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I’m pretty busy tonight for various reasons, so this one will have to be a quickie!
I liked the funeral segment. Though it wasn’t explicit, it had a tone of respect towards the vanquished Undertaker, though it was outwardly mocking towards the fans that believe in his ‘phenomenal’ powers. As for all the run-ins (from Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio and Edge), that was a good way to present the problem of a #1 contender.
Our first match was Dolph Ziggler again taking on Daniel Bryan. Don’t get me wrong, these guys have had some fantastic matches over the last week (this one being no different), but as i’ve said in the past, I hate these brand crossovers. It cheapens the brand extension. Saying that, I am now starting to get the feeling that this is all heading towards the unification of the IC and US championships, in which case, it would make sense. If it isn’t though, this needs to be the last time it happens. Bryan has one three in a row now, and the time has come where they can’t simply continuously face each other. Leave it as it is, and if the two cross paths again in the future ther’ll be some good foundational history between the two to rebuild a programme. As I say though, what a match! These two both work together so well and have great grappling chemistry. Ziggler can more than hold his own, and the way he lost (via innocent distraction) this week makes clear that he is on Bryan’s level, at least in kayfabe.
The next match featured another NXT stand-out (remember when they didn’t just take the piss out of that show) as Kaval took on former World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Swagger. Kaval, as ever, was all over the ring and added a nice counter-point to the more methodical Swagger. Probably more than ever before was really game in this match and looked like he really could have got the win, even hitting a reduced version of his Warrior’s Way finisher for a close near-fall. Kaval was so impressive that Swagger was forced to think outside the ring, and weakened Kaval’s ankle on the ring post and in other ways before locking in his Ankle Lock for the win. This was by no means a burial, and there are clearly plans for Kaval, for which there is a lot of leway. He’s a spirited competitor who performs on a level with whoever he’s wrestled, but has never been able to come out on top. Maybe his frustration will brew to a heel-turn, or maybe his run is being used to garner support behind him. It remains to be seen.
I was worried when the divas came out for a costume competition. After the guys have been going around wrestling without halloween costumes, it seemed a little demeaning to just have a divas costume contest. It still probably was a little, but thankfully they were there to wrestle a match. Big tag matches are always hard to pull off well, but they did a good enough job, with Kelly Kelly getting the victory. I like her finisher, but she’s still not anywhere near ready for a title shot, so I hope that’s not what is being suggested by the victory.
I admit to having no time for Big Show at the minute. I’ve seen enough of his besmiled giant dominations. There’s just very little to him at the minute. Seeing Drew and Cody remain together before the match was heartening to me and the tag division, but it turns out that wasn’t to last too long. The match was ok, but didn’t stand out. There was a nice story at the end though where Drew (after being saved from Show by Cody), didn’t return the favour and allowed Cody to receive a Chokeslam and be pinned. After the match came the innevitable confrontation and the split of the former tag champions. Another tag team down, and one that was just starting to gain in chemistry and momentum. God knows where the next pairing will come from. However, I think it was the right move for these two. They are both among the top up-and-comers in the company and need to continue to make a name for themselves as singles competitors to take them to the next level. This could maybe even occur in a programme against each other, though I don’t think either of them are ready to turn face at the minute.
Our main event was a triple threat match between Edge, Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to become #1 contender. This one started off slow, and was good but forgettable; towards it’s end though, it picked up in pace and excitement. We had a lot of good triple-threat set pieces, like Edge hitting a Sunset-Flip on Del Rio while he was holding Rey to trigger a German Suplex, among other things. The ending was good also, as Rey had both men in 619 position, and deciding – understandably – to attack Del Rio, was caught by Alberto and swept up in to the Electric Chair position before Edge Speared Del Rio, triggering an Electric Chair Drop on Rey, making him unable to stop Edge pinning Del Rio for the victory.
Kane came out to try to intimidate Edge, hitting his ring pyro to show his power. Indeed, with ‘taker out of the way, I see Kane fronting a reign of terror on the Blue Brand.