SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. BECKY LYNCH (c)
They have play hot potato with the women’s titles in the past, so it wouldn’t totally surprised me to see a title change here and have Charlotte go into Evolution as champion, but I don’t think it’s likely. No wasted movements in this match, each woman is all over the other. It’s such an obviously personal feud and both of them are so intense and focused.
Almost every move is crisp and effective, save the slingshot spot. They’re both terrific storytellers in the ring. I especially focused on the kip-up by Charlotte where she immediately stumbled back down. She didn’t even do a move but she told us so much, that she thought she had a lot more in her tank than she did, and that even though she was the first to her feet, she’s vulnerable.
Another great spot is Charlotte blocking Becky’s arm bar attempt and turning it into a one-arm power bomb. When they return from commercial, Becky blocks the Figure Four by kicking Charlotte face first HARD into the turnbuckle. The ref ALMOST DQ’d Becky for thinking she hit Charlotte with the title before Charlotte destroyed her with a spear for a two count. Charlotte crashed and burned on a moonsault to the floor before taking a Bexploder into the barricade. The ref made it to nine before the count was broken.
Charlotte hits Natural Selection but Becky rolls out of the ring. This is enthralling action. Both women battle on the outside until the referee counts 10 and Becky retains her title due to a double count out. CHARLOTTE SPEARS BECKY THROUGH THE LED BOARD! Holy shit! I really hope Charlotte is okay, because her arm looked fucked.
Match Rating: Ten Gold Medals
WWE WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH: JEFF HARDY VS. SAMOA JOE
These guys might have the two most opposite styles in WWE. Jeff modifies his style some for this match though to go after Joe’s injured knee. He does that so well that the referee stops the match when Joe can no longer stand. It’s a good way to get Hardy into the tournament without giving Joe a clean loss, and I’m sure they’re going to further some kind of storyline with Joe’s knee.
Booking Rating: Five Dustys
Glad to hear that Charlotte is ok, her arm looked gnarly. Paige gives Charlotte one more title shot at Evolution
MIZTV w/AJ STYLES & DANIEL BRYAN
I was pissed at how short Miz & DB’s match was at Crown Jewel, but at least it let Bryan get a dig in at Miz. Bryan and AJ put each other over, which disgusts Miz. The cordiality probably won’t last, but it’s nice to see them do it for now as well as gang up against Miz. Bryan lays down a terrific promo about returning for one thing: the WWE Championship. On our Sunday Sermon this week at Ring the Damn Bell, one of the points I made is that the WWE Championship has seemed secondary to other aspects of AJ Styles’ feuds, but the promo that Daniel Bryan just cut put a lot more importance on the title, and that’s a very good thing.
Miz says that AJ Styles is the reason there hasn’t been as much importance on the title, and rants on how much he’s beaten Daniel Bryan since he returned, before calling out Shelton Benjamin to face AJ Styles. Why does Miz get to announce matches seemingly every week? Miz and Bryan’s promos were terrific.
Daniel Bryan Promo Rating: Nine Stone Colds
Miz Promo Rating: Nine Roddy Pipers
AJ Styles Promo Rating: Four Stone Colds
SHELTON BENJAMIN VS. AJ STYLES
Benjamin puts on a main-event caliber match with a main event talent for the second week in a row. I’ll give another shout out to my friends at Ring the Damn Bell, as just before he got his match against Bryan last week, they debated whether to Book or Cook Shelton Benjamin since he’d barely been used at all recently. He has terrific technique, he can keep pace with anybody, and just as I’m tying this he gives a crappy sell to the Phenomenal Forearm. Then AJ holds the title upside down after the match, which is even funnier since The Miz is out there, I’m surprised he didn’t comment on that. Really good match.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
ONE NIGHT IN MILWAUKEE
Oh Aiden, jealousy is a stinky cologne. Rusev and Lana call Aiden’s bluff. It turns out Aiden is just a douche. Rusev is going to break Aiden in half.
Segment Rating: Six This Is Your Lifes
Mysterio vs. Nakamura next week! Who thought we’d ever see that in WWE?
WWE WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH: THE BIG SHOW VS. RANDY ORTON
Big Show shows he can still go a bit, but you had to know Orton was going to win this match. Nothing special beyond some nostalgia for Big Show.
Match Rating: Three Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Eight Gold Medals