Well, it's pretty clear that the decision to take Retribution this direction was last minute, because Mace and T-Bar are wearing NJPW Young Lion gear. Drew McIntyre and Braun argue backstage about who needs help and who doesn't. I thought this was a fair way to set up a two-on-one match. The match just isn't very good. Then of course it ends in a DQ, then Braun Strowman comes out. It's a repeat of last week with the roles reverse. That would be a fun story to tell if it weren't transparent that it won't mean anything. You know the drill. It's a tag team match, and Retribution isn't gonna without shenanigans. At least we get to see Drew and T-Bar work a little bit. Drew McIntyre accidentally hits Braun Strowman and it's a countout. Braun powerslams Drew after the match.
Braun wants Drew tonight. Four matches in two weeks for each of them.
Adnan Virk is still not very good. He's fallen into the "OH!" calls of moves. That's WWE 101 and it's very obvious and terrible here. This is week three and it's by far the worst. When he realizes he knows something enough to call it, he excitedly shouts it out and cuts off someone.
New Day & Damian Priest defeated Jaxson Ryker, Elias & Miz (w/ John Morrison)
Elias puts over Miz & Morrison as musical geniuses.Damian Priest and New Day came out and threw a guitar box full of tomatoes. I hated the camera cuts way more than the tomato throwing. Then they cut to commercial right in the middle of it. That would have been a wrap in the OLD DAYS. The targeted team would have stewed all week and had a reason to wrestle next week. Then then we see Elias patiently waiting to get headlocked as we come back. Okay. Ryker wrestling instead of Morrison. Gotta be a a rib, and we're not in on it. The match exists, but is capped off with an exciting dive by Damian Priest. Woods pins Jaxson Ryker with a small package to end a 28 minute segment. This was way too long and drawn out.
Charlotte and Sonya
Hey cool, Sonya Deville is here, and lets Charlotte Flair into the building. She has referee Eddie Orengo in the ring and says Adam Pearce's decision was rushed. Charlotte Flair apologizes for manhandling Eddie. Eddie says that he accepts the apology and he would have disqualified Asuka last week had he seen. Sonya Deville says Charlotte isn't suspended anymore and she's wrestling tonight. Charlotte wants an apology from Eddie, and gets it. She says "good boy." That had me in stitches. This was a good segment. Adam Pearce confronts them backstage, and Sonya says she tried to find him before the show. He doesn't believe her.
Sheamus comes out and again says he's got an open challenge, but the title isn't on the line. Again, Humberto answers it and gets the shit kicked out of him. He jumps Sheamus from behind, and you know what happens. Heel booking for Sheamus has been the same for years. They have him bully someone smaller, then he gets hit by them and then he's SHAKING MAAAAAAADDDD.
MVP, Lashley, Braun
Braun brutes his way into this being a contender eliminator match for him. MVP and Lashley don't see it this way and say their opinion wasn't taken into consideration. I really like MVP bringing up that Lashley lost his U.S. Title in a triple threat, and that's why they don't want the match. MVP talks to Braun backstage, too.
RKBro defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander
They make a lot of weed references with Riddle. He's really great at delivering WWE promos and making them fun. Riddle and Orton have some incredible chemistry. Their back and forth is really entertaining. Orton says Riddle gained his respect and R-K-Bro is catchy. He says they have a tag team match tonight if they want it.
Riddle gets worked over pretty heavily by Cedric and Shelton. It's been a while since we've seen a good Orton hot tag. Orton catches Cedric midair with an RKO. Orton tags in an excited Riddle and they win with a draping DDT and a Floating Bro. Corey Graves pre-emptively calling Orton turning on Riddle was great. Riddle tries to get Orton to pose with him, but he doesn't. RKBro is great. Just don't have them face Cedric and Shelton next week again. Which they will.
Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Rhea Ripley defeated Lana, Naomi & Asuka
Mandy and Rose distract again.....and....throw water on Shayna. Nia slips in it repeatedly, then this goes through a break. They really go out of their way to make this division and all champions a joke. The actual in-ring action is pretty solid when any combination of three people aren't causing distractions. Ripley especially has some good offense, and much better chemistry with Naomi than she does Charlotte. Lana briefly gets some blind tag offense, but gets pinned with the Riptide. WWE plays off of our fears of how bad they book the women's division with some of those nearfalls on Ripley. Nia gets the pin after a leg drop. I'm not sure why Rhea couldn't have pinned Lana.
Alexa Bliss says "Lilly made me do it" to whatever she's going to do. There was a hilarious jump scare bit with the doll.
Charlotte Flair defeated Mandy Rose (w/ Dana Brooke)
Sonya Deville shames Mandy and Dana for bullying Nia and books Mandy against Charlotte. WWE took seven minutes between the start and finish of Charlotte's entrance. A bunch of commercials and replays. This is a quick match. It's a women's match, so you know there's gotta be a distraction at some point. Charlotte wins with Natural Selection. This is good, it gets Charlotte a win, and I liked the angle with her earlier in the night. Common sense booking.
If Braun Strowman Wins, He's In The WWE Title Match
Braun Strowman defeated Drew McIntyre
Get these handouts. Ha. I liked that line from Drew. DISTRACTION NUMBER FOUR TONIGHT!! MVP and Lashley are out. There are some really good Sirloin Beef Sunsabitches spots in this Drew vs. Braun match. Namely the powerbomb and the overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Theres an avalanche brainbuster that I'm not sure was supposed to be, but it looks wild. Lashley and MVP cause a distraction, and Drew gets the advantage. Then Not Retribution come out, cause a distraction, and Drew gets pinned. Okay. Woo boy nothing sets up a world title match like someone getting distracted and pinned after a good match.
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!