By: Frank Hyden
GOOD/BAD- Opening pacing/Shinsuke Nakamura beat Jey Uso
The show opened with a 3-4 minute recap of the gauntlet match from last week. I like recaps and getting people up to speed but that’s a bit long. I think one minute is sufficient for a good recap. Then they cut to Roman Reigns doing more Godfather LARP-ing, which I’ve really soured on. They’ve yet to give any reason why he’s able to make matches or stipulations or anything. Then Jey Uso came out and cut some rambling, screaming promo (my favorite). The guy was sweating and out of breath like he was coming off a crack binge. He yelled about entering the Royal Rumble and going to RAW to win the title there. This brought Shinsuke Nakamura out, who kicked Uso in the head before they went to commercial. They came back from break and wrestled a bit before another commercial break. Jey used the ropes to score the pin, which the ref then waved off, and they argued until Nakamura hit the Kinshasa and got the win. Not the greatest of ways to start the show but at least Shinsuke won.
BAD- More of Roman’s One-Man Power Trip Bullshit
Roman didn’t want a No DQ match with Adam Pearce, he wanted a Last Man Standing match. Again, why the hell is this guy able to make stipulations for matches? There’s been no explanation for that. And they had Apollo Crews in there like he was about to get slapped and told to act like a man.
GOOD/BAD- Natalya beat Liv Morgan
Billie Kay was dressed like The Riott Squad and for some reason they had her run into the ring and start slipping on banana peels or something, causing a distraction that allowed Natalya to get the rollup win. I like all 5 people in this match (Tamina was at ringside for Natalya) but this was short and just booked too convolutedly.
GOOD- King Corbin beat Rey Mysterio
Because of the size difference they had Mysterio sell for most of the match until there was a distraction (I’m sensing a theme) and he pinned Rey. They’re setting up Dominik Mysterio to possibly stand up to and beat Corbin, or at least it looks that way.
GOOD/BAD- Ding Dong Hello! with Bianca Belair
This is Bayley’s new talk show. Her and Belair had some back and forth arguing until they agreed to have an obstacle course challenge next week. That will probably suck but it might be fun. Sidenote- Bianca has some of the prettiest eyes I’ve seen in some time. Obviously her wrestling skills are far more important and she does a good job with those and her promo skills are also pretty good in my opinion. However, her eyes and that big smile she has go a long way towards making her a really good face. At least, in my opinion.
GOOD- Cesaro beat Daniel Bryan
Credit to Bryan for continually putting guys over. Cesaro won clean here after a really good match. These guys put in the work and it was excellent.
GOOD- Apollo Crews beat Sami Zayn
Crews cheated to win, pulling the pants of Zayn on the pin attempt. I don’t know why they decided to turn Crews heel all of a sudden but at least he’s on TV and this works well for Zayn’s conspiracy character.
GOOD- Adam Pearce pulls a swerve
This was the contract signing for their match at Royal Rumble. Roman signed the contract for a Last Man Standing match. Pearce then hobbled up the top of the ramp and said the card is always subject to change and that he might not be able to make it to the show. He then introduced Kevin Owens, who came out and signed the contract to close the show on a good note.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at email@example.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank