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Ronda Rousey jumps into the ring, and hold on, SHE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE, SHE'S SUSPENDED! She feels that she should be reinstated after paying her fine. Adam Pearce and security arrive. Pearce doesn't have the authority to reinstate her, so Ronda wonders outloud who does (good question). Ronda chooses violence and beats up the male security officers with ease. Pearce summons some fake cops, and Ronda allows them to cuff her. As the police escort her out, Roman Reigns pulls into the arena (to a gi-normous pop).
Sami Zayn cautiously knocks on Roman's door and finds the champ lounging inside. Sami complains that Jey Uso has been mean to him lately, despite all the dirty work he's been doing for Bloodline. Sami lets it slip that Jey is ungrateful, but to his relief, Roman seems to agree with him. Sami is left alone with Roman's phone, and sees that Jey is calling him. Sami answers and passes along a message that Jey is stuck at the border. Since Sami is here and Jey isn't, he should go win the IC title on behalf of Bloodline. Roman wants to know if Sami is still cool with Kevin Owens, and wants him to give him a message, as if this conversation isn't airing live on FOX. Vince might be gone, but the invisible camera remains.
Last week, Gunther won a war against Shinsuke Nakamura, and is still Intercontinental Champion.
The Maximum Male Models are in the ring. The wrestler FKA Eli Drake is their mouthpeace and this gimmick feels like a dead end. They're quickly interrupted by Hit Row, who were promptly rehired by Triple H last week. Hit Row don't take kindly to being told they aren't Maximum Model Material and they clear the ring. They "entertain" us with a truly horrific hip hop performance. I guess this is what casual viewers want. Seriously, did they rehearse this in the arena earlier? Did no one with any authority hear it and think better?
Spooky Karrion Kross video package. It comes across as a House of Black vignette, but with unnecessarily slick production values. Kross has his sights set on Drew McIntyre. He might as well just come out and say "I'm interfering in your match at Clash at the Castle" and get it over with.
Somewhere, in a well lit forest, the Viking Raiders cosplay with a priestess in a war paint ceremony. They respect the New Day, but their time has passed, so they set some New Day merch on fire. This feels a lot like 2020-era cheese, and not in a good way.
Last week, Shayna Baszler smashes Liv Morgan's bad arm into a table, but Morgan had the last laugh by putting Shayna through the table with a bulldog. Tonight, in a backstage interview, she's refusing to play it safe and will compete. Shotzi thinks Liv is overly emotional and plans on breaking her arm again.
Shayna Baszler attacks Liv after the match. She has the opportunity to break Liv's arm now, but would rather do it at the PPV.
WWE/Universal Champion Roman Reigns (with bad CGI effects) comes to the ring for the main event talking segment. While there are some boos, overall these fans ADORE Roman. Since he's not here every week, people (ie, Drew) are saying stupid things. Roman declare himself the face of the company and the only man carrying WWE on his back. This promo is such a stunning improvement over the material he was getting in 2015, it's almost shocking in hindsight that they (Vince) got him so wrong before. Drew McIntyre joins Roman to offer up his rebuttal. He doesn't think Roman deserves to represent the titles or be champion (booo!!!). Drew claims he sees fear in Roman's eyes and promises to tear him apart at the PPV. They start brawling, and Drew hits an overhead throw. Drew goes for a Claymore, but Sami Zayn steps in to take it (that's not going to endear Drew to these fans). Roman roars for a spear, but runs into another Claymore, and Drew gets to stand tall tonight. This segment does make me more interested in seeing their match at Clash at the Champions, however it feels like such a foregone conclusion that Karrion Kross is going to sabotage Drew it doesn't matter much.
Final Thoughts: Well, this was certainly watchable (assuming you click the ‘mute' button for the HIt Row performance) and everything made sense, and had a purpose to it. That kind of feels like damning with faint praise, but that's where the bar is currently set for WWE. I can see that the Triple H era is about incremental change, and that might be a smart path to take in the long run.
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