Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon defeat Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The Nightmare: Shane McMahon calls the match cold in the ring, and refuses to tag in Daniel Bryan until, whilst doing the Shane’O’Mac Shuffle, he ruptures both Achilles and accidentally knocks out Daniel Bryan in the process of falling down.
The Hope: The continued health of Daniel Bryan and a, for fuck’s sake, a goddamned heel turn. SOMEONE JUST TURN ON SOMEONE ELSE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
A paint-by-the-numbers affair if there ever was one — as is the case with most of these NPC tag matches, and was even only mildly subverted in Rousey’s match because it’s Steph, By God, McMahon — the entire purpose of this match was to give Daniel Bryan a triumphant return to WrestleMania. And in that sense, this match was an unmitigated success.
As a wrestling match, however, the involvement of Shane McMahon proved just a bit too much to overcome to have been truly worth the ballad of Sami and Kevin. Shane was in no real way redeemed for his self-admittedly unjustified actions, which makes it much better that he didn’t get the pin or much of the glory — this was, obviously, where Daniel truly shone, blowing the roof off the place with his still mindblowingly over Five Moves of Doom — but not that he was in the match, especially in such a limited capacity.
Sami and Kevin did their level best to keep the train running smoothly after they took out DB before the match began so that they could target Shane without interference. But even then, they were somewhere between sloppy and Shawn Michaels at Summerslam in terms of how they sold Shane (in stark contrast to Daniel) and, especially considering Shane’s legitimate medical condition, this all could have been avoided with anyone else on the roster getting involved or picked a surrogate for Shane in the match. Rusev wasn’t super busy, considering the match he was in had three other dudes in it.
Instead, we get Sami and Kevin officially moved off Smackdown, and very little else to show for it other than some super hyped “Yes!” chants and, oh right, the best wrestler of his generation making his unexpected return on the biggest stage in the industry.