Preshow

The Dudleys kickoff the night with classic heel work to the New Jersey crowd. They are still great at what they do. I just wish they were utilized in a better role these days. But all that said the opening segment with Big Cass was fine to keep the feud between Enzo and Cass and the former Team 3-D going. But if the Big Guy can do It was the point of the tag team feud?

The only point of these Twitter Q&A’s is to waste time and the one with the Bulgarian Brute and the Ravishing Russian definitely did just that. That’s why think these kickoffs need to be a half an hour again. Too much filler.

The one thing that I thought was effective on the preshow with the segment with the women. Getting the opinions of Paige and Becky Lynch really gave more context to the Charlotte/Natalya match later On in the evening. That is what the kickoff should be used for.

The Miz was fine in his promo but It didn’t really add anything. And every minute should really matter.

Interesting to see, the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy in the Dolph-Baron Corbin match. Almost as though they wanted to reestablish credibility after the loss three weeks ago at WWE Payback. With less than five minutes on the clock you knew this wasn’t going to be a long one. Thankfully Corbin won this time.

    Main Card

The show proper kicks out with the tornado tag team match. One would think that this means both will be involved in the main event later on. I like the fact that the Usos went right on the attack giving themselves a more aggressive side against the hard-hitting Gallows and Anderson. Very physical back and forth in the tradition of old-school tag team openers. Overall really good showing from both sides. I thought the ending was a little weak all in all. It would’ve made it stronger if if more weapons were used during the match. But maybe they’re saving it for the main event. All in all another good booking decision giving The Club their first pay-per-view victory.

The US Title Match is next. The Bulgarian Brute and the Lucha Dragon have a solid back and forth using the big man little man dynamic. And as good as It is, and the fans really don’t seem to care in Newark, New Jersey. Some in the audience chanting For CM Punk which is a shame. Both men really giving their all especially Kalisto with that slam to be apron that really played into the back injuries from Monday Night Raw. That Accolade was sick looking. Love the instant tap out.

WWE promoted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie next which features Sheamus. About time they do that since they are sponsored by the movie. Not to mention, it could get over one of your stars as bigger in the grand scheme of things because Lord knows Sheamus have not been pushed as a commodity in recent weeks. If that was a John Cena or Rock movie I imagine that may be a little different. But considering how all that movie is going to do it seems a little weird.

This is then followed by The New Day trying to reap something from the Garden State. Overall I like the promo, I mean who doesn’t like a good hoe every now and then.

Overall, I like the Tag Team Title Match . A lot of hard work for both teams trying to get The Vaudevillians over. It doesn’t seem like it’s working though according to the New Jersey crowd. I am wonder if WWE almost considers them a lost cause of this point. And is just waiting for Enzo and Cass to be ready to go against The Unicorn Stampede. Again the numbers game comes into play. I said this before and I’ll say this again . I know the New Day is over but they need a good foil to play against otherwise they’re going to slowly die on the vine. I can see the change happening at Summerslam in Brooklyn. That way the new Day held the title for a year and you get the maximum reaction in the Barclays Center this August with the New York connection.

The IC Title Fatal Four-Way is next.

It’s always funny to me to hear JBL go crazy for the Miz considering the fact that he and the A List actor had such a past over a decade ago.

In my honest opinion, I thought the Intercontinental title Fatal Four-Way was solid but not perfect. It started off really slow with the traditional pairing off in four-way matches. But soon it picked up with multiple signature moves and finishers. I like the finish which saw The Miz get the pin on Cesaro while Sami and Kevin Owens continued their battle. Maybe this means the storylines will celebrate as I think this will be better everyone in the long run.

The Asylum Match is next and it appears that there are some mixed messages here. While Jericho and Ambrose are dressed for a fight and treating the stipulation as seriously as one can, commentary team seems to be treating this like a joke totally negating anything done by the two. It’s almost like Chainsaw Charlie versus Mick Foley for the modern era with Dean taking the Mick Foley role. While Jericho becomes the modern day Terry Funk. Both men are trying to make the best of a bad situation but the Savior that is Chris Jericho cannot save us from this. Again it’s not a bad match but the presentation kills any drama.

The crowd is so bored with this match they are chanting we want Rollins. I feel sorry for Ambrose and Jericho. I don’t even think Ambrose doing the dive from the top of the cage can save this even though it was crazy for them to do it at this point. They are both trying to make this matter . It takes the tease of thumbtacks to make the crowd pop and to create a sense of drama in the contest. That’s a problem with the booking.

Dean Ambrose gets the win with Dirty Deeds after dumping Jericho in the thumbtacks and after treating the match a joke for 20 minutes WWE then try to treat it like a serious matter.

The women have the undesirable spot of going on before the main event. Overall I think the match itself was solid with great counter work between the two. But the problem with a submission match is there is no false finish to build up anticipation and is really hard to get the crowd into that because there’s not much in the way of movement. Both ladies did their best to make things matter but the fans were not taking do it.

I’m not sure how I feel about the finish with Dana Brooke coming out dressed like Ric Flair. On one hand I like the idea of Charlotte having a bodyguard and it gives Dana Brooke a little bit more flare and credibility to the overall WWE audience. But it does give us another screwy finish two months in a row. My guess is we’re going to get Becky Lynch and Natalya versus Dana Brooke and Charlotte at Money in the Bank.

And now we have our main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match AJ Styles versus Roman Reigns. It didn’t take long for them to incorporate a steel chair which has been part of the storyline for the last few weeks. Good to see them brawl around the arena as well even incorporating the Kickoff Set in the battle. These things always come off a little cheesy but I like that the match is trying to do different things.

Even though the fans are giving Roman a hard time, both men are giving it their all. Styles took some crazy bumps including a backdrop and power bomb through announce tables. While it may not be the days of ECW both men are trying to go as extreme as they can. Much like their Payback match this is going above and beyond what anybody even expected.

To no one’s surprise both The Club and the Usos interfere putting their perspective partners in advantageous provisions leading to near fall after near fall. Really great energy and back and forth momentum.

I like the fact that AJ finally snaps and uses the chair on Roman and the Usos out of frustration. The Spear out of the Phenomenal Forearm was an amazing spot and great timing for both. Going to be on the WWE highlight reel for years to come. Roman Reigns gets the victory after one hell of a fight.

These two really bring out the best in each other.

Then Seth Rollins, shows up and the place goes nuts. It should be interesting to see how The Architect can rebuild himself in the main event scene. Great way to go off the air.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.