By Big Red Machine
From July 14, 2019
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
Finn Balor(c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - 6/10
Yeah. They but THIS on the pre-show. And it LESS THAN EIGHT MINUTES. These guys did what they could with the time they were given, and that's rally all there is to say. At least they gave Nakamura the win to get their attempt to rebuild him off to a good start, but at the same time, losing here in this situation makes Balor feel like a midcarder.
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Drew Gulak(c) vs. Tony Nese - 6.75/10
Like the previous match, they did the best they could with the time they were constrained to (just 7:25). They did a pretty damn great job with it, but if you're going to give this match so little time you might as well take it off the PPV and do it this week on 205 Live where it can get an appropriate amount of time.
NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH:
Roman Reigns & The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre - 6.5/10
Fun fact: During the entrances for this match I watched the entire Okada vs. Sabre G1 match from early today. That match was five minutes shorter than this one, and also better than it. Not that this match was bad or anything, but it wasn't particularly interesting or exciting, either. The twists (The Drifter interfered to help the heels, each babyface took a turn getting taken out so the other would have to fight on his own) and big spots (everyone got their sh*t in in very predictable ways were predictable, and the outcome never felt like it was in doubt.
Taker the pin on Shane, which I thought was a mistake. First The Miz and then Roman Reigns have been trying for months to get revenge on Shane, but now The Undertaker comes in and gets rid of all of Shane's heat? That seems pretty counter-productive to me. At least let Drew pin Roman here due to The Drifter interfering and do a six-man with Miz on the babyface team at Summer Slam. I'm already tired of this feud and Miz should have been in Taker's place here, but I'd rather the storyline at least have a well-booked conclusion, and "The Undertaker randomly showed up to help Roman, then beat Shane at the PPV" does not qualify.
Even though Taker got the pin, we had to play Roman's music after Taker's, then we played Taker's again at the end.
SARAH SCHREIBER INTERVIEWS SETH ROLLINS & BECKY LYNCH - Bad. This was just them wasting time being annoying. They cut a promo to hype up a match that everyone who is watching this has already paid to see, so this was nothing but a waste of time that could have gone to a match that needed it more.
They hyped up the Raw in eight days, which will be called "Raw Reunion" and "will be the largest reunion in WWE history," as if this is something we're supposed to care about.
WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Revival(c) vs. the Usos - 7/10
The Revival won cleanly in a strong match, but I can't shake the feeling that these teams could do so much better together if given the time and build like the Usos and New Day were in 2017.
ALEISTER BLACK vs. CESARO - 7.5/10
Aleister won clean. They did a great job with the time they were given, but they were only given ten minutes. Do you sense a theme here?
DUMB STUFF HAPPENED BACKSTAGE WITH R-TRUTH, CARMELLA, ALEXA BLISS!, & NIKKI CROSS - Dumb.
HANDICAP MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN'S TITLE:
Bayley(c) vs. Alexa Bliss! & Nikki Cross - 5.25/10
They told their story fine. Bayley retained cleanly, pinning Nikki, which makes both Alexa and Nikki look bad.
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH:
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley - 7.75/10
They had a great brawl all over the building with a story being told in the work on Braun's midsection to capitalize off of the prior injury, all leading up to one big highspot at the end. The only issue I had with this match was that in order to do their silly Kool-Aid Man-esque dramatic moment at the end with Braun, the referee had to be counting them out form a position where he couldn't possibly see them to know if they were standing or not.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS AJ STYLES - Good heel promo.
WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan(c) vs. Heavy Machinery vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E.) - 7/10
New Day won a very exciting three-way some good twists and turns. Everyone was good in here, but Bryan, Big E. and Woods in particular stood out.
PAUL HEYMAN PROMO - A pointless waste of time to tease a Brock MITB cash-in well before the point where it would have made a difference.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH:
Ricochet(c) vs. AJ Styles (w/Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) - 8.25/10
Gallows & Anderson jumped Ricochet during his entrance to put him at a disadvantage. Ricochet managed to fight back and had an awesome match with AH that did a fantastic job of making it feel like AJ would not have been able to beat Ricochet without Gallows & Anderson's help. This loss elevated Ricochet.
KEVIN OWENS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER - DUD!
Ziggler slapped Owens, then Owens hit Ziggler with a stunner and pinned him. Owens then cut a promo about, ironically, how Shane McMahon wasted people's TV time. Owens said that Shane could go to hell. This did nothing but eat up PPV time, and there was no good reason to not just do this this week on Smackdown (you can still have Shane not be there to order Owens' mic cut by having him not at the show to the sell his injuries from tonight's match).
SAMOA JOE PROMO - Great!
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Kofi Kingston(c) vs. Samoa Joe - 7/10
Joe was a great, vicious heel and Kofi was a great babyface and Joe was beating Kofi down and Kofi started his big comeback... and then he just hit Trouble In Paradise and won the match, at least ten minutes before it should have ended. After all of the beatings and that FANTASTIC angle they did on Smackdown a few weeks ago and all this got was 9:45? COME ON! This is a f*cking FOUR-HOUR SHOW (five if we include the pre-show). There is absolutely no excuse for not giving enough time to one of the top three matches on the show.
LAST CHANCE EXTREME RULES MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE AND WWE RAW WOMEN'S TITLE:
Seth Rollins(c) & Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans & Baron Corbin - 8/10
I think it's fair to say that this very greatly over-delivered. They did an excellent job with the story they had laid out in the feud, with the heels trying to take advantage of the babyfaces' emotions in various ways. They brought an appropriate level of violence for a no DQs main event, and even had the guts to build up to Corbin hitting Becky with a big move at a key point in the match, leading to the finish. This also created a reason for Becky to be unable to cause a DQ in the...
WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH:
Seth Rollins(c) vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) - no rating, annoying segment
Yeah. Brock showed up, cashed in, and won the title again. All of a sudden we're right back to where we were three months ago. And eight months ago. And a year ago.
This was a very frustrating show from WWE. Nothing was particularly bad- in fact, most of the matches were at least good and a majority of them would have been perfectly acceptable TV main events- but so many of the matches (and especially ones I was greatly looking forward to) felt like they could have been so much more if they had been given the proper time. WWE NEEDS to go back to single-brand PPVs, because the PPVs are almost always filled with matches that just plain don't feel like they get enough time to deliver to their full potential. Add the Brock finish on top of that and you've got a show that I walk away from frustrated even though there was a lot of great wrestling on it.