Backlash is in the books, and the phrase ‘Less is More’ perfectly applies here. This was a very good rebound to last month’s overstuffed, two clever for its own good Summerslam show that left damn near everyone with a bad taste in their mouths as it ended. We got seven matches in total counting the preshow match, and they were all well done. Not a stinker among them. While there weren’t any match of the year candidates here you can easily sit and watch this start to finish without skipping any matches.
Pre-show: Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin
Solid effort by both guys and they clicked pretty well together in the ring. Corbin got the win with the End of Days. Not sure where either of them goes next. Corbin would be a giid challenger if there were a face Intercontinental champion but for the tine being that’s not the case. Crews has the same issue he’s always had, the need to develop some kind of character or personality. He’s all good in the ring but until that happens he’s stuck where he is.
Women’s Six Pack Challenge
This match is a testament to how much progress the Women’s division has made in a short time and how underrated the Smackdown women’s roster is. The ladies got real time to work (almost 15 minutes) and the match was booked so everyone got to showcase themselves. I was really impressed by Naomi; she could absolutely have a title reign sometime in the future. Becky Lynch winning was the rjght call, and I’m glad they go with trolling smart fans by having Nikki go over. Excellent match to kick off the main show.
Tag Team Title semifinal
This was about what I expected, with the Usos winning to help establish their heel turn.
Intercontinental Title Match
Great work from Dolph and Miz in the surprise match of the night. This is what we expected last month from Dolph and Dean Ambrose. They got 18 minutes to work and put on an excellent midcard title match. We shouldn’t be surprised since they’ve worked together a million times but in this case the familiarity led to a well done match and not a paint by numbers affair. Match was good enough that they could do it again next month and I’d be fine.
Bray Wyatt vs Kane
This was supposed to be Bray vs Randy Orton but they did an injury angle earlier that left Orton unable to do the match. Normally the prospect of Kane in a match is a real downer, but even he came to work. When he wants to work he can still put on a good match, and making it a no DQ deal helped. They gave us a good 10 minute match here. The finish pissed some people off, with Orton doing a run in to help Kane win, because of Bray’s perceived bad pay per view record. I had no issue with it if it sets up a match next month that Bray wins.
Tag Team Title Finals
For what may be the first time ever I was rooting for Heath Slater. Slater’s wacky desperate free agent angle has succeeded in winning over even people like me. As was par for the course this night the guys all worked hard and had a good match, and then the right call was made for Slater and Rhyno to go over and win the titles. I’m not big on the ‘You deserve it’ chants becuase I find them pretentious and self congratulatory, but if anyone earned one it was Slater after all the years of toiling with comedy gimmicks and putting everyone else over. I’m guessing they won’t have a long reign but it’ll be fun while lasts.
WWE World Title Match
Dolph Ziggler wasn’t the only one who redeemed himself from a lackluster Summerslam match as Dean finally had a one on one match since January that lived up to expectations. Of course AJ Styles tends to bring the best out of people. They went 25 minutes that seemed like it was a lot shorter. They got all their good stuff in, but for the first time in a while Dean didn’t come off like he was going through the motions. AJ winning the title is the big payoff to what’s been a phenomenal year (pun intended). This might be the most respect a guy from another company has gotten upon coming to the WWE in a long time. AJ has pretty much been the face of Everything Not WWE for almost a decade now and now he’s one of the faces of the WWE. And like Slater he does deserve it.
Very good show. Not one stinker of a match. When even Kane puts in work then that is something else. Like I said earlier this was the anti-Summerslan show in every way possible and that’s a good thing.