If you watched tonight’s event, you saw WWE’s roster put on a fantastic show. The Intercontinental Championship match was beyond awesome. The Asylum Match had a shocking finish which drove the point home, and the rest of the card was definitely entertaining. I am surprised to say the weakest match of the night was the Women’s Championship match.
Our pre-show match pits Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin. I love Mauro Ranallo. He made it sound like this match was a main event. Ziggler hit some big spots, and Corbin sold everything Ziggler threw at him. For a big guy, Corbin can move. He splattered Ziggler with a multi-spin Deep Six Driver. Ziggler missed a Superkick, and Corbin counters with a massive groin-shot, which, in this No DQ match, was perfectly legal. Corbin crushed Ziggles with the End of Days, and calls it a night.
Our first PPV match of the night features The Usos vs. The Club. Makes sense, to keep them ready for the main event. This match, as expected was part-match, part-brawl. Anderson and Gallows brutalized the Usos, and again, as expected, the Usos did the usual superkicks, high flying spots. Some nice stuff took place outside the ring, Anderson took some sick bumps. Finish comes after Gallows grabs the ring bell, and an Uso misses a top rope splash and hits the bell. The Club takes it by pinfall, and the Usos are helped to the back by referees.
Only in Jersey, we have a split crowd between Rusev and Kalisto. We get a good match, both throwing some of the signature moves, Kalisto dazzling the crowd with some fast paced moves which stun Rusev. Kalisto is good at selling the “pull out all the stops” bit, but it is not enough, as Rusev manages to lock in the Accolade, wrenching Kalisto over backwards, forcing the tap out and reclaiming the United States Championship.
So, does this mean we are getting a redux of Rusev against anyone patriotic on the roster? Will Jack Swagger get another feud? Does he still have a job?
We get a promo for Sheamus in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. It actually looks entertaining.
Backstage: Renee Young asks AJ Styles if The Club will interfere tonight. AJ doesn’t answer directly.
The New Day successfully retain the W…W…E… Tag…Team…Championships against the Vaudevillians. The pre-match promo from New Day was hysterical, nodding to the Garden State with Big E. carrying two hoes. Great match, with Xavier and Big E. having the honors. I was legitimately surprised there was no “Suplex City” chant after Big E. tossed Aiden English and Simon Gotch around with Belly-to-Back followed by Belly-to-Belly suplexes. This was a fantastic match by both teams, hopefully we continue to see the Vaudevillians on RAW and SmackDown.
Up next, we get a 100% bona fide match-of-the-year candidate. Shame on anyone who did not watch this one. The Miz, retained the Intercontinental Championship against Kevin Owens, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn. This match was non-stop, had some incredible spots with suplexes, slams, some great counters… I could list everything and I won’t be able to cover the rest of the show. The storytelling was phenomenal. Cesaro, in my opinion, earns the MVP award for this match.
Highlights include: Zayn completely blindsiding Owens at the bell with a Helluva Kick, followed by Cesaro uppercutting Miz clear out of the ring. Cesaro and Zayn put on a short wrestling clinic. Owens later is taken for the ride by a double Suplex assisted powerbomb by everyone else, then Cesaro German suplexes Zayn as he clutched Miz for an Exploder Suplex. Does that make it an Exploding German? Ew. Zayn later flips and rolls with a sick sunset flip reversal, and Zayn crushing Owens with a Dragon Suplex.
The comedy spot, Cesaro has Miz locked in the Sharpshooter after a long Cesaro Swing. Maryse tries pulling Miz out, but Cesaro drags Miz to the middle of the ring, who drags Maryse into the ring.
It’s all over when Zayn clocks Cesaro with the Helluva kick, but Owens pulls out Zayn to brawl, leaving Miz to sneak in for the pinfall victory.
My recap does not do this match justice. Find it. Watch it.
The Asylum Match: Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose
So, this one could have been better. To be honest, the nods to Moppy, Perry Saturn, and Savio Vega. Strange things happening tonight. Also noticed on commentary, JBL made a bad attempt to use Groot as a reference, and has been really harsh on Byron Saxton. To the match, it was a long and slowly paced match, but perhaps that is for the best. Nearly all weapons were used, Ambrose and Jericho delivered some good shots, and sold all the big hits.
Then, came the surprise, the bag of thumbtacks. A lot of teases as to who was going to take the fall, and after lots of counters, it wound up being Y2J who was thrown into the pile. To my knowledge, Chris Jericho has never taken a spot like that in his career. Big kudos for taking it, and being pinned by Dean Ambrose.
We get promos and reminders for the stipulation of Ric Flair being banned from the ring for our next match, the WWE Women’s Championship Submission Match between Natalya and defending champ, Charlotte. This match was not as good as their previous encounters, and once again, this match concludes with Dana Brooke impersonating Ric Flair to distract Natalya, who then taps out to the Figure Eight. It is possible this match was not as good because of the time constraint, to give enough for the main event.
WWE Championship Match – Extreme Rules Match: AJ Styles vs. Roman Reigns
No surprise here, the Newark, New Jersey crowd booing Roman Reigns from the get-go. I will hand it to Reigns, despite the hate from the crowd, he pulled out some new moves not typically seen from his arsenal. Styles took some serious bumps throughout the match, eating two announce tables and a sick fall off the ropes following a superman punch. Reigns mauled Styles at one point, just brutalizing him all over the ringside area. A lot of back-and-forth, inevitably The Club and The Usos came to interfere, but neither could push the bout in their favor. Reigns kicked out of a Styles Clash, followed by a counter of a second-attempt, but winds up eating a boot when going for the Spear. AJ hits another Clash on top of the chair, but one of the Usos prevents Styles from gaining the pinfall.
This is the part where he complete snaps and clobbers everyone with chair shots. The Usos are taken out, Reigns takes a dozen shots, but yet somehow manages to spear Styles as he goes for the Phenomenal Forearm. Yes, Reigns has to look strong, but this was a pretty good match. Roman Reigns retains the WWE Championship…
… THEN SETH ROLLINS JUMPS IN and plants Reigns with the Pedigree. SETH ROLLINS is BACK!!!
He holds up the WWE Championship to close the show.