The Nightmare: Roman’s going to look strong.
Good Roman matches are all alike; every bad Roman match is bad in its own way. Thankfully, perhaps, this was the kind of bad Roman match that was bad because it was like every bad Samoa Joe match. As though it were a replay of his match against Lesnar with a handsome Samoan digitally added to replace Brock, Joe put Roman 5-feet 11-inches in the ground before let him climb his way out and winning on his finisher out of nowhere.
This totally decent and sometimes genuinely good match suffered, like much of the back half of the card, by being done in front of a crowd at the end of a long night. That they had just sat through a world title match ending in stereo dick kicks and then Bobby Lashley’s interpretative dance “Aching Ballad of the Bald Bullet” was the icing on the cake. But it’s unlikely having the match occur while everyone was rolling on molly would have prevented the reaction that the crowd had to Roman Reigns winning after what had been a pretty solid ass kicking by Samoa Joe to that point. Joe continues to work like an upgraded Bray Wyatt, losing when it matters but sounding pretty great getting you in the building to see it happen.
As for Roman, his problem has officially become Roman, as it appears that he’s unwilling to prevent himself from being booked like John Cena. There are ways to do Roman’s push, while even maintaining his babyface status, but without him needing to pose at the end of every show. One hopes they figure out whatever it is that works for him, his character and the company going forward.
Because this ain’t it.
This show had the least amount of Backlash in years and it showed in the crowd’s response to it. While the show has never been the highlight of the WWE year, it’s usually a significantly more eventful card than it was this year. Whether that’s because they are still finding their footing w/r/t the dual-brand PPV era or it was just a matter of a massive ship trying to change course remains to be seen, but another PPV that doesn’t feel like it got all the way there is going to start to feel like a worrying trend and not the inevitable result of things needing time to gel.
This show is worth watching if you haven’t seen it, but there’s no good reason to ever watch it a second time unless you plan on writing a retro active review 20 years from now because you’ve literally turned into a one-trick pony that can type. Bioethics is gonna get weird, y’all.
The MATCH OF THE NIGHT was, seemingly by consensus, Seth Rollins vs. The Miz. While it was certainly predictable, it still got the job done and would have worked anywhere on the card including at the end. And now off to the land of Daniel Bryans for The Miz, which is what everybody wants anyways.
Show total: 4.65
Match Avg.: .58125, .581 if you’re nasty.