By: Frank Hyden
GOOD- WWE Thunderdome set and Vince McMahon opens the show
I like the Thunderdome set visually. With all the screens they can do a lot of things. I also really like how they could do their elaborate entrances again. On the other hand, though, the audio isn’t very good at all. From the crowd, I mean. That was one of the best things about having the trainees there, they would yell and clap and stuff. Yeah, sometimes they would yell dumb things but I liked that, as it mimicked a live crowd, who would often yell dumb things as well.
Vince McMahon was in the ring to introduce us to WWE Thunderdome. It wasn’t long at all before The Fiend interrupted, though, and made his way to the ring. His entrance was really cool, which is a benefit of the new setup. Before anything could happen, though, Braun Strowman came out and Vince powdered. As Braun and The Fiend stared at each other, Retribution jumped on the ring apron. The Fiend waved at Braun and vanished during a blackout so Retribution jumped Braun until the locker room came running out to fight them off. Miz came running out late, which seems to hint that he’s the leader or involved somehow. Nice segment to open the show.
GOOD- Big E beats Sheamus
This was a pretty good big man slugfest. The Smackdown roster surrounded the ring, in case of another attack by Retribution. I was a little distracted by all the bruises and cuts on the body of Sheamus. They went back and forth for a while until Sheamus looked poised to get the win. A brawl broke out between King Corbin and Matt Riddle, allowing Big E to get the rollup. Sheamus was livid.
GOOD- Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro beat Lucha House Party
This was a short, but very good while it lasted. Towards the end of the match, Gran Metalik flipped over the ropes at Cesaro but landed completely flat-backed on the outside. It was a horrible landing, he splatted hard and you could tell right away he was hurt. Cesaro reversed a rana from Dorado to get the pin. Kalisto and Dorado argued after the loss, with Metalik somehow able to get back into the ring and try to break them apart. That bump, ouch.
GOOD- Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville promos
Mandy offered an olive branch to Sonya and said she wanted to put their differences aside. Later in the show, Sonya responded by upping the stakes of their match and changing it to a No DQ, Loser Leaves WWE match. So, I guess that’s a no. Good promos from both, especially Sonya though Mandy was good with her plea to stop things from going too far.
GOOD- Beat The Clock Challenge with Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Naomi
Sasha beat Naomi in 3:39 while Naomi then beat Bayley in like a minute and a half or something. Both matches were very short, which I understand but I would have liked to see more as these are intriguing matchups. Anyway, this now means Bayley faces Asuka first at SummerSlam. Truthfully, I was very surprised to see Naomi beat Bayley clean. I know she’s more than capable of getting her heat back but she’s lost clean several times in the past few months. It’s a testament to her that she can do that and still be just as over as before. She’s no Hulk Hogan type, that’s for sure. After these matches Asuka ran out and laid out both Sasha and Bayley. I like The Golden Role Models but I like Asuka just a bit more so I’m really looking forward to their matches, as you would expect Asuka to end both their reigns.
GOOD- Jeff Hardy beats AJ Styles to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
AJ stomped Jeff’s leg from behind during the Retribution attack earlier, so Jeff wore a knee brace during this match. They went back and forth, with Hardy really selling the knee injury. The match was as good as you would expect, with Hardy getting some hope spots before AJ would attack the knee again. The finish came when AJ went for the Styles Clash but Jeff swung his legs and connected with the brace to AJ’s face that stunned. A Twist of Fate and Swanton later and Jeff won the Intercontinental Title. I like both of these guys so I’d love to see a rematch or even multiple rematches.
GOOD- Braun and The Fiend brawl to end the show
Bray was hosting an episode of The Firefly Fun House when Braun attacked him. They brawled a bit backstage before Braun chokeslam/pushed Bray from a semi loading area to the concrete below. Medics stretchered Bray into an ambulance which started to drive off but then pulled back in and The Fiend emerged to end the show. Overall, this was a good show. I didn’t dislike any of the segments and it had some quality wrestling. Nice.
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