I was excited to see Chase Donovan on TV for the first time, less excited when I saw Big E Langston come out. I like Big E, for a big guy he grapples well and can put on a good match, but I knew this was not going to be one of those times. Big E pinned Donovan in 42 seconds. If it doesn’t last at least over a minute, really, what’s the point? Look how strong this guy is? We already have a Ryback, and on Superstars this week he managed to show he could put on a good match (I said Superstars, I’m pretending Raw never happened, that was awful). Briley Pierce interviews Big E, who just huffs at him. I feel like I’ve seen this too many times, let Big E have personality. He’s huge in muscle, but he’s short in stature. Stop giving random guys strong, silent predator. Okay, rant over, to the Top 4!
4. Byron Saxton and William Regal
While Scott Stanford might be my favorite commentator, Byron Saxton and William Regal make for my favorite commentary team. The two of them play well off of one another, letting Regal tell his stories while Saxton calls moves. When Regal calls moves Saxton always has a quip. Sure, they have quiet spots at time, but you get the vibe it’s because they are actually paying attention to the match instead of just having nothing to say.
3. The Usos and Ascension
No match between the two tag teams this week, only a segment. A segment which I enjoyed. The Usos call out Ascension and the Ascension do come out, surprising the Usos by not walking through their long entrance but appearing in the ring to attack the Samoans. It will be nice to see Ascension have an actual feud and the Usos, of late, have really come into their talent in the ring.
2. Mike Dalton & Jason Jordan vs. Hunico & Camacho
I really wanted to make this the #1 match of the episode, but I have to give the nod to the main event this time. However, all four men once again are unbelievably springy and quick in the 4 minutes they are allotted making the time go by even faster. I love this feud, it’s good for all four men who are more about their in-ring abilities, even as the characters finally begin to shine. There was not a man I didn’t enjoy in the ring for this match, even though I’m slightly partial to one of the teams.
1. Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal
Face it, this was a good match. Probably my favorite match that Rollins’ has been in. Rollins isn’t a bad wrestler, he does tend to be in matches working a style that he doesn’t seem suited for. With Mahal Rollins takes the step back and wrestles at a different pace and it seems to fit him better. I know the internet hates Mahal, and loves Rollins, but Mahal gives it his all in this match and helps make this 13 minutes match an incredibly charged fight. Unfortunately, by the times this aired, everyone knew that Rollins had the title, taking away from a bit of the, “Could this be it?” moments.
One again, thank you tons to @hotyounglindsey who allowed me to use her photos from Sunset Flip Photography! Follow her, absolutely worth it.
FCW proves it is consistently one of the better stories told from the WWE (with perhaps the exception of NXT) and this week was no exception. Summer Rae, official general manager of FCW, has a photo op with Antonio Cesaro and Richie Steamboat in anticipation of their match next week while Adam Mercer continues to be Randy Orton Light – which I’m not exactly complaining about, just pointing it out.
4. Benicio Salazar vs. Rick Victor
Okay, I knew going in Victor was going to win for two reasons. First, this is only the second match I’ve seen Salazar in and FCW does not tend to have their wrestlers win their first few matches against already established guys. Second, Victor was escorted out by the beautiful, and talented, Sofia Cortez and Paige. Already great points to him. However, as usual, Victor puts on an entertaining match against their newest luchador and I look forward to seeing more!
3. Bo Rotundo vs. Big E Langston
I love Big E Langston. After Mark Henry is probably my favorite man with a physique of those proportions (you know, huge!) with the WWE. Ever. Because Langston is big he already has haters, and because Rotundo is pretty he already has lovers. Rotundo has a spear that is weak and while he has presence, he still needs that in-ring time to polish himself up. It took Husky (Wyatt) a bit of time, don’t push Rotundo before he’s ready, which is what they are doing. He won this match.
2. Nick Rogers vs. James Bronson
First, an earlier segment in the show involved the commentators letting us know there was something going on in the back. Bronson had Ambrose locked into a sleep while CJ Parker, Mike Dalton, and I think Jason Jordan (I didn’t get a good look at him) tried to pull Bronson off. Later comes the match for Bronson against Rogers. Rogers dropped the Mr. Jacked and instantly went up in my books, but now he has a beard! I’m not sure about the beard, but hey, that’s me. Bronson wins this match with a submission, then immediately puts Rogers in a second submission! Regal rushes out to save Rogers and twists Bronson into the Regal Stretch. Garrett Dylan (another FCW up and comer that I have not seen that much) comes out and tries to pull Regal off of Bronson, but Ambrose is right behind him. Ambrose pulls Dylan and puts him in the Regal Stretch and for one moment of complete serendipity we have Regal and Ambrose doing the Regal Stretch almost perfectly lined up side by side. Afterwards they both stand and Ambrose stares Regal down in a way that only Ambrose can, with an almost sad look while being completely furious. When Ambrose moves forward, Regal slides out of the ring. All together an awesome segment.
1. Kassius Ohno vs. Seth Rollins
Despite the excellent segments from earlier, and Regal’s dig at other commentators in the WWE (not all, I’m pretty sure Scott is safe) this match just had what I came to see: excellent wrestling. It started off slow but quickly began building up into a crescendo of moves that were perfectly executed in elegance. Ohno and Rollins show off their balance and agility and whatever bit of rust Ohno might have felt at the beginning chipped off and towards the end these man made you forget anything else but the beauty of this match.