Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: August 21, 2021
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole, Jimmy Smith, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
We’re back in front of a full stadium and that could make things interesting. Throw in the fact that this is on a Saturday for once and there is a different energy to the whole thing. We have a full on dream match main event as John Cena is challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Title so at least the big match at the end should be good. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Big E. vs. Baron Corbin
A contest winner gets to read the introductions. Corbin has stolen Big E.’s Money in the Bank briefcase but doesn’t own it. Big E. suplexes him down to start and then does it again for a bonus. The apron splash misses though and Corbin sends him shoulder first into the post twice in a row. Corbin’s chokeslam is countered into a Stretch Muffler of all things but Corbin slips out. Corbin grabs the briefcase and tries to run off again but gets speared through the ropes instead. Back in and the Big Ending finishes Corbin at 6:31.
Rating: C. This was a quick way to get the briefcase back in Big E.’s hands and possibly tease a cash in for later. I’m not sold on Big E. cashing in on Roman Reigns but maybe on a downed Bobby Lashley? Corbin’s downward spiral continues and I’m kind of curious to see how far they can go with this whole thing.
The opening video has a poker/gambling theme and looks at the biggest matches on the card.
Raw Tag Team Titles: RKBro vs. Omos/AJ Styles
RKBro is challenging after officially reuniting on Raw. Riddle goes after Omos to start and gets tossed down in a hurry as the strikes don’t work. The sleeper doesn’t do much either as Omos isn’t playing around here. AJ comes in and it’s time to kick away at Riddle. That doesn’t last long either as Riddle dives over and makes the tag.
Orton unloads on Styles and even kicks Omos off the apron to the floor. The hanging DDT is broken up though and Omos chokeslams Riddle onto the apron. That’s enough of a distraction for AJ to snap Orton’s throat across the ropes. A moonsault takes Riddle down on the floor but the Phenomenal Forearm doesn’t work. Orton ducks and grabs the RKO for the pin and the titles at 6:31.
Rating: C+. They didn’t bother doing anything but try to have a feel good moment here and that worked out well. Omos and Styles have done everything they need to do with the titles and it is a good move to switch things over. RKBro is the best thing going on Raw so give them the good moment and let things move on.
We recap Alexa Bliss and Lillie putting Doudrop in a trance and Eva Marie slapping her out of it.
Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie
Doudrop is here with Marie. Bliss drops to the mat to freak Marie out but she gets knocked down anyway. Hold on though as Marie has to go and slap Lillie, which sends Bliss into a panic. Lillie is put back in her place but Bliss misses Twisted Bliss, allowing Marie to get some near falls. Bliss grabs a quick Sister Abigail DDT for the pin at 3:49.
Rating: F. It’s still the worst thing going in WWE today and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The Lillie doll alone is one thing but the powers are taking it to a new low. It didn’t help that the match was horrible because neither of these two are very good in the ring. This is probably the low point of the night and I don’t think that’s any surprise.
Post match Doudrop announces Marie as the loser and steals her robe.
RKBro is ready to defend the titles no matter what. Orton still isn’t thrilled though.
US Title: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest
Sheamus is defending and headlocks Priest down to start. Back up and Priest rocks him with a shot to the face, followed by a kick to the chest. Sheamus gets knocked to the floor and the big flip dive mostly connects to drop him again. A spinning kick to the face is countered into a powerbomb into the post to put Priest down for a change. Back in and we hit the chinlock to keep Priest down as he seems a bit shaken up from the flip dive. Sheamus’ powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana but Priest gets knocked back to the apron.
The ten forearms are broken up and Priest snaps off a running tornado DDT. The top rope spinwheel kick gives Priest two (that looked good) but Sheamus counters the Reckoning. Sheamus goes up but has to counter a chokeslam attempt into a neck snap across the rope. A top rope clothesline sets up the Alabama Slam for two and Sheamus hits a headbutt. The Brogue Kick takes too long though and Priest grabs South Of Heaven for two.
Priest tries a springboard but dives into a jumping knee to give Sheamus a near fall and the annoyed reaction. A rollup is countered into a kneebar to put Priest in trouble but he does the angry zombie situp. Sheamus’ mask is ripped off and Priest nails another spinwheel kick. The Reckoning gives us a new champion at 13:45.
Rating: B-. There were some sloppy parts in there but this was about taking two big people and having them beat each other up for a while. Sheamus’ reign is similar to AJ Styles/Omos’, as he was never going to be the next big thing, but he was going to be able to make someone look good in defeat. Priest gets his first big singles win and Sheamus can keep making people look better.
