Daniel Bryan/Bad News Barrett/ Dean Ambrose
Daniel Bryna was out, talking about Fastlane but before we could find out what his plans for WM31 were, he got interrupted by BNB, who was out to complaint about Dean Ambrose. The Lunatic Fringe joined the party by attacking BNB. While the brawl was on, Bryan took the IC Championship. He then handed the belt back to Barrett, only to have Ambrose ambush the champ and steal it again, which Bryan endorsed with a YES chant.
This segment confused me more than anything else. Bryan seems to be getting interested in the IC title picture. Dolph Ziggler was pitching to get in this story as well. R-Truth’s in the mix. A match with Barrett, Ambrose, Bryan & Ziggler (well, and Truth) in it will be worth watching and rewatching. A part of me is really excited for this. However, Ambrose is finally getting some sort of a push and a possibility for a championship run but if Bryan gets involved, things will change drastically. If Ambrose wins, people will be unhappy because Bryan will have been involved in yet another championship feud only to fill in some time. If Bryan wins, Ambrose will be still stuck in an endless streak of lost feuds. The booking of this rivalry is more dangerous than it seems.
Dean Ambrose def. The Miz
The Lunatic Fringe had no trouble dominating the Miz, until Bad News Barrett showed up to get his title back. Ambrose got distracted and went after Barrett but still won the match. However, BNB managed to get his championship back.
It shouldn’t have been that easy for Barrett to get the title from Ambrose. Ambrose should have forced him to sign a title match contract for WM in exchange for the belt.
Natalya def. Naomi
That actually was a good match, given that it lasted about than 5 min in total. Natty and Naomi, paired with Paige & AJ are the top four female wrestlers on the main roster.
Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & The Usos looked completely out of place at ringside. We’re so used to seeing the divas support the superstars that when the roles are reversed, it looks funny. The guys just didn’t know what to do with themselves.
In the end, interference from Tyson Kidd started a fight between the men, while in the ring Natalya played possum to trick Naomi and win the match.
I’m content with the involvement of the divas in this storyline. It was only logical to use Naomi and Natalya for more than cheerleaders at ringside. Also, Natty is slowly turning into a full-fledged heel.
Rusev/ Jack Swagger
Are we back in the summer of 2014? The Evil Russian vs. The Real American, ending with Rusev getting Swagger to pass out. The WWE is shamelessly recycling ideas.
Anyways, the fact is, Rusev’s character has rapidly been pulled back since Fastlane. If the WWE didn’t want him to look that good against Cena, they shouldn’t have started the feud at all. Pulling Rusev back to the initial USA vs. Russia plot is desperate step, aiming to make him look bad. Terrible booking in my opinion.
Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett
Truth was there on commentary, which had BNB completely off his game. Barrett was way too preoccupied with the whereabouts of his title to pay attention to Bryan. This was a huge mistake, since Bryan was on a roll.
I’m starting to wonder if Daniel Bryan could ever have a bad match. He just looks good, no matter who he fights.
While BNB was busy with the YES lock, R-Truth stole the IC title. Soon after that Bryan countered the Bull Hammer with a Running Knee for the win. It was a spectacular finish.
After the match Barrett realized that his title was gone again but no one told him it was Truth who stole it.
This storyline is making BNB look like a complete fool. He loses every match he’s in and his stealing his championship seems to be child’s play. It’s not good for the title either. Ambrose is talking about bringing prestige to the IC championship but the WWE’s turning this into a game. This is not a sitcom!
It got even worse when Ambrose and Truth met backstage. Ambrose said he’ll need the title back and Truth happily handed it to him. Why does the WWE insists on turning this into a joke? Mental Ambrose going off the grid with Barrett’s title would have been so much more exciting.
Fandango def. Curtis Axel
This was an almost exact copy of Axel’s segment on RAW, only that Ryback was replaced by Fandango. Axel kept going on and on about his ongoing Royal Rumble match participation, this time, helped by visual aids and still got the words wrong. Then he got beat by Fandango in a very short and forgettable match. Well, at least they get some screen time I guess.
Miz stole Mizdow’s role in the commercial that Mizdow mentioned on RAW. The one thing that made an impression on me was that the A-Lister refused to read the product description or the script. This might lead to the Miz begin made fun of for taking part in an ad for something absolutely ridiculous.
Goldust def. Adam Rose
Goldust had a quick and decisive win over Adam Rose. Stardust, who had been hiding amongst the Rosebuds, assaulted his brother after the match.
The CODY chants were loud and clear. I wonder how long Stardust will last after this feud. At Mania, Godsut will probably lose. However, the CODY chants will keep going and at some point Cody will come back. The transition will probably feel weirder than Cody turning to Stardust.
Bray Wyatt simply asked the Deadman to find him. When the Undertaker finally shows up, the chemistry between these two men will be magical.
Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan & Rybak def. Seth Rollins, Kane & Big Show
This was a FastLane rematch. I think this time around the fight was a bit more exciting but the match itself was still completely irrelevant.
The booking was equally strange. Having Kane pin Ziggler at FastLane was almost as illogical as having Ryback pin Rollins on SmackDown.
No one on this match has any direction at the moment. All 6 men are completely lost. The only one, who has something going on, is Rollins and it’s a feud with a TV host. Cashing his MITB briefcase is not in the daily order and the issue with Orton wasn’t even addressed in this match at all. Why arguably the most important heel at the moment was fed to Ryback is a booking mystery to me.
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