Sasha Banks beat Alicia Fox on the preshow in a match they've had on Raw a million times.
Emma and Asuka had a fairly competitive match, though I think a better introduction might've been a balls-to-the-wall four-minute squash. The crowd seemed into Asuka's act and Emma didn't look too bad in the loss.
Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann beat Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher in a fun match. They couldn't get the crowd invested, though.
When they made a big deal of Mickie dedicating her title match to her kid, I thought she was either winning or retiring. Obviously I was wrong. The match was just there. It didn't help that Alexa was never in any realistic peril, despite Mickie controlling much of the flow of the match. The bad miss on her big dropkick comeback spot wasn't a good look for Mickie, either.
Enzo won back the Cruiserweight title from Kalisto in a match that was a disjointed mess. Commentary gem during this match: "Kalisto is the first luchadore cruiserweight champion." Okay.
Finn and AJ was easily the match of the night, mostly because there wasn't anything else on the card that was capable of delivering any quality. They had a four-star match that was just getting started, so when they actually go at it later with a real build and all that, they will tear the house down.
Elias and Jason Jordan had a match after poor Elias kept trying to sing a song and that asshole Jordan kept throwing vegetables at him. Elias got robbed in the match, since he clearly kicked out at 2 but still got counted down for 3. The commentary team stopped giving fucks and just said whatever they wanted to, so that was kind of entertaining, as long as you're okay with Booker T's blabbering in general.
I wasn't as down on the main event as some other folks, but this was a major clusterfuck that lacked any internal logic. The E booked themselves into a corner with the buildup, and paid for it in terms of what they could do when Roman went down. For his part, Kurt looked okay, but he should definitely NOT be thinking about returning full-time. The match itself was a fun collection of spots that made little sense as a whole - my favorite being Braun rising from the rubble of chairs like a fucking terminator and staggering towards his own teammates with murder in his eyes.
It wasn't a good show by any stretch of the imagination, but it was largely inoffensive, and I was sports-entertained.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!
I restarted my Network subscription for this PPV, my first in a LONG time. Angle and Styles got me to sign up, so I had high hopes, and I got my money's worth on those matches.
The rest were just TV matches, especially Elias and Jordan, two guys who seem badly miscast. Elias is built like a brute, and he's doing guitar shtick.
Angle's second entrance should have featured his classic singlet look, and then you imply he had to go back to "his" style to secure the win. Not a lot of laddering in the PPV, but they upgraded to a garbage truck. The in-ring beatdown went on for way too long, and I wondered if we were getting a run-in from Samoa Joe or (as the crowd wanted) Lesnar. I totally bought into Rollins's busted knee, figuring the Shield were cursed. And then those tables refused to sell for Ambrose.
Balor and Styles was fun, and it was the rare fresh matchup that didn't need an angle. Hopefully this lets Balor move higher up the card now.
Asuka didn't get much of a launch against Emma. Eh.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Weird show. I ended up liking that we got three womens matches and two cruiserweight matches, it reminded me of random WCW PPVs where the undercard would be randomness.
I enjoyed Sasha vs Alicia, though Sasha deserves better.
I'm fine with Asuka/Emma.
I loved the cruiserweight tag match and loved Swann & Alexander together. They would be fun in the actual tag division if they cared about having more than three teams at a time.
The womens title match was good, but the Mickie being old commentary kinda did make no sense, especially since Mickie shot it down herself earlier in the preshow by saying that yeah, she's not even the oldest woman on the roster and that half the male roster is older than her. I love Mickie. She deserves more chances.
Enzo sounded like he smoked 20 packs instead of the usual 10 packs. I totally turned out during the match.
AJ/Finn was a blast and felt like it ended too early, but I hope it'll lead to more down the road. Major props to AJ for all of the travel and still being at the top of his game.
Why are we booing Elias and cheering Jordan? Jordan is clearly a bully. Raise your son better, Kurt.
Speaking of, Kurt was the only real shining moment of the main event... which should have been so much more and less of a mess. It should have been such an easy story to tell, but instead we got an extended cluster.
I knew chairs were falling on somebody the second I noticed they spent the money to hang them. The broken stage looked like a piece of cardboard and they should really do more in this HD era to hide things like that. Michael Cole would have fallen through to his death if he had actually walked on that stage and it was obvious.
Kurt looked good in his limited role but really, this was your once chance for a huge Angle entrance and you make him come out to the Shield music and end the show to the Shield music. Come on.
I assume Braun is dead. WWE has issued no updates, which seems weird for a publicly traded company where a group of guys compacted another guy right on camera. At least say he escaped or he Braun-Hulked out and then flipped the garbage truck. Miz briefly had the Gob Bluth "I've made a huge mistake" look after it happened, and then just kinda forgot that he just ordered a man smushed to death.
Out of these 9 matches, at least one of the competitors is dead in 6 of them. While it's usually a passing thought when reading these recaps, I wonder how often more than half of the matches on a mid-90s WCW card features someone who's no longer with us?...