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Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/2/2018

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Alrighty, off the heels of two pivotal September 1st shows, I figure it’s best for everyone if this week is the first for the September match vote.

With that, we need to find out which match won last week and what the August Pool looks like. So, last entrant into the August Pool is, Universal Title Match: Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor.  So here’s what we’re working with:

August Pool

  • Evolve 108 Evolve Heavyweight Title Hardcore Match: Shane Strickland vs Matt Riddle(c) 
  • G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • NXT Tag Titles: Moustache Mountain vs Undisputed Era (c)
  • Raw Universal Title match: Roman Reigns (c) vs Finn Balor

So that’s actually a fairly balanced group. Now, Tanahashi vs Ibushi, that was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen, so that’s getting my vote with very little need to think.

Anyway, now that we’ve got that established, let’s see what we have to work with this week.

 

5. Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Jungle Kyona vs Tam Nakano

Now we all know I have a Tam bias, but her opening promo was very subdued. She seems to want to prove she’s gotten better and to make a statement after JAN refused to join STARS during the draft and went independent. Kyona on the other hand is her usual energetic and fun self, with a small dig that the result will be the same as last year (Kyona beat Tam last year). So this seems to have some personal feelings involved.

Well Tam wanted to prove something right out the gates, and tries to exchange shoulder tackles with Kyona, to no avail. Sadly for Tam, this would lead to a long period of Kyona dominating. A number of Should Tackles, Sliding Lariat, Dropkicks and general strikes just leave Tam kicking out of multiple pin attempts. Things continue to look bad for Tam as Kyona drives her into the corner, but a few weak Forearm shots prove Tam still has some fight.

Kyona shrugs them off and tries to send her into the ropes, but Tam reverses and lands a Flying High Kick, for her first real offense all match. The women trade corner maneuvers as Tam hits a Double Knee, Kyona then follows her back for a Splash, Tam follows Kyona back for a Single Knee and Kyona gets a small edge after following in with a Lariat. Kyona goes to whip Tam into the corner, but Tam reverses with a crisp Step Up Enzuigiri. Tam lands her Cartwheel Knees and gets a 2 count.

More back and forth from both women, until Tam catches Kyona with a full extension Standing Side Kick, sending Kyona to the outside. Tam doesn’t waste the opportunity and goes to the top rope for a Crossbody into the seconds on the outside, but hitting Kyona fully across the shoulders. Tam rolls in Kyona, hits a beautiful Spinning Crescent Kick, but Kyona grabs the bottom rope to break the count. Tam’s reaction was fantastic as she looked furious.

Tam goes to the top rope again, Kyona cuts her off and seems to attempt an Avalanche Scoop Slam, but Tam fights her off. Tam grazes Kyona with an Axe Kick, and continues to attempt a high risk move. Kyona charges a couple times as Tam kicks her away, but Kyona eventually catches Tam’s foot and pulls her off the ropes, crashing to the mat. Kyona goes for her Hammer Throw Powerbomb, Tam slips out and then the counters begin. Tam catches Kyona with a High Kick, goes for a Running Knee, but Kyona catches the knee, attempts a Sitout Powerbomb, but Tam slips out again, misses the Buzzsaw Kick, but hits and Back Side Kick, for only 2 again.

Tam tries to grab Kyona for a German Suplex, but Kyona fights it off until Tam keeps wrist control and pulls off a Rainmaker German Suplex Hold (shuddup, that’s what I’m calling it), for only two though. Tam goes for the Running Knee again, but misses, Kyona Sliding Lariats Tam’s back, which is important because Tam has been favoring her back most of the match. Taking advantage of that. Kyona puts Tam in a Canadian Backbreaker, but Tam doesn’t quit. Kyona spins it into a normal Backbreaker across the knee, and Tam’s face tells the whole story. Kyona goes for the pinfall, but Tam kicks out at 2.

Kyona immediately goes to the Half Boston Crab, but Tam gets to the ropes. Very quickly Jungle goes to the top rope and hits a Body Splash across Tam’s back, drags her to the middle of the ring and sinks in a Scorpion Deathlock (aka Sasori-Gatame, aka Sharpshooter). Tam tries to hold out, but eventually taps cause her back can’t take it anymore.

