Andrew adds some ratings and some review notes about Raw and SmackDown. Let’s see what he has to say.
Well this week’s article is a little delayed due to unforeseen technical difficulties and the re-launch of POD is WAR! Give it a listen since Chris Platt and I hit some current topics and we even have a little surprise for the third voice.
So let’s see how the two shows played out.
- Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose & Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & John Cena – Rollins wins via Stomp – *** 1/4
- Lumberjack Raw Tag Team Title Match: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode (c) vs The Revival – Gable retains via cradle – ** 1/2
- Baron Corbin vs Elias – Corbin wins via End of Days – 1/2
- Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox vs Apollo Crews & Ember Moon – Ember wins via Eclipse – N/A
- #1 Contender Match: Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax – Banks wins via Bank Statement – **
- Falls Count Anywhere Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs Seth Rollins – Ambrose retains via pinfall after Bobby Lashley interference – ** 1/2
- Show kicks off with a backstage brawl between Rollins and Lashley. Cena then promptly ignores that, comes out and says something similar to last year about entering Rumble for an easy track to Mania. Drew McIntyre interrupts and Cena does his old stand by of ” You aren’t saying anything new”, that he’s been using the last 3 years or so since he’s been a part timer. So there’s a lot of irony, hypocrisy… and stupidity without need in that statement. Drew then says he’s different because he’ll show him instead of talk…then we get crap. Lio comes out, says he’ll sue, Rollins attacks Lashley again, Ambrose shows up for reasons, and then Balor makes the save, so yay, 6 man tag.
- 6 Man Tag was fine, a couple new little wrinkles on move sets, and aside from the crowd being fairly Pro-Cena, there’s no reason to care about this match. EXCEPT! Since Rollins gets the pin, even though Triple H wasn’t paying attention, it still earns him an Intercontinental Title shot at the end of the show. Reasons folks…reasons.
- Mean Gene Okerlund tribute here, with Hulk Hogan. Now yes, he’s a very divisive personality at the moment, and everyone has the right to feel as they do. But as a tribute from one man who lost a close friend, it was sweet, humbling and touching. It might’ve gone a touch to the pandering side towards the end when he was fantasy booking a show in the clouds with a lot of the beloved wrestlers who aren’t with us anymore. But honestly, it was nice as a tribute.
- Lumberjack match because Roode and Gable pinned the wrong person…soo…lumberjacks are supposed to point out injustices now? Funnily enough, Revival get screwed again since Dawson’s foot was under and on the bottom rope at different times during the 3 count, but the referee saw nothing. The Ascension even tried to point it out…so…yeah, a fairly well wrestled match with some good tag team spots got kicked in the balls by a heavily gimmicked finish.
- Elias has a nice little riff, but of course, he gets cut off by Baron Corbin. The match no one cares about happens, the crowd even starts chanting “CM Punk”, and Corbin hits End of Days because…well…I guess everyone entering the Rumble needs to look competent.
- THE WORST PROMO OF THE YEAR ( yes I’m implying some amusing element since we’re a week into the year) – Heyman does the usual Heyman and Braun looks to have forgotten his lines so bad, he literally says the same thing Brock did. One funny line of asking if Heyman’s ass gets jealous of his mouth with all the crap that comes out aside, this was Kaio-ken times 10 of cringe. Braun proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, why he won’t be getting that belt. Dude couldn’t carry a promo segment against an infant and a See-N-Say.
- Jinder and Alicia come out for their match, Jinder wants Alicia to start the calming chant (Alicia calm? Jinder is high), that doesn’t go well so they just insult fans. Fat guy, bearded girlfriend, standard fair insults, but sadly an upside from the last 30 minutes or so. As for the match, it happened, it was over fast and Alicia sells the Eclipse like a champ. Points for her.
- Moment of Bliss debut! Alexa is the best thing in the Raw women’s division, but even she was powerless to save this segment. It was weird, Ronda putting Sasha over hard was odd since the words and the recent booking don’t resonate well. Nia came in claiming she weighs 300.5 ounces, and we all know that’s a lie. She must be using Steiner Math to figure out her weight using the metric system and forgot to reconvert.
