Venue: Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville, TN)
-Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House Interrupts Seth Rollins In-Ring Promo
With the exception of Becky Lynch, there isn’t a hotter act in WWE right now than Bray Wyatt/The Fiend. It’s a tough spot for Rollins, who endured a smattering of boos last night at Clash of Champions. Seth, whose promos as a face character have never been much to write home about, has to step up his game on the mic if he wants to go toe-to-toe verbally with a guy like Wyatt during this build.
-Braun Strowman Interrupts the Tag Team Summit
It makes sense that they would give Strowman the chance to get some of his heat back after yet another disappointing loss in a big title match. Treating both of the new tag champions as basically nothing more than Braun’s tackling dummies doesn’t do The Revival or Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler any favors, though.
-The OC Defeats Cedric Alexander and The Viking Raiders
It was good to see the Viking Raiders in action against worthy competitors for the second week in a row instead of just beating up on local jobbers. Viking gimmicks aren’t really my cup of tea but these two have potential and a unique dynamic. Crowds just need to see them in matches that aren’t quick squashes. Some of their tandem moves are really impressive, as is Ivar’s athleticism and willingness to go for broke from the top rope.
Styles getting another pinfall victory on Alexander is a bit surprising. I feel those two have it in them to put on a great singles match, but obviously they did not get the time to show it on last week’s Raw or at Clash of Champions.
-King of the Ring Final: Baron Corbin Defeats Chad Gable
This one was structured as expected — Corbin getting the edge early and beating down on Gable (that body drop onto the chair in the timekeeper’s area was intense) before the 5’8’’ underdog recovered and got his babyface fire spot. It was encouraging to see the crowd get behind Gable in the manner that they did. For a minute there, when the ankle lock was applied, everyone was craving a tap-out win. It was not to be, though.
Judging by his postmatch promos after his early round matches, Corbin should be able to play the cocky heel King gimmick well. Hopefully, this results in a push for Gable as well, as he showed he has what it takes to get a crowd behind him.
-The Gender Reveal Party of Maria Kanellis
It’s good to see The Street Profits getting a backstage segment that is a little more intricate than their usual promos of them both giving a well delivered yet somewhat redundant rundown of matchups that we’ve already seen the match graphics for.
-Ricochet Defeats Mike Kanellis
At first, it was concerning seeing Ricochet being lumped in with the expendable lowcard crowd of guys like Titus O’Neil, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins at the party. But it makes sense that they’d want to put him in a situation where he can pick up a quick easy win after last week’s King of the Ring defeat. Not sure if pinning Kanellis in easy fashion does a much for his momentum, though.
-Rusev Defeats Mike Kanellis
The lack of crowd reaction for Rusev’s return was disheartening but it was admittedly an odd situation to thrust him into. He looks to be in great shape. Maybe he gets a bit of a character tweak from the Rusev Day stuff back to his original more serious scary heel persona. The baby daddy soap opera stuff might be good if done right. It’s worth giving a chance. Maria and Mike have done well with what they’ve been given so far. We’ll see how far they want to go with it.
-Glenn Jacobs Defeats R-Truth to win the 24/7 Championship
Predictable but fine couple of segments. No qualms with letting Jacobs have a fun little spotlight moment while also getting a chance to do some Knoxville tourism promotion.
-Rey Mysterio Defeats Cesaro
These two always seem to mesh well in singles competition and tonight was no exception. Unfortunately, the crowd was pretty dead for most of it. But they did get into it in the final ending sequence and popped when Mysterio got the victory.
-AOP Video Package
Simple and to the point — two big threatening guys saying scary sounding stuff. The tag divisions on both shows can use a boost right now, so hopefully they can provide a nice shot in the arm to whichever show they end up on after the draft. There are some interesting potential feuds they could have against The Viking Raiders, Heavy Machinery and The New Day.
-Sasha Banks & Bayley Defeat Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
Not a lot to this match. Nikki’s rough-looking Tornado DDT on Bayley was the only real standout negative. It accomplished what it needed it to — Sasha gets a pin, which helped set up a spot that allowed a confrontation with Becky Lynch. Plus, there was the added bonus of Charlotte getting her revenge on Bayley following that dirty loss at Clash of Champions last night.
-R-Truth Defeats Glenn Jacobs for the 24/7 Title
Conclusion of a predictable but fine little fun story line between those two.
-Lacey Evans Defeats Dane Brooke
Lacey’s double boot through the ropes looked cool. The fact that Evans won with an antagonistic sharpshooter on Brooke means that her feud with Natalya isn’t over. Eh.
-Seth Rollins Defeats Robert Roode Via Disqualification
Forgettable affair with very little action. But it did set up Kane’s return which woke up what was otherwise a rather dead crowd. Not sure why they needed to involve The OC. Kane beating up Roode and Ziggler probably would have been sufficient. The Fiend adds another victim to his wall of legends with crossed-out eyes.
The King of the Ring Final between Corbin and Gable was the highlight of the night. Unfortunately, it never really seemed like the crowd got fully back into the show after that. The 24/7 Title stuff with Glenn Jacobs was good for what it was. I liked the ending of the Fiend taking out Kane and then staring down Rollins before cutting to a distorted Firefly Fun House graphic. WWE has really got something with Wyatt right now.
It will be interesting to see how they build towards Rollins and The Fiend at Hell In the Cell over the next few weeks. No matter how it plays out, though, I have a hunch that replica Fiend Mask is going to be a hot seller this Halloween season.