Bobby Lashley vs. Tiori – WWE United States Championship match
Tiori attacked the champion with a briefcase as he posed in the corner of the ring. The referee pulled him away, put the briefcase away, asked Bobby if he was ready to fight, and upon receiving an affirmative answer, gave the bell a wave. Austin threw a few punches, Bobby tried to respond…but received a forearm kick and a blockbuster to 1. Lashley’s suplex attempted to reverse into a throw of his own – failed, but he seized the momentum for a pair of strikes and a spinebuster. Thiori escaped to ringside from the harpoon, picked up a suitcase and said he was leaving, but the Almighty got in his way. The suitcase flew at Bobby, but he tossed it aside and directed Tiori into the barricade twice. The wrestlers returned to the ring, Austin rolled back to the apron and did a roll-up dropkick to 1. Bobby’s rollup translated into a flatliner, and the wrestlers began exchanging punches. A back elbow seemed to help the challenger come out of that exchange the winner, but Lashley caught him with a powerslam. Tiori avoided a harpoon though, so Lashley flew headfirst into the corner of the ring. The second. rollup dropkick attempt, though, Lashley reversed, applying the Hurt Lock, and Thiori instantly gave up. Lashley’s title defense.
It wasn’t bad for its 4 minutes and 40 seconds, but certainly not a masterpiece or PPV Material. Nevertheless, obviously, the goal of the match was not to be a banger. Lashley needed the defense, Thiori needed to show up for the PLE, so overall, the match looks competent by the end. Yes, you could say that defeating Thiori if they’re trying to fluff him doesn’t do him any good, much less surrender, but that surrender was more of a strategic maneuver. Tiori surrendered, not because he’s weak, but because he realized that he didn’t need the extra damage, especially since he’d promised us the cash-in later in the show. All in all, it’s okay. No, overall this match could have been better on all fronts, and in fact, it’s probably the lowest point of the show so far, but it’s pretty bearable as it is.