Hell in a Cell is in the rear view mirror and now WWE is ramping up the build for Super Show-Down, which will be happening in a couple of weeks in Melbourne. The controversial end to Reigns/Strowman takes the war between the Shield and the Dogs of War in a new direction on RAW. Ronda Rousey’s attempt to elevate the RAW Women’s Title doesn’t go as expected. The Undertaker returns and issues a dire warning to Triple H. Lashley’s new manager pays dividends.
On SmackDown, AJ Styles looks to fend off a very good challenger in Andrade Almas. The war between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair enters new territory after Lynch’s win at Hell in a Cell. The Empresses of Glow continues to come together as a unit, and Cesaro looks to get some much-needed momentum against Kofi Kingston of New Day.
On 205, Cedric Alexander tries to shut Drew Gulak up once and for all, TJP takes on Lince Dorado, and the much anticipated match between Lio Rush and Noam Dar doesn’t go as expected.
On NXT, the search for the culprit in the Aleister Black assault continues with an interesting person in the hot seat. Lacey Evans and Aliyah look to establish their dominance as the Ladies of NXT. The highly anticipated Champion vs Champion match between Ricochet and Pete Dunne has an ending no one expects.
So, how did they do? Let’s check it out!
Shield vs Dogs of War: Reigns kicked off RAW and admitted that things didn’t go according to plan, but he still woke up as the Universal Champion. He then called out Lesnar, stating that if Lesnar wanted a rematch so damn bad, he could come out and they could settle things right now.
Lesnar didn’t answer, but Strowman did. Strowman was, understandably, furious about Lesnar screwing him out of another chance to be Universal Champion. He said that HE was the one who should be allowed to beat the piss out of Lesnar and once that was done, he and Reigns were going to settle things.
Before things could get ugly, Corbin appeared and announced that there would be a Triple Threat Match in Saudi Arabia: Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman vs Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title. Corbin also tried to play the victim saying that no one was more upset about the end of Hell in a Cell than him. Strowman wasn’t happy about Corbin’s proclamation but it seems that it’s a settled matter. Corbin also announced that HE would be challenging Reigns for the Universal Title in RAW’s main event, because that’s not a conflict of interest or anything.
Heyman would appear, complete with the Hell in a Cell door Lesnar destroyed and accepted the match on behalf of his client.
After a Match of the Year worthy showing at Hell in a Cell, and after their respective partners took a plunge off of Hell in a Cell, Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntrye squared off in one-on-one competition. The Lunatic Fringe and the Scottish Psychopath took it too each other, but McIntyre would get the victory after Ambrose was nearly counted out after a failed double ax handle. Dean beat the count and walked right into a Claymore kick.
Backstage, Corbin explained his decision to put himself in the Universal Title match: Reigns deserves to be beaten and he thinks the Universal Title deserves better. He also asked Ziggler about invoking his rematch clause. When Ziggler begged off, citing his plunge off of the cell, Corbin pointed out that Rollins wasn’t at 100%, so the playing field would be even and he could walk out as a dual champion. One more wrinkle: If Rollins can’t compete, he’ll be stripped of the title.
Rollins wasn’t happy when he found out, but he warned Corbin that it’s still Monday Night Rollins. Ziggler seemed to want to back out after hearing that Rollins was in the building, but changed his mind when Rollins challenged him.
The match between Rollins and Ziggler, death-defying plunges or not, was amazing, as always. Despite throwing everything he could at Rollins, Ziggler would be defeated, so it’s back to the drawing board for the Dogs of War, at least as far as the Intercontinental Championship goes.
Despite changing the match to a No DQ after getting DQ’d, Corbin is NOT Universal Champion. In an insane match that eventually devolved into an all out BRAWL between the Shield and the Dogs of War. However, the Shield was left holding the ring and Reigns and Rollins are still holding gold. Corbin and his lackeys will have to think of something else.
RAW Women’s Division: Having finally vanquished Alexa Bliss, Ronda Rousey was looking towards new challenges and turned to her friends, the Bellas and Nattie for help with an idea: An Open Challenge for the RAW Women’s Title and wanted to know how to do it. Nattie and the Bellas were very excited by this and were eager to explain the rules.
