R-Truth defeated Cal Bloom
In the opening moments of the show, R-Truth, in a display that would have been bizarre for anyone else on the WWE roster, performed his entrance without a soul in the audience. The calls for the crowd to join in were, of course, included. MVP played the role of a lone fan, answering “What’s up?” whenever necessary. This went on for longer than the typical Truth entrance and even incorporated an additional verse and a short playing to the non-existent crowd after the music subsided.
As the bell sounded, the size of Bloom was immediately apparent. The former tight end was on the receiving end of Truth’s offense in the early moments, but soon was able to use his power to take control of the match. After a few less than stellar strikes, Truth avoided an attack from Bloom in the corner and took advantage with an armdrag.
Truth played multiple times to the empty seats before landing a leg drop. Bloom was then led to the corner where he withstood multiple strikes before he drove Truth's head into the turnbuckle. Bloom then secured double underhooks and tossed him across the ring. Bloom continued his offense with strikes followed by a rest hold.
Truth fought to his feet and connected with a strike that put him in the driver seat. He then used four of John Cena’s “Five Moves of Doom” before Bloom blocked the attitude adjustment that would typically finish off the sequence. Bloom sent Truth running into the ropes and caught him on the rebound with a spinning powerslam for two. A frustrated Bloom picked Truth up and played to no one with his arms forming an X. Truth took advantage of this pause and lifted Bloom into a fireman’s carry before dropping him with the attitude adjustment for the pin and win.
Truth looked the same in this match as he always does, a seemingly unaging man who never fails to entertain. This match did not make Bloom look good, however. He was lacking intensity and his offense was unconvincing. At no point did the match itself feel as if it was building towards any goal, especially not establishing Bloom as a future star.
Kairi Sane defeated Ruby Riott
The initial feeling out began as both Sane and Riott entered a collar-and-elbow tie-up. After finding herself in the ropes, Riott was playfully taunted by Sane. The referee separated them, but they were soon in the same position with the only difference being Sane pressed against the ropes. Instead of taunting her, Riott struck her upper chest. The two then entered a fast paced trade off of moves. Riott threw a spinning back fist, Sane ducked. Sane threw a spinning back fist, Riott ducked. Riott threw a kick, Sane blocked. Sane threw an elbow, Riott blocked. Both were at a standstill.
Riott broke the staredown with a stomp to Sane's toes. Sane was then drug to her feet and sent running into the ropes. Sane jumped Riott and caught her on the other end with a rope-assisted rana, followed up by a running blockbuster. A recovering Riott then found herself on the receiving end of a top rope flying forearm that got a two count.
Sane began to choke the grounded Riott with her own arms. Riott fought free, regained her footing, and sent Sane to the floor all in the same motion. Riott ran in the direction of Sane but was sidestepped. Riott did not let this stop her momentum, however, as she jumped and grabbed the head of Sane with her legs, inexorably driving it into the middle turnbuckle.
Following a commercial break, Riott maintained control. She had a full nelson on a seated Sane that she was using to sling her opponent across the mat. Sane struggled to her feet and broke the hold by stomping Riott's toes. The two then ran at each other with lariats and collided with neither gaining advantage. Riott grabbed Sane's hair and drove her head into the top turnbuckle, followed by a running kick. Riott set her sights on a second kick but Sane was able to roll from harm’s way.
Riott, in an act of frustration and reckless haste, attempted a kick for the third time but missed once again. She was rolled up as a result but was able to kick out with a close two.
Sane then connected with a spinning back fist that rendered Riott unbalanced. Sane followed with various strikes that left Riott flat on the mat. Sane attempted a pin and was both visibly and audibly shocked by Riott's kickout. Sane climbed to the top rope but was caught by a palm strike. The two fought for control on top of the ropes. Sane landed a headbutt that sent Riott to the floor but Riott used an enziguri that set Sane on unequal, if not entirely disadvantaged, footing.
Sane was then flattened by a top rope senton, barely kicking out of a pin attempt. Riott, in an even more furious than usual state, climbed the ropes once again but was met with a kick to the inside leg that reopened the match for her. Sane then lifted Riott from the ropes and delivered a devastating Alabama slam. Sane climbed to the top once again and this time successfully landed the insane elbow for the pin and win.
This match was entertaining from beginning to end. It never dragged and always had me guessing. Both women looked phenomenal, but Sane, particular, exuded charisma.