WWE Stomping Grounds had almost no hype heading into the night, and it more or less delivered on expectations. While the show started strong, the final three contests got a mixed response that turned the night sour.
A few key talking points came out of Sunday's show in which the champions tried their best to make the most of a tough situation.
WWE also struggled to present a main event. Instead, they decided to fully commit to a relationship that most have known about for months.
Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins are the Power Couple of WWE
Baron Corbin's special guest referee was revealed as Lacey Evans, who played the match in as lopsided a manner as possible. She ignored multiple finishes before getting physical, hitting repeated slaps and a low blow on The Beastslayer.
Evans' rival and Rollins' girlfriend, Becky Lynch, ran to the ring to right the wrong by laying out The Lady. She took her out, which allowed substitute referee John Cone into the contest to catch Corbin taking a superkick into The Stomp and counting the pinfall.
It was a flat end that had the crowd and fans completely dead for the supposed main event. The reaction was not great for any of it:
It ultimately felt like the point of the entire night was to fully commit to Rollins and Lynch together. The two are certainly an important power couple for WWE, setting up interesting stories down the line. However, fans were not sure how to react to the moment:
This show had bright spots early in the night, but this ending appeared to be the company scrambling to make people care about the whole event.
Kofi Kingston Pulls Off Impressive Leap to Save WWE Championship
Dolph Ziggler was ready to prove his words true by defeating Kofi Kingston and gaining the title he believed was rightfully his. He tried to escape at every turn before finding the opportunity to wear down the knee of the WWE champion.
It was not enough in the end, though, as the titleholder managed to dive right over The Showoff to escape the cage first.
The finish had everyone talking:
The actual bout was largely ignored, though. In fact, most were ready to call it a bad match beyond the ending, which luckily will still be remembered more than the contest itself:
Kingston is still a solid champion for SmackDown Live, but he needs a stronger challenger next.
Lynch Carries Evans to Another Solid Match
Evans got her second chance at Lynch, but she was taken down once again. The Man made her tap out to solidify her title reign and send The Sassy Southern Belle to the back of the line.
This match hardly had anyone talking going in, but it had some potential. In particular, Evans had a chance to show everyone she deserved to be a top championship contender.
However, she immediately fell short. Evans was missing spots from the start and fans noticed, particularly given Lynch's noticeable frustration:
The two did manage to come back together and deliver another solid overall match. Most gave credit to The Irish Lass Kicker for pushing Evans past her early struggles and putting on a good opener:
Now, the Raw women's champion can move on to better competition as she continues to put on some of the best solo performances of her career.
Roman Reigns Overcomes Both Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon to Win
Roman Reigns finally got his chance at retribution against Drew McIntyre, and he made good on it.
Despite Shane McMahon's frequent interference, The Big Dog managed to kick out of the Coast to Coast and hit a Spear to defeat The Scottish Psychopath.
It was a fine match that likely didn't put an end to this feud. Most of the talk following the match was not on the results or the quality but the sheer hope this would end the story:
There's still too many ways WWE can go with this feud for it to end here, unfortunately, so those fans will be disappointed. McMahon didn't even wait until Raw to announce he and McIntyre would fight Reigns in a handicap match.
Ricochet Pulls Off the Upset of the Night
Samoa Joe came in confident, even cocky, for his United States Championship match with Ricochet, and he looked like he was right early on. However, The One and Only refused to stay down, rallying through a brutal beating.
Using his athleticism fully, he kept Joe on his toes and finally managed to catch him with a 630 splash to win the United States Championship.
It was an excellent match that delivered on its potential and gave fans a shocking result. No one truly expected The One and Only to walk out as champion, but everyone was ready to congratulate him on the win:
Stoned Cold 💨 @legionofdabs
It’s moments like this that make me proud to be a pro wrestling fan. Been a fan of @KingRicochet since he’s been in bingo halls with 300 cap rooms packed wall to wall. Its your time Trevor. It’s an honor to be able to see you grow and get what you deserve. #WWEStompingGrounds https://t.co/SRDrkXLA7b
While the match was not heavily hyped, this was the most impactful moment of the night and the main reason to tune into Stomping Grounds.
It was later emphasized how big a win this was, when AJ Styles challenged the new champion to a match on Monday's Raw that had everyone talking: