WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors def. Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
Flair and Natalya beat The Kabuki Warriors in non-title action last week, yet it was Lynch who got the title shot alongside Flair because... she wanted it? Seriously, they couldn't have shown Natalya getting attacked backstage beforehand by Asuka and Kairi Sane? That's just lazy storytelling. The match was well wrestled but felt like it lasted a lot longer than it needed to. Shayna Baszler brawling with Bayley (so much for that Brand Split, eh?) distracted Lynch and caused her to get pinned by Asuka, who teased going for the Raw Women's Championship a while ago. Maybe this was designed to plant the seeds for that after Survivor Series.
Drew McIntyre def. Sin Cara
Well, this was poor timing. Although this was taped Friday after SmackDown in Manchester, Sin Cara actually revealed on Monday morning via Twitter that he had requested his release from WWE. Time will tell whether it will be granted, but I would assume not considering Mike Kanellis is still waiting for his release to be granted as well. Cara scored some offense early on, but this ended up being a glorified squash for McIntyre, which is exactly what it should have been. It's imperative he maintains momentum now that he's back and this was a fine way of ensuring that.
Buy In: Britt Baker def. Bea Priestley
I didn't care about this rivalry originally, but Baker's pre-match promo via the video package was excellent. They put together a pretty decent match and I liked how you could feel the bad blood between them. Baker giving Priestley her comeuppance should spell the end of this feud. Additionally, Awesome Kong finally returned afterward with Brandi Rhodes in tow. I was afraid Brandi would be coming back as a wrestler, but I don't mind her as a manager for Kong. On a side note, it was nice to hear Taz on commentary for this and I wouldn't mind him working more pre-shows in the future.
Santana and Ortiz def. The Young Bucks
These are two of the top tag teams in the world today and therefore it should have been no surprise that this was excellent. I loved how this was positioned as the opener and that they received as much time as they did. What's scary is that I know they have an even better match in them, which I assume we'll get as the feud continues. The Bucks have lot a few matches lately, but Santana and Ortiz picking up their first big win in AEW was more important. The Rock 'n' Roll Express laid out Santana and Ortiz post-match as retaliation from a few weeks ago and I'd be all for them going it in a one-off sometime soon.
Hikaru Shida def. Big Swole
Shida is one of the few ladies in AEW's women's division who I don't know much about yet she's quickly won me over. This was one of the better women's matches I've seen in AEW, despite not lasting long. This had a nice sense of urgency and I was glad Swole looked good in defeat. Speaking of Swole, it's since been confirmed that she has signed with AEW and that's a great pickup for them.
Nyla Rose and Leva Bates def. Shalandra Royal and Shazza McKenzie
I realize the commentators tried to make sense of it by saying that Rose wanted a Handicap match and was assigned a random partner by officials instead, but it was still strange seeing Rose and Bates team up after facing off against each other not too long ago on Dark. At any rate, this was designed to be an extended squash for Rose, and while it worked in that respect, it bored me to tears. I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt like it would never end considering the crowd sat on their hands for this.
Mansoor def. The Brian Kendrick
My biggest gripe with Mansoor winning that "historic" Battle Royal back at Super ShowDown in June wasn't that he won but rather that there was zero followup on NXT. That said, it's cool to see him so soon after his victory over Cesaro at Crown Jewel last Thursday, even if it was on 205 Live. This was a pretty good match with Mansoor having a strong performance and Kendrick allowing him to shine. Mansoor winning was the right call, though it's weird that Kendrick's promo a few weeks ago never amounted to anything. Not that I'm complaining, though.
Angel Garza def. Tony Nese in an NXT Cruiserweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
(From my NXT review for this week...) If 205 Live is going to emanate live from Full Sail University anyway, I'm not sure why the show continues to exist. It would make more sense to fold it entirely into NXT, but maybe they want more time for the Cruiserweights. Nonetheless, this was a very good match with Garza continuing to shine and Nese putting in one of his better performances in recent memory. I figured Garza vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Crusierweight Championship would be saved for TakeOver, but they'll be doing it on next week's episode of NXT instead.
King Corbin Addressed Roman Reigns
I hate to compare companies, but it was sad watching this after Cody's incredible promo on Wednesday's episode of AEW Dynamite. Not only was it painfully apparent that it was scripted, the material was brutal. Like, really brutal. I honestly don't mind Corbin's king shtick, but this was almost unbearable. Needless to say, this segment did nothing to get me excited for his match against Roman Reigns later in the night.
The New Day def. The Revival to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Is WWE obligated to do a title change every time they tape TV over in England? I feel like it's an annual occurrence and it's impossible to dodge the spoilers online. That aside, this was an entertaining affair. These two teams have quality chemistry together, but I wish this would have been built up a bit more or even saved for a pay-per-view. I like New Day, but I'm honestly a bit disappointed with them regaining the twin titles so soon after losing them. It looked like they were headed for a heel turn or a character change at the very least, but that's apparently been thrown out the window. Plus, I was looking forward to the Triple Threat that was originally advertised for Survivor Series. There's nothing wrong with New Day replacing The Revival, but I maintain that Revival vs. The Viking Raiders vs. Undisputed Era is the stronger match.
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