Rey Mysterio gives Dominik Mysterio a pep talk and tells him to stay focused.
Tag Team Titles: Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio vs. Usos
The Usos are defending. Jimmy gets sent outside and Jey is sent on top of him, with Dominik nearly slipping off a dive back inside. The Three Amigos connect but Jey tags himself in and shoves Dominik off the top. A hard posting rocks Dominik again and it’s something like a Demolition Decapitator connecting back inside.
Jey hits a right hand, which is nowhere near as loud as commentary thinks it was. Dominik finally manages to grab a suplex into a neckbreaker and the hot tag brings in Rey. House is cleaned, including a tornado DDT to Jey but Jimmy nails a superkick. The Superfly Splash misses but it’s a double superkick to drop Rey again. Now the Superfly Splash can retain the titles at 10:05.
Rating: C-. So that happened and I’m not sure if there is anything else to say about it. The Smackdown tag division is a complete waste of time at the moment and it’s another example of why it would be great to have one set of Tag Team Titles. That won’t happen, but it certainly should given how things are going at the moment.
Actress Tiffany Haddish brings in the first time “National” Champion Damian Priest, who liked getting to beat a bully.
Here is Rick Boogs to introduce King Nakamura, meaning it’s time for Pat McAfee to jump up onto the announcers’ table. That’s it.
We recap the Smackdown Women’s Title match as Bianca Belair defends against Sasha Banks in a Wrestlemania rematch. Banks returned, joined with Belair and then turned on her in the span of an hour, setting up this one. This one is much more about hatred than the title to give it a little twist off the Wrestlemania match.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
Belair is defending…..but not against Banks, who isn’t cleared, despite being advertised all the way through the Kickoff Show. We have a replacement.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Carmella
Belair isn’t impressed, but hang on another replacement.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch
Yeah that works and Lynch is challenging, after taking Carmella out that is. We get the big Belair vs. Lynch staredown and Becky officially challenges so the match is on. Bell, right hand, Manhandle Slam, new champion in 23 seconds. I would really hope that there is more to it than what we just saw, as beating Belair, who has been on fire in recent months, like that is a bad idea. There is nothing wrong with pushing Lynch, but don’t sacrifice someone as awesome as Belair to do it.
Belair is crushed by the loss.
WWE is going back to Saudi Arabia in October.
Here are two Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestlers, though I see no broken freaking necks.
Jinder Mahal vs. Drew McIntyre
Veer and Shanky are barred from ringside. McIntyre starts fast and knocks Mahal outside, meaning Mahal is already begging off. Mahal talks about how they used to be like brothers and then kicks McIntyre in the face for two. The stomping is on but McIntyre is back up with a series of overhead belly to belly suplexes. The Claymore finishes Mahal at 4:36.
Rating: D+. That’s all this should have been as there was no reason to believe that Mahal was going to be a threat to McIntyre. Mahal got in some stomping here and then lost like he should be doing. I’m sure we’ll get rematches because a match like this is not good enough to prove a point.
Post match Veer and Shanky come in but McIntyre chases all three of them off with Angela the sword.
We recap the Raw Women’s Title match. Nikki Ash is out to prove herself, Charlotte is there because she is the former champion and Rhea Ripley is there because WWE likes triple threats.
Raw Women’s Title: Nikki Ash vs. Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley
Ash is defending. Ripley gets sent outside to start and it’s Nikki grabbing a rollup for two. Back in and Ripley gets rolled up for the same but Charlotte sends Nikki outside. The big fight is on with Ripley and Charlotte slugging it out until Ash comes back in with a rollup for two. That earns her another toss to the floor and Ripley grabs a northern lights suplex for two on Charlotte.
A big boot knocks Ripley off the apron but Nikki is back in with a tornado DDT for two. Charlotte picks Nikki up but Ripley is back in to German suplex both of them at once. The missile dropkick gets two on Charlotte so she and Ripley fight to the floor. They stand in place and look up at Nikki as she gets ready before diving onto the two of them. Back in and Charlotte suplexes both of them, followed by a double DDT.
The chops have Ripley and Nikki rocked but they double team their way out of trouble. Charlotte sends both of them outside and goes up for the corkscrew moonsault, which lands straight on Nikki and drives her HARD into the barricade. That was terrifying and thankfully Nikki is up so Ripley can put her into the Prism Trap.
