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Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns: ****1/4
Where to begin? The match itself was quite good. I was 100 percent certain that Reigns was going to leave this show as the champion. I figured they would keep Rollins strong by having a double-disqualification or something of that nature, but never did I imagine that he would be allowed to win the championship, clean in the middle of the ring. Throughout the match I was lamenting on how Reigns matches were looking way too much like Cena matches (and this match did share a lot of similarities to Styles vs Cena) in that he would kick out at 2 from about 6,000 high impact moves and then win the match. Thankfully, Rollins came out looking like the most legit wrestler in the company, a title he certainly deserves to own.
Ambrose cashing in his contract was even more madness. I figured they would allow Ambrose to hold the briefcase over the head of Reigns or Rollins for months, since he was so unpredictable he would be the perfect person for that role, no? With that being said, tonight he does a great job reasserting himself into the main event picture, obviously by winning the championship he is now the top guy (for now) in the company, at least in storyline.
I think the most enlightening aspect of tonight's show was that WWE committed themselves fully to the former Shield members as the future of the company. Instead of WWE only trying to push Reigns to the top of the mountain, they are pushing two other guys as well. Really, Reigns looks the weakest out of the three right now; he's the one that lost cleanly to Rollins. For all intents and purposes, it looks like WWE is banking on a Shield Triple Threat feud to carry the company over the summer. Many figured that match would be on a WrestleMania someday; but it works just as well right now. Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose are likely to be major forces in the company for the next decade; they are going to be feuding forever and ever in different incarnations. By booking all three men as true equals tonight, WWE fervently made a claim about the future direction of the company.
Cesaro vs Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn Alberto Del Rio vs Chris Jericho: ****
Considering who the champion is; Ambrose holding the briefcase makes the most sense. They can tease a lot with him cashing it in, and it can also be used as a way to drive a stake between Reigns and Ambrose. I liked the way the match unfolded as well; this really was a wide open match with no clear favorite and it played out that way.
Since it is an annual occurrence, we tend to forget just how crazy this match is. Guys take these incredible bumps off of ladders, typically onto another ladder. It's a brutal match and every guy that wrestles in it gets a big thumbs up from me; it takes serious courage to wrestle a match with 6+ guys in it that also includes stakes of steel jutting out everywhere and falling from significant heights.
AJ Styles vs John Cena: ****
A big match that felt important from the first sound of the bell that probably fell a bit short of its true potential. We talk about the stereotypical-Cena victory when the stereotypical-Cena loss is just as memorable. I figured AJ would win this match for the sake of the feud, and I also figured it would be because Anderson and Gallows helped him. That is exactly what happened, and while the match was good, it was also very predictable.
Cena will likely get his losses back, twofold, probably ending in some blow-off match at SummerSlam. If Cena is going to pick up the next few wins over Styles anyway, why not at least let him win the match clean? We all know Cena is going to end up winning this feud because he always does; why can't AJ at least get a clean win? I guess having him cheat will get more heat on him; but that is ignorant of the actual people who are watching the product. The people who support Styles are not going to be swayed to Cena's side because Styles cheated (as hard as JBL tried to get them to do so) they are going to support him no matter what. I just don't see a downside to having Styles win cleanly, other than that it would mean Cena would have to do a clean job, which of course, is unacceptable.
The New Day vs The Vaudevillians vs Anderson and Gallows vs Enzo and Cass: ***
Fun match to start the show. Multi-man tag matches are always at their best when things break down and guys are continuously hitting high impact moves on each other and this match was no different. My one qualm with it would be that it got kind of sloppy at times, there were clearly a lot of rehearsed spots and they didn't always go smoothly, with guys just standing around waiting for their moment. The New Day winning is the right call, and pinning The Vaudevillians keeps the relevant teams involved interesting.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs Becky Lynch and Charlotte: **3/4
I lamented in my preview on Friday how I didn't think WWE was doing a very good job with the Charlotte and Dana program, but at least having them on the same page and presenting them as a superior unit to Lynch and Natalya was the right move. I love the Natalya heel turn. I thought Becky really shined in this match as a babyface and showed great potential in the match in that role. At the same time Natayla had run out of steam as a face challenger to Charlotte; but as a heel a host of new opportunities open up for it. Now if Sasha Banks could become the new number contender, WWE could really be going somewhere with the women.
Titus O'Neil vs Rusev: **
Easily the most non-descript match on the card, it didn't have a ton of momentum going into it and it was really just an extended break for fans in-between the Money in the Bank match and the main event. Involving peoples kids in a storyline is an overdone thing for WWE, and while Rusev does come across as a legit heel, feuding with O'Neil isn't going to move him much closer to the main event.
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler: ***1/4
Corbin has a lot of the qualities WWE likes to see in their stars, not only is he big but he is a good athlete, moves fluidly in the ring and has made great strides since debuting in WWE. The match was actually quite good, Ziggler was terrific and the match had a good pace to it and involved a lot of cool moves. The problem with the match is that fans have been conditioned to not care about the feud. The same exact match has been on the pre-show for the last several PPVs, why would fans suddenly think that this match was of great importance? For him to improve he is going to need to move past Ziggler. That isn't a knock on Dolph, he is a good seller and helps make Corbin look really good in the ring; but fans are never really care about their fued, which is going to hurt Corbin's relevancy on the main roster.
Sheamus vs Apollo Crews: **1/2
Solid match that told a good story, which is what Crews needs at this point in his career. I enjoyed how they started the match, with Sheamus and Crews immediately brawling; that is a great way to show the intensity of a feud and it isn't used enough in WWE. It also helps Sheamus work as a bully and a straight-forward brawler, and he few in wrestling are better in that role. Crews can at least entertain the fans because he is such a unique person to watch in the ring, and a decent opponent and storyline is all he needs to have a solid outing.