– The opening video was decent as it highlighted the Daniel Bryan-Roman Reigns feud that culminated with the brawl at the end of Raw. For all the focus the feud received at the beginning of the show, not ending it on some kind of note was odd.
– The Bryan-Miz match kept the momentum from the opening video, as Bryan looked to be on point here, with no lost fans in the crowd. The segment with Miz/Mizdow smartly brought up Miz being Bryan’s former NXT Pro and tied it into their ongoing conflict. Only problem with this was that Michael Cole brought this up, and if we remember way back when, he was Bryan’s biggest critic and Miz’s biggest fan. Bryan’s submission victory kept him hot for Sunday. We knew at this point the same would probably be done for Reigns later on.
– The Ryback-Kane match wasn’t the best performance by both guys, but it didn’t overstay its welcome. If anything, the sudden Shellshocked finish was decent. Where is Ryback going though in all of this?
– The Bad News Barrett-R-Truth had “feud progression” written all over it as Dean Ambrose sat in on commentary. This was okay for the most part. Ambrose’s comments about Barrett not living up to the “pride and honor” of past Intercontinental Champions was a much better feud focus than him wanting his own face on the wall at WWE Headquarters. Why did they wait so late on that? This could’ve been a much different and better feud. At the same time, Barrett seemingly obsessed with getting his hands on Ambrose on Sunday was decent, but that was all lost when he lost by distraction. This may just seal the deal that Barrett will retain using dirty tactics on Sunday, though.
– The latest cryptic Bray Wyatt promo made him mention “the clock ticking” and told this person to find him or he will find him himself. Some development will likely come of this at or after FastLane.
– The New Day act is just not going to catch on. Their new Thriller-like dance routine won’t do the trick either. The Ascension promo was just more of their trashing of past tag team legends. Yawn. The Xavier Woods/Big E-Ascension match mainly served as enhancement for The Ascension to keep their roll going. So much for Hump Day.
– The Roman Reigns-Luke Harper match was shorter than expected as Reigns more or less made quick work of Harper. The spear finish was somewhat cool, but Harper wasn’t perceived as much a threat here as opposed to earlier this week.
– The Big Show-Erick Rowan match sure did Rowan no favors as it was a completely anticlimactic Show squash. Boredom central.
– The Cameron-Paige match with The Bellas on commentary followed the same path as past weeks. Not much more they could add to this. Paige won by PTO. Do we even care about this Divas Title match coming up? It’s hard to root for Paige when she has obstacles you’d find between high schoolers and their bullies.
– The Goldust backstage interview hyped his FastLane match against Stardust and was okay as he described Stardust as a “cancer eating my brother alive.” The Stardust interruption on the titantron screen was also a cool touch that let him say what he wanted to say. This feud is really just starting, but there’s promise here. Hopefully, this leads to Cody Rhodes making his eventual return and new gimmick. What hasn’t he been these days?
– The Cesaro/Tyson Kidd/Natalya boxed promo was solid but nothing memorable. Fact. The match that followed with Kidd taking on Jimmy Uso never had a chance to get going because Rusev came out and took out everyone. We got the point, but did we need to dismantle a feud here?
– The Dolph Ziggler-Seth Rollins Match was good for what it was. Ryback and Rowan acting as Ziggler’s cheerleaders was questionable, but the main focus was to keep Rollins hot. The Authority sought extra dominance and beat down Ryback and Rowan. Not sure what it actually accomplished besides making The Authority remain strong, but it filled the time.
– Daniel Bryan def. The Miz (w/Damien Mizdow) via submission
– Ryback def. Kane via pinfall
– R-Truth def. Bad News Barrett via pinfall
– The Ascension def. Xavier Woods/Big E (w/Kofi Kingston) via pinfall
– Roman Reigns def. Luke Harper via pinfall
– The Big Show def. Erick Rowan via pinfall
– Paige def. Cameron via submission
– Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso, Naomi) and Tyson Kidd (w/Cesaro, Natalya) to a No-Contest
– J & J Security Barred From Ringside – Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
– Is John Cena the only person who gets his name announced when just coming out for a promo? The promo-turned-brawl with him and Rusev was similar to last week, but the added twist was Cena’s more aggressive nature. While it’s necessary and sure, Cena should seek to overcome an undefeated beast and the “fight to respect” angle is okay, but what about the United States Championship on the line here? Is that at all important? It’s definitely not the focus of this feud and that’s doing a disservice to the Belt and what Rusev has done with it.
– The bit with Dean Ambrose doing a news segment taking a shot against Bad News Barrett came across random, but this feud could be taken so much more seriously, considering it’s for the Intercontinental Championship.
– The Ambrose-Luke Harper match was treated like an evenly matched bout that had Ambrose fight to get his victory, but him on top was predictable with his obsession with getting Barrett to sign a contract before Sunday. Why would he lose here?