Winner: Kyona via Sasori-Gatame

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. All In: Kazuchika Okada vs Marty Scurll

Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada ALL IN Results

This was just a story of no one giving Scurll a shot since he’s a Junior Heavyweight and Okada is…well…Okada. So will Okada send Marty to 205 Live, or will Scurll step it up?

Well now we get the best worked match of the night, and yes I’ll say that before the last match since 6 Man Matches usually always have a ceiling. Scurll had something to prove and he really did continue to bring it to Okada.

The Rainmaker was cocky early, under estimating Scurll, but he had a ton of close calls and good moves. The whole crowd popped for a Kawada style Powerbomb from Scurll which gave the first real false finish. We get a ref bump to set up a spot I haven’t seen in a while, with Marty getting the umbrella and then opening it up to stop Okada mid Rainmaker. Usage of the foreign object follows, but only a 2 count.

Scurll goes for the Chicken Wing a couple times, and looks to be close to getting Okada to tap out, before Okada does the Okada thing and fights through. An amusing reference to the 2-0-5 joke from BTE gives Marty a small glimmer of hope, but the adrenaline rush wears off, Rolling Rainmaker into proper Rainmaker and Okada wins.

Marty did prove he can hang with a heavyweight, and even though people tend to get on Scurll’s case about being a bad worker – this was a great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3. NOAH Flight: Takashi Sugiura & Daisuke Harada vs Atsushi Aoki & Jun Akiyama

Flight, was Marufuji’s 20th Anniversary show, that was basically a culmination of all of Misawa’s lost children. As we all know, NOAH broke off from All Japan, but in 2013, a bunch of NOAH talent left to return to All Japan. Two of those wrestlers, are Aoki and Akiyama. Is the celebration of Marufuji’s career gonna be civil or will the problems bubble up?

This match played out with a lot of vitriol. Sugiura and Harada both got in as many shots on Akiyama as possible, and just like his proteges, he took it and asked for more. For those who don’t know, Akiyama was about a generation below the Four Pillars of Heaven (Misawa, Kawada, Taue and Kobashi), so he had matches with and trained closely with these legends. Now since he’s the President and co-head booker of All Japan, there’s a ton of bad blood.

I made mention of this in my Champion Carnival coverage when Marufuji faced Akiyama, and this was an extension of it. You see the pride that Sugiura, Marufuji and Harada have in NOAH, so years of frustration were taken out on Akiyama. Sadly for Aoki, he was kind of an after thought, a good wrestler in his own right and also part of the betrayal, but Akiyama is such a prominent face of All Japan, they made a statement.

The fact it ends in a draw was beautiful because it ends with Sugiura and Akiyama in the ring, Sugiura kicking out of the Wristclutch Exploder and Akiyama kicking out of the Olympic Slam as the time then runs out. Sugiura and Akiyama had a palpable tension, so maybe Akiyama will be involved in a NOAH tournament or have a match with Sugiura in the future.

Great match, made better with a little bit of context.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

All In: Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero M
Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel
Rating: **** 1/4
Raw Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Kevin Owens
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: ****
Impact ReDefined X Division Title Match: Fenix vs Brian Cage (c)
Winner: Cage via Avalanche Powerbomb
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Pete Dunne & Ricochet vs Adam Cole & Roderick Strong
Winner: Cole via Last Shot
Rating: *** 3/4
All In: Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs The Briscoe Brothers
Winner: Kaz via Avalanche Snap Power Slam
Rating: *** 1/2
All In ROH Heavyweight Championship Match: Jay Lethal (c) vs Flip Gordon
Winner: Lethal via Lethal Injection
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Jungle Kyona vs Konami
Winner: Kyona via Hammer Throw Powerbomb
Rating: *** 1/2
All In: Fenix, Bandido & Rey Mysterio vs Kota Ibushi & The Young Bucks
Winner: Bucks via Meltzer Driver
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Natsuko Tora vs Kagetsu
Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster
Rating: *** 1/2
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella vs Charlotte Flair (c)
Winner: Charlotte via Figure 8
Rating: *** 1/4
All In: Over the Budget Battle Royal
Winner: Flip Gordon
Rating: ***

 

2. All In NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship Match: Nick Aldis (c) vs Cody

Both men had their own teams accompany them to the ring, and we all know the story with Cody’s lineage and Nick Aldis reviving a dead brand. Let’s see how the match plays out, Dealer versus Nightmare.

