2) Tag team, play- Oh, never mind – It looked like we were about to get the usual tag match setup, but instead Bryan opted for a Fatal 4-Way match, allowing time for more tension to form between all the competitors. How about that punch from Corbin as Styles attempted to springboard into the ring? The group could have easily phoned this in and got set for this Sunday's big match, instead, it was a fast paced battle that was almost impossible to keep up on with. Really interesting choice at the end of the match to have Corbin pin Styles, when it looked like Styles would get the win over Miz. Good way to protect Corbin, who could be going out early in his upcoming PPV main event match.
3) Small Details – Contract signings are a tired part of wrestling, but a dual contract signing? Now that's kind of fun! All four women did their thing on the microphone, with Becky and Alexa showing off their elite skills. Becky calling Alexa a "Troll" is always good for a laugh, while Alexa suddenly "noticed" that Naomi was standing in the ring. Naomi's promo skills were easily the weakest (still passable), but that's not what she's out there for though as she flattened both Mickie and Alexa on the outside to end the segment. My complaint last week was SmackDown wasn't doing enough with only two weeks before their PPV, but here they were able to hype two matches in one segment, great booking.
4) Meh. – Can't say I'm too pumped about Ziggler vs. Kalisto and Crews. If Ziggler wins, it makes the other two look incredibly weak, if they win, it's not really that much of an achievement. Unless Crews is going to turn heel (because, he should be frustrated, like Ziggler) I guess I don't see the point here (aside from just punishing Ziggler).
5) Viktor! – I've become almost trained to not pay attention to giant tag matches in the WWE. Usually they lead to a hot tag win and/or a big brawl where nothing is solved. In this case the ending was a bit of a surprise as Rhyno (who the crowd was really pumped for) took the loss against Viktor, killing the crowd dead. WWE was just being kind to The Ascension and their abysmal win/loss record, don't see them making too big of an impact on Sunday.
6) Ref Bump! – Typical Cena vs. Orton match until the referee got blasted out of the ring, then things got out of control with both Bray and Luke joining the fight. Interesting that despite the rumors of Bray winning at Elimination Chamber, WWE continued to put all the focus on Randy and John, they are really playing coy with Orton and Bray potentially meeting up in the very near future.
Luke Harper – They let him speak and it was fire! "They say a man is most dangerous when he has nothing left to lose, but what about a man who never had anything to begin with? Randy Orton, you stole my family. You are a liar, and I've seen the "Snake in the grass" for far, far too long and I...I know how to fix it, but cutting the head off the viper is just too easy. No, I want to hurt you, I want you...to feel pain and Randy Orton at Elimination Chamber, you, will be eliminated." Later in the night, it was made official that Harper and Orton will face each other on Sunday. Should be fun, fully expect Orton to win, maybe once this program is over, Harper can get involved with the IC title scene.
Natalya and Nikki – I've been okay with Natalya for the past couple weeks, but the whole satellite segment was a rough setup for these two. It just went on for way too long and each woman bumbled through some of their lines, killing how believable their jabs were. Natalya did attempt to go hard with the whole John Cena thing, ultimately, it fell flat and made everyone feel uncomfortable. Maybe they should have just gone shorter and quicker to the point?
Apollo Crews and Kalisto – Crews won, which was good for him, but I think more people are going to remember Dolph wailing away on him (and Kalisto) again with a chair. At some point, Crews and Kalisto have to learn to stop running down post-match! It also looks really bad when the live crowd is cheering on the bad guy to do it "One more time!" Even though Ziggler has been up and down in the win/loss column, I feel like he's been looking the best by far in this strange feud, which I'm not exactly sure if that's what WWE is meaning to do.
This Week's MVP
Luke Harper – See above for the slick promo he did, as well as finally overcoming his fear of Bray, taking his former leader down, then assisting Cena to get the win. Harper reminds me of Cesaro, where I never expect WWE to do very much with his talent, although, last night's show was a nice way to showcase him.
This week was a bit more up and down than usual, started and ended hot, but the middle portion really dragged with some of the midcard and tag segments. The biggest matches were put over well though and that's what should matter most, still, only having two weeks to prep for a PPV really rushes each storyline, so the grade remains the same.
Grade (out of 10): 6.5 (Last Week: 6.5)
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