The world is a very different place from what it was a year ago. No longer can we simply walk into a store without first masking up and making sure the capacity for the building hasn’t been reached, and no longer can we rely on WWE PPVs to be simple or straightforward. That means that how PPVs are executed is very different and we have to remember that. Good or bad, this is our world now and we need to remember that when watching pro wrestling.
Rosenberg is so much easier to deal with than Sam Roberts. As much as I dislike Mauro, I don’t actually mute him 97% of the time. Sam Roberts has been muted more often than not. It takes a lot to get me to that point. That’s my way of saying I’m glad Rosenberg is back.
Renee looked really good at the start of the hour, but only partway through the show she was looking drawn and pale. By about thirty-seven minutes in her eyes were blinking quite a lot and I wasn’t sure she’d stay awake until the PPV actually started.
Boot To The Boring
I have to admit I expected so much more from KO, especially at a PPV. It about kills me that he was on the Kick-Off, but what was worse was how blah the actual match was. It’s not like the match was a mess, horribly wrestled, all botchy, or any of that. I never thought I’d call KO boring, but it felt as though the two of them were just going through the motions.
KO wasn’t phoning it in. Neither was Murphy. Yet I can’t say either emoted or sold this match in a decent way. It felt like it could have been on Sunday Night Heat and no one would talk it up as a great match. That might sound harsh, but that’s just how lackluster this match really was. I went from being bummed about this being on the Kick-Off to being thankful it wouldn’t be seen again by people who simply watch ExRules without the extra hour.
Big E Is A Turtle
Sorry about the title for this one, but after Big E did mat angels in the ring, he didn’t kip-up, but kind of did this turtle-on-his-back thing to get up. I couldn’t not mention it because it really was funny.
There are already ten tables around the ring, but let’s pull out more! I love WWE’s mentality on things like this. Now, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about these four in a Ladder Match, because I just don’t see these guys being gimmick guys, other than the goofy things New Day gets do at times. I will give them props for how they finished the match as it was different from the ending of almost every other Ladder Match I’ve seen, and that’s saying something major. The sheer number of Ladder Matches I’ve seen since Raw debuted in 1993 is massive, but I don’t recall having seen someone come off the top and powerbomb his competitor through two tables. So while this match felt a little disjointed and not much like a Ladder Match through most of it, I loved the ending. Helps that I picked the nameless team of Cesaro and Naka!
But Sasha’s Not SD Champ…
Sasha looked beautiful in her new green ring gear outside the ring supporting her bestie Bayley. The possible issue I saw was that Sasha was WEARING Bayley’s SD Championship belt around her WAIST. Now, to have her own tag strap around her waist and holding Bayley’s two belts, one over each shoulder, would have been an acceptable way to wear them. Around her waist, not so much. One more truly subtle thing from WWE? Maybe. I’ll be shocked if it wasn’t to continue pushing their oncoming feud.
Well, looks as though crazy Nikki is one step closer to returning with that loss. I know it seems shocking that there could be some people out there who don’t know the wonder that is crazy Nikki from sAniTy, but if things go the way they look like they might, we could get her back and soon. No clue what that will mean for her close friendship with Lexi, but I don’t think it will be good in the long run. The biggest thing is to get Nikki strapped after she cracks and see what she can do with gold in her hand.
That was a very odd Bray in the FFH, but the Karaoke bit breaking in was hysterical. That man is genius that we haven’t seen since Foley!
I get that Crews couldn’t be back for this match, but I don’t like the vibe of this. I know they need to do something and the feud must go on, further SD doesn’t have as many people as would be great to fill the shows each week, so they keep pushing this. The thing is that there are enough superstars around to work Raw, NXT, SD, and all the PPVs without issue, they just don’t feel like they should be pushing certain people right now and it doesn’t make sense to me. This just feels lame right now.
Just A Shame On The Stip
That was Lewis’ response in the DD to Dre saying this was a good match. I have to agree. The stip is what got people talking, but not watching.
I have to say they did some very interesting if not completely implausible things under the guise of eye removal. Pliers? Kendo stick? Not so much, but they were used in interesting ways. Rey being run at the end of the kendo stick. Rey hitting Rollins across the bridge of the nose with the same stick looked great. They were really creative and gave us a great match, until the end.
After Rey was grinding Rollins’ eye on the stairs and he fell back against the barricade, he looked as old as I’ve ever seen him, and that was around the edges of the mask. From there I really expected so much more, and it all fell apart. Some grinding on the stairs, we think it’s not over, then suddenly Rey is yelling that it’s gone and Rollins was vomiting. The plexiglass was a great thing for this match. The kids pounding on the glass was bloody loud! After it was over and the vomit happened, one of the kids pounded on the glass right behind Rollins which made Rollins spin to look at the guy was yelling at Rollins the way any true fan would. It was because of the glass that he was able to get Rollins’ attention while fans yelling at him usually wouldn’t.
Ow, My Knee!
I have to say as much as I love Nikki, this was a much better match all the way around. They put on a clinic in that ring. The back and forth, using all their moves, all their holds, and things we’ve not seen from either of them in the past. I have to say that it has to be hard walking into the ring with the stands mostly empty and give a PPV-level performance when nothing is different from when they’re putting together any other show. Having the PC and NXT kids there making noise helps, but it’s the same level of noise no matter what they are doing
The counter for counter, move for move, toward the end of the match was great. As great as was Joe on announce saying the ref needed to gain control after the belts came into the ring. The last section of this match was so greatly wrestled, other than Sasha landing badly on that knee from the top, then falling from up top when that same knee let out. When she got into the ref’s face over finishing the match I thought the injury was actually an ‘injury’ but the way Sasha was still down on the mat as much as she was after falling off the corner. I have to say that no matter whether it was a planned botch or she hurt herself and things were changed, everyone was on point, handled the end of this match beautifully, and told a kick-butt story in the process. This was great ring psychology and story development.
Why Won’t You Die!
So Ziggy doesn’t think he can win the belt, so he stacks the deck as high as he can. Sounds typical heel to me, but as Botch said, he didn’t outlaw the claymore kick which could have further helped seal the deal for him. Well, maybe that’s what he had to do to win the WWE Championship.
I love watching overly-emotional heels go off the rails the way he did in this match, until he ate the claymore. The match was really solid and well wrestled in that each had to be careful what they did with each object, each hold, a bit more than a traditional Hardcore Match where touching a weapon isn’t a biggie for either competitor.
A Match Or A Fight?
This is another one of those divisive segments. Some will love it (Botch, myself), some will hate it (Lewis, Natalie), and everyone else will fall somewhere in between. I know I’ll have some fun baiting trolls on Twitter, but beyond that, this is one of those matches like the WM Boneyard Match. It tells a great story, but it’s not a wrestling match per se. Botch and Lewis got into quite the ‘discussion’ in the DD over the good and bad points of this match, but in reality, it’s one of those things you need to watch for yourself and judge it on its merits.
Personally I think this was leaps and bounds better than Bray versus Cena at WM, but not as good at the Boneyard Match.
Shut Up Graves And Hold My Hat!
I figure Graves is always my punching bag around here, and I’m very much a hat person (almost always have some strange bow, clip, scarf, tiara, hat, whatever on my head), I should follow in the footsteps of New Day throwing their coats at him.
Honestly, Graves didn’t bug me much through ExRules because I was more focused on the matches. I know the card didn’t look great, but I truly expected more from this show. The women and the main event carried this PPV. While those matches were worth the time, the show as a whole just wasn’t a favorite of mine. Just not that great.