July 20, 2020 | News | No Comments
Kalisto def. Heath Slater w/ Social Outcasts by pinfall
The obligatory terrible pre-match promo centres around Bo calling Kalisto “sugar face”. Yeah, I have no earthly idea why that’s supposed to be funny either.
Rich Brennan mentions that Kalisto was “banged up” on RAW, but apparently it’s feasible to recover from “minor whiplash” in 24 hours. The match was about what you’d expect from these two; exciting when Kalisto was on offence and stultifyingly dull during the heat.
Kalisto hit his usual comeback sequence, before finishing a needlessly long 11 minute match with a Salida Del Sol. The US Champion used an interfering Curtis Axel for leverage in a repeat of the finish from his match against Bo Dallas on last week’s Superstars. Way to go, creative.
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– We return from the second commercial break with the defeated Outcasts still in the ring, squabbling amongst themselves. Bo breaks it up by recommending that they take their frustration out on the next man that walks to the ring. That man is Apollo Crews.
Apollo Crews def. Bo Dallas by pinfall
Crews enters to one of CFO$’ better recent entrance theme efforts, a tune that seems to fit his buoyant personality perfectly. I was tempted to say it fits his character perfectly, but he doesn’t really have one; hence the nickname ‘Smiley Black Man’ that he enjoys in this household, which helpfully marks out his only three defining characteristics.
Crews, like Kalisto, is another athletic babyface that is doomed to cycle through the Social Outcasts at the minute. He adds to his recent victories over Axel and Adam Rose by putting away Bo Dallas in a three minute squash here, finishing him with the spinning sitout powerbomb deal.
Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler by pinfall
Well now, this was something to behold; unquestionably the best match that this show has produced since I started covering it last year. Owens put on a heel clinic here, with the majority of the bout focused on burnishing his new self-gifted “headlock master” moniker.
A string of Owens side headlocks kicked us off, with the former IC champion desperate to convince the referee that Dolph was conceding defeat: “He said yes, I heard him!”. Owens’ attention then turned to the old reliable reverse chinlock, with one application of the hold engaged after running the ropes to fool the fans into expecting action (Owens: “This is my new thing!”).
Ziggler eventually fought up from one of these with a back suplex (Owens: “He broke my headlock!”), before commencing a hot comeback that the crowd very much went with. Owens cut him off with a boot to the chin, before hitting a massive frog splash from the top rope for two. The former Mr. Steen roared at Jerry Lawler to tell the ref that was three, to which The King shouted back: “I agree!”.
Owens signaled for his finish, but Ziggler leaped over his shoulders instead and planted him with a superkick for an excellent nearfall that everybody (including me) bit on. This prompted the lesser-heard “This is awesome!” chant from the watching San Diego crowd.
That led us into the finish, with Owens kicking out of a schoolboy before catching a frantic Ziggler on the rebound with the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win.
After the bell, the always insecure bully heel ran to the announce desk to shout the odds at Rich Brennan, before stealing his phone to teach him a lesson! Hilarious.
What an absolutely amazing heel performer this company possesses in Kevin Owens. The fact that they prefer to use their anointed top babyface as a tweener rather than feature the best natural bad guy at their disposal makes no sense to me. Every heel in the business should sit down and watch what this guy did with restholds for 16 minutes here. And the little nuances he adds to his character – like the need for praise from babyface announcers – are something that very few others can bring to the table either. Watch this match and skip the Social Outcasts tripe.