Finn Balor tore his labrum mid-match at Summerslam and will be out six months and has to drop the Universal Championship. He's out to give an emotional speech, and the "knows NXT" part of the crowd appreciates him. You know, I like Seth Rollins, but that's two Bucklebomb related injuries to date.
This brings out Seth Rollins to do a very Rollinsy thing and claim the UC for himself.Which brings out Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Enzo and Cass, and Roman Reigns. We learn that all these guys are worthy of an opportunity, and that there will be a "series of matches" to determine the new Universal Champion.
The first such match is Zayn and Rollins. Zayn works an "ankle injury" for the match story, which is an odd booking decision for the first match in a tournament that comes from a legit injury. It's there to keep Sami looking strong, of course, because of course Rollins wins, because booooooo.
And now Kevin Owens is out for the mini-tourney, and he's facing... Neville? Neville didn't come out during the opening. Why, it's almost as if they're completely making this up on very short notice because of injury news they learned about that very afternoon. Partway through the match, we learn that there will be four matches. Two thirds of the way through the match, we learn that after the match we'll learn more about how these matches work. Ownes wins, unsurprisingly, but it's a competitive TV match and Owens needs Jerichoference. He also wins with the upside-down F-Cinq, which is an odd twist.
And now we learn the rest of the rules - two more matches, and a Fatal Four-Way next week. Big Cass vs. Rusev, also notably absent from the opening segment, and Roman Reigns vs. Jericho.
The New Day comes out to celebrate the return of Big E and 365 days as tag champs, but before they can break open a inata full of Booty-O's, The Clerb comes out, wants the titles, and sets up a one-on-one between Big E and Karl Anderson after a commercial break. Big E wins decisively after a lot of Anderson dominance. Don't know if that caps the feud or not.
Titus O'Neil comes out to see if Brooklyn gives a shit about him, and the answer is, unsurprisingly, no. He bores the shit out of the crowd, eliciting a "We Want Slater" chant, until Darren Young comes out to continue their feud that wasn't even important enough for the Summerslam pre-show. An interminable callout sequence brings out Bob Backlund, who can apparently still bump a bit, and then Darren Young, who eats a Clas Of The Titus to complete apathy.
Cass vs. Rusev is next, and Rusev has his ribs taped, selling the Roman Reigns bullshit from Summerslam. Cass wrestles a decent match, and Rusev works down to Cass's level, but then Rusev decides to bail and Cass wins by countout. Guess we know who's getting pinned in the Fatal Four Way.
And now it's Charlotte's time to gloat. In a nice touch, Dana Brooke tries to start a "You deserve it!" chant from inside the ring. Charlotte bragging generally means a setback, and sure enough, here's General Manager Mick Foley. The crowd is ahead of Mick by several minutes, as Charlotte says there's "nobody worthy" for her to face. We all know what's coming here. BAYLEY! Brooklyn pops hard! And gets the You Deserve It chants, which is a nice touch.She challenges Charlotte, but gets a match against Dana Brooke instead. The smarks in the crowd are spending more time doing Full Sail Bayley songs than responding to the match and teaching the rest of the crowd how to respond to Bayley, but it's a really good match and, of course, Bayley wins. Cole botches the finisher call, calling it late, because Michael Cole.
Braun Strohman squashes anothe jobbe, and beats him up after the matchand asks the referee to count three again.
And now it's farewell to the Dudleys, as teased throughout the night. They give a heartfelt farewell, are imterrupted by the Bo Dallas of tag teams, the Shining Stars, who allow the Dudleys to hit the 3-D, the Wazzup Drop, and Get THe Tables before they're attacked by Anderson and Gallows, who destroy the Dudleys. So either the retirement is bullshit, or the Dudleys are going out giving the bump to one final tag team. Just checked the Internet and they say it's for real, because they couldn't come to terms with WWE on a new contract. Oh well. Nothing taken away from the Dudley's legacy, but the WWE really doesn't need them right now.
And finally, we have Reigns-Jericho, where, in classic Reigns booking, he survives THREE instances of Owens-ference, a Lionsault, a poke to the eye, a Walls of Jericho, and a Codebreaker to spear Jericho for the win. I held out as long as I could, but goddamn, I hate Roman Reigns. I don't know how much the man has control over the character, but sweet merciful fuck, how I hate the character.
So it's Owens, Reigns, Rollins, and Cass in the final match next week. Rollins is the most likely pick, Reigns the second-most-likely, Owens would be the surprise pick, and Cass isn't gonna happen.
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