By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler def. Sheamus and Rusev
I couldn't have been happier that they changed the advertised card and went with this tag team match instead. God knows we've seen Orton and Sheamus as well as Rusev and Ziggler face off countless times in the past, so this was a refreshing change of pace and the crowd was into the action, but mostly because it was the opener. The four competitors worked well together and produced a solid tag team bout with the babyfaces obviously picking up the victory. I could have done without Sheamus taking out Rusev afterward as it did nothing but further solidify Rusev as being weak, and Sheamus taking the clean loss didn't do him any favors, either.
Neville def. Stardust
Of all the matches on the show, I cared the least about this bout. It's not that it was a bad match, but unlike all the other rematches seen on this show, nothing was different about it and it had very little storyline significance. Keep in mind that this was a televised house show (and I'll go more into detail in regards to that at the end), but I'm ready for both guys to move on to new feuds after months of being engaged in a program that seemed to jump the shark after SummerSlam.
Team Bella def. Team PCB
It was dumb for WWE to do this match on Raw, and it was even dumber for them to do it on this show. After Paige berated her fellow PCB teammates a few weeks back in addition to walking out on them on Monday night, they have absolutely no reason to trust her, so they were made to look extremely foolish here. It was a decent match from an in-ring standpoint and at least Charlotte and Becky Lynch ditching Paige made some sense, but I couldn't have cared less who won because the faction wars continue to be pointless.
Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho
I don't know if the match lived up to the lofty expectations fans set for it going in after the reports of their matches on the house show circuit being so great in recent months, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I never thought for a second that there was a chance of Jericho winning the title, but they put together a very fun match that was made special by Jericho celebrating 25 years in the wrestling business. They could have benefited from more time, but it was one of the better wrestled bouts on the show and I'd love to see a rematch between them down the line.
The Dudley Boyz def. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day by Disqualification
Many people were hoping for a title change here to give the live specials the feeling that "anything can happen," but I agree with those that it might have been too soon given The New Day are as hot as they are at the moment. Nevertheless, the match was fine for what it was, and I didn't have a problem with The New Day keeping the belts, but the disqualification finish was the same thing we saw at Night of Champions, as well as the post-match table spot. I'm assume this is building to a six-man tag team match of some sort at Hell in a Cell, but the finish was lazy and left a lot to be desired for this viewer.
Brock Lesnar def. Big Show
Yes, Lesnar and Show had classic matches in 2002-2003, but that was over a decade ago. I was hoping they'd have a short and sweet match similar to their outing at Royal Rumble 2014, and I was content with the way this was booked. Lesnar was made to look super strong by kicking out of the three consecutive chokeslams while dominating Show with a bunch of suplexes and an F-5 for the victory. It would have been nice if Lesnar faced off against a fresh face, but at least The Beast Incarnate is in the driver's seat heading into his match against The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell.
United States Champion John Cena def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins in a Steel Cage Match
If you've seen one Cena vs. Rollins match, you've seen them all, but it's hard to complain when they have such excellent in-ring chemistry together. This was another exceptional match from the two that benefited from the Steel Cage stipulation since it helped add to the blow-off of the long-running rivalry. They put forth a strong effort even though Kane's interference at the end was predictable and Rollins was made to look stupid for not winning the match when he should have known he was going to get attacked by Kane either way. On a side note, why not just keep the U.S. title on Rollins if Cena is taking time off in a few weeks? Perhaps WWE has other plans in mind we'll watch unfold in the weeks to come.
I've seen plenty of negative reviews of this event calling it "uneventful" among other things, and while I can definitely understand the criticism, you have to remember that this was a house show after all. In fact, this was a much better live event than the ones that I've gone to, so consider yourself lucky. It was cool Lesnar made an appearance and the main event was entertaining, so I enjoyed it for what it was. It isn't required viewing by any means, but it was a fun two hour show and I hope to see WWE do more of these live specials in the future.