Well that was something special last night. First of all, before I forget, huge shout out to whomever at WWE decided to have MITB run long so the title match would conclude after the NBA Finals. Really smart decision, because what an ending it was.
First, holy shit Roman Reigns was pinned cleanly in the middle of the ring. If you thought Rollins was really going to get the 1-2-3 in the middle of the ring over a guy who has literally NEVER been pinned in his WWE career, you are one of a kind. I thought at best Rollins would get the win via DQ, with Reigns retaining. Seeing Reigns get pinned like that is BIG. They’ve tried and tried and tried to get Reigns over as a face. Rollins has tried and tried and tried to get the fans to boo him. But every time they come out, Rollins has the face pop, and Reigns gets “Roman Sucks” chants. After the Rollins win, I thought it was finally time for the double-turn we’ve been waiting for. Reigns would get a steel chair, beat Rollins senseless with it, and become the monster heel we all wish he would be. But what happened instead was just as great, maybe even better.
Dean fucking Ambrose. The 3rd member of The Shield. The guy who has main evented some PPVs, but never really looked like he was getting anywhere. A fan favorite, stuck in kind of a silly character, who just did a program with Chris Jericho and a potted plant. If you go back and watch his matches with Rollins, you know Ambrose has the talent. He takes outrageous bumps. He’s pretty good on the mic. But compared to Reigns and Rollins, it never seemed like had the “it” factor WWE desires. When he won the MITB briefcase last night, a part of me sensed he would cash in at the end of the night (wish I tweeted that for bragging rights!) and the other part said this is awesome because it’ll set up the Shield triple threat match for SummerSlam. Little did I know, I would be right on both accounts.
Dean Ambrose has done it all. He has paid his dues. He has fought in back yards getting light bulbs smashed against his head for and $8 pay day. He’s wrestled in every middle school gymnasium in the country. And in WWE, when it looked like he would be the forgotten member of The Shield, with Rollins and Reigns reaching the top, he pinned Rollins last night to become The Guy. If you want to watch old Ambrose matches, do a quick YouTube search of Jon Moxley…warning: they are fucking gross.
The biggest question I have coming out of last night is where does this leave Roman Reigns? They have molded this guy to be their new Cena, and he has failed at it. His matches have much improved, but his mic work is awful at best, and all the media interviews I’ve watched are awkward and uncomfortable. Has WWE finally decided to go in a new direction? Will they back track on Reigns, let him pick up some losses, and develop an actual character for him? Kinda weird how every single time WWE hand picks a guy to be “their guy” and pushes him to the moon without building him properly, it backfires, huh? Thing is, Reigns isn’t even selling merch. So maybe Vince decided to try something new and see if that will make him more money. The good news for Reigns though is there is finally some intrigue into him- he’s actually somewhat interesting now.
Rollins clearly is the top dog with all the talent in the world. I’m not worried about his loss. Face or heel, he will be at the top of the card for as long as he’s in the company.
And Ambrose, as always, is the wild card. Is him holding the belt here just a place holder? Will WWE actually let him run with it and see what he can do? How does the WWE see him? As a PG-Era Stone Cold type character? Or was last night just a way to rattle the cages before they resort to the same ol, same ol? We’ll have to see where they go with this, but I believe that if they give Ambrose some freedom with promos and his character, they have something special with him.
As for the other big matches from last night:
Tag Team match – New Day winning is cool with me. I still find New Day entertaining, though I think all 3 of them could be mid/upper card contenders in their own rights. I don’t want to see them break up, funny face factions are hard to come by, and New Day are great at it. They have no reason to break up, but I could see them dropping the belts to Enzo and Cass perhaps as soon as SummerSlam.
AJ Styles vs John Cena – I loved the ending. Hell factions should do hell faction things. Bullet Club coming down to the ring, running interference, and Styles getting the pin was just old school shit that still works. A tried and true formula. I don’t like rooting against Styles, but I do enjoy the way they are booking this. We know Cena isn’t turning heel, so him in a feud with Styles is the next best thing.
The people besides Ambrose from the MITB match – Cesaro, Owens, and Zayn all clearly are doing great work night in and night out. Kinda wack to have the IC belt on The Miz if he’s not going to defend it at the PPV. I love the Miz’s heel work, I think he’s very under-appreciated, but it makes the title watered down (again) if it’s not being defended.
Overall, a pretty good PPV last night. WWE has a choice to make now- keep people guessing, keep doing fun, shocking, interesting stories and results, or forget last night happened and return to business as usual tonight. Let’s hope it’s the former and not the latter.
PS: Everything from here forward is leading up to SummerSlam, with the Battleground PPV in between, which happens to be in DC. If anyone has tickets for a friendly blogger, shoot me an email. Mucho gracias.