Roman Reigns criticizes Kayla Braxton for blowing the biggest moment of her career by asking stupid questions. He says Paul Heyman has went to bat for her over and over again and prefers Heyman handle this interview. The camera work in this opening Smackdown promo is superb. The looks at Jey Uso's facial reactions over Roman Reigns' shoulder. Just perfect. Kevin Owens calls Jey Uso a busboy and says that he wants Roman Reigns in a TLC match. Reigns says he's not a savage, and tells Kevin Owens to grow up. This was a fantastic way to have Reigns back away from a fight. Kevin Owens calls him a bitch. They keep knocking this out of the park. Backstage Roman Reigns implies that Uso needs to not let his pride get the best of him. Kalisto and his fedora interrupt Kevin Owens' promo. This was weird. Again, Kevin Owens is cutting these promos in his second language. I aspire to shit talk that well in my first language.
Natalya defeated Bayley
Bianca Belair is on commentary. Bayley is a hilarious seller. Natalya taps out Bayley. What? WWE has a weird propensity to think people want to see people who a bunch wrestle. Then they book them against people who win a lot, and have them beat the person who wins a lot for the sake of unpredictability. Then nobody gets over and nobody feels special. Outside of me wanting seeing a great match they'll have despite the booking, WWE did Bianca Belair and Bayley no favors. Bayley held a title for practically a year and they pin her twice in a couple of weeks as they build to a Bianca feud. Nine losses in a row for Bayley.
Pat Patterson Tribute Match
Daniel Bryan, Big E & Rey Mysterio defeated Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Nakamura
Big E has great, new theme music and a new entrance complete with powder throwing. I'm all for it. Commentary says that everyone in this match requested to be in it. It really seems like everyone is motivated in this match, and even though it's a match with no championship or top contender status, there are stakes. Six great performers having fun. Sami Zayn's excitement of hitting the Blue Thunder Bomb is always something to behold, as well. Everyone goes through signature spots, and the ambient audio actually adds to the situation instead of distracts for once. Daniel Bryan pins Sami Zayn. All the faces go and do a typical dark match spot with Ziggler where they all beat him up. I really don't see how pinning anyone but the champion was hard to do. Especially when you're putting Ziggler down after the match.
Sasha Banks and Carmella
Sasha Banks KNOWS her stans are going to use that laugh as a reaction post. I actually liked Sasha Banks' delivery in this interview. The back and forth between Carmella and Sasha Banks was solid and a lot better than much of the scripted stuff WWE has put out lately. I liked the Sasha Banks/Carmella back and forth. Sasha Banks seems so much more natural and suited for that type of promo and really highlighted her strengths.
King Corbin (w/ Cutler & Blake) defeated Buddy Murphy (w/ Mysterio Family)
Cutler and Blake are with Corbin. Good! These two worked too hard to have it fucked up by someone who didn't care. Commentary mentions them by name and their history, which is promising. Blake and Cutler attack the Mysterios at the conclusion of a really good match, leading to a distraction and End of Days. I like the choice to put Cutler and Blake with Corbin. It freshens King Corbin up a ton, and it gives Blake and Cutler literally anyone but Ryker.
Kevin Owens & Otis defeated Roman Reigns & Jey Uso via DQ
Initially Uso is out there to fight for himself. Reigns comes out and beats the shitting turds out of Otis with stairs. Somehow that isn't a DQ, and Cole says it's because they weren't legal performers. Bro what?! Roman Reigns snaps on Owens and guillotines him. This causes a DQ and Reigns/Jey beat the shit out of him with chairs. Reigns tells Owens he has his attention now. Reigns really thinks he's the good guy here, and thinks everyone is out to hurt his family.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!
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