Stephanie takes Baron Corbin to the woodshed. Those segments are really annoying to me. Renee Young is very shiny tonight.
IN-RING PROMO: THE SHIELD
Good stuff here from all three guys, but I still feel like Seth’s promos have become really watered down and cheesy as Roman’s have gotten better and better. I think it’s because he’s a natural heel and those promos are organic and easy for him.
Strowman’s promo absolutely sucked, even before he fucked up the name of Super Show-Down. Ziggler and McIntyre did a great job of trying to get inside Dean Ambrose’s head and plant the seeds of a heel turn.
Dean Ambrose Promo Rating: Four Stone Colds
Roman Reigns Promo Rating: Six Stone Colds
Seth Rollins Promo Rating: One Stone Cold
Braun Strowman Promo Rating: Six Bobby Lashleys
Dolph Ziggler Promo Rating: Seven Roddy Pipers
Drew McIntyre Promo Rating: Five Roddy Pipers
Baron Corbin Promo Rating: Two Bobby Lashleys
Overall Segment Rating: Five This Is Your Lifes
FINN BALOR W/BAYLEY VS. JINDER MAHAL W/ALICIA FOX & SUNIL SINGH
The way the announcers are talking, it’s sounding like this is more of a Mixed Match Challenge promo than a match. No crowd is ever going to complain about getting a Finn Balor match though, so it works. Jinder’s style would have fit in great in the 80’s and early 90’s. That’s not in any way saying it doesn’t work today, it’s just an old-school-heel style. It’s really funny that I just typed that, because, in a very 80’s-ish finish, Bayley takes out Alicia Fox AND Sunil Singh, distracting Jinder so that Balor could get the win. That was fun. After the match Jinder has a huge wad of spit on his lip and doesn’t seem to notice, and it’s fucking disgusting.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
NATALYA AND TWO TRAINEES VS. THE RIOTT SQUAD
I’m going to type up the match summary during the pre-match commercial: One trainee beats up a member of the Riott Squad and looks terrible doing it, tags in other trainee, who gets beaten up, hot tag to Natalya, who salvages some semblance of respectability, then tags in ridiculous hat-wearing trainee who gets ludicrous win over exponentially more talented competition then celebrates like she is John Cena or something. Oh, and one trainee inexplicably and embarrassingly yells “BRIE MODE!” before doing something sloppy and underwhelming.
Well I was glad to be wrong about who won, I certainly was NOT wrong about the match quality, and what the FUCK, Brie the Botch is not only bad, she’s fucking dangerous, and Liv probably has some broken facial bones now. GET THEM OUT OF HERE!
CHAD GABLE W/BOBBY ROODE VS. KONNOR W/VIKTOR
Gable already beat Viktor last week. This match was not nearly as good as that one , but Konnor looked better than I’ve seen him look in a long time in picking up a surprising win.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
BACKSTAGE PROMO: TRIPLE H
More antagonism from The Game.
Promo Rating: Five Triple H’s
RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: THE REVIVAL VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER & DREW McINTYRE (c)
Ziggler throwing Wilder into the stairs was one of the most violent steel stairs spots I’ve seen. Shoulders were not meant for that. The Revival looks terrific as they beat the hell out of Ziggler. They almost had the match won with the Doomsday Device. Interestingly they show Ambrose watching the match alone on a monitor backstage. He gets to watch McIntyre and Ziggler retain with the Zig Zag/Claymore finisher. I’m actually happy to say that I have no idea if he’ll turn or not, and that’s the exact way they want me to be thinking. If they can do that on a regular basis and keep everything a mystery like when I was a kid and never knew what was going to happen, it will make the product incredibly better.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: ELIAS/THE KEVIN OWENS SHOW
Enter Lio Rush. He’s an exciting dude. He brings out Bobby Lashley for a match vs. Elias. No real substance to these promos so no point in rating them.
BOBBY LASHLEY VS. ELIAS
Someone in the graphics department misspelled Alicia in the Mixed Max Challenge promo. Derp. Renee Young implies that the things Ziggler is saying to Ambrose are true, and Graves warns her that the internet conspiracy theorists are going to run with that. I enjoyed that exchange. It seems like Elias doesn’t have that many matches lately, so it’s easy to forget how talented he is in the ring. Lashley’s style isn’t pretty, but it’s definitely effective.
Renee Young: “The Shield has run thick from the very get go.” …except for that little three-year period they were apart after Rollins mashed the other two with a chair. A DQ and another narrow escape by Lio Rush end this match.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
Rollins points out the obvious to Drew McIntyre, that he’s being used as well. MIND GAMES! LOVE IT!
NIA JAX W/EMBER MOON VS. ALICIA FOX W/MICKIE JAMES & ALEXA BLISS
Alicia gets in a little bit of offense, but Nia crunches her with a Samoan Drop, and Ember gets to take out Mickie James.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
More mind games with Ambrose and McIntyre. Keep it going! It’s definitely building a lot of intrigue.
THE SHIELD VS. BARON CORBIN & AUTHORS OF PAIN
Funny enough they were my first thought at the start of the show, then I forgot about them as I’m thinking of who Corbin’s partners could be besides Braun, then right before Corbin came out it hit me again. It looks like Take Your Kid To Work Day with Drake Maverick accompanying them. Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler are looming at the top of the ramp with chairs. Awesome to see Reigns and Rezar face off. It’s really weird that Drake Maverick is a heel on Raw and, at least for the moment, a face GM on 205 Live. I’ve a feeling someone else is going to be taking over that GM role.
The Shield are getting their asses kicked. AOP is barely breaking a sweat until Rollins shows some incredible resilience and makes a hot tag to Ambrose, who is pretty much on his own at that point. Thankfully for Ambrose, Reigns recovers from the Last Chapter that AOP gave him on the outside just as Ambrose was about to meet the same fate, and a chaotic sequence ends with Corbin eating a Reigns spear for a Shield win.
Reigns and Rollins celebrate in the ring while Ambrose sits alone on the outside. He slides back into the ring as they do the fists. That doesn’t mean shit going forward.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Five Gold Medals