We are in the homestretch for Super Show-Down! On RAW, the Shield and the Dogs of War both try to pick up some momentum before their epic six man. Ruby Riott gets a golden opportunity against Ronda Rousey. The Brothers of Destruction send DX a serious warning, and the team of Lashley and Rush hit a major obstacle.
On SmackDown, Becky Lynch takes a stand against WWE’s continued neglect. The war of words between Rusev and English takes a scandalous turn. Samoa Joe’s actions last week have serious consequences, and Miz and Daniel Bryan look to gain some momentum before their #1 Contender’s Match in Melbourne.
On 205, Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy prepare for their date with destiny. TJP’s campaign of disrespect continues, and the Party of Gulak does an unexpected purge.
On NXT, Candice LeRae looks to put Lacey Evans in her place, Johnny Gargano looks to get back on track against Tony Nese, and EC3 looks for revenge on Lars Sullivan.
So how did everything go? Let’s find out!
Shield vs Dogs of War: We kicked off the show with Ambrose cutting a promo. Ambrose said that while there was a lot of truth in what Ziggler and McIntyre said, and that he has thought about leaving the Shield. Ambrose, despite implying that he was sick of the Shield and cleaning up after his brothers, said the Shield isn’t a business, it’s a brotherhood and that he will stand by his brothers.
As he was leaving, Ambrose was confronted by Corbin, who gave Ambrose a choice: Fight Reigns for the Universal Title, fight Rollins for the IC title or face Strowman. Ambrose, never one to back down from a fight, chose Strowman. The match between Strowman and Ambrose was actually really good. Ambrose and Strowman tore each other apart. The match ended in a DQ finish for Ambrose after Reigns and Rollins interfered. As punishment, Corbin came out and announced that Rollins would face McIntyre and Reigns would face Ziggler after the break.
Backstage, Ambrose was NOT in a good mood between Corbin and his brothers’ interference. He shrugs off Rollins’ concern with an…offhand comment: He could’ve been Intercontinental Champion.
Reigns/Ziggler was a really great match despite not being a title match, for whatever reason, both men gave it everything they had, but Reigns would pull out the victory with a spear. Ambrose’s irritation with his brothers continued when Reigns tried to talk to him. Ambrose repeated the same offhand comment he’d said to Rollins: If he wasn’t such a nice guy and loyal brother, he’d be Universal Champion by now.
The Pack were celebratory over Ambrose’s comments, but it seems the Dogs are turning on each other, with Strowman implying that Ziggler was a weak link.
Rollins vs McIntyre was really good, if a little awkward in places. Just when it looked like Rollins had the match won, Ziggler interfered, which brought out Reigns, which brought out Strowman, which brought out Ambrose. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Pack took out the Shield, standing tall over the Hounds of Justice.
Super Show-Down: Despite a miscue, and some dicey moments, the Shield held strong in Australia. Sporting a new version of their face masks (which I still hate), the Hounds of Justice looked to finally stop the Pack. It truly looked like Dean Ambrose was going to join the Pack after Reigns accidentally Superman Punched Ambrose after McIntyre ducked. However, after Reigns saved Ambrose from being bulldozed by Strowman, that seemed to have settled the matter. Ambrose got the pin on Ziggler and the Hounds of Justice still rule the yard.
RAW Women’s Division: In a preview of Saturday’s Six-Woman tag match, Ronda Rousey took on Ruby Riott in a non-title match. Riott had Logan and Morgan, who has just been cleared to return to the ring after last week’s scare, in her corner, while Rousey had the Bellas in her corner. This match was so good. Riott is rough as they come, which made her a perfect match for Rousey. Rousey would pull out the victory, but Riott gave her a run for her money. The six-woman in Melbourne is going to be amazing.
Super Show-Down: Rousey and the Bellas are undefeated but it wasn’t without a fight. Brie Bella was definitely a target early on for the kick that gave Liv Morgan a concussion a few weeks ago. Morgan got some revenge on Brie, knocking the Hippie Twin out with a step up enzuguri. There was a hilarious spot of Brie grabbing Liv’s tongue when Liv stuck it out at her.
Ultimately, despite being frozen out by the Bellas a little bit, Rousey would finally get into the ring and pick up the victory by hitting a double arm bar on Logan and Morgan after Morgan attacked Rousey to save Logan. Rousey and the Bellas got the Riott Squad this time, but the look on Nikki’s face at the end says that Rousey should start looking over her shoulder.
Moment of Bliss was back. Bliss admitted that her hero growing up was Trish Stratus. Bliss then told an outrageous lie about Stratus mistreating her as a young fan and warned that Stratusfaction was not guaranteed.
In another Mixed Match Challenge teaser, Bayley, with Balor in her corner, took on Alicia Fox, who had Jinder Mahal and Sunil in her corner. Despite Fox and Mahal’s best efforts and a really great match, Bayley would put Fox away with the Bayley-to-Belly. Fox blamed Sunil for the loss, despite Sunil’s protests of innocence.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs Ascension: Bobby Roode took on Konnor this week. Despite the Glorious One’s best efforts, he would fall to Konnor by pinfall.
The B-Team vs Revival: B-Team and Revival renewed their rivalry, now with no belts involved, thanks to Ziggler and McIntyre. The match was great with B-Team pulling out the win after Dallas countered the Rocket Launcher with his knees and rolled Dawson up with an inside cradle. While B-Team were celebrating, they were attacked by Authors of Pain who hit the Super-Collider on the B-Team.
Backstage, Corbin praised AoP and their manager for their rampage and told them to keep up the good work, which is bad news for anyone in the tag team division.
Elias and Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley: The primary job for any heel is to get heat. Owens and Elias not only go heat tonight, they about started a forest fire after mocking Seattle over the departure of the Seattle Sonics basketball team.
As for Lashley and Rush, tonight didn’t go as well for them as the previous two weeks, Elias and Owens were ready for them and left both men laid out after Lashley and Owens had a grueling match that Owens one on a roll up after Elias attacked Rush.
