This week in pro wrestling, AEW is live and big debuts! Raw filled the final spot for MITB, again. Crowds are larger for AEW now and we get a Matt Hardy in ring debut. NXT has one the best intros for a wrestler in years! SmackDown was.. OK. Let’s dive in right here!
This week on Raw was the beginning of the go-home week for Money in the Bank! WWE superstar returns! The final spot in the men’s MITB match is locked in. Too Fly takes on Brendan Vink and Shane Thorne. Seth’s disciple sacrifices himself to the Universal Champion. Liv Morgan takes on The Queen. Let’s get started, right here!
VIP Lounge. Last Chance Gauntlet match! Too Fly grounded?
Go on, nothing to see here.
Raw was kicked off with MVP and his VIP Lounge. The guests were Asuka, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler. This was your on or below par segment for MITB. Basic questions and a brawl, Asuka is an absolute gem. Yelling “BIG BULLY!” towards Nia Jax. That was about it, it felt like nothing but to team up against Nia and throw her out the ring. Yeah, major build up here.
Gauntlet match for last spot in men’s MITB match.
With Apollo Crews taken out the MITB match due to the knee injury, this match will determine who will take his spot. First up is Titus O’Neil vs Bobby Lashley, and Titus was on fire.. for about less than a minute. The Almighty took him fairly quickly. Next to the ring is Akira Tozawa, but he is destroyed by Lashley’s Spear. Do you remember WWE doing this for someone else before, cough-cough Brock. Shelton Benjamin gets a turn… for another Spear and that’s that.
It is not until Humberto Carrillo that not only lasts, but wins. “How?” do you ask? Well, Bob goes crazy and starts to beat Carrillo down, it was so bad that the ref tried to stop it. Bob turns to the ref and the ref says “if you touch me you’re disqualified”. Lashley didn’t and got DQ for it, I can see this on Botchamania in the future. Angel Garza comes in to easily pick the bones of an almost comatose Humberto. However, Carrillo unleashes his most deadliest move in his arsenal.. the Roll Up and gets a win.
Austin Theory is up to enact revenge for his fallen comrade. Another beat down card is issued for Carrillo. So the only thing left for Humberto is.. the deadly Roll Up and another win. All this “feel good” stuff is about to end and get phenomenal. AJ Styles is the last remaining participant. Will Humberto execute his third lights out Roll Up, can Carrillo finish a fight with another move? Nope.. AJ goes in there just wipes the floor with him, ending the match with a signature move, not a finisher, the Calf Crusher. This was a fast paced match, with some good spots. However, it was nothing but to have AJ go in to MITB well rested and be a favorite to win the MITB briefcase.
Brendan Fink/Shane Thorne vs Too Fly. Vink wins via Big Boot pin fall.
Well, I guess the rumors are true. The rumor was that Vince has found his new love, in the form of Brendan Vink. This would explain why the new guys on the main roster just took out a tag team that was gaining momentum on Raw. I am not opposed of Vink getting the win, but it was a clean win over Ricochet. That can not bode well for the superstar. The match was fairly quick paced and short. Too Fly was just everywhere, swarming Vink and Thorne, until the big guys smashed them into the barricades to slow them down. From there it was all done as Vink hit the Big Boot for the win.
Fun fights serious. A surprisingly competitive match. A sacrifice.
Viking Raiders vs Street Profits. Raiders win via Viking Experience pin fall.
The champs, the Street Profits came in with their usual stuff. Dancing, playing around, and being lighthearted. Viking Raiders, on the other hand, were out for blood. Although Dawkins and Ford eventually got aggressive, it was too late, as Ivar and Erik had the momentum and hit the Viking Experience for a win over the champs. This was a pretty fun and competitive match. Profits did a good job reminding people why they are champs and the Raiders did the same about being in contention for the titles. There will be a rematch soon than later and for the titles.
Charlotte Flair vs Liv Morgan. Flair wins via Figure-Eight submission.
Charlotte came out to cut a promo and was interrupted by Morgan. Liv cut one her best promos since being in the WWE and actually dropped a F-bomb in the process. The two locked up after the break and Flair really dominated Liv. However, Morgan displayed a Daniel Bryan-esque heart and would not give up. Eventually, Liv fought back and shocked Flair. Yet it was not enough, as the Queen slapped on the Figure-Eight for the win.
