The SmarK Rant for the Shield’s Final Chapter – 04.21.19
I feel like this is about as final of a chapter as Friday the 13th the Final Chapter or Saw the Final Chapter. But whatever, content is content and I like having random wacky stuff like this pop up on the Network.
Live from Moline, IL
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Renee Young & Corey Graves
Intercontinental title: Finn Balor v. Elias
So glad they shook things up by moving guys over from RAW so they can have matches with each other on another show. Elias does his usual inspirational song about Moline and how it’s the armpit of America and the crowd is ugly, but Finn interrupts and sings his own song about how Elias sucks. Now why would you deliberately upset your opponent like that? That’s just poor sportsmanship. Elias understandably attacks Balor for this verbal attack on his character, and beats on him in the corner while working on the arm. Finn comes back for a bit, but Elias runs the shoulder into the turnbuckle a couple of times for two. Sadly, a third time backfires on him and Finn comes back and goes after Elias’s arm himself. Rollup gets two. Elias goes back to the arm with a Fujiwara armbar, but Balor escapes with a double stomp and sling blade. Elias cuts him off with a lariat for two, but Finn gets an enzuigiri from the apron as Cole says that people are on social media are referring to Renee as “Mike McKirk”. Come on you guys. She’s the daughter of a famous promoter that the company was just paying tribute to on the Network this week! Elias brings Finn down and they fight on the apron, but Balor gets a sunset flip for…two? Well, he clearly had him pinned there and the ref stopped counting, since I’m assuming Elias was supposed to kick out and they fucked it up? And then Balor finishes with La Majastral at 6:34 to retain anyway. Incredibly mediocre house show match. *1/2
Elias tries to finish his song from earlier, but the Riott Squad interrupts this time because they’re big fans. This goes nowhere and ends with the babyface team making their entrance.
Bayley & Ember Moon v. Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan
The ring announcer calls this a “six woman tag match”, but apparently plans changed on the way to the ring. The announcers completely bury Sasha Banks on commentary, so I don’t think that relationship is getting repaired any time soon. So this is apparently the end of the Riott Squad as well, with Liv Morgan getting drafted to Smackdown off-screen last week. I have no idea who that’s supposed to benefit, but it’s not like it really matters. Bayley trades some stuff with Logan while the crowd dozes, and Ember comes in with a headscissors on Logan to put her on the floor. Bayley comes in with the running knee, but a cheapshot from Ruby turns the tide. Corey: “Sarah’s been having a rough week. Someone very close to her forgot his name.” Is that a crack about the Viking Experience, I’m assuming? Bayley gets the “heat” as the heels work her over and no one cares, but she drops Logan on the turnbuckle, but Riott cuts off the tag. Bayley quickly escapes and makes the hot tag to Moon, who dropkicks Ruby for two. Springboard bodypress gets two. Liv interferes and gets thrown out by the ref, and the Eclipse finishes at 7:07. Absolutely nothing to this one. *
Earlier tonight, Lashley & McIntyre beat up the Lucha House Party and the Singh Brothers so everyone knows who the heels are, I guess.
The Shield’s Final Chapter, Honest, This Time We Really Mean It, Unless We Can Convince Ambrose To Stick Around for Another Couple of Months and Milk Another PPV Out Of It: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose v. Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley
Rollins hits Corbin with a dropkick off the lockup, and Ambrose slugs away in the corner. Lashley comes in and the Shield triple-teams him in the corner. Drew comes in and slugs it out with Reigns, but walks into a samoan drop for two. Ambrose dumps him and follows with a dive, but the heels send him into the railing to take over. Back in, Lashley chokes him out in the corner and slugs away on the floor as the commentary gets increasingly surreal. Basically here, on his last day in the company, Renee Young is just openly talking about their personal life and dating history and how Dean rides with the Usos and stuff. Ambrose gets a figure-four on Corbin, but Lashley breaks it up and cuts off the ring again. Belly to belly gets two. Back to the floor again for Dean and Roman chases the heels off with a chair, allowing Ambrose to get a hot tag to Rollins. Seth cleans house and rolls up Corbin for two, but gets distracted by the other heels and now he’s face in peril. He quickly tags Roman in and the Big Dog beats on the heels like they’re leukemia, but Ambrose comes back in with the flying elbow on Lashley for two. Lashley tries the Dominator, but Roman spears him and Rollins stomps Drew, allowing Dean to hit Corbin with the DDT, and the Shield Powerbomb finishes Corbin at 14:07. Another nothing house show match but at least the babyfaces went over clean. **1/2 And the Shield gives a nice farewell speech to wrap everything up and we’re out.
This was completely inessential but if pops up on the Network, it’s totally inoffensive and an OK use of an hour in the background. But on the scale of Burn It / Avoid It / Skim It / Watch It / Binge It, I’ve gotta say AVOID IT. There’s just nothing worth going out of your way to watch here and it’s a pretty blatant way to beat the dead horse of the Shield one last time after they already promoted a PPV around it.