Arnold Furious: June 4 2017. We’re in Baltimore, Maryland. Hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T. This is a solid announce team.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz
The stipulation here is that if Dean is disqualified he loses the title. That’s not particularly ‘extreme’ is it? The Miz had a great run with the IC title on SmackDown. Ambrose’s run has been significantly less memorable. Despite this he is the longest current reigning champion in WWE. That’s more of a reflection of WWE booking than Ambrose’s title run. Miz’s tactic is to provoke Ambrose into getting disqualified. It gets in the man’s head because he has to think about what he’s doing. Ambrose’s strengths, as a character, is that he doesn’t think he just ‘does’ stuff. The stipulation neuters him. It’s fine work from Miz, routinely outsmarting Dean. Miz runs a lot of heat during the match, which would be fine if the crowd were biting on it more. However Baltimore wants more action and the reactions are only there when they speed things up. After that they switch to a leg match, with Miz focusing on Dean’s left pin. Miz continues to cheekily steal Daniel Bryan’s spots, even though they’re now on separate brands (corner dropkicks, Busaiku Knee, Yes kicks). Maryse slaps Miz in an attempt to force a DQ but the ref instead ejects Maryse. It’s a clever spot and if the referee followed logic it is an actual DQ. Ambrose gets thrown into the ref moments later teasing another DQ but it’s merely a chance for Miz to blindside Dean with the Skull Crushing Finale and that finishes. They did a lot of clever stuff here. Miz’s various attempts to get Dean disqualified were entertaining but also he had an underlying run of stuff designed to weaken Ambrose for a finish other than the unsatisfying DQ. It was a very long match but ultimately it arrived at a satisfying conclusion.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Tangent: Miz now has seven IC titles, the second largest number in WWE history, behind Chris Jericho, moving clear of Rob Van Dam and Jeff Jarrett. If he holds the title for two months he’ll move into the top ten of all time for combined days.
Video Control takes us backstage where Bayley is interviewed and Baltimore gives her heat. In Baltimore’s defence it’s a poor promo. Bayley loves wrestling but her delivery on promos is still shaky. You’d think they’d have worked past that in NXT but since Dusty Rhodes died the weaknesses in promos have not been addressed in developmental. They need a promos guy in there ASAP. Personally I’d go with Jake Roberts.
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