Last night’s SmackDown Live was a mixed bag of The Good, The Bad and the Misunderstood. With no main event for the evening because of news that Shinsuke Nakamura was injured and the match he had with Jeff Hardy for the United States Title was canceled.
Eric Ames broke the news for The Chairshot.
So, what does WWE do? It gives us a tease toward a match between Daniel Bryan and The Miz to kick off the show and ends it with a warm embrace between Bryan and Kane, bringing the band back with Team Hell No.
Here are a few of my thoughts on what was a mediocre Tuesday night at best.
THE RETURN OF TEAM HELL NO!
The match between Bryan and Luke Harper was better than I expected. Harper deserves a singles run, but the tag team combination with Erick Rowan takes me back to a time when the Wild Samoans were running over opponents in the old WWWF and the Moon Dogs were a curious sort in the ring.
Of course, there had to be interference, with Rowan saving Harper from defeat in this “David vs. Goliath” confrontation. Just like Bryan’s match with Big Cass at Money in the Bank, he proved once again he can work with opponents much larger than himself and put on a solid match.
The return of Kane was as surprising as anything to happen on the blue brand. The reunion and subsequent notice by SmackDown Live’s general manager Paige that the two would face the Bludgeon Brothers for the tag titles at Extreme Rules is puzzling as it now takes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson out of the title picture.
It also means WWE is not ready to push Bryan toward the WWE Title picture just yet.
Oh, for those of you playing at home – no A.J. Styles, no Nakamura, no Carmella, no Charlotte Flair. The company made due with what it had to work with.
Rusev vs. Xavier Woods
This should have been more of a squash match, but WWE decided to book Woods as a formidable opponent for the Bulgarian Brute. It should not have been this hard to secure the victory.
When he first arrived on WWE’s main roster, the former United States Champion made quick work of smaller opponents. Now, matches linger. If the company is serious about making Rusev a main event challenger, there must be more dominance in his matches leading up to Extreme Rules.
You cannot help but wonder why WWE hasn’t pushed the Bulgarian Brute toward the main event until now? Winning the 5-man Gauntlet Match puts Rusev in rarified air. It also should have been done years ago.
As a side, I am waiting to see if the company finally disassembles the Three Musketeers and gives Kofi Kingston a main event invitation and pushes Woods towards the 205 division.
Jeff Hardy vs. Eric Young… For the United States Championship
Shades of TNA and a six-man tag match that evolves from it. We started out with Hardy vs. Young and the members of Sanity and ended up with the Uso’s interfering, forcing the tag match after being destroyed last week. It makes sense in building this kind of feud given the absence of Nakamura.
I just don’t want to see it become a habit. Hardy-Nakamura has a chance to be as good as the Japanese star’s matches with Styles. Let’s hope another confrontation is forthcoming next week.
Oh, and if anyone is listening, Get me Killian Dain and Braun Strowman in a match before the end of the year.
Becky Lynch vs. Sonya Deville
This is Lynch’s time to shine. While Flair is out of action, Lynch has an opportunity to make a giant leap in this division. The team of Deville and Mandy Rose is a bit lost without Paige as their mouthpiece. Both women acquitted themselves well, which could mean more booking of this merry-go-round.
With Flair in the mix, the cutesy segment with Naomi and Lana and the omission of Asuka tonight, this division that once looked strong is in need of adrenaline stat.
Ellsworth vs. Asuka next week
Seriously? Is WWE trying to make Asuka look as meek as Eva Marie? After losing her match at WrestleMania 34 to Flair, the road to the top of the women’s division on Tuesday nights has been anything but complimentary for the Empress of Tomorrow.
The idea of her facing Ellsworth, who makes my skin crawl every time he talks, will lead to a run-in by Carmella, a confrontation of some sort and Ellsworth getting the pin over the once over international star.
We can only hope WWE works harder next week at bringing more substance to Tuesday night as the days to Extreme Rules continue to grow closer.
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: Mickie James Update, Jeff Hardy, RAW Ratings and More! (7/17/19)
News Involving: Mickie James, Finn Balor, Jeff Hardy, RAW Ratings and More!
News Here! Mickie James Update, Jeff Hardy, RAW Ratings and More!
Latest On Jeff Hardy
In Monday’s shuffle I discussed the news on Jeff Hardy’s latest public intoxication arrest. Since then, more details have been released regarding the incident. TMZ is reporting that Hardy smelled of booze and was passed out in a public stairwell before being arrested.
Once again, Hardy’s struggles with addiction have been well documented in the past, so I am not going to comment on them. Here is hoping that he is able to get things in order and get his life on track.
