To get this out of the way quickly, no, it was not the greatest wrestling match ever.
However, I have even more respect for Edge and Randy Orton after this match. These guys, for a second time, put on a 40+ minute extravaganza in their 40’s. And in Edge’s case, going all out for 40 minutes in his 40’s in his first singles match in 11 years earns more respect than you can give.
Maybe then, you could call it the “greatest physical bout between two wrestling veterans.”
Edge and Orton put their bodies on the line to deliver on this greatest wrestling match promise by WWE. I don’t know what the need was for all the strange 90’s MSG callbacks. The MSG microphone hanging above the ring, Howards Finkle introducing both men, piped in crowd noise which reminded me of a WWE 2K game, and dressing referee Charles Robinson as a 90’s referee with the blue shirt and bow tie.
They got quite a number of wrestling moves in, including a Rock bottom and Unprettier by Edge, RKO’s, Spears, Angle Slam and a Pedigree by Orton, 3 Amigos, Crossface, but what ultimately won the match for Orton was a move we haven’t seen in years - the Punt.
After obtaining the victory, he whispered into Edge’s ear “Go home, Adam. Tell the kids Uncle Randy says hi.” What a bastard.
Unfortunately, it’s now been reported that Edge suffered a tricep tear during this match and he will be out for a while. What a way to go out. My hope is that Edge is kept off TV, rehabbing and getting healthier, and when crowds are finally back, he and Orton can have the rubber match and end it for good.
As for Randy, well, I wouldn’t mind seeing a WWE title feud next. Doesn’t seem like Drew would mind either, after calling Orton his Joker and expressed desire to face him at Summerslam.
Well it was so obvious that the outcome of this match was going to be exactly what we got. Last Monday, I said she would be showing up and sure enough, she did.
Let’s get into the match, though, because it was really good. Right before the match started Lashley locked in a full nelson and tried to wear down McIntyre for a quick victory. It didn’t work though, as Drew was able to come back to life and was kicking out at 1 from the start.
There was one frightening spot in the middle where McIntyre somehow avoided breaking his neck after Lashley accidentally dropped him on his neck on the floor. Drew slammed him down over his head for that one, and man Drew is so athletic it’s ridiculous. Lashley hit a spinebuster and again, Drew kicked out at 1. Lashley hit the spear and Drew STILL kicked out and Lashley and MVP were flabbergasted.
It’s at this point Lana came out and went to the ring apron for some reason, Lashley got pushed into her, she fell onto MVP, and Drew Claymored Lashley for the win. MVP and Lashley left Lana on the floor and walked off. No screaming this time!
I don’t know where they go with this trio. Lana seemed to be genuinely upset that Lashley lost, and realized it was because of her. MVP told a great story outside the ring with his commanding and facials. Lashley fought hard with the exception of that botch that could have injured Drew. We could see the break up tomorrow night on Raw. I don’t know what can be done with Lana once this angle is done.
As for Drew, like I stated above, he wants Orton. I don’t see why not!
Bayley and Sasha Banks def. IIconics and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross - Mad Bayley is best Bayley. Sasha tried taking out all the players but Nikki was able to save it all. Alexa had the hot tag role and took everyone down with ferocity. There were a few moments that you could tell someone was waiting for something, which I noticed particularly with IIconics. Nothing egregious, though. And of course, Sasha took advantage of Alexa as she tried to pin Peyton and got the win for her and her bestie.
I had a feeling the SmackDown best friends were going to keep the titles. As I said on Friday, If they want to keep stretching out Bayley and Sasha to Summerslam, it’s the right call for them to hang on to the titles for a bit and tease dissension later. Now, this will only work if they do this at Summerslam. They have made a habit out of never paying off the Sasha/Bayley break up. It’s only this time I could understand them pushing it back further, so that when it does happen, it’s in an arena full of fans.
Braun Strowman def. Miz and Morrison - I usually don’t laugh from corny WWE produced videos, but Miz and Morrison have to be commended for their commitment to it. I genuinely laughed my ass off. So it was announced before the match that there was a new stipulation. Miz or Morrison could be champion, not Miz and Morrison. Morrison said he’d rather see Miz as champion than Braun, but I knew that this stipulation was to make sure there would be infighting between the two. John Morrison could have been Universal champion in 2020 but Miz took that away from him.
