IN-RING SEGMENT: JEFF HARDY
I really like this version of Jeff Hardy. Strange he didn’t address Randy Orton, but the commentator team pointed out beforehand that he should be focused on Nakamura and not let the Orton attack cloud his mind. Good promo.
Promo Rating: Five Stone Colds
Also another really good response backstage by Nakamura.
Heel Promo Rating: Six Roddys Pipers
AJ STYLES VS. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS
What a hell of a step up for Almas. I guess they want to get him a loss? I’m really not sure why he would be wrestling the WWE Champion at this point. I think this will be a very good match, but I’m not sure what it does for either guy. I guess a good match will give Almas even more credibility even if he loses. No possibility of a clean win for him.
I just realized SmackDown is basically in my backyard tonight and I didn’t go. Shit. Boring match early, pretty much no action at all. Almas holds AJ in an everlasting headlock. Finally both guys start moving and Almas does his “Tranquilo” thing in the ropes to taunt the champion. Good pace now and Almas is hanging right with Styles’ tempo. Really good flow to the match. Almas has a nice counter to the Phenomenal Forearm and takes out AJ’s leg. AJ rolls out of the way of a moonsault, but Almas lands on his feet and immediately hits a standing moonsault. Wow.
Oftentimes AJ has to make someone else look good. Almas needs absolutely no help in that department tonight and actually is making AJ look good. Disregard me saying I’m not sure what this does for either guy, because no matter what the result, Almas’ stock is skyrocketing here. He goes for the Hammerlock DDT but Styles rolls it into a Calf Crusher and Almas taps out immediately. Terrific match.
Match Rating: Nine Gold Medals
Trouble in paradise with Aiden English trying to apologize to Rusev through Lana. I’m sick of Rusev. The crowd has beaten this shit into the ground.
When talking about the other celebrities and the softball game that Miz played in, Tom Phillips said “baseball Hall of Famer Bernie Williams.” No.
BECKY LYNCH VS. MANDY ROSE
Mandy has a really good in-ring style that fits her personality. I can’t really describe why but her wrestling style is actually bitchy. Just watch and I think you’ll see what I mean. Becky is the most over woman in WWE right now. She has the look, the personality, the in-ring ability, she’s just missing the championship. Mandy gets most of the offense in this match but it doesn’t take long for Becky to lock in the Dis-Arm-Her for the win. Not a lot going on in this match but it was entertaining. Both ladies wrestled really well.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
Becky calls out Carmella after the match. I’m a huge Rocky fan but I think the “Becky Balboa” thing is kind of lame. Still a good promo.
Promo Rating: Three Stone Colds
Carmella is setting a new standard for heel work. Becky gets a match against her next week and if she wins she gets a title shot at SummerSlam. I would LOVE it. I’m just wondering what happens to Asuka now.
R-Truth is still alive? Huh.
TYE DILLINGER VS. SAMOA JOE
I really don’t know what this match happened. Tye was supposed to be making a statement here challenging Joe? He got owned. Joe basically beat a jobber. Nobody gains anything here. Joe’s heel work is bad.
Match Rating: One Gold Medal
These segments are usually quite awful. Great heel work by Miz to promote his new TV show and get people to cheer him. What a fucking jackass. I’m guessing this is leading to a Miz-Bryan match at SummerSlam, but there has to be a better way than listening to Miz spew verbal diarrhea and stumble over his words. He eventually gets to some good stuff but this was pretty lame.
Bryan gets in a good sneak attack on Miz and takes out the pall bearers. We’re definitely getting a SummerSlam match. Yeah Miz got in some good heel stuff but he’s such a watered-down heel since they gave him a TV show to promote. It doesn’t help that he gets the crowd to do his catch phrases. Bryan saved it from being awful but it was still pretty bad.
Segment Rating: Two Katie Vicks
Miz Promo Rating: One Roddy Piper
KOFI KINGSTON W/BIG E & XAVIER WOODS VS. ERIC YOUNG W/ALEXANDER WOLFE & KILLIAN DAIN
Any chance this doesn’t devolve into complete chaos? It’s be a waste if it didn’t. Two veterans in Kingston and Young are putting on a very entertaining match in very different ways. Kofi is quick and agile while Young is powerful and has a very chaotic and brutal offense. That’s not to say Young can’t keep up with Kofi’s pace because he’s certainly able to hold his own against that style and keep a good match flow. Kofi takes out SAnitY with a suicide dive and that should lead to some vengeance before this match is through. The four non-competitors in this match all engage on the outside, and Dain throws Woods into Kofi, which gives Young the opportunity to hit his wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the win. I thought this was going to be more about the teams at ringside but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the match.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JEFF HARDY VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (c)
No pre-match nut shot this time, but Nakamura did try for it pretty quickly. Nakamura as champion works so well for him because he can get more and more heat by getting himself disqualified while still keeping the title. Jeff’s eyes are trippy as hell, I dig it. Nice flow to this match, these guys work really well together. Apparently unlike most people, I really liked how they did the title change at Extreme Rules; but I would have liked to see what kind of PPV match these guys could have performed.
If Jeff is injured, he doesn’t show it. He rarely puts on a bad match. Jeff gets the Twist of Fate countered twice, he should probably wait a while before trying it again or give up that move altogether in this match. Shinsuke misses a finisher of his own and Jeff counters the Kinshasa with a Slingblade. He goes to the top but Shinsuke takes him down and goes for the Kinshasa again, but Jeff finally htis a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb. As he is about to win the match Randy Orton comes out of nowhere and pulls Jeff off after a two count.
The match ends in a DQ and Orton and Nakamura team up on Jeff. Randy puts his fingers in Jeff’s ear lobe gauge hole and pulls. I am quite familiar with how painful that is. Orton leaves Jeff laying and probably written off TV for a while. Hopefully next week we find out what this is about.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Six Gold Medals