6. Chad Gable Vs. Ricochet Is Something We Need
The pay-per-view really began finding its legs with the Raw Tag Team title match (though the SmackDown equivalent opener was solid formula stuff). The Revival, Roode of Green Gables, and It’s 630 in The Netherlands crammed a ton of activity into a sub-11 minute match, and while you expected a Revival retention, you at least had high hopes for the action. And they delivered.
The highlight for me was seeing Chad Gable and Ricochet go head to head, and realizing just what an incredible one on one match those two could have. Ricochet’s renowned as a freak of an athlete, and Gable’s worthy of that same designation. He’s basically a travel-size version of Kurt Angle – Gable/Ricochet could be the evolutionary Angle/Mysterio from SummerSlam 2002 if given a chance.
5. Forty Is The New Twenty-Five
Sunday the 17th of March will mark Samoa Joe’s 40th birthday. That’s hardly a surprise, given how long he’s been the business (he won the ROH World title 16 years ago this month, after all), and yet he was the third-oldest wrestler in his fatal four way US title defense: Rey Mysterio’s 44, and R-Truth is 47. Comparably, those three were competing to see who would be forced to help 29-year-old Andrade with his science project.
To this point, the four-way was the best match of the night, with all four men looking highly frenetic and agile. The older trio show almost no signs of age, each as athletic as you can remember them being in whatever you feel their prime was. If Mysterio were in TNA in 2005, he, Joe, and Ron Killings could’ve had a similar match then as they did Sunday night, and that’s pretty amazing.
4. Corey Graves Has Strong Improv Skills
We rag on WWE announcers for having the apparent qualities of latently-sociable Speak ‘n Spells, but really, we know it isn’t their fault. Between the buzzphrases and branding terms they have to robotically spew in every sentence, and the rote, specific manners that they have to tell stories, we’d just as soon recite a spell to bring Monsoon and Heenan back from the beyond.
That’s why when a commentator has a genuine human moment these days, it’s actually treat. Mr. Graves demonstrated one in the Women’s Tag Team title match, when Nia Jax and Tamina tried an alley-oop Samoan drop spot, and it didn’t go well at all. Graves, without missing a beat, lauded Banks for having enough defensive skill to try and resist going up for the move, explaining it away without even a hint of hesitation or thought collection. It pays to be on the ball, and although we could all tell it was an unfortunate in-match error, Graves did well to try and explain it away.