Coming off of last week’s episode which saw a brilliant Roman Reigns and AJ Styles opening, The Miz defeating Zack Ryder to retain the Intercontinental Championship, as well as Cesaro & AJ Styles face Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens in the main event, it’s time for this week’s episode of the blue show. With WrestleMania fever over, and programs headed in the Payback direction, it will be interesting to see what goes down this time around on a show that’s typically better than RAW at such. Without further ado, let’s get into the show, which emanates from San Diego, California.
Pyro opening again! Yay! Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton, and Jerry Lawler are on commentary as per usual. Tonight is a night of firsts as two matches are announced: AJ Styles vs. Alberto Del Rio and Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho.
Maryse kicked off the show, introducing the Miz. This duo is incredible. It’s MizTV this week, and the guest is … Maryse herself. Miz asked Maryse what it was like being married to him. Answer? Perfection. This turned into a soap opera real quick, with Miz kissing her ass. Legit laughed at this, truly amazing. Maryse proclaimed that this will be the year where Miz will be named sexiest man of the year. Ryder buzz-killed the make out session to a large pop. We get some lame playground disses as per usual with talk segment. Ryder said he will get the IC title back, and he can’t wait for Miz to lose to him. Ryder asked for a match tonight for the title. Miz accepted but explained Ryder already has a match scheduled vs. Baron Corbin.
This was OK. Ryder took the pin as expected. Ryder finally got Corbin down with a missile dropkick, Corbin evaded the Broski Boot, but Ryder ran the ropes and was hit with End of Days. Ziggler saved Ryder from an End of Days on the floor but Corbin managed to avoid any retaliation offense. There’s Corbin’s first pay-per-view program. Mauro’s commentary was quite great, explaining Corbin’s collecting more skulls than Trevor Story hits home-runs, etc.
Renee Young was with Kevin Owens, who popped in for a funny hello, and picked up sarcasm throughout the segment. Tonight, no one can help Sami, Owens explained, and told Renee to go ask Sami if he has any insight as to what’s coming in tonight’s main event vs. Chris Jericho.
In-box promo from Emma during her entrance. She was the quirky girl next door until she was rejected, and is jealous of Becky Lynch getting the most historic women’s match in WrestleMania history. “Nice girls finish last.”
These two had a good Main Event match last week. It’s cool to hear this being announced as a women’s match. This was surprisingly shorter than I expected. However, this resulted, to Al’s maximum excitement, a quick win for the Aussie princess. She was incredibly aggressive like I’ve never seen her be, and really anyone’s ever been on the main roster sans Kharma. She pulled Paige’s hair, hit an Emmamite sandwich, decimated her with holds, and busted out a double-arm suplex. She pulled Paige’s legs out from under her, making her face smash into the turnbuckle, and executed a jackknife pin for the win! Brilliant put-over for Emma, Paige sold the nose very well. Please make Emma the women’s champion this year.
We get a RAW Rebound recapping the Reigns/Wyatt vs. League of Nations main event.
Enzo and Cass on the mic is always a good time. If Enzo and Cass had a dime for everytime they got beat up as kids … they’d have ZERO DIMES! The roasts were real, with Enzo explaining he could think of a million things to say about The Ascension, but the thing they’re going to say is that they’re The Ascension. A hoot as per usual, with the two gunning to take out the tournament hoping they can win the belts.
Eh. This was good enough. Enzo bumped around like a madman, actually making The Ascension look more deadly than they actually are (mostly because of Konnor). He flipped around, and got launched all the way into the barricade from the apron. The work over spots were dead, but the Cassady hot tag made things better. Although The Ascension did something cool for once, a double kick, that was about it. Konnor saved Viktor after a big boot but he was big booted off the apron anyways. Boss Man slam and a Rocket Launcher splash allowed Enzo and Cass to advance.
JoJo was with AJ Styles. AJ has scratched and clawed to get his way to the top, and there is a unique circumstance where both guys in the Payback main event have never been in the main event have never seen anything like each other. Alberto Del Rios shows up after a Georgia bulldog analogy with a shitty looking ripped L.O.N. shirt. Alberto asked if AJ could compete against him in the big leagues. Funny how AJ was main eventing ROH whilst Alberto was in the midcard for his entire run. Alberto can smell(?) it. AJ is all hype, apparently. Alberto said he’s way out of his own league, at least AJ doesn’t complain about not being first class on a plane.
A WWE Studios’ “Countdown” commercial is a good enough reason to plug my review of the horrendous cinema.
Del Rio came out to his own theme and titantron for some reason. This was in the solid-good range and picked up well, but Del Rio matches are just so hard to get invested in, even to the point where he drags a Styles match down. This was worked exceptionally well though, until a brutal spot which saw Del Rio pull out an inverted suplex, dropping AJ right on his head – even to the point where people live legit thought he was injured. I don’t blame them. AJ was worked over tons and played the mouse to Del Rio’s cat in the match, continually escaping the big finish. Styles sold so well, being hit with one of the deadliest backstabbers I’ve ever seen. A fantastic commentary portion saw Mauro banter King into submission in the best exchange yet. Styles hit the Ushigoroshi which led to Mauro asking King what it was. AJ countered the double foot stomp but Del Rio countered the springboard forearm; the cross arm breaker was transitioned into an Oklahoma roll for the Styles win. Did you really have to protect Del Rio like that? Come on man.
Another Golden Truth segment backstage, ahead of their first round tournament match. Goldust talked to management and apparently they aren’t teaming tonight. Fandango interrupted the two and asked if they were ready for the debut of Goldango? They gyrated calling Truth awkward. What the fuck.
We got a recap of Vaudevillains victory over the Lucha Dragons last week on SmackDown.
I cannot believe this actually happened. English pinned Fandango after the Whirling Dervish. This went about 2 minutes. It was a complete squash. I don’t care.
The semi-finals for the tournament are: The Usos vs. The Vaudevillains and Enzo and Cass vs. The Dudley Boyz. Not bad.
JoJo was with Chris Jericho. He called out Dean Ambrose and asked JoJo if she knew who he was (self-proclaimed greatest of all time). He strung the city to his Undisputed title victory that comes up all too often. He wants everybody to drink in the gift of Jericho. Blabber blabber he thinks he’s the best in the world.
Sami Zayn has been on a ‘first timers’ tour lately. Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, his first WrestleMania, and now his first one-on-one match vs. Chris Jericho. Before the match began, Kevin Owens walked out, and Dean Ambrose followed suit, handing out ‘Ambrose Asylum’ mini-signs. We had a 5 man commentary team for the match which got quite ridiculous. It took me out of the match quite a bit, it’s way too much to take in at once. The match itself just went through the paces till we got to the major crossover moments. It was more of a storyline builder than anything. I was paying so much attention to commentary trying to figure out who was saying what and why there was a lot of dead air transitions and awkward cues. Sami Zayn chants were awesome to hear, not even piped in. A helluva kick was rolled-up into Walls of Jericho, but the two ended up on the outside. A Wrecking Ball dropkick led to Jericho shoving Ambrose over and Sami backdropping Jericho onto Owens. Before much else could happen Owens jumped Zayn to cause the DQ. Ambrose evened things out but couldn’t hit Dirty Deeds. Zayn helluva kicked Owens who was about to powerbomb Ambrose. Faces stood tall to end the show.
This was the first show in a long time to completely be a letdown. The opening segment didn’t do much but make people question the Payback match between Corbin and Ziggler, yet completely jobbed out Ryder in the process. He’s just a guy, and even with the recent cancer-past reveal and events, he’s back to that status. The #1 Contenders Tournament matches weren’t much, especially with Goldust and Fandango’s random team-up that was awful and lazy. Then we go AJ vs. Del Rio which was solid except the main takeaway is that AJ nearly broke his neck in the process. Whoever chose to have a 5 man commentary team for the main event is quite simply out of their minds, as that took away from an already ‘not much’ match which saw a DQ and typical chaotic ending, albeit a little bit more fun, to SmackDown. You don’t need to watch this week.