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WWE Crusiserweight Championship "King" Neville vs. Akira Tozawa w/Titus O'Neil
RESULT: Neville wins via pinfall; Neville pinned Tozawa after crotching him on the top rope and delivering a spin kick to Tozawa's midsection.
THOUGHTS: Not a bad match per say, but not exactly the stellar outing I had been expecting from these two. There were a couple of brief sprints between these two, some good transitions, a couple spots where it looked like Tozawa and more intelligent heel tactics from the "King of the Cruiserweights" near the end, but the ending, and everything in-between those hot spots lacked a lot of the dynamic energy we've seen from both men in the past.
Somewhat surprised Titus didn't play more of a factor, but that's less of a complaint and more of a curiosity, as I would think Titus would be more determined in seeing a potential big-money client in Tozawa succeed by whatever means. The somewhat dirty finish makes me think this will continue for at least another month.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 2/9 (LOCK) Ken - 1/9 Greg - 1/9 Nick - 0/9 Mikhail - 1/9
Singles Match Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
RESULT: Wyatt wins via pinfall; Wyatt won after a finger to the eye and Sister Abigail resulted in a three count.
THOUGHTS: I honestly thought the tag team iron man match would open the PPV, but this was a solid, intense opener between Rollins and Wyatt, with a surprisingly (somewhat) clean finish with Wyatt going over Rollins after slapping Seth and goading him into being too aggressive and leaving Wyatt open for a thumb to the eye and Sister Abigail for the three count.
Good back-and-forth in this match, with a lot of effective in-ring chemistry from both one-on-one affairs and during their Sheild-Wyatt wars. Given the dirty tactic used in the finish, one can imagine this feud will continue one way or another.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 2/9 Ken - 2/9 Greg - 1/9 Nick - 1/9 Mikhail - 2/9
Singles Match Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass
RESULT: Big Cass wins via pinfall; Cass pinned Enzo after a big boot.
THOUGHTS: A no-doubter here, Cass dispatching Enzo with relative ease. Enzo did show he was determined to fight to the last, narrowly beating out a countout loss, but Cass and his big boot took that notion out of Enzo's hands and mouth. Hopefully now, Cass can move on to bigger opposition such as Big Show, who can do for Cass what he did for BRAUN earlier in the year by establishing him as a monster threat on the roster.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 3/9 Ken - 3/9 Greg - 2/9 Nick - 1/9 Mikhail - 3/9
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship 30-Minute Iron Man Tag Team Match Sheamus & Cesaro (c) vs. The Hardy Boyz
RESULT: 1st fall: Sheamus pinned Matt after a Brogue Kick. 2nd fall: Sheamus pinned Jeff after a tandem White Noise. 3rd fall: Jeff pinned Cesaro after a Side Effect-Twist of Fate combo. 4th fall: Sheamus beat Matt by countout after Cesaro bounced Matt's head off a ring post. 5th fall: Jeff pinned Cesaro after a backside-leg split pinning combination. 6th fall: Matt pinned Sheamus after a top-rope Twist of Fate. 7th (final) fall: Cesaro pinned Jeff with a cradle after Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus, unaware Cesaro had blind-tagged into the match.
Cesaro and Sheamus win with a result of 4-3.
THOUGHTS: The Hardys' pre-match words were quite prevalent here, making history once again with their efforts versus Cesaro and Sheamus in the first-ever tag team Iron Man match.
The tag champs showed their advantageous side early on, using clever diversionary tactics and smart heel tag strategy to pick up a couple quick falls and staying aggressive despite having an early lead, sticking to the adage of "offense being the best defense." They wore down the Hardys, keeping them at arm's reach of the lead, never quite losing control even after a couple of early rallys by Matt and Jeff.
The second half of the match was all about the Hardys sticking around long enough to surge in the final 10 minutes and pick up the two falls they needed to get back into the match, including a big-time Twist of Fate to Sheamus off the top rope and a slick pinning combo using a backslide and Jeff's trademark leg split. From there, it was all about the final fall, which came after an elusive blind tag by Cesaro led to Jeff erroneously going after Sheamus with a Swanton, only to be rolled up by Cesaro, who then proceeded to wear out the rest of the clock before Jeff could close in on a tie to force sudden death.
All-in-all, a great physical, hard-hitting affair to cinch up what was one of the better main roster feuds in 2017 so far.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 4/9 Ken - 5/9 (LOCK) Greg - 3/9 Nick - 1/9 Mikhail - 4/9
WWE RAW Women's Championship Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks
RESULT: Sasha Banks wins via countout; Bliss took a intentional countout loss after slapping Banks away and falling to the ringside floor.
THOUGHTS: Great aggression from Banks here; she was built up as the most considerable threat to Bliss' title reign so far, having to go through a dominant Jax to win contendership, then actually tapping out Alexa on the go-home RAW to build on that momentum.
