BECKY NUMBER ONE CONTENDER…
Recap: At the top of the show, a Triple Threat between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Carmella was announced for the Number One Contender position.
Throughout the night, the three did talking head interviews backstage. They were played seriously and each woman did well. Carmella acknowledged the fans not considering her worthy of the opportunity while pledging to show her mettle. Becky mentioned changing the industry. Charlotte spoke of being the main attraction for four years running.
At the end of a solid match, Becky submitted Carmella with the Disarm-Her. After the match, Asuka came out for a face to face with Becky.
Evaluation: This was good all around. The match was exciting. The talking head segments weren’t anything special but had a serious, sports-like feel. Having Carmella take the fall obviously made sense to preserve another Charlotte and Becky matchup later.
Forecast: With Becky in a title match at Royal Rumble, we know she won’t be winning the Rumble match itself. Presumably a new storyline to get her a match with Ronda at WrestleMania will begin after the Rumble.
MORE BYRAN RANTS…
Recap: The show opened with Daniel Bryan near a concession stand, criticizing the bystanders for eating the junk sold there. He yanked a hot dog out of a fan’s mouth, and dumped soda on another fan.
He then moved to the merchandise booth, where he criticized its wastefulness and consumerism. He asked the vendor for a “Yes Movement” shirt, then reminding everyone that there were none since had ended it.
Bryan then made his way down through the arena to the ring. He said he was making the world a better place, while the fans were weak and impotent. Once he reached the ring, he was ambushed by R-Truth. We were told that Truth was his scheduled opponent.
After a commercial break, the match was in progress. Bryan defeated Truth, but was attacked after the match by AJ Styles.
Before leaving, Bryan was interviewed backstage. He was furious at AJ, and pledged to be champion forever.
Evaluation: Bryan had good intensity all night, but the promos were nothing new. A downside to putting on so much programming is that even good gimmicks can become repetitive.
Forecast: It seems clear that Bryan’s feud with AJ isn’t over. I would still expect Bryan to retain, as his character is still somewhat fresh.
BEST TAG TEAM IN THE WORLD…
Recap: Backstage, Miz complained to Shane McMahon about the Usos receiving a match against the Bar tonight. Shane told Miz that while he was excited to be part of his team, he wouldn’t abuse his power in awarding title opportunities. He told Miz they needed to scout and work their way up. Before leaving, the Miz attempted to discuss ring gear, but Shane pretended to take a call as soon as he brought up white leather.
After the Bar defeated the Usos, Miz came out and challenged the Bar for the titles at the Royal Rumble. Cesaro told Miz he’d talk it over with Sheamus as Sheamus blindsided Miz with the Brogue Kick.
Evaluation: This is a traditional odd couple tag team dynamic, and it’s working.
Forecast: With the McMahons now portrayed as faces, it’s hard to tell where this was going. It seemed like Miz may slowly be corrupting Shane’s ethics, as Shane became comfortable with Miz’s tactics by the end of the show. Ultimately I think it’s more likely that the two “meet in the middle” with regard to their differences and play to the crowd as amusing faces.