Out came Cena, who barely got in a word before Miz entered and lit up Styles, his hair, his title, and that Miz was "Beating up John Cena, before beating up John Cena was cool." Cena trolling both of these guys into a match (then joining commentary) was a nice change from the usual promos we would typically get out of him. Match ended in a (weak) DQ, but I'm good with them saving Miz vs. Styles for down the road.
2) Merchandise War – Nattie's promo was suspect, but really enjoyed the premise and her heading out to the merchandise table to get under Nikki's skin. Nikki worked her way all the way up from the ring and landed a nice spear through the table to shut Natalya up. Merch was thrown and security guards were bouncing all over the place. It was a glorious mess of a brawl, just like the week before. Unlike Nikki's previous feud with Carmela, it's nice to see her win (or at least be competitive) in some of these impromptu melees. Also, Nikki's hair was on-point, I know, really hard hitting analysis here.
3) Uninspiring Performances – Not going to lie, the first hour flew by, but when Orton and Ambrose kicked off their match, things came to a screeching halt. It started at a slow pace, with some awkward pauses, and a miscue or two that really didn't help get me enthusiastic about this encounter. Harper ended up distracting Orton, giving Ambrose the chance to roll him up for the win. Probably the most interesting thing out of this segment was Bray Wyatt punching Luke Harper in the face, Harper's selling of complete shock and sadness was absolutely perfect.
4) Kings Can Afford Shirts, Right? – Okay, I get that it's a throwback segment, so they decided to dress King in his old outfit, but yikes, my eyes. A minor blip in what was a crazy segment after Dolph brought up how he dropped multiple elbows on Lawler's chest minutes before he had a legit heart attack back in 2012. Afterwards, Lawler called him a "Loser," and Ziggler superkicked him right in the chest!
This is one of those segments people with either love or hate, I'm leaning towards love, just as a way to get Ziggler some heat and use a real-life element that really couldn't be used with anyone else. Side-note, JBL totally tripped as he went into the ring to check on Lawler, which David Otunga later called out. Otunga, you've been verbally falling down for about seven months now.
5) Commercials – I get WWE has to get in their commercials, but when they have a bigger than normal main event - like a steel cage match in the women's division - would it kill them to get enough commercials in ahead of the main event? It just ruins the flow of the match for TV viewers.
6) No Shopping For You – Even though it was advertised, the James Ellsworth/Carmella shopping spree segment didn't make it to TV, and that's just fine with all of us.
7) Mickie James – She's back! Sure, the point of the steel cage was to keep La Luchadora out of the match, but she got in anyways and thanks to Becky's unmasking, we finally get Mickie James back in our lives. I'm all about her teaming alongside Becky Lynch as a veteran sidekick, who I'm sure Alexa will soon treat horribly and a feud between them will occur down the road. Not counting the multiple Luchadoras, the women's division only had five active wrestlers before James' return, so hopefully she can mix things up until we get back Naomi and Eva Marie.
The Miz – While not official, it looks like he'll be in the Elimination Chamber, which he clearly deserves after the 2016 he had. Miz has been holding tight to that upper-midcard position, but at some point he should get some main event time. Even if he doesn't get the title, Miz should definitely challenge for it in 2017. Also, his entire promo against Styles and Cena was fire, like usual.
Luke Harper – I've loved his complete distrust for Orton basically since he's joined the Family. It's been a steady hate that finally came to some physicality between the two last night. Again, Harper's reactions to Bray punching him were perfect, and sent him out of the ring in complete disbelief. Next week, Harper and Orton will have a match, so we'll see if Bray plays favorites with either individual.
Dolph Ziggler – "Quiet Dolph" is such a nice change of pace after years of super passionate promos.
Dean Ambrose – Let's rewind a bit; he was drafted first to SmackDown as the WWE Champion, then held the title for a bit, before dropping it to Styles. Ambrose then dealt with splitting segments with James Ellsworth for awhile, he eventually defeated Miz for his Intercontinental title, and is now feuding with The Wyatt Family. Obviously, Ambrose still gets a big reaction, but he has lost a bit of steam with the fans and his gimmick has been flat for quite some time. The match with Orton was the worst match of the night and Ambrose was just an afterthought as the attention was really on the break-down of the Wyatts.
This Week's MVP
Alexa Bliss – Probably should give it to Becky Lynch too, but there can be only one. Since Alexa ended up getting the win and taking a really nice Bex-Ploder from the second rope, she gets all the glory this week. At only 25 and not being on the main roster for even a year, WWE put a lot of trust in her performing in a steel cage match. Clearly they expect big things from their smallest Superstar in 2017, and so far, she's delivered.
This week had the bigger moments (steel cage match and Mickie James) that last week lacked, making it an improved show over last week's episode. Only Orton vs. Ambrose really slowed the pace with Ziggler/Lawler and Natalya/Nikki being segments that I could see people disliking. Also, bringing down the score a bit was in the three matches we received, it went: DQ, win via distraction, and win via run-in. Not a big deal, but I do prefer clean wins. Now that we are in WrestleMania season, if you've been skipping WWE for the past few weeks or months, now is probably a safe time to jump back in.
Grade (out of 10): 8 (Last Week: 7.5)
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