Sunday, October 4, 2015

Live in MSG Review

Last night, the WWE hosted a Network Special from the historic Madison Square Garden. I miss the old school MSG set up. Anyway, things started with a tag team match putting Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton against Rusev and Sheamus. Orton was insanely over. They worked your typical house show tag team match, though the fact that the crowd was pretty hot helped things along. A superkick into an RKO put down Sheamus. After the match, Rusev calls Sheamus a stupid non-American and demands that he pack his suitcase and leave. I've really grown to love Rusev. Sheamus laid him out with a Brogue Kick to end the segment though. **1/4

Up next was another in a long line of matches between Neville and Stardust. We've seen it a million times but honestly, these two work so well together that I don't get that tired of it. They both seemed to have fun with everything that they did and I think that added to my enjoyment of the match. It also may hep that I really like both guys. As stated though, it was kind of the same as their other matches with an added treat of Stardust stealing Neville's cape at one point. Neville was able to put him down with the Red Arrow. Solid work but we've been here before. **1/2

Our next match was a six woman tag because ITS THE DIVAS REVOLUTION MAGGLE! Paige is still teaming with Team PCB for some stupid reason as they took on the Bella Twins. This whole thing is stupid. They work their typical match but it gets even dumber when Charlotte gets surprised that Paige acts like a bitch. Did you completely forget what happened on Raw? Becky and Charlotte leave Paige alone for her actions and she eats a Rack Attack. After the match, she cuts a promo about how she would never do that to her friends. The match wasn't good, the angle is shit and creative's lack of consistency and care for the women continues to shine. *1/4

The Intercontinental Championship was up for grabs in the next first time ever match. Chris Jericho came out first and cut a long promo about it being his anniversary in wrestling and pointed out Lance Storm and Cyrus in the front row. They showed off some good chemistry and had a nice back and forth match. It wasn't anything special and felt like they had a really good match in them if they ever meet in the future. After some cool counters, Owens used a thumb to the eye and a small package to retain. Solid work and I loved that Owens shouted "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY" after he left the ring. I would like to see an actual PPV or at least a 15 minute match between them down the line. ***

Before the WWE Tag Team Championship match, the New Day cut a pretty great promo about how the Dudleys are stuck in the past. It kind of would be fitting to discuss the WWE in general. The Dudleys did not get the pop that I was expecting. They worked a similar match to Night of Champions and the Dudleys looked to be on the verge of a win. Then they pulled the EXACT SAME FINISH from Night of Champions. Xavier Woods caused the DQ and they nearly put the Dudleys through the table. However, the Dudleys turned the tide and put Woods through one. It wasn't outright bad but it was the same damn thing we've seen already. **

When Brock Lesnar enters an arena, things just feel very different than at any other time. I can't buy Big Show as a threat after Brock murdered Show at Royal Rumble last year. Here, Show got off to a hot start, throwing Brock outside and then hitting three chokeslams. Brock got up from each, ducked a WMD and then went on a suplex barrage. He won with an F5 before going back after the match and delivering more punishment. This was a fine battle of monsters. It was pretty much exactly what it needed to be. Now just make sure Brock goes over Undertaker at Hell in a Cell and things will have been done as right as possible. **1/2

The main event was a Steel Cage match for the United States Championship between John Cena and Seth Rollins. They faced at SummerSlam and Night of Champions, as well as two episodes of Raw since August. Their chemistry is really good but none of those matches have been great in my eyes. That was the case here. This was better than the Orton/Rollins cage match at Extreme Rules at least. Seth had a chance to win but Kane appeared and instead of climbing down with the CRAZY amount of time that Seth had to do so, he stayed up there like an idiot. As Kane finally got near, he tried a frog splash into the ring but missed and ate an AA to lose. Kane attacked him after the match. ***1/4

In the end, this was nowhere near the level of the Beast in the East Special. For one thing, this show had nothing that reached the levels of Jericho/Neville and Balor/Owens from that show, but another issue was that this didn't feel different. I get that it was supposed to be a house show, but if you're going to air it on the Network, at least make it feel like one. Outside of the crowd looking dark, this looked like most WWE TV. Instead of being a Network Special, this was just another WWE event. 5/10.