Jinder Mahal Promo
Jinder celebrated India’s Birthday with an entertaining music performance as he and the ceremonially-dressed Singhs went through their usual spiel. Mahal added a special tough with a vocalist performing India’s National Anthem. It was a little more lively than usual, and the crowd didn’t start booting until the singer went into the more exotic sounding note runs.
Mahal said he’ll beat Cena tonight and everyone is a racist.
Shinsuke Nakamura interrupts
JBL actually made laugh out loud when he disgustedly declared Nakamura was ‘rude’ for interrupting the Anthem singing (and he was completely right).
Nakamura says it may be India’s Independence day…in India, but in Japan, they’re remembering those lost in war and a dedication to peace. This got cheers for some reason.
Nakamura said this Sunday is ‘SSSUMMMEERRSSLLAAAMM!!” and he’ll beat Mahal for the championship. He ended the promo singing the last few words almost exactly like Aidan English sings his pre-match promo.
The foreign heel angle is so bad, only the energetic crowd and Nakamura could save it from complete boredom. Does the crowd enjoy playing the racist side of it? I doubt it. I’d like to see another side of Mahal’s personality as well, he might have a lot more to give.
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Naomi on commentary
I hope the fans enjoyed Naomi’s entrance enough for us to put up with the boring commentary she provided. She seemed quite stunned by the simplest questions, not seeming to have anything prepared to say. Although who knows what voice might have been screaming in her ear on the headset.
The two had an entertaining enough – but short – match, before Natalya got the clean win via Sharpshooter after Becky missed a guillotine legdrop off the top rope.
After the match, Natalya hit Becky from behind and went for another round of sharpshooting but Naomi ran into to make the save.
Natalya ran to the outside and thought about coming back for Naomi but…
Carmella and Ellsworth appear
Carmella says they better get ready for her to eventually get the belt, no matter who wins.
A solid match and several plot threads were advanced. Natalya looked dangerous heading into her title match, Naomi looked ready to defend, and Carmella will be lurking around like a vulture.
JBL might have given away the cash-in at SummerSlam when he asked Naomi on commentary about being ready for Carmella to cash in this sunday…..or any other day.
Lana and Tamina
Tamina is pissed Lana hasn’t gotten her a title shot yet. Lana says the WWE doesn’t even notice Tamina, but they will learn to fear her.
Tamina struggles with acting and Lana needs to drop this ridiculous accent. It’s 2017, this feels like it’s from the Cold War. I am glad however, that there are multiple women’s storylines happening, no matter how awful.
Usos and Daniel Bryan
The Usos learn they’re facing Big E and Xavier at SummerSlam and want revenge against Kofi and Woods tonight. D Beets hooks them up and shows us his sweet moves.
Rusev vs Chad Gable
The crowd was very split on Rusev, popping huge for his theme and then remembering to boo as he walked down the aisle.
The match was very quick. Gable landed another impressive belly-to-belly suplex on Rusev, but the Bulgarian Brute brutalized Gable outside, earning a count-out. Today’s crowds are all over the place. They booed Rusev hurling Gable over the announer’s table onto a chair, but cheered when Rusev removed the top of the table, signaling a potential table spot.
Rusev put Gable into the Accolade for some more heat before taking to the ring with the mic. He took his sweet time until finally saying “Randy…”
Randy Orton RKOs out of nowhere
Orton does his pale imitation of Steve Austin, hitting the similar finisher and attempting a bit of trash-talk but looking quite winded. I get the feeling he was late and had to sprint through the crowd.
Orton paces the ring and instead of talking he climbs the ropes and eggs the crowd to cheer his pose.
Orton must LOVE this. He looks cool, doesn’t take any bumps, and works about 3 seconds of action. No matter how they dress it up, I find his wannabe-Austin shtick boring.
AJ Styles apology to Shane
Styles calls Shane out to apologize for accidentally kicking him in the skull last week.
Shane says he’s the referee at Summerslam because he can take a bump and keep going, but if Styles puts his hands on him, he’ll put his hands all over Styles.
Styles asks if that’s a threat.
Shane then displays his complete lack of improv skills when Kevin Owen’s music doens’t hit in time. Sweat pours off his face, as he stops mid-sentence, and even looks back to the entrance way, all before Owen’s music finally plays.
Owens is so natural on the mic it makes Shane’s blunder even more cringe-worthy.
After the expected jawing, Styles misses a punch towards Owens but this time Shane catches it. Soon after, KO misses Styles with a SUPER kick and clocks Shane.
Now they’re even, what will happen at SummerSlam?
Fun booking, big-time fight feel and this is one of the few times a special guest ref could actually be interesting. Although Shane should either stay off the mic or get better. I suggest warming up with a few vocal exercises before going out and making a fool of himself.
New Day vs Usos
WWE still thinks they should build towards a PPV confrontation by giving you nearly the exact same match.
Woods and Kofi come out flying until the Uuuuuus take control.
Kofi and Woods get a hot comeback started but one Uso distracts Kofi so the other can dive at Kingston’s knee, setting him up for a DOUBLE SUPER kick and the win.
I believe you should keep wrestlers apart to make the PPV confrontation more meaningful, but this was a decent way to not give too much away while building a bit of animosity with the slightly injured knee.
Fandango is back and it’s great to have his smooth charisma taking the lead once again. I really hope he can use the Fashion Files success to land a solid mid-card or higher spot. If this was 15 years ago he could have used his natural talent to form a great character, but WWE doesn’t seem interested in forming new personalities.
Fandango revealed a rock from space (AKA space rock) that the aliens placed in his back…pocket. He threw it and the Ascension appeared again, but they were mostly mad about the pie, being fiercely gluten.
Breezango joked about not looking like they (or Twin Peaks) were making up the narrative as they went along.
This week’s clue was a note saying ‘Two B’, with Fandango fearing the entire tag-team division might be in danger.
John Cena vs Jinder Mahal
They start with a test of strength before the Singhs give Mahal control of the match. Cena nails his usual moves in a comeback but Mahal kicks out of the AA.
The Singhs help Mahal again and get tossed from ringside.
Cena hits an AA from the middle turnbuckle and looks to have the win but…
Baron Corbin runs in to attack Cena
Corbin disrupts the pin and the ref calls the match a DQ or no contest (who cares).
Corbin Cashes in!
Corbin is almost to the back when he realizes the champion is still down for the count. He runs back to cash in, awaiting the ref to clear Mahal for the match and keeping an eye on Cena behind him.
The bell rings but Corbin goes after Cena first, allowing Mahal to get the sneaky ROLL-UP and retain his belt, leaving Corbin to chase the ref.
Although the matches were mostly short, I felt this show was the right direction when booking for an upcoming PPV (which is always around the corner now).
The tv matches shouldn’t be great match-ups, but teases of what’s to come. Most of the confrontations tonight furthered the storyline in some way. It’s not as good as it could/should be, but WWE has been in a creative slump for years and this is at least a good sign.