Last Man Standing
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens
This could well be the best match on the entire card so it makes sense to kick off with it, get the crowd going. A word on titles belts themselves; I happen to think the IC strap is the best looking belt WWE currently has. It’s still not as pretty as the IWGP equivalent but little in life is. These guys waste no time in going nuts as Owens flies into the announce table and cleans out Michael Cole. Please let him be replaced by Mauro Ranallo! Seeing as there are no DQ’s they go to the weapons. Ambrose is the instigator of that but Owens’ response is a sensational cannonball into the rail. These guys are letting it all hang out. It’s made all the better by Cole actually getting riled up at Owens having broken his glasses. A emotional commentator makes a big difference, which is why Jim Ross was so damn good. One of the reasons why Owens connects so well is that he runs his mouth the whole time. It adds to his matches because you’re not just waiting for his next spot but for his next piece of trash talk too. Unfortunately the match suffers from ‘spot setting up’ with Ambrose overselling. “I feel like you’re wasting time right now” confirms a ringside fan as Owens stacks tables. Owens does some wonderful work with near falls by rolling out of the ring on a nine count so he can drop his feet onto the floor. Clever stuff. The match escalates nicely and the only issue they really have is the stacked tables set up, it removes the excitement from the near falls. You know they’re going to use that stacked tables spot on the finish. They tease a spot before it with Ambrose laid out on chairs only to shove Owens off the top through the double tables and that’ll do it. That bump looked suitably horrific to finish but the set up rather took the shine off the big bumps that led up to it. Good match though with cracking big spots.
Final Rating: ****
Royal Rumble 2016
Last Man Standing
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