A decent match to start off the show. Nothing amazing, but nothing terrible either. Owens worked on Ryback’s arm for most of the match, setting up Ryback’s comebacks spots well. Ryback is getting rather good at selling, which was one of his weaknesses in the ring. He’s developed into an above average wrestler, and I feel his feud with Owens could produce better matches than this one. Not to criticise this match, but it was neither man’s best work. The cheap victory by Owens guaranteed that the feud will continue, as well. Now he’s got something to brag about!
WINNER: (And New IC Champion!) Kevin Owens
VERDICT: 6/10. Above average match that entertained as much as it could.
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev
Well, this was a vast improvement on their SummerSlam match. They put on not a great match, but a good one. It was marred by a few botches here and there (such as the failed fall into the turnbuckle and a dodgy roll-up), but they worked a lot better together than at SummerSlam. The standout moment of the match was Ziggler’s jumping DDT on Rusev. Or, rather, Rusev’s vertical headstand to sell the DDT! Ziggler got the victory after Summer accidentally threw a heel at Rusev, and Ziggler hit the ZigZag. Yes, silly ending, but at least Ziggler gets a victory! I would hope that the terrible feud between Ziggler and Rusev is at an end…
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
VERDICT: 7/10. They made up for their SummerSlam atrocity with a fairly smooth and well-worked match.
The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz (Tag Team Championship Match)
It’s a shame to say, but this match was a bit of a bore. The Dudley Boyz were pushed into the title picture far too soon. Also, the crowd seem to have lost enthusiasm for them. The New Day have had quality matches, and I thought the mix with The Dudley Boyz would be an interesting one. However, the most entertaining aspect of the match was Xavier Woods’ abilities with a trumpet. From the Rocky to various improvised tunes, Woods was a blast. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but did Woods do the tune that plays when you defeat an enemy in Final Fantasy VII?!?!? Sheer brilliance! There were some good spots in the match, such as Bubba’s superplex to Big E and Big E’s splash on Bubba (that looked extremely painful!), but the rest of it was forgettable. Woods ran in to cause a DQ victory for the Dudleys. Post-match, Woods received a 3D through a table!
WINNERS: (By DQ) The Dudley Boyz
VERDICT: 4/10. Only a few spots worth mentioning in a dull match. Have the Dudleyz already outstayed their welcome?
Nikki Bella (c) vs Charlotte (Diva’s Championship Match)
This Diva’s match isn’t going to be remembered like, say Bayley vs Sasha Banks, a couple of months from now. But by no means was it a poor match. Nikki was almost exclusively on the offence from the beginning of the match, when Charlotte fell off the apron and twinged her knee. From that point on, Nikki worked over Charlotte’s knee. However, she managed to work some variations on the old ‘attack the knee’ strategy, such as suplexing Charlotte so her leg hit the ropes. She even modified that later on in the match to suplex Charlotte into the corner! She even broke out a Figure 4 Leglock on the ring post. She kept it as engaging as possible. IN the closing moments of the match, Charlotte hit Bella with a Spear as Bella came off the top rope. A Figure 8 later, Nikki tapped out to finally make Charlotte the new champion! This is what should have happened at the start of the Diva’s Revolution; there’s no revolution if a few important heads aren’t chopped off! But now we have a new Diva’s Champion, and one who fully deserves it.
WINNER: (And New Diva’s Champion!) Charlotte
VERDICT: 6/10. A more-than-adequate match that focussed on Charlotte’s ‘injured’ knee. The end came out of nowhere, but at least we have a new Diva’s Champion!
The Wyatt Family vs Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and….Chris Jericho?!?!