The open challenge didn’t go as expected. Nattie was supposed to answer the challenge, but she was waylaid by a very pissed off Riott Squad who attacked Rousey, which brought out the Bella Twins, after a quick fight, the Riott Squad was sent back to the showers. Guess we’ll try again next week.
Bayley, with Sasha in her corner, took on a determined Dana Brooke in singles action. Fresh off her departure from Titus Worldwide, Dana seemed determined to get back into the game. Despite a very valiant effort, Bayley would defeat Brooke by pinfall.
Alicia Fox and Mickie James, with Alexa Bliss at ringside, took on Ember Moon and Nia Jax.! Not surprisingly, Mickie and Alicia wanted no part of Nia and actually tried to send Alexa in instead. Despite a valiant effort, James and Fox were no match for Jax and Moon, who soundly defeated them.
Undertaker vs Triple H: Undertaker returned to Monday Night RAW for the first time in…two weeks! The Deadman said that Triple H was delusional and delusion is the last refuge of someone with a broken soul and no one has a more broken soul than Triple H. He then called out Triple H for going corporate. He then vowed to harvest Triple H’s soul in Australia and let the WWE Universe in on some new wrinkles in the match: Shawn Michaels is going to be in Triple H’s corner in Australia, and so to counter that, Taker is bringing Kane along to watch his back.
Crown Jewel: WWE’s second show in Saudi Arabia has a name now: Crown Jewel AND beside the aforementioned Triple Threat match, there is also going to be a tournament to determine the ‘best in the world’ called the WWE World Cup.
Chad Gable vs Konnor: The feud between Chad Gable/Bobby Roode and the Ascension continued this week with a singles match between Gable and Konnor. the match was short but very good. Gable would pull out a surprising victory, but Konnor attacked him from behind.
AOP (with Drake Maverick) vs Gregory James and Barrett Brown: Do I even need to say this is a squash? These poor guys didn’t stand a chance against AOP.
Bobby Lashley vs Elias: It seems that Lio Rush has a new hat: Bobby Lashley’s manager! And his first task was helping his client beat Elias. The second was outrunning Kevin Owens. In both instances, he did a pretty good job. Lashley didn’t beat Elias, but Rush was able to help him fend off Elias and Owens.
WWE Championship: AJ addressed the controversial end to his match against Samoa Joe on Sunday and said that the worst thing that could’ve happened was to let Samoa Joe win the title. We’re told that the rematch in Australia would be No DQ, but right then, AJ said he needed to focus on Almas.
Is there any point in saying how great this match was? This match was amazing, though I’m not sure someone told Almas that the match WASN’T for the WWE Championship, because he wrestled like the belt was on the line. Anyway, great match, Styles pulled out the win by reversing Almas’ ‘Cien Knees’ into a Styles Clash for the three. Almas and Vega were NOT happy, but at least this wasn’t for the title.
As Styles was celebrating, he was attacked by a still angry Samoa Joe, who pummeled the champ all over ringside, until Styles fought back, sending Joe retreating through the crowd. Seems like Paige is going to have her hands full with these two.
WWE United States Championship: On Monday afternoon, Paige announced that due to an awesome performance at Hell in a Cell, Rusev would face Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Title on Tuesday. After his massive screw up, it seemed that English and Rusev had made things up, until Lana overheard English taking credit for the success of Rusev Day. Lana tried to warn Rusev, but each time was shut down by Rusev’s inability to listen. Unfortunately, that faith would cost him, as an ‘accidental’ distraction by English would cost Rusev the match. The real surprise came after Nakamura’s victory, when English attacked Rusev from behind and pummeled him with the microphone before giving on last, spiteful, ‘Rusev Day’ before leaving.
SmackDown Women’s Division: Asuka, with new best friend, Naomi, took on Billie Kay of the IIconics. The match was quick with Asuka getting the pinfall victory, much to Naomi’s satisfaction. It seems that the Empresses of Glow are going places.
