Dolph Ziggler (w/ Robert Roode) defeated Montez Ford (w/ Angelo Dawkins)
I badly want character development for WWE performers, but the promos these people are given are terrible. It doesn't have to be terrible promo or nothing. Montez is just full of charisma, even on a catapult. I had to rewind, I thought the match was over with the Solo Cup stunt. It was pretty funny, but makes a lot more sense after a match, preferably a win. This goes through a commercial break, and is a good match with a rest spot that probably should have happened during said commercial. Angelo Dawkins is taken out ringside, and Ziggler wins with a superkick. WWE can pretend this is a heel move, but nobody cheated, Montez just took his eye off the ball. I like how serious Street Profits were after this loss.
Sami Zayn defeated Big E by countout
Booking decision: 1/10
Sami Zayn complains about Big E having a shirt, and Zayn mentions it's actually a nice shirt. WWE has to stop having Michael Cole tell us how much anyone likes to have fun. Zayn cracked Big E in the jaw with a knee, inside the Thunderdome that looks exactly like the old one. Zayn is wearing a protective hand brace and feigns an injury. They have Big E chasing Zayn everywhere looking ridiculous. WWE loves making their babyfaces look like fools, then wonder why they hardly ever get over. Big E gets counted out. This was so stupid, and made Big E look horrible.
The KO Show?
Kevin Owens comes out and sets up a table, ladder and chair and says they're his friends. Reigns permits Uso to go after Owens. Owens tells Reigns his family is fighting for him instead of the other way around. Uso attacks with a chair, but got put through a table. This added a lot, but Heyman telling Reigns he needed to control the situation worked even better. Owens goes hobbling to the back with a chair. Roman Reigns rarely raising his voice makes it so much more impactful when he finally does it. He doesn't even raise his voice after beating the tar out of Owens with a chair. He says he's taking food off the table for Owens now. Just perfect. This is so good.
Riott Squad defeated Billie Kay and Natalya
Natalya is the mystery partner. Well okay. Riott Squad have cool matching gear, but that's about the end of the good here. Billie Kay gets pinned by Ruby Riott. Natalya is mad. Hey, whatever. It got some of these women on TV, and Riott Squad a win.
Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro defeated Team Alpha
The Gable-Otis training video is okay, they're making the effort. I'm just happy to see Cesaro back in the fold. Cesaro and Gable just rolling around RASSLIN! Give it to me. This is a bunch of SHOOTERS just going at it. I'm all for this. Gable ends up getting pinned by Nakamura. This was solid and fresh.
This contract signing gets off to a really aggressive start. Shout out to Carmella for getting an au pair. She's backstage and Sasha Banks wants her to come out and have the match tonight. Adam Pearce agrees. Carmella has a new entrance and theme that I enjoy. Way different. This is a good match that ultimately was another WWE bait and switch. Good shoulder work by Carmella and offense by Sasha, before Carmella's au pair or whatever they call him pisses Sasha off and she gets DQ'd for punches in the ropes. Carmella cracks a bottle over Sasha Banks. The beatdown was entertaining, too. I'll never understand why WWE never just does the match at the PPV. So often we see these wrestlers go 10 minutes, then a DQ before their PPV match. This is the fifth straight Raw or Smackdown with a DQ/No contest finish.
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!