We’ll start with the kickoff show, which featured Neville and The Lucha Dragons taking on The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust and The Ascension) in six-man tag team action. It was a great way to start off the show. The in-ring work was fast-paced, high-flying and hard-hitting. It set a great tone for the night ahead.
Stardust picked up the win for his team, after throwing Viktor into Neville, causing a distraction, and allowing the man formerly known as Cody to hit The Queen’s Crossbow, and pick up the three count. I really dug that finish. Throwing his henchmen into harm’s way was very Joker-esque of Stardust. After all, that’s what henchmen are there for — to be expendable goons.
The first match of the main card was Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for “The Big Guy’s” Intercontinental Championship. This was a fight. Two large men went into the ring, and they hit each other hard. It may have been a little slow, but that’s usually what you get when Ryback steps into the squared circle.
Luckily, my fears didn’t come true. I was worried that he’d beat KO, and hold onto the IC title. NOPE!! Owens won, after raking Ryback’s eyes, and rolling him up for the win. That’s right, he won his first WWE title, and he did it as a heel!
It’s insanely awesome that they put the IC gold around KO’s waist. I can’t wait to see who he feuds with next (hopefully they roll right through Ryback’s rematch). Whoever it may be, you can bet KO is going to put on some fantastic matches with him. That title will be back to its previous glory before anyone knows it.
After the match, KO was asked how he feels, having won his first major, singles title in the WWE:
Dolph Ziggler and Rusev took to the ring for the following bout, and I tuned a majority of it out. Dolph Ziggler won, thanks to a shoe-related distraction from Summer Rae. Cool. I wish I could say that was the end of the feud, but we all know that’s not the case.
Yay (sarcasm alert).
Dolph had this to say to WWE cameras, in response to his win:
After that match underwhelmed, it came time for… A NEW DAY!
They faced off with The Dudley Boyz, defending their WWE Tag Team Championships. This match lived up to every one of my expectations.
First thing’s first, Xavier Woods had his hair made up to look like Rufio from Steven Spielberg’s “Hook. Gold. Pure gold. Not to mention, the trombone. I love that prop. He gets a great reaction with it.
The in-ring action was equally as tight, by the way. I mean, come on, it’s Bubba Ray, D-Von, Kofi Kingston and Big E. No joke, those are four of the best wrestlers in the company. A particular highlight came when Big E hit a splash on Bubba Ray on the ring apron. The way Bubba bent was sickening.
At a point, it looked like The Dudley Boyz were going to win, and begin their 10th WWE Tag Team Championship reign. That’s when Xavier Woods got involved, causing a DQ, allowing New Day to retain.
Then they beat Bubba and D-Von down for a bit, which was a great choice. As fantastic as New Day has been, they haven’t had much of an edge. It’s been all comedy. This showed that they’re not above taking a dirty “win,” and then beating the crap out of their opponents. Hell, they even tried to put The Dudley Boyz through a table.
As you can imagine, that did not go very well for them.
It’s time for “The Divas Revolution.”
In this match, Charlotte challenges for the Divas Championship against the longest running female champion in the history of the company. We won’t get into how they included Women’s Championship lineage in a conversation about the Divas title. That’s WWE being WWE. Consistency is not a word in the company’s vocabulary.
If it was, at some point in the last few weeks, JBL would’ve been like, “Hey, MICHAEL, SAYS HERE ON MY SHEET THAT THE FABULOUS MOOLAH WAS CHAMPION MULTIPLE TIMES, INCLUDING REIGNS THAT LASTED 3,651 DAYS, 527 DAYS, 2,862 DAYS AND 2,113 DAYS! THAT’S NOT EVEN ALL OF THEM! SOME RECORD BOOKS EVEN HAVE MOOLAH HOLDING THE TITLE FOR 10,170 DAYS! MICHAEL, HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS!”
They’re all caps, because JBL yells a lot (in case you were wondering).
Let’s move to the match. It was actually good, if you ask me.
Nikki worked as a heel, and she killed it. The two of them told a story. The heel stacked the odds against the face, by targeting one of the face’s limbs. That’s a tried and true match psychology. The face comeback will always get a reaction out of the crowd.
It worked for me. I jumped out of my seat a bit when Charlotte won. I was psyched. It was a good, clean match.
Definitely a step forward for the whole division. Plus, we got this moment, which was delightful, quite frankly:
The big six-man tag match was next: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman) vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and a mystery partner, revealed to be… Y2J! That’s right, Chris Jericho made his return to WWE programming. I don’t count Beast in the East. That was a glorified house show. This was a PPV, and his appearance will be discussed at length.
I love Y2J, so I wasn’t mad at it being him. But it makes absolutely no sense, in regards to Roman and Dean. Their solution to Braun Strowman was Chris Jericho? Sure, he beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock in one night, but Strowman dwarfs both of them. Hell, most of them in the ring dwarfed Jericho.
At the very least, they made Jericho take the finish. That was the right call. He got caught in a Braun Strowman bear hug, and was squeezed tight, until he passed out. Now, Reigns and Ambrose need someone new, because this feud is far from over.
Only two matches remain. First, Seth Rollins took on John Cena for the United States Championship. This was another classic. They repeated a lot of the spots from SummerSlam, which was totally fine with me. They’re so smooth together. Plus, Seth has a dynamite Frog Splash. He gets a crazy amount of height.
Control of the match was lobbied back and forth, until finally, John Cena managed to hit the AA, and put Rollins down for the three count to regain his US title. That’s awesome. Raw definitely took a nosedive in quality after the Open Challenge disappeared.
Can’t wait to see more of it.
After the bout. Rollins tried to flee with his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Obviously, John Cena would have none of that. He made sure that Seth stayed to take on Sting in the main event.
Finally, we’ve reached Seth Rollins vs. Sting. The WWE Universe has been anxiously anticipating this match ever since the night after SummerSlam, when Sting showed up and foiled the plans to unveil Seth’s statue.
The match did not disappoint. It was highly physical. Sting took way more bumps than I expected — and make no mistake, they all looked painful. The worst had to be the table. The Stinger took a flat back bump through the Spanish announce table, and it looked like he hit his head on one of the monitors on his way down.
Then, not long after that, he took Seth’s running power bomb into the turnbuckle. That finished him off. He collapsed moments later. They stopped the match to check on him, while Seth Rollins played to the crowd. They hit the finish really quickly from there, with Seth rolling Sting up for the three count. To Sting’s credit, he put on a great performance up until he got messed up.
From there, Sheamus’ music hit, and out came that pasty, white Irishman. He nailed Rollins with a Brogue Kick, and was about to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion, when Kane’s music hit. It’s not corporate Kane.
It’s The Big Red Monster! He’s back, and he wants Rollins. Sheamus tried to get Kane to help him take the title from Rollins, but all Kane did was chokeslam him. Then he Tombstoned Seth and stood tall as the credits rolled.
I guess we can expect the two of them to go toe to toe at Hell in a Cell, assumedly inside the cell, as well. Great (sarcasm clearly intended).
P.S. Word got out today that Sting suffered a serious, and legitimate injury during his match. There’s even talk of it potentially being career-ending. I think I speak for everyone when I say, get well, Stinger.