Blood, Sweat, And No Fears – HIAC Review

There have been complaints about Peacock TV since before WWE joined the service, but with many people loudly unhappy about not being able to watch MITB from the opening minutes was the first time it was impossible to actually watch the PPV.  I wasn’t happy about the move when it was announced, and while I’d not had any major problems with the service, it’s been just screwy enough to make me cuss at it a couple times a week.  I truly wish we had the WWE Network the way it was before.  I might not be able to watch old episodes of Dateline (I like watching murder shows), but at least I knew what to expect from the WWE Network.

 

Blondes Of…Boredom!

I really don’t have a clue why they did this match the way they did.  It was so bloody boring.  I honestly couldn’t care enough to pay enough attention.  Earlier I was watching Season 1, Episode 5 of NXT, and even that was more interesting than this match.  Watching Michael Tarver in the ring was less blah than this.  It’s time for Natalya to train others to do great things in the ring, and for Mandy to be repacked into something interesting.  We’ve seen it.  It’s happened before.  Time for it to happen again because this is horrible!

 

Haircuffed

As great as this match was, it would have been that much better with fans in attendance.  I think this is the first time I’ve felt this strongly about a match needing fans.  Maybe I’m flashing back to Charlotte versus Sasha in the first HIAC and how I wasn’t planning on attending the show until that match was added and I’m itching to see another women’s HIAC live.  Right now, almost any wrestling show would be nice, but I see myself traveling in the next year to see a PPV.  Like leaving New England, flying somewhere, getting a hotel, and attending.  I’m THAT itching for a WWE PPV after not getting my SummerSlam in Boston last summer.

Okay, to this match.  This match has been very athletic and creative.  Bianca’s braid adds a lot to matches, usually PPVs when she and her opponent use it, and this was the perfect match to use it in.  Especially after all the complaining Bayley did after their last PPV match.  They used that braid in new and creative ways but didn’t make the whole match about the braid.  The double kendo sticks, Bianca tossing the stairs at Bayley as if they weighed nothing, and the way they used the ladder.  While some of the ladder moves were things we’ve seen before, they felt fresh between these two.

They were given solid time for this one, and they really did a lot of interesting things, but it felt like it was missing something.  Maybe I’m spoiled and expected a bit of climbing/flying that we didn’t get, but otherwise, this was a solid HIAC match.

 

Rollins Stole One!

I think if this was another PPV, like TLC, this could have been the MOTY, with a gimmick.  I’m normally not into gimmick matches, other than HIAC and TLC, because they can be terribly booked and terribly corny, and I don’t just mean pole matches.  Anyway, I loved Cesaro attacking Rollins on his way to the ring.  From that, they went full out.  They are very compatible in the ring and have great chemistry together.  I’m hoping all of this is to continue building Cesaro because Rollins doesn’t need any building.  He could easily step up to Reigns, say he’s taking the strap, and the feud would be off and running because he’s just that great and has proven it over and over.  This, to me, feels like Tyler Black and Claudio Castagnoli leaving it all out there in front of a couple thousand in ROH.  This had the ROH steal the show vibe that I love about that company.  It was back then that I fell in love with these two, along with Kevin Steen, El Generico, and American Dragon.  That means there’s one missing from this show, but I mourned that earlier running my errands, listening to Bry’s audiobook.

Cesaro could easily be the top guy, but I’ve said that for YEARS now.  Also, he was totally screwed, but this isn’t over, not by a long shot.  This needs to end in a HIAC or some other massive match.

 

Slapping Reggie!

The way Bliss moved in this match was amazing.  The way she gets up, the way she crawled at Shayna, so creative.  Then the stare at Reggie, brilliant.  I really enjoyed this and while I wish there was more wrestling, I actually got more than I expected in this match.  Bliss played this beautifully, but I wish there’d been more Shayna confusion, panic, and anger.  I also wanted more fire and technical issues.  They need to be doing all the things they won’t be able to do when the fans are back.

The best moment was when Bliss possessed Nia, making her slap Reggie, and then the double scream.  I loved it.

 

Return Of ROH

I really liked KO selling the sneezing thumbs he took on SD, making a silly move into something so much more than the sum of its parts, including the big man hitting it.  It made the match something very different from what we’d normally see from him against Sami at a PPV.  But then something happened.  I don’t know what’s going on with KO’s arm, but there’s something going on there.  The grade is not for the work they did, because they really did try, but KO was in so much pain out there.  He was selling his throat, but his left arm was useless for most of the match.  I know neither of them would want a match stopped due to injury like that, but I think they should have scrapped it when it was an obvious mess.  Quick ending, even if KO didn’t want it.  The ref screwed this up in a massive way.

 

Powerful Blondes

As solid as Bianca and Bayley were in the opening match, this one should have been in HIAC.  These two have had more issues for longer, and they would have about brought that cell down around them.  The power between these two was something we’ve rarely seen since Chyna.  Char is always powerful, but it’s not often she’s in there with someone built similarly and can go as well as Rhea can.

I guess we can see that I write this as the match is going because they obviously planned on a non-ending to continue the fight, so neither had to go under, which is why they were not in HAIC.  That being said, WWE needs to do another HIAC after SmS, because both Cesaro/Rollins and these amazing women need to finish things off in one.

This was the MOTN (so far).  These two powerful women went out there and gave us all they could without fans to feed off.  When they do have the fans, they are going to leave us unable to react to the greatness of it all.  Yes, I’m annoyed that Char is going after the strap, again, but she’s really great in there and a wonderful foil for Rhea.  The only thing that would make the fights between these two powerhouses better would be the addition of Raquel Gonzalez.  She’s still not ready to go with these two, but when she is, she’s another powerhouse who will continue to give us powerful matches with these amazing women.

 

This Was HIAC!

This is exactly what a HIAC match is supposed to be.  They went out there and left it all in the cell, using every bit of everything within the cell.  They didn’t climb high or fly in any insane ways, but they didn’t need to.  This was the perfect way to blow off their feud.

Honestly, I was so over these two facing off, yet again, and I’m very open about not liking Lashley, but they both went out there and gave it everything they had, making it the best male match of the night, the best HIAC of the night.  They worked it hard, as if it was the main event at WM, and gave us something unexpected and so much better than I thought possible.  I am a bit annoyed that it was a HIAC to keep MVP from getting involved and he ended up costing McIntyre the match, but that’s McMahon’s creative for you!  Yes, I’m complaining, but about the creative/booking end, not the work these two men put into that ring to entertain us.  I don’t suddenly like Lashley now, but he did work hard in there.

 

Shut Up, I’m Talking Here!

I get that McMahon is waiting for the fans to put their butts in the seats to pull out all the great ideas he’s been sitting on for well over fifteen months now, but this show felt overall lacking in creative greatness.  From not using all the fire and technical issues that they’ve been building for Bliss to any swerves, at all, but especially in the main event, setting up for Lashley’s new feud or storyline.  The ringwork carried the show, as it should, but I expected more creative all the way around.  It felt like the creative side of it all was forgotten for the entire show and that’s a serious issue for me.  Hoping things change for MITB!

Queen