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WWE Week in Review (Ending 10/7/2018)

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Chairshot WWE Week In Review

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!

RAW

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.

SmackDown

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.

205 Live

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

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?

Tiffany’s Takeaways

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.

Tiff’s Tantrums

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.


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Opinion

WWE Evolution and Crown Jewel: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

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Juan Carlos Reneo takes a look at the differences–and also the similarities–of WWE Crown Jewel and WWE Evolution.

The next two PPVs that WWE will produce are very interesting by themselves. Crown Jewel has become a PR nightmare of WWE because of the latest news related to Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile Evolution, a show a lot of people are hopping to see, has become in a way ‘’celebration’’ of women’s wrestling. Interesting enough these two shows are close to one another, making it bizarre for WWE by having praise for making evolution and a lot of bad publicity because of Crown Jewel.

In paper the WWE-Saudi Arabia deal, receiving from 450 to 500 million dollars for a 10-year deal look great but the deal had its main problem which was Saudi Arabia’s treatment on women and LGBTQ community, two communities in which WWE represents with campaigns and events. Crown Jewel as of this moment will still be celebrated despite the media and even senators of the United Stated pressuring WWE to cancel the show because of recent events. Vince McMahon who is known as stubborn man has his plan to go to Saudi Arabia and do Crown Jewel even if people and wrestlers of WWE like it or not.

Evolution at first looked like an apology PPV given to the female roster for not being able to compete in Saudi Arabia because of the laws of the country. When we first heard of Evolution people (I include myself) were excited for the concept of this PPV and a way to give the spotlight to the great female roster WWE has right now. But all the excitement and focus of Evolution went away when WWE announced the show Crown Jewel that would be celebrated only 5 days later and making Evolution into ‘’look we are progressive now but in 5 days we are not progressive anymore’’. Evolution now has become a bad apology for WWE making a deal with a country that is not fan to put it in nice words of the LGBTQ community and women despite they stating they are making cultural changes which in most cases is not true.

Timing has not been a friend of WWE lately, with first the idea of Evolution and Crown Jewel being only a few days apart and seeing the current events that happened. The hashtag #CancelCrownJewel has become very popular in the last coupe of days, but will this pressure cancel the show? When fans pointed out to WWE and Snickers why WWE shouldn’t name a battle royal after the wrestling legend Moolah, it was the right thing to do so there is a record of WWE doing the right thing in recent history.

We also must see the legal nightmare for WWE if they decide to cancel the Crown Jewel show. WWE and Saudi Arabia would enter a tenacious legal battle that most likely would see Saudi Arabia standing tall over WWE. The promotion of Vince McMahon is a corner right now that they were destined to be in from the moment they decided to accept the deal with Saudi Arabia.

Will WWE do the right thing? The best answer I could give to anyone who asked me this question is most likely not, in WWE money speaks over moral integrity, which for all of us fans and followers of the product of WWE should not be a surprised.


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Top 5: Old Wrestlers

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Terry Funk

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that WWE could use this time of year, where business is traditionally down anyway, to try some things they hadn’t done before. They’ve gone a different direction. WWE is bringing back every legend & part-timer they can find to try & get some attention from a public more interested in the NFL, NBA rumors, the new TV season, Kanye West & almost anything else going on.

We’ve got Shawn Michaels coming back to team with Triple H against Undertaker & Kane for that sweet Saudi blood money. Trish Stratus & Lita have come back to take on their old rival Mickie James & her good friend Alexa Bliss, who honestly is just lucky she has the promo ability to be involved at this point. Brock Lesnar is hanging around because the price is right, along with John Cena finishing people off with the SIXTH MOVE OF DOOM.

I mean, it’s a strategy. It’s not one that I find particularly entertaining, but WWE has found success with it in the past. And let’s be honest, it’s one that the fans endorse every year with their money, their cheers & their chants. Every year at the Hall of Fame ceremony, there’s thousands of fans breaking into speeches with “ONE MORE MATCH”. Why wouldn’t WWE listen to these people that paid way too much money to sit in an arena & watch speeches? It makes perfect sense. People don’t care about the current WWE Superstars. They want to see the guys & gals from their childhood. WWE will bring the ones that are available.