What’s next for Miz and Morrison? Well we know Morrison will be looking for answers on Friday and Miz being the smarmy jerk he is, will probably ease his worries and make sure that Morrison is happy so he can keep him around as a bodyguard of sorts. I would like to see Miz try to do more singles competition and Morrison starts to see the writing on the wall.
Sheamus def. Jeff Hardy - As Cole and Graves talked through the accolades of both men and how great both men are, I couldn’t help but think “Yeah we all agree about that. So why were both of these great wrestlers put through such a bullshit piss angle revolving around Jeff’s very public and not fully recovered from addictions?” Once Sheamus really took control and wore down Jeff, he hit two nasty Irish Backbreakers and it looked like Jeff’s knee may have been hurt, but he rallied and it still wasn’t enough. After a botch near the end that could have been bad, I thought Jeff had it won with a Swanton bomb but Sheamus got his foot on the rope right at the last .01 second. Sheamus Brogue Kicked himself a win.
I did not think Sheamus was getting the win. I really thought it would be Jeff but I actually like Sheamus winning more, but only if they move on from this feud. Also, if you DON’T win a feud after getting pissed on, you look even worse. Sheamus can use the momentum to transition to another babyface, and Jeff can sulk for a bit and get a win over… Corbin? I could see that being a decent feud. Just please, no more of this.
Asuka def. Nia Jax via countout - Asuka really targeted Nia’s arm but Nia was able to fight out of it each time and show off her power. Asuka locked in the Guillotine but Nia wasn’t giving her any leeway. She hit a powerbomb and Asuka just kicked out. Asuka tried to tear Nia’s arm off in the ropes but neither woman was able to get back in the ring.
So this means that this feud will be continuing. And I’m okay with it, as long as Charlotte Flair isn’t inserted into this. But we all know Charlotte Flair is going to be inserted into this. It’s Charlotte Flair. Yay.
Viking Profits def. Akira Tozawa and ninjas? - I still don’t know how I feel about this cinematic… something with Vikings and Street Profits and Akira Tozawa and a fake alligator tail in a dumpster. I don’t know what this was, and I have no reaction to it. I can’t even tell you how I felt. I don’t know. I need time to process all of that. Check back with me tomorrow.
Apollo Crews def. Andrade - This match was not on the main show, and that made me very mad. Apollo Crews has been built up as a great talent and worker and then got demoted to the pre-show, when whatever that other stuff was I just talked about got 15 minutes. So I am going to talk about it because I can and I’m treating it as important, regardless of how WWE feels.
Owens came out to provide commentary and protection from a 2 on 1 scenario. Andrade tried wearing down Apollo quick but Apollo slammed him on the ramp. Andrade went for the Del Rio special (I have no clue what this move is called, but you know what I mean) and Apollo, unlike many others who have had to take this move, was able to be smart and release his arms from the ropes so Andrade failed. Apollo hit a smooth overhead belly to belly. He hit the Moonsault/standing shooting star press combo and Garza got up on the apron to distract the ref. Owens wasn’t having any of it and gave him a Stunner, Apollo wins it with a powerbomb.
After the match there was arguing between Zelina’s men and I kind of feel like we’re ready for Garza to break away from this stable. Zelina was great for him while Andrade was away, but he can be a real superstar all on his own. Andrade can be his first feud.
What’s next for Apollo? Well if he’s demoted to the pre-show, that worries me. Paul Heyman liked him and now he’s gone, with Bruce Prichard running both Raw and SmackDown creative. I’m praying for good things. Let him do open challenges for a few weeks with guys like Humberto, Aleister, Owens, maybe cross brand with guys like Bryan or Chad Gable.
There wasn’t a best match tonight. More like moments that shone through moderate matches. Drew and Lashley for the most part had the best overall match I’d say. The Women’s tag titles match was pretty good and will keep a hot angle going. Edge and Orton deserve all the respect in the world for what they pulled off.
My biggest worries are on Raw, with Apollo and what new thing they come up with for the Viking Raiders and Street Profits. I am so done with that crap. Apollo should be on TV every week and if tonight is any indication, that may not be a granted wish. Also, Vince will be breaking the “in case of need a random triple threat, smash glass for Charlotte Flair” safety box. Yay.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?