Firstly: Chris Jericho? Reigns and Ambrose had a giant monster to take on, and they chose the small Jericho? Why not The Great Khali? Or Andre the Giant’s ghost? Or even Mark Henry! Logic went out of the window with the identity of the mystery tag team partner. This match served only to prolong the feud between the Wyatts and Reigns/Ambrose, and did nothing else of merit. It was okay. Just okay. Jericho didn’t do much in his in-ring return. Everything seemed strangely muted. Unlike the thrilling tag team match at SummerSlam, I found myself looking at my watch and playing with my ‘phone. The ending, where Jericho tagged himself in but was duly battered and pinned by Braun Strowman was predictable. He was only there so Reigns and Ambrose didn’t have to be pinned. And Jericho’s shoving of Ambrose and Reigns after the match? Pointless.
WINNERS: The Wyatt Family
VERDICT: 5/10. A supremely average match, with a ridiculous choice as the mystery tag team partner.
Seth Rollins (c) vs John Cena (United States Championship Match)
Easily the match of the night.. Both men tried their best to surpass their SummerSlam match, and almost did it. I’d have to watch both again to see which is the better match, but it’s a close call. From start to finish, a nearly flawless match. The pace and action built up to a definite peak. Reversals, counters, and big moves paved the way for the finish. In particular, Cena’s hurricanrana reversal of Rollins turnbuckle powerbomb was amazing. Rollins spots of strength, such as his deadlift turnbuckle powerbomb and lift into the AA were just as amazing. He is the total package in the ring. And, let’s be fair, Cena has been involved in some brilliant matches this year, and played his part fully. This match was no exception. Yes, some of his moves still look dodgy, but he knows how to construct a gripping match. Unfortunately, I was stumped by the end. Why have Cena pin Rollins clean? I agree that the US Title should be on Cena, but now he has a pinfall victory over the WWE World Heavyweight Champion…so shouldn’t he be in line for a WWE Title shot? I fully expected Rollins to win…but I was wrong! Having Rollins beat both Cena and Sting in one night would have been a boost to his reign (and given him large bragging rights!).
WINNER: (and New US Champion!) John Cena
VERDICT: 9/10. Almost as good as, if not better, than their SummerSlam clash. A superb contest from start to finish.
Seth Rollins (c) vs Sting (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
How would Sting fare in a straight wrestling match? He had the distractions of a No DQ match at WrestleMania, plus all of the ludicrous run-ins. Could he hang with Rollins? The answer: almost! It almost broke him (literally), but Sting put on a very good showing, even better than his showing against HHH. Who’d have thought Sting would leap off the top rope to Rollins on the outside? Not me, certainly! Rollins slowed the pace down for Sting’s benefit, of course. But they assembled a good match that kept my eyes on the screen. However, after a second turnbuckle powerbomb from Sting, the match took a tumble. Sting looked legitimately injured, as I assume he was supposed to lash out from the corner onto Rollins. However, he fell to the floor, and collapsed after an Irish Whip. A medic came out to check on him. Five mintues later, the match continued, and the wrestlers rushed to the end. Rollins got a quick roll-up for the victory. Let’s face it: Sting shouldn’t be taking a move like that at his age. But, regardless, he managed to keep up with Rollins!
WINNER: Seth Rollins
VERDICT: 7/10. An extra point for Sting’s willingness to continue after an obvious injury. He proved he could still put on a great match, and Rollins proved he could modify his usual fast-paced contest in favour of a slower and older opponent.
POST-MATCH: Sheamus came out to cash in his MITB contract, but Kane came out. He chokeslammed Rollins and Sheamus, then Tombstoned Rollins. So Sting’s match was merely a set-up for the return of Kane? Don’t get me started! I’ve had enough of Kane interfering in the main event this year…now it looks like he will fight in the main event against Rollins! Retire him. Immediately!
OVERALL VERDICT: 6/10. A Special Event that was all over the place in terms of quality. There was one brilliant match, Cena vs Rollins, but the others were mostly forgettable. But at least we have a new Diva’s Champion and a new Intercontinental Champion! And let’s not forget Sting’s laudable performance before his injury. But Kane’s return was a massive downer. Who cares about Kane in 2015?!?!?
Leave your thoughts/comments below!
(Click here for my review of SummerSlam 2015)