It took them three tries, but the Miz/Baron Corbin/Daniel Bryan match finally happened. And when Corbin was done acting like a diva and the match was finally a wrestling match, Bryan endured all the damage the Miz had done to his knee to seal the win.
I really like how this show started. Using Elias as a sort of bard/narrator to introduce the show was fun, as was the biggest match of the show leading off the episode. But then Baron Corbin did Baron Corbin things, which basically means that he ruined it all.
Roman Reigns’ music hit, which upset his chariot-bearers-whatever-the-hell-you-call-them, and Corbin went sprawling to the ground. Reigns roughed him up a bit afterwards, and later in the show Corbin decided he wasn’t going to compete at all. He declared himself too injured to compete and that was that.
...Well okay, then. Bryan and the Miz tried to wrestle in the middle of the show, but those chariot bearers came out to interfere on Corbin’s orders. Corbin declared that neither of them should get to wrestle if he wasn’t involved, and the man still thinks he’s Constable and allowed to make decisions like that.
(The King stuff is literally just the Constable stuff under a different name, but I digress.)
When someone revealed that Reigns had been forced to leave the building, Corbin suddenly decided he was fit enough to compete. He rushed to find Ziggler who would then interfere on his behalf until Reigns made his presence known again to run Corbin off for good.
From there, it was all about Bryan and the perseverance he showed and talked about last week. We got the hungry Bryan who main evented WrestleMania, overcoming injuries to accomplish what he wanted. Wyatt was waiting with an ominous message: The Fiend’s not done with him, and Bryan has to be willing to let him in if he stands any chance of winning.
Neat! The Wyatt/Bryan stuff has been excellent, so I’m definitely down for more.
Get these Hips
The first true match of the show was Braun Strowman and the New Day facing off against Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn. And I really wanted to highlight this match for doing precisely what was needed to make all the guys look great.
It starts with knowing the personnel in the ring. All 6 guys have some serious talents to offer, and the New Day/Nakamura and Cesaro carried the wrestling workload. Cesaro hit Kofi with a vicious uppercut to knock him over the commentary table, which really helped to spark the match with some energy.
As for Zayn and Strowman, they did their roles well. Zayn distracted Strowman several times to delay the hot tag and just generally made himself a nuisance by coordinating with the others to cheat. Strowman finally got his hot tag which was fantastic, and his team thwarted Zayn’s final plans to cheat when Kofi stole the plate that Zayn had tossed to Nakamura and bashed the Intercontinental Champion with it.
Strowman pinned the champ and celebrated by dancing with the New Day. And I’ve got to give the big man credit - he went all in with that dance. These teams were really good together and everyone had a role which allowed them to excel. Really happy with this match and potential storyline.
Carmella def. Mandy Rose - Carmella continued her winning streak here, and her victory did nothing to change my mind on the thought that she’s ultimately going to intersect with the Bayley and Banks vs. Evans feud.
As for Rose, she was talking with Otis again backstage before the match, and then confronted by Dolph Ziggler after the match. Otis had given her a fruitcake made by his mother as a gift, and Ziggler stepped on it which felt like a metaphorical way of having the school jock make fun of the nerd for daring to like a girl, you know what I mean? I still don’t know what the purpose of this Rose/Otis thing is other than just giving them depth - which is perfectly fine, to be honest. My only issue is that Rose has always been a manipulator in the past; they need to explain why this is different, if it is in fact different.
Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Dana Brooke and Lacey Evans - Are you like me and unsure of the whole “mother bear” analogy? “Maternal instinct” was another phrase used to describe Evans’ defense of her daughter last week, which just feels weird to me. There have been tons of male wrestlers who’ve gotten all pissed off as soon as their family’s messed with; why do we need to describe this as a maternal thing?
That’s probably a really weird stance to take, but hey - that’s sort of what a reactions post is for, right?
Anyway, Evans was decent on A Moment of Bliss, but the heels were right: she should have been looking out for her partner. Brooke and Evans were resilient, but ultimately fell to the Boss and Champ Connection.
Ali’s got the right outlook - Ali’s promo was great for several reasons. For starters, his promos are generally really interesting and unique; this was just the same.
But the bigger reason this promo rocked was because Ali communicated a mindset that I think we all need to hear, quite frankly. We obsess over who wins. In sports, no one cares about who comes in second. In wrestling, we’re always arguing about who “deserves” a title run as if that’s actually a thing that can be monitored.
Ali ran down all the ways he came up short this past year...and then he stepped into the light and told all the ways he has won. He’s persevered, travelled the world, and changed stigmas related to people of his ethnicity. That’s a successful effing year indeed, Ali. Keep shining that light.
Sheamus is coming back someday - Someday. Not this day, but someday.
Solid show! I still absolutely detest all things Corbin and the midcard needs some work, but there was enough meat to this show to be worth the time.