If Charlotte thought that Becky beating her for the title would restore their friendship, she was VERY mistaken. Becky isn’t interested in being Charlotte’s friend, she’s the champ and there’s no room for Charlotte. Charlotte wasn’t in the mood to fight, or so she said, much to Paige’s relief. The SmackDown GM really seemed to want to see her former PCB/Submission Sorority pals patch things up. Charlotte claimed that she wanted to give Becky the respect Becky refused to give her and that Becky holding the belt means Becky’s the better woman.
Becky, for her part, said that she wouldn’t shake Charlotte’s hand at HIAC because that would’ve given Charlotte the spotlight. She admited that she stopped listening to Charlotte when Charlotte said that she was the best. Becky wanted Charlotte to put the belt around her waist and for Charlotte to call Becky ‘Queen’, bitch.
That was more than Charlotte was willing to take. She takes the bait and attacks Becky, which seems to be what the champ was waiting for. Becky beats the holy hell out of Charlotte, throwing her into the rings steps and barriers before throwing her into the ring for a Dis-Arm-Her and Bex-sploder. One victory won’t satisfy Becky, she’s going to destroy Charlotte.
Smackdown Tag Team Division: It was revealed that the Bar would take on New Day in Australia, but before that, Cesaro would face Kofi Kingston in singles competition. Cesaro would pull out a MUCH needed victory and the Bar has some momentum as we look to Australia.
Miz vs Daniel Bryan: If there is one thing that can be said for Miz and Maryse, it’s that there is no low to which they won’t stoop to get one over on Daniel Bryan. Maryse was the Miz’s guest and while reveling in her victory over Brie Bella, announced that she was retiring from wrestling to be a full-time mother. Miz insulted Brie and then seemed to work himself into a frenzy, challenging Bryan to a fight. Bryan came out, saying that Miz can insult him all he wants, but going after Brie is crossing a line he won’t tolerate. He and Miz trade blows, while Maryse retreats into a corner. During the melee a dropkick to Miz seemed to send him crashing into Maryse, who immediately grabbed her stomach.
Everything stopped and it seemed that Maryse was really hurt, which would make any feeling human being feel bad. However, Miz and Maryse apparently didn’t read from the ‘How to be a Great Villain for Dummies’ book or they missed the part about not showing your hand too soon, because Maryse couldn’t contain herself and began laughing at the look on Daniel Bryan’s face, giving away that this was all a ruse. Miz attacked from behind, but in the melee, the Mizanins got their own back when Bryan sent Miz crashing into Maryse for real.
When asked about what happened, Bryan said that he knew from the minute Miz called him out that something was up because Miz was a coward and would never have called him out unless he was planning something underhanded. He then vowed to beat Miz and earn that WWE title shot at Super Show-Down, which was officially announced during MizTV.
Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy: Orton seemed to be reveling in the nasty things he did to Jeff Hardy at Hell in a Cell. He also promised that what he did to Hardy will be nothing compared to what he’s going to do to his next victim. I hope someone reminded Orton that actual murder is frowned up on by USA’s Standards and Practices.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: So after weeks of demanding, Drew Gulak finally got the rematch he thought he was owed after his defeat at the hands of Cedric Alexander at SummerSlam, though the justification is pretty murky considering that his victory over Alexander and Tozawa came from pinning Tozawa and not Alexander.
The match was amazing, as expected, but even the presence of Kendrick and Gallagher wasn’t enough to give Gulak the win. Alexander would pick up the win after a Lumbar Check. So now, the Philly Fury has no excuse for defeat this time. Now, Alexander can focus his energy on fending off Buddy Murphy at the Super Show-Down.
Speaking of Murphy, he gave an interview after the Alexander/Gulak barnburner. He admitted to being impressed and congratulated Alexander on his undefeated streak. However, Murphy vowed to bring the Age of Alexander crashing down at Super Show-Down and leave Melbourne as WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
Lio Rush vs Noam Dar: The highly anticipated match between Dar and Rush didn’t happen this week. Rush begged off, claiming to Maverick that his manager duties on RAW had left him unable to prepare for the match with Dar. This fell flat with Maverick, who also has management duties on RAW on top of being GM of 205. He warns Rush that if he refuses to compete next week on 205, there will be consequences for him, though what those consequences are isn’t said, but we can guess.
