The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan
Result: The Usos win via pinfall.
Thoughts: The biggest aspect of this match, in my opinion, is that it showcased just how far Rowan has come in the ring. He’s a legitimate powerhouse who can move with insane agility and is presented as a viable threat to all those he interacts with. Rowan has perfectly fit into this ‘sidekick/enforcer’ role and I hope he continues to improve. The match itself was alright- the usual ‘one man is targeted for the whole match but gets the hot tag to come in and finish’ but- with the talent involved, it was always going to be above average in terms of in-ring action. The biggest spot was easily the double-suplex from the top rope by Rowan to both of the Usos. I really didn’t like having Bryan and Rowan lose though. It serves no purpose for a RAW team to beat the Smackdown Tag Team Champions- even with the Wildcard rule.
Women’s Money in the Bank match- Dana Brooke vs. Bayley vs. Ember Moon vs. Mandy Rose vs. Carmella vs. Nikki Cross vs. Natalya vs. Naomi
Result: Bayley wins- becomes Miss Money in the Bank.
Thoughts: This was great. Easily the best women’s Money in the Bank ladder match in its short history as every single woman gave it her all. Mandy looked vindictive. Ember looked like a war machine. Carmella looked like a fighter. Naomi showed off her incredible athleticism. Natalya utilised her experience. Dana Brooke proved a lot of people wrong. Nikki Cross looked like she was causing havoc. And Bayley did it. The match felt like it was going 100 miles an hour which can either be a positive or a negative but this was DEFINITELY the right way to book the match. The insane ladder spots- most notably the Eclipse from the top of a ladder outside-to-the-inside of the ring- showcased the skills of all women involved. Teasing Sonya and Mandy staying together was great whilst also teasing a new feud with Carmella. And Bayley is absolutely the right choice. A woman constantly under-utilised since her debut on the main roster, she has the potential to be the figurehead of the entire division. Cannot wait to see what the next, potentially, twelve months has in store for The Hugger.
WWE United States Championship match- Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Result: Mysterio wins via pinfall- new United States Champion crowned.
Thoughts: I didn’t like this. Now we don’t know if this got changed on the fly with Joe’s clear facial injury so that could have thrown everything up in the air. But with Joe’s shoulder being up- it seems like they’re doing a ‘Joe was screwed’ angle. Which is fine but…Joe should be having dominant reigns. Not losing on a technicality. Poor showing.
Steel Cage match- The Miz vs. Shane McMahon
Result: Shane McMahon wins by escaping the cage.
Thoughts: The biggest talking point of this match, sadly, is the rope break spot. Earlier in the match, Miz had the figure-four locked in, Shane got to the ropes but didn’t get the break. Five minutes later, Miz has Shane pinned, Shane puts his foot on the ropes and that causes the break. What? That makes absolutely no sense. And as a result- the crowd massively lost interest in the match as a whole. I really, really didn’t enjoy this match sadly as I love Miz. The decision to have Shane win is just…absolutely baffling. Really poor.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship match- Tony Nese (c) vs. Arya Daivari
Result: Nese retains via pinfall.
Thoughts: It’s a damn shame that one of the few times the Cruiserweight title is on the line- it’s one of the weakest title matches the brand has had in nearly a year. I have nothing against either Davari and Nese but- ever since Murphy and Ali left that division- it has been lifeless. Neither of these men are the competitors to bring the show forward and the match showed it. Almost going through the paces- the in ring action was solid but nothing special. 205 Live needs to be presented as a stronger brand otherwise, it’s not got much of a future.
WWE RAW Women’s Championship match- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Result: Lynch retains via pinfall.
Thoughts: This was definitely the Lacey Evans coming out party. She looked fantastic here- especially with it being the biggest match of her career by far. But…AGAIN a finish was messed up. I don’t really know what was meant to happen but it was a real shame. However, the match was really decent. A fantastic PPV singles debut for Lacey Evans. I’d personally have had Lacey win out of the two but, fair enough.
WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship match- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Result: Charlotte Flair wins via pinfall- New SmackDown Live Women’s Champion crowned.
Thoughts: Hard to give a proper opinion on this. The match was really short which was, honestly, expected after Lynch had the longer match with Evans. Evans interfering in the match made sense for what’s going to continue to be the main feud on Raw for the Women’s Championship. I think Charlotte winning is honestly the right decision here but nine reigns in under four years. However…
Bayley Cashes In!
Thoughts: Bayley managed to get over again in less than two hours. What an absolute testament to her star power. She has been overlooked, under-appreciated and under-utilised for years now. But look at the reaction she got. Look at the pure joy of the crowd and the reaction online. It is a universally loved decision and here’s hoping she has a long and fantastic reign.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Result: Reigns wins via pinfall.
Thoughts: Why was this a match? Just have Roman spear Elias and be done with it. It’s a needless loss that Elias has now taken where he could have had the exact same thing happen without that. Just…pointless that did nothing to benefit either man.
WWE Universal Championship match- Seth Rollins (c) vs. AJ Styles
Result: Rollins retains via pinfall in a Match of the Year contender.
Thoughts: When you have two of the best in a generation and two of the best wrestlers ever- you expect a certain level of match. And this somehow surpassed those expectations. Both men gave 110% and looked like this was the biggest match of either man’s life. Due to having incredibly similar styles (haha, puns), Seth and AJ had to play to their own strengths. AJ using his more technical abilities whilst Rollins utilised the strength and speed advantages. Spots like a super sliced bread from the top rope to a reversed Curb Stomp into a Styles Clash kick-out to the finish- the crowd was absolutely involved in every single second. It felt special and hugely delivered. Rollins retaining, of course, was the right decision. This was easily the main roster’s Match of the Year.
Lars Sullivan attacks the Lucha House Party
Thoughts: This is starting to get old now…Lars just doing the general squash thing isn’t changing any time soon it seems. Passed a few minutes though so…cool. Maybe expected more of a fight from Kalisto after what he said on Twitter, but oh well. Really curious as to whom Lucha House Party were facing in that six-man tag match as well.
WWE Championship match- Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Result: Kingston retains via pinfall.
Thoughts: Solid from an in-ring aspect but hugely suffered from having to follow Styles vs. Rollins. Both men absolutely gave everything but the crowd were absolutely exhausted after the spectacle they saw earlier.
Men’s Money in the Bank match- Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor vs. Ricochet vs. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar
Result: Brock Lesnar wins. Becomes Mr Money in the Bank.
Thoughts: What an absolutely sensational Money in the Bank match. When people talk about the PG Era not ‘having as much brutality/hardcore action’- just point them at this and laugh at them. Some of the bumps taken by these guys–most notably Finn Balor–were absolutely sickening to see. I don’t want to explain/spoil ANY spots because you need to watch the match completely unspoiled without knowing any of the ins and outs. But then. The ending. I cannot fathom the logic of giving Brock Lesnar that briefcase. I get it. You want Lesnar on FOX come October. If you wanted that, just put him there. Brock Lesnar can demand any title shot he wants because that’s literally his character. You don’t need to sacrifice the most exciting aspect of your year for a guy who does NOT NEED IT. Just an absolutely sickening end to a fantastic, fantastic match. The grade absolutely has been pushed WAY DOWN because of the ending.