WWE put on its third PPV special in five weeks, and the strain on Creative is showing. Was it any good?
R-TRUTH def. KING BARRETT
Bad News Barrett can’t catch a break. His King of the Ring win is the only notable thing he’s been able to do. He just loses. “Losing Streak” Barrett should be his name. And what are they really planning with R-Truth? Why does he keep showing up and winning?
==Money in the Bank Ladder Match==
SHEAMUS def. ROMAN REIGNS, DOLPH ZIGGLER, KOFI KINGSTON, NEVILLE, RANDY ORTON & KANE
This match should not have started the show. They should have began with the tag match. It’s a symptom of some of the overall problems with booking right now. The actual match was okay. Sheamus was my prediction, but I think there was a lot more potential in storylines if the winner had been Roman Reigns or Kofi Kingston. I’m actually looking forward to a future Brock Lesnar-Sheamus match. Having Bray Wyatt interfere to eliminate Roman was a strange choice.
==Divas Title Match==
NIKKI BELLA (c) def. PAIGE
I’ve been increasingly frustrated with the Divas division lately, and maybe that’s because the NXT women’s division is so good right now. The main-roster Dvias have little if any character or there’s no logic to their stories week to week. The Bellas were faces for about a month, but “Twin Magic” returned so they’re heels again. This time Twin magic backfired, and Paige pinned Brie. The ref could have let Paige keep the title. It’s only fair since their cheating backfired. Or he could have ended the match in DQ right then. But he not only allows the match to continue, but he lets the cheater Nikki benefit for the distraction to pin Paige. Burn the division down and start over.
==Intercontinental Title Match==
BIG SHOW def. RYBACK (c) by DQ
These two guys were beginning to have a good match before The Miz dove in and ruined it. Does this lead to a triple-threat match at Battleground? That’d be my guess.
==Champion vs. Champion Match==
JOHN CENA def. KEVIN OWENS
These two put on another classic match, although in hind-sight, it was marked by the usual problem of Cena no-selling his opponent’s moves and being fresh as a daisy as soon as it’s over. Cena got the win back, but they still let Owens stand strong by beating him up after the match (that he sold). I’d watch these guys in an Iron Man match. My hope is they meet again at Battleground with the US title on the line, but if Owens loses he has to vacate the NXT title. Or Finn Balor just beats Owens for the belt before Battleground.
==Tag-Team Title Match==
PRIME TIME PLAYERS def. NEW DAY (c)
This position of this match hurt it. Cena/Owens should have gone fifth. Big E and Xavier Woods defended the belts, and they spent the majority of the match working over Darren Young before Titus O’Neil got the hot tag. I was surprised at the title change. New Day’s the hottest heel act in WWE, so why have them lose the belts so soon?
==WWE World Heavyweight Title Ladder Match==
SETH ROLLINS (c) def. DEAN AMBROSE
They pledged there would be no outside interference, and there wasn’t. It was a hard-fought, weapons filled ladder match, and I actually liked the ending for both men pulling down the title but Seth retains sole possession when they land. The post-match stuff lingered a little too long, with Triple H coming out, and then JoJo asking Seth for a quote, and Dean just having to sit there in the ring and take it.
1. Brock Lesnar is back. Thank goodness. We get Brock v. Seth at Battleground, and either Brock gets his title back, or Seth gets a DQ finish and they rematch at SummerSlam. They could have Sheamus cash in, but I think they’re going to keep that in their back pocket for a while.
2. Have Kevin Owens drop the NXT title for the Japan July 4th special, and then have him face John Cena for the US title at Battleground. Either have KO win, or have him move right on to more main-event feuds. Brock Lesnar v. Kevin Owens would be tremendous, but they’d need time to build that.
3. It looks like they want Nikki Bella to beat AJ Lee’s record for longest title reign, but I feel like the division can’t afford that. The Divas division has never been in bigger shambles creatively. All of their characters are unlikeable and unclear. Having Paige face the Bellas 2-on-1 on Raw and having no one come out to help her (Natalya? Charlotte?) does no one any favors. The joke had been that the Divas match is the bathroom break time. That may have been true when it was Kelly Kelly v. Rosa Mendes, but they have talented wrestlers like Nattie and Paige, and a deep bench of women wrestlers in NXT. Whoever’s in charge of Divas Creative right now should be ashamed of themselves. Blow the thing up and start from scratch.
4. Damien Sandow is in no better position now than he was when he was dressing up as Davy Crockett and Lance Stephenson. Let him be a real person with a real story. Fans are behind him. At this point, my guess is Vince or HHH just doesn’t believe in him and he’s going to wither on the vine like Zack Ryder.
5. They’ve destroyed the character of Wade/Bad News/King Barrett. Might as well call him Losing Streak Barrett. Winning a mid-card belt or King of the Ring never does him favors. Why they keep having him lose to R-Truth is beyond me.
6. Bummed that Tyson Kidd will be out for a year. If they have Kevin Owens win the US title, Cesaro would be the perfect guy to be his next feud.