The superstars of the WWE are here to kick ass and take names, as they compete at the first ever edition of Stomping Grounds. Seth Rollins will defend the Universal Championship in the main event aginst Baron Corbin in a Super Showdown rematch, however this time there will be a mystery special referee. Kofi Kingston will face his Super Showdown opponent Dolph Ziggler once more, as well, as Kingston puts his WWE Championship on the line inside a steel cage. Samoa Joe will defend the United States Championship against Ricochet, Bayley defends the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship against Raw’s Alexa Bliss, and Tony Nese puts the Cruiserweight Championship on the line in a triple threat, plus much more at WWE Stomping Grounds.
+ Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre (w/ Shane McMahon): truthfully, this was more than fine. Reigns plays a really good underdog, and McIntyre is the best since Strowman to actually make Reigns look that way. Reigns is a hell of an athlete, and presented as such, but McIntyre is something special without the backing Reigns has. This was one of Reigns’ better matches of late, and this was significantly better than their Wrestlemania match
+ Bayley (c) vs Alexa Bliss (w/ Nikki Cross) (SmackDown Live Women’s Championship): I’ve really enjoyed the build to this match. It’s a pretty standard affair (and I do believe Alexa is just using Nikki), but they have done it so convincingly that it made this match feel more intense. Bayley is a little bit bland as a good girl, but Bliss, as the bad girl you love to hate, brings out the best in her. This was a good match throughout, from opening bell to final moments
+ The Planet’s Champions (Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan) (c) vs Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis) (WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships): holy smoke, Daniel Bryan was wildly popular in his home town, and Otis is one of the most enjoyable characters in the business right now. Tucker showed some great athleticism, and some stiff clotheslines from Otis and Rowan brought the crowd tot heir feet. This was a really good match
+ Samoa Joe (c) vs Ricochet (United States Championship): I really enjoyed this. Joe is something special, and I truly believe he could be atop the company as the full-time version of what they had Lesnar doing. Ricochet is also really good, if a little bit lacking in the charisma department, but when goes against Joe, that is a forgivable loss
+ Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods): this felt mostly unnecessary. Zayn and Owens are so good as both indivduals and as a team that of course the match was good, but I just don’t really understand what it was supposed to accomplish
+ Tony Nese (c) vs Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): this was really good, and once again relegated to the pre-show. Why the WWE is so deadset on featuring two women’s matches and a non-title tag match on the main show, but putting a match that of course was going to be this good on the pre-show is beyond me
– Seth Rollins (c) vs Baron Corbin (Universal Championship with an unknown Special Referee): the question of the mystery referee was answered in brilliant fashion, but frankly the payoff was too obvious and took far too long to happen, to the point where all of Seth, Corbin and the referee looked like idiots
– Kofi Kingston (c) vs Dolph Ziggler (Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship): despite Dolph doing his best to try and build some hype in the promos for the last month, this was just not a good match. Steel Cage matches with ‘escape’ conditions are completely stupid, and this was no exception. As a side note, Byraon Saxton, the permanent loser of the announce team, being the biggest fan of Kofi does Kofi and the New Day no favours
– Becky Lynch (c) vs Lacey Evans (Raw Women’s Championship): Evans is just not good enough to be in this position, especially when there are so many better options. Evans was simply two steps behind Becky for every sequence, and it just made the defending champion look bad
Should you watch this event: Overall, this was a pretty good show, and really easy to watch. For the first time, if not ever then at least in a long time, the match order made sense, and the show progressed as such that every match was more important than the ones that came before it. Despite the two top matches being two of the worst, this was overall much better than expected.