With WWE Stomping Grounds 2019 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Cruiserweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Drew Gulak def. Tony Nese (c) and Akira Tozawa:
Very happy that Gulak won the title here, as I’ve been a big fan of him for a long time. The match itself was really good, too. It’s rare that the audience is chanting “205! 205!” but these three pulled that off.
I’ve been ragging on Nese for being a lackluster babyface and a bland champion, but he stepped up his game tonight in this match, too, and I need to give credit where its due in regards to that, just the same. This was the best match he’s had in a while, from what I can remember.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) def. Lacey Evans:
Better match than the one they had at Money in the Bank, if I remember correctly. This was pretty good. I enjoyed the tenacity behind all their moves, and I think they gelled much better than they have in a while.
Lacey Evans is still not quite there, but she took another step forward. Becky Lynch as a champion isn’t as intriguing as when she was chasing the belt, yet this feud should hopefully end with this, and if that’s the case, I enjoyed this enough to have them end on a higher note.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn def. The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods):
Booking this match on the card was a mistake as far as interest and hype, as this was literally just a regular match that could have been on any random episode of Raw or SmackDown.
However, they did a great job. I’m a big fan of all four of these guys, and I don’t doubt their skills, so I should have given them more credit ahead of time. They pulled it off, and ended up having one of the better matches of the evening.
United States Championship Match: Ricochet def. Samoa Joe (c)
Admittedly, I didn’t think this was as good as I was hoping it would be. I thought it had potential to be something super special, and it was just okay, rather than some Match of the Year candidate.
But this was a win/win scenario. I like both guys, so I was going to be happy with either one leaving with the title. Even though I’m disappointed Joe has had a weak championship reign, Ricochet winning the belt is a positive, for sure.
SmackDown Tag Teams Championship Match: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) def. Heavy Machinery:
Good match that was hindered by the crowd being pro-Bryan. That got in the way of Heavy Machinery being able to take the next step forward and get more over with the general audience, as people watching at home will probably (even subconsciously) think that they shouldn’t be supporting them all that much.
Hopefully, I’m wrong about that, and WWE looks at this match for the in-ring action more than the audience response, as I think Heavy Machinery did a great job on that side of things.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) def. Alexa Bliss:
The match was pretty meh, but I’m glad the end of it saw Nikki Cross accidentally costing Alexa Bliss the title. That should help take the story in a new direction, possibly with Nikki feeling like she has to make it up to Alexa in some fashion.
Normally, stalling things like that would just annoy me, but the storyline has been good enough so far that I’m okay with finding out what happens next, rather than wishing we could just skip to the finish.
Roman Reigns def. Drew McIntyre:
I wasn’t feeling this, and I couldn’t get into it. My attention kept being diverted elsewhere.
It didn’t seem as though the energy was low or anything like that, so I’m sure this match went over fine with a lot of people, but it wasn’t connecting with me. I guess I just don’t care about the storyline enough.
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston (c) def. Dolph Ziggler:
Good match that I enjoyed quite a bit, even if I feel like they could still do better, based on their skill levels and their previous matches. But hey, am I going to complain about eating a good meal that wasn’t the best of the year? Nope.
My biggest takeaway from this, oddly enough, was that I was really happy that we got someone winning the match by escaping the cage through the door. That doesn’t happen all that often, and I like seeing some variety.
Universal Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) def. Baron Corbin:
I might not be in the majority, but I actually really like the decision to make Lacey Evans the special guest referee. I think that was a good call to bring more tension into the match by presenting Rollins with a challenge that he couldn’t just beat down with a steel chair like what had been established. The booking of this was some old school stuff that still works to this day, by giving Rollins an obstacle to overcome of a referee that is clearly doing everything in her power to screw him. It was good to see Becky Lynch be the savior, too, since she’s one of the top babyfaces in the company and this just helps spotlight her. Very good writing on this one.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Stomping Grounds with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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