- Anyway, the match happens and it was kinda okay until they tried to do too much. Nia is not good in the ring, she can’t even drop Sasha off her shoulders across the top turnbuckle correctly. Then Sasha nearly dies trying to do a Frankensteiner off the apron. What started off with potential literally crashed and burned on the floor. But Sasha wins with a somewhat innovative way of putting on the Bank Statement, so there’s that.
- At this point I was hoping the show was over, but the College Football Championship wasn’t much better so, rock and hard place, ya know?
- This match between Rollins and Ambrose is hopefully the end between them for a while. There was action I suppose, but it was a hollow match, there was nothing compelling or no real reason to be invested in it anymore. They moved to the back, through the crowd and then back to the ring, and I didn’t care. They exposed the cement, I didn’t care. The best thing to come from this was Lashley getting involved and finally getting his huge chorus of boos because people were mad at him aside from just being annoyed at Lio Rush.
Overall Score: 4/10
A pro for Raw was that there was a good bit of wrestling, however, it was mediocre to poor, so that pro…turned itself into a con. Maybe this will set up a few storylines, but currently it’s painful, same ole same ole, and less entertaining than golf being played in molasses.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- R-Truth vs Daniel Bryan – Bryan wins via Knee Plus – ** 1/4
- Andrade Almas & Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali – Almas wins via Hammerlock DDT – *** 1/4
- The Bar vs The Usos – Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ***
- #1 Contender Triple Threat – Becky Lynch vs Carmella vs Charlotte Flair – Lynch wins via Dis-Arm-Her – *** 1/2
- Daniel Bryan starts off the show at the concession stand ranting about processed foods, soda, hot dogs, just being a general Buzz Killington about junk food. As he’s proceeding down there crowd there were a couple Elite and Nick and Matt Jacksonville shirts in the crowd, so I guess WWE didn’t kick out everyone wearing AEW stuff. Small notice, Daniel did say Change the World. Hold onto that, because more to come since R-Truth ambushes Bryan before their apparent match and goes all buck wild on him.
- The match was fine, Truth showed a lot of fire that we haven’t gotten to see in a long time and if they wanted to push him, hey, they could. But Bryan catches him with one Knee Plus and Truth is out for the 3.
- Tag match was a big highlight. Mysterio and Almas have great chemistry as shown by the very lucha spot of the head stand, hands clasped luchroll spot that turned into a very smooth Canadian Destroyer from Mysterio on Andrade. Give me like a best of 27 between Mysterio and Almas all year, I’ll watch it. Oh there were other people in this match…they did things, but Almas got the pin on Mysterio to hopefully set up that epic 27 match gauntlet. 1 match for every kid Heath Slater has.
- Usos hype up the crowd before the match and they come out…and what do you expect? These are 4 of the best workers in WWE, it was a solid TV match. Of course Mandy Rose comes out in a towel making it seem like she left her clothes at Jimmy’s place, which gives Cesaro the opening. But it continues the storyline, so fine. Miz comes out after to challenge them to a match at Rumble against him and Shane, Sheamus hits Brogue Kick before Cesaro says yes.
- Shane and Miz are an amusing tandem because all of their segments are kinda awkward, yet charming. Plus watching Shane come around slowly to Miz’s way of doing things is funny. It feels like they might be setting this up for as soon as Shane fully trusts Miz and is excited for the team, then Miz is over it or turns on him. I kinda hope not because Miz could do some good work staying more comedic this year.
- Triple threat was great. Carmella has been stepping up a lot in her last few important singles matches where they let her actually wrestle. A few nice false finishes for all the women before Becky takes advantage of Carmella getting a little too cocky and slaps on the Dis-Arm-Her for the submission victory. The fun thing I noticed in this match was apparently Becky did the Stunner in house shows, and there’s been a lot of Stone Cold comparisons, and she did the Stone Cold style Thesz Press by raining down punches after landing the press. So Asuka vs Becky is now actually official for Rumble.
