Steve Maclin def. TJP and Petey Williams in a Three-Way Match
Maclin and Williams have been feuding for a little bit, so with Maclin winning again, hopefully they can move on from this feud and maybe we'll get Maclin vs. TJP out of it. This was the right result. It was also the correct choice for the opener as there wasn't a lot riding on it, didn't have a ton of build behind it, and was was well-wrestled enough to kick off the show on a good note. Maclin impresses the more and more I see him in action, but his character work could be a bit better as he's rather bland at the moment.
AEW World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers def. The Butcher and The Blade
I honestly didn't know this was for the titles until the bell rang. This match came out of nowhere. Apparently Butcher and Blade are/were the number one ranked team in all of AEW for being undefeated in 2021, yet they only started teaming again earlier this week on the Dark shows. How do they go from not being ranked to being ranked just because Butcher returned? That's strange to me. Nonetheless, this was a solid match where the titles never felt like they were truly in jeopardy. Santana and Ortiz saved Lucha Brothers from the rest of the H.F.O. afterward, setting up an eight-man tag team match for next week's Rampage.
Valentina Feroz def. Amari Miller
Both of these women have been in action on 205 Live for the past two weeks. The issue still stands, though: They're green and shouldn't be working with each other but rather with more experienced people on the roster. That's why everything they did was so simple and basic because I'm not sure they know how to do much more. It wasn't awful by any means, but mediocre might be the right word to describe it. I'm all for women competing on this program, but they aren't going to gain anything from being in the ring with each other.
WWE Champion Big E and Finn Balor Interrupted The Bloodline; Big E and Balor def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Non-Title)
Before the bout, Reigns discussed his upcoming matches with Finn Balor at Extreme Rules and Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel. I love how many enemies he has right now between them two, Big E and even Paul Heyman, who he's been teasing tension with since SummerSlam. Big E coming out to confront him before his tag team match with Balor against The Usos was a cool moment that hopefully planted the seeds for that as the Survivor Series main event. The matchup that followed was fun, and although I loathe when champions suffer non-title losses, I thought Big E and Balor getting one over on The Usos given their established issues with them was acceptable.