Rob’s What mattered
5. Ric Boogs debuts in-ring
I thought Ric Boogs looked good in his in-ring debut with King Nakamura. Even though it was a random connection, I think Boogs has been good for Nakamura, and now maybe Nakamura will help him.
4. Shotzi and Nox defeat Natalya and Tamina
It was nice to see the women’s tag team champions back on TV after a while off. I felt it was just heading in the right direction when Natalya got injured. This is a good feud for both teams. Shotzi and Nox very quickly feel like a real team, and I think all of these women can work well enough to build each other up. Time will tell if creative executes this feud well.
3. Fair is fair
Only about a month ago, Baron Corbin lost his crown after Shinsuke Nakamura stole it unannounced and beat him in a series of matches until the crown officially transitioned to Nakamura. It started the string of bad luck that landed Corbin where he is now. Logically, Corbin would do the same thing to get the Money in the Bank briefcase from Big E. It’s a good feud for both of them in the meantime while Corbin gets back on his feet and E waits for the perfect moment to cash in.
2. One last battle of words
Roman Reigns and John Cena cut promos on each other one last time to end the show. It mainly was a redo of last week, but the energy in the building was electric, and the feud is hot going into Summerslam. Reigns declared if he lost that he would leave WWE. Cena reiterated that all it takes is three seconds, Reigns is gone, and he will be the new record 17-time champion.
1. AEW Rampage
The biggest thing that mattered on Friday night wasn’t on WWE at all. CM Punk returned on AEW Rampage after a 7-year absence from sports entertainment and a 16-year absence from pro wrestling (his words, not mine). While WWE management is releasing talented underutilized superstars and fumbling on and off creatively, AEW is signing those talents and more. With CM Punk officially and Daniel Bryan rumored to be joining AEW, they are bringing excitement back to pro wrestling. The AEW roster is quickly becoming a must-watch, and WWE will have to make some moves on Summerslam weekend to even compete.
Reverse Hipster What Mattered
4. Rick Boogs in Ring Debut
This match was a tag team between Apollo and his general and Nakamura and his valet Rick Boogs. However, Boogs completely stole the show. He has an amateur wrestling background which is shown through in the best ways with impressive feats of athleticism and strength. Also, he got his character over in interesting ways, like playing air guitar on his opponents while locked in a hold. Ricks team won, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more from him.
3. Otis vs. Ford
I actually don't mind that Ford lost here. He made a genuine attempt to overcome Otis, and he was just outmatched against Otis, who has become a monster heel. This is a good obstacle for the Street Profits, and I look forward to seeing what it will push them to do.
2.The Return of Brood Edge
Edge returning to his dark persona was a great idea. Also, I love how they made it fit the story. Seth Rollins has pushed Edge to a dark place, and this is the result. I also loved Edge dumping the blood on Seth. It showed he had the upper hand on Seth in mind games and delivered on his promise that Seth would never see it coming.
Cena and Reigns had another great promo segment. This time what they did well was play with the perception of fans. Firstly Cena said it's called the summer of Cena, and my contract isn't even legal. He used this as evidence that the machine was clearly behind him and he is supposed to win. Roman retorted that he hadn't lost a single match in WWE since becoming champion and that Cena would be like everyone else. Then he put his career on the line.
In most cases, this would have been too much and ruined the feud, tipping WWE's hand that Roman would win. However, Cena said he was here to embarrass Roman and take the title and force him to show up every week and live in that embarrassment. That made it seem plausible that Roman would go into fake retirement and avoid that embarrassment.
Also, besides skillfully playing with our expectations, they effectively conveyed the message of the feud. Legacy vs. Legacy Cena is trying to break the all-time record and take the title once again. Roman is trying to remain undefeated and prove himself against a Legend.
Reverse Hipster What didn't Matter
4.Women's Tag Team Division
True young stars did win here over the tag team champions, which is why this is on the cusp. However, this was Natayala's return match which soured me to this . More importantly, they have zero story. They have a match with the tag team champions, and they have zero story for it. It's not even going to be on the Summerslam card.
3. Jey Uso vs. Rey
They had a good match because they are both talented workers. However, they have done the same thing for weeks. They have just traded wins back and forth. If you skipped this match, you haven't missed anything essential to the story, and that's why this match is here. Both these teams were borderline main event in their feud with Roman heading into Hell in the Cell, and now they don't even feel like they are on the same show as Roman.
2. Bianca Bel-air
I love Bianca. She is one of my favorites. I also enjoy Zelina and Carmella and want the best for them because they are both very talented in their own right. However, I couldn't care about Bianca beating two superstars she has repeatedly beat back to back. Also, it makes them look bad to lose this way. It was the perfect opportunity to give Zelina her first win. Have her wrestle Carmella first and then have Zelina beat a tired Bianca. It is perfectly reasonable. I also it could have helped them build to a fatal four-way at Summerslam. Because let's face it, they knew Sasha wasn't going to make it already.
Corbin and Ko
Last week I gave WWE props for this match. However, doing it again brought diminishing returns. Unlike last week there was no reason for it to happen. Also, the Big E part was stupid. Why should Corbin be able to shrug off the whole beatdown and attack Big E and get the case back and run away? It seems the Corbin character is mishandled just as often as it's booked correctly.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Broodbath on Rollins
Edge cut a good promo to open the night, and Seth Rollins came out later in the night to taunt them. All they had to do was keep this feud hot. They spent about five minutes showing replays of Rollins’s excellent work last week. Instead, they went in a confusing new direction. I liked that Rollins called out that Edge will have to be more heel to fight fire with fire, but the black goo that fell in Rollins felt too silly and out of place. It was a radically different direction to go at the last second, and it left a bad taste in my mouth for an otherwise excellent feud going into Summerslam.
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