth is that all they got? I kinda (only kinda) get it with Brian Christopher but Nikolai Volkoff was one of the greatest heels in the initial heyday of WWF…and he only gets a memoriam card. Maybe I should be contented with that. Brickhouse Brown didn’t get one. Yeah, he only worked two matches for WWF as enhancement talent but he worked in the business itself from 1982 till just last year. His longevity in the business should have at least gotten him a mention. Miserable oversights from WWE. Miserable. Okay, the show…
Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman has single-handedly saved these segments…and I don’t just mean as a performer. He’s writing this stuff too and we can really tell. It’s only through his creativity that I care even a little about any of this. Roman Reigns has been beaten repeatedly by Brock to the point that the character has been damaged.
The shooting on the UFC would have worked…if Roman weren’t doing it. Paul came out before Roman could go on to long and made this interesting. He came out and told the story single-handedly. The back and forth between them was really fun too. Few create heat better than Paul Heyman. He gave us plenty of it here and I ate it up. We all did. Very well done!
Backstage segment – Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
This was great! Brock likes no one…not even Heyman. Heyman tried to show Lesnar what Reigns said about him and…he preferred not to view it…in his own special way. Brock was much more involved in this segment and sold his apathy beautifully.
Finn Bálor vs. “Constable” Baron Corbin
Fun match! I absolutely love this shift in Corbin’s character. It’s allowed him to show so much more personality. It also gives him longer matches to show what he can do. Finn can just flat-out go and always could. They both told a very nice story here and were given the time to do it. I am absolutely sick to death of the Sling Blade as both Bálor and other use it like it’s going out of style. Corbin’s End of Days is a great finisher – one of the best in WWE. It’s sudden and he can get it from most anywhere. It’s also got a cool name. Nice match all around.
Backstage segment – Paul Heyman & Kurt Angle
This storyline is a thing of beauty. Thank you, Heyman. He makes those he works with even better. Kurt is excellent anyway but working with Heyman makes him that much better. Again, well done!
Backstage segment – Alicia Foxx & Alexa Bliss
Someone apparently told Alexa that she should say “overhyped rookie” as often as possible. They were wrong. It’s boring now. Still, as always, she pulled this off well. Foxxy is absolutely nuts and I love it. I’m so glad she can still be completely crazy.
Natalya (w/ Ronda Rousey) vs. Alicia Foxx (w/ Alexa Bliss)
Alicia showed a little innovation with the abdominal work she did on Natalya. Decent match and they gave the match to Alicia. Cool! Of course, that wasn’t the point. This was about Ronda becoming unhinged because Alexa cheap-shotting Natalya while the ref wasn’t looking. Impressive is how Ronda sold the attack on her. She did well here.
Backstage segment – Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar
Paul is great as always but here’s another one that Brock made work. Brock! His face was animated! Hard to believe but it happened! He did this exceptionally well. He treated Paul like he was nothing…and it was great.
In-ring segment – Elias & Bobby Lashley
Elias is the best heel on WWE television. It’s not even close, honestly. He’s great because the audience (me included) can’t hate him. That he’s enjoying this makes it even more fun. When they chanted “Walk with Elias” as loudly as they did on this evening (and it was loud), he really had fun with it.
It also appears that he’s going after The Rock. I wouldn’t be mad at a feud between them at all. First, though, we’re gonna get Lashley. Here’s where things got awkward and weird. They went into this really strange version of “Rockin’ Robin”. Lashley didn’t know the words which made it more odd. This wasn’t bad but it was just…awkward.
Backstage segment – Constable Baron Corbin & Kevin Owens
They were both great here. Kevin told the story and Baron reacted perfectly throughout.
Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) [w/ interference from Kevin Owens]
The one good thing to come of this match is the proof positive we hoped that that “The Jinder Experiment” is officially over. This is what a falling star looks like. He didn’t win the match but it didn’t matter. He wasn’t even the point of any of this. This was only to elongate the Owens/Strowman feud. To that end, it worked well.
Backstage segment – Kurt Angle, Constable Baron Corbin, & Stephanie McMahon (on the phone)
The look Corbin gets on his face when he gets one over on Angle is just hilarious. He’s really flourishing in this role.