I am reckoning that Liv Morgan won over quite a few fans in this match. Also, it didn’t hurt that the match was with Flair, known to help others look good. Some might say they are tired of Flair and her HHH type protection. However, it seems that she will only hold the title until the pandemic is over and there are crowds again. Great start for Liv, even if it was a loss.
Drew McIntyre vs Murphy. Drew wins via Claymore pin fall.
Come on now, you didn’t think WWE’s newest terminator will give up a loss this quick. Ok, no need to pull up The Fiend rebuttal. Drew is what Vinny likes and I can’t see him dropping the title anytime soon, even against Seth Rollins. Murphy did get in a few moves and even a disrespectful slap. That enraged the Scottish Psychopath, delivering a wicked Glasgow Kiss. The Juggernaut then did his best WWE video game moves and attempted to hit the Claymore on Drew. McIntyre was ready and countered his Claymore with his OG one for the win.
Afterwards, Seth attempted to attack Drew, but McIntyre was one step ahead of him, forcing Seth to retreat. Then as Drew was about to celebrate, Seth Superkicked McIntyre literally out of no where! Great camera work WWE, that caught me off guard. Rollins goes for the Curb Stomp, but Drew was ready and sent Seth retreating again, this time for good.
First of the last of stops.
Tonight was really decent, nothing to mind blowing or must see. Raw kept the path towards MITB pretty straightforward. However, as of time of writing the recap, the ratings came out. This was the lowest viewership for Raw.. EVER! Garnering a puny 1.68 million viewers, yes worst then the infamous 2018 Christmas Eve episode. Even if this was the greatest episode in a decade, not many would have seen it. That has to worry Vinny and company as WWE seemingly losing their flagship show. How will they rebound? Only time will tell.-David G.
Dynamite this week is LIVE and featured returns and in ring debuts! Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega takes on Le Sex Gods! Cody and Lance Archer have separate matches leading up to the Double or Nothing PPV. Jon Moxley faces off against SCU’s Frankie Kazarian! MJF returns and Brodie Lee seeks out what he wants. Let’s get started, because THIS IS DYNAMITE!
Nightmare vs Bad Boy. The Native Beast returns. A PPV worthy match.
Cody vs Joey Janela. Cody wins via Cross Rhodes pin fall.
What a great start to the show! The Bad Boy returns and has a friendly match with Cody. When I say friendly, I mean they went to hurt each other. Not maliciously, just for the sake of winning, if that makes sense. For some reason, I thought I saw a few botches, but I could be wrong. They haven’t been in ring for awhile, and seemed a tad rusty. However, as the match went on, the rust knocked off. We saw good mat techniques, two crazy high spots, and Joey having a fabulous hair day.
The Jacksonville arena was windy, so watching some these spots had me a tad worried. Like Cody hitting an inverted Superplex from the top turnbuckle on Joey. Cody has been very aggressive lately and it shows again when the fight spills outside. The American Nightmare nails Janela with a Moonsault from the stage to ringside. Back in the ring, the match turns in to a slugfest. As Joey goes to run the ropes, Cody catches him and hits the Cross Rhodes for the win. Afterwards the duo shook hands and congratulated each other. See? Friendly. All kidding aside, this was perfect to show Cody’s new aggressive state. Letting everyone know that he will be a different Cody when facing Lance Archer. Especially after what happens later on in the show.
Nyla Rose vs Kenzie Paige. Nyla wins via Beast Bomb pin fall.
Before the match, AEW shows a video package of the women’s division. It was really done well, making all the ladies look strong. Nyla wasn’t impressed as she believes that she will never lose the title. Cut to the match and it was a severe beating for poor Paige. To be fair, Kenzie really benefited from this. Apparently, Kenzie is only 18 years old and has been trained by Dr. Tom Prichard and Glenn Jacobs.
Imagine being at that age and get a nationally televised match, against the champion. That was her highlight, as Rose decimates Paige with a Senton Bomb, two Powerbombs, and a Beast Bomb. After the win Rose talks trash at all the ladies at ringside. This was a great way to make Rose scary as she is and not halt any of the ladies momentum. The ladies division has just picked up.
Jon Moxley vs Frankie Kazarian. Moxley wins via Paradigm Shift pin fall.
