Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena – WOW! What a match. In the PG era of WWE, you will not find anything nearly this violent, or this intense. The tone was set within the first 30 seconds of this match, as Brock Lesnar hit John Cena with an F5. What followed was some of the best work we’ve seen from Brock Lesnar since his return. Was it a technical Dave Meltzer 5-star masterpiece? Nope. This was the rebirth of the Beast. No one has ever dominated John Cena in such a convincing fashion for such a period of time. And I know I’m not the only one that felt we might be watching the complete destruction of Cena, only for him to pop-up and hit an Attitude Adjustment, and win. That’s not at all what happen. Lesnar hurt Cena, and put a beating to him that was almost uncomfortable to watch. And that’s exactly what Lesnar needs to continue to do to who/whatever stands in his path until he meets The Rock at WrestleMania (yeah, I’m throwing that prediction out there now).
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins – A most-enjoyable Lumberjack match. I feel like the wrong guy won, but I am not disappointed by the outcome in the least. Both men worked very hard, and made use of the gimmick very well. Rollins is going to be a player for a long time to come, and no one can doubt the gifts that Ambrose has. I’m excited to see where both of these men go from here.
Paige vs. AJ – An excellent Divas Championship match, the best match contested for that belt all year, and absolutely the best match in the series these two ladies have had. Paige’s counter to the Black Widow submission was both innovative, and logical, and the hanging DDT finisher was vicious, and impactful. Very big thumbs up, and excellent work by both.
Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella – Wait, this isn’t the MISSES column, yet. Colour me just as surprised, but this match was much, much better than it had any right being. No one would accuse Brie Bella of being a well-rounded technical wrestler. And Stephanie….oh Stephanie. Teenage Justin still has one massive crush on you. But really, that’s it. That’s all I was expecting. Couple of botches (at my PPV Party, I put the over/under on botches in this match at seven. No one took under), some outside the ring shenanigans, and largely a forgettable effort (or at least forgivable). Instead both girls worked really hard, and put together a good match with an interesting hook at the end.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz – Since Bad News Barrett’s injury, the Miz has taken the brunt of my “get off my TV’ heat. I hate the Miz. I hate the Miz so much, in fact, that I’d rather watch a 60-min Iron Man match between Aksana and Alicia Fox. That’s a level of hate that’s practically unheard of. So for him to land in the HITS column means something. This match was the perfect opening to a nearly perfect show. Fast-paced, well-wrestled, and the right guy went over to get a huge pop out of the already electric crowd. Very, very fun opening match.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt – Another “best match in the series.” Wyatt is amazing. His presence is felt THROUGH the television. In another life, he was serving Kool-Aid to his minions. Combine Jericho’s charisma and storytelling ability, and given the past few months to work out the kinks, this was an excellent contest worthy of a place on one of the best wrestling cards this year.
Overall show – Not a single bad match on the card. Easily a competitor for the best PPV of the year (although, with the exception of last months Battleground, every PPV of 2014 has an arguement to be in the running). This is no exception. Go out of your way to watch Lesnar and Cena. The mystique of Lesnar is missing from the first Cena/Lesnar match two years ago, but this was a much bigger event. My hat’s off to Cena. That dude is probably going to be eating soup for a month.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns – This is not a strong miss. As a matter of fact, it’s only a “kind of” miss. There was nothing wrong with this match. It was actually a fairly decent match. But it didn’t feel like the big deal it should have. The intensity leading into this match didn’t translate well in the match itself, and a crowd finding themselves tired didn’t help. Orton and Reigns brought the crowd back into the match late, but it was too little, too late. Again, not a full-on miss, and certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not nearly what I was hoping to see out of these two. Slightly disappointed.