Dar, for his part, talked to WWE.com after 205 and stated he wasn’t shocked that Rush backed out. After all, who could find time to prepare for a match when you lie on the beach all day, squawking about how great you are and asking if anyone wants to know what you had for breakfast? Dar doesn’t care about any of that, he just cares that Rush shows up next week for their match. If Rush doesn’t show up, Dar will go after him because Rush will be easy to find since he’s constantly on Instagram, and slap him around. If Rush tries to bring in his new pal, Bobby Lashley, Dar will make him watch because Lio Rush is a ‘Dafty’, which my British to American dictionary tells me means ‘idiot’.
TJP vs Lince Dorado: The inaugural Cruiserweight champion is still looking to get back into the title picture when he took on Lince Dorado of the Lucha House Party. The match was incredible to watch! It was like watching the Cruiserweight Classic all over again. These guys put on an amazing performance, and just seeing a member of the Lucha House Party go up against someone OTHER than Nese or Murphy was refreshing. TJP would pull out the victory, but only because he ripped Dorado’s mask off, which is a HUGE sign of disrespect for a masked luchador. To add further insult to injury, TJP took off with Dorado’s matraca on his way out. However, it seems that TJP’s actions have angered Maverick, so we’ll see what the consequences of this blatant disrespect will be next week.
Mustafa Ali: The Heart of 205 is beating again and he’s raring to get his hands on Hideo Itami. However, Maverick is still a little reluctant to let Ali get his hands on Itami just yet, considering how things ended up last time, but since WWE’s medical staff has said that Ali’s good to go, we’re going to get Ali vs Itami on the September 26th episode of 205 Live!
NXT Championship: Ciampa wasn’t in action this week. However, we were told that Regal had cleared him of suspicion in what happened to Aleister Black.
NXT North American Championship: The Champion vs Champion match between Ricochet and Pete Dunne happened this week and it was everything we could’ve hoped for! Dunne and Ricochet tore the house down and then some. The crowd started out with dueling chants and ended up cheering for both men. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a winner due to Undisputed Era attacking both men, causing the match to be thrown out. It seems that Adam Cole didn’t want to risk taking on Pete Dunne for the North American Championship.
NXT Women’s Division: Lacey Evans and Aliyah took on the team of Dakota Kai and Deonna Purrazzo this week. While the match wasn’t a technical masterpiece, it was very good. Evans and Aliyah are a surprisingly good team and worked well together, picking up the win after an unseen tag by Evans allowed her to pin Dakota Kai after a Woman’s Right.
When asked about their less than ladylike victory, Aliyah and Evans were both unrepentant. Aliyah said that a win is a win and that NXT was a place of broken dreams and disappointment, she gets what she wants and people like Dakota and Deonna get nothing. Evans added that not only did the real ladies win, but the right ladies won.
Bianca Belair was a bit…flustered after her crazy match with Nikki Cross last week in an interview with WWE.com after last week’s match. To her immense credit, Belair didn’t make excuses, she said that Nikki Cross was crazy and admitted that she hadn’t expected Cross to take to the level she did. However, the Est of NXT isn’t backing down and she is still undefeated.
NXT Tag Division: The Street Profits were having a game of streetball this week, which sounds like fun, but apparently, the Mighty’s kleptomaniac ways have continued from last week. They took off with the Profits’ chains, which represent their culture and the Profits AREN’T happy. Looks like the issues between the Profits and the Mighty are far from over.
Jaxson Ryker, who played a big role in the successful debut of the Forgotten Sons last week, took on Humberto Carrillo. This one was quick and nasty. Despite mounting a little offense, Carrillo got his butt kicked by Ryker who picked up the victory. So, all members of the Forgotten Sons have a victory now, how long before they’re nipping at the Undisputed Era’s heels?
Aleister Black Mystery: During an interview, we got confirmation that Velveteen Dream is not a suspect in the attack on Aleister Black.
A more interesting thread developed later on during this week’s NXT. Candice LeRae found herself in the hotseat, but not because she herself was a suspect, she has a pretty airtight alibi after confirming Ohno and Sane’s stories, but because Regal is more interested in the whereabouts of her husband, Johnny Gargano. LeRae admitted that she and Gargano have always kept their business lives separate from their private lives, which is why she was with Ohno and Sane outside and not with Gargano, who was cleaning up in the locker room.
