(Here’s the link for this match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31334627?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=smackdown_replays&contentId=67679764&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )
In my review of the The Great Sasuke et al vs bWo Japan (placed at #98. Read my review here), I wrote “forget The Shield, [that] was true six man tag team action.” That was not a knock on The Shield, but they rarely used their numbers to commit devastating three man moves (apart from the triple team powerbomb, of course). However, The Shield were involved in some of the best matches WWE has had to offer in the past couple of years. They lit up Raw and Smackdown on a weekly basis.
On paper, this match seems amazing. Three of the six wrestlers in this match must be among the best wrestlers of this era (Orton, Bryan, Rollins). Reigns was perfect in his role as The Shield’s powerhouse. Ambrose is a good wrestler. And teaming with Bryan reinvigorated an aging Kane as well. In reality, this match was amazing. It starts off like the usual tag team battle, with frequent tags and the heels (The Shield) focussing on one wrestler (Orton). That is, until he manages to tag in Kane, who explodes into action. You can see is he motivated and willing to put on a show (unlike the Kane of today).
From that point on, the action never lets up. Rollins springboards off the ropes into a drop kick by Bryan. Bryan, as always, gets the crowd chanting ‘Yes’ with his running dropkicks, stiff kicks and a great suicide dive onto Rollins and Reigns (however, I must note the suicide dive is severely over-used nowadays. Every other wrestler seems to use it in their repertoire!).
The ending sequence, in particular, is something to behold. It involves Kane chokeslammed Ambrose onto Reigns outside the barrier, and Rollins being flung from the tope rope into a picture-perfect RKO. Unfortunately, the ending is telegraphed by Michael Cole, who constantly refers to The Shield’s undefeated streak throughout the match. However, it doesn’t take away from a thrilling contest.
VERDICT: 8/10. A showcase of the best all six competitors have to offer. Yes, they have had better matches, but for a short, TV match, this is a treat!
Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!
Click here for my review of #94 Ric Flair (c) vs Lex Luger (NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match: WrestleWar 1990)
Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die
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