You know me, I like wrestling TV. I havent enjoyed a single episode of TV as much as this one in at least 12 months. Yes, THAT much. Do not miss this show.
HOLY JESUS SHEAMUS VS BRYAN (PART 1)!
I DARE anyone to find me a better 3 minute match with no finish. I dare you.
This was so much fun – Sheamus’ to the point promo, using “YES” to piss off Bryan. And oh my God this match. The opening was the greatest thing ever, Sheamus hits a tackle and LOSES AT LIFE – it visibly killed his shoulder and Bryan after being knocked down is smiling because he realises it. So he goes after the arm like a madman, with Sheamus fighting him off at any opportunity. Arm wringer – BAMPUNCH. Awesome. They keep up the stiffness and intensity from the PPV match, Bryan really digs in and Sheamus just CLOBBERS him with strikes. So much happened in this and it was so awesome. Easily the best ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ sprint since Drew/Masters.
Anyway, RICARDO FLIES IN WITH THE CROSSBODY for the DQ, and it hadnt actually hit me until Alberto came in and slapped on the armbreaker that Sheamus’ shoulder is now an opening for Alberto. Awesome continuity. I love how Bryan was actually upset that they interfered in his match too, even while taking turns to beat up the babyface. An incredible opening segment, just awesome. Man I love wrestling.
Backstage, Sheamus sells the arm.
Two Medium Sized Black Guys vs Mexican America. You gotta love it dawg. Seriously, this was a super cool tag team sprint. Kofi and Hunico brought the MOVEZ. Camacho threw a good Lariat on the floor. I love how they keep him away from doing any offense, but have him tag in to eat the entire hot tag, like thats easier than throwing stomps. Truth tossing Kofi into the ‘rana here was awesome though, and again, super fun tag sprint.
They’re retconning “AW” to mean the new name of his management team that I didnt catch instead of Abe Washington. Kind of weird for the guy to not have a name, only initials. Anyway, I’m glad he’s officially with Rosa Mendes, the Former Tag Team Champions and I look forward to more tag team flippy goodness with the rematch.
They’ve added a bit to Brodus’ entrance where he introduces the girls. I swear to God, BOOKER T going completely insane over Brodus during his entrance was the greatest thing ever. Cole was just sitting there cracking up. He faced Swag this time, but never fear because on the outside Dolph made a running leap off the stairs into A HEADBUTT BUMP! That was AWESOME. Brodus catching Swag into the suplex was fun as well, and the countout was well done. Cant wait for Brodus to kill these two together one day. More fun, this has been the best half hour of television in forever.
Eve backstage yelling at Bryan and Alberto was the most convincing she’s yet looked in the role. This show can do no wrong.
SANDOW COMES OUT TO THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS!
GRESTEST ENTRANCE MUSIC DECISION EVER.
Sandow coming out just to say that he’s too good to wrestle was great. As was him dismissing “WHAT” chants. This guy is great already.
And then RYBACK! F*ck I love this show. When Bateman complained about not having a match I had a feeling he was coming, and I was right. And I mean, Bateman is not a small dude, he’s huge, and Ryback just demolished him like a jobber. More awesome fun. And interesting that since it was an impromptu match, there was no backstage crowd.
And to continue the never ending goodness, a semi-main tag match! It looked good on paper and was even better in reality. This show sure is something. Cody was an awesome bumping heel to begin, turning around and BUMPING AT THE SIGHT OF THE BIG SHOW. Not even kidding, the mere sight of the Big Show knocked him over. Awesome. Lots of great stuff in this match – Cody being beaten, Orton and Kane brawling into Show coming in with a SPEAR, Kane countering him into a giant DDT, the cool finisher-fest finish, even Show as Ricky Morton for a minute there.
The moments after Show tags out were my favourite – Orton comes in and runs wild into trying to DDT Cody but Kane LEVELS him with a punch (My Lord Orton sold this punch..) and you think “Oh, not the big hot tag after all..”, but then he grabs Kane instead and DOES hit the DDT on him and you think “Oh, it is the hot tag after all..”, but then Orton gets immediately low bridged and you think “Nope…”, but then he grabs Kane outside and you think “Yeah..” but then he gets posted and you think “Nope…” And finally the heels take over and get to work. Its probably not coming through in just play-by-play but it was a cool little sequence to play off the attempted hot tag. Anyway this was a really great tag match and I motherf*cking love this show.
Angry Sheamus! He looked badass here all taped up and ready for a fight. He’s been great all show.
