Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas def. The Deleters of Worlds (C) – RAW Tag Team Championships
Well, there’s not much I can say about this match other than the fact that I was shocked. In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn’t have been. The B-Team’s entire gimmick has been getting fluke victories off of the miscommunication of others, and it would appear as though WWE decided to have the streak continue. I picked The Deleters of Worlds to win because I thought WWE would continue to be in their holding pattern, but I’m glad to see WWE capitalize on the momentum of The B Team and not have them be just another flavor of the month type deal.
The match itself wasn’t anything to write home about, and it would probably make for a solid RAW outing. The teams started out evenly matched, the heels dominated for a portion before Bray got the hot tag, and the ending was a typical heel win. A simple and safe formula and I’m okay with that. Let’s see where the RAW Tag Titles go from here. **1/4
Finn Balor def. Constable Baron Corbin
I still don’t understand how this match managed to get a PPV slot. They were literally feuding over nothing and they had an average match that ended in a cradle. This is something that could have been easily settled on RAW without anyone paying it any attention. This was just a way to pad PPV time and nothing more. There really wasn’t much of a story to the match either. It was just “hit move, kick out, hit next move, kick out”. It was about as basic as you can get, with the addition of Corbin’s methodical style and rest holds added in there. This was a match, and that’s that. **
Carmella (C) def. Asuka – Smackdown Women’s Championship
If you want a lesson in incompetence, look no further than this. Isn’t it funny how WWE manages to book matches that are supposed to prevent interference, just to have interference take place anyways? Not only was James Ellsworth able to predictably hand Carmella weapons to help her out, but he managed to escape the cage with little difficulty. Paige could have just banned Ellsworth from ringside, institute a ban like Kurt Angle did, but instead, she decides to put James in a situation where everyone else who’s been in a shark cage before him has been able to influence the outcome of the match in some manner. It’s not even the fact that Asuka lost to Carmella again that bothers me. Its that WWE has made Asuka look like an incompetent, fucking idiot. At every turn in this feud, Asuka has managed to take her attention off of Carmella and it has cost her at every turn.
Asuka literally spent most of the match fighting the ring crew and Ellsworth. She was just in the ring standing there not even thinking twice about finding where her opponent is, and she manages to sneak up behind her in the ring, in the freaking corner no less. And get this, folks. She loses by getting shoved into the shark cage that was supposed to be suspended above the ring. There was so many logic breaking moments in the match, but there was perhaps no better moment that broke logic than the referee throwing away weapons in a PPV called Extreme Rules. I guess the ref thought they were crossing the line.
The only thing extreme about this match, if you want to call it a match, was how bad it was. The booking was horrendous, the ring-action was basically zilch, and no one looks better coming out of this. In fact, Carmella looks even more incompetent and helpless, and Asuka, who you wouldn’t know was undefeated for two and a half years at one point after watching this, looks like a complete buffoon. Beyond terrible on all accounts, and whoever was involved in booking this match needs to be shown the door. -***
Nakamura winning the US Title was an easy decision, though I must say I was surprised that it was a squash. Jeff has been fighting through some injuries, and I definitely think it would be wise for him to take things easy and take some time off to heal up because he’s visibly hurt and a step slow in the ring these days. Orton returning and giving him a random stop to the abdomen, which I can only assume means a heel turn, is okay, but it’s Randy Orton. Heel or face, he grows on you after a couple of weeks or so. This was a squash and not a match, so this match doesn’t get a rating. But that said, how did the referee manage to miss that low blow. Did he think Jeff all of a sudden needed to pee? And am I the only one that got flashbacks to Hardy’s “match” with Sting 7 years ago? NR
Kevin Owens def. Braun Strowman – Steel Cage Match
The feud was grossly one-sided, and I had Braun Strowman as the victor, and while Kevin Owens will get the win in the victory books, his music wasn’t the one playing in the end. Overall, you could tell the match was just building towards one huge spot as soon as both of them got to the top of the cage. Before that, I thought it was a solid match with basic psychology. Kevin wanted to escape and Braun wouldn’t let him, so instead KO used his speed and Braun’s own momentum against him. He also proved brains can overpower Braun (pun totally intended) with the handcuffs, even though we all predictably knew he’d just power his way out of it. I’m not sure I like the visual of Braun standing tall over Kevin Owens once again, but a win is a win, I guess. Overall, the steel cage match itself wasn’t anything to write home about, but the crowd was left satisfied with the big spot. I guess I’ll take what I can get, but KO is still left with the shorter end of the stick in a feud that has seen him be dominated at every turn. Innocent fun, I suppose. **3/4
The Bludgeon Brothers (C) def. Kane and Daniel Bryan – Smackdown Tag Team Championship