Super Show-Down: He’s back! After being away from the WWE Universe for more than six months, John Cena returned to be Bobby Lashley’s partner against Elias and Owens in Melbourne. Sporting a new haircut, an even more muscular body, and an…interesting new finisher, Cena helped Lashley score a major win over the two thorns in his flesh, though it must be said that Lashely, Elias, and Owens did most of the wrestling.
Undertaker vs Triple H: After knowing each other for decades, you’d think Shawn Michaels would learn to never challenge the Undertaker or Kane, but that’s what he did. Sporting a shaved head under his cowboy hat, WWE’s rottweiler in terrier garb did just that on Monday. HBK claimed that he’d wanted to attend the Super Show-Down as fan and watch two of the greatest of all time go at it for the last time, but Undertaker had made it personal, which meant that HBK was going to make it personal. He vowed that he would not only be in Hunter’s corner in Melbourne, but he promised to take out Kane with some Sweet Chin Music if the Big Red Machine interferes.
Well, that did it. Kane’s music hit and HBK was so focused on the entrance ramp, he didn’t realize that Kane was behind him. By the time he figured it out, it was too late, and Kane laid him out. If things looked bleak before for the Heartbreak Kid, it turned pitch black when the lights went out and the gong sounded. The Deadman Cometh and HBK found himself surrounded by the Brothers of Destruction.
At this point, Triple H, still in his suit from being backstage, came running out to save his friend and paid for it. The Brothers took out the former DX members with stereo chokeslams and were about to leave when Taker noticed Triple H flopping around like a fish and decided to send his opponent a final statement, with a thunderous Tombstone Piledriver.
Super Show-Down: Triple H’s decades long quest to put down the Undertaker came to fruition, finally beating the Undertaker in a big match environment, though it took him and HBK to do it.
The match started off with a surprise, after everyone was in the ring, we were told that this match was now No Disqualification. No one was really in any doubt about who made that call, and Triple H’s smirk and nod confirmed that he’d pulled rank and changed the match stipulation. There was going to be a winner tonight.
Triple H was full of confidence to the point of cockiness, which seems like a stupid thing to do given their histories, even trying to mock Taker’s signature Old School rope walk.
This match was really good, but everyone involved is really showing their age and the wear and tear wrestling has on the body. If that new hip was Taker’s new lease on life, the lease seems to be a short-term one.
It took a lot of doing but, eventually, Triple H was able to put Undertaker away after taking out the ref and some Sweet Chin Music.
After the match, Taker and Kane seemed to want to have a moment with Trips and HBK, and DX seemed to go with it, hugs and congrats went around, until Taker and Kane attacked, leaving both members of DX flat in the middle of the ring. Guess this ‘Last Time Ever’ isn’t going to be the last.
WWE Championship: Paige was not in the mood for BS on Tuesday after Samoa Joe’s antics last week. We were assured that AJ Styles’ family were safe and charges were pressed against Samoa Joe. Management wanted Joe fired for his actions, but Styles asked that Joe not be fired because firing him wouldn’t solve the problem.
We then were shown a video by Styles from earlier. He was at home with his family in Georgia. Stating that this issue between him and Joe is bigger than WWE and he vowed to bury Joe alive at Super Show-Down.
Super Show-Down: The Styles family nightmare is over! AJ Styles beat Samoa Joe in one of the most brutal bouts of the night and a pinfall wasn’t going to be enough for Styles, who has been tormented for months by his former friend.
This match was brutal, but still very good, even if really didn’t seem like a No DQ match for most of it. Styles would finally get the victory by forcing Joe to tap out to a Calf Crusher. With his Samoan boogeyman vanquished, Styles is going to turn his attention to the results of the Miz/Bryan match.
WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura wasn’t in action this week.
SmackDown Women’s Division: Asuka was in action on Tuesday against Peyton Royce, each side was looking to get some momentum going into their match at Super Show-Down. Despite Royce’s best efforts, Asuka would get a submission victory, giving the Empresses of Glow a lot of momentum heading into Super Show-Down.
Super Show-Down: The IIconics scored a major victory in front of their families and countrymen in an emotional match.
The Divas From Down Under traded in their usual jibes about whatever town they were in, choosing to say together ‘We’re home!’ and were even generous to their opponents, saying they weren’t too shabby.
Compared to Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair, this wasn’t the best match in the world, but it didn’t need to be. Asuka and Naomi put up a great fight, but it was the IIconics’ night. They put the Empresses of Glow away with an IIconic Knee on Naomi. The crowd loved it and the IIconics celebrated with the fans.
In a post-match interview, Kay and Royce discussed how much it meant to them to perform in their home country and about the sacrifices they’d made to work in WWE: Never being home for Christmas, missing birthdays and special occasions. Then they were shown a video WWE had shot of their families watching them perform. Both women, and yours truly, cried and thanked WWE for letting them see that video.
For the last several weeks, Becky Lynch has been getting the best of her former best friend, Charlotte, and doing her best to destroy the Queen, but this week, Charlotte managed to get one over on the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
It started with Lynch being left off the Super Show-Down poster, so to rectify that oversight by WWE, she decided to make her own poster and it was a dandy: It was a picture taken from her impromptu photo shoot last week imposed next to a picture of the stadium Super Show-Down will be happening at, complete with a KO’d Charlotte Flair at her feet.
Apparently, this was too much for Charlotte, who attacked Becky and the fight was on, but this time, Charlotte would have the last laugh, Fall-Away Slamming her through her cool poster. Charlotte had the last laugh Tuesday, but I have a feeling Becky will make her pay and then some on Saturday.
Super Show-Down: If Becky Lynch has learned anything from being friends with Charlotte over the past five years, it’s how to fight dirty. Charlotte may have been tutored in underhanded tactics by her infamous dad, but Becky was taking her own notes in secret.
The rematch between the former friends over the SmackDown Women’s Championship was every bit as nasty and bitter as the first time, except that this time, Charlotte had no illusions of making up with Becky.
