I’ve had this happen a few times where I see a match I expect to be good and decide to try to watch, but most times I’m bored before the match even starts or left disappointed. Tonight was the first time that didn’t happen in god only knows when.
That’s not to say tonight’s show was amazing, hell, I didn’t even watch the whole thing. However, I did catch three of the matches and a segment or two. And what I did catch was good enough that I wanted to write this little review/article up about them.
Randy Orton opened the show as a guest on Alexa Bliss’ Moment of Bliss. I immediately sighed as I have no interest in 2014 Orton/Wyatt rehash. However, this segment honestly kept my interest. Orton continues to be awesome in 2020 and hooked me as soon as he started cutting his promo on the similarities he has with the Fiend and his past with Wyatt. Orton says he found Wyatt’s weakness and now he has to find The Fiend’s and he thinks he has... it’s Alexa. Vintage Orton stuff. Lights go out and Fiend shows up. Orton has Bliss in his arms and tosses him back to the Fiend and backs away. As Orton walks up the ramp, he says “who’s laughing now?” — now, I enjoyed this segment. I highly doubt it will make me excited about this feud going forward, but I normally wouldn’t even care to give this the time of day so I’d say that’s a win.
Jeff Hardy vs. Elias - Symphony of Destruction Match
This match followed the opening segment. A Hardy/Elias feud is something nightmares are made of, but this match was super fun for TV. Hardy’s swanton off the top turnbuckle to the floor crashing Elias through a table was a sick finish and honestly pretty scary as Hardy’s head landed on the corner of the steel steps.
Match rating - ***
Cedric Alexander (w/ MVP & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Xavier Woods (w/ Kofi Kingston)
So much talent surrounding this match, it’s just a travesty it’s been so misused, mainly in reference to the Hurt Business because New Day are the goats. None the less, this was a hot little singles match. Both guys got their shit in and it was a breeze to watch. Cedric wins and leaves to celebrate on his own which was... weird. MVP and Shelton look confused.
Match rating - **1/2
AJ Styles vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle - #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match
First off, why the fuck is Matt Riddle now just known as “Riddle?” Okay.. now to the good shit aka this match. It isn’t a PPV caliber MOTY contender that it probably could’ve been given more time and drama considering the talent involved, but it’s pretty damn suffice. We get spurts of what made Riddle & Lee’s matches on the indies so special. Styles has some awesome striking exchanges with Riddle and is the perfect sly heel and provided a great dynamic for two big time baby faces like Lee & Riddle. Also, the backstage segment between Riddle & Styles before this match was a lot of fun too. Anyways, after a bunch of action, Styles pins Riddle to win and will go on to TLC to face Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship!
Match rating - ***1/4
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Miz & John Morrison
And with the result of the triple threat, I had a feeling we’d see AJ pop up during this main event so I made sure to tune back in for it and I’m sure glad I did. To begin, this match was a lot better than I expected. They isolated Sheamus and Miz & Morrison had some awesome new offense I hadn’t seen them use before. They build towards an EPIC Drew McIntyre hot tag. He really does feel like the main event guy WWE has built him as even without a crowd. Just great shit, AJ interferes and lays out Drew with a flying forearm and... tries to get Miz to cash in his briefcase?!?!? This is brilliant. Not AT ALL what I expected from this match or aftermath. I expected a simple AJ interference spot however WWE actually threw us something exciting as it felt like Miz may cash in which always generates that buzz feeling especially since the WWE Title did change hands on TV a few weeks ago thus making it more believable that it could happen again. This also builds AJ even moreso as the coward heel who sees Miz as an easier opponent than big Drew. It’s beneficial for both parties and I love it. Having Omos carry AJ out to “save Drew from getting embarrassed” was the icing on the cake. This match is gonna rule.
Really sorta refreshing show here? I left thinking hm.. I’ll tune into TLC for sure and this time I’ll actually have some backstory because I normally just catch up day of the PPV’s. Not sure if I’ll tune in next week, probably depends on what matches are announced, but this was a pretty enjoyable Monday night and they have a lot of promising stuff in the works, let’s hope it continues and delivers.