Welcome to the Day 1 Reaction, where I offer my thoughts on the first WWE PPV, err, Premium Live Event (PLE?) of 2022.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
Shocking news as we kick things off with Roman Reigns announcing that he has Covid and is unable to compete in the main event. Brock Lesnar is now added to the WWE Title match to make it a Fatal 5-Way.
The kickoff match has Cesaro teaming with Ricochet to take on Sheamus and Ridge Holland. Ricochet kicks off the match by kicking Holland’s nose off his face, taking him out for the remainder of the match. The match was pretty good without Holland’s participation. You’d think that with it being two on one, the two man team would win. Nope. I’m guessing they kept the original finish with Sheamus and Holland going over. It’s a bit hard to take Cesaro and Ricochet seriously when they lose a handicap match that they had the advantage with. (My pick: Cesaro and Richchet)
The main show starts off with the Smackdown Tag Team Championship on the line with the Usos defending against The New Day. I really like the King Woods entrance. It is way better than the standard New Day entrance. The new music for it fits too. Anyway, we get a fantastic opening match, as expected/predicted. It started off a bit slow and plodding, but once it kicked into the next gear, it was off the hook. There was so much action and many nearfalls. The match really could have gone either way at multiple points. In the end, The Usos retained their titles after hitting a 3D on Kingston. I highly recommend this match if you missed it. You will not be disappointed. (My pick: The Usos)
Drew McIntyre takes on Madcap Moss next. No sane person would have picked Moss to win here. McIntyre did make Moss look good in defeat. Moss actually looked pretty good in the ring against McIntyre. McIntyre would drop Moss with the Claymore to pick up the win. Later in the night, McIntyre did an injury angle to continue this feud. (My pick: Drew McIntyre)
The Raw Tag Team Championship were up for grabs next with RK-Bro defending against The Street Profits. Special guests, Atlanta’s Migos, accompany RK-Bro to the ring and sit ringside for the match. The match was really good, as one would expect. Riddle played the face in peril to make the hot tag to Orton. The ending came with Riddle launching Ford up into the air for Orton to catch with an RKO to retain the titles. That was a crazy awesome RKO for sure. After the match, The Street Profits show respect to RK-Bro and celebrate in the ring with Migos. Hopefully, a new team steps up to face RK-Bro. Alpha Academy perhaps? (My pick: RK-Bro)
Up next was The Miz taking on Edge. Maryse came out with Miz and Edge did his old Brood entrance (a la his feud with Seth Rollins). The Brood entrance is pretty sweet-looking and fits the feud. The match was good, but it could have been better. Perhaps they were holding some stuff back for a future rematch. Maryse tried to be a factor in the match towards the end but Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix, appeared and chased Maryse off. Edge dropped Miz with the Spear for the win. It was great to see Beth back, perhaps there’s a mixed tag in the future? (My pick: Edge)
The Raw Women’s Championship was up for grabs with Becky Lynch defending against Liv Morgan. The match was really good as I was expecting. Lynch made Morgan look like a star on the rise. Morgan proved that she could hang with Lynch in two big matches. You can tell that Morgan has improved in the ring with this feud. The finish was a bit surprising with Lynch winning clean and not by cheating. I had picked Lynch to win underhandedly to set Morgan up to win the Rumble, but I’m not sure now. We’ll have to see how the leadup to the Royal Rumble goes. (My pick: Becky Lynch)
The main event was the Fatal Five Way for the WWE Championship pitting Big E against Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley, and Brock Lesnar. The match starts off as a car crash, hitting big barricade and table spots along with a trip to Suplex City. Everybody hits their finishers in rapid succession and Lesnar drops Big E with an F5 to capture the WWE Championship for the sixth time. It was rather shocking to see the match end so quickly (it was under ten minutes) and makes me wonder if Lesnar was supposed to win the Universal Championship instead. At least Big E lasted a little longer in his WWE title match against Lesnar than Kofi Kingston did. (Fatal Four Way Pick: Seth Rollins)
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Smackdown Tag Team Championship match was fantastic. It was hands down the match of the night. That was the perfect match to end their feud for now. Hopefully, both teams move on from here.
Liv Morgan was impressive in her match again tonight but I suspect plans may have changed for her.
Obviously, Roman Reigns having to withdraw tonight because he has Covid. Hopefully, he beats it quickly and is back on Smackdown in time for the Rumble.
You can hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any feedback or discussion.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.