LeRae, for her part, seems to believe Ciampa had something to do with the attack on Black, given that it suited his style. However, there’s no evidence that Ciampa had anything to do with the attack. After this line of questioning, it feels like Regal knows, or is pretty sure he knows, who this culprit is, but will anyone believe it?
RAW: I’m not happy about Dean losing only his third singles match back. After Hell in a Cell, the Shield should’ve swept the evening, especially since Dean’s the only one without a championship.
I still think that the Shield vs Corbin and the Dogs of War feud will go to Survivor Series and it’s going to end up being for control of RAW now that it’s clear that Corbin is firmly a member of the Dogs of War.
Riott Squad vs Rousey and the Bellas is an interesting angle that I’m eager to see next week. The Open Challenge for the Women’s Title is long overdue.
Welcome back, Nia Jax! I’m always happy to see her and having her feud with Alexa and her friends will be fun, as will Alexa taking a break from the Women’s Championship picture.
I love the Undertaker, but I found his promo really underwhelming. It seemed more like Grumpy Old Men than badass. Plus, how is Kane going to spin going to Australia for a wrestling show when he’s supposed to be Mayor of Knoxville?
I wish that WWE was more consistent with face/heel when it comes to Maverick and Rush, especially if they’re trying to get more eyes on 205.
Also, I want to send get well soon wishes to Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, who are both dealing with unspecified injuries. Bliss’ sounds more concerning because she was experiencing numbness in her left arm, which could indicate neck problems. Hopefully both ladies will be healed up in time for Evolution.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been getting some more information about Dean Ambrose’s injury back in December and his health scare due to MRSA and what he went through for months sounds absolutely horrifying. Thankfully, he’s healthy and back doing what he loves.
SmackDown. Okay, it’s been pointed out, but I’ll say it too: Thank you GOD, that WWE isn’t going with a miscarriage angle with Miz/Bryan. Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras would’ve jumped on that in a heartbeat, I’m glad PG Era isn’t.
Becky Lynch is the Head Bitch in Charge and I love it! Charlotte taking the bait and getting her ass kicked for it was superb, as was Paige’s attempt to get the former BFFs to patch things up.
The Naomi/Asuka alliance reminds me of the Odd Couple, but it works. Can’t wait to see where this goes.
Almas/Styles needs to continue once the Joe program is done.
The Rusev Day split was overdue, in my opinion.
Orton relishing all the nasty stuff he did at Hell in a Cell is very in character, but still nasty.
205 Live: We had two feuds seems to come to an end this week: Gulak vs Alexander and Lucha House Party vs Party Crashers and I say ‘THANK GOD!’. Gulak vs Alexander has been fun, but it’s time to move on. Lucha House Party vs Party Crashers has been stale for awhile.
I HATE when wrestling companies have non-masked wrestlers take off a masked luchador’s mask. It’s so disrespectful and dismissive of the mask’s cultural significance and what it means to the luchador to wear it.
Lio Rush trying to back out of his match with Noam Dar makes sense given his character and builds the anticipation. I get the feeling that he’ll have one excuse after the other for why he can’t compete for awhile.
NXT: Unless there’s a really big swerve coming, which is always possible, I think this week’s NXT planted the seeds for who attacked Aleister Black and I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Lacey Evans/Aliyah is a surprisingly good team. Aliyah’s got a load of talent, but she hasn’t had a lot of luck getting on TV, so teaming with a rising star like Lacey Evans can only help her. Aliyah’s comments about NXT being a place of disappointment and broken dreams is very interesting and seems to come from the heart, which will certainly give some legitimacy to her heel turn, if they make it about her being sidelined while other get all the breaks.
I stand by my comment that Bianca Belair vs Nikki Cross is going to be the big non-title women’s feud for the rest of 2018.
I was a little disappointed by the ending of Ricochet/Dunne, but it does make sense to keep the titles separate since Dunne will probably be the top champion on NXTUK whenever it launches.
My favorite match this week has to be Styles/Flair vs Uso/Naomi just because it really played up the awkwardness of Mixed Tag Matches and was just funny to watch.