Well this is what wrestling was and why we all watch. It’s not for flips and false finishes, it’s for a story being told like this. The best way I can describe this match is, it was a love letter from Cody to Dusty. If you don’t enjoy the old 70s/80s style of wrestling, you’ll feel that I’m way off base. But given the 70th anniversary of the NWA, the involvement of a Rhodes and how much we know Dusty meant to Cody, this was a deeply layered match.

We had the old school blade job moment, where we got to pop for Diamond Dallas Page hitting a Diamond Cutter on Shawn Daivari. We even saw a sweet moment between Brandi begging Cody that he didn’t have to continue and then throwing herself on top of him to absorb the Elbow Drop.

Let’s not undersell how good Aldis looked in this match also, especially when he accidentally hit Brandi, to prove he’s not a bad guy. Then he kicks out of the Crossroads, and the match hits that point where you’re not sure who will win. Aldis goes for a Sunset Flip, but Cody sits down and sinks in the Double Leg Cradle, and gets the pinfall victory to become the first ever second generation NWA Heavyweight Champion!

Can’t be upset with the match or the story. Could it have been crisper or could there have been a quicker pace, sure, but a faster pace would’ve hurt the story of the match. Just a tremendous story driven match, watch it, it’s hard to really convey the poignancy of this match.

Winner: Cody via Double Leg Cradle

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NOAH Flight: Noamichi Marufuji vs Hideo Itami

Now Flight was Marufuji’s 20th Anniversary Show, so of course he gets the main event. Context again, KENTA and Marufuji sort of came up together. They were the inaugural GHC Junior Tag Team Champions, and had one of the biggest and brightest rivalries in NOAH after Misawa and Kobashi. So getting this match one more time, new name or whatever, this had the same kind of emotional weight for people like Cody vs Aldis. The fans chanted KENTA regardless of his billing, and Sumo Hall buzzed like the older glory days of NOAH.

As for the match, this had a bunch of callbacks to their history. From Hideo pulling off moves he hasn’t done since leaving NOAH, Marufuji pulling off a Spanish Fly (which we don’t see much since he’s older and he’s knees are shot). Marufuji kicked out of 2 Go to Sleeps, Hideo kicked out of a Shiranui,  and we all know how this had to end. It was used before, but since the show was a symbol of Marufuji’s journey and NOAH still being alive…Emerald Flowsion had to end the match.

From a critical point of view, Marufuji didn’t execute an apron Piledriver well, as well as, Hideo messing up on Go to Sleep and immediately doing it again. So there were some hiccups, which don’t get a pass, but the crowd seemed forgiving. Fantastic energy, mostly great work, numerous callbacks, just great. The match should be more than enjoyable for anyone, with or without historical knowledge.

Winner: Marufuji via Emerald Flowsion

Rating: **** 3/4 

 

Thoughts:

So with the top two being similar when it comes down to emotional ties, it’s hard for me to decide. Personal bias completely in tact, I’m voting for, NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis. You saw me say bias and assumed the Japanese match didn’t you? Stop listening to Chris Platt, he’s just making up stuff!

This should be a really interesting week and August will be something also. But I trust everyone who votes with USE THEIR HEAD, so let’s see how this all plays out.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE SmackDown (01/22/2019)

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Good Bad Ugly WWE Smackdown

Bobby Fernandes delivers his Good, Bad, and Ugly review for WWE Smackdown on January 22, 2019–the last Smackdown before the Royal Rumble!

SmackDown before the Royal Rumble is here and now.  The better of the WWE weekly television is up to bat, and ready to take us home.  The actual card looks decent for the PPV especially on the SmackDown side of things.  Raw did a Good job packing in a ton of relevant content and building up the excitement.  Can SmackDown deliver yet again? 

THE GOOD

Opening Segment w/ The Man Becky Lynch

She is still on “fire” and the crowd cannot get enough of her.  She looks fantastic, confident, and on top of her game.  Lynch has done her job and took down the “Queen” and claims that she will do the same to the “Empress.”  Even a badass like Lynch has an uphill battle against a foe like Asuka.  Asuka is so impressive and this feud is just amazing.  Charlotte Flair didn’t take a whole lot of time to get involved and was warmly “Woooed” by the crowd.  Charlotte walks tall, talks the talk and is just overall unbelievable.  Asuka and Lynch’s heat then boiled over at the joy of Charlotte.  They got some Good shots in.  This has been an enjoyable feud and it’s “finale” should deliver. 

The Miz w/ Shane McMahon vs. Cesaro w/ Sheamus

So far the Miz/McMahon duo has had some subpar content, last week being the worst of it.  Luckily this week, Miz and Cesaro can both do some great things in the ring, and could be Good for a decent match.  Cesaro is freakishly Good and one of the most criminally underrated in the industry, even with the Tag Team Championship.  Anyone watching has to love the chemistry that The Bar has weekly.  They don’t always have the best matches but are a fantastic Tag Team overall.  Miz was on point as well in this match.  This was a Good set up for the Royal Rumble in which Cesaro gets the Win w/ a “Neutralizer” after a Sheamus interference.  McMahon wasn’t having it and attacked The Bar only to be beaten the hell out of for his trouble.  To add insult to injury, Shane O Mac was bombed onto the Miz, through a table.  It looked fantastic, and hopefully this Tag Team Title Match Sunday will not disappoint. 

Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles/Vince McMahon Promo

The fans are certainly “fickle” to the New Daniel Bryan.  The crazy, nut-bag has done all he can to become a hated entity.  Daniel Bryan has improved on the mic, and this heel gimmick is well suited.  The less AJ talks the better.  However he did well this time around, and just about when things were going overboard, the Chairman of the Board put a stop to it, and demanded Bryan get in the ring.  Bryan went on to be disobedient and continue his banter, now attacking McMahon’s Generation.  AJ Styles had enough and attacked Bryan until Bryan used McMahon as a shield taking out Styles and retreating.  Overall, this wasn’t Bad and did its job hyping the WWE Championship Match Sunday at the Royal Rumble. 

Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali

Not that this is a new thing, but Samoa Joe has lost his mind.  He is a savage in the ring now, and as stiff and brutal as his reputation is, he is exceeding expectations.  Mustafa Ali is very impressive, his entrance, look, and of course in ring ability.  Samoa Joe seems to have given himself the task of breaking in the young star.  He is literally breaking him.  Ali is getting viciously bounced around by the veteran.  Samoa Joe controlled almost the entire match.  Ali even looked shocked when hitting some solid offense.  It was short lived, as Joe trapped Ali in the “Coquina Clutch” for the brutal victory. 

(2 out of 3 Falls) Andrade vs Rey Mysterio

This rivalry is fantastic.  It completely revived Rey Mysterio.  Andrade can hang and with someone at the level of Mysterio it is Gold!  No Zelina Vega is a little disappointing as she does her job very well, and is a great addition to any content.  Highspots galore, the two showoffs did just that, they gave the fans their money’s worth, and put it all out there.  Andrade is for sure a fan of Mysterio, probably watching all of his content as a before he was a huge success.  His style is very similar, as most Lucha style is.  Andrade lost his mind and hit a “sitdown powerbomb” off the top for the first fall.  The timing, and landing was beautiful. 

Andrade continued on hitting a few big moves but unable to get the finish.  Mysterio hit the crazy “spike” type move out of nowhere and gets a counter pin fall.  Andrade and Mysterio really do such unique things, always getting the correct pop at the right time.  Masterfully showcasing the Lucha style, and impressing everyone during the Main Event.  So much respect for the sport, and rare amounts of pride are shown in their work.  Even a botched spot was forgiven by the hot crowd, because they just pressed on.  Mysterio almost had Andrade beat, but Samoa Joe interferred and destroyed Mysterio and Andrade.  Joe continued his vendetta to the Cruiserweights at the worst possible time.  This was a Bad run in, on a Good Match.  All aside the wrestling that was had between Mysterio and Andrade was quality.  Then, just like that “RKO” out of nowhere.  Randy Orton making his presence felt before he will appear in the Royal Rumble on Sunday. 

