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Kickoff Match Six-Man Tag Team Match The Hardy Boyz & Jason Jordan vs. The Miz-tourage w/Maryse
RESULT: The Miz-tourage wins via pinfall; Miz pinned Jordan after a blind tag and a Skull-Crushing Finale.
THOUGHTS: A fine little opening match that suffered a bit from the crowd just starting to make their way into the Barclays Center. While I would've preferred Jordan getting one over Miz to put him in line for the IC Title, the win here was justified in the sense of Jordan being on his own for the first time on a roster. Miz capitalized on that lack of experience and communication between Jordan and the Hardys, and garners the Miz=tourage's first PPV win as an unit.
WK KING OF PPV (Ken starts with a 2-point advantage after fulfilling the bet made by Nick)
Ken - 2 pts Greg - 1 pt Julie - 0 pts Nick - 1 pt Mikhail - 0 pts
Kickoff Match WWE Cruiserweight Championship Akira Tozawa (c) w/Titus O'Neil vs. "King" Neville
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champion Neville wins via pinfall; Neville pinned Tozawa after a Red Arrow splash to Tozawa's back.
THOUGHTS: I'm not sure about this one, for a couple reasons. It was a solid enough match for the time it was given, Neville and Tozawa having a good enough in-ring chemistry with one another (though the arm work on Tozawa's bad shoulder didn't really factor in anywhere), but the result is rather head-scratching. What exactly was the point of the title switch on RAW if the endgame was hot-shotting it back to Neville anyway? RAW did get a little bump in the ratings, but that can done on a more long-term basis with more enthralling television, not short-term, knee-jerk decisions like this.
Better yet, what's the point of Titus being out there to support Tozawa? Even the most stalwart faces over the years have had their corner-men or hype men get involved, and it surprises me that Titus has remain effectively tight-lipped at ringside throughout his time with Tozawa. So unless there's a "rubber match" where Tozawa wins it back for the foreseeable future, there's not exactly a long list of challengers left to contend with Neville outside of Mustafa or Cedric Alexander, neither who seem quite battle-ready for a big spotlight in the CW division.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts Greg - 2 pt Julie - 0 pts Nick - 2 pt Mikhail - 0 pts
Kickoff Match Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship The New Day (c) w/Kofi Kingston vs. The Usos
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champions The Usos win via pinfall; Jey Uso pinned Big E after a double superkick-double Samoan Splash combo.
THOUGHTS: I'm still surprised that this didn't open the main show, as New Day always delivers a hot, intense opener to pop the crowd. Still, a great match between these two teams, as has been the case throughout the feud. I looked forward to this installment in particular since we hadn't see the Big E-Woods combo as often as the other combinations of New Day, and we saw some fun combo moves, like a uranage-backstabber combo that picked up a very close near fall, and the UpUpDownDown finisher that made for a fun false finish.
The Usos notching the win here took me a little by surprise, but it didn't feel as much of a hotshotting of the titles (like the CW strap) with the effective buildup between the two teams, so I'm fine with it overall. It begs the question, though, of who will stand in to face the new tag champs if New Day's out of the picture for the short term. Breezango seems wrapped up in their "mysteries", not much has been heard out of the Hype Bros for the last month, and the Zayn-Dillinger team hasn't really gotten their wheels going as an effective duo. It'll be interesting to see if any of them step up.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts Greg - 2 pts Julie - 1 pt Nick - 4 pts (LOCK) Mikhail - 0 pts
Singles Match John Cena vs. "Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin
RESULT: John Cena wins via pinfall; Cena pinned Corbin after a clothesline and an Attitude Adjustment.
THOUGHTS: A middle-of-the-road opening match between Cena and Corbin. My beef with this was that Corbin should've been far more incensed and aggressive towards Cena at him costing Baron his MITB title shot, and we only saw shades of that towards the end before Cena cut him off and put him away to end his 0-6 losing streak at SummerSlam.