But let’s not single WWE out here. Every wrestling promoter that has ever run a show has attempted to draw money from nostalgia at some point. Most indie feds book old WWE guys to draw a house. Once somebody appears on that television, there’s a certain recognizability factor that can get them booked for years after Vince lets them go.

Here are the Top 5 Old Wrestlers.

5. Ric Flair

Ric Flair TNA Comeback

Ric was 40 years old during what many consider to be his peak in-ring performance year, 1989. He was a wily veteran throughout WCW’s entire existence. He was supposed to be the guy that passed the torch, and he did on multiple occasions. Somehow, it always ended up back in his hands. It wasn’t his fault that nobody could carry it the way he did.

The culture of WCW wore on Flair, and towards the end of the company’s existence it seemed like he was near the end of his in-ring career. WWE breathed new life into him, and he had many more years of wily veteran left in him. He was just under 60 when he had his last WWE match, and just over 60 when he had his last wrestling match. He’d still be wrestling today if somebody would let him.

4. Jerry Lawler

The King was never the best-looking athlete, but he was always a master of psychology. He knew what the people wanted to see, and the right time to give it to them. He knew the time & place where he needed to be the chickenshit heel, and where he needed to be the babyface that got beat up and then dropped the strap. He also threw one of the best punches in the business.

Even though Lawler is more remembered as a commentator than as a wrestler in WWE, he could always go into the ring when the time called for it. He was over the age of 60 when he was feuding with The Miz & challenging for the WWE Championship, and having the best matches of Miz’s title run. A heart attack ended Lawler’s WWE in-ring career, but he still competes on the indy circuit occasionally because it’s what he knows & loves. Asking him to retire would be lunacy.

3. Minoru Suzuki

Suzuki hasn’t been around as long as the other people on this list. He’s only 50 right now. But I feel like if you had the term “old wrestler” or “grizzled veteran” in an encyclopedia, this man’s picture would be next to it. He just looks like the kind of guy that represents the old school and would slap you if you didn’t respect the business.

Suzuki is known as a co-founder of Pancrase, where he met most of the old-school MMA legends in the ring. Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock & Masakatsu Funaki were some of the names. He even met Jushin Thunder Liger in an MMA match. He eventually made his way to pro wrestling, first in All Japan & then in New Japan where he formed the Suzuki-gun faction. I figure if he asks you to join his faction, you pretty much have to out of fear.

2. Terry Funk

As the Funker got older, he got crazier. Funk was already a legend when he arrived in WCW in 1989 at the age of 45 to feud with Ric Flair. Once he got done with that legendary piece of business, he decided he needed to get hardcore in order to get with the times. He did deathmatches in Japan with some dude named Cactus Jack. He did moonsaults off the top rope. He became the patron saint of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Terry & his brother Dory Funk Jr. were an interesting pair. Dory never changed through the years. He always worked the same style throughout his entire career, which I’m pretty sure is still ongoing. Terry constantly changed. He always wanted to fit in with what was going on at the time. He was middle aged & crazy, and despite announcers’ claims to the contrary, he was the toughest SOB in the business. When you’re tough, you can go on a lot longer than people expect.

Honorable Mention: Mae Young

Mae didn’t exactly have classic matches in her advanced years, but good luck finding a tougher old broad that ever set foot in the ring. Her willingness to take any bump & do any silly thing the writers could think of made her a staple of the WWF Attitude Era at an age where most wrestlers aren’t even alive.

1. Nick Bockwinkel

One of the criticisms of Verne Gagne’s AWA was the fact that he stuck with the same guys on top forever. Longtime stars like Crusher, Baron von Raschke & Verne himself were in top spots on the card years after they should have been. When fans were looking for something new during the 1980s, all the AWA had for most of the decade were the guys that stuck around.