Mae Young Classic: I’m a little behind on my Mae Young viewing, but I loved this week’s episode! This year’s classic is every bit as good as last year’s!
WTAF?! Moment of the Week. As you may have heard over the Twitter machine, a fans is going around claiming that Reigns and Rollins were rude to her father and refused to take pictures. The problem with this is that Reigns and Rollins were grocery shopping after Hell in a Cell last week and the father started taking creeper pictures of them while they were shopping. Some fans have jumped on this, claiming that Reigns and Rollins gave up their right to privacy when they became WWE Superstars.
Seriously? Is this what kind of entitled world we live in where two men can’t shop in peace after a very rough night without being bullied into taking pictures with fans? No celebrity is under any obligation to take pictures or give autographs to fans when they’re trying to buy groceries. Another witness to this whole debacle says that Reigns and Rollins both apologized for refusing and said that they were in a hurry. They weren’t being jerks, they were just trying to shop.
The fact that this entitled little brat and her creep dad have been getting so much attention and support gives wrestling fans a bad name. These are human beings, not animals at a zoo. They have every right to want to be left alone while grocery shopping after work.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a really great week in WWE. We’re looking forward to Super Show-Down and after that, Evolution and Crown Jewel, so the next few weeks are going to be crazy in terms of building three shows at once.
So, join me next week to see how WWE’s juggling act did. Be good to each other!
Greg DeMarco: Box Office Brock Lesnar And The New WWE
After a hard-hitting WWE Money In The Bank, Greg DeMarco offers perspective on Brock Lesnar winning the Money In The Bank briefcase and the obvious shift in the WWE product & presentation.
I know you read that headline and wondered what in the hell I was smoking. Brock Lesnar leaves Hartford with the Money In The Bank briefcase, and I’m calling it a new WWE? I have to be insane, right? Well, that perspective is 100% wrong. (I mean…I may be insane–but not for that reason!) WWE Money In The Bank was shock and awe from start to finish, and you have every reason to be excited. The reactions I am seeing prove that the online community doesn’t want to enjoy WWE. Hopefully, for me, some mainstream fans will read this article too!
Box Office Brock Lesnar
I know what you’re thinking…same ol’ sh*t, right? I can’t say I agree. On the technicality side, Brock Lesnar has never held the Money In The Bank briefcase, so it’s wrong there. But I get it, you’re tired of seeing Brock on top. The truth of it is, he’s Box Office. And WWE needs box office.
What is “Box Office,” exactly? It’s the ability to get fans to spend money, which is how WWE makes money. Brock Lesnar sells the WWE product–to fans, to viewers, to advertisers, and to networks. Wrestling Twitter is a vocal minority, and appeasing them got WWE nowhere with WrestleMania 35, or as I was calling it for the months leading up to it, “HappyMania.” Brock is back, and I think it’s fantastic.
Disagree with me? Great, but the sold out crowd in Hartford blew the roof off the joint when his music hit, so they obviously agree. Brock will likely cash-in in advance, proclaiming his championship opportunity for WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on June 7. Then we get to give the briefcases a rest, as we continue to shuffle the rosters up and use fun words like Wild Card (bitches…yeehaw!).
One prevailing thought I have seen is that the other seven guys in the match busted their asses for no payoff. I can’t agree with that either–their payoff is a paycheck. They’re businessmen. Those who complain about how they are booked don’t get the business. And as All Elite Wrestling is proving, they don’t take too kindly to people complaining about booking, either.
A New WWE?
I know a lot of people don’t see it, because they’re too worried about booking. But the WWE product shifted tonight. And as dangerous as it is, I hope it sticks.
The product got way more physical at WWE Money In The Bank–way more physical. It started with the Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match, which in reality doesn’t need a gender specific distinction. Money In The Bank describes both ladder matches tonight, as both delivered in both brutality and story. Everyone put their bodies through hell during those matches, and they deserve to be praised.
But it didn’t end there:
- Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe…brutality.
- Shane McMahon vs. The Miz…brutality.
- Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari…brutality.
- The entire segment with the Women’s Championships…brutality.
