Last week’s issues of travelling forced WWE to pull an incredible show, highlighted by a true invasion that made Smackdown a breeze to watch a week ago. This week, with the “Big Guns” returning, cynicism grew that the show won’t be as good. To a very certain extent, it wasn’t. However, there was some interesting points to follow up on. Let’s get to business.
King Corbin Promo
After a great cold open featuring a video package of NXT’s “TakeOver” of the show last week, we transitioned to a King Corbin promo which, considering the show is in the UK, is a guaranteed way to get heat. His promo was intended at Roman Reigns. To be fair, he put him over for a bit by talking about how he beat Leukemia. However, the perception to this promo depends on where you stand from his character. If you really dig it (like i do really), you will find it the right amount of annoying. If not, you will simply consider it bad.
No need to get into the scripting of the promo, because some of the content is pretty “debatable” to say the least. What you need to get really is the fact that he and Roman Reigns are facing in the main-event in a rivalry that has been “brewing for weeks” as Michael Cole said. When did that happen?? cam someone remind me if i forgot something?.
Sasha Banks is facing Nikki Cross later.
Tyson Fury is in the house.
A very funny backstage interview with the New Day as they prepare to face the Revival next.
The Revival vs The New Day: Smackdown tag team championship match.
A very good match between two very good tag teams indeed. This started as you would expect with the Revival working over Kofi Kingston, before a hot tag to Big E. In the melee, Dash Wilder seemed like he injured his knee, only for it to be a ruse to take down the powerhouse of the New Day. After the commercial, Big E made the hot tag for Kofi who went wild with kicks and dives on the champions. The two teams exchanged a flurry of offense in the last few minutes, with some great near falls from an SOS by Kofi, and a close one on Big E by the Revival. The end saw the big man countering the shatter machine, tagging Kofi in for a modified trouble in paradise that saw him pin Dash Wilder for the win.
Now, the New Day are 7-time champions, which is great. However, the commentators kept putting over the fact that Kofi is back on top of the mountain again after losing to Brock Lesnar which they mentioned quite a lot during the match. If my smart mark analysis is to be right, this can plant some really subtle seeds either for a Kofi heel turn or a New Day implosion storyline, which i’m both for if done correctly.
Roman Reigns is in the building for the main-event later on.
A backstage chat between Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan with the former trying to persuade Bryan again to join his ranks.
Heavy machinery were set to be in action but they were attacked by IMPERIUM (WTF). Now NXT UK is involved in this?!! this is awesome. However, i still hate this overdone brand loyalty stuff.
A backstage interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley, who did really well to prove her worth in the triple threat against Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler at Survivor Series. She talked about her (quite rightful) claim to be the one, alongside Banks, who put the NXT women’s division on the map and threatened both her opponents at the PPV.
Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura vs Ali/CHAD GABLE
This was a fun match, though a bit light on crowd heat and noise. Talent involved here makes it impossible for this match to be less than good, with Cesaro being his usual impressive yet underrated self. The action was fast paced and frenetic, particularly when Ali is in the ring with his energetic style of high-flying moves. The heel team managed to win though, after a distraction from Sami Zayn on the outside (whom i love his over hyping of Nakamura so much) allowing the Intercontinental Champion (yes he still is) to hit a Kinshasa for the win.
The interesting thing though is the fact that Daniel Bryan was paying a close view all along, but walking away as soon as it was over. Again, without talking, Daniel Bryan still manages to do some tremendously subtle character work, which is awesome.
Nikki Cross is preparing for her match with Sasha Banks next.
Nikki Cross vs Sasha Banks
Bayley is on commentary, because of course she will be. Sasha Banks, interestingly, got a new variation on her theme song done by Snoop Dogg (her cousin if you don’t know that). Before the match starts, a recap is shown of last week’s attack from Baszler on both of them. The match was nothing technical really, as Nikki Cross’ in-ring deficiencies are still clear to see with a couple of clear botches during the near 7-minute match.
Again though, Nikki lost with the reverse situation of last week’s title match, with Bayley doing the distraction for Banks to lock the submission and win. Also again, the aftermath saw Shayna Baszler attacking Bayley once more. I really like where this is going, and with a couple of weeks left in the build, this women’s triple threat could be the show stealer at SS.
A backstage discussion again between Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan gets interrupted by THE FIEND!!! who puts D-Bry to sleep with the mandible claw … His first feud will be against Daniel Bryan. AWESOME!!.
Tyson Fury Promo
Consider your writer here STUPID for anticipating too much out of this. Tyson Fury came out, cut a decent promo hyping his next fight, then called out Braun Strowman. At this point, i still had hopes that this might be something, but i was wrong. The short story is that Braun came out, stood in Tyson’s face then they just shook hands for sportsmanship and all. Cue the B team who, to be fair had some hilarious lines; “The B in the B-team stands for Fearless” and “We are stupid enough to fight you” by Curtis Axel. Then, the two massive dudes proceeded to maul the small dudes to stand tall. The biggest issue in this is that the segment was heavily advertised and even had a video package before it, but it fell flat immediately when Fury shook hands with Strowman and the latter completely buying it. To sum up, this was corny as hell and i didn’t like it at all.
Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville vs Dana Brooke/Carmella
I thought that the Tyson Fury segment was the bathroom break of the show, completely forgetting that this match is happening. Probably the most excited person for this match is Corey Graves (and the most horny for it i guess). The biggest highlight in this match for me happened before it even starts with Dana Brooke pulling a seamless flip on the entrance ramp. Dana Brooke/Carmella won, no NXT to see anywhere. I guess the hardest thing in this was Corey Graves whenever Mandy and Carmella interact (yes that is an obvious sexual innuendo).
King Corbin vs Roman Reigns
With almost ten minutes left in the broadcast by the time both made their entrances, you would think the match will be fast-paced or at least energetic. Shame on you then if you did, because this was really pedestrian despite Roman Reigns taking an early advantage before the bell. Then, it was chin lock city from Corbin, assisted by a distraction from Roode and Ziggler (Why ???). The match didn’t get off the first gear, and only had flashes of good and exciting wrestling from the wrestlers involved before another distraction allowed Corbin to hit the “End of Days” on Roman for the win.
The only thing i liked is the poetic image of Roman Reigns, bending the knee (unintentionally though) to King Corbin after the match. Aside from that, this was a tedious main-event capping off a show of the same nature. Compare this to last week’s lasting image of HHH standing tall alongside his NXT army. You can see the million differences between them.
This show was a huge fall from grace compared to last week’s episode. The only significant thing on the show was The Fiend attacking Daniel Bryan, which is an interesting direction. NXT cameos were exciting, but not as effective as last week’s were. The New Day becoming tag champions is getting boring by this point, although we can get a good slow-burn story out of it. The second hour in particular, was almost catastrophic, with a very phoned in segment between Fury and Strowman, and a bland main-event to boot. Obviously, last week’s show was an emergency thing due to the issues WWE had after Crown Jewel.
Final rating: 5/10
This is only one man opinion though, tell me yours down below or reach out on twitter @OGouesmiHellRaiser. Till Next week!!