Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins made the same decision before Crown Jewel: No Judgment Day interference or affiliation. Both men talked about showing they can win without Mami’s group lending so much as a helping finger. While Drew stewed over his loss, Rhea Ripley reminded him that he turned her down. Last week, Drew left the arena before the show even started so we missed the fallout from his L and whether he regretted making that agreement with Seth.
We got our answer this week in a very eventful night for the Judgment Day.
Drew shook Seth’s hand hours before the main event. He thanked Seth for the knowledge and stated that he moved on to bigger and better things.
I didn’t think that one of those things involved causing Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso the tag team championships and making an agreement with Judgment Day. Drew sold his soul for an eventual championship. For this character at this time, it’s not only the right decision but the perfect one. And, it ostensibly makes Judgment Day more powerful. Which is saying something given the moves they made during the proceedings.
The show started with Judgment Day, and JD McDonagh, playing mind games with their War Games opponents. And they told no lies. Cody’s teammates all turned on each other or fought each other at one point. They’re not a true team and lack the chemistry and trust Judgment Day have with one another.
But Cody returned the favor and Damian snapped. He still hates the fact people call Rhea the leader. Hates it so much that he declared himself the leader. While they smoothed over this little mishap, I see it becoming a bigger issue down the line. Especially considering the fact that JD is now officially part of the clique. Give it up for McDonagh! During the impromptu tag match (that Damian booked) between JD, Dirty Dom, Sami Zayn, and Seth Rollins, everything went to hell and ended in a DQ.
JD took another shot for Damian during the chaos, and that finally earned the big man’s respect. He still doesn’t like him—who can blame him—but he knows JD has his back and that means something. Even though Adam Pearce sent Seth, Sami, Dom, and JD home for the night, Judgment Day’s newest member at least got an official crew leather jacket before he left the arena.
That also set the stage for a fair rematch between the former tag champs and the current title holders. Or at least I assumed.
I don’t believe Drew joined Judgment Day. He works better as a loner and he doesn’t fit their groove. But he relished keeping Jey away from a championship after Jey did the same for him and countless others during the Blood reign. Look at that wordplay. But what does Drew get? That’s the intrigue for me. Seth isn’t giving him a championship shot any time soon, especially in this context. And Roman may not defend that championship again until early next year. No way he jumps in front of Damian either. What did Rhea promise him? Did she make an executive decision? Damian & Finn love those championships but at what cost?
I love a desperate person doing desperate things because it opens up so many avenues for a story. With Judgment Day adding a new member and showing some friction going into their biggest match, this all comes at the right time. It also provided the one spark on a lifeless episode.
I struggled with Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Otis. Not because I dislike either man or because I thought they underperformed. Quite the opposite actually. But I kept wondering “why?” Why this match for Alpha Academy? Shinsuke wants all comers so he’s setting his sights on any and everyone; that’s his story right now and I approve. All the while, Otis and the Academy have their hands full on Tuesday nights with Meta-Four. In fact, they’re showing up on this week’s Super Nova Sessions on a television near you. So, forgive me if I can’t quite get emotionally attached to this one.
I liked how it built Otis into an absolute powerhouse who, like Clubber Lang, can’t be beat and won’t be beat. The big man went only down after not one, not two, but three Kinshasas. That’s a great look for him and keeps him looking strong going into whatever happens on Tuesday nights. And, of course, Shinsuke picked a fight with Chad Gable after the match.
But it still felt like going through the motions rather than something meaningful for either man.
I dig them dedicating some time to Tegan Nox and giving her a story. Her last big moment came facing Becky Lynch but this feel like a new beginning. She got a video package about coming back from injury and redefining her career. And for her, that first step came against Piper Niven.
Another quick woman’s match, which feels like the norm these days on the red brand. Which is wild when one remembers we only got one match during the show’s first hour. Not a terrible match but not great either. Also, not much time to truly work up a sweat or get me invested.
But, Tegan defeated Piper and gets her shot at Chelsea Green. I don’t expect a longer match between those two but hopefully Tegan’s story progresses.
It’s about time. After weeks watching a slightly confusing dance between Becky Lynch and Xia Li, we finally have a match. Next week, these two get it on in the ring. Becky announced it in my hometown after Xia’s match with Indi Hartwell went short. Why you ask? Because Xia knocked out Indi much like she did Candice LeRae and Becky.
I hope the isn’t a one off though because Xia is one of several women who need a hook. The crowd sits on their hands when they show up to the ring and that’s not great. Xia’s biggest reaction came when she ran from Becky’s ass whipping and boos reigned down inside Cap One Arena.
Sigh. I’m coming around on good guy Miz. I hate that it’s happening, but the man just knows this wrestling really well. It helps that he’s not turning into a white meat babyface either. The corny face rubs me the wrong way. Especially when it comes from a former heel who carries an edge. He and Ivar put on a nice competition with the latter doing his best to prove that Miz is terry cloth (that means he’s very soft). That means Miz showed off and pulled moves out his bag.
I like Miz in prove it mode. He wrestles with a chip on his shoulder and cuts corners with a purpose, but only when provoked.
Adding Bronson Reed to the mix feels organic too since he still wants that Intercontinental championship and has beef with Ivar. No pun intended. It keeps Ivar and Bronson around the title and possibly makes them contenders regardless of what happens between GUNTHER and Miz.
Case in point: Miz won the match after using the ropes for a little leverage on the pin, but only after Valhalla almost cost him the match. After Miz celebrated and exited stage left, Bronson, who sat ringside, dropped a Tsunami on Ivar. One door closed and another opened.
I disliked this episode. I found myself uninterested in the middle hours, only perking up at certain moments. There are several middling stories and wrestlers I have no emotional attachment to at the moment. The crowd felt the same way as they sounded dead far too many times for a three hour show. And, for basketball reasons I presume, we got two War Games explainer videos. Why?
This really felt like a clip show that held serve until next week’s go home show. I don’t like clip shows for other scripted shows, and I don’t like them in wrestling. Here’s hoping next week utilizes the three hours better. It also felt strange that after the Diamond Mine’s big debut last week, we only saw them in a backstage segment this week towards the end of the show. Not even Ivy Nile got a match, which is strange considering her performance last week.
What say you, Cagesiders?