- Roman Reigns vs. Elias…brutality.
- Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles…brutality.
- Lars Sullivan and The Lucha House Party…brutality.
- Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens…say it with me…brutality.
Sense a theme, here? WWE provided a more physical product, and did things that make sense. Yes, there were botches that everyone wants to blame on the refs. In each instance, it appeared to me that the talent messed up, and the commentators covered by blaming the officiating. And that makes sense to me. You didn’t think they were going to blame the wrestlers, did you?
It’s really funny that this comes after AEW reveals that they’ll present a more realistic, athletic oriented product after the onset of their TV deal. It’s probably the single bad move they’ve made (okay, maybe second to the whole PAC/Page ordeal), announcing their plans to the world and giving WWE a heads up on what’s coming so they can beat AEW to it.
Seriously, it’s like they went “Here’s our formula!” without even realizing WWE had a high profile PPV to air 6-days before Double Or Nothing. C’mon guys… #UseYourHead.
At the end, it looks WWE is going back to what works for them: giving the fans what they need, and not what they want. Imagine going to the doctor and misdiagnosing yourself. Would you rather the doctor provides you with what you want and now what you need? You’d sue that doctor for malpractice! It’s getting to be that same way with WWE. Prescribe to us what we need, Vince. Even if we don’t like the taste when it goes down, it’s for the best in the end.
Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/19/2019
Best of Super Juniors 26 and Money in the Bank are the big things this week. Let’s see what matches made the cut, and if there were any surprises!
Best of Super Juniors 26 and Money in the Bank are the big things this week. Let’s see what matches made the cut, and if there were any surprises!
Last week was an interesting week since it wasn’t a normal Top 5 and we had two Sami Callihan matches. When it came down to it though, IMPACT: oVe Rules 8 Man: oVe vs Tommy Dreamer vs Fallah Bahh vs Rich Swann vs Willie Mack, won the vote for the week. I’m always a happy when less popular matches or companies get a fair shake in the rundown.
Either way, let’s see exactly how much New Japan shows up and if anything from Money in the Bank was worth a watch!
5. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: Ryusuke Taguchi vs YOH
Taguchi has been having a crisis of character so to speak. He’s become more of a comedy wrestler who’s history doesn’t really inject respect or fear into his opponents. YOH is up and coming, and was trained by Taguchi in the New Japan Dojo. So YOH is trying to establish himself beyond the tag realm and Taguchi is trying to refind himself.
We saw an interesting match. Taguchi showed a little of both worlds from comedy to more of his extensive moveset. YOH was a walking reference to older wrestlers; he even mastered the Paradise Lock apparently. Taguchi picks up the win with the variation of the Dodon that he used to remove Prince Devitt from New Japan. Very good match.
Winner: Taguchi via Dodon’s Throne
4. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 4: Will Ospreay vs Rocky Romero
This was a little similar to the earlier Taguchi match. Rocky had something to prove. CHAOS members, and Rocky is perceived as being past his prime, but he wanted to prove he can still hang. It’s been 3 years since his last BOSJ, how does the most decorated Junior Tag wrestler fair against the Aerial Assassin?
We got a great match. Rocky had numerous hope spots, hit the Forever Lariats, his half of Strong Zero and reversed the Stormbreaker first attempt into a legit Huricanrana. Ospreay turned out too be just a little too big, a little too athletic and a Shooting Star Press followed by a Stormbreaker ends this great match. Very good.
Winner: Ospreay via Stormbringer
Rating: **** 1/4
3. IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Rich Swann
From My Analysis:
So damn this main event went 2 commercial breaks, but it was really solid. Swann wouldn’t stay down and even had great hope spots. A Super Frankensteiner countering the Avalanche Powerbomb, Lethal Injection, 450, but Elgin kicked out. Swann tried a top rope Phoenix Splash, and missed. Elgin hits Splash Mountain, and Rich kicks out. Elgin rolls to the outside, catches Rich and repeatedly Powerbombs him into the post. Kid Ref tries to get the match back in the ring, Elgin pushes Kid Ref and Powerbombs Swann again for posterity. Kid Ref calls for the DQ and then runs for his life. This was a great match, the “non-finish” is rather annoying coming out of a roughly 25 minute match. But love him or hate him, Elgin can wrestle.