THE BAD – N/A

THE UGLY

Naomi vs. Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville

This whole feud is a bit ridiculous.  If these two talents would have just been paired up to a match it would have been better.  No one seems to care at all about the story here, and the content so far has been poorly executed.  Naomi and Mandy Rose are very talented but it is being paraded around on this horrendous platform for seemingly no reason. 

The Sonya Deville/Carmella Match that was foolishly skipped last week would have been much better, and it was a ugly shame it was left out.  Naomi controlled most of the action, literally bitch slapping the blonde bombshell Mandy Rose.  Mandy had very little offense in this tough to watch match.  The action was poorly executed, and awkward.  Mandy got the upper hand when it counts, with the help of Deville, hits Naomi off the post, and gets the quick pin.  This was a horrible match, so much to hate about it, just disappointing.    

FINAL

  • GOOD – 5
  • BAD – 0
  • UGLY – 1

OVERALL

SmackDown, unlike Raw this week, was a little light on the content.  NXT almost had as much content last week and they are only an hour.  That being said, it was a successful week for the “blue” brand.  Royal Rumble has the makings of a Good show.  WWE overall has been pretty Good lately and are very protective of their brand. 

WWE took it home in a major way, now onto NXT’s version of the story to finish out before the big Takeover and Royal Rumble weekend.  We could see some serious changes so close to Wrestlemania, and as usual, all we have to do is sit back and watch.  Please like, comment and share!  Catch you tomorrow night post NXT.    


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Review & Notes (1/21 &1/22)

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The Royal Rumble “Go Home” shows. Did they produce entertaining content, or limp towards the finish line since most will watch Rumble purely on name value. Let’s find out!

Now given that I enjoyed Raw so much last week, I’m tempering my expectations for this week. It’s been longer than I care to try and remember, that WWE has knocked it out of the park two weeks in a row.

With the low bar set, do we see a Fosbury Flop, or well…just a flop. Let’s see!

 

Raw Ratings:

  • Finn Balor vs Braun Strowman: Balor wins via DQ after Lesnar interferes – * 1/2
  • Apollo Crews vs Bobby Lashley: Lashley wins via Spear – *
  • Seth Rollins vs Drew McInture: Rollins wins via Cradle – ** 1/2
  • Lucha House Party vs Jinder & The Singhs: Gran Metallik wins via Backbreaker – -* (yes it’s negative)
  • Elias vs Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via End of Days – N/A
  • The Ascension vs Heavy Machinery: Otis wins via Caterpillar – N/A (squash)
  • Raw Tag Team Titles: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs The Revival: Gable retains via Rollup – ***
  • Bayley & Sasha Banks vs Natalya & Ronda Rousey: Banks wins via Bank Statement on Natty – ***

 

 

Review Notes:

