Daniel Bryan vs The Wyatt Family: *** (3 stars)
Bryan is far and away the most universally beloved figure in WWE right now, so having him work an undercard match seems like somewhat of a waste. Nevertheless, Bryan put on a memorable performance against the Wyatt Family.
The match started somewhat slow, with Harper and Rowan putting on the usual pounding on Bryan, while Bray Wyatt cackled from his rocking chair. Business started to pick up when Wyatt entered the ring. Wyatt is one of the very best when it comes to in-ring psychology, and he really comes across as a great movie villain. His obsession with Bryan is intriguing, and after claiming victory over Bryan, the next step in Wyatt's mysterious endgame is bound to unfold.
Going into the PPV, this match seemed like just a typical throw-away match to get some more names on the card. Even if it was a throw-away match, WWE did a damn good job at putting on an entertaining showcase.
The match came down to The Rhodes Brothers and Show and Mysterio. WWE did a very good job of actually portraying Big Show as a giant. Show came across as an unstoppable force and manhandled all of his opponents. WWE sometimes gets lost when it comes to booking Show, even though it seems like a pretty simple operation. It was nice to see Show decimate his opponents for once instead of crying in the ring about his poor fiscal responsibility. Rey Mysterio looked the best he has looked since he returned, and Cody Rhodes has very few equals when it comes to in-ring ability. Hopefully we will get to see more from these two teams soon.
Easily the best Diva's match WWE has had this year, AJ finally got to work with an opponent that she didn't have to carry the entire time. I dare say that there has not been a better technical wrestling match by women in WWE since the days of Alundra Blayze and Bull Nakano. Despite it short running time, the match had plenty of action, high impact moves and near-falls. Their previous match-ups had been somewhat disappointing leading up to TLC, so it was great to see both women have a match that matched its potential.
AJ has been the most important Diva in WWE for a while, and she has yet to have the proper billing. It seems like AJ is always playing second-fiddle to the women of Total Divas. That thinking made it seem likely that AJ would lose the title to Natalya, and that created a good sense of drama for the match. AJ winning with a sneaky inside cradle indicates that these women have another match in store, and hopefully they will get more time to work with.
A simple match that was only used to move Langston along as champion. WWE was smart and let Sandow speak before his match to get some needed heat, they worked a short match with Langston going over. Sandow is a nice step up for Langston, and hopefully he will move on to a bigger opponent for the Royal Rumble. With the titles unified, the IC Title becomes the second biggest title in the company again, so Langston should not have a shortage of worthy challengers.
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