Nikki Bella vs. Paige
It might come off as a surprise but the longest and probably the best match of the night was this divas’ match. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is another topic.
Paige opened up with a lot of aggression. She dominated the pace and had her opportunities to scream “This is my house!”.
However, Nikki soon turned things around after she pulled Paige off the apron and flipped her on the outside. From that moment on the Divas’ Champion worked on Paige’s left arm for good 7-8 minutes.
The ending was influenced by outside distractions. Brie tried to distract Paige, Natalya floored Brie, which distracted Nikki and Paige used the moment to hit the RamPaige and pick up the win.
I think Booker T said it very well – Paige doesn’t like the divas, she’s using them to get what she wants. Her friendship with Natty is so fake that I feel lied to only by watching.
Although this might look good for Paige, as she seems to be on her way to entering the title picture, I disagree. Her character was never meant to be manipulative in a teen girl way. I think it takes something away from the coolness of the anti-diva persona, she had.
Rusev & Lana
The Russian duo was gloating over Ryback’s misfortunes. Lana was overjoyed by the Big Guy’s departure from the company.
Then Rusev cut a very angry promo on Ryback. I have to say, this promo was better than any other, he delivered while The Big Guy still had a job.
Rusev also entered the Royal Rumble. He will be one of those, who will last long.
R-Truth vs. Fandango
This was an example of how fans’ participation can make or break a match. Nothing exceptional happened in the ring, but it wasn’t altogether bad. If the audience had invested some life into it, the impact of some of the moves, would have been amplified. It creates a sad feeling of awkwardness when the crowd stays silent throughout a match, while the superstars are obviously trying hard.
What’s also sad is Fandango’s return. He’s winning, undoubtedly. He won last night as well, with the same old leg drop. However, he’s so low in the food chain that this makeover of his might as well not have happened. At least his old theme song was catchy and his character was less disturbing.
Titus O’Neil vs. Jack Swagger
Titus’ pre-match promos amaze me. He sounds so confident that he owns the place that I could almost buy into it, while in reality, I doubt he ranks any higher than Fandango.
The match was generally boring. Titus’ dominating style works best on smaller opponents like Sami Zayn or Adrian Neville, who can sell it. Against another big and relatively slow guy like Swagger, the Gator doesn’t look nearly as impressive.
What was worth some sort of attention was the forcefully botched conclusion of the match. The ref was on 2 when Titus kicked out and it would have been all ok but Titus almost simultaneously grabbed the bottom rope and the official started screaming “rope” , as if that was the reason to break the pin.
This situation made absolutely no sense. First, Titus’s shoulders were off the matt already so I don’t see how any of this was necessary. Second, even if we accept that Titus didn’t kick out, grabbing the ropes is a legit reason to break the count. If the idea was to make it look as if Swagger got the three count but then got the decision revoked because of Titus grabbing the rope after he had lost, they failed miserably. The ref had stopped counting before Titus even reached for the ropes and to reach he lifted his shoulders off the mat anyway.
Whatever that botched situation was, Swagger apparently got upset and it cost him the match. Not that anybody cares who wins this one.
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