The New Toy Destroyer Of Fear
– The first segment with Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show and Roman Reigns solidly hyped up the eventual main event, which tacked on Show and Reigns from what was originally advertised. Bryan led off the segment well – putting over the Intercontinental Championship and willing to take on all comers, inching a little too close to John Cena’s current gimmick, but still the best example of a “fighting Champion” as you can get. Barrett and Sheamus are a good heel duo – almost shades of their fantasy United Kingdom stable a la WWE ’12 coming to fruition. Ziggler was understandably all business and Show entered the equation as a good sidekick to the heels, which called for Reigns to finish things out, going straight for Show as the faces cleared the heels from the ring.
– The Tyson Kidd/Cesaro-Kofi Kingston/Big E match continued the momentum for the Tag Champs while further cementing New Day’s slow-burn heel turn. Big E’s promo was good stuff, as he condescending told the crowd they needed to love him, carrying most of the group’s vocal load. The New Day’s gimmick sucks but their maneuvers are all crowd-pleasers and as the turn becomes more evident, they need to alter it a little bit for easy heat. The “heel vs. soon-to-be heel” dynamic made it hard to root for Cesaro/Kidd per se, but the action was good while it lasted. The finish also made the Champs look good, albeit using cheap tactics, but lost nothing against fellow heels.
– The Neville-Curtis Axel match was preceded by an Axel promo that hyped the match in his own wannabe Hogan way. Neville continues to impress in the ring – resorting to more of his aerial tactics. Quick crowd-enlightening squash that followed the script of his Raw debut to a tee.
– The Natalya/Cameron/Alicia Fox promo had the female heels go at it in a condescending way. Either that or we got a glimpse of Bad Girls Club: WWE Edition. Not exactly carrying the division with class.
– The Natalya-Fox match carried over from the previous segment as Cameron was Special Guest Referee. This didn’t really do much to entice the crowd for Raw’s #1 Contender’s Divas Battle Royale, as it almost seems the WWE’s answer to missing AJ Lee is to amp up everybody else’s personalities where they almost become intolerable. Natalya won by submission using the Sharpshooter, which was the only bright spot out of this. Could’ve also seen Cameron’s attacks from a mile away. We did like the top rope “mirror pose” though.
– The Erick Rowan hype video pretty much summed up everything about him, but didn’t really push anything new about him and that’s the problem. At the least, he’d be Bray Wyatt’s opponent, resorting to past history for storyline purpose. This match really came out of nowhere.
– The Rowan-Wyatt match followed a solid Wyatt promo that talked about Rowan’s lack of acceptance by society. This felt like it could either be a way of writing Rowan’s lukewarm character off or to build Wyatt as the new “Face of Fear.” It actually felt like both were accomplished here. The Wyatt win was expected. The cradling of Rowan in Wyatt’s lap added a nice touch, but where does it lead?
– The MizTV segment with Miz, Damien Mizdow and Summer Rae came off as a feeble attempt to hype the straight-to-Blu-Ray release while having Mizdow turn on Miz yet again. Have to award Miz for his mic work here as he did a good job of setting up the moment where Mizdow delivered and promptly planted one on Rae. The crowd was more hot for this than Raw, which was a positive, but will Miz’s words about us forgetting who Mizdow is in three months ring true? It almost feels like this feud is being booked on the fly. Sure, they knew how to set up the turn well, but not much of that thought process has related to the aftermath. Slowly get Mizdow back to his former character.
– The Barrett/Sheamus/Show-Bryan/Ziggler/Reigns match continued the string of crowd-pleasing Smackdown main events. Nothing all too newsworthy though. Reigns getting the pinfall was okay, but where exactly does he fit into the equation? Will him and Show have a match at Extreme Rules? We can expect all six men to be involved with each other at the PPV in some way, but we still have yet to see any planning in that regard. On that note, with exception of Show, it was nice to have a night free of The Authority in the arena.
– Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) def. Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) via pinfall
– Neville def. Curtis Axel via pinfall
– Cameron As Special Guest Referee – Natalya def. Alicia Fox via submission
– Bray Wyatt def. Erick Rowan via pinfall
– Six-Man Tag – Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler def. Sheamus/Bad News Barrett/The Big Show via pinfall