Let the (war) games begin! Will we see CM Punk tonight? My not so bold prediction: Hell no.
The opening match featuring Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair and Shotzi vs. Bayley, Iyo SKY, Kairi Sane and Asuka had the benefit of an extremely hot crowd to kick things off. There were some great double and triple team moves throughout the match; these competitors clearly came out tonight with the goal of showing up the mens match. The early interference by Dakota Kai was such an innovative spot; I don't think I've ever seen a kendo stick come through the cage before. Speaking of innovative... how about that trash can dive off the top of the cage? Equally as impressive was Charlotte Flair's moonsault off the top; it's been a while since she's had a spot that memorable.
The Match Beyond portion was just phenomenal, between the Becky-Charlotte embrace, the fire extinguisher spot, and the entire final few minutes. If I had one complaint, it was that the beatdown on Bayley was a bit telegraphed, but wouldn't let that detract from a phenomenal War Games match.
As dumb and groan-inducing as the backstage Ruffles commercial was.... I was very happy to see the return of R-Truth.
I've never been a huge fan of The Miz as a babyface... but this turn seemed to come about more organically, and the match he had with Gunther absolutely delivered. The Chicago crowd were unusually behind him with every hope spot and false finish. Arguably one of Miz's best matches ever, and a really fun matchup.
I just couldn't get into Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar; not in the middle of a PLE this big. Not sure why they wouldn't have kept it to Carlito (clearly, he isn't really injured) - at least that would have had some heat behind it. The match was decent enough, but it just felt like something that could have been on SmackDown.
Why were The New Day such assholes? They drove the Slim Jim car down the ramp and just left it there? How are other cars supposed to get around that?
Does everyone remember at last year's Survivor Series when Ronda Rousey defended her title against Shotzi? Of course not; it was incredibly forgetful. That's kind of how I felt about Rhea Ripley vs. Zoey Stark. It certainly wasn't the same level of match; Stark got quite a bit of offense it, but the outcome was never really in doubt. Having said that, Ripley has become THE top female wrestler in the industry right now.... it's not even close. I can't imagine a scenario where she doesn't cross paths with Becky Lynch at WrestleMania.
The Mens WarGames match started off quite slowly, and the crowd didn't seem to be quite as into things as they were for the opener. Things only really started to change when Sami Zayn entered the cage, which is interesting. I absolutely LOVE the heel heat that Drew McIntyre has, and think he just has a ton of potential with his latest persona. The Cody Rhodes-Seth Rollins "tease" was a fun one (and kind of a call back to the earlier Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair sequence).
Speaking of teases... I completely didn't expect a Money In The Bank cash-in, and it really set up the "surprise" arrival of Randy Orton really nicely. The crowd went insane for The Viper, and rightly so. The final sequence felt a bit rushed, but the audience was very much into it. By the time Orton hit that flying RKO to JD McDonough, it was evident that The Judgment Day weren't going to win.
I literally was typing "CM Who? This show didn't need him at all" when all of a sudden Punk's music hit. Okay, so my prediction earlier was off, but I'm happy to be wrong.
This was a great three match show, but I truly didn't anticipate the ending we got. Holy shit.