Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Pre-Show)
My prediction: Fox via pin
Result: Banks via submission
Not that I care a whole lot, but I still think this was a waste of a match. You don't need to add a random win over Alicia Fox to convince me that Sasha Banks is really good. A six-day feud is just unnecessary.
Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann vs. The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher
My prediction: Kendrick and Gallagher
Result: Alexander and Swann via pin
This match was fine. I picked it incorrectly, but again, my level of caring was just zero. Another situation where a manager would do a ton to give us some story substance. I think the biggest problem with 205 Live is that it gives potential managers a lot of space to go not be managers. And the WWE could really use some managers.
Emma vs. Asuka
My prediction: Asuka via submission
Result: Asuka via submission
Raw Women's Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James
My prediction: Alexa Bliss via pin
Result: Alexa Bliss via pin
I love how Alexa manages to win these matches basically "clean," but always with some kind of tainting that makes you remember she's a heel. This time it was a fakeout begging off that let her lure Mickie into a turnbuckle smash and her finisher DDT. She's one of the best-booked heels in the company right now.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore
My prediction: Amore via pin
Result: Amore via pin
Kind of an old school "dirty" win for the heel, a thumb to the eye while the ref wasn't looking and then a finisher for the 1-2-3. I'm okay with it. Not sure what the cruiserweight division has to offer going forward, but they stand a better chance of being interesting with Enzo than with Kalisto as the champ.
WTF Match: Finn Balor/The Demon King vs.
My prediction: Pain...and I guess Balor via pin
Result: Balor via pin
Look, maybe Wyatt would have won against Balor according to the original script. But there's no way they were going to book Styles with no buildup as being the first person to beat "The Demon King" version of Finn Balor.
Styles and Balor put on a pretty decent albeit very vanilla match. Would've liked to see more substance to it, but I understand that a guy flying across the globe and jumping in at the last second is probably not ready to give a match-of-the-year performance.
Only thing I'd add is that, in how the match played out, it felt like a waste of one of those first-ever "dream matches." Oh well.
The Shield (minus Reigns, plus Kurt Angle) vs. The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, and Kane
My prediction: The Shield via pin
Result: The Shield via pin
Adding Kurt Angle at the last minute didn't make the match less of a mess, that's for sure. I'd be interested to know how the match was originally booked, but my guess is that Angle filled Reigns' role pretty much to the letter. It seems like a situation where they would've sent Roman out via some big bump, had him return mid-match, just to continue conditioning people to cheer when they hear Roman's music.
The pop for Angle's music was definitely bigger than Reigns' would have been, though. And look, it was great to see Kurt in the ring again. He's so charismatic, so entertaining, and obviously still can get around pretty well. If that's his last ever match, he did it well.
Overall: 5/7 (71% correct)
As I said, I had a shitty weekend. My dog had surgery on Friday, and we really don't know if it was truly successful, or how long he has. So my head wasn't really in the PPV, and I can't say for sure how I felt about it. Probably I'll never be able to look at it objectively, because of all the emotions I've got associated with it now.
But in my current mentality, it was okay. I didn't like that we had so little in the way of story advancement, with all of the big players confined to 1.5 matches (and Lesnar obviously not on the show, because reasons). The matches were okay. And the main event, while a train wreck, was moderately entertaining. Good to see that Kane still can acquit himself pretty well in the ring. That guy's an all-time great.
Here's hoping Survivor Series gives us more story to work with (doubtful), and that my dog makes a full recovery. If I have to choose between them, though, Survivor Series can suck an egg.
Hang in there Franklin.