Wow, this was a match worthy of being on a PPV and/or as the main event in a PPV. These two really cut loose and the fans benefited from it. The first minutes was all mat wrestling, showing off the technical side to both men. Then it picked up as the duo trade strikes. After Kaz attempts a wheel kick, Jon dumps him on the ramp, tweaking Frankie’s knee. Next on the menu was moves, as Moxley hits a German Suplex on Kazarian. Frankie responded with a Backstabber and Unprettier. However, when Jon’s back is against the wall, he is at his best. Moxley sneaks in a Paradigm Shift for the win. But wait there’s more.
After the fantastic match, the Dark Order jump Moxley and Frankie. SCU attempts the save, but they are outnumbered. With everyone laid out, Brodie Lee arrives and cuts a promo on wanting the title. Jon perfectly tells The Exalted One, “All you had to do was ask”. The Dark Order return to beating Jon down as Lee takes the title and walks away. Now I REALLY want a Moxley vs Lee match and see these two cut loose in the ring. Yet, why so soon? The loser of this match will have their stock drop hard. Also, AEW keeps touting wins/losses count. If that is the case, Mr Exalted One has no business near a title match. No, beating Marko Stunt isn’t a qualifier. I don’t know how to feel about this.
MJF returns. Lance Archer and Jake The Snake mind games. A Street Fight to remember.
MJF and his throne.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman cuts a promo in a hotel room. OK, it was a green screen hotel room. MJF states that other wrestlers think they are the next big thing, at age 30. With only being 24 years old, MJF makes a great point that he is the true next thing and he has the Dynamite Diamond Ring. It was typical MJF boasting, but his typical is usually great. As was this, the scene ends with him sitting on a throne like chair. Later on Tony Schiavone interviews Friedman. Tony asks about his injuries and MJF states that he is over healed. The AEW owner, Tony Khan hears that and then books MJF a match at Double or Nothing against Jungle Boy.
Lance Archer vs QT Marshall. Archer wins via EBD Claw pin fall.
This was a glorified squash match. It went on longer and QT got some moves in, but it was a squash. QT wanted to fight Archer in the honor of Dustin Rhodes, valiant.. but not too smart. Jake The Snake was back as well, just sitting there, but he had a purpose later on. While Archer was destroying Marshall and sent him outside, Britt Baker pulled off her shoe and struck him with it. Brandi runs over to Baker and tosses her shoe into the stands. Murder Hawk then hits a Blackout on QT, but wasn’t finished. Archer pulled QT back up just to hit the EBD Claw for a statement.
Afterwards, Britt Baker jumps the barrier and attacks Brandi. The Doctor, then feeds Brandi to Archer and Jake. Roberts was back to his old tricks again as he pulled out a live python and placed it on Brandi. Something was just unsettling about this. It wasn’t like in the 80’s, the way Jake was prone over Brandi just looked like a straight up creep. No entertainment, just unsettling. Now, Archer has done awful thing to Cody’s brother, friends, and wife. The heels may have gone too far and Cody will not be able to contain himself. However, maybe this is what they wanted all along.
Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho/Sammy Guevara) vs Matt Hardy/Kenny Omega, in a Street Fight. Jericho wins via Judas Elbow.
This will be remembered for a while. Jericho and his pals keep coming up with innovative and just funny things to do. One question I had was, which Matt Hardy will show up? The answer was… all of them! Matt started off as Broken Matt Hardy, then as Jericho tosses him backstage, he returns as V.1 Matt. The match spills outside and into the stands, where Le Sex Gods regain control and lock V.1 Matt in an ice chest. Now, Kenny is all alone fighting Sammy, Jericho, and Jake Hager. Just as when it was at the worst for Omega, Damascus Matt emerges from the ice chest. Damascus then hijacks a field cart, like one used in the NFL and runs down Le Sex Gods.There was a great spot where Omega hits a Moonsault form a scissor lift taking out all of Jake, Jericho, and Hardy!
Another great spot was Jericho hamming it up, taking a road cone and using it like a witch’s hat while cackling. This match was just absolutely bonkers, in a good way. Just as Kenny was about to hit the One-Winged Angel on Le Champion, Santana and Ortiz run in for the save. Chris Jericho then slams Omega on the roof of the cart and lands a Judas Elbow for the win. As The Inner Circle celebrate, you can see the Jacksonville Jaguars field and the Inner Circle’s name up on the score board. Fantastic match!
