There was a general shock in the decision to not only put Apollo Crews over in the battle royal to challenge the Intercontinental champ but to allow him to dominate with nearly 10 eliminations. He was mixed in with Titus O’Neil and a couple of other mid-carders. The title match didn’t lend too much into how we should expect to see future bookings for Crews. I felt he meshed rather well with Dean Ambrose, but the match came across as a one-off if anything.
In the women’s division, the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley was joined by Ember Moon for another week to get a little payback. They were attacked by the Riott Squad following last week’s win prompting this match. Ember went flying about the ring while the Boss Huggers executed more tag team maneuvers for a second straight win.
We were given a Crown Jewel rematch when Bobby Lashley was selected to face a hot Seth Rollins in what was deemed as a fresh start for the former IC champ. Lio Rush gave the Dominator a pep talk to encourage him to do just that before the opening bell. Seth gained the upper hand several times throughout the match, and each one saw Rush intervening. Lashley would be the victim of a chair shot once Rollins saw little other means to put his opponent away; Lio got some work too. It was a small price to pay for a DQ win.
Nia Jax and Tamina would sneak attack Natalya earlier in the night to set up the main event tag match. The stage has been set for the duo to be a force of dominance, yet it would be Ronda Rousey running rough shot through the Samoan women. Natalya was the victim of all of their offense. The show would go off the air with Tamina tapping to an armbar.
Another holiday means another reason for the New Day to dress up and show out. Their New Year’s Day celebration really ended up being an opening for the night’s first match.
So we’re going all the way with Mandy Rose attempting to be a jezebel right in front of Naomi. Naomi gets to be protective wife fighting for her marriage. Much to her surprise, though, her opponent is actually Sonya Deville and not the scandalous Rose. Naomi would fly off the handle at the idea of Mandy sending Jimmy a not-so nude pic and end up getting laid out by Deville.
The idea of high reps, low weight was personified in the Lio Rush – Kalisto match for a spot in the Fatal 4-way title match. Rush was pushed by Kalisto to match quick and high impact moves with the Man of the Hour taking moments to admire his work frequently. The rest of the Lucha House Party caused enough of a distraction to give their partner the separation needed to halt big win for Rush and put the former champion in position to compete at the Royal Rumble.