By: Frank Hyden
GOOD- Drew McIntyre promo and Randy Orton attack
Drew came out pumped about defending the WWE World Title successfully against Orton. After he finished and was celebrating up the ramp, Orton attacked him. Orton punted McIntyre twice backstage.
GOOD/BAD- Shayna Bazler vs. Bayley ends in a DQ
It was good while it lasted but the match ended in a DQ after Nia Jax attacked Bazler. Bayley and Sasha Banks laughed at Bazler and Jax, causing them to align and challenge The Golden Role Models for the Tag Team Titles at Payback this Sunday.
GOOD/BAD- Aleister Black turns heel and Akira Tozawa wins the 24/7 Championship
Black was on The Kevin Owens Show and attacked him, still selling the eye injury from Murphy weeks ago. Then, there was a 4-way between Tozawa, Cedric Alexander, R-Truth, and Shelton Benjamin that ended with Tozawa finagling his way to winning. I’m interested to see Black as a heel again as he’s probably better suited for it and the 24/7 is there too, I guess. Moving on.
GOOD- Randy Orton promo interrupted by Keith Lee
Orton was cutting a decent promo where he seemed motivated, then Lee interrupted and challenged him to a match. Lee’s unique talking style worked well here, though it seemed they changed his music for some reason. Orton did the heel bit of saying “Maybe later” and rolled out of the ring, which was funny. I liked that.
GOOD/BAD- Montez Ford beats Angel Garza
The match itself was way too short, especially considering the guys involved. The finish came when Garza was distracted and Ford took advantage and hit his tremendous Frog Splash. Ford has the best Frog Splash I’ve ever seen, the height he gets is almost unbelievable. He even did a Twisted Bliss version. Maybe I’m just blinded by the crazy height Ford gets, as lots of people do great Frog Splashes, but man I just love watching him do it. The BAD comes from more bullshit with Demi Burnette from The Bachelor. What distracted Garza was Ivar came out and gave Demi a chicken leg and she walked off with him. It’s stupid enough that some hot chick is going to be mesmerized by some slob when she could have someone like Garza, but then, a damn chicken leg does it? Come on man. I get that it’s “comedy” and maybe I’m too much of a stick in the mud or whatever but I just don’t like this.
GOOD- Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, and Liv Morgan beats The Iconics and Zelina Vega
This was really short and all about showing Belair but I like these six so I’ll roll with it. Belair pinned Vega after showing her power off some more.
GOOD/BAD- Arm wrestling, Mark Henry, RAW Underground, and retirement ceremonies
They did some dumb arm wrestling match between Bobby Lashley and U.S. Champion Apollo Crews to “build up” their match at Payback, I guess? I don’t know, it gave me bad flashbacks to when Scott Steiner and Triple H did stuff like this before their match. I’m not necessarily against stuff like this and Mark Henry made an appearance, which is cool, but I don’t know. I wasn’t feeling this. Sidenote- I kind of forgot how huge Henry is. Bobby Lashley is an enormous man who looks chiseled from granite, but Henry looked bigger. Lashley has the better physique but Henry still looks really strong.
Apollo won the arm wrestling so The Hurt Business went to RAW Underground and beat the hell out of a bunch of people including jobbers, Dolph Ziggler, and The Viking Raiders. I’m liking these segments where Lashley and Benjamin (and Ziggler too) show off their skills. After that, Natalya and Lana had a retirement ceremony for Mickie James, which was nothing but a black screen since they say she has no highlights. Mickie ran down and laid them both out.
GOOD/BAD- Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton ends in DQ and a third punt to Drew
Orton did a good job selling the power and athleticism of Lee. The match ended in a DQ, though, as McIntyre ran down and attacked Orton. McIntyre ended up getting laid out and punted a third time backstage and they stretchered him out. They made Lee look pretty strong here so hopefully they don’t ruin that by having him look bad against Orton at Payback. It’s almost a guarantee that Lee loses to Orton but hopefully they make him look good before that.
GOOD/BAD- Asuka beats Sasha Banks
This was a lumberjack match. It wasn’t very long and it didn’t come even remotely close to what these two are capable of, but I’m such a fan of these two that I can’t be too negative. Bayley tried to interfere but Shayna Bazler stopped her and the distraction allowed Asuka to apply the Asuka-Lock and get the tapout. I wish they were given more time but this storyline isn’t close to being done.
GOOD- Dominik and Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins and Murphy ends in DQ
I’m going only GOOD here because this match was given a lot more time. Yeah, I would prefer to see more finishes on a show but this furthered the storyline pretty well. Plus, Dominik again looked good in the ring. They went back and forth before Retribution ran in and laid out Dominik and Rey. They stood over them as Rollins laughed and was happy, as he and Murphy had bailed as soon as they saw them. They need to do something with Retribution to give them focus because it’s just so random when they attack, and how many members are there, etc. Not a great show by any means, but it had some good parts to it.
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