– The backstage segment with Big Show, Kane and Triple H put over Kane and Show’s arguments. Show Face turn #457 imminent?
– The latest Bray Wyatt cryptic promo had him explain how his fear turned into pity. Or something like that. Would Undertaker just acknowledge this already?
– The backstage segment with The Rhodes family was okay as Dusty Rhodes motivated them to stand together. A turn was so coming here. You could just smell it.
– The Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E)-Gold & Stardust match had most focus on Gold & Stardust trying to work together with constant cuts to Dusty Rhodes watching backstage. This paid off with New Day getting the win and Stardust inevitably hitting his finisher on Goldust – full turn? Maybe not, but leading to a match where it will be more set in stone.
– The backstage interview with Roman Reigns was interesting in his approach of the term “public opinion.” His mic work is far better with this more “tweener” character.
– It was good to have Daniel Bryan out to scout the Reigns-Kane match from ringside on commentary as he talked about being surprised by Reign’s comments. Him playing innocent was entertaining, but the Yes! laps seemed a bit forced.
– The Stardust-Dusty Rhodes interaction put over Stardust’s animosity towards his family. Plain and simple.
– The Reigns-Kane match was okay, though more distracted by Bryan’s commentary as solid as it was. Reigns winning by countout was kind of weak.
– The backstage interview with Bryan was more of what he said on commentary. Public opinion.
– The second Wyatt promo was too brief to make anything of.
– The backstage segment with Paige and The Bellas and Rosebuds was a big bowl of WTF soup. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Paige getting her gear stolen or relief for her probably coming out as a fairy for her match later? Plus, you’re telling us she only has one ring attire outfit? Gosh – get some backups, girl!
– The Summer Rae-Paige match told the story of Paige “bouncing back” though it probably accomplished the creation of Internet memes more than anything. Paige won again by tap out. The Bella Twins coming out and exchange between Nikki and Paige was decent hype towards their FastLane match, but why can’t we just focus on athleticism rather than outfits and spray tan?
– The Seth Rollins in-ring promo was par for the course of his usual promos, not bad though. Ziggler’s interruption was good but you had to cringe at the slight sexual references considering the last week Rollins really had. You’d think WWE would want to avoid that road entirely. The match was pretty good but stopped before it could get going, as J & J Security interfered as Ziggler was about to get a three count. The save with Rowan and Ryback getting payback was okay, but keeping these three guys together so long is doing more harm than hurt.
– The announcement for MizTV featuring Paul Heyman on the FastLane pre-show should be interesting to say the least.
– The segment with Triple H addressing Sting was going the usual way until the random surprise appearance by Ric Flair. This was all good as Flair tried to praise Sting up and Triple H gained heat by claiming he was the WWE and pushed Flair to the ground in a rage. Best hype on the show.
– From the looks of The Ascension-Darren Young/Unnamed match that never took place, it was to make The Ascension look good and set up the moment of Titus O’Neil saving his old partner. A PTP reunion to feud with The Ascension sounds interesting. It would also be good to see them back together as they work best together.
– The backstage segment with The Miz and Barrett set things up for the match later. We can believe Miz “has people,” but Barrett? What does he do that’s so big?
– The Damien Mizdow (w/The Miz)-Barrett match carried on the storyline of Miz purposely costing Mizdow the match and just being a Hollywood douche. The spot with Ambrose tying Barrett’s hands to the post to get him to sign the contract was a bit corny, albeit decent way to have Ambrose outsmart Barrett, though Barrett could argue he never consented. JBL asking for Jack Tunney was hilarious.
– The third Wyatt promo was more of the same as he took a hammer to something unseen.
– The Jimmy Uso/Naomi (w/Jey Uso)-Tyson Kidd/Natalya (w/Cesaro) mixed tag was short, but furthered tension between Kidd and Natalya. Natalya and Naomi also worked pretty well together.
– Reigns being ringside for the Bryan-Show match eventually signing autographs and throwing shirts into the crowd was his way of payback. Why Bryan would be enraged at that is beyond us. The front row fans got their money’s worth with that at least. Once Reigns got speared by Show, you had to know Reigns would get revenge and likely cost Bryan the match. The post match Reigns-Bryan brawl was well-done as it just kept going and going. Where was this when we needed it before? Was this too much too late?
– Dean Ambrose def. Luke Harper via pinfall
– Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods (w/Big E) def. Gold & Stardust via pinfall
– Roman Reigns def. Kane via countout
– Paige def. Summer Rae via submission
– Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) via DQ
– Bad News Barrett def. Damien Mizdow (w/The Miz) via pinfall
– Mixed Tag – Jimmy Uso/Naomi def. Tyson Kidd/Natalya (w/Cesaro) via pinfall
– The Big Show def. Daniel Bryan via DQ