Banging episode! Now on to some concerns. This was the 1st AEW live show in a month, and AEW stated that they had taped footage for two months. So why the rush to come back now? WWE got a lot of backlash for staying live during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. AEW seemed to be one of the promotions that had the fans interest first. Now, they seem to be in the same boat as WWE. Look, I know it is a business and I love having live wrestling, with a big crowd, but is it worth sacrificing safety? I mean they had Jake the Snake AND Jim Ross in attendance there! Two guys that are in the hazard zone! Taking that out of the equation, it was a really good show. However, there should even be more precautions taken until this new world we live in is secured.-David G.
The card is absolutely STACKED for this week’s episode of NXT, with two title matches, a major debut, and a Takeover-worthy opener. Is it “Dream Over” for Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era? Will The Queen keep her throne atop the Women’s Division? Who will keep their momentum in the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament? And what does Finn Balor have to say to his attacker? Let’s find out!
All Heart, No Soul. Cruiserweight action. Robert Stone Brand expansion?
Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic. Gargano wins with the One Final Beat.
To say that this match is a Takeover-quality spotlight match is an understatement. The performances by both Gargano and Dijakovic are stellar. Dijakovic has had a history of facing guys his own size and being able to work his stronger style of match with the likes of Keith Lee and Damian Priest. This is a bit of a change of pace for Dijakovic in facing a much smaller Gargano, but if there’s anyone that can work literally any style of a match, it’s Johnny.
Gargano seems to still adapting to the dastardly heel tactics in the ring, and it tells a great story here. Dijakovic is absolutely dominating Gargano through the opening moments, countering any sign of a comeback that Johnny may be making. Once Candice LeRae shows up, that’s when Johnny’s heel side starts to show, with him attempting to strip the pad off the top turnbuckle. Ultimately, it helps him get the win, as he takes down Dijakovic with a drop toe hold face first into the exposed steel, then Johnny plants Dominik with the newly-named One Final Beat slingshot DDT.
Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher. Tozawa wins with the Senton Bomb/Kushida vs. Jake Atlas. Kushida wins with the Cross Armbreaker.
I lumped the two of these matches together for one particular reason. That reason is that there was little to no time for either match to develop, which really took away from the quality of both contests. I think the combined run times for these two matches is less than the opener, which is a shame. The tournament has had some decent to above average matches, but none of those happen tonight.
In the first match, just as the pace starts to pick up, Tozawa downs Gallagher with a DDT on the apron, which sets up the Senton Bomb for Tozawa to move to 2-0. In the second match, Kushida works the arm of Jake Atlas briefly, but Atlas continues to fight back. All of a sudden, Kushida counters a flying attack from Atlas to lock in the Cross Armbreaker to get the tapout victory, also moving him to 2-0. Not enough development and story within the matches to give them depth. It would have been better off if the tournament took a week off, or if other segments got shortened or cut completely…like the following one…
Chelsea Green vs. Xia Li. Green wins with the I’m Prettier (if you want to call it that)
Hate isn’t a strong enough word for this match. I abhorred it. There’s literally two offensive moves from Li before Aliyah interjects, causing a distraction and allowing Green to hit the ABSOLUTE UGLIEST attempt at the finisher that I’ve ever seen. Chelsea Green is just that: green. She’s got the right attitude, and the right kind of character, but her in-ring work needs A LOT of refinement. Scrap this segment and give it to the Cruiserweights and I’m happy.
The most interesting thing that came out of this was that the involvement by Aliyah caught the eye of Robert Stone, as he extended a hand and helped her to her feet. Is he looking for more clients? Remains to be seen…
A “Killer” debut. Charlotte goes overboard. The Prince is on the hunt. Cole remains Undisputed.
Karrion Kross vs. Leon Ruff. Kross wins with the Kross Jacket.
He is Time. Famine, War. Pestilence, you cannot endure. The End is Here. The End is Here. Fall and Pray. Fall and Pray.
Wow, what an absolutely fantastic way to introduce NXT’s newest acquisition,
Killer Karrion Kross. The theme song, the presentation, the mannerisms from both Kross and Scarlett, all perfect. Total domination from Kross, obviously, as he downs Leon Ruff with a pair of Doomsday Saito suplexes followed by the Kross Jacket. Watch above and enjoy. I still get chills every time I see it.
NXT Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai. Shirai wins via DQ
All of the trash talking that Io has done up until this point is geared towards the fact that Charlotte can’t control her, and it proves to be true. Shirai stands her own against Flair, going move for move with the Queen, countering in ways that the champ isn’t used to seeing. Flair has never wrestled a match with someone like Shirai, in that Io has a totally different style than any past opponent for Charlotte.
Ultimately, Charlotte snaps and takes down Io with a kendo stick, causing the ref to call for the bell and end the match. As Charlotte is trying to lock Io in the figure four through the corner post, Rhea Ripley returns and chases the Queen off. Shirai is nonplussed at the interjection by Ripley, and the two of them jaw at each other as they make their way to the back. While Ripley is being interviewed outside, Shirai intercedes and the two women come to blows and have to be separated by security. Lots of ways this story could go. This could set up Ripley vs. Shirai for the #1 Contender spot, or it could lead to a triple threat down the road. More questions to be answered.
Finn Balor Speaks/Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel DeJournette. Grimes wins with the Cave In stomp.
I really enjoy this new side of Finn, with him using the “insider” terminology while talking about wrestlers getting the “push” after attacking the top guy. He talks about the hype that comes from a guy getting the push…music, lights, smoke, lasers. But when you’re in the ring with The Prince, there’s nowhere to hide, and you won’t be getting a push, you’ll be getting squashed. At first, my thoughts went to it being Dexter Lumis who attacked Balor a couple weeks ago, with the idea being that Lumis wants to protect Velveteen Dream. But after that line Finn dropped, it leads me to lean towards Karrion Kross being the attacker. Once again, more questions than answers, which equals great storytelling.
Grimes vs. DeJournette was simply a way to show how quick Grimes can strike with the Cave In, which took about 30 seconds for him to finish the match. But Grimes made the mistake of speaking The Prince’s name, talking trash and goading Balor. Grimes says he would slap Finn right in his face rather than sneak attack him, and Balor has heard enough. He slowly sneaks into the ring and stands beside Grimes, staring daggers into him. Grimes tries to back down from his words, but when he tries to attack Finn, he’s taken down with a double foot stomp and Slingblade to chase him off. Balor looks directly into the camera and says, “There’s a snake in the back, and I’m going to find him. The best way to kill a snake? Chop off its head.” More great stuff from Balor.
NXT Championship – Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream – Cole wins with the Last Shot
Sometimes, predictability is good in wrestling. But in this case, knowing ahead of time that Adam Cole would retain the title with some kind of shady finish took away from the impact of the match. Because of prevailing real-world circumstances, this rivalry almost seemed too rushed. But here we are, the main event of NXT for the title.
It’s unfair to say that it’s a bad match, per se, but it felt really hard to get into, and Dream and Cole don’t have the highest level of chemistry. The interesting story that comes from the finish is what’s Dexter Lumis’ intentions when it comes to Velveteen Dream? As Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong make their way to ringside, Lumis slides from under the ring to hold them off, but accidentally takes out the referee by tossing Strong into him. The incident allows Dream to hit the Purple Rainmaker elbow drop, but with no ref to count the pin, it doesn’t matter. Dream takes out Strong and Fish, but Cole nails him with a superkick followed by the Last Shot to retain his title.
This show was definitely a letdown from what I was expecting it to be. On paper, this had all the makings of being a Takeover-esque show, and after the opener between Gargano and Dijakovic, my hopes were sky high. But it all came crashing down hard with the disappointing Cruiserweight matches, the atrocious match between Chelsea Green and Xia Li, and the shady finishes of both title matches. The only hopes now are all the questions we have for stories going forward. Who attacked Finn Balor? What’s the plan for Flair/Ripley/Shirai? What is going on with Dexter Lumis. Cautious optimism going forward for NXT, but this was a disappointment.-Josh L.
Friday Night SmackDown:
The final stop for WWE’s MITB had so much potential. Did it live up to it or did the show just phone it in? Crazy 8-man tag action. Jeff Hardy returns! Mandy and Sonya throw down! Bray Wyatt attempts to bring Braun back home. A battle for the prop MITB briefcase. Let’s get started in the final show before MITB!
BBF feud. Crazy eight-man tag action! Hardy returns. Bray makes Braun think.
Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose. Sonya wins via Roll Up pin fall.
God’s Greatest Gift came out strong, displaying a fierce worker and had Sonya on the ropes. Early on, Mandy made Sonya look like a cowardly heel. However, Sonya used Mandy’s growing confidence and put her in her place. Deville countered a Bicycle Knee into a roll up, for the win. This was great because very few have seen Mandy’s aggressive side. I watched a few of her developmental matches and Rose is darn good! It is a shame that Vinny used her as a “blonde prop”, when she can do much more. Hopefully, this is the start of Mandy becoming a legit threat to all, because she is capable of doing so.
