6. Chris Jericho Vs. Dean Ambrose: I had apprehensions about this match, not because it was going to suck, but because I feared yet another high profile loss for Ambrose, who may be the most popular singles wrestler on the main roster right now. Of the three former Shield members (including the injured Seth Rollins and current WWE World champ Roman Reigns), I always felt Ambrose was the one with real star potential as a singles megastar. Unlike Reigns, Ambrose is an awesome talker and an expert in ring psychology. He also has this natural charisma in which you just can’t help but like the guy, even when he was a heel. He really should be the WWE World Champion, but as we know by now, owner Vince McMahon doesn’t see Ambrose as anything more than midcard. Ambrose has been on a three-PPV losing streak, losing matches he should have won. Jericho received a ton of heat for scoring a win over AJ Styles last month at Wrestlemania when he could afford the loss. So I feared that Ambrose would lose yet again to a part-timer whose current run hasn’t been as strong as other runs have been. My fears were for naught as the two not only had an awesome match, but the right guy actually won clean for a change. This was easily Jericho’s best match in his current tenure (September 2015 to present) and Ambrose was allowed to shine, something he wasn’t last month with Brock Lesnar. The Walls of Jericho was treated as a serious finisher for a change to, with Ambrose coming off as tough escaping the hold twice. Jericho attempted to finish off his rival with the Lionsault, but Ambrose stuck his knees up. After softening Jericho up with a few knees to the gut, Ambrose nailed the Dirty Deeds DDT for the pin. *****
7.Women’s Champion Charlotte Vs. Natalya: I can’t help but be impressed over the great turnaround of women’s wrestling on main roster WWE. In-ring wrestling has finally taken precedence over giggling body parts and the result has been a string of great matches that have been the standout matches on the last four PPVs. Tonight was no exception. Although this was their third go-around on a major show, it was not a rehash of those earlier bouts, but a new and different match. This time around, both women worked a great match around the concept that Natalya refused to tap out to the Figure Eight, no matter how much Charlotte worked over the knee and leg. The wrestling was spectacular, amongst the best in-ring performances of the year so far. Then came the finish, which was divided people. As Charlotte locked on the Sharpshooter, ref Charles Robinson rang for the bell and hightailed it out of the ring. Natalya didn’t tap out, so this was a variation of the infamous Montreal Screwjob, when Nattie’s uncle Bret Hart was screwed out of his title in a Sharpshooter spot that was called early despite no submission. I found it to be a clever variation, giving us something different in a finish to women’s wrestling matches than usual. Many didn’t like the exploitation of Montreal. They have a fair point, to be honest. The post-match saw Bret Hart, who accompanied his niece to ringside, clock Charlotte’s father Ric Flair and lock on the Sharpshooter while Natalya did the same to Charlotte. Both Flairs tapped out. This was likely to set up a Submission match for the next PPV in 3 weeks. ******
8. The McMahon Family Therapy Ego Trip: Now it was time for several egos to be stroked during one long in-ring vignette. Remember that old ‘Simpsons’ episode where Bart and Lisa found themselves on rival hockey teams, with Homer insisting that they don’t take it easy on each other since they would be fighting for their parents’ love? Well, just scratch out Bart, Lisa and Homer and replace with Shane, Stephanie and Vince McMahon. Vince was to decide whether Shane or Stephanie would run Monday Night Raw. He decided that they would have to share Raw. What is this- ‘Full House’? Never mind: that show was only a half-hour instead of Raw’s butt and mind numbing three, plus if John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier were to show up, at least fans would cheer instead of the groaning that accompanies any McMahon.
Enzo Amore Update: testing revealed that Amore just suffered a severe concussion but is otherwise okay. He got off VERY easily all things considered.
9. WWE World Champion Roman Reigns Vs. AJ Styles: I had high hopes for this main event. On paper, it looked like it couldn’t miss. Despite being booed out of every arena he steps into these days, Reigns has proven himself to be a very solid in-ring performer. Styles is one of the greatest workers of his generation. With enough time, these two could have put on a real classic here. Unfortunately for them, several things happened that sent this match straight to the toilet. First, Reigns tweaked his leg early on in the match and as a result, his in-ring performance wasn’t up to his usual high standard of the past year. Even worse, the dumb decision was made to severely overbook this match to the point that it became a colossal clusterf*** of the highest order. The match was coming along fine for the first 10 minutes or so, a solid if unspectacular match in the *** to ***1/2 range when Reigns was counted out, handing AJ a victory but not the World title. Then along came Shane McMahon to restart the match as a No Countout match. Another two or so minutes passed by before Reigns gave AJ the Superman bunch to the testicles for the DQ. Then along came Stephanie McMahon to restart the match as a No DQ match. At this point, I received a message from my fellow Phoenix author Koriander Bullard, predicting “Now Gallows, Anderson and the Usos will interfere”. Sure enough, they did. It was simply THAT predictable by this point. Since it was no DQ, of course it was all legal. It devolved into a trainwreck that was an indistinguishable mess for the fan to try and figure out at home. It finally came to an end when Reigns nailed Styles with the Spear for the 1-2-3, retaining the WWE World title. Not one minute into Reigns’ in-ring celebration, the camera cut away to backstage where all three McMahons were arguing about a rematch for the Extreme Rules PPV in three weeks. So it all wound up being about the McMahon family instead of where the focus should be: Roman Reigns, the WWE World title and top challenger AJ Styles. What a disgusting and total disgrace! Sheer arrogance and egotism is behind this dumb decision to rehash a never ending family feud that fans were tired of 15 years ago. If this PPV was supposed to be the start of a new era, making the McMahons the primary stars of the show was not the way to do so. Your World champion, his top challenger and the coveted prize of the WWE World Championship were left looking like an afterthought so three people who shouldn’t be anywhere near the vicinity of a camera could be the last thing fans think about when this show was over. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, but I think they have no shame any longer. Ugh. *1/4