I don't know if Corbin's due for a "wellness vacay" or he's pissed off someone backstage, but the Lone Wolf's slip-slide continues.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 3 pts Greg - 2 pts Julie - 5 pts (LOCK, Big 4) Nick - 4 pts Mikhail - 2 pts (LOCK)
Smackdown Live Women's Championship Naomi (c) vs. Natalya Neidhart
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champion Natalya wins via submission; Natalya countered the split-legged moonsault into a Sharpshooter for the tap out.
THOUGHTS: The third straight title match with a title change, methinks the overall theme of this PPV is "change." It was a solid match, with a lot of aggressiveness from Naomi and a simple, technically sound heat from Nattie in grounding that aggression and athleticism of Naomi's. Nattie played her Hart roots well here, effectively wearing down Naomi and having a counter for Naomi's risk-taking, including the moonsault that Nattie countered into the Sharpshooter to get the win and only the second Women's Championship in her tenured career.
A good start to their feud, and a good idea not to drop Carmella on the title scene right away.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 3 pts Greg - 3 pts Julie - 5 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 3 pts
Singles Match Big Show vs. Big Cass (Enzo in a Shark Cage)
RESULT: Big Cass wins via pinfall; Cass pinned Show after a Big Boot and an Empire Elbow.
THOUGHTS: They could've cut this match time in half and had the same effective result. The only decent moment was Enzo stripping down to his skivvies and LUBING HIMSELF UP...IN A CAGE (guess that WWE's answer to his strip club trouble), which should tell you how the match was as a whole. Bottom line, though, Cass notched the win, which was the right call going in.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 4 pts Greg - 3 pts Julie - 6 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 4 pts
Singles Match "The Viper" Randy Orton vs. "The Bulgarian Brute" Rusev
RESULT: Randy Orton wins via pinfall; Orton dodged a Rusev corner charge and hit a RKO for the win.
THOUGHTS: Remember how badly Rusev wanted back on the Smackdown roster a couple months ago? Methinks "Handsome" Rusev should've counted his blessings.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 5 pts Greg - 3 pts Julie - 7 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 4 pts
RAW Women's Championship Alexa Bliss (c) vs. "The Boss" Sasha Banks
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champion Sasha Banks wins via submission; Sasha countered a roll-up into the Banks Statement for the tap-out.
THOUGHTS: A more aggressive outing from the RAW side of the women here, as could be expected with the personal grudge between Banks and Bliss. Good shoulder work by Bliss, allowing her to struggle out of one Banks Statement, only to fall into another and submit to Banks' unyielding tenacity.
Bliss had a decent run as champion, but now the underlying story that's been building between Sasha and Bayley takes point here, as it was only because of Bayley's injury that Sasha even received a modicum of an opportunity to win the championship.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 6 pts Greg - 3 pts Julie - 8 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 5 pts
Singles Match "The Demon King" Finn Balor vs. "The Eater of Worlds" Bray Wyatt
RESULT: "The Demon King" Finn Balor wins via pinfall; Balor pinned Wyatt following a Sling Blade and a Coup de Grace.
THOUGHTS: Another solid match here. This was a step above their TV match last Monday in terms of aggression, and the mind games Balor played with Wyatt's "He's Got the Whole World" pre-match was a nice touch. As with WWE's typical 50-50 booking, we can most likely expect some sort of No-DQ gimmick down the line to cinch up this feud.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 7 pts Greg - 4 pts Julie - 9 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 6 pts
RAW Tag Team Championship Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champions Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins win via pinfall; Ambrose pinned Sheamus after a ripcord knee strike-Dirty Deeds combo.
THOUGHTS: RIP #BeachBallMania...
The match I bet WWE was hoping would help fire the Brooklyn audience back up, this was a fantastic fight between two makeshift teams, a point which the commentary helpfully brought up. You had two former enemies in Cesaro and Sheamus, who knew how tentative fresh partnerships could be, and played up the aggression to try and show cracks in the Ambrose-Rollins team-up from the start of the match. Great heel psychology there.
Ambrose and Rollins didn't miss a beat, though, as an unit, showing crisp double team maneuvers, including a sweet superplex-Frog Splash combo, and showing great tenacity as an underdog team, including Ambrose doing his best '97 Stone Cold impression by refusing to tap out after an extended stay in a Sharpshooter followed by a Crossface (could've used a touch of blood, but oh well). More high-end tag tactics with Sheamus guarding the outside during all of this, which I like.
