Robin fight was great but there's something lacking. When it ended, I expected more. I think it was because Black Maria's abilities went unexplained, so I was expecting some twists in that regard (at the time I thought her torso was a web puppet and she was the spider, for instance). I feel it was a pretty big flaw to not explain the nature of her powers in the story. We only got an explanation in SBS, and it showed a lot of wasted potential (so, she manipulates her form throught chemicals, and that explains her illusion mist, but we got a chemist that barely incorporates it into her fighting style).
Jinbe vs Who's Who was fine but didn't feel like a decisive battle. Again, I was expecting Jinbe to have another fight, most likely against Smoothie once the BM Pirates arrived. Nope, it was just that. Oh.
Franky vs Sasaki's choreography was really good but the fight was too short. Sasaki destroying the General Shogun was pretty impressive, but Franky defeated him too fast once he exited the cockpit. Unprotected Franky vs Sasaki would really up the tension instead.
Ulti and Page One were impressive, but it was Big Mom who defeated them, not Usopp or Nami. Zeus was in autopilot in the finishing move.
In the end, the entire Beast Pirates didn't feel worthy of being an Emperor crew. Big Mom Pirates were far more menacing, varied and interesting, and yet they were kept out of the battle. Bummer.
This might be my own limit, but choreography can only do so much for me.
I loved Robin's fight because it finally gave her a strong opponent and a dangerous situation, with a physical struggle that she was able to win.
Jinbe vs Who's Who was reasonably good because of the psychology of the characters involved.
Frankie vs Sasaki was not good for me because it lacked the psychological dynamic of the fight against Senor Pink and the comedic cleverness of the Water 7 fights.
Ulti and Page One were decent opponents, but it turns out that Nami and Usopp were too weak, and Big Mom too strong, for their fights to be interesting.
–- Update From New Post Merge ---
While we have some slices of insight as to the BM pirates' goings on, do recall that they are privy to world events and we don't have an exact timeline (yet) for precisely when the cover story is happening.
We know that WG is in the vicinity and that shit might be going down on WCI.
I think it's safe to keep a judgement on why they've been held back until we've seen the larger story.
If Oda doesn't address it, fair game. But we've been locked into the Strawhat crew's perspective on MAJOR on-going world events on a country closed off from the world (which was by design) so it might be best to wait and see there.
Agreed. But it would have made sense to see BM or (especially) Peros wondering why it was taking those other guys such a long time to enter Wano.