Roman Reigns def. Dolph Ziggler
Maria Menounos did well with the ring announcing, which should come as no surprise considering the many WWE appearances she's made over the years. As for the match itself, it was no different than any other encounter between Reigns and Ziggler. It was a fairly basic bout that thankfully didn't overstay its welcome. It wasn't the type of match I'd show to a non-wrestling fan (and I can only imagine how many people watching the the New Year's Eve show on FOX tuned out when this started), but it wasn't egregiously terrible, either. Reigns thanking the fans during a post-match promo made for a nice moment.
When I heard Reigns and Ziggler would be facing off at FOX's New Year's Eve event, I assumed the match would be happening live at Times Square, not a glorified dark match from last week's SmackDown taping. I'm not even sure how that would have worked, so perhaps it's my own fault for thinking that would happen. The match is far from must-see, but it's encouraging FOX is doing all that they can to promote SmackDown being on their network. We'll see how long that lasts, especially if the ratings continue to decline. It was a cool concept, nonetheless. Honestly, the stuff they did afterward with R-Truth and Mojo Rawley trading the 24/7 Championship back and forth at Times Square was more entertaining than the match itself.
Chelsea Green def. Sarah Logan
Green made her main roster debut last week on Raw in a losing effort against Charlotte Flair. I figured it was a one-and-done (similar to her tag team partner Deonna Purrazzo the week prior), but it looks like she might be here to stay on the Raw roster. Not only did she compete on Main Event, she beat Sarah Logan. Granted, everybody beats Logan, but I figured Logan would win and that this would be a standard showcase for her, so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't. It was a decent match even though the crowd had no reason to care.
Mojo Rawley def. No Way Jose
If you've seen one match between Jose and Rawley, you've seen them all. I'm honestly stunned Rawley continues to get mic time before his matches on Main Event. They're as basic as can be and don't elicit strong heat at all. They're designed to get people to care about the match more, and it never works. As you would probably expect, this was a mundane matchup with a flat finish. These two are doomed to face each other on this program until the end of time.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe Brawled with Seth Rollins and AOP
Owens and Joe received monster reactions from this crowd in Hartford. It's crazy to think that the roles were reversed almost three years ago on the road to WrestleMania 33 with them and Rollins. This was a strong segment where everyone shined. Owens was intense, Rollins came across like a totally unlikable elitist, AOP looked tough ganging up on Owens, and Joe was the badass babyface who saved the day. I figured this would lead to a tag team match later on in the night, but instead, they were booted from the building and weren't seen again. I'm sure Owens and Joe vs. AOP is only inevitable.
Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphy
I absolutely loved the match these two had at the TLC pay-per-view and they managed to produce another excellent affair here. WWE was smart to put this in the first hour when the crowd was still at their hottest. Black and Murphy were given a ton of time and, better yet, the audience ate it up. Props to both guys for putting forth a hell of an effort once again and stealing the show with their performances. Black scoring his second straight win over Murphy was the right call as 50/50 booking should be avoided at all costs with him.
Roman Reigns Attacked King Corbin
The Universal Championship number one contender's match was supposed to kick off the show (and, in fact, Daniel Bryan had already made his entrance), but Reigns attacking Corbin before the bell prevented it from happening. Reigns hasn't been seen since losing to Corbin at TLC two weeks ago, so this probably should have felt like a bigger deal. Nonetheless, it was a decent angle that provided a nice hook for the rest of the show as to what would happen with the scheduled number one contender's matchup.
Braun Strowman and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn
This actually marked Zayn's first match since becoming Nakamuara's mouthpiece over four months ago. It's crazy to think he's been out of the ring for that long, and it's not like he's been injured, either. At any rate, this was a fairly formulaic yet fun six-man tag team match. Strowman pinning Nakamura should set him up for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship sometime soon. Strowman dancing afterward with Kofi Kingston and Big E didn't do anything for me personally, but at least the fans in attendance were into it.
#AskGSM is a weekly Q&A video where I, Graham "GSM" Matthews, answer fan questions from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in regards to the world of wrestling. Nothing is off limits, and this week’s edition touches upon a variety of topics including:
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