  • We kick off things with talking…well now, new changes right? Heyman does his played out thing by now, Vince comes out and tells his own variation of a Wikipedia edited David and Goliath story. Braun shows up to try and look menacing and speak words that don’t matter. Finn walks out after like 15 minutes of bickering, to point out that this is typical. He then tells a closer to correct David and Goliath story. Vince gets the bright idea that Brock should be at ringside for the real David and Goliath bout of Finn versus Braun.
  • Now before this match started, we all knew how it was gonna end. Brock at ringside, Braun is a monster so he can’t lose clean and Finn is the challenger…so he can’t lose clean. So yeah, making matches that can’t logically have a winner is a waste of time, much like this match. The action was alright, the spot where Lesnar catches a falling Balor just to Overhead Suplex him to the floor was moronic since the referee saw it and didn’t throw out the match there. Finn fights back valiantly, then right after landing the Coup de Grace, Lesnar F5’s Balor and THAT’S a DQ apparently. Must’ve gotten NFL referees for this match.
  • Lashley and Lio come out, and every bit of praise I gave them the last two weeks goes out the window here. Lio is worthless saying nothing of merit, and this somehow devolves into a pose off when Apollo Crews comes out to throw his hat in the ring. The pose off did showcase a little personality from Apollo, so that was a bright spot, but come on…this is dumb. Then Lashley attacks him and a match happens regardless of any previous words or stipulations to the pose off (yay wrestling).
  • Lio apparently will now be a bigger player in the matches, which is fine. But when no one cares about either wrestler, we came off roughly 20 minutes of talking into a gimmicked finish, for another match without a clean finish. Short match with no story or reason to care.
  • Rollins comes out, gives a speech we’re supposed to care about, but I really don’t. He brings Roman up AGAIN, and really seems to be going through the motions almost to a disingenuous point. McIntyre comes out to save the segment before it leads to a match, cause everyone in the Rumble needs to be showcased leading to it, yeah, that sounds right, sure.
  • The match is standard fair for a Rollins match. Okay work rate, slightly predictable sequencing, but since the finish was a Cradle…that’s different. I don’t know, the match was fine, but McIntyre losing just signals that now he wins the Rumble or finds a way to at the very least, cost Rollins the win.
  • The Revival discuss their position with Vince in the back, say they’d like an impartial special guest referee and Curt Hawkins walks up. Vince tells him he’s the special ref and Hawkins has the best line of the night with “Well, I have seen a lot of threes lately…”, and then the Revival start buttering him up before the match.
  • Lucha House…Jinder and the Singhs…WHY!? This has no business being a thing beyond they are two groups of 3. Stupid, useless, worthless, I hate the Lucha House Party. Send them back to 205 Live, deport them, I don’t know…just stop. This is not good, they have no personality, and have been damaged from that dumb House Party rule gimmick from a few weeks back. Screw this team. And who wins with a Backbreaker not named Roderick Strong?!
  • Dana Brooke is talking at EC3, I say talking at cause he doesn’t respond and she just hits him with a litany of questions as Elias walks to the ring.
  • Elias tries to do his thing, Corbin interrupts, a forgettable match happens and Corbin wins cause he needs to look like he’s marginally competent going into Rumble.
  • Alexa Bliss’ Moment of Bliss, is a train wreck again, multiple women just walk out, declare their piece for the Rumble, Alexa even makes note of all her shows have been awful and she’s sick of it. So she announces herself in the Rumble, the only highlight was Lacey Evans finally came out and said a few things for the first time. All you Nasties are gonna learn.
  • The Ascension get to be fed to Heavy Machinery! Well I guess that proves they’re staying on Raw since Raw loves job matches. Only real note from this is Otis’ Worm, is not called the Caterpillar. You know, like the company that makes heavy machinery. The writers are true wordsmiths I tell you.
  • This tag match was like a highlight real of heel wrestling 101 and a referee actually being attentive. Hawkins is by far the best referee of the night (and weekend probably too), so a decent match. Nice spots, these two teams have nice chemistry and we see a reuniting of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins at the end. So maybe that’s where The Revival go next. Only odd take away is why would you make The Revival sympathetic for the last few weeks and then ruin it completely in 2 weeks. The direction just makes no sense.
  • Ronda with a passionate, yet clumsy and weird biblical promo with the hair washing feet thing. What since David and Goliath was referenced now we’re quoting the bible for promos? Ugh…no more talking Ronda please.
  • Yes we all know Sasha had a wardrobe malfunction during this match. But let’s not have that take away from a decent match and the fact that Bayley and Sasha did technically give Ronda her first loss in WWE. So building up the challenger for two weeks right before the PPV seems like the obvious set up, but be honest, 99% of us have Ronda winning anyway. Sasha could’ve defeated the whole women’s division and we’d still go, “yeah but”. It was nice to see Bayley and Sasha continue to work decently as a team, but they did sow some seeds for Bayley versus Sasha since Sasha tended to move out of the way a lot and let Bayley eat moves.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

There really seemed to be no passion or imagination in this show except for Ronda’s odd promo. As Tony Acero so nicely put on Raw Reaction, I was just saying “okay”, through most of this show. It didn’t surprise, intrigue or go outside of the box at all. Just a basic color by numbers Raw. Mediocrity encapsulated in a show, if you will. SmackDown has to be better…