Overall Score: 7/10
Really good show, could’ve ranked higher if the matches had a little more time, but for a 2 hour show, nice balance, good stuff. I made mention of the Change the World line in Bryan’s promo, because commentary made it a point to call the talent Elite at some point. I forget exactly since this is later than I’d usually be writing this up, but it’s suspect. Plus Buddy Murphy even dropped the Elite word in a recent Tweet. So the petty aspects of Vince know no bounds. Trying to subconsciously insert these words into the WWE product before AEW goes national so it’s not easily synonymous. Clever…but still like – Richard Petty.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (5/22/19)
Prince Pretty is back on NXT!
Tiffany’s Takes dives into this week’s edition of WWE NXT as the black and yellow continues their built to Takeover XXV!
As we head into TakeOver XXV, what is the state of WWE NXT this week?
NXT Championship: I love when a babyface drops some hard facts. I also love that I’m apparently better at math than Adam Cole. Gargano pointing out that Cole’s talking point about winning the first fall was nonsense was so fun. I do like that we’re getting Part II at Take Over XXV, but I was surprised that Gargano didn’t insist that UE be banned from ringside.
The tag team match between Gargano/Riddle vs UE was fabulous! It seems that all is back on track between Strong and Cole, at least for now, but it remains to be seen how it’ll be after TakeOver.
North American Championship: This segment was really interesting. Tyler Breeze never really got any traction on the Main Roster, so moving him back to NXT makes sense. I think the match between him and Dream will be an interesting one, but I don’t see Dream dropping the title.
Women’s Division: Candice LeRae seems to finally be back on track after months of being Gargano’s perpetually worried and vengeful wife. Her match with the Lone Star Loca, Reina Gonzalez was so good! WWE certainly seemed impressed with Gonazalez after the Mae Young Classic, so it was nice to see her get some screen time. Going by Baszler’s actions after the match, it appears that Ms. LeRae is on track for a title shot, thank God.
Remind me to never piss off Io Shirai. The Genius of the Skies definitely seems to be tapping into her hardcore side because the sight of her wielding that Kendo stick AND using it scared the shit out of me. It’s pretty clear that the reckoning between Shirai and Shayna Baszler is going to happen at TakeOver.
Well, it is officially official, Mia Yim and Bianca Belair will meet again NEXT week and settle the score. I really want Yim to win this because her booking has been weird considering her talent.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
NXT Tag Team Championship: Another announcement was made officially official – Viking Raiders are no longer NXT Tag Team Champions, but because the Street Profits didn’t get an ACTUAL pinfall, the titles are now vacant. I love that Regal has made it a ladder match between the only four tag teams in NXT right now: Forgotten Sons, Street Profits, Burch and Lorcan, and Undisputed Era. I have a feeling Forgotten Sons will win, but we’ll see.
Sean Maluta vs Mansoor: This was a good, if random match. Sean Maluta has been back to WWE several times since the Cruiserweight Classic, but he never seems to stick around for very long. Mansoor seems to be someone WWE is very high on considering he’s racked up several victories over the last few months. The match was okay, but since it was two jobbers going at it, it was hard to get into. I was more excited about Maluta than Mansoor.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was NXT US this week? It was really good. They’re really kicking the build to TakeOver XXV into high gear without making it seem really rushed, especially in situations where substitutes are being made (Dream vs Breeze).
Even though it LOOKS like all is well in Undisputed Era, the fact that all of them have matches next Saturday makes me wonder if that’s when the final breakdown will happen, especially with Strong taking on Riddle. I’m very excited by the change in Io Shirai, I think Baszler’s going to learn the hard way to never underestimate someone’s willingness to fight.
That’s it for Tiffany’s WWE NXT Takes. Be back on Monday for RAW!
Andrew’s WWE Raw and SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (5/20 + 5/21/2019)
Coming out of Money in the Bank, how do the WWE main roster shows stack up?
Coming out of Money in the Bank, how do the WWE main roster shows stack up?
We’ve got a Beast in the Bank and a new title being debuted on Raw.
So generally speaking this could be interesting. I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Let’s get to the shows!
- Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman: Strowman wins via Running Powerslam – N/A
- Cesaro vs Ricochet: Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ** ½
- The Usos vs The Revival: Revival wins via Dirty Roll-Up – *** ¼
- Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics & Lacey Evans: Becky wins via Guