DEAN AMBROSE(c) vs. ROB VAN DAM
The opening stuff with Dean Ambrose and RVD looked terrible. Especially Ambrose's technical stuff. He doesn't work anything anything and he just moves in and out of holds really lose and lazy like. He's better off just brawling and acting crazy. The second half of the match was much better, but it never felt like it went out of second gear. RVD fit in most of his stuff, but, much like in TNA, there's no thread to connect it all to a bigger story. I think the DQ ending was pretty lame.
RING OF FIRE MATCH
KANE vs. BRAY WYATT
It's a decent brawl and the fire bits were cool looking. I thought the Family making it in killed the gimmick though. The after match beat down was kind of dumb too, because the stairs are pretty clearly not hitting Kane.
DAMIAN SANDOW vs. CODY RHODES
Cody Rhodes was fired up like crazy and I love it. He operated like a guy trying to prove something and earn a title shot, trying to kill Sandow as quick as possible. And his offense looks really nice. He's one of my favorite guys on the roster and I think his transition to face, at least in ring wise, has been pretty successful. He doesn't try to act cool, he acts like this is the most important thing in his life, and the genuineness is connecting to the crowd, at least it is in LA.
|This kid wins at life.|
ALBERTO DEL RIO (c) vs. CHRISTIAN
GAMEPLAN WRESTLING. I love it. Del Rio comes in with a game plan, and sticks to it. Compare this to any of the matches before, and you'll see a deeper story with a sense of continuity. Del Rio is maybe the best heel in wrestling, he has good looking offense, he works over guys so they can get sympathy, and he shows his ass, so people don't think he's cool enough to cheer. Check out his miss on the rope assisted enzigiri. It's so showy so that everyone in the building can see him fail spectacularly. Christan does a great job as usual, and made some nice comebacks. The finish with the arm breaker was so well worked by both guys. Great match, go watch it.
NATALYA vs. BRIE BELLA
This was pretty well worked by both ladies. Loved the slap fest and the apron bump by Natalya. The camera guy missed a couple of spots because they were cutting to Divas around ring side, but it didn't ruin anything. Brie is a pretty good heel and I liked some of her choices for offense, like the running knee on Natalya while she was in the ropes. Natalya didn't show enough fire for me until the very end, which was pretty good. It made me wish I saw more of that in the match.
BROCK LESNAR vs. CM PUNK
Brock came through as always, being the baddest ass kicker in the WWE, and CM Punk took about the best beating possible. That toss into the announce table looked so haphazard and dangerous, and that's pretty much the match in the nutshell when it came to Brock eating Punk alive. Punk's comebacks were well placed, and they made sense in terms of what moves he went for. He had to go up top because he needed the rewards that come with the high risk, and unfortunately it didn't always pay off because he was selling the body work so well. They had to let Lesnar get a win, and this was about the best way possible to protect Punk. It's a Mick Foley formula, where you get the shit beat out of you but you try to look as crazy and dangerous as you can. I think it worked pretty well here.
DOLPH ZIGGLER & KAITLYN vs. BIG E. LANGSTON & AJ
DOLPH ZIGGLER WON A MATCH WITH HIS FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PANTS ARE OFF!!!!!!!
WWE TITLE MATCH
JOHN CENA(c) vs. DANIEL BRYAN
John Cena had a solid night here, with how he played his character. He was like a jolly giant who was regretful that he had to beat the shit out of the lovable scamp known as Daniel Bryan. But when push came to shove, Cena brought the power, because that was his great advantage and no way was he going to let this little dude take the title. Bryan was the man as usual. Both guys knew how to make a show of most of the segments like the bridge stuff and the STF spots. Bryan's sit up in the corner was the best possible way of milking something and the crowd responded much the same way. There's something very Ultimate Warrior about Daniel Bryan, in the way he tries to draw in the crowd to back him up, and it's very different than any of the faces working right now. I do wish the arm work was built up a little more. When Bryan started working it, it was great, but it didn't really seem to give him an advantage in the end. They did so well building it up too, with the doctor at ringside who was worried about the arm, and Cena saying it's okay, but it's really not. It's truly a shame that didn't have a good pay off. But hey, I guess I'll just have to settle with Daniel Bryan getting a clean pinfall victory over the biggest star in wrestling. I think I can live with that.
WWE TITLE MATCH
DANIEL BRYAN(c) vs. RANDY ORTON
I like this ending. I feel like Cena is going to take a medical break and then the WWE can get a real feel if Daniel Bryan can be top face. Now they can test out whether people will buy into watching Bryan chase the title from a top heel.
|It's like someone photoshop'd Triple H's head onto Paul Giamatti's body.|
OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS
Pretty great show. You get three pretty great matches for three totally different reasons in the World title, WWE title and the Brock/Punk match. You also get a really good Cody Rhodes performance, some decent Dive action and Dolph Ziggler winning a match clean. Definitely recommended viewing, and one of the better PPVs of the year.