Date: September 30, 2016
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
I don’t normally do this show but I was in the arena live for the taping so I might as well take a look at the show. This was taped before last week’s Monday Night Raw and now serves as the night’s dark matches. Superstars tends to be completely forgotten and there’s a good chance that’s justified. Let’s get to it.
Opening sequence, featuring a bunch of people you won’t be seeing on this show.
Sami Zayn vs. Curtis Axel
Not a bad choice to fire up the crowd. Axel takes him down by the arm to start so Sami does his big spin out to escape. Sami’s reverse leapfrog sets up some armdrags into an armbar and the fans are very pleased. Some right hands and a good looking dropkick put Zayn down but Axel spends a bit too much time yelling. The exploder suplex sets up the Helluva Kick to give Sami the pin at 4:40.
Rating: C-. Not much to this one but Sami is the perfect choice to open a show and fire the fans up. There’s just something so easy to cheer about Sami and it hasn’t failed him yet. For the life of me I don’t know why he’s stuck on the midcard treadmill when Smackdown is dying for talent and Zayn can’t even get on Raw most weeks.
We see a long stretch, as in the better part of five minutes, of Roman Reigns vs. Rusev from Raw.
We see Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Sasha Banks’ segment from Raw. This is much closer to being complete so here it is in full.
Here are Charlotte and Dana Brooke for a chat. Charlotte says last night was another chance for everyone to be disappointed because that’s what she does time after time. She’s not the huggable Bayley or the internet darling Sasha Banks. Cue Sasha to say that’s her title because Charlotte didn’t beat her last night. Sasha is owed a one on one match and she wants it right now. Charlotte tells the YESing fans to be quiet so she can tell Sasha that she’ll get her rematch….next week. Sasha cleans house and the villains leave.
Neville vs. Jinder Mahal
This would be another option that could have picked the crowd up during Raw but nah, we needed three minutes of Stephanie yelling at Foley instead. To no one’s surprise, Mahal comes out to crickets. Neville grabs a headlock to start as we hear about Mahal talking trash about NXT stars coming up through the ranks. So yeah, this actually has a story to it. Mahal’s armbar doesn’t do much to shake his image of being really boring so Neville handsprings across the ring and hits something like a hurricanrana. The tease of a dive scares Mahal to the barricade and we take a break.
Back with Mahal missing a charge and falling outside again, only to have him send Neville ribs first into the apron. A basement dropkick puts Neville down and a big boot to the face gets two. Neville comes back with his series of kicks, including a big one to knock Mahal out of the air. The Red Arrow puts Mahal away at 8:55.
Rating: D. I don’t know how many more ways I can say Mahal is boring but it’s the biggest problem with so many wrestlers today. There’s no real character there and his in ring abilities aren’t enough to make me want to watch anything he does. This was longer than it needed to be with Neville doing what he could but having nothing to work with in Mahal.
Most of Kevin Owens on the Highlight Reel (minus anything with Enzo and Cass) ends the show.
It’s time for the Highlight Reel. Jericho tells us to be quiet about a dozen times because this is the most anticipated Highlight Reel in WWE history. Before Owens comes out here though, Jericho has a bone to pick with Masterson and Kutchner, who have the nerve to claim that they’re better friends. Jericho: “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!” That’s so unthinkable that they’re both about to make the List of Jericho.
It’s almost time for Owens to come out but Jericho yells at the cameraman for shooting him from the wrong side, which means HE MADE THE LIST! Rollins is on there too because he got hurt again last night. Owens comes out and praises the Jeritron 5000 but says he’s not about to wear a suit for a place like Cincinnati, Ohio. What kind of town can this be when it created Dean Ambrose? Jericho: “HE STILL OWES ME $17,000!” Owens moves on to Rollins and says the rib injury is karma after all the people Seth injured over the last year and a half. Cue Rollins but security and Foley pull him back.
Overall Rating: D+. I see why I don’t watch this show most of the time. It’s basically just a long recap show with some dark matches filling in the gaps. That being said, there’s a reason this is little more than D level programming to fill in time on the Network and to satisfy international commitments. It was fine enough but nothing worth going out of your way to see whatsoever.
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