She was on Bliss from the get-go, not giving Alexa room to finagle her way out, and nearly cinching a fourth title reign with an extended Banks Statement. Even after finding the rope for a break, Bliss took her leave for a countout loss, meaning this feud will and must continue.
The post-match shenanigans, including Sasha's daring double knee drop to the floor from the announce table, gave this match extra oomph, touching on the animosity between the two women that was elaborated upon earlier in the night on the pre-show.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 4/9 Ken - 5/9 Greg - 3/9 Nick - 2/9 Mikhail - 4/9
WWE Intercontinental Championship The Miz (c) w/Maryse & The Miz-tourage vs. Dean Ambrose
RESULT: The Miz wins via pinfall; Miz pinned Ambrose after a cheap shot by Bo Dallas, followed by a Skull-Crushing Finale.
THOUGHTS: Ambrose showed some decent savvy in going after Dallas and Axel right away, trying to take the Miz-tourage factor away from Miz. It only served to open things up for Miz, who took advantage of the numerous distractions by Bo and Curtis to wear down Ambrose's leg for the Figure Four. While Ambrose would rally, even taking out all three men with a diving elbow at one point, Maryse and the Miz-tourage would ultimately pay dividends, as we all came to expect.
While Miz showed more effective heel tendencies in utilizing Axel and Dallas, it felt like the match was more about that than Miz ultimately trumping Ambrose, taking away from the overall quality. That being said, this hopefully means that Miz and Dean can finally move on to other feuds.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 5/9 Ken - 6/9 Greg - 4/9 Nick - 2/9 Mikhail - 5/9
Ambulance Match Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
RESULT: Braun Strowman wins; Strowman dodged a Spear by Reigns and shut the doors on him for the victory.
THOUGHTS: A crazy, crazy match, with both men ramping up the violence to another level in their ongoing feud, realizing that the typical fare wouldn't be enough to put the other man down long enough to be locked in the ambulance. You had Roman constantly staying on guard, despite Strowman dominating at the outset of the match, and you had Strowman doing more than his level best to rebuff Roman's offense as the monster he was and truly is, even shrugging off point-blank chair shots with just his good arm; it was an underrated moment in the match which I feel defines just indomitable BRAUN can look sometimes.
Then we come to the finish and post-match brouhaha, with Strowman actually dodging an errant spear by Roman and literally closing the door on him for the win. Roman, the severely sore sport he was, roared back with a diving spear, then shoved BRAUN in the back of the ambulance, hijacked it, took it to the parking lot, hesitated, and then backed the ambulance, with BRAUN in the back, full tilt...INTO A FREAKING TRACTOR TRAILER!
That was a insane bit that hushed the hot Dallas crowd, and had their rapt attention, even through the buffer match between Curt Hawkins and Heath Slater, while firemen used the jaws of life to pry the side door open to get to BRAUN...who actually walked/limped off UNDER HIS OWN POWER. That's some serious "2003 Kane" monster-dom right there.
With GM Kurt Angle on the scene, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see Reigns get yanked from SummerSlam by Kurt and have his self-awarded contendership go to BRAUN, the actual winner. All-in-all, it worked out for all involved; Reigns remains protected in the loss with the post-match vehicular assault, Strowman notches a win and goes up 2-1 over Roman, and he likely looks lined up to face the Universal Champion at SummerSlam.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 6/9 Ken - 7/9 Greg - 5/9 Nick - 2/9 Mikhail - 5/9
WWE Universal Championship Brock Lesnar (c) w/Paul Heyman vs. Samoa Joe
RESULT: Brock Lesnar wins via pinfall; Brock countered out of the Coquina Clutch into a F-5 for the victory.
THOUGHTS: A straightforward affair that, despite the relative shortness, displayed how cunning and aggressive Joe could truly be when he cuts loose, assaulting Lesnar early, putting him through a table, and going for the Clutch early and often. He looked as much a beast as Lesnar has at times, and has seemingly cemented himself as a top guy on the RAW roster for the foreseeable future after looking extremely effective against a man who usually runs through the entire WWE roster in his sleep.
This is certainly a feud that can be revisited down the line after Joe reemerges onto the championship scene, if Joe's mile-long glare post-match is any indication. I did have the inkling, as did many columnists, that WWE and Vince might pull the trigger on a reign for Joe, but ultimately things turned out right, though I might have extended things a bit further by having Joe kick out of the first (and only) F-5. Still, Joe comes out of this really none the worse for wear, but it'll come down to how Vince and company follow up on him.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 7/9 Ken - 8/9 (WINNER) Greg - 7/9 (LOCK) Nick - 2/9 Mikhail - 6/9
YOUR WINNER...AND NEWWWWW WK KING OF PPV CHAMPION...