January 22nd (Taped: January 21st)
Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Rey Jr. – being half-crippled and all – is obviously working at a disadvantage but I thought this was better than Alberto’s match with Rey on RAW the prior Monday. Hunico has been good since taking over Sin Cara. You lose the upside for spectacular flying that existed with the former Sin Cara/former Mistico but you gain quite a bit of stability.
The bump where it looked like Del Rio was going to post Sin Cara shoulder-first only for Sin Cara to fly straight through the ropes and land with a thud on the floor was nutty. Del Rio followed that up with a very nice and more traditional crash into the ring post as well. Alberto is kind of stuck in a holding pattern as he trades wins with Rey & Sin Cara and is used as a guy for Batista to beat up on, but he did a good job here coming off like a guy whose career is going nowhere. His tantrum late in the match when he couldn’t put Sin Cara away resonated a bit more with me than your usual “heel screams when the face kicks out” routine. The double stomp on a hanging Sin Cara took a while to set up but looked good when he hit it.
Alberto gets the win in another 12-minute or so match. Not sure what the end game is with him and Batista but I am guessing either a singles match at the February PPV if Batista wins the Rumble or just as a foe for him in an Elimination Chamber match if not.
TV Match | Watchable | Quality