Roman Reigns vs Rusev for the US Title
Fresh off a PPV title change, the show begins with a title rematch featuring the two heavy hitters. The big match feel was instantly killed when Rusev is already in the ring. The Bulgarian brute goes with the amateur wrestling strategy to start the contest. Both competitors exchange holds for some reason. The two power wrestlers bore the crowd to sleep before Rusev lands a suplex. The match followed the same slow pace for what seemed like hours. The first attempt at the superman punch ended with both men landing on the floor as Rusev carried Roman over the top rope. Roman lands a Samoan drop but not until after the second commercial break. Rusev, uncharacteristically, went for two kicks to the spin to set up the accolade; the second is countered. Reigns responds with a superman punch and pin, but Rusev kicks out at two. The match ends in a double count out after Rusev retreats into the crowd, yet the fight isn’t over. The two big guys battle through the floor seats and back ring side before Rusev uses a chair on the champ. Reigns gives him a spear for his troubles back inside the ring then lets us all down when he doesn’t use the same chair on an incapacitated Rusev. Well, that is until Rusev tries to crawl out the ring.
After a seventh match draw, Mick addresses Sheamus and Cesaro, who are both staking their claim as dominating the series. Foley agrees that both men were dominant and forms a new tag team granting them a tag team title shot against the winner of the New Day and Anderson & Gallows match. Neither Cesaro nor Sheamus take too kindly to that. Seeing the stare down among Anderson, Gallows, Sheamus, and Cesaro, I would love to see the four in the ring together. Also, we didn’t get a New Day segment since the match began immediately after the commercial break.
New Day vs. Anderson & Gallows
Luke Gallows continues to work the outer ring area when he breaks up the unicorn stomp by taking out Xavier then Big E. The pace of this match was 3 times that of the former. Karl Anderson puts in work and gets a spear through the ropes his good graces. Gallows breaks up the pin after a successful midnight hour. Anderson lands a high impact neck breaker from the top rope to set up the magic killer. Kofi makes it back into the ring save the titles. Some point in all this, Kofi got busted open spreading blood everywhere. One trouble in paradise later, the New Day retains the title of Tag Team champions.
Seth Rollins fell victim to a move gone wrong and sustained a rib injury. Cole informs us that he is not cleared for competition on this evening. Sheamus and Cesaro are still bickering between on another until Mick puts together his heart-felt plea for them to have faith in his decision and show everyone he is right.
Bailey vs. Anna Fields
Bailey has a jobber for some reason. Fields fights for respect early; Bailey feeds he several doses of turnbuckle before completing the squash. Bailey to bell. Pin. Win. Tom Phillips interviews Bailey to learn about her response to the Clash of Champions match.
Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak/Lince Dorado
First off, Swann decided to go with the winged trunks on his second night of Raw. I almost thought he had on fur, but that’s here nor there. It seems there is an effort to show sportsmanship among the cruiserweights. Dorado and Swann exchange high-flying moves to set the pace. Gulak slows the pace down with his mat style that didn’t last long as Dorado tags himself back in. Alexander’s lumbar check was intense like a mutha. Gulak evened the odds leading to a blind tag by Swann, who pulls off a Rich kick to secure the win.
Cesaro/Sheamus vs. job squad
The red faction gets their tag team debut against two guys who no one cares about save their mothers. Cole took the moment to land the obvious Jay Cutler joke. The other guy’s name was Willis Williams. The red squad use this time to attempt to one up each other. The “What you talkin’ about Willis” line made me check out. Fire everyone except for Graves. It’s of note that Cesaro could barely raise his right arm; his shoulder is shot to hell.
Charlotte comes down to celebrate her title retention. Sa$ha ain’t got time for that; I take that back. She has nothing but time. She owned the segment even though she was in a war of words with two women. The smack to Charlotte’s mouth was a real bank statement.
Who else has some time? Seth Rollins that’s who. He’s in the building although not medically cleared.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Neese
My wife comments that Neese is just a lil thick amusingly. She’s right too. Neese has that Neville build but more facial hair. Again with the sportsmanship before the match. How long will this last? To be honest, this emphasis on sportsmanship would have been more befitting the women’s division to shift the competitors from sexual, catty performers. Neese executes some big spots before the first break. For some reason, the Universe breaks out a CM Punk chant. Neese continued to counter with power until the champ was able to land two devastating kicks to set up the knee bar for the submission win.
The stylish Jericho is ready to drop the highlight reel with his best friend Kevin Owens but not before a quick celebrity plug for the next week’s show. The List of Jericho gets better every week. Jericho’s gimmick of being an asshole to everyone around him is what the Miz tries to do and cannot get over. The longest reigning Universal champ claims to be the most dangerous man in the WWE after injuring Rollins after mentioning the line superstars that have fallen injured to previous most dangerous man in the WWE. The Man didn’t take too kindly to that making a bee line for the ring followed by a group of trainers or security and Mick Foley. They usher Rollins back to the locker room. Enzo and Cass are not barred from the ring so they do just that. The back and forth was the usual comical dialog when you add Jericho to the duo’s stick.
Enzo and Cass vs. JeriKO
The Certified G’s gain the upper hand with their unique offense and tag team moves, but slip up giving the momentum to the best buds when Jericho low bridges Cass causing him to spill out of the ring. The use ref distractions masterfully to execute double team in and out of the ring. Enzo gets worked over per usual until a fresh Cass gets the hot tag. He lands several boots and an Empire elbow. Jericho stops the duo’s signature move to get another boot for his trouble. KO regains his composure and lands an emphatic power bomb to Enzo for the pin and win, and that was the show. It was probably one of the dullest, yet noncontroversial endings in some time.
The card was stacked with limited repeat appearances by superstars. The use of jobbers is still an issue when there are several competitors on the roster that can be used to get others over, but then again they seem to use the same superstars to get others over. 3/5