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Charles (Loss)

[2014-05-04-WWE-Extreme Rules] HHH & Batista & Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

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Good trios match but not the classic that many classify it as being. Batista was great wearing red to stand out from his partners, showing that deep down he only cares about his own direction. Nice Air Jordans he has on too.

They brawl early to the crowd's delight, with Rollins playing the FIP as usual during the Shield's babyface run. After several pretty good minutes of getting the hot on him, he gets a hot tag to Ambrose, who also plays the FIP in another pretty good segment. After Ambrose has been put through pain by Evolution, HHH gloats and mocks the Shield, but Ambrose manages to hit a DDT to give Reigns a hot tag.

This would lead to the third and final act of the match, which had plenty of brawling and finishers galore. HHH evaded a tope move from Rollins, who crashed head and shoulder-first in the barricade. HHH evaded a Superman Punch in the ring and hit Reigns with Pedigree, then placed Batista on him. Reigns kicked out, grooming him for his obvious future. But because this company still had a clue, an Ace Crusher on Reigns by Orton wasn't kicked out of, by had its pinfall attempt saved by the recovered Rollins. See what happens when someone isn't shoved down the audience's throat?

The brawling outside pitting Ambrose & Rollins vs. HHH & Orton is great stuff that pops the crowd, ending with a climatic splash from Rollins from the top of a seating entrance. It was adrenaline-rushing shit. But this is where I ran into a problem with the match, as the ref just let Batista and Reigns lay around WHILE HE HIMSELF STAYED IN THE RING, instead focusing too much on the brawling that was happening almost a football field away from him. That's bad officiating and was my lone nitpick in The Shield's jaw-dropping work of art against The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber 2014.

But unlike that instant classic, this match lacked a truly electric crowd that was giddy before the bell even ringing. This match actually summarized this direction quite well: it was good, but not one that audiences felt a NEED to see unlike Shield vs. Wyatts a few months earlier. When the brawling ended with that Rollins splash, the cameras' focus went back to the ring, and now all of a sudden Batista and Reigns regain consciousness. There's no super finishing stretch that we had been accustomed to in Shield matches. Instead, after one spear, Reigns gets the pin on Batista. It resulted in a good trios match, but not a total show-stealer that'll leave the crowd with memories etched in their minds for years to come. ***1/2

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Hot opening lead into an exciting series of heat segments where Evolution use some basic heel tag tactics to try and ground the energetic and powerful youngsters. Shield had only just started veering towards being babyface but they do it well

Rollins plays a fun FIP and Ambrose as a manic hot tag are an interesting way to open the match and you feel real sympathy and heat watching Evolution pick them apart. Triple H and Orton's worst habits are hidden by the tag format and Batista with a decent feather in his cap putting in another great performance for his comeback and keeping up with the young kids. Once things start breaking down, we see Reigns as a fantastic hot tag. Get some superfluous crowd brawling but it pays off with a great spot. Great stuff all around from all involved.

 

****1/4

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