Okay, I’m going to warn you here and now that this will probably not be up to the standards of my usual reviews (you can take that anyway you want) because I am, at this moment, recovering from laser eye surgery. And, let me tell you, that was probably the weirdest fifteen minutes of my life I’ve ever spent. The ten minutes I spent having follow-up surgery this morning was pretty weird as well.
So I am going to write a fairly bare-bones review of this and then get back to lying down and listening to my A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks with these ridiculously dorky goggles over my eyes.
I’m just kidding; I’m not taking these goggles off.
Show kicks off with a tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper, as you’d expect. In the clips chosen, this guy seriously comes off as one of those charismatic people you could ever expect to meet.
Next, Roman Reigns makes his way down to the ring, and he will face Rusev in the main event tonight. But first, he wants to talk, and the crowd seems happy to see him. He talks about how lame it is that Bray and Harper are buddies again, and how Dean Ambrose is a way awesomer friend than Luke Harper. Basically, they’re doing the Shield vs. Wyatts match again, only missing one entertaining and one useless member. Also, I think Reigns grew a weird accent in the past couple of weeks. Or I’m only just hearing that.
Rusev shows up, because he still hates America, maybe? They’ve not been clear on that just yet. Roman does call Rusev out on his blatant disrespect for women, and when Reigns has that level of social awareness, your villains are overly cartoonish. Rusev threatens to call Roman ‘Lana’ tonight, and props to Roman for not making a gay rape joke, instead calling Rusev a sexist. Holy crap, the WWE managed to not make that offensive.
The New Day’s hassling white guys backstage, because Vince totally doesn’t have Views.
The New Day vs. The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry
Oh wow, I have never been happier to have really light-sensitive eyes and blurry vision: it’s a six-man tag match that I’m going to barely cover, featuring the New Day facing the Prime Time Players and Mark Henry. Judging by his pre-match interview, Mark Henry is just barely sustaining any interest in his own career.
My video streaming thing keeps changing quality, making me freak out because I think my sight keeps sharpening up and then going blurry. On the plus side, I can’t see much of this. The Prime Time Players seem to be on top for the majority of the match, with Henry being kept out of most of it: suits me.
Big E manages to get the match under the New Day’s control, and most of their offence features stomping. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be annoying or great strategy, but it’s both. Darren Young’s the sacrificial lamb for a few minutes, but after an ezuigiri he tags in Titus, who takes the momentum right back, pounding on Kingston before the action breaks down. Henry gets the blind tag; Titus fallaway-throws Kingston into a World’s Strongest Slam for an awesome finish.
The finish was a real eye-opener, which presents me with a real risk of displacing my cornea. Fuckers. 2.5 Stars.
Lawler tells us that if we don’t have the WWE Network by now, then we’re all idiots. He actually has visual prompts to demonstrate his point, which really helps sell the ‘idiot’ line.
We get shown a clip from Swerved, which presents an interesting argument against buying the WWE Network.
The New Day are backstage, and the Unnamed Interviewer asks them if they think they don’t deserve a title shot now; they are not amused.
We get shown a feature of Charlotte, which is a pretty decent psyche-up.
Charlotte vs. Naomi
Charlotte makes her way down to the ring, along with Becky Lynch, and I love that Becky gets dressed up and does her entrance even if she’s just accompanying a buddy down to ringside. Also, her goggles are a lot better than mine.
She faces Naomi, and in the spirit of the Divas Revolution, it’s a very good match, full of chain wrestling, counters and reversals. Naomi overtly isn’t overshadowed in the match, which is one thing I was worried about when this storyline started; she even answers a Flair Chop with a slap. Unfortunately, when she’s locked in the Figure Eight, Tamina and Sasha interfere, ending the match in a DQ and making Naomi look less capable.
The referee gets a message in his headset making it a tag team match, so it was probably Teddy Long on the other end. ‘Per the Authority’ my ass; holla holla holla, playa. Also, did Sasha just earn Becky and herself a paycheck they otherwise wouldn’t have received?
Banks puts up a good effort against both Charlotte and Lynch, though they do remain in control for the first part of the match. Sasha does manage to tag Naomi in, allowing us to see some more of her dominance. Becky takes control back, however, the the Submission Sorority is in control. Charlotte even hits Ric’s old knee drop, which was a great thing to see, and this brings Sasha back in.
Banks gets knocked around for a little, and it takes Naomi and Tamina interfering for her to take control, and it’s Charlotte on the receiving end of the heel beatdown from both Naomi and Sasha, and Becky Lynch who clears the ring when she gets tagged in. Tamina drags Charlotte to the outside, whilst Naomi regains control and knocks Becky around. Becky plays the part of the face-in-peril during the break and for a while afterwards.
When Charlotte tags in, she makes short work of Banks until Naomi comes in, apparently legal now. After a brief struggle, Naomi reverses an inside cradle into one of her own pins. Still not sure if she was legal.
Decent match, although confusing. They only just announced that Naomi had the tights several minutes after the match, which gives you an idea of what a mess this was at times. 2 Stars.
We get a clip of Stardust laughing at Neville failing at winning a World Championship. And he’s also in a feud with Arrow, I guess. I really should watch that show; I feel like I owe The Green Arrow something since he shot Superman with a kryptonite arrow (God, I love The Dark Knight Returns).
Stardust vs. Zack Ryder
Stardust is facing Zack Ryder, who puts up some plucky offence before losing. Apparently Stardust’s motivation falls somewhere between psychopath and crack addict. His finisher is also called the ‘Queens Crossbow’, and why for the love of God would you do that?
It’s like they’re keeping Zack Ryder prisoner or something. 1 Star.
Stardust makes a speech to the Arrow actor, and was it WWE or the production team of Arrow who came up with this absurd idea?
Big Show gets interviewed about being in a match with Miz and Ryback at SummerSlam in an attempt to destroy the fucking planet. Also, Big Show should be shot for his Sylvester Stallone impression. In the face. With an RPG full of hornets.
Reigns vs. Rusev
Jesus, I’m less than twelve hours out of surgery and I’m reviewing a fucking Rusev match; this is the nearest any of you are getting to genuine affection from me.
Reigns and Rusev are set up to be quite equally matched in this bout at first, with neither man gaining a definitive advantage in the early going. Rusev manages, after several minutes, to bean Reigns off the steel post, taking control. He keeps Reigns on the defensive for several minutes, but misses a headbutt from the top rope to give Roman an opportunity.
It takes Reigns some time, but once he smacks Rusev with a big-time clothesline, he gets fired up, laying everything he has on the big Bulgarian. After a whole bunch of strikes and his Drive-By dropkick, he hits a German/back suplex to Rusev. He then runs into a spinning heel kick, knocking him down to the floor.
Reigns regains control after catching Rusev to hit a sit-out powerbomb. He tries a Superman Punch, gets hit with a superkick, but then manages to hit the Superman Punch anyway before collapsing: that’s some manga shit right there.
Summer Rae apparently wants to get involved, but then Lana shows up and assaults her. Reigns almost gets the win off a fucking roll-up, but thankfully Rusev kicks out and superkicks him again for a near-fall. Reigns manages to come back with a spear for the win, becoming, I believe, the only third guy to ever beat Rusev one-on-one.
Not a bad match, altogether. Glad it didn’t end due to the interference; there’s only so much you can do to Reigns. 2.5 Stars.
Right, I’m off to crawl back into bed…damn it, Bray; I’m sensitive to light right now!! Yeah, Wyatt shows up to make a promo accepting Roman’s offer. Could have saved that for RAW, you fat bastard.
Tags: byron saxton, Jerry Lawler, jimmy uso, Michael Cole, smackdown, Tom Philips