The John Report: WWE Stomping Grounds 2019 Review


Welcome to the TJR review of WWE Stomping Grounds. It’s the first ever Stomping Grounds PPV where they are using the “kick ass and take names” phrase to try to make the fans excited about the show. I don’t think it’s a great PPV name. If it was me, the June PPV would be called the Great American Bash, but it’s not up to me.
Here’s a rundown of the Cruiserweight Title match on the Kickoff Show. The announcers were the 205 Live crew of Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Aiden English.

Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese vs. Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa
Gulak started with a dropkick on Nese and Gulak tossed Tozawa out of the ring. Nese with kicks to the ribs of Tozawa followed by a sweep kick. They did a spot where Nese was pinning Tozawa while Nese hit a German Suplex on Gulak. Nese hit a superkick on Gulak on the floor and Tozawa hit a suicide dive on Nese followed by a running flip splash on Gulak on the floor. Tozawa went up top with a missile dropkick on Nese for two as Gulak broke up the pin. Tozawa dumped Gulak out of the ring and he went up top, but Nese knocked him down. Nese with a gutbuster knee to the ribs on Tozawa with Gulak breaking up the pin. Gulak with a knee to the face of Nese and then he suplexed Tozawa onto Nese. They aired a commercial break in the split screen as they advertised Stomping Grounds. While that happened, Gulak grabbed a headlock on Tozawa. Gulak wit ha headbutt on Tozawa and then Tozawa came back with a submission where he wrenched back on the arms of Gulak. The split screen ended there as Nese broke it up. Nese tossed Tozawa into Gulak and Nese hit Tozawa with a forearm. Gulak with a clothesline on Nese followed by the GuLock submission, but Tozawa went up top and hit a senton splash on Nese. They didn’t show Tozawa climbing up, so it looked like he came out of nowhere. Tozawa with a hurricanrana followed by a running dropkick on Gulak for two. Gulak sent Tozawa out of the ring, Nese back in with a kick to the face of Gulak and Nese hit a springboard moonsault for two as Tozawa broke it up. Tozawa with a hard punch to send Nese into the corner. They did a spot out of the corner with Gulak hitting a superplex on Tozawa and Nese went for a 450 Splash, but Gulak moved. Nese hooked Gulak up for a move where Gulak was on his back and Nese jumped onto his knees. It’s called the Dudebuster when Trent Barretta does it. That drew a big pop and then Tozawa hit a Shining Wizard knee to Nese for a two count. Great nearfall. Tozawa with a spin kick to the head of Gulak and Nese sent Tozawa to the floor. Nese with the Running Nese knee to the face of Gulak. Tozawa and Nese got rollups on eachother and Nese sent Tozawa into the turnbuckle. Gulak was slow to break it up, so Tozawa kicked out. Nese with a German Suplex that sent Gulak into the turnbuckle. Gulak sent Nese to the apron and Tozawa hit a dropkick to send Nese into the barricade after Gulak moved. Gulak avoided a Tozawa kick and Gulak hit a Torture Rack Neckbreaker on Tozawa for the pinfall win at 11:20.
Winner by pinfall and New Cruiserweight Champion: Drew Gulak
It was the first time that Gulak has won the Cruiserweight Championship.

Analysis: ***1/2 It was an exciting match with the final few minutes really standing out for the fast pace and several believable nearfalls that drew strong reactions from the crowd. That was very effective as a thrilling kickoff show match that got the crowd fired up. Gulak was my pick to win. Good for Drew. He’s a hard worker that deserves a run with the title as well.
That was the only Kickoff Show match. It’s onto the main show now.

WWE Stomping Grounds
From the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington
June 23, 2019
There was an opening video package hyping up the matches coming up tonight. The camera focused on the crowd making a lot of noise. The other part of the arena where the hard camera was had most of the seats blocked off.
Becky Lynch entered with the Raw Women’s Title in the same black and yellow gear she wore at WrestleMania. Michael Cole mentioned her boyfriend Seth Rollins also having a big title match later in the show. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young were ringside to call the Raw matches.

Lacey Evans made her entrance looking like a lady, of course. The Spanish and German announce teams were also at ringside telling you to visit TJRWrestling every day. Thanks, guys.
The women stood in the ring for ring announcer Mike Rome to give them the championship introductions.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans

The crowd was hot as the match began. Lynch was in control early on as she grabbed Evans’ foot and slammed her face first into the mat. Lynch sent Evans into the turnbuckle and they messed up the corner kick spot because Evans was too far away. Lynch did it again and connected this time. Lynch with a baseball slide dropkick. Evans kicked Lynch into the announce table. Back in the ring, Lynch with a leg whip takedown. Evans hit a front facelock DDT and then she drove Lynch’s body against the ring post. There was a brief “you can’t wrestle” chant at Evans, which isn’t very nice, but some fans are cruel like that. Evans worked over the ribs of Lynch with kicks followed by a submission working over the ribs of Lynch. When Lynch got back up, Evans hit her with a shoulder tackle. Lynch bridged out and kicked her in the head. Lynch with a jumping kick, but Evans came back with a shoulder tackle to the ribs. Evans had the arm of Evans while they were on the top rope and Lynch slapped on the armbar, but Evans got to the ropes. Evans with a jumping attack on Lynch against the turnbuckle for two. Evans grabbed a tissue out of her tights, wiped her sweat and threw it on Lynch. Moments later, Lynch stuffed the tissue down Lacey’s throat. Lynch with two clotheslines, knees to the ribs and a kick to the face. Lynch with a jumping forearm to knock down Evans. Lynch went to the middle ropes for a leg drop, she jumped off and Evans moved out of the way. Evans went for her elbow drop back into the ring, but Lynch got the knees up and a rollup got two. Evans with a back elbow and then she sprung off the ropes into a stunner like move. Evans with a kick that was good for a two count. Evans went to the ropes, Lynch pulled her off and Lynch slapped on the Disarmher armbar submission and Evans tapped out quickly at 11:30.
Winner by submission: Becky Lynch

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. I didn’t expect Lynch to lose and if she did lose, it would have been disappointing because Lynch should have a long reign with that title considering how long they built her up to be in that spot. Lynch was calling the match the entire time because I could hear a few things. There were a few moments that were a bit sloppy, but for the most part, they got through it okay.
There was a video about Ali talking about protecting the innocent from harm and allow no fear to shape his faith in good. It was just Ali walking the streets and talking about the heart that he has.
Kayla Braxton was outside of Baron Corbin’s locker room door and she said Paul Heyman was in the room. Heyman was asked if he’s going to be the referee in the Corbin/Rollins match later, but Heyman avoided it. Heyman simply mentioned that Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston were there, so he teased that Lesnar could be there. Heyman left. Baron Corbin walked out of the room saying if she keeps hanging out there he will think she wants more than information. That’s not a PG insinuation. Anyway, Corbin said he found his referee and he left.
Analysis: The mystery of the special referee is supposed to be the big draw of this show. We’ll find out later if it was worth all the hype.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens made their entrance. The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton took over at ringside. Big E and Xavier Woods of the New Day entered as the opponents.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Big E and Xavier Woods
Owens with a superkick on Big E to knock him off the apron. Owens hit Woods with four superkicks and a senton bomb off the top. Zayn tagged in with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count as usual with that move. Owens tagged in, he went up top and he hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Owens and Zayn were frustrated that they didn't win already. Zayn worked over Woods with some kicks to the face as Big E got back on the apron. Owens with a cannonball attack on Woods against the turnbuckle. Zayn with a crossface on Woods. Owens tagged back in with a stomp to the back of Woods and Woods hit a jumping kick to the head of Owens. Zayn tagged in and knocked Big E off the apron. Woods got away from Zayn, Owens tagged in and Woods hit a sunset flip type slam that sent Owens face first into the mat. Big E got the hot tag with the usual offense from him that included the two belly to belly overhead suplexes, the side belly to belly suplex and a running splash for two. Zayn teased a DDT off the turnbuckle, but Big E blocked it and hit a uranage slam for two. Woods picked up Big E on his shoulders and launched him down onto Zayn for a splash. Woods with a leg drop using the ropes for an assist for two. Owens saved Zayn and Big E tossed Owens out of the ring. Zayn shoved Big E into the ring post and a boot to the face on Woods. Zayn with a Helluva Kick on Woods and Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb for two because Big E broke up the pin attempt. That was perfectly timed by Big E. Running clothesline by Big E on Zayn and Owens with a superkick on Big E. Woods with a running elbow on Owens. All four guys were down. The fans were cheering for all of them. Big E with a Spear on Zayn on the apron to knock him down. Great spot every time Big E does. Woods went for a top rope attack on Owens, but Owens knocked him down to crotch Woods on the top rope and Owens hit a Stunner on Woods for the pinfall win at 11:10.
Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good tag team match that was fast paced and the crowd was into it. I loved the aggressiveness of Owens and Zayn from the start of the match because it set the tone. They needed the win more after losing too much in TV matches. Big E and Xavier Woods did a great job of selling as well as making the big comebacks when needed. Zayn and Owens are my favorite tag team in WWE, but I would prefer to see them used better as singles wrestlers rather than a full-time tag team. The right team got the win here.

There was some video about the Rocket League video game. I don’t play video games. There was also a WWE Shop commercial.
Alexa Bliss was shown getting ready for her Smackdown Women’s Title match. Nikki Cross showed up, she was supportive of Bliss, she said people will see Bayley’s true colors and Cross can’t wait to be in her corner. Bliss said it looks like it is them against the world.
Ricochet made his entrance for the US Title match. Samoa Joe was up next as the US Champion.

United States Championships: Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet
Joe got in some strikes early. Ricochet with a dropkick that sent Joe to the floor. Ricochet tried an attack, but Joe drove Ricochet back first into the side of the ring apron. Back in the ring, Joe with a uranage slam for two and then a hard elbow for another two count. Joe with a running corner elbow followed by a step up enziguri for two. Joe slapped on a chinlock. Ricochet with a jawbreaker to break the hold, so Joe decked him with a forearm to the face. Joe hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. They replayed Joe’s forearm to the face that looked brutal as Joe slapped on another chinlock. Joe with a hard chop to the chest, Ricochet with a step up enziguri and a jumping kick to the face. Joe with a running forearm followed by a headscissors into the corner. Ricochet with a headbutt to the ribs and a springboard clothesline, but Joe moved away a bit too early. Ricochet hit a dive over the top onto Joe on the floor where Ricochet twisted in the air. Back in the ring, Ricochet with a springboard moonsault (Lionsault) for a two count. Ricochet up top, Joe got back up and hit a running powerslam for two. Ricochet went for a springboard elbow, Joe caught him and hit a German Suplex followed by a clothesline where Ricochet did a flip bump to sell it. That was a great sequence.
Ricochet went for a kick to the gut, but Joe flipped him over leading to a spin in the air by Ricochet and he landed hard. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch, Ricochet went to the ropes and broke the hold using the ropes. Ricochet went up top, he went for the 630 Splash, Joe moved and Joe went for a clothesline, but Ricochet landed on his feet. Ricochet with Codebreaker (double knees to the face) and Ricochet went up top with the 630 Splash leading to the pinfall win at 12:25.
Winner by pinfall and New United States Champion: Ricochet

Analysis: **** That was an excellent match. It almost felt like a Takeover match if they got another five minutes, but I am fine with the time they got. It was one of my favorite Samoa Joe matches on the main roster. I liked the contrast in styles with Joe using the power game and Ricochet using his aerial attacks to make the big comebacks. They had several sequences in the match where it looked like one guy was going to hit a big move, then there was a counter and it kept getting better. In my preview of the event, I wrote that Ricochet should win because he’s a future main event star if they book him right and they need him to rack up PPV victories. That’s why it was important for Ricochet to win and I’m glad he did.
The win by Ricochet was treated as a big deal as he held up the United States Title. Ricochet was excited about being the champion. They replayed the 630 Splash that Ricochet hit to win the title.

Ricochet was shown walking backstage in the Gorilla Position where he was greeted by people like Seth Rollins, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Heavy Machinery and Triple H (the daddy of NXT) was there too. Even Shane Helms, a Producer in WWE, gave Ricochet a tap on the chest to say good job.
Analysis: That was a cool scene there although Charlotte being there felt out of place since she’s a heel. Everybody else there was a face.
Heavy Machinery entered as the challengers for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. Daniel Bryan and Rowan got a nice ovation because Bryan is from the state of Washington, so it was almost like Daniel Bryan’s hometown crowd.
The international announce teams were shown: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin with Graves making his usual joke about partying with the announcers.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)
Rowan was going to start, the fans chanted for Bryan and Bryan tagged in to cheers. When Otis drove Bryan to the mat, the fans booed. Otis with a press slam on Bryan. Tucker tagged in and hit a delayed suplex on Bryan. Tucker with a running clothesline on Bryan for a two count. Rowan tagged in with a running cross body block to knock down Tucker. Rowan with a running splash on Tucker and the fans did a “please recycle” chant. That was great. Bryan tagged in with a running kick to the face and Rowan with a running splash on Tucker against the ring post. Bryan drove the left leg of Tucker into the steel post. Bryan stomped on the back of the knees of Tucker. Rowan tagged back in with a running splash on Tucker for a two count. Tucker with a boot to the face, Rowan missed a corner attack and went shoulder first into the ring post. Otis got the hot tag against Bryan with Otis hitting three running shoulder tackles and a spin into a slam. Otis charged, but Bryan drove him face first into the middle turnbuckle. Bryan with two running dropkicks and he went for another one only for Otis to catch him with a Powerbomb for two. Otis went for a Vader Bomb out of the corner, but Bryan moved out of the way. Bryan worked over Otis with the Yes Kicks to the chest although Otis did his own version of hulking up to get back to his feet. Otis caught Bryan and gave him an overhead suplex. Otis with a running splash on Bryan by the turnbuckle. Otis did the Caterpillar leading to an elbow drop. Tucker got the tag, catapult and Tucker slammed Bryan for two as Rowan made the save. Bryan kicked the left leg of Tucker repeatedly, Tucker avoided a kick and slammed Bryan down. Tucker went up top, he went for a moonsault and Bryan rolled away, but Tucker’s feet got a piece of Bryan.

Rowan got the tag along with Otis as the two men squared off. They each did running clotheslines with neither guy getting the advantage. Bryan tagged himself in, Otis slammed Rowan and Bryan sent Tucker out of the ring. Bryan with a knee off the top to the face of Otis. Bryan tried a dive on Tucker, but Tucker knocked him down. Tucker jumped onto Rowan on the floor. Bryan got a small package on Tucker for the pinfall win at 14:25. Mr. Small Package strikes again!
Winners by pinfall: Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Analysis: ***1/2 That was everything it should have been in terms of match quality and the story they told. I liked it. It was smart to keep the titles on Bryan/Rowan as the heels at the top of the division while Heavy Machinery looked impressive as well. I think Otis really came off as a star by the way he held his own against Bryan and the big man showdown with Rowan. Tucker had some nice spots too. The finish was done in a way that will likely set up a rematch because it was only a win with a small package rather than a decisive finishing move. Bryan was outstanding during the entire match. I have been perfect in my predictions so far.

A commercial aired for WWE Extreme Rules on July 14 in Philadelphia. Go Raptors. Sorry Philly fans.
There was a video package for the Smackdown Women’s Championship between Bayley and Alexa Bliss, who is from Raw.
Alexa Bliss entered with her buddy Nikki Cross. Bayley was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. They stood in the ring for the championship introductions.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss (w/Nikki Cross)
Bayley was aggressive early on, but then Bliss took over by sending Bayley face first into the middle turnbuckle. The fans were chanting for both women as Bliss slapped on a chinlock. When Bayley got up, Bliss drove her knee into the back on Bayley. Bliss stomped on the head of Bayley, but Bayley came back with a cross body block. Bliss with a hard slap to the face. Bayley was fired up with an elbow drop. Bliss came back with a hard punch to the face. That looked great. Bayley with a knee to the side of the face. Bayley with a knee strike to the face. They went to the floor where Bliss drove Bayley’s right shoulder into the ring post. Bayley was distracted by Cross a bit. Back in the ring, Bliss wrenched on the right arm and a knee drop. Bayley came back with a belly to back suplex for a two count. Bayley hit a running sunset flip Powerbomb that sent the back of Alexa’s head into the turnbuckle. Bliss hit a suicide dive and Bayley took out Cross because Bliss moved. Bliss shoved Bayley into the steel steps. The replay showed that Bliss put Cross in front of her on purpose. Bliss hit a sunset flip Powerbomb on Bayley on the floor. Back in the ring, Bliss went up top and Cross tried to go after Bayley, but the referee made her leave the ring. Bliss went for Twisted Bliss, Bayley got the knees up to block and Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex for the pinfall win at 10:35.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: **3/4 It was fine with the predictable finish of Cross accidentally costing Bliss the win because Bliss couldn't do her finisher when she wanted due to Cross getting in the ring. I was surprised by some of the spots they did like Bayley giving Bliss a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle because Bliss has had numerous concussions in the past year, so that’s one of those bumps you don’t want to see her take. Bliss appeared to be fine, but that just stood out to me. Bayley was my pick to retain here. There are a lot of babyface champions in WWE right now, so some of them will lose their titles soon, but Bayley needs to have a good reign as champion.

There was a commercial for Gold Bond powder and for NXT this Wednesday.
The announce team talked about the 24/7 Title changes with R-Truth beating Drave Maverick for the title at Drake’s wedding last Thursday. The clips were shown. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! is deadly, my friends.
Ricochet was shown getting a photoshoot with the US Title. The team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson walked up to him. AJ Styles walked up to them and they all posed together. Styles congratulated Ricochet and said he would see him tomorrow night.
Analysis: Ricochet vs. Styles on Raw? That will be amazing. The match was confirmed for Monday's Raw.

The video package aired for Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre in a feud that featured Shane McMahon heavily as well.
Shane McMahon was introduced first with Greg Hamilton giving him the special “Best in the World” introduction. Drew McIntyre was next looking intense as usual with Cole calling him a machine. Roman Reigns was up next as the opponent and he got a pretty good pop.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre (w/Shane McMahon)

Reigns was aggressive with punches followed by a clothesline that sent McIntyre over the top to the floor. Reigns ran the ropes and hit a dive over the top onto McIntyre on the floor. Shane moved out of the way to avoid the attack. Reigns chased Shane into the crowd, then Shane ran into another section and back to the ringside area. Reigns tried a leaping attack, but McIntyre punched Reigns to stop it. McIntyre whipped Reigns into the steel steps. Back in the ring, McIntyre hit an overhead belly to belly suplex on Reigns for two. Shane choked Reigns across the middle rope leading to Drew slapping on an armbar. McIntyre sent Reigns into the ropes followed by a back elbow and a stomp to the head. McIntyre wanted a suplex, but Reigns countered into a suplex of his own. Shane grabbed Reigns and snapped the neck across the top rope leading to McIntyre hitting a spinebuster for two. McIntyre with a suplex leading to another armbar. When Reigns got moving again, McIntyre dropped him with a clothesline. McIntyre had Reigns trapped on the mat in a submission where he pulled back on the arms. Reigns started the comeback with a Samoan Drop. There was an exchange of punches, then Reigns hit three clotheslines. Reigns hit the ten clotheslines against the turnbuckle followed by a running boot to the face. Reigns loaded up in the corner, Shane to the apron and Reigns hit him a Superman Punch. Reigns with another Superman Punch on Shane on the floor. McIntyre avoided the Drive By kick on the apron and McIntyre with the reverse Alabama Slam that sent Reigns chest first into the announce table. That was impressive. Back in the ring, McIntyre hit a Bossman Slam for a two count.
McIntyre set up Reigns on the top rope, Reigns punched him off a bit and then McIntyre recovered to deliver a superplex for two. Cole was screaming that this could be the finish, but that’s not a finishing move and the fans know it. McIntyre did a kip up back to his feet. McIntyre set up in the corner, he charged for the Claymore Kick, but Reigns avoided it and got a backslide pin. McIntyre with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre went up top, he jumped off with nothing and Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch for two. Reigns set up for a Spear, McIntyre kicked him in the head. Reigns with a punch, McIntyre with a headbutt, Reigns bounced off the ropes and hit a Spear on McIntyre. Reigns covered for one…two…but Shane pulled the referee out of the ring. Shane attacked Reigns and set him up against the turnbuckle. Shane hit the Coast to Coast dropkick on Reigns against the turnbuckle. Shane put McIntyre on top of Reigns and it got a two count with Reigns getting his shoulder up. The referee was selling a left knee injury. McIntyre got up for the Claymore Kick, but Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch. Reigns tossed Shane out of the ring and Reigns hit a Spear on McIntyre for the pinfall win at 17:50.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match that was better than what they did at WrestleMania and it was about eight minutes longer too. The spot where Shane pulled the referee out of the ring should have led to a DQ finish right there, but they could explain that by saying that the referee was too afraid to disqualify Shane because Shane is the boss. McIntyre hit some cool moves throughout the match and he continues to impress, but losing twice to Reigns on PPV makes it tough to justify a monster push for him. I picked Reigns to win although I thought they might go with a DQ. A decisive win for Reigns was the right way to do it, so I’m glad they did it that way.

Reigns celebrated the victory. The announcers spoke as if this was the end of the rivalry, but I don’t know about that. Shane and Drew looked frustrated at ringside.
There was a commercial for Alexa Bliss 365 on WWE Network that premiered after Stomping Grounds. I’ll check it out on WWE Network after the show. Yes, her pet pig was in the preview clip.
The SD announce team recapped Drew Gulak winning the Cruiserweight Title on the Kickoff Show.
The steel cage was lowered on the ring. There was a video package to set up Kingston vs. Ziggler for the WWE Title in the steel cage.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance as the steel cage was around the ring. Ziggler was booed. Kofi Kingston was up last with the WWE Championship. Nice pop for Kingston. They stood in the ring for the championship introductions.

WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
There are four ways to win a WWE cage match: Pinfall, submission, climb out of the cage or walk out of the door. If it was up to me the only way to win would be to climb out of the cage. That would be more interesting.
Kingston nearly hit Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler avoided it. They did some trash talk. Ziggler hit a dropkick and he tried to walk out of the cage, but Kingston caught him. Ziggler with a catapult into the cage, Kingston climbed up and hit a dropkick for two. Ziggler sent Kingston into the cage. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker followed by another whip into the cage. Ziggler whipped Kingston face first into the cage for a two count. Ziggler slapped on an armbar, which led to Kingston getting back up to his feet with a jawbreaker. Ziggler charged, Kingston with a back elbow and a springboard dropkick off the middle turnbuckle. Kingston with a dropkick to Ziggler and then Ziggler came back by shoving Kingston into the cage. Kingston took control as he whipped Ziggler into the cage three times. Ziggler with a kick to the knee. Kingston avoided the Fameasser, he shoved Ziggler into the steel cage and Kingston rolled up Ziggler for two. Kingston climbed up the cage, but Ziggler held on to Kofi’s foot. Kingston sent Ziggler into the cage to knock him down. Kingston jumped onto the top rope leading to a cross body block off the top for two. Nice move.

Kingston tried to climb out of the cage again, but Ziggler held on. Ziggler climbed up, but Kingston climbed up the cage with him, so they were both sitting on top of the cage. Ziggler’s legs were out of the cage, but Kingston held onto him and they were back on the top rope. After a headbutt by Ziggler, they fell into the ring. They battled in the ring again with Kingston hitting the SOS trip into a slam for two. Kingston tried an attack, Ziggler moved and Kingston favored his right leg. Ziggler tripped up Kingston and wrenched the right leg of Kingston. When Kingston got to the rope, the referee told him there’s no break, so Kofi used the ropes to climb back to his feet. Ziggler grabbed the leg of Kingston and hit him with a superkick that nearly sent Kingston out of the cage to give Kofi in the win, but Ziggler prevented it. Ziggler slapped on a kneebar submission on the right leg. Kingston managed to get Ziggler off him. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler caught the foot and slapped on an Ankle Lock submission. Kingston turned it around into an Ankle Lock of his own, but Ziggler fought out of it. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for a two count because that’s not his finisher anymore. Ziggler wanted a superkick, but Kingston blocked it and took Ziggler down with a front facelock. Ziggler had two feet out of the ring, but they were not touching the floor. Kingston wanted a suplex, Ziggler avoided it and Ziggler tried to climb out. Kingston dragged Ziggler back in the ring. Ziggler with a thumb to the eye followed by a kick to the face. Ziggler crawled out the door, but Kingston ended up jumping out of the ring and landing on the floor first. Ziggler went to the floor right after him. It went 20:02.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **3/4 It was a bit too long, but I give them a lot of credit for a creative finish. I think what hurt the match was that there were not enough nearfalls, not enough moments where they tried to climb out of the cage and the submission attempts by Ziggler barely got a reaction because everybody knew that Kingston would get out of it. The finish was awesome because while it looked like Ziggler was going to win, Kingston came up with a clever way to beat him. I don’t recall somebody doing that to finish a cage match, so give them props for coming up with that ending. Ziggler never felt like a guy that was going to win the title. I just thought he was there for Kofi to beat at Super Showdown and Stomping Grounds, which is what he was. I have been perfect in my predictions with one more match to go.

Kofi Kingston celebrated with his New Day boys Big E and Xavier Woods. Charly Caruso showed up for an interview. Kingston said that Ziggler was a hell of a competitor, but Kingston said he would leave with his WWE Title and that’s what he did. New Day continued to celebrate.
There were commercials for WWE Shop and Extreme Rules.
Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon were shown walking backstage where Kayla Braxton showed up for an interview. Shane McMahon announced that Drew and Shane will face Roman Reigns in a 2 on 1 handicap match on Raw.

Analysis: That will probably lead to Drew pinning Roman to get Drew some positive momentum again.
The video package aired for the WWE Universal Championship match between champion Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin.
Baron Corbin made his entrance to boos from the crowd. Corbin made ring announcer Mike Rome read the cue cards listing the credentials for Corbin, which always gets heat from the crowd. Seth Rollins made his entrance with the Universal Championship around his waist and a steel chair in his hands. Good pop for the champ.
Corbin grabbed the microphone to announce the referee, but Rollins left the ring to scare. Rollins grabbed the microphone. Rollins said he didn’t know who Corbin got to be the referee, but if they think they can take Seth’s title, they will get the same (chair) treatment as everybody else.
The special referee is…Lacey Evans, who was booed by the crowd. Evans had a tight referee shirt on and she got in Seth’s face. The announcers immediately pointed out Lacey’s issues with Seth’s girlfriend Becky Lynch. Lacey made Rollins drop the chair and Corbin attacked Rollins with the chair.

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin (Lacey Evans is the special referee)
Corbin got in a two count as Evans counted fast. Corbin whipped Rollins into the barricade. Some fans chanted “this is stupid” at this. Evans didn’t count at all while the guys were out of the ring. Back in the ring, Corbin with a clothesline. Some fans were chanting “AEW” although it wasn’t that loud. Corbin hit a DDT and there were “Daniel Bryan” chants. Corbin whipped Rollins sternum first into the turnbuckle leading to a “CM Punk” chant. Corbin whipped Rollins into the turnbuckle with Rollins going upside down to sell it. The fans chanted “boring” with Cole saying that the fans were all over Corbin to try to get the heat on Corbin. Rollins tried a top rope attack, Corbin moved, punch to the throat by Corbin and a double axehandle to the back of Rollins. Corbin did his slide out of the ring leading to Rollins hitting an enziguri kick to the head. Rollins finally got some offense going with a Slingblade followed by the Blockbuster and a clothesline that sent Corbin out of the ring. Rollins hit a suicide dive to send Corbin into the barricade. Rollins jumped off the top with a springboard knee to the jaw and a superkick leading to Evans doing a slow count. That drew boos from the crowd. Rollins went for an attack off the apron, but Corbin blocked it with a punch to the face. Rollins sent Corbin throat first into the top rope and followed up with a Powerbomb that sent Corbin through the English announce table. Rollins told Evans to count, so Evans did a very slow count. Evans got up to an eight count. Evans told the ring announcer that there will be no countouts in this match.
Rollins sent Corbin back in the ring, Rollins with a kick to the gut and Corbin left the ring. Corbin with a forearm to block a suicide dive, but Rollins was relentless with another dive attempt. Corbin with a Chokeslam on the side of the ring apron. Corbin with a Chokeslam in the ring for a two count with Evans counting at normal speed. Rollins avoided an attack and hit a superkick. Rollins went up top and hit a Frog Splash for one…two…and Evans pretended as if her right shoulder was hurting. Graves claimed it was Becky Lynch’s fault for hurting her earlier. Cole said there was no way for Rollins to combat this. Corbin hit Rollins in the ribs with the chair. Corbin hit Rollins in the back with the chair two times. Back in the ring, Corbin hit Rollins three more times in the back. Evans announced that this will be a no disqualification match. The fans were chanting for Becky.

Corbin teased a slam on the chair, but Rollins countered with a Falcon Arrow slam on the chair. Evans did not count the pin while Cole counted to seven and Corbin didn’t move. Rollins was pissed off and got in Lacey’s face. Evans with a hard slap to Seth’s face. Seth laughed about it, so Evans slapped him again. Evans kicked Rollins and a low blow. Corbin hit the End of Days slam on Rollins. Becky Lynch finally ran out for the save with punches on Evans. Lynch with a forearm on Evans and a Bexploder Suplex on the floor as Cole correctly pointed out it was a No DQ match, so Lynch was allowed to do it. Corbin called referee John Cone to be in the ring and then he complained about it. Corbin went for the End of Days, Rollins avoided it, Rollins with the kick and The Stomp for the pinfall win at 18:25.
Winner by pinfall: Seth Rollins
Analysis: *3/4 This was a storyline driven match with the corrupt referee out there to try to help the heel challenger, but everybody watching this knew that Lynch was going to make the save at some point. As soon as Evans announced it would be No DQ, that set the stage for the Lynch involvement because she would be allowed to attack Evans and that’s what she did. Rollins did the best he could to carry the match, but I just think with the story they were telling, it would have been hard for any two people to have an outstanding match. I don’t mind Corbin as much as some people. He’s a classic, old school heel. The problem is fans are sick of the guy getting pushed too much and WWE needs to make him look like more of a star because looking like a restaurant waiter isn’t helping. Rollins retaining the title was the right decision. I had no doubt that he would keep the gold. This was one of the worst PPV main events in a while in terms of match quality.

Post match, Becky raised Seth’s hand and they hugged in the ring. They raised eachother’s hands and hugged again. Lynch even patted Seth on the back. Graves said that Seth is Becky’s boyfriend and not the other way around. Renee said he was “The Man’s man.” I guess that’s the right way to say it. Seth and Becky sat together on the apron as replays aired.
Rollins and Lynch walked up the ramp together as the fans cheered them. They posed on the stage with Seth kissing her head and that was it.
Analysis: The whole point of this may have just been to make the point that Rollins and Lynch are dating, so now WWE is going to feature that more in their storyline. On Twitter, they are using the hashtag #BROLLINS to really push the relationship. I’m sure we’ll see more of it on Raw in the weeks to come.
This show had a runtime of 3:17:16 on WWE Network.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Ricochet
  2. Samoa Joe
  3. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens
  4. Xavier Woods/Big E
  5. Daniel Bryan

 

Final Thoughts
It gets a 6.5 out of 10 from me.
The 6.5 out of 10 score means that it was pretty good for the most part. The lack of a great main event hurt the show. I thought the best match was Ricochet vs. Samoa Joe as a classic athletic guy overcoming the odds against a bigger guy. The two tag team matches were very good too. Reigns/McIntyre and Kingston/Ziggler were fine as well, but maybe a bit too long. The problem with a show like this is there was nothing "must see" on it, so if you missed it, you really didn't miss much.

There are babyfaces holding the WWE, Universal, Intercontinental, United States and both Women’s Titles right now. That’s rare to have that many faces holding onto the gold. It won’t last much longer because some heels will get those titles soon.
It was a predictable show because I got every pick right in my preview of the event. In the Reigns match, I noted that it could be a DQ ending, but it was clean. I’m going to give myself that one. Predictable doesn’t mean bad. The matches were good for the most part.

Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs so far with a score out of 10:
WrestleMania 35 – 7.5
Elimination Chamber – 7.5
Fastlane – 7.5
Royal Rumble – 7
Stomping Grounds – 6.5
Money in the Bank – 6
Super Showdown – 3.5
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