Apollo Crews (w/ Dana Brooke & Titus O’Neill) vs. Akam (w/ Rezar)
I honestly don’t know what’s going on here. This feud has been bizarre. I figured Titus Worldwide would be the first team the Authors of Pain would roll over…but that’s not happening. My feeling is not the things are improving for Titus Worldwide (though I wish it would), it’s that things are devolving for the Authors of Pain. Apollo took this and beat Akam…clean. It was a roll-up, yeah, but it was still a clean victory. I’m perplexed.
Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre (w/ Dolph Ziggler)
Can CFO$ please get Dolph some new music? His theme is so completely worn out at this point and it sounds funny next to Drew’s far superior theme. Okay, the match…
This match was uniformly excellent. Seth has always been great but Drew is now fulfilling all the promise and potential we knew he had when he was with WWE the first time. He’s really proving that WWE was right to bring him back. He’s like a totally new guy. They got well-deserved “This is Awesome” chants too.
Of course, since Ziggler is the main point of this, Ziggler had to interfere.
Backstage segment – Roman Reigns, Kurt Angle, & Constable Baron Corbin
This was really good. Again, thank you, Paul Heyman. Kurt comes off as doing his job and Roman gets it. Corbin was just standing back there enjoying it…until he got chin-checked. Angle just gave him the “you idiot” look as Corbin was slumped in a corner licking his wounds.
In-ring segment – The B-Team, Deleter of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt), & The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Gotta be real for a second. I hate the B-Team’s theme. It doesn’t fit them at all. It would fit like a Johnny Gargano or someone like that…but not the B-Team. It’s just painfully plain and angsty.
“Well, Charles…” DEAD! They don’t cut promos. They talk like regular guys…and I love it!
Why is this feud continuing? Deleter of Worlds is utterly boring. The only way I want this continue is if it continues at the Hardy Compound. Without that, this is just…meh…
Speaking of “meh”, The Revival came out too. They appear to be the darlings of all the former stars but I couldn’t care less. They’ve done nothing to make me care.
Deleter of Worlds vs. The Revival (w/ The B-Team on commentary)
Decent match! Both teams worked fairly well together. Shocking is that The Revival won. Maybe things are looking up for them finally. I’m happy to see what they’ve got to offer. The B-Team did well here. Bo was the most vocal but Curt was fun too.
The insipid “CM Punk” and “Rusev Day” chants weren’t fair but they are indicative of a problem. People don’t care about either team. If they did, we wouldn’t have heard the chants. WWE is at fault for that.
Backstage segment – Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, & Dolph Ziggler
Very quick but a nice story told. They came in to beat down poor Seth. Makes perfect sense.
The Riott Squad (Livv Morgan & Sarah Logan) vs. The Boss & Hug Connection (Sasha Banks & Bayley)
So they have a name now. Okay. Apparently, we’re just forgetting all that Shelby nonsense and the heel turn from Bayley. I’m so confused. They may get back to it; Coach hinted at it so I guess it’s still possible. Who knows?
The match itself was okay. It’s point was to show the newfound solidarity between Sasha & Bayley. The Cole botch when he thought Livv kicked out (I have no clue how he thought that; she didn’t move an inch). Oh well. Halfway decent match with the expected outcome.
Oh, yeah, the Riott Squad were there too…
Backstage segment – Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
Brock AGAIN nailed this! The story being told here is absolutely stellar. When Brock wants to, he can straight up deliver…and he did it yet again here. You can’t ask for more. Heyman shows fear better than anyone and he nailed this too.
In-ring segment – Kurt Angle, Constable Baron Corbin, Paul Heyman, & Brock Lesnar
This was just incredible. Heyman is just flat-out great. As I said earlier, we know he’s writing these Brock segments. They are the best things on the show. He should be writing the entire show. When he came out to the ring simpering, he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his clammy hands.
I just can’t get over how great this whole thing was. It seemed as if he was going to completely place the blame on Lesnar but then he tried to connive which makes sense given that it’s Heyman. When Brock’s music came on, the look that dawned on Heyman’s face was just priceless.
We knew he’d go after Baron…but he didn’t. He went after Kurt. That was shocking enough. He then decided to eat Heyman! Did not see that coming. Heyman works for Brock. They are decidedly not friends and now we know that for sure. Masterful storytelling. You can’t do it any better.
Amazing what happens when you re-watch an episode. This came off as kinda “meh” to me at first but when I rewatched again to write the “Spot” things looked much better in parts. The work was there and the storylines were definitely there. This wasn’t bad at all. The best part is that I’m now sold on Reigns/Lesnar now for SummerSlam. Heyman made that happen. Kudos yet again, Mr. Heyman.