 

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • Mandy Rose w/Sonya Deville vs Naomi: Rose wins via pinfall – **
  • Miz w/Shane vs Cesaro w/Sheamus: Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ***
  • Mustafa Ali vs Samoa Joe: Joe wins via Coquina Clutch – ** 1/2
  • 2 out of 3 Falls: Rey Mysterio vs Andrade Almas: Rey wins via DQ 2-1 – *** 3/4

 

Review Notes:

  • So since it’s WWE we start off with talking, but this one is Becky and Asuka, and we like them. Becky does the old school heel thing of listing Asuka’s accolades but making sure to mention that Asuka didn’t BEAT her and she’s still just better than Asuka. Charlotte saunters out, let’s out a Woo and Asuka tries to get in a cheap shot on Becky, thus creating a brawl for a few minutes. Becky gets the upperhand throwing Asuka into the announce desk, before the brawl heads backstage.
  • Naomi has every right to try and kill Mandy. She tried to cause problems in her marriage and Naomi had the upperhand in most of the match. A flurry of kicks and elbows from Naomi give us hope she’ll get her revenge, but Sonya’s interference becomes too much, giving Mandy the opening to show Naomi into the ring post and cover her for the pinfall.
  • Miz and Shane might be my favorite thing on SmackDown story wise. I mean I love Andrade & Rey Mysterio angle, but the sheer fun and enjoyment Miz and Shane seem to be having is infectious.
  • The match had a lot of good resiliency from Miz. The Miz has been looking like a better wrestling ever since the World Cup tournament. Miz tried to get an early win with the Figure Four Leglock, but Cesaro got out of it. Sheamus eventually takes out Shane so they can get in a cheap shot, which leads to a Gotch Neutralizer and a win for Cesaro.  Post match beatdown sees Shane eat a Brogue Kick, as well as getting driven through Miz and effectively through the announce table. Feels like a heavy signal that Miz and Shane will win at Rumble, but who knows.
  • Mustafa points out an interesting aspect of Joe beating him down last week. That being, Joe looks down on him, like he doesn’t belong there and he wants to prove himself.
  • Vince basically moderates the discussion between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles. Not much is really said except for AJ turning the FICKLE word against Bryan and it catching a little. Styles chases Daniel outside the ring, lays in a few shots, rolls him back in for the Phenomenal Forearm, Daniel uses Mr. McMahon as a shield to then lay out AJ with Knee Plus.
  • Truth and Carmella are walking through the back discussing the Rumble. Truth toys with the idea of challenging Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight title, and when Carmella points out the weight limit, he takes it as her calling him fat and storms off a bit. Charlotte and Carmella have a few words, but nothing really noticeable here.
  • Ali showed that he learned from last week and turns around some call back spots into flips and body presses. But Joe eventually proved to be too much and Ali taps out to the Coquina Clutch.
  • New Day have a nice moment discussing Rumble plans, Kofi has a moment of doubt if he can’t come up with a cool spot, Kayla tries to ask the question everyone does about would they eliminate each other. After going through a list of people who asked, they say “Is Tony Chimmel gonna ask us too?”, and Chimmel shows up before they shoo him away asking if they look like Edge and to get going.
  • YAY! 2 out of 3 falls match! Andrade and Rey all day! First fall comes after Andrade connects on an Avalanche Sitout Powerbomb. Rey hits a Code Red, doesn’t’ get him, but pulls out the Canadian Destroyer as a counter to what looks like a Powerbomb and evens it up at one a piece. Rey tried to get a quick win with the West Coast Pop, but Andrade kicks out. After Rey finally connects with a 619, Samoa Joe shows up to ruin the finish. In the middle of making his final decree, Randy Orton RKO’s Joe to a giant pop from the crowd.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

Well okay we’re back to the normal situation of SmackDown being the clearly superior show and Raw being mediocre at best. Andrade and Rey are just wonderful together, that match could’ve been something special if it were allowed to finish decisively. I look forward to a time when they get 20+ minutes on a PPV to just tear the roof down. SmackDown is such a treat coming off a Raw that left, not a sour taste in my mouth, but ashy disappointment.


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