Charlotte breaks that up and it’s the Prism Trap to Charlotte, who reverses into the Figure Eight. Nikki comes in off the top to break it up and the swinging neckbreaker gets two on Charlotte, with Ripley making the save this time. Ripley is sent outside and Charlotte avoids Nikki’s high crossbody, setting up the Figure Eight for the tap to make Charlotte champion again at 13:12.
Rating: B-. I think I’ve run out of ways to talk about how many title wins Charlotte has these days but it’s better to just pull the plug on Nikki as a champion at the moment. This has been a complete nightmare since she won the title and if they just want to get it back on Charlotte, go for it. Ripley seems to be a lost cause as well though, as she has been flattened by the Charlotte train. The match itself was quite good with some awesome near falls, but there is a certain deflating value when Charlotte gets the title back.
We recap Seth Rollins vs. Edge. Rollins cost Edge the Universal Title at Money in the Bank and Edge is out for revenge. Rollins keeps saying he is just better than Edge at everything and that Edge can’t get to that level anymore. This led to a Broodbath (yes Broodbath) on Smackdown as Edge is reaching his old self again.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Edge comes out to the Brood theme, complete with the still amazing ring of fire, but switches to the current theme in the aisle. That was awesome and well done on making this feel special. Rollins wastes no time in going for the neck but Edge knocks him outside. It takes some time for Rollins to start getting back in so Edge knocks him off the apron and starts the walking around the ring.
Rollins manages to post him and sends the head into the steps over and over. Back in and Rollins cuts off the comeback with the Sling Blade and a kick to the face for two. Rollins’ neckbreaker is countered into a backslide for two but he kicks Edge down again. The frog splash gets two on Edge so they head up top, with Edge grabbing a super swinging neckbreaker for a breather.
The Edgecution gets two and Edge is looking frustrated at the near falls. Edge goes up so it’s Rollins going after him, setting up the superplex into the Falcon Arrow for two. The Stomp is countered so Rollins tries a Pedigree, which is reversed into a Glam Slam (ala his wife) to give Edge two more. Edge is sent into the ropes and has to avoid another Stomp onto the apron. A heck of a spear through the ropes thankfully doesn’t break either of them in half.
Back in and Rollins takes him down again but misses the Phoenix splash. The spear gives Edge two but Rollins hits a hard forearm to the back of the neck. A superkick to the side of the head sets up the Stomp…with Edge grabbing the boot on the way down. We get another flashback with the Edgecator, which Edge lets go when Rollins gets too close to the rope. Instead it’s a Crossface to put Rollins in trouble, with Edge ramming Rollins’ head into the mat over and over. Something like a Crossface sleeper makes Rollins tap at 21:21.
Rating: B+. Ever since Edge has come back, I haven’t been able to bring myself to care about any of his matches. I like the idea of setting them up, but the thought of actually seeing them happen doesn’t work. Then almost every time, Edge winds up making it work and that was the case again here. I’m really not sure why he needed to win here, but it was a heck of a match and the best one on the show so far.
Money in the Bank is coming to Allegiant Stadium over the 4th of July weekend next year.
Official attendance: 51,326.
Here are Miz and John Morrison to talk about how dry everyone must be here. They are here to make everyone all moist with the Drip Stick 2000 but neither of them have it. Instead, here is Xavier Woods, with a water tank on his back and a water gun attached. After doing a Scott Hall style survey (complete with toothpick and “one more for the good guys”, Woods sprays them and the two of them leave. If there is a point to this thing, it went sailing over my head.
We recap Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley. Goldberg is back and wants the title, time for a showdown. There isn’t much else to it than that in this case.
Raw World Title: Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley, with MVP, is defending. They circle each other to start and we get the big power lockup. Lashley gets backed into the corner and shoves Goldberg back. A shoulder doesn’t stagger Goldberg but his flying shoulder drops Lashley. A powerslam into a World’s Strongest Slam crushes Lashley and a clothesline takes him down again. Neither of them can hit the Jackhammer so Lashley knocks him down for the forearms to the back of the neck.
Goldberg sends him flying but MVP pulls Lashley outside to avoid the spear. That’s fine with Goldberg, who hits the spear on the floor instead. Back in and Lashley bails outside to avoid another spear. MVP hits Goldberg in the knee with his cane so Lashley takes out the leg. The Hurt Lock is blocked and the fans aren’t pleased. Another shot to the knee puts Goldberg down and he rolls outside. The knee is sent into the post hard twice in a row and Goldberg collapses before Lashley can try the spear. That’s enough and the referee stops it at 7:12.
Rating: D+. Goldberg’s stuff was looking better than usual at the start and then it turned into WWE trying something emotional. They’re probably setting up a rematch or something, because Goldberg is the most overly pushed legend in WWE history. I have no idea what this was supposed to accomplish other than to make Lashley look like someone who can’t get the job done almost six months into his reign. It was an acceptable power brawl for a bit and then it was the leg stuff over and over until the finish.
Post match Lashley unloads on Goldberg with chair shots to the knee and Goldberg is done. Goldberg’s son Gage tries to run in and jumps on Lashley’s back so Lashley puts him in the Hurt Lock. MVP grabs the mic and says Lashley didn’t know who it was as Goldberg crawls onto his son. MVP and Lashley bail as Goldberg swears vengeance and Gage looks bored. They had this much time to set things up and their big idea is to make it about Goldberg’s kid? There is NO ONE ELSE who can get a spot like this than Goldberg? WWE is dying for fresh stars and they use an emotional angle on Goldberg?
We recap John Cena vs. Roman Reigns. Cena returned to challenge Reigns for the Universal Title, both to break the record for the most World Titles as well as bring Reigns back down to earth.
Smackdown World Title: Roman Reigns vs. John Cena
Reigns is defending and will leave WWE if he loses. Granted Cena has already won because of the Super Mario 3 style shirt. They start slowly with Reigns hitting a running shoulder to scare Cena back a bit. A small package gives Cena two and he mocks Reigns with the two count. Cena’s rollup gets two so Reigns elbows him in the face. A snap suplex sets up a chinlock before Reigns throws him outside. Cena is sent into the steps a few times, allowing Reigns to hold up the title.
Back in and Cena grabs a small package for two, setting up an AA attempt. That’s countered into a DDT for two as Reigns is a lot more serious. Reigns: “Movie executives I apologize, but I’m going to hurt this man.” Another comeback is cut off with a right hand but Cena gets another quick rollup. That just makes Reigns grab a sleeper and jump onto Cena’s back to make it worse. Cena fights up again and hits a heck of a clothesline (that clothesline that he hits when he’s in trouble) and they’re both down.
The comeback is on but the Shuffle is countered into the guillotine choke. Cena flips forward for two to counter but it’s the Superman Punch to cut him off again. Back up and Reigns charges into a big boot to set up the AA and the near fall. The STFU sends Cena crawling over to the ropes for the break and he is fine enough to catch Cena with the apron boot. Reigns loads up the spear but charges into another AA, this time through the announcers’ table.
Cena tosses him back inside for the very near fall and the shocked face is strong. The top rope Fameasser is countered into a powerbomb for two more and they’re both down. The Superman Punch connects for two on Cena but the spear hits the post, meaning it’s the super AA for a VERY good false finish. Cena’ does Reigns’ roar but charge into a right hand. The slugout is on until Reigns hits the Superman Punch. Reigns declares that he is WWE and the spear retains the title at 23:00.
Rating: A-. Yeah that worked and I don’t think anyone is surprised. Cena can still bring it on the big stage and Reigns has shown he can work well with just about anyone during this run. They had me buying some of the near falls and I wasn’t convinced the spear was it, so well done on having me totally confused and wondering when it was ending. This was the heavyweight slugfest and it worked out great.
And then Brock Lesnar comes back. Paul Heyman cowers in the corner and Reigns looks scared. Lesnar gets in the ring and Reigns and Heyman slowly back away. Lesnar, as a good guy for the first time in what feels like forever, poses to end the show. That’s about all there was left for Reigns at this point as Edge beat Seth Rollins, so well done on a big surprise.
Overall Rating: C+. The overall thoughts on this one are going to be all over the place, just like the show. It was FAR from perfect as there were some really bad matches and questionable decisions (I’m still trying to get my head around Lynch beating Belair like that) but there were some very good matches and a few legitimate surprises. I liked more than I didn’t, but it’s a show that is going to get a lot of dislike and I completely understand why.
What mattered here for me is that this show felt important. There were major matches and moments, with Lynch and Lesnar’s returns feeling huge. Throw in some title changes (not all good ones) and there is no denying that stuff happened here. The problem is that Monday is coming and any good will this show had is likely going away as they load up the rematches at Extreme Rules. What matters is that the show felt big and they had a lot of people in the house, so I’ll call it a just slightly good show which is going to have several people annoyed.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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