Forgotten Sons/Miz/John Morrison vs New Day/Lucha House Party. Miz wins via Skull Crushing Finale pin fall.
If there was a match that showcased the athletic ability of Morrison and Lucha House Party, this was it. Kofi once again took the beating for most of the match. It is when Kofi hot tagged Gran Metalik in is when things got going. The fluid motion between Morrison and Lucha House Party cannot be ignored. While the rest of the talents struggled to keep up with the fast Lucha/Parkour styles, John and LHP excelled, bringing a fresh of style in WWE. In the closing minutes, Dorado hits a Poisonrana on John, yet didn’t see the blind tag to Miz. The A-Lister hits a Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Best match of the night, all looked strong, even LHP!
The enigmatic star returns.
A long promo from Jeff Hardy leads for the Celtic Warrior to arrive. In all fairness, we all knew this was going to happen. So it did, was it worth it? No, in my opinion. What we got was a cookie cutter baby face return and the heel getting beat up. Not much worth mentioning.
Bray faces Braun.
Now, I have been hard on this angle. However, this segment was brilliant. During the monologue Bray was providing, you actually see the fear or regret in Braun Strowman’s face. That is some good acting from the big man. The banter from Wyatt did have its merits, but shouldn’t tear down a monster like it did for Braun. The Monster did bounce back and stated that he is not an idiot and he will not use his catchphrase to please Wyatt. The keeper of The Fiend then offers Braun’s old mask and the Firefly Fun House puppets begging for Braun to come back home. The Monster states that he is home and with the title.
This was THE best segment out of all of them! Bray was being BRILLIANT Bray and Braun showed his range. I am finally intrigued about this match, even though I think I know the outcome. The sad thing is that this could’ve gone on for months, until there was a live crowd to see the final outcome. Yet, we get this MITB match… and it will probably be the end of it afterwards.
Ladies tag team action. Huge six-man tag team fight!
Tamina/Lacey Evans vs Sasha Banks/Bayley. Tamina wins via Samoan Drop pin fall.
Yeah, the feel good story for the night. So expect Bayley to retain at MITB. That is if you didn’t think so before. In the beginning, we all knew Tamina would never hold the belt over Bayley. The main story is Sasha vs Bayley later on. So this is a small bump, in a road of bumps until then. Despite the narrative of Banks and Bayley breaking up, the duo did fantastic as a team, pounding away on Tamina. Tt was only because of a Women’s Right from Evans that Tamina secured a win. After Lacey KO’d Banks, Tamina hits a Samoan Drop on Bayley for the win and most likely losing at MITB.
King Corbin/Shinsuke/Cesaro vs Daniel Bryan/Drew Gulak/Otis. King Corbin wins via Deep Six pin fall.
I debated in which was match of the night. This one or the eight-man match earlier, the earlier match won by a smidgen. Why? It was all about the aftermath. This match was fun and exciting. However, what followed afterwards was a standard cookie cutter go home show finish. So, I am giving the match of the night to New Day/Lucha House Party vs Miz/Morrison/Forgotten Sons.
The baby face team took control over the match early on. All of the men are absolute gems, even Corbin. This was a mixture of all the men’s strengths. There were power moves from Otis, Corbin, and Cesaro. Technical mat moves from Daniel and Gulak. Fierce strikes from Shinsuke. It was like a buffet of styles on display. What happened in the closing minutes was King Corbin hitting his Deep Six on Bryan for the win. But wait, there’s more!
Afterwards, the fight continued. All of the men except King Corbin fought and took each other out. Corbin decides to claim a MITB briefcase that has no meaning and is met with opposition. At first, it was Daniel, then Gulak, and then Otis. In the final seconds, Corbin stood tall and grabbed the briefcase, claiming the pseudo MITB contract before the real fight. I wanted to give this match a higher rating, but the aftermath was standard WWE. Short match displaying each worker’s moves, a brawl, then someone stands tall with the pseudo prize. Yeah, been done to death.
This show had SO much potential, but fell flat before MITB. The WWE could have brought in huge swerves, but decided to keep it normal. This is and not a bad thing. I know we all like surprises, but sometime surprises are not well liked. Vinny is keeping it safe for another crowd-less PPV. Hopefully, when the world is safe to being normal, the pro wrestling world will have a true spectacle.-David G.
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