Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin
Actual Winner: Dolph Ziggler
The fact that this was moved to the pre-show hurt Corbin’s momentum. Having Ziggler pull an upset victory may have hurt it even more. It does open up for them to continue their feud in a gimmick match at Extreme Rules, which may bode well for Corbin. The in-ring work was fine, with Corbin getting the majority of the offense. Corbin needs to stay strong if they want the fans to take him seriously as a menacing strong heel.
Going Forward: Rematch at Extreme Rules, with some sort of stipulation.
Kalisto vs. Ryback (WWE United States Championship)
Predicted Winner: Kalisto
Actual Winner: Kalisto
This was a strong showing for both men, and easily their best bout together to date. Ryback mocking the CM Punk entrance and having a weight belt that read “The Pre-Show Stopper” was gold, and adds a bit to whatever is missing with his persona. Both men tried some new moves, which seemed to work well in the match (Kalisto wins the most innovative DDT award with his move on the apron). This feud should be put to rest at this point, but with Extreme Rules only being 3 weeks away, we may see another pre-show between the two men.
Going Forward: Pre-show match at Extreme Rules.
The Vaudevillians vs. Enzo & Cass
Predicted Winner: The Vaudevillians
Actual Winner: No Contest
This match likely would have been fun, and possibly had a Dudley Boyz run-in to set up a tables match at Extreme Rules. Unfortunately, we instead had Enzo take a nasty bump off the rope and onto the floor, leading to a concussion. Luckily, he escaped this accident with only a concussion and nothing else. This was a scary sight to see. This is an example of another reason why everything they do in the ring can be risky, even the simplest of moves. Hopefully, we will see Enzo back soon.
Going Forward: Vaudevillians vs. New Day at Extreme Rules, Enzo & Cass to maybe face the Dudleyz in a tables match at Extreme Rules again if Enzo is well enough in time.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Predicted Winner: Kevin Owens
Actual Winner: Kevin Owens
Great match, great chemistry, great work in general. These men could have a match at every PPV for the next 2 years and it would still be fun to watch. Owens & Zayn are best friends in real life, and eternal rivals on-screen. It makes for a perfect ongoing story that people can invest in long-term. Both men started the match off slow, told a good story, and turned it up towards the end. The crowd was very into this match, which helped the momentum keep going. Owens winning sets up for Zayn to come back and get one more shot (which likely won’t be until after the possible fatal 4 way that was teased).
Going Forward: Zayn vs. Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Miz in a fatal 4 way for the IC title at Extreme Rules.
The Miz vs. Cesaro (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Predicted Winner: The Miz
Actual Winner: The Miz
The match itself was a typical Raw match, with a few extra minutes added on top. Maryse was being a typical great heel by cheering Miz on, and holding his leg when Cesaro tried to do his suplex from outside the ring spot. The icing on the cake was Owens on commentary, who is tremendous at that role. Zayn coming to attack Owens and spilling over into this Miz/Cesaro feud should lead to an interesting few weeks, and yet another multi-man match for the Intercontinental title.
Going Forwrad: Fatal 4-way for the IC title.
Charlotte vs. Natalya (WWE Women’s Championship)
Predicted Winner: Charlotte
Actual Winner: Charlotte
If I didn’t have respect for the work these women put in, this match would have been given a 0/5 for the most unoriginal and tacky finish in a long time. Recreating the Montreal screw job was borderline insulting to fans. Bret’s uninterested face throughout the match perfectly sums up how this match ended. Other than that, the in-ring work was another good match between the women, and it was nice to see Bret apply the sharpshooter once more time. Let us hope that this angle dies as quick as possible.
Going Forward: Rematch at Extreme Rules, likely a cage to keep outside interference away.
Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
Predicted Winner: Ambrose
Actual Winner: Ambrose
This match was.. good? It seemed slightly sloppy and disjointed, but the crowd helped move it along. Both men are capable of putting on good matches, and this was a fine match, but it was not likely what people were expecting. Luckily, Ambrose finally was given a win on a PPV. He needs to start building momentum in order to be taken seriously as a top star, which he has lacked in the past. Jericho’s tantrum at the end of the match will likely lead to (surprise surprise) another rematch. Hopefully their Extreme Rules match will exceed expectations this time.
Going Forward: Rematch at extreme rules, likely with the extreme rules stipulation.
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
Predicted Winner: Roman Reigns
Actual Winner: Roman Reigns
This seemed to be one of Roman’s best singles match since WrestleMania 31. Granted, he was given support from a large cast of AJ, Shane and Stephanie, the Usos, and Anderson and Gallows. The in-ring was fine, but it did expose Roman’s one-dimensional moveset quite a bit. He could learn from Cena and start adding a few new moves into his repertoire. The two tag teams joining in on the fight added a bit of depth. The boot of doom to the head of Roman looked vicious. Having Shane and Stephanie add stipulations to the match helped give the match some mystery, even though Roman was heavily favored to win the match. The only downside to the authority angle was post-match, when they created the Extreme Rules rematch. That could have been done on Raw.
Going Forward: Extreme Rules match for AJ & Roman.