Bockwinkel was a good example of the AWA’s tendency to push guys forever. When Verne didn’t have the AWA Championship, it was usually Nick that had it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it led to backlashes that made Jeff Jarrett seem like a popular NWA Champion. However, the difference between Nicholas & the others previously listed was simple: the dude could still flat-out go in the ring into his 50s. Most of what people have seen of Bockwinkel’s work is from the 1980s, when he was in his late 40s & early 50s. His advanced ring psychology & technical wrestling skills made him seem ageless. His 60 minute draw with Curt Hennig in Las Vegas at the end of 1986, when Bockwinkel was 52 years old, is the best 60 minute draw I’ve ever seen. Hennig learned how to work on that night & others like it across the ring from Bockwinkel, and eventually became Perfect as a result.

Most of the people on this list evolved as they got older. Nick Bockwinkel was an evolved gentleman from the beginning.


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WWE Week in Review: October 7-13, 2018

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Chairshot WWE Week In Review

Another week of WWE mayhem is in the books! On RAW, the stress of the ongoing feud between the Shield and the Dogs of War starts to show, the Bellas make an unexpected power play, three Hall of Famers return to RAW in some very unexpected ways, the feud between Bobby Lashley and Kevin Owens gets ugly, and the AoP’s path of destruction continues. Also, the Qualifiers for the WWE World Cup kick off with a big surprise.

On SmackDown, Miz tries to stir the pot between Styles and Bryan with limited success, Charlotte learns that trying to stack the deck can bite you in the ass, English reveals more footage, but Lana gets the last laugh, a BIG star returns with hopes of entering the WWE World Cup, and we learn about Nakamura’s new challenger.

On 205, Lio Rush’s open challenge bring in two unexpected players, Cedric Alexander’s bid to bounce back from his shocking loss at Super Show-Down hits a stumbling block, and the Party of Gulak addresses the Brian Kendrick situation.

On NXT, Nikki Cross is dying to tell someone all her secrets, Keith Lee and Kona Reeves take their war of words to the ring, and Adam Cole, Ricochet, and Pete Dunne face off for the North American Championship in match that has to be seen to be believed.

So how did WWE do? Let’s find out!

RAW

 

The Shield vs Dogs of War: The months long feud between the Shield and the Dogs of War has tested all six men and it showed this week for both sides.

After their disappointing loss to the Shield on Saturday, Dolph tried to rally the troops, but was shut down by a fed up Strowman who called Ziggler a weak link and reminds Ziggler and McIntyre that their job is to make sure that Strowman wins the Universal Championship and they put down the Shield.

The Shield/Pack rematch was every bit as chaotic as it was on Saturday, but this time, the Pack managed to get a win over the Shield McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick to a distracted Ambrose for the win. The Pack celebrated, but even though Reigns and Rollins were disappointed, Ambrose was NOT happy. Without a word to anyone, he left the ringside area, and his confused and upset brothers.

Kayla Braxton caught up with Ambrose after the show as he was trying to leave the arena and his only comment was that he didn’t get it and that maybe he didn’t fit in anywhere anymore.

RAW Women’s Division: Ronda Rousey and the Bellas teamed up again to take on the Riott Squad in a rematch from Saturday. Liv Morgan was determined to get her some of Brie Bella and stiff shotted Brie square in the face, to the shock of everyone, including the other members of the Riott Squad. Rousey and the Bellas won the match, but Rousey learned one off the reasons why the Bellas dominated the Women’s Division for so long: They will turn on anyone to get what they want. Both women turned on Rousey with Nikki hitting her from behind. Rousey tried to fight back but she was quickly overwhelmed.

Ember Moon and Nia Jax faced off in a one-on-one match. Nia was pretty dominate, but both women were nearly counted out due to fighting outside the ring. Ember made it in time, but Nia accidentally hit the LED board and was counted out, giving Ember the win. Thankfully, Nia was a good sport and didn’t flatten her new friend in frustration.

The build for two highly anticipated matches for Evolution started on Monday and then took a big swerve. The Queen of Queens, Trish Stratus, returned to RAW and addressed Alexa Bliss’ blatant, and easily fact-checked, lie about her that Bliss told last week. Referring to Bliss as a ‘brat’, Stratus decides to enlighten Bliss with a Moment of Stratusfaction.

Before she could get started, Bliss and Trish’s old nemesis, Mickie James, made their arrival. Bliss was less than impressed with Trish and vice versa. After trading some pretty petty insults, Mickie steps in, reminding Trish that nothing good ever happens when the two of them are in Chicago. Trish turns her attention to Mickie, warning her former rival to ‘protect’ little Miss Bliss and also warn her about what happens when you cross the Queen of Queens, you get a Hall of Fame level ass-kicking.

As always, Mickie is unperturbed by Trish’s threats, suggesting that instead of two one-on-one matches, they have a tag match, but who could be Trish’s partner? Where oh where could Trish find a suitable partner? Well, a suitable partner presented itself in the form of fellow Hall of Famer, and Trish’s long-time best friend, and on-screen rival, Lita!

The Queen of Extreme joins Trish and the four women start throwing fists before Bliss bails out. Mickie wasn’t so lucky, she took a patented Chick Kick from Trish before Bliss could save her from a patented Lita-sault. The Hall of Fame besties hold the ring, but it could be a very different story at Evolution.

RAW Tag Team Division: Authors of Pain’s reign of terror continued on Monday. After Bobby Roode and Chad Gable got one over on the Ascension, they were unceremoniously attacked by AoP, who beat both men down before hitting them with the Super Collider.

Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush: After the loss on Saturday to Lashley and Cena, Kevin Owens was looking for some payback. Lashley was accompanied by his hype man, Lio Rush, who talked on the mic, the ENTIRE time. Unfortunately, Owens’ obsession with Rush would cost him dearly as Lashley picked up the win after a fairly dominate performance. At Rush’s prodding, Lashley dished out more punishment to the helpless Owens.

Brothers of Destruction vs DX: On Saturday, Triple H finally defeated the Undertaker with some help from Shawn Michaels. Unfortunately, Taker and Kane weren’t in the mood to be good sports and attacked the former members of DX after having a moment with them.

DX kicked off the show and neither man was in a good mood. Triple H compared defeating Undertaker to climbing the biggest, nastiest mountain in the world and that they should be celebrating, instead they got hit by an avalanche.

Both men talk about respect and what it means and it seemed that neither man has any respect for Taker or Kane. HBK implied that he’d stayed at home because of his respect for Taker and that he’d given his word to Taker about retiring. Respect that no longer exists.

Are You Ready, Deadman Inc? Because at Crown Jewel, DX is looking for payback.

John Cena: It appears that John Cena had so much fun doing very little at Super Show-Down, he’s going to be at Crown Jewel.

Crown Jewel: There is going to be a tournament to determine who will compete in the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel.

Match 1 – Global Battle Royal: Apparently, Corbin isn’t taking this world cup thing seriously because he assembled a motley crew of jobbers in international costumes to battle for a spot, though the guy in the luchador mask seemed to be the most over. Corbin decided to join them and won to no great surprise. Or did he? There was someone who hadn’t been eliminated: The Gold Conquistador, who showed some impressive moves, including what LOOKED like an Olympic Slam. Hmm.

It turns out that Corbin got ribbed when El Conquistador de Oro was revealed to be none other than the REAL GM of RAW, Kurt Angle. Welcome back, Kurt! Oh, it’s DAMN true!

Mixed Match Challenge: Balor and Bayley faced off against Mahal and Alicia Fox, who have been having some issues lately, issues that Sunil Singh keeps getting blamed for.

The match was surprisingly good, with Balor and Bayley getting in some unique offense. Team B&B would get the win and the woes of Team Mahalicia continue on.

 

SmackDown Live

 

WWE Championship: At Super Show-Down, AJ Styles finally vanquished Samoa Joe, ending the months of mental torture he and his family had endured at Joe’s hands. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan finally got one over on Miz and it was a doozy. He not only beat his long-time rival and tormentor, but he won a #1 Contendership in the process, setting up a dream WWE Championship match for Crown Jewel.

A very petulant Miz hosted MizTV with guests AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. Apparently, General Manager Paige had read him the riot act before the show and he promised to be professional.

Miz’s professionalism took form in belittling and insulting both of his guests and trying to stir up trouble, which failed for the most part since Styles and Bryan are familiar with each other and have a lot of respect for each other, which made the interview pretty boring.

Miz’s self-induced woes continued when his attempts to stir the pot result in Styles and Bryan picking on him, including Bryan commenting that punching Miz is a lot of fun. That was the last straw and Miz has a full-blown meltdown in the ring. The footage shows that he got his shoulder up at Super Show-Down but Paige refused to give him a rematch. Miz is angry that for all his (tainted) wins, Bryan gets one win and is the #1 Contender.

Maybe you shouldn’t have blatantly cheated to win your entire career, and insulted the General Manager every chance you got, Miz. Just a thought.

Anyway, Miz berates both Bryan and Styles, blaming the fact that the WWE Championship is usually in the mid-cards on Styles, rather than, say VINCE, who actually controls what matches go on when. Miz says he doesn’t care who wins at Crown Jewel, but he also has a surprise for Styles. Styles has a match against the man who Miz helped beat Daniel Bryan last week, Shelton Benjamin.

Styles vs Benjamin was fabulous, and Miz and Bryan were on commentary, Miz taking potshots while Bryan admired Styles’ ability. Styles would get the pinfall after a Phenomenal Forearm. Miz looks like he was weaned on a dill pickle the size of a sequoia, but Bryan is elated.

WWE United States Championship: Nakamura wasn’t in action tonight, but it was revealed that he will be participating the WWE World Cup Qualifier next week on SmackDown 1000 and his opponent will be…Rey Mysterio!

SmackDown Women’s Division: Becky Lynch showed on Saturday that she was willing to do anything to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship, deliberately getting herself disqualified by using the belt on Charlotte Flair. Since Charlotte won by default, she was given another rematch with the added stipulation that if Becky got disqualified, she would be stripped of the title, thus giving it back to Charlotte.

Unfortunately, when Charlotte demanded that stipulation, she failed to consider that if BOTH of them were disqualified, she wouldn’t get the belt back. The reason that little oversight is important is because that’s exactly what happened. After an amazing and brutal match, both women were counted out, Becky was disqualified, but because Charlotte was also disqualified, Becky could not be stripped of the title. Enraged at again being denied the belt she felt rightly belonged to her, Charlotte charged at her former best friend, spearing her through the LED boards, badly cutting herself.

However, Charlotte will get one more chance. General Manager Paige announced that at Evolution, Charlotte and Becky will face off in a Last Woman Standing Match, the first in WWE history.

WWE World Cup: Not to be outdone by RAW, SmackDown did two qualifying matches for the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel.

  1. Match 1 – Jeff Hardy vs Samoa Joe: Samoa Joe was looking for redemption after tapping out to AJ Styles at Super Show-Down, as was Jeff Hardy, who has been less visible since his epic bellyflop at Hell in a Cell.

This match was rough but very good. Unfortunately, Jeff Hardy would have to settle for a less than stellar victory when Joe’s still damaged leg decided to give up before Joe was ready, forcing the ref to rule in Jeff’s favor.

  1. Match 2 – Randy Orton vs Big Show: Wellllll, Big Show is back and was looking to put his big name in the WWE World Cup, but he would have to beat the borderline psychopathic Randy Orton to do it. Big Show dominated the match, but Orton was nothing if not wily and was able to pick up the win after Big Show’s temper lead him straight into an RKO, giving Orton the pinfall.

Rusev vs Aiden English: Anyone actually believing that Aiden English had anything really damning on Lana or that Lana was a dumb blond were both greatly disappointed on Tuesday. Aiden English has spent weeks claiming that something had happened between him and Lana in Milwaukee and seemed to have delivered the goods, showing Lana seeming to come on to him, confirming the accusations. Or did it? Nothing on the footage shown last week showed anything truly untoward, but people have dirty, suspicious minds.

This week, to silence the skeptics, English showed more of the footage, which seemed equally damning, at least at first. Lana asks English to show how much he loves Rusev, and tells him how much she appreciates his help after English praises Rusev to the moon and back. The video cuts out just as the action looks ready to start. English tells Indy that he’ll only show the rest if Rusev comes out.

