Match 8: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali – WWE Championship
Background: Following the shenanigans earlier in the night with Kofi Kingston, there was confusion when the ring announcer explained that this would still be a Triple Threat match. With Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan) and Kevin Owens waiting in the ring, Mustafa Ali was introduced as the third man in the match.
Summary: Fans groaned during the ring announcements and multiple “We want Kofi!” chants broke out throughout the match. One of the biggest moments came when Owens dodged an 054 and hit Ali with a Stunner, but Bryan broke it up. Owens hit a Pop-up Powerbomb and Ali landed an 054 on the ring apron on Bryan. However, he kicked out on both occasions. In the end, Rowan took out Owens at ringside and Bryan connected with a mid-air Running Knee to pin Ali for the 1-2-3.
Verdict: This match was doomed right from the start. These fans thought they were getting Kingston and they got Ali, who is nowhere near as established or popular as the New Day member. The crowd didn’t totally hijack the match — they still reacted to some of the big moments — but the responses, especially towards Ali, were negative or very flat. I’ll give this C+, simply because the match was still of good quality, but the story should’ve been a lot better. None of these guys come away from this looking better than before.