SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bloodline opening promo – HIT
Kevin Owens was the MVP of this segment. K.O. saving Sami Zayn only to call his shot against Roman was a great touch. K.O. came off as a badass with the black eye and with the delivery of his promo.
Kofi Kingston vs. Santos Escobar royal rumble qualifier – HIT
Fun opening match to start the show. Having Royal Rumble qualifying matches is an easy way to build toward the Royal Rumble. Santos Escobar going over Kofi Kingston was the proper booking decision. I’m glad Santos Escobar wasn’t lost in shuttle after the debacle with Hit Row and the Vikings Raiders.
Mixed tag match Scarlett & Karrion Kross vs. Emma & Madcap Moss – MISS
Let’s start with the good. Emma looked ok in this match, but I wonder why Scarlett is wrestling on live T.V., The audience could not care less about this match. I spoke with a fan that attended the show, and they mentioned Karrion Kross is Gene Snitsky with a better presentation. Karrion Kross chokes out Madcap to get the win for his team.
Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville Smackdown women’s champion – MISS
An impromptu match is an automatic miss for me, and I want to be clear there’s a clear difference between an open challenge and just having an impromptu match. Charlotte Flair received a good reaction from the Memphis crowd before the match, so it was a win in a vacuum. The match was just a showcase match for Charlotte Flair against Sonya Deville, nothing special or to ride home about. So I stand by my review of how Triple H decided to bring Charlotte Flair back into the fold.
Ricochet vs. Top Dolla royal rumble qualifier – HIT
Ricochet quickly won the match after a 450 splash. The hit awarded for this segment was more toward the heel turn by Hit Row. It wasn’t Marty Jannetty HBK barbershop levels by any means, but it’s nice to see Triple H knowing it was time to go in another direction with Hit Row.
The Usos vs. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre undisputed tag team title match – HIT
For a tag team title main event that only went 10 minutes, this was pretty damn good. However, I also wanted to give this miss based on this should have gone 6 to 7 more minutes. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre have terrific chemistry as a team. If K.O. and Sami Zayn aren’t destined to win the tag titles at WrestleMania, I would say Sheamus & Drew McIntyre aren’t terrible options to win the tag titles. The last five minutes of the match were a blast, all action. Having three near falls in 2 minutes was good drama. The fans were on the hook for a title change, but in the end, the Usos defeated Sheamus & Drew McIntyre to retain the undisputed tag team titles.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Considering the black cloud that is over WWE with the return of Vince McMahon, this show delivered the best way it could in a no-win situation.