Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of the Shield defeat the Usos. Reigns wins the match with the spear:
MITB World Title Match: Swagger, Cesaro, Rhodes, Sandow, Ambrose, Fandango, Barrett. High spots: Cody muscle busters Cesaro onto a ladder, Cesaro climbs Swaggers shoulders, Ambrose stands on a lying ladder to try to get the briefcase. Sandow steals Cody’s moment and wins the briefcase after pushing Rhodes off the ladder! Five star match for me for being the most innovative in YEARS! Match MVP: Cody Rhodes; the crowd was on his side too. Runner up MVP tie: Ambrose; he worked hard and looked good. Second runner up: Real Americans; they showed a lot of creativity and strength as a duo. Spot Monkey Award: Fandango; aside from getting beat on by others, he beat himself up in the process of trying to win. One hit wonder: Wade Barrett; all he did was a forearm smash after climbing the ladder. Nothing else stood out from his performance. Sandow was the right choice to win; he has the total package to be a top notch World Champion. GREAT match overall in terms of excitement and creativity!
Brad Maddox comes out and gives Vickie a mock goodbye tribute video. Jerry Lawler calls it entertaining. He should be fired next. This was a complete waste of time.
Miz takes on Curtis Axel. Miz tricks the ref and Heyman gets ejected for “punching” Miz. Miz kicks out of PerfectPlex. Axel wins with the a twisting neckbreaker faceplant(call it the perfect axel driver courtesy of Mike Lightning). Good match between these two, but it never seemed to come out of first gear until the very finish with the counter figure four and ending.
AJ with Big E. takes on Kaitlyn with Layla. Kaitlyn hurts her elbow on a spear attempt. AJ wins with the black widow submission and retains the gold: This was a good one too, but it wasn’t as good as what they gave us at Payback. AJ shouldn’t lose the belt right away, so this was a good booking decision.
Ryback defeats Chris Jericho with a rollup after a competitive match: Jericho tried really hard here to make this one interesting, but Ryback just didn’t do anything to make it exciting. I see the booking side of things to make Ryback look strong with the win, but to me he still doesn’t appear strong as he put on a dud performance. Props to Jericho for his willingness to work with anyone, but BOTH of his pay per view matches with Fandango were more enjoyable for me than this one, and that’s saying something. Is Ryback a total flop? No, not yet. But he could be if WWE doesn’t figure out a way to book him properly.
Alberto Del Rio defends against Dolph Ziggler. AJ Lee jumps in the ring and smacks Del Rio with the title belt and causes Ziggler to get disqualified: The match was on pace to be one of the best of the night until that finish. I still see Ziggler chasing the gold into Summerslam where he will win it. I think the possible feud with Big E. went out the window for now as Zigs splits from AJ. Big E. can build himself up as a singles AJ in his corner until AFTER Zigs gets the gold at Summerslam. Then we MIGHT see a nice rivalry between Dolph and Big E. Great effort by both Del Rio and Ziggler to have a strong performance on a stacked card.
Mark Henry takes on John Cena for the WWE Championship. Cena forces Henry to tap out to the STF: I wasn’t in love with this match pace, but both men worked really hard to make it competitive and compelling in terms of the story. Props to both guys. I’d like to see Henry work with a newer talent for Summerslam and possibly see Cena get started with the heavily rumored Daniel Bryan feud.
MITB All Stars: Randy Orton wins! I’m surprised by the decision, but I guess unpredictability and booking Orton back into the WWE Title scene were the goals of WWE here. Much slower pace than the first MITB match tonight, but still brutal in terms of the spots. I feel like RVD went out of his way to make this one more interesting with the high spots, and Sheamus actually surprised me when he went crashing through a ladder. Axel interfering and attacking Dbry and then Heyman screwing Punk by beating him with the ladder were both surprising moments. Overall, the match was good for storylines and unpredictability, but it WAS NOT a better overall MITB ladder match in comparison to the opening contest.
Overall, it was a great card of exciting and compelling matches. The opening match was the best of the night and quite possibly the 2nd best MITB match I’ve ever watched in terms of excitement. I enjoyed everything I saw and have little to complain about, but I’m going to keep Payback ranked as the better show of the year by just a hair. The divas match, the WHC finish, and the Ryback factor in his match with Jericho are what brought the score down for me in comparison to Payback. It still doesn’t stop this from being a great show, though!
I’ll be back with the Raw analysis late tomorrow/early Tuesday. What did you think of the show? Leave your thoughts below! Thanks for reading!
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