Winner: Swann via DQ
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 3: Dragon Lee vs SHO
Winner: Dragon Lee via Desnucadora
WWE MiTB: Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Drew McIntyre vs Baron Corbin vs Finn Balor vs Ricochet vs Andrade vs Randy Orton vs Ali vs Brock Lesnar
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 1: Dragon Lee vs Taiji Ishimori
Winner: Ishimori via Bloody Cross
Rating: *** 3/4
WWE MitB: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Kevin Owens
Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT UK: Ligero vs Jordan Devlin
Winner: Devlin via Snap Saito Suplex
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: Robbie Eagles vs Rocky Romero
Winner: Eagles via Ron Miller Special
SmackDown Live: Randy Orton vs Finn Balor vs Andrade vs Ali
Winner: Andrade via Hammerlock DDT
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: El Phantasmo vs Bandido
Winner: Phantsmo via Greetings from Chasewood Park
205 Live: Tony Nese vs Ligero
Winner: Nese via Running Kneese
WWE Raw: Fall Count Anywhere: Braun Strowman vs Sami Zayn
Winner: Zayn via Claymore
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 4: Ren Narita vs Robbie Eagles
Winner: Eagles via Turbo Backpack
WWE MitB: The Usos vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan
Winner: Usos via Double Uce
2. WWE MitB: Universal Championship: AJ Styles vs Seth Rollins (c)
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Now it’s Rollins who has to come up with something else to put Styles away. Fans rally up as Rollins stands. Rollins still has the tried and true, “Burn It Down!” He mule kicks then runs, but Styles dodges to roll Rollins to a Calf Crusher! Rollins endures but Styles cranks back hard! Rollins rolls it back and kicks Styles away! His leg is free but it is hurting! Styles crawls away but Rollins pursues. Styles hops up, moonsault DDT! Cover, TWO!! Rollins escapes with one good leg! Styles gets back up and waits for Rollins. Rollins stands and SUPERKICKS Styles down! Both men are down again, but fans rally and duel again. Styles and Rollins crawl for each other to start throwing hands! Rollins hits, Styles hits, repeat. Rollins CHOPS but Styles punches again.
Fans duel, Styles goes for the Phenomenal Blitz, but Rollins dodges to enziguri! And dodges the Pele! Mule kick! Curb Stomp countered! STYLES CLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Rollins survives THE Styles Clash?! No one can believe it, but the fans are loving it! Styles grits his teeth as Rollins starts sitting up. Styles goes to the apron, takes aim and springboards. Phenomenal misses! Revolution Knee hits! And then, SUPERKICK! Styles is on his face, but Rollins gets back up! CURB STOMP!! Rollins put so much into that, he has to crawl to a cover! Rollins wins!!
Winner: Rollins via The Stomp
Rating: **** 1/4
1. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 1: SHO vs Shingo Takagi
This match has had a great build all year. SHO is the power of Roppongi 3k, and throughout the LIJ and Roppongi feud for the Junior Tag Titles, we always saw SHO try to go at Shingo. Shingo called him out a little and this is a great rivalry. SHO has something to prove, but Shingo doesn’t want to be upstaged by someone who was a Young Boy only a few years ago.
We saw the story unfold beautifully. Shingo dominated early, until SHO fired up and showed he wasn’t just going to roll over. As the match progressed SHO started to anticipate Shingo’s moves and stay a step ahead. Both men hit all of their signature moves, and neither wanted to really budge. This was just so well done, and more of a heavyweight style because they are both bigger Juniors. Shingo edged out SHO by hitting Last of the Dragons after numerous Pumping Bombers. But damn this was great.
Winner: Shingo via Last of the Dragons
Rating: **** 1/2
Shingo and SHO, there is no other answer. This has been a feud that started at the end of last year and persisted through the entire year so far. Long term booking is always fun, and when both men put on a great story telling match, it’s even better. Plus there’s no guarantee it’s over since SHO still has to surpass Shingo to feel completed.
Don’t sleep on Ospreay and Romero though, that was a great match, just didn’t quite match up to SHO and Shingo.