Xavier “Mini E” Woods
Big E and Kofi Kingston emerge from the back for an in-ring promo, sheepishly trailed by a rather embarrassed looking, singlet wearing, Xavier Woods. The New Day explain that Woods’ travel bag was stolen, thus prompting their largest member to come to his rescue with clothing from his limited wardrobe. Kofi, in his stupidly dated Dr. Evil voice, proclaims Xavier the New Day’s “Mini E”, which doesn’t help the trombonist’s fears that he may not be in possession of a “singlet body”.
The Social Outcasts then interrupt, mimicking the New Day’s entrance with the Bo Dallas line: “Prepare to have a blast and give it up for the Social Outcasts!”. To the surprise of no-one, the Outcasts have Woods’ bag in tow. They raid its contents, which include some red underwear and a ‘My Little Pony’, the latter of which leads Curtis Axel to dub Xavier a “j-brony”.
The Outcasts promise to return the bag if the New Day can defeat them in a match, a challenge that the tag champs eventually accept after a super-serious huddle. They are aware that they squashed these geeks in, like, two minutes on RAW the previous night, right?
The New Day def. Social Outcasts by pinfall
This was much longer than the RAW match, with eight minutes aired and a commercial break in the middle. There was a lot of stalling at the beginning, with both teams wiggling their butts at each other and exchanging Bo/New Day Trains for what seemed like a very long time. Even Lawler was forced to exclaim “we already saw that” after the New Day saw fit to engage in a second train.
The highlight of the match was Woods trying to channel the “power of the singlet” by borrowing moves from Big E’s arsenal, including attempting an early bearhug on Axel that looked completely ridiculous. Later, Woods got the hot tag after the Outcasts got the heat on Kofi for a while, hitting Big E’s running splash on Heath Slater, before playing the big man’s part in the Midnight Hour for the win.
Paige def. Summer Rae by pinfall
A nothing match here, that was enlivened by Jerry Lawler successfully cracking Tom Phillips up with jokes about how much his parents hate him: “Your mother says you’re not her favourite, but you’re an only child!”. After an awkwardly worked, five minute encounter, Paige blocked a spin kick, hit a fallaway slam and the Rampaige to pick up the victory.
Baron Corbin def. Jack Swagger by pinfall w/ Dolph Ziggler on commentary
As much as I usually find Dolph’s misplaced confidence to be highly irritating, his over-exuberant commentary was admittedly very enjoyable here; think the verbal equivalent of Shawn Michaels selling for Hulk Hogan. Although, suggesting that Lawler’s shirt sported “Flava Flav’s chain” is an equally antiquated reference to the one Kofi made earlier.
Corbin’s pre-match inset promo tells us that Swagger is apparently another “technical wrestler” trying to achieve his dreams, while the quickly balding Baron is only here to “hurt people and make money”.
Catty commentary keeps me entertained as Corbin’s resthold-heavy heat runs the risk of boring me to tears. Dolph: “I’ve been kicked by the boot of Swagger and it’s had way more effect on me!”. Lawler responds by mentioning the ten elbows/heart attack debacle. Get over it, folks!
The finish sees Corbin make the ropes to counter the Patriot Lock, before kicking Swagger in the throat while the referee is trying to “create separation”. Corbin then pulls his opponent onto the ropes neck first, before following up with the End of Days and staring at Ziggler after the three count.
Ziggler hypothesises that Corbin might be staring at Lawler, meaning that the final line we hear before the show goes off the air is: “Don’t let him drop an elbow!”. Meow.
Considering that the “comedy” on this show is usually the dirt worst, Xavier Woods’ Big E tribute was a pleasant surprise. Save for the announcing however, the second half of the show was a hard slog. Although I like Corbin’s vanilla midget antagonist character, he is far from ready to work long singles matches yet, despite his significant in-ring improvements over the last year.