By Darren Gutteridge
Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger: Standing out as a “good” match on this show may look hard considering the large percentage of Hits, but this was a very mediocre show. While this was the pick of the bunch matchwise, that isn’t saying much as most of the others were squash matches.. That said, I did like the balance they struck instead of giving Crews the lopsided win. They even had me believing in a Dillinger upset for a split second! I also liked the post match challenge to Finn Bálor by Crews, as it sets up a nice placeholder match until we the winner of the No. 1 Contender’s match faces Bálor.
Baron Corbin vs. Rich Swann: I know the emphasis was on Corbin in this strong squash match, but it was actually Swann that caught my eye. I mentioned previously that the signing of Swann surprised me as he hadn’t showed me anything special when I saw him person a few years ago. Here, however, he did show a little something in defeat, bumping like a champ for Corbin. Those swan wings on his trunks need to go ASAP, though.
Samoa Joe vs. Johnny Gargano: Another smart semi-squash match to keep Joe looking strong going into next week’s Triple Threat with Corbin and Zayn. It wasn’t of the caliber of Joe vs. Ciampa from a few months back, but Gargano got in enough to not look weak, and yet Joe still looked like a badass.
Bayley and Carmella vs. Emma and Alexa Bliss: A borderline Hit for sewing at least a few seeds ahead of the Bayley vs. Carmella match. The heels worked over Bayley’s ribs, which could come into play and possible give Carmella a chance to turn heel by exploiting the injury. Carmella got to look strong by tapping out Bliss with her submission finisher. The match wasn’t anything special, but it served a purpose.
Sami Zayn vs. Adam Rose: As good as it is to ride the wave of “Sami’s back!” joy, this match was too heavy on Rose’s involvement. With Zayn being the inevitable winner, it really didn’t call for an extended Rose heat section, followed by the quick submission win for Zayn. I understand wanting to put over Zayn strongly with a potential “outta nowhere” finish, but after an extended Rose beatdown, I wanted a Zayn fiery comeback, not a blink and you’ll miss it win.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...