February 21, 2016
City: Cleveland, OH
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena
Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Spanish Commentary: Carlos Cabrera, Marcelo Rodriguez
German Commentary: Carsten Schaefer, Sebastian Hackl
Ring Announcers: Eden Stiles, Lilian Garcia
The road is more than a road, it’s a symbol for life.
Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs Naomi & Tamina
(referee: Darrick Moore; ring announcer: Eden Stiles)
Result: Sasha Banks forces Tamina to submit to the Bank Statement
Good match. Team BAD worked well as a team, but, as expected, the individual momentum of both Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch was too much for them. Becky was in peril for a good portion of the match before Sasha came in.
There were some nice moments like a really good spot where Naomi pulled Sasha off the apron just in time to prevent Becky from tagging her. Once Sasha got into the ring the match became a little more even. Really good stuff and everyone looked good.
I hope Naomi and Tamina continue to get a lot of airtime after this. They’ve really shown a lot in the last few weeks and they deserve a spot on TV.
Intercontinental Title Match
Kevin Owens (IC Champ) vs Dolph Ziggler
(referee: John Cone; ring announcer: Lilian Garcia)
Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall after a pop-up powerbomb to retain the title
Very good match. Very good. It started out pretty good, as expected, and kept getting better. Both guys did what they do best and tried their best to steal the show. There were multiple near falls, a couple of tense near count-outs, a series of traded moves, and a lot of very entertaining spots. I quite liked the ending too. It fit both of their characters nicely.
Big show says some cliches. Ryback joins him in the cliche recital. Kane talks about Hell.
Luke Harper & Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman w/ Bray Wyatt vs Big Show & Ryback & Kane
(referee: Chad Patton; ring announcer: Eden Stiles)
Result: Ryback pins Luke Harper after a Shell Shock
Pretty good match. Most of it felt like a Smackdown main event, but the breakdown at the end was pretty good. Big Show had a nice, short showing where he gorilla press slammed Harper over the ropes and out to the floor. The finish was a little awkward though, the move didn’t get pulled off as cleanly as it probably should have.
Jojo asks Reigns if his relationship with Ambrose will be the same after the match tonight. He says nothing in the WWE will be the same after the match tonight. Ambrose agrees.
Divas Title Match
Brie Bella vs Charlotte (Divas Champ) w/ Ric Flair
(referee: Dan Engler; ring announcer: Lilian Garcia)
Result: Charlotte wins via submission with the Figure Eight to retain the title
Pretty good match with a good ending. I actually started buying in to the emotion a little, but I still wasn’t surprised by the outcome here. Brie had a good showing, maybe one of her best, but Charlotte was better. Flair had a little involvement, but he really wasn’t much of a factor in the match which is good.
I liked the injury psychology that set up the finish, and the final segment was good. It almost, but not quite, felt like the win could go either way. I think this was a nice moment for Brie, but I’ll be interested to see if they continue along this line or if they move on to Sasha making good on the statement she made at the Royal Rumble.
Jojo asks Jericho if his loss to Styles is really eating him up inside. Jericho actually feels sorry for Styles. This is a huge match for AJ. His fate lies in Jericho’s hands.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
(referee: Rod Zapata; ring announcer: Eden Stiles)
Result: AJ Styles wins via submission with a calf crusher
Great match. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very, very good. This was a very good culmination to a nice little feud and a great way to introduce AJ Styles to the WWE. They both managed to bring new things to this match and make it surprising and exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing where they both go from here.
After the match, Jericho looks pissed. He gets in AJ’s face. He pulls back to take a swing, but he extends his hand instead. They shake hands.
Renee Young, Corey Graves, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T talk about the show so far.
Tony Chimel announces Edge and Christian as they make their way to the ring for the Cutting Edge Peep Show. They get serious for a minute and are interrupted by New Day.
New Day says Edge and Christian are old. Edge says when New Day started he’d never seen so much chocolate act so vanilla. He and Christian point out how New Day is basically just ripping off the old Edge and Christian shtick. Kofi says they’re not ripping them off, they’re just better than them. And everyone else.
Edge and Christian try to stir the pot with the League of Nations, but Xavier says New Day has already cooked the meal. The League of Nations comes out. New Day turns the other cheek and leaves the ring. The League then threatens Edge and Christian. Edge and Christian leave the ring. They join New Day on the ramp and make fun of the League.
** The stuff where New Day and Edge and Christian were insulting each other was good, but the League of Nations stuff kind of went nowhere. This was a pretty fun segment, but not really one worthy of being on a pay per view. **
The Social Outcasts come out and are on the road to Wrestlemania. They are four beautiful Priuses. R-Truth comes out and counts that it’s basically four on one.
Curtis Axel w/ Heath Slater, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas vs R-Truth
(referee: Darrick Moore; ring announcer: Eden Stiles)
Result: Curtis Axel wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
A very short, okay match. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but there wasn’t much to it and it was all about storyline. This segment was fine, but it felt a lot like it was a throwaway segment that was added because they had extra time on the show. It it could just as easily have been on RAW or Smackdown and it would have been just as effective.
Triple Threat WWE World Heavyweight Number One Contender Match
Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
(referee: Mike Chioda; ring announcer: Lilian Garcia)
Result: Roman Reigns pins Dean Ambrose after a spear to become the number one contender
Very good match. This match told a very good story. I liked the strategy of Reigns and Ambrose, and it worked for them. Lesnar, of course, showed impressive strength and viciousness, Ambrose showed chaotic smarts, and Reigns showed good tenacity and power. I’m not too crazy about the actual finish, I thought the match could have had one or two more near falls, but it was okay.
I think this show was kind of mixed. The good matches were very good, but there were also some so-so matches and some very strange booking. After the Jericho/Styles match there was an extended period of time that kind of killed the momentum of the show. I’m assuming the Axel/R-Truth match was a last-minute filler that was slated to go on the show only if there was time for it, but if that’s the case they probably should have had the Cutting Edge Peep Show earlier in the night. Not back to back.
I also wonder what the ultimate plan was from The Authority here. They don’t want Reigns to get the title back, but they voluntarily put him in the number one contender match (they had no reason to do that and could just as easily not have) and then have no plan to ensure that he loses. From their perspective, what was the point? I guess Triple H is just super-confident that he’ll beat Reigns so The Authority doesn’t care about letting him into a title match anymore. It just seems strange to me.
Like I mentioned though, the good matches were very good and I’ll probably watch them again from time to time.
Match of the Night
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
Not really much of a surprise that I liked this match the most, but I’m a little surprised that it had such close competition. The IC Title match was close, but the Jericho/Styles match was more consistently good throughout. The main event was also pretty close as far as excitement and big moments, but the ending wasn’t as good as the Jericho/Styles match.