This match was brutal and it seemed that Becky would be the latest person to lose to Charlotte Flair, but Becky remembered the one lesson of Ric’s that Charlotte doesn’t: The challenger has to beat the Champion, not the other way around. Becky hit Charlotte with the Women’s belt after getting caught in the Figure Eight, causing a DQ. Since Charlotte didn’t beat Becky, she gets a win but not the belt.
An enraged Charlotte refused to accept this and attacked Becky as the latter left the ringside area. Becky made her pay for it by hitting her with a Bex-sploder outside the ring and then kneeing her head into the barrier.
After the match, it was announced that Charlotte would get another chance at the title on SmackDown and if Becky got disqualified, she’d be stripped of the title.
SmackDown Tag Team Division: New Day had promised to reveal the secret to their pancakes (apparently, it’s some poor schmuck named Mr. Bootysworth), but this cooking class was interrupted by the Bar. Neither man is impressed with New Day’s cooking. Cesaro knows pastries, being Swiss and is a really good cook. They break up the cooking class before laying out New Day and dumping the batter on Mr. Bootysworth (played by Dewey Foley).
Super Show-Down: Despite a valiant effort by the Bar, New Day are still the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Cesaro and Sheamus came extremely close but New Day were able to pull out the win and leave Australia still the tag team champions. It’ll be interesting to see who will challenge for the Tag Titles next.
Rusev vs Aiden English: Aiden English delivered on his promise to show video proof of what happened in Milwaukee, but it only served to muddy the waters. It shows English trying to find the lyrics to his entrance when Lana comes to his hotel room, saying that there was something she need to tell him and the video ends with Lana saying ‘I want you’.
Obviously, the evidence of anything hinky happening between Lana and English isn’t there and English, who is trying to take credit for Rusev Day’s popularity, certainly has reasons to put Lana in a bad light, but does Rusev believe it? Lana vehemently denied any wrongdoing, but it’s unclear whether English’s ‘proof’ will have any affect.
R-Truth and Carmella vs Andrade and Zelina Vega: Zelina Vega and Carmella had been having a war of words on Twitter that ended with Carmella challenging Vega and Andrade to a match, which was accepted.
The match was really great. Carmella has come a long way from when she first came to SmackDown. She and Vega could have a great one-on-one rivalry without Truth and Almas being involved. Carmella and Truth countered the Double Tranquilo with double splits and had a dance break during this match which wasn’t as stupid looking as it sounds.
It looked like Almas and Vega were going to steal one after Almas broke up a potentially successful pin attempt by Carmella. However, Almas and Vega’s tricks caught up to them after a pin attempt by Vega was countered by Carmella into a submission win via Code of Silence.
Tye Dillinger vs Randy Orton: Dillinger confronted Paige and demanded a match with Randy Orton, despite Paige’s concerns, winning her approval with his determination.
Dillinger showed a lot of fight, taking it to Orton, who seemed less than impressed with the Perfect 10. Taking his sadistic side to the extreme again, Orton decided to ruin Dillinger’s gimmick by breaking one of his fingers, thus leaving Dillinger unable to do his ‘Ten!’ chant.
Miz and Daniel Bryan: Shelton Benjamin hasn’t been seen much on WWE TV and went on Twitter to demand a match. Paige agreed by putting him in a match against Daniel Bryan. Miz, who is looking for some momentum going into his big match against Bryan in Australia, stirred the pot a little, telling Benjamin that he (Benjamin) was the best and claiming that he (Miz) had gotten Benjamin the match against Bryan.
Benjamin told Miz that he was looking to make a statement and that Bryan was casualty #1, which Miz liked.
The match was amazing. Benjamin and Bryan put on a classic performance. Miz was watching on commentary and helped Benjamin pick up the victory by distracting Bryan
Miz added insult to injury by attacking Bryan after the match before hitting a Skull-Crushing Finale on Bryan, telling him ‘Good luck’.
Super Show-Down: We all knew that, eventually, Miz was going to get his and that Brian was going to make the A-Lister pay for his years of insults and degradation and boy did he! Not only did Daniel Bryan beat Miz, he beat him after a very short match with a small package, even though Miz did get his shoulder up about the time three was counted. Unsurprisingly, Miz was furious, but Charles Robinson stood by his decision, it’s Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Crown Jewel.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Neither Alexander or Murphy were in action this week, but we were shown montages of them preparing for Saturday.
Super Show-Down: The Age of Alexander is OVER! After going undefeated for 277 days, Alexander lost in an epic match against Buddy Murphy. The Australian Juggernaut fed off the very pro-Murphy crowd, taking everything Alexander could dish out and then some, finally ending Alexander’s epic reign with Murphy’s Law for the three.
Akira Tozawa vs Jack Gallagher (with Drew Gulak and Brian Kendrick): Akira Tozawa was still looking for some revenge on Gulak and his goons after their unprovoked attack on him the Tuesday after SummerSlam and this week he took on Jack Gallagher, who was accompanied by Gulak and Kendrick.
The match was really great, Tozawa and Gallagher work really well together and there was a lot of back and forth between them. Tozawa would pick up the victory and narrowly escape becoming a victim of Gulak’s temper tantrum, but Gulak wasn’t satisfied. He cut a promo about how his team wasn’t living up to potential and did a PowerPoint presentation to show how he planned to fix that, he blamed Brian Kendrick.
Kendrick, who has never been accused of being a stupid man, figured out the plan and went on the attack, but the numbers game was too much for him. Gulak and Gallagher left the former Cruiserweight Champion in the ring.
Kalisto vs TJP: After weeks of disrespecting the Luchador tradition, TJP faced off with Kalisto in a one on one contest. This match was dominated by TJP, who missed no opportunity to disrespect the masked luchador tradition Kalisto was so proud of. Kalisto would get the victory, but that didn’t stop TJP from further disrespecting masked luchadors, by unmasking Kalisto anyway.
Mustafa Ali and Hideo Itami: Drake Maverick said both men were off to recover from last week. Saying what Ali did was reckless, Maverick also said that he knew that this rivalry was far from over and the next time Ali and Itami face off, it’s going to be a match no one wants to miss.
Lio Rush: We were informed that Lio Rush will be issuing an open challenge next week.
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo about the perils of being on top, about how everyone is looking to take you down and belittle you. He says that Velveteen Dream’s name suits him since he’s living in a dreamland, but says that even though Dream seems to think Ciampa took out Aleister Black, they both know what actually happened. He then warns Dream to be careful because Ciampa destroys fairytales and mystique and he’ll turn the Dream into a nightmare.
NXT North American Championship: The three men involved in the upcoming Triple Threat match for the North American Championship cut promos, each vowing victory and talking trash about their opponents. Adam Cole dismissed both Ricochet and Dunne, claiming that the legacy of the North American Championship starts and ends with him. Dunne says that his legacy as UK Champion is real and Ricochet vows to walk out still North American Champion.
NXT Women’s Division: Nikki Cross was in the bowels of Full Sail University, looking to have some fun. She wants to play a game because games are fun. Who does she want to play with? Bianca Belair since they had so much fun the last time they’d been the ring together, though she hopes Bianca won’t be scared off because they’d caused some trouble last time. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Nikki knows who attacked Aleister Black!
What does the EST think of Nikki’s request? Seeming to forget that while Nikki didn’t beat her in their match a few weeks ago, Belair herself didn’t get the win either, Bianca trashed Nikki as scraggly and vowed to not just beat NXT’s Twisted Sister, but to embarrass her, but can you embarrass someone as crazy as Nikki Cross? Question is: Why is Belair so determined to embarrass Cross? Could it be that the EST knows she may have met her match?
Candice LeRae took on Lacey Evans in a very personal battle since Evans felt the need to stick her nose where it didn’t belong. The match was really good, but unfortunately, Candice’s emotions got the best of her this round. Despite a valiant effort and a hell of a fight, Evans’ Women’s Right ended Ms LeRae’s fight, but if Evans thinks this is over, she’s got another thing coming.
The Queen of Spades cut a promo for her rematch at Evolution against Kairi Sane. Baszler talked about how things change. She and Sane have changed a lot since they first met one-on-one at the inaugural Mae Young Classic and Baszler feels she’s gotten too comfortable, so she’s going back to basics in fight camp, which none of the ‘girls’ of NXT would ever do. Evolution is a fact of life and Baszler is going evolve too.
NXT Tag Team Division: The Forgotten Sons took on Torry Kirsch, Cesar Rise, and Vinny Mixon in a six-man tag match. Cutler has a busted nose and is wearing a mask, but that doesn’t stop him from dishing out punishment. This match was super quick with the Sons picking up a win over their unfortunate opponents. Undisputed Era may be preparing for the War Machine, but they shouldn’t forget about the Forgotten Sons.
Aleister Black Mystery: Outside of Nikki Cross’ statement about knowing who attacked Black, we don’t have any new developments.
Lars Sullivan vs EC3: EC3’s been out for a couple of weeks after getting the snot beat out of him by the Leviathan after sort of, not really, accusing Sullivan of being the one who attacked Aleister Black. 3 made his return last week, keeping Sullivan from completely destroying his hapless opponent
This match was bowling show ugly, as JR would say. EC3 has a lot of skill and finesse, but Sullivan is rough as a cob. It took a Monster Headbutt but Sullivan would win this round, but both men were bloody messes at the end. So, who is going to stop the Leviathan?
Johnny Gargano vs Tony Nese: For months, Mr. Wrestling has been struggling to stay true to himself while dealing with his ongoing feud with Tommaso Ciampa and the rumors that he had something to do with what happened to Aleister Black. This week, however, Gargano had something to take his mind off his professional troubles, a one-on-one with 205’s premiere athlete, Tony Nese.
This match was incredible. Gargano was acting like himself and the crowd, who had been having dueling chants of ‘Johnny Wrestling’ and ‘Johnny Failure’ quickly got on Gargano’s side. It was a hell of a fight, but Gargano would make Tony Nese tap out to the GargNo Escape. It looks like Mr. Wrestling is back on track, but will he get another chance or will the suspicions about Black continue to haunt him?
RAW: LOVE Ambrose being honest about his feelings about the Shield, even if it was only hypothetically. The fact that the crowd actually seemed to sympathize with Ambrose’s frustration is telling. The fact that you couldn’t tell if Dean was being honest or being sarcastic was an interesting twist. If I’m Reigns or Rollins, I’d be looking over my shoulder at Ambrose after tonight.
Corbin making the Reigns/Ziggler match non-title is a little baffling.
I’m thrilled to pieces that Ruby Riott had a match with Rousey. Riott got to show what she could really do and she looked like a legit threat to Rousey. Everybody won tonight.
In the old days, Elias and Owens would have to have police protection from the potential riot that would’ve started over their Sonics comments.
SmackDown: Not surprised, that Joe was threatened with termination for last week.
Carmella and Zelina Vega should have a one-on-one feud without Truth and Almas. They have natural chemistry and have worked very well together.
I’m over Miz/Bryan. What’s the point of having them feud if Bryan doesn’t put Miz in his place?
Charlotte definitely needed to do something to make it look like she could be a threat to Becky Lynch.
For someone who lost several years of their career due to concussions and neck injuries, Daniel Bryan doesn’t seem to learn his lesson. You had concussions so bad they were causing seizures, why would you do a diving headbutt, a move that played a big part in the condition of Chris Benoit’s deterioration?!
205: I’m a little confused as to the logic behind throwing Kendrick out of the Un-Gentlemen after Gallagher lost. I guess that’ll be revealed down the road.
I’m over this thing of having TJP unmask masked luchadors.
NXT: I love Nikki Cross.
Bianca Belair’s dismissal of Cross is odd because while she didn’t lose to Nikki, she didn’t beat Nikki either. For someone who takes such pride in being undefeated, why would you settle for a Double Countout instead of a victory.
Candice LeRae and Gargano need to turn tweener and just tear things up at NXT.
I enjoyed the build of the Triple Threat match for the North American Championship.
Gargano and Nese was amazing, hope there’s a rematch down the line.
Mae Young Classic: This week wasn’t one of Toni Storm’s best performances. Matsumoto really out-performed her at every step.
Kacy Catanzaro is going to be a big deal in WWE once she gets a little bit more training in.
I hope Taynara commenting on Lacey Lane’s dreads is a storyline/heel thing and not her actual opinion. That said, I enjoyed vicious, heelish Taynara.
WWE needs to sign Mercedes Martinez. Her match with Satomura was a classic.
Super Show-Down. Becky/Charlotte was easily the better of the three women’s matches on the card WWE put out.
Watching the IIconics cry after seeing video of their families watching them wrestle live makes it really hard to see them as heels.
Cena’s new move? Bleh. You’re not Wonder Woman, dude. Also, if they were going to have Lashley, Elias, and Owens do most of the match, why not make it a handicap match rather than have Cena spend most of his time holding down one corner of the ring.
For a No DQ match, the Styles/Joe match had very little DQ worthy spots, which made it seem kind of lame. It was still good, but if you’re going to book a No DQ match, have more DQ worthy spots in it.
The placement of the matches is baffling to me. It seemed like the three big SmackDown matches were at the start of the card and, other than the Cruiserweight Match, everything else was RAW.
The Bella Twins freezing Rousey out a little during their match was interesting, as was Nikki’s face after the match. Brie grabbing Liv’s tongue was hilarious
Brie seems to have learned her lesson from the last time she was in action. She was visibly VERY careful when hitting her spots.
I’m honestly surprised that Murphy got a clean win over Alexander, I figured there would be some sort of craziness involved.
Even though the Shield stood strong, the reaction to the crowd to the prospect that Ambrose would turn on the Shield and Ambrose getting the win shows that WWE shouldn’t end this storyline just yet or pull a swerve.
I’m not a fan of Daniel Bryan but watching Miz lose and throw a tantrum in the ring was hilarious. Also, I hated the super short match, but I’ve been told that it’s because the show ran long and WWE didn’t want to cut the Triple H/Taker match down.
If this ‘Last Time Ever’ match was a pilot for WWE doing a Legends Division like what TNA did back in the mid-2000s, I’d advise them to scrap it. Nostalgia’s great but having fifty-year olds try to pretend that they’re thirty is going to get old very quickly. Let Ric Flair’s final years as a wrestler be an example of stopping while you’re ahead.
Super Show-Down was pretty good altogether, but that main event was kind of ‘eh’. It was good, but I wasn’t feeling it.
Please stop griping about the lack of build for Evolution. WWE is treating it like any other PPV and giving it a three week build. They’ve advertised Evolution almost as much as Super Show Down.
Ruby Riott losing to Ronda Rousey isn’t a bad thing. Riott looked amazing out there and Rousey proved that she can sell her ass off.
To the male fan that told Renee Young, who worked for a sports show before coming to WWE, played sports, and is a legit sport fan, that she couldn’t know anything about sports and was told what to say: Screw. You! Newsflash: Women are more than capable of knowing about sports and sports figures.
Final Thoughts: This was a really great week for WWE. Super Show-Down lived up to the hype overall and set things up for Evolution and Crown Jewel.
The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw 12/17/18
Vince McMahon showed up on WWE Raw to “shake things up!” Was the result Good, Bad, or downright ugly?
With Tables, Ladders and Chairs in the books, Vincent Kennedy McMahon has decided that Monday Night Raw needs him. The rumors are swirling but the wait is over now. Was Raw finally Good, especially in front of the “Boss?” Or is it so far gone, even Vinnie Mac can’t save it?
Opening Segment w/ Mr. McMahon
“Change,” that’s what this is all about. Vince brought out Stephanie, HHH, and Shane to say that the McMahon’s have failed the fans, and that changes now. It was quick and emotional. Vince had it all wrapped up, until Baron Corbin showed up. He wanted to have a conversation about his injustices from TLC, to the chagrin of the McMahons and the audience. The crowd was so loud, and maintained this noise the whole segment. Corbin got hammered by the crowd. He could barely be heard. After Corbin plead his case, explaining why he should be the GM, HHH announced he will be permanently GM if he can beat, “The Olympic Champion” Kurt Angle.
Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler
At TLC post-match, Ziggler put a hurting on Finn Balor, setting up the match tonight. Both guys are high intensity and evenly matched. This match had strong potential. This really is a high caliber match especially for Raw. Not a bad way to boost the ratings using pure Professional Wrestling. The pace was done well, with Finn and Dolph feeling each other out and countering each other’s offense. Everything looked smooth. The two fed off of each other and had tremendous rhythm. Plenty of close falls in this one, it was hard to tell who had control. It was over, with a “Zig Zag” from Ziggler but only for a two count. Out comes McIntyre baiting Dolph into a fight. Ziggler beat down McIntyre and hit a “famouser” on Balor, only for yet another two count. Balor composed himself but get destroyed by McIntyre, causing Balor to Win by DQ. McIntyre then crushed Zigger, with a “Glasgow Kiss” and “Claymore Kick” to finish Ziggler.
“New Intercontinental Champion” Dean Ambrose Promo
Ambrose leading a “Swat Team” with gas mask, started off shaming the crowd. Ambrose fed off of cheap heat, with a mix of cheers and boos from the audience. Ambrose as always antagonized and called Seth Rollins out. Rollins no-showed and as a result, Ambrose issued an open challenge for the I.C. Title. Surprisingly, Tyler Breeze accepted.
Intercontinental Championship – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Tyler Breeze
Interestingly enough Tyler Breeze is getting a fantastic opportunity for not only the Intercontinental Championship, but to show off to the fans what he can do. Breeze is a great talent, and this is a perfect chance to show it. Ambrose took control beating Tyler Breeze down. Breeze got some big moves off, getting a few close calls with quick pinning combinations. Out of nowhere, Dean Ambrose hits a “Dirty Deeds” winning a close match, and defending his Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose really has to stop on the mic, but went off after his match until Rollins music hit. Rollins attacked revealing he was one of the “Swat” guys with a gas mask. Ambrose composed himself and retreated.
AOP vs. B-Team vs. The Revival vs. Lucha House Party (Winner gets a Raw Tag Team Title Opportunity)
Shane McMahon made this match to showcase the many talents of the Raw Tag Team Division. Depending on the winner, the fans could see something special coming up. Lucha House Party had a lot of ring time, but mostly getting crushed by everyone. AOP looked sloppy, but the Revival as always showed their tremendous value. The match was pure chaos. The ref and even the camera guy lost control of this one. It was confusing as hell to watch. Wilder and Bo Dallas has some great counters until Revival ended it with a “Shatter Machine.” Revival Wins!
Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin w/ Referee Heath Slater
As good as it always is to see Kurt Angle, the match started off rough. The strikes looked weak and the timing was off. While the match continued, The Raw Tag Team Champions Gable and Roode and Apollo Crews, were added by HHH to make this a Handicap Match. This was so over the top. Corbin tried to runoff but couldn’t and continued to get jumped. This was very weird and boring. Outcomes Shane McMahon making the match No DQ. Pushing this even further. Heath Slater started in on Corbin. This really was awkward and kind of a waste. The McMahon’s could have done better than this. Angle Wins with the “Angle Slam.” After the match, the gang brought in a table, and Corbin was “Olympic Slammed” adding insult to injury.
Bobby Lashley “Concert”
Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush open with an “Elias” like setting. Lio was effective at getting the crowd fired up as he always does. Lashley started with the poses. The crowd couldn’t wait for this to end. Elias popped up into the ring, was announced and hit Lashley with a guitar before fleeing. This was a short, unnecessary segment overall, and it really didn’t add to the show in any Good way.
Ronda Rousey Promo
The crowd surprisingly let Rousey off easy, considering how they felt about her involvement at TLC. Her match at TLC was Bad, and her spot in the Main Event made things even worse. Rousey needs a ton of work on the mic and it shows. As the promo went on, it got worse, and the crowd started getting antsy. “Becky” chants grew louder as time passed. Rousey went on to introduce a post-PPV open challenge. This is always a Good thing. Stephanie McMahon then brought out a loud group of female talent, and announced the winner of the 8-Person Gauntlet faces Rousey for the title.
Gauntlet Match 1: AliciaFox vs. Bailey: Fox is one of the most awkward performers in the locker room. She moves around way too much and over sells. Bayley couldn’t keep up. This looked Bad. As it went on it got worse. For such a veteran, Fox looks so uncomfortable in there. Bayley tweeked her knee, Fox kicked her in the face and as she was pinning Bayley, she got rolled up for the pin.
Gauntlet Match 2: Dana Brooke vs. Bayley: Dana Brooke came out aggressive. She looked decent in there, showing obvious improvement in her ring ability. Out of the blue, Bayley hits a Bayley to Belly for the pin to continue.
Gauntlet Match 3: Mickie James vs. Bayley: Mickie James really struggles in there. Another vet that just over sells and looks bad, week after week. Everything she did looked Bad. Bayley was exhausted but and the fatigue showed. Mickie hit a “Mick Kick” but only for a two count. Bayley kept selling the knee and did some sloppy work. Mickie hit the worse DDT I have ever seen and moved on.
Gauntlet Match 4: Ember Moon vs. Mickie James: Mickie James viciously attacked Moon right away stopping all momentum. Again, Mickie James looked awkward and sloppy. Ember took a bad bump on the apron, and the match continued. It was really sloppy, and hard to watch. Ember Moon is a great talent but Mickie couldn’t hang. Ember countered a big move and came off with an “Eclipse” to move forward.
Gauntlet Match 5: Natalya vs. Ember Moon: Ember cut Natalya off right away and started a series of submissions to ware down Natalya. Again, this wasn’t very Good, as Natalya looked slow and not into it. As Ember was flying around the ring, Natalya knocked her out with a close-line and followed it up with some big moves. After a few reversals, Natalya got a quick roll-up for the pin
Gauntlet Match 6: Ruby Riott vs. Natalya: After a rough night at TLC due to a lackluster performance by Natalya, here we have Round 2. Ruby Riott is a tremendous talent but again, she can only do so much. As this went on though, it got better. Ruby Riott is a great talent,and the more we get to watch, the better. It wasn’t great but decent considering. Natalya again squeaked out a pin out of no where.
Gauntlet Match 7: Sasha Banks vs. Natalya: Sasha Banks can go and has tremendous talent. It just didn’t shine tonight, much like most of the other Gauntlet Matches. This was a mess. The pace was off, there was confusion, and it just didn’t click. Aside from the poor work, the crowd was behind Natalya the whole time. Natalya worked her way up and got Banks into a “Sharpshooter” right in the middle of the ring only to be devastated in the corner by Banks. Banks got Natalya into a “Half Crab,” however escaped but got sucked right into the “Banks Statement.” Natalya powered back and hit a “German Suplex.” Natalya then worked Sasha before locking “The Boss” again into the “Sharpshooter” only this time for the victory. Rousey closed the show by coming down to congratulate her friend and hype for the match next week.
THE UGLY: N/A
- Good: 5
- Bad: 10
- Ugly: 0
Overall Results: Very Bad! The Gauntlet Match was so long and some of the worst stuff we have seen in recent memory.
This week’s Raw was very important, and it was supposed to be a new format. We had some highs and lows, however overall, this wasn’t Good, it was Bad. It was really Bad. Raw hasn’t changed, it just has a new gimmick that looks like will be shoved down the fans throat. Can Raw ever bounce back? We shall see.
The Good, Bad And Ugly Review: WWE TLC 2018
The last WWE PPV of the year is WWE TLC. Where does it fall on the Good, Bad or Ugly scale? Bobby will break it down and let you know.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs. So much going on in the WWE right now. They have to get the asses in the seats, literally. We have some major Championship Matches, and opportunities for change. This show is by far one of the most important we have had in a long time. Vince McMahon himself will return to Raw tomorrow, showing TLC’s significance. Can WWE TLC deliver, will it succeed?
WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander
This was action packed as always. They have such talent, and the ability to stun the audience every spot. WWE TLC was no different. The match went back and forth in the beginning, Alexander and Murphy switched control often creating many close falls. Alexander looked to have the victory many times, and in return Murphy wore down the much faster Alexander to gain control and change momentum. This was a fantastic wrestling match, and had the crowd hot for “205.” Alexander got aggravated not being able to seal the deal, and Murphy capitalized. Murphy after getting devastated slammed Alexander into the corner and kneed him in the face to retain. Murphy Wins!
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Bar (c) vs. The Usos vs. New Day
Surprisingly off the bat, New Day didn’t utilize Big E. The Bar brought the pain, destroying their opponents, and maintaining control. Xavier Woods was beaten down, with frequent tags between Sheamus and Cesaro. The match had a slow pace at first. Uso’s come in and fire it up with Kofi Kingston, waking up the Uso’s “Home-team”crowd. Cesaro changed everything and dominated again. Cesaro had a picture perfect Sharpshooter on Kingston that Woods saved with a stiff DDT. However Sheamus comes in missing a “Brogue Kick”, and hit with a double stomp, followed by a “trouble in paradise. Woods then hit an elbow drop on the money. After some back and forth, Sheamus hits the“Brogue Kick” on Woods for the victory and retains the Tag Team Championships for his team at WWE TLC.
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (TLC match) w/ Referee Heath Slater
Everyone was wondering what was going to happen here. Corbin getting on the mic for cheap heat did its job. Everyone hates him so much. Strowman came down to the ring and of course cannot compete, however brought up a good point, that No DQ means he can legally get some help, leading to everyone that was done wrong by Corbin to circle the ring with chairs. Apollo Crews, Finn Balor, Gable and Roode all got their piece but not before Heath Slater got in a shot after taking his ref shirt off. Corbin got hit with some good chair shots before retreating. Kurt Angle wasn’t having it and interrupted his escape, hitting him repeatedly with a chair. The gang then picked Corbin clean hitting Corbin each with their respective finishers. Strowman pins him with his foot, for the victory. Strowman Wins! Corbin is no longer GM, and Strowman is on his way to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship. This could have been Ugly, but it was entertaining and unexpected, which is Good for everyone in these hard times at WWE TLC.
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
This is set up to be a very important match overall. Whoever wins, could be pushed into the title scene any moment. McIntyre was just brutal. He really had this unstoppable presence early on, countering every bit of offense from Balor. Balor got some offense aggressively working the knee, however got belly to belly suplexed clear across the ring. Every time Balor got too much offense, McIntyre would destroy him. There is just so much talent here. It was such a clean match. Balor hit a standing double stomp and got some momentum hitting some big moves. Balor looked for the finish but got slammed with a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker. McIntyre hit a disgusting move off of the middle rope but only for a two count.
The fans appreciated the effort and enjoyed this match. Balor out of desperation caught McIntyre in the ring apron but again was countered. McIntyre hit a Glasgow Kiss Head-butt. Then Ziggler came out of no-where hitting a superkick. McIntyre however came back quickly against “The Showoff” leading to Balor smashing McIntyre with a missile dropkick finishing with the Coup de Grace off the top for the hard fought victory. Balor Wins! Dolph Ziggler then attacked Balor backstage during an interview, leading to match on Raw this Monday.
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles
Good technical match overall. Daniel Bryan taking it slow making AJ wait to get started is a classic heel move. Both guys doing some unique moves and keeping the pace going. This felt like a true Championship Match, which WWE TLC needed, and showed the competitors’ expertise. Bryan kept working the ribs, and hit some very hard kicks to Styles keeping him down. Styles hit a huge closeline to buy some time. Styles got some revenge and beat Bryan down inside and out of the ring. Styles got his move reversed, and Bryan destroyed him with knees and a devastating neck breaker.
Bryan followed up with “Yes Kicks” on that were on the money. Styles got another counter with a huge kick to the head. He worked Bryan’s knee doing major damage to the Champion. AJ teased a “Styles Clash” but ended up rolling up and getting Bryan into a half crab. Bryan worked out of it, and got Styles into the “Yes Lock.” Styles hit a “450” off the ropes, but didn’t get the pin, the two went back and forth and ended up with Bryan in the “calf-crusher.” Daniel Bryan escaped, but got right back into the action. After some back and forth, Styles hit a small package that Daniel Bryan reversed for the 1-2-3. Daniel Bryan retains!
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (TLC match)
The “Main Event” of WWE TLC–this already had so much going for it. The competitor’s, “The Man,” the crowd, the lights and sounds. It has it all going into it. A true historical match. Full speed right away, this match wasn’t slow and boring. Everyone brought their Agame in this one. We saw constant exchange between the three headliners. Asuka destroyed Becky Lynch by tossing her onto a ladder, and power-bombed Charlotte through a table. Charlotte was stunned but managed to return hitting Asuka with a chair and a huge moonsault off the top to the outside. Becky continued this insanity crushing Charlotte of the top of the ladder through the announce table. Asuka nearly had the win, until Becky cut her off fighting up the ladder. Charlotte punished both of them coming in hot with a kendo stick.
Charlotte went psycho, until Lynch destroyed her sambo suplexing her into the barrier. Asuka then went ballistic on Lynch with the kendo stick getting followed up by a spear from Charlotte through the barrier. This led to Lynch getting close to the belt and a hateful face-off with Lynch and Flair. Charlotte got the better of it, and set up Lynch on a table on the outside, slapping the hell out of her before front flipping through her and the table. Just when Charlotte had it locked, Asuka ran up the ladder to put up a fight. Becky Lynch came back in, and set up right next to Asuka and Charlotte ultimately fighting Flair who went over on Asuka. Ronda Rousey then got involved unexpectedly, and threw Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch off the ladder. Asuka then had the belt to herself, climbing the ladder and winning the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship! This match including the ending was just awesome!!! It saved the show. Congrats Asuka, whatever is coming next will be fantastic!
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush (Ladder Match w/ Guitar)
As always, while everyone was excited to “Walk With Elias” we did not get to as he was interrupted. This is expected by now, but hearing Lio Rush doesn’t do the crowd any favors. He gets a lot of heat though, and anyone working with Elias will get a reaction. There was some decent action, and Lio Rush showed how impressive he is as well. The physicality that these two powerhouses bring was on point, and it was a shame that this was on the pre-show. Elias essentially fighting two guys at once, caused him to get over even more. Elias is so hot with everyone right now, it will be great to see what will come next. Even with Lio Rush almost getting to the guitar ahead of Elias, “The Drifter” gets it! Elias Wins, but gets completely destroyed by Lashley and Rush following the match. The highlight was that this was short and sweet and although this match wasn’t Ugly, it wasn’t Good either.
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott (Tables Match)
This feud is rough, and has attributed quite a bit to the low ratings that Raw has seen lately. Ruby Riott and The Riott Squad is money, but Natalya really brings it down a notch. Liv Morgan out of nowhere took a major fall through a table, most likely breaking her ribs. It was a nasty bump. Natalya is so corny, even when she cussed and slapped Riott, it wasn’t believable. Natalya beat on Riott nearly winning the match but took out Sarah Logan instead. Riott continued to mock Jim Neidhart’s death making no sense. Natalya after a few awkward miscues gets Riott into a “sharpshooter’, however Riott wiggled the Jim Neidhart table onto Natalya’s head breaking the hold.
Natalya later hit a hard Electric Chair but moved the table first so that it couldn’t be used. Natalya pulled out a Ruby Riott table, and her father’s jacket and set it up in the ring which took forever. Ruby Riott countered but Natalya took back control. Natalya climbed the ropes but waited too long again. Riott kicked her in the face, climbed to the top, went for a hurricanrana but then got power-bombed by Nattie through the table. Natalya Wins! This really was a waste of time, but not taking anything away from Ruby Riott, she could only do so much here.
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio (Chairs Match)
Rey Mysterio beat the living hell out of Orton throughout the whole beginning, beating him senseless until missing a huge spot landing onto a chair. Orton of course came back with a vengeance. Orton took his time picking Mysterio apart. The pace was very slow as Orton likes to play that role. However it doesn’t suit Rey Mysterio well in these type of matches. This was borderline boring. Rey Mysterio came back hitting a “619” only to be cut off again by Orton. Orton setup Rey Mysterio for an RKO onto a row of chairs, however Mysterio countered into a roll-up pin for the victory. With the level of talent, this certainly could and should have been a lot better. This really wasn’t Good and didn’t hold its weight on such a big night.
Raw Women’s Championship – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax
The opening lockup into the air by Jax was nice, but was ruined with a series of horrendous strikes back and forth. Rousey hit a fantastic roll up into an arm bar, but was quickly overpowered into a sit down powerbomb by Nia Jax. There was a decent series of counters but Nia smashed Rousey into the barricade stopping all momentum. Rousey came back flying strikes but again was ruined by some slow moving awkward offense by Jax.
Jax went over the top by going for a Samoan Drop from the second buckle however was countered by a predictable powerbomb by Rousey. Tamina had very little to do in this match but interfered briefly delaying an inevitable arm bar by Rousey for the victory. Rousey retains! Although there were some decent moments, overall this really was Bad. Miscues, awkwardness and a horrible pace made this another Bad one. Becky Lynch added a little flavor backstage attacking Nia Jax and reminding her she is “the man.”
Intercontinental Championship – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
It is very surprising that this isn’t an actual TLC stipulated match. Aside from that, there has been a lot of buildup between these two talents. It had some Good moments, mostly by Rollins. Rollins was getting beat on by Ambrose quite a bit, as Ambrose worked the knee. The psychology was really strange in this match. Rollins’ knee was hurt one minute then completely unfazed a second later.
The two top guys worked until exhaustion, however sometimes, it was just too slow. The high-spots were huge though, but we have seen them all before. Nothing special here, which is beyond logic. The Ambrose Shield Spot was just purely horrendous but Rollins followed it up with a sick kick to the face. Ambrose retaliated by hitting a deep Dirty Deeds for the non-climatic victory. We have a new Intercontinental Champion but this match was one of the biggest disappointments in recent history, and that is saying something.
WWE Mixed Match Challenge Final – R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
Legitimately, the fact that this wasn’t on the pre-show is criminal. A match nearly no fan cares about, with lower echelon talent was perfect bait for the pre-show slot. Carmella and R-Truth got the crowd going, and Mahal being a former Champion recently showed some potential for something Good, however Alicia Fox, the Singh Brothers and the fact that there is little interest, made this an Ugly Match. A few botches, a lot of miscues, and complete waste of time, this really was a horrible match. Thankfully, Carmella locked up Fox in the Code of Silence rather quickly, R-Truth and Carmella Win!
- Good: 6
- Bad: 5
- Ugly: 1
Overall: Good (The Main Event pushed it over the edge in many ways)
Don’t forget, this show had some pretty bad moments. The Good outweighed the Bad, but it really had some very tough things to get past. The Main Event however, as expected was special. It really killed it and had it’s rightful place as the Main Event and in history. Asuka winning the Title is huge, and wherever this story is going, will be money! Please continue to follow, comment, like and share. TLC is now in the books. Vince McMahon is back tomorrow, which will make for an interesting Monday Night Raw.