A very angry Rusev comes out and, instead of rolling the rest of the video, English lays out his case, demanding that Rusev ditch Lana and reform the original Team Rusev Day with English.

Lana comes and to ‘reason’ with Rusev, but it seems like Rusev’s mind is made up, but Lana has some tricks up her non-existent sleeves. She asks that the rest of the footage be shown, which English denies since SmackDown is a family show.

Wait. What? Why would English suddenly shy away from showing his hand and if he’s got a full house? Could it be that his ace in the hole is actually the joker? Lana reveals that she hacked English’s phone, his password was ‘I <3 Rusev’, and has the FULL footage of what happened that night in Milwaukee. Turns out that the only person coming on to anyone was Rusev coming onto Lana, and she turned him down. Now English looks like an idiot and makes the situation worse by telling Lana that the offer stands. That’s enough for Rusev, who chases down English and beats the hell out of him before English escapes.

205

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy was still in Melbourne, celebrating his victory, and spending time with his family.

Lio Rush Open Challenge: Lio Rush has been on quite a roll recently, he’s undefeated on 205 Live and he’s managing Bobby Lashley to great success on RAW. So now, he wants to share his greatness with other on the 205 roster because it’s Rush Hour. The first person to step up is Lucha House Party’s Lince Dorado. Rush is intrigued and like the ‘Lucha lucha’ and isn’t even put out when Dorado corrects him.

This match was incredible. Rush and Dorado really tore the house down with plenty of back and forth. Lio mocked ‘the kitty cat’, even tries to take his mask off, but quickly learned that you don’t piss off a lynx (which is what ‘lince’ translates to).

Just when it seemed that Dorado was going to be the one to finally hang a loss on the man of the hour, a figure appeared on the ramp, and it was Maria Kanellis, who has been out for a year due to her pregnancy and a wrist injury. Why Maria is here becomes very obvious when Mike Kanellis appears out of nowhere and shoves Dorado off the top turnbuckle, actually giving Rush his first defeat, albeit by technicality.

Cedric Alexander vs Tony Nese: If Cedric Alexander was feeling any regrets about his loss at Super Show-Down, he wasn’t owning up to them, at least to long time friend, Mustafa Ali, who expressed concern that Alexander was taking Nese’s bait too soon after the loss to Murphy. Cedric brushed off the concerns, saying that he’ll do what he does best, win and steal the show. And he’ll make sure Murphy got the message in Australia, so he’ll be prepared when Alexander invokes his rematch clause.

Alexander vs Nese was a very good match, but it seems like both men were feeling the effects of their grueling matches last week (yes, I know that Nese/Gargano happened about a month ago, but let’s stay in kayfabe, hmm?).

Nese took great pleasure in mocking Alexander and proving what a great athlete he was, which irritated Alexander greatly. Despite a valiant effort by both men, who beat each other from pillar to post, Nese would finally pick the win with a 450 splash. Maybe Ali was right to be concerned about Alexander’s state of mind.

Party of Gulak vs Brian Kendrick: Last week, Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher turned on fellow Party member, Brian Kendrick, after Gallagher lost a match, despite Gulak’s best efforts. This week, Gulak and Gallagher offered up an explanation for their actions, stating that their partnership was based on being dirty, rotten, scoundrels, but Kendrick had changed. To them, Kendrick had grown sentimental and soft and that is unacceptable. Gulak and Gallagher claimed to deeply regret what had happened, but Gulak says that it should’ve happened sooner and that next week, they’ll take care of Akira Tozawa, who Gallagher lost to, in their unending bid to ‘Create a better 205’ by taking all the fun out of it.

Mustafa Ali vs Hideo Itami: We found out that the next encounter between Hideo Itami and Mustafa Ali will take place on October 24th and it will be a Falls Count Anywhere match.

 

NXT

 

NXT Championship: If the NXT Universe has their way, Tommaso Ciampa might have an unexpected challenger for the NXT Championship: Nikki Cross! How’d that happen? Well, let’s start at the beginning.

Ciampa kicked off NXT and he’s got new entrance music as opposed to the silence from before. Ciampa likes it because it quiets the sheep. He then addresses Velveteen Dream, who has been making noises about Ciampa being involved with what happened to Black. As far as Ciampa’s concerned, Dream just wants attention, but he should be careful because bad things happen when you get the Blackheart’s attention.

Dream comes out and takes exception to Ciampa’s comments. He firmly believes that Ciampa had everything to do with what happened to Aleister Black. Furthermore, he believes that the NXT Championship deserves better than to be around the waist of an angry, bald, little man like Ciampa.

Ciampa is amused by Dream saying that what Dream wants is the main event and the spotlight, attention, which is why he’s making accusations about what happened to Black, which Ciampa doesn’t think Dream believes. He thinks that the reason Dream is making accusations instead of being straight forward is because Dream doesn’t think he’s tough enough to take Ciampa on.

Into this testosterone fest careens the Twisted Sister of NXT, Nikki Cross. The crowd is ecstatic and demands a triple threat between Ciampa, Dream, and Cross. Nikki, for her part, doesn’t have much to add to the conversation except to say that she knows what they did to both Ciampa and Dream.

To add some more strangeness to this whole situation, it seems that Nikki is a belt whisperer. The NXT Championship belt is talking to her and telling her all Ciampa’s secrets. Maybe the NXT Championship has found someone it likes more than Tomasso Ciampa.

NXT North American Championship: After the shenanigans of two weeks ago, General Manager Regal gave Pete Dunne a second chance at becoming a dual champion by booking the Adam Cole/Ricochet rematch for the North American Championship as a triple threat.

The match started off with Dunne and Ricochet ganging up on Cole before turning their attention to each other.

This match was amazing and more than lived up to the hype. Only problem is that with the announcement of NXT UK debuting soon, it kind of killed any tension for the match, at least for me. It also stinks because Dunne/Ricochet feuding for the title is definitely a money feud.

Despite amazing efforts by Cole and Dunne, Ricochet would retain his championship after hitting a 450 splash on Dunne. Amazing effort by all three men!

NXT Women’s Division: Shayna Baszler gave us an update on her training to get ready for Evolution. She still refuses to admit that Kairi Sane beat her because she was the better woman. No, it’s because Baszler had a misstep and Sane got lucky. At Evolution, however, Baszler vows to fix that mistake and get her title back. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Shayna.

As for Kairi Sane, she is super excited to be apart of Evolution and says that Shayna can train all she wants because everyone knows that Sane will beat her again, just like at TakeOver.

Aleister Black Mystery: Ever since Nikki Cross finally disclosed that she knows who attacked Aleister Black back in August, she’s been bursting to tell someone, which is good because General Manager Regal is eager to hear what Nikki Cross knows since his investigation can’t move forward until Nikki tells him what she saw.

However, it seems that Nikki might have more secrets to tell than just who attacked Black, or we might have a swerve on our hands. Kassius Ohno confronted Regal about his demand to be put in a better spot on NXT or get his hand on the next shiny new toy of Regal’s. Regal ignores the bait, only stating that Ohno has been cleared of suspicion, until Nikki Cross comes up saying only that she ‘knows’ what Ohno did.

Keith Lee vs Kona Reeves: After a testy war of words last week, the Unlimited Keith Lee met Kona Reeves in one-on-one action this week. Unlike most of Lee’s matches, this wasn’t a squash. Reeves got in some pretty good offense, but it wasn’t enough to stop someone with no limits. Lee handily put Reeves away with a powerslam for the three.

Tiffany’s Takeaways

 

RAW: I hate to be the fly in the ointment, but Taker and Kane have a right to be mad at Hunter and HBK. Hunter changed the rules so HBK could help him win instead of winning on his own.

I’m ‘eh’ on DX returning right now, but if I get Shield vs DX, I’ll be much happier.  Or just give me HBK vs Seth Rollins for the IC title and I’ll be happy.

The double turn of Lashley, Rush, and Owens was interesting, but what I wanted someone to do with that mic to Rush is still illegal in some states.

Liv Morgan beating the s**t out of Brie is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Even the Riott Squad couldn’t believe it.

Bellas turning on Rousey wasn’t a total surprise, but it was still fun.

Welcome back, Kurt Angle.

I’m not sure what to make of a potential babyface!Kevin Owens. His personality doesn’t seem suited to that role.

I’m guess that the decision to make Alexa/Trish and Mickie/Lita into a tag match was to protect both sides since Alexa has been inactive due to injury and Trish and Lita haven’t wrestled a real match in a VERY long time.

Given that Sasha Banks is being advertised for house shows right before Evolution, I’ve got a theory that she’s going to insert herself in the Bliss/James vs Stratus/Lita match.

Ember Moon beating Nia was unexpected but done in a way that protects Nia, which is good.

Dean Ambrose walking away after the Shield lost is interesting, but WWE’s not going to pull the trigger on that one JUST yet.

SmackDown: I think that spear through the LED boards wasn’t thought through very well, but it didn’t hurt a great match. Charlotte getting another rematch feeds into the narrative of her being an entitled brat who can’t stand that she’s not champion not that Becky is a heel.

I’m over Miz and Bryan, I’m all for Bryan/AJ and Miz going to do another movie.

I love Lana being the one to expose the fact that English was scamming everyone and why he was doing it.

Stoked for Rey Mysterio to be at SmackDown 1000.

Welcome back, Big Show!

205: I’m not a fan of Mike Kanellis or Maria, or at least their gimmick, but putting Kanellis on 205 means that he’ll get a lot more exposure than he was getting on RAW or SmackDown.

I heard some griping about the RAW storylines that involve Maverick and Rush not being included, but to me, it makes sense to only talk about them. AoP and Lashley have no reason to be on 205, so why have them on?

I cannot wait for the Last Man Standing match between Ali and Itami!

NXT: Have I mentioned that I love Nikki Cross and that she’s my favorite part of NXT?

The segment between Ciampa, Dream, and Nikki Cross was hilarious.

Shayna Baszler’s refusal to accept that Kairi Sane was better than her is very heelish.

The Triple Threat North American Championship more than lived up to the hype.

The NXT crowd is a little annoying.

Mae Young Classic: I love Michael Cole’s enthusiasm for the Mae Young Classic.

Is it wrong to say that I got Zeuxius and Io Shirai mixed up because they were both wearing masks at the start?

Shirai/Zeuxius was amazing, I wish they could’ve both advanced.

The fact that Deonna Purrazzo wasn’t signed to WWE sooner is a crying shame.

Watching Tegan Nox in this tournament is hard because she’s so good.

I hope Kaitlyn sticks around after her defeat this week. Maybe go through NXT again to work out the kinks or just go to the main roster.

Tiff’s Tantrums

Kudos to Paige for calling out Alberto Del Rio’s nasty comments this week on ‘Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia’.

The build to Evolution got kicked into high gear tonight, can we please can the narrative that WWE is doing nothing to build this?

Can we stop pretending that Nikki Bella isn’t a legit talented athlete who was an integral part of the Women’s Revolution that WWE Evolution is celebrating? Her being on Total Divas and Total Bellas doesn’t negate the fact that she’s a great athlete. By the standards people are trying to set, Trish Stratus and Lita shouldn’t be part of this show either.

I’m SO over the constant griping about Saudi Arabia and how WWE should cancel the event. It’s not that simple. WWE has a contract with Saudi Arabia, and breaking the terms of that contract could be a lot more difficult than just saying ‘We’re not coming’.

I understand that a lot of the naysayers have genuine concerns about what’s going on and I share them, but to think that WWE can just cancel a big event at the drop of a hat is nonsense, as is the fact that people are more concerned about WWE doing business with Saudi Arabia than they are with Donald Trump and the US Government doing the same thing. An entertainment business should not be held to more accountability than the government.

Someone on Twitter actually implied that WWE made up Sasha’s health issue, rumored to be another back problem, because Sasha got a tattoo, played with puppies, and basically lived her life. Really? She was injured, not dead, and she’s been off all social media for several weeks, presumably to focus on her recovery from whatever was going on.

That’s it for the WWE Week in Review! Next week, we’ll be discussing NXT UK, which is going to start on Wednesday! Have a great week and be good to each other.


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