The ending was great as well, with Rollins coming to the rescue with a volley of superkicks, and sealing the reunion with a ripcord knee into a Dirty Deeds by Ambrose for the three count and the titles. Overall, a great match with no real downside and the right call made to have Ambrose and Rollins win to top off their well-built reunion.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 7 pts Greg - 5 pts Julie - 9 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 6 pts
WWE United States Championship "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens (Special Referee Shane McMahon)
RESULT: AJ Styles wins via pinfall; Styles hit Owens with a Phenomenal Forearm followed by a Styles Clash for the three count.
THOUGHTS: You had to think the string of title changes tonight had to reach a halt at some point and, even before it was brought up on commentary, many people knew that for the rumored Shane-KO feud to commence, Owens would have to lose out on the US Title in some sort of controversial way to "justify" his pursuit of the SD Live Commissioner.
We saw that here with Shane nearly counting the three on Styles after a KO pop-up bomb, before realizing that Styles' foot had found the bottom rope. Owens was incensed at Shane's "dubious" call, which threw him off long enough for Styles to capitalize for the victory and retain his title.
I liked the from-the-get-go aggression we had with Styles and Owens early on, the constant back-and-forth, fun near falls, the crisp counters (including Owens' nasty spinning top-rope brainbuster), and Styles using a sort of inverted call back to his win over Cena last year at SummerSlam, using a Phenomenal Forearm followed up a Styles Clash to secure the win. Another great match, as the second half of SummerSlam seems to be picking up steam.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 8 pts Greg - 6 pts Julie - 10 pts Nick - 5 pts Mikhail - 7 pts
WWE World Championship "Modern-Day Maharaja" Jinder Mahal (c) w/The Singh Brothers vs. "The Artist" Shinsuke Nakamura
RESULT: Jinder Mahal wins via pinfall; Mahal pinned Nakamura following the Khallas.
THOUGHTS: I'll say this; this was probably the best Mahal has looked during his title reign, and you can thank having a more motivated opponent in Shinsuke for that.
That being said, this played out like every other match with Mahal as champion: He struggles, Singhs get involved, he picks up the scraps off the distraction. At some point, you're going to have to develop another heel tactic for Mahal other than "Use the Singhs." It got old during his initial feud with Orton, and the same can be said here. A solid match, but like I said, an uninspired finish.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 8 pts Greg - 6 pts Julie - 10 pts Nick - 6 pts Mikhail - 7 pts
WWE Universal Championship Fatal 4-Way Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe
RESULT: Brock Lesnar wins via pinfall; Lesnar pinned Reigns after countering a Spear into a F-5 for the three count.
THOUGHTS: This was everything I was hoping to get out of this melee; absolute carnage, a constant see-saw of wanton chaos and destruction between four of the most physically brutal superstars WWE has on hand.
The part I liked most (aside from Strowman once again waylaying Reigns...and Joe...with an office chair) was Lesnar and Strowman facing off, with Strowman going to increasing means to put Lesnar down and out of the match, from power-slamming him through announce tables to actual toppling one such table, monitors and all, onto a prone champion. Lesnar being carted off (and subsequently returning near the end) was expected, but what wasn't expected was that Lesnar never got his one-up on Strowman, which tells me that Braun is the next one-on-one opposition for Brock, which I'm all in for.
Meanwhile, this leaves Joe and Reigns on the outs for the mean time. Given Rollins' recent comments denying a full-on Shield reunion at SummerSlam, the rumors of The Authors of Pain making a main roster debut in the near future, and Joe and Reigns' previous history, a six-man war culminating at Survivor Series, where the Shield made their impact 5 years ago, could be a fun way to preoccupy the next couple months.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 9 pts Greg - 8 pts (LOCK) Julie - 11 pts Nick - 6 pts Mikhail - 7 pts
WINNER...AND NEWWW WK "QUEEN" OF PPV CHAMPION...
The First Lady of The WK, "Miss Julie" Manoogian!!!