AND THEN LAAAAAAYLA! I cant handle all this awesome. Her vs Nattie was fun while it lasted with them trading holds and Layla proving her hold trading prowess. Nattie’s Discus Clothesline looked good too. The finish was abrupt, but thats the worst I can say about this. I love Layla.
Just when I thought I was safe from shenanigans, Eve makes Teddy rub oil on Antonio. No, really. But whatever. One thing I actually like is that they’re not overplaying the new guys – Sandow only teased having his first match, Antonio had a break here after his debut, Ryback is only on one show. I think they learned their lesson from Brodus when they burned through the easiest part of his push by having him work twice a week every week.
I’d forgotten about AJ actually. But drama! AJ tries to apologise but Kaitlyn was disparaging towards Daniel Bryan so BITCHSLAP! She ROCKED her with this slap man, Kaitlyn actually went down. Totally fine with AJ bitchslapping people every week.
HOLY JESUS SHEAMUS VS BRYAN (PART 2)!
Wow. Just wow. Its been over 24 hours and I’m still struggling to effectively express how much I loved this match and this entire show’s worth of Sheamus and Bryan. What incredible work.
Alberto comes out to do commentary so you know sh*t is going to break down at some point. Sheamus coming down the ramp all bandaged and wincing but still like “F*ck this, lets fight” was great. And then they proceed to have this motherf*cking match. Bryan goes hard out on the arm work moreso than ever, and Sheamus is even more valiant in trying to fight him off and survive. This was a king-sized battle.
The hands down highlight of this match was the hammerlock. Yes, the hammerlock. This was like the greatest hammerlock spot of all time though. Bryan gets Sheamus down on the mat and starts twisting the arm. Sheamus tries throwing elbows with his free arm (like he did 90 mins ago) but Bryan smothers him and hooks the arm to prevent it, and not only that but getting in his face and screaming “Go on, hit me!” while he did. Sheamus continues to struggle from underneath while Bryan is tearing the f*ck out of the injured arm and raking his forearm across his face. A beautiful, BEAUTIFUL piece of wrestling – this was an epic, physical struggle between two men trying to hurt the other man and win a match.
I loved everything after this point as well, as Sheamus posts Bryan for some revenge to set up the greatest comeback he’s ever had. He was on so much fire here, his crazy intensity on the Chest Wallops and then following up with another set for good measure, kicking out of a monstrous top rope dropkick, then flipping Bryan INSIDE OUT with a giant Axe Handle. Finally Alberto tries to interfere and is FOILED, but Bryan goes up the top to attempt another flying dropkick (nothing foreshadows doom more than a heel trying to repeat a big move in a match), and he leaps into BEING SHELTON’D TO DEATH! Sheamus wins!
An awesome freaking match to end an awesome show-long angle and an awesome episode of TV. Bryan was of course his typical great self – he worked his ass off and looked downright spectacular on offense just maiming and tearing this man limb from limb. Everything he did was designed to dismantle this arm, and when I say “everything”, I’m not speaking generally to make a point; I kid you not, literally single piece of offense from Bryan in this match was on the arm – every kick, every strike, every hold, every highspot, every cutoff, every submission. Thats really an amazing stat when you think about it, and it was a really awesome physical performance.
Its really Sheamus I want to talk about here though. I dont think I’m being all that unreasonable when I say that between Extreme Rules and this SD, this week combined has been the greatest performance of Sheamus’ life. I can only think of the Morrison ladder match, and maybe the ’11 Henry matches where he even came CLOSE to being this good. He was amazing. The way he sold the arm from the PPV to the top of the show, to the first match and beatdown, to backstage, to coming out again all strapped up, to throughout the second match, I mean…he was awesome. And not only that but he managed to convey being wounded and in agony while maintaining his badass aura and his ability to just wreck Bryan with a single blow. Every shot he threw looked and sounded even more forceful than usual, because he knew he was hurt and had to fight extra hard to stand a chance. And by the end of the show he looked like a world beater, having survived two matches with an injured arm against Bryan in dismembering mode, and Alberto’s interference in both, to pull out the victory. He finally looked like a legitimate badass babyface world champion here. Mission accomplished.
This was pro wrestling just working on every single level and I am still sitting here completely blown away with how much I enjoyed this show. Some shows I like, and I cant wait to write about them. Some shows I like, and I jump up to make notes in ad breaks so I dont miss anything. Some shows I like and wish I could watch them all again. But I cannot remember a show I loved so much that I actually finished watching it and immediately sat down to watch it all over again on YT start-to-finish. I f*cking LOVED this show.