RAW Ratings See An Increase
RAW continues to slowly climb out of the ratings hole, as this weeks ratings showed an increase in viewership. The hourly breakdown looks like this:
Hour 1 – 2.379 million viewers
Hour 2 – 2.503 million viewers
Hour 3 – 2.478 million viewers
This is good news for WWE, RAW, and USA, as RAW typically has had a hard time keeping viewers into the third hour. RAW was actually a very solid show last night, and one of the first RAW’s in a very long time that I watched from start to finish while it aired live. Slowly, but surely, WWE will do what they can to climb out of the hole.
Mickie James Undergoes ACL Surgery
Earlier today, WWE star Mickie James went under the knife to repair her injured ACL. The injury looks to keep her out of the ring into next year. Her husband, Nick Aldis, took to Twitter to update fans on the successful surgery.
UPDATE: Surgery was a complete success. I’m sure when she’s feeling up to it she’ll share more. Thank you all! 🙌 https://t.co/RxCHyko2UQ
— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) July 16, 2019
Mickie James is still a very talented wrestler who adds depth to the women’s division. There is still a place for her on the roster, and one can assume that the WWE will want to keep her when she fully recovers.
Finn Balor Taking Time Off?
Finn Balor lost the Intercontinental championship at Extreme Rules, and the loss had many scratching their heads. However, it appears there is reasoning behind it according to Pro Wrestling Sheet, as Balor has requested time off from WWE to recharge. Though he requested time off, it appears that it will not be granted until after the upcoming SummerSlam pay per view.
It will be interesting to see how Balor will be written off of TV. One could assume a SummerSlam match with Bray Wyatt will lead to his exit. Perhaps on his return, he could join his friends in The Club ?
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: Jeff Hardy, RAW Reunion, Paul Heyman and More! (7/15/19)
News Involving Jeff Hardy, RAW Reunion, Paul Heyman and More!
News here! Jeff Hardy, RAW Reunion, Paul Heyman and More!
Jeff Hardy Arrested
According to various news outlets this weekend, WWE star Jeff Hardy was arrested for public intoxication Saturday in South Carolina.Police said they received a report of an intoxicated person in Myrtle Beach about 11 a.m. Shortly after, authorities arrested Hardy without incident and charged him with public intoxication.Hardy posted a $153 bond and was released the same day.In a statement, WWE said, “Jeff Hardy is responsible for his own personal actions.”
Jeff Hardy’s battles with substance abuse over the years have been well documented. After period of staying off the radar, Hardy has been in court twice over the past year for alcohol related issues. Here is hoping that Hardy can get things under control.
Huge RAW Planned For Next Week
During Sunday nights Extreme Rules pay per view, WWE aired a commercial for RAW Reunion that will take place on July 22nd. Some of the big names advertised include Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Ric Flair.
It’ll be the BIGGEST reunion in Monday Night #RAW HISTORY.
— WWE (@WWE) July 14, 2019
This seems like a reach for a quick ratings grab, but it is always cool to see the legends return. Potentially we could see some involvement from some of the legends for SummerSlam storylines ?
Paul Heyman Appears At EVOLVE Show
For those of you who didn’t catch the EVOLVE 10th Anniversary show on the WWE Network Saturday night, you missed out on a hell of a show. You also missed out on an appearance from none other than Paul Heyman. Most wrestling fans know that Heyman mentored EVOLVE founder Gabe Sapolosky back in ECW.
“You’re going to watch this match, and you’re going to say to yourselves ‘that was the moment we all knew that this industry is going to EVOLVE.'”@HeymanHustle makes a surprise appearance at #EVOLVE131 ahead of the Winner Takes All Match between @austintheory1 and @RealJDDrake! pic.twitter.com/7ugS1xMr60
— WWE (@WWE) July 14, 2019
Those of you have followed my daily news shuffles, and the random In This Corner articles I put together, know that I rarely follow the indie wrestling scene. However, I took in both the EVOLVE show and AEW Fight For The Fallen. I was extremely impressed with the talent in EVOLVE, and my hopes are that WWE continues to broadcast their shows on the WWE Network.
Enzo and Cass Done With ROH ?
During April’s G1 Supercard Show at Madison Square Garden, fans were shocked to see Enzo and Cass jump the guard rail and started attacking ROH stars. Many felt initially that this may have been a shoot, but it appeared to be a work to lead to a potential appearance in ROH for the two. However, according to Dave Meltzer on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, it appears the relationship between the former WWE stars and ROH is over before it truly began. According to Meltzer, NJPW was unhappy as they were not notified before hand of their appearance, and the company has cut their loses with the two.
It’s Enzo and Cass. I mean, with what little I follow ROH, I can’t really see the two of them fitting with the company long term. However, if you want a team to be a legit heel right out of the chute, you could have that with those two.