HIT: Solid booking The Shield wins by clean fall. Bray Wyatt … wins. (Nothing clean about that one.) The two hottest forces in WWE right now were put over against people who don’t always take the fall easily (Triple H and John Cena).
HIT: Roman Reigns gets the fall Seth Rollins gets an asterisk for that superfly dive off the top of a scoreboard portal at the Izod Center, but all that did was clear the ring for Reigns to hit Batista with a superman punch and then land the spear for a clean 1-2-3. The Shield was put over, and Reigns, with a clean fall over Batista, was put mega-over.
MISSES: Odd finishes in Wyatt, Daniel Bryan matches The Bray Wyatt character is so over with the fans that it’s not funny. That said, WTF was up with the finish to the Wyatt-Cena match? It’s not like Cena has resembled Laurence Olivier in his movie roles, but that was particularly bad acting there when the kid starts lip-syncing, and Cena dramatically overplayed shock and awe. And then in the Bryan-Kane match, we had the fight going out to the parking lot, Bryan incapacitating Kane, bringing him back to the ring by a forklift, then winning after knocking Kane into a table that Kane had set afire. The writers responsible for both of these matches need to be sent back to Hollywood immediately.
HIT: Great WeeLC match Seriously, this was the best pre-show open for a WWE pay-per-view in recent years, and not just because my friend short sleeve sampson had a guest starring role as Jerry “The Mini-King” Smawler as part of the little person announce team. El Torito and Hornswaggle put on a match worthy of the TLC references, and credit to 3MB and Los Matadores for their roles in adding to the drama and in-ring action. Great show open.
MISS: Boring I-C title match Good move getting the belt off Big E, who other than looking the part of bad-ass pro wrestler is just not ready for prime time as a performer. I do like putting the belt on Bad News Barrett. Good work the past several months selling his character, which judging from the live crowd is over with fans.
PUSH: Three-way and Divas title matches There was a nice move midway through the three-way opener when Cesaro was swinging Jack Swagger, and Rob Van Dam lept over Swagger to land a kick to Cesaro’s head. Solid match, but with nothing on the line. Paige vs. Tamina Snuka did what it was supposed to do, take us down from Bray Wyatt’s win over John Cena, but did little to advance either.
OVERALL GRADE: A solid B. Grading on the curve, considering I didn’t expect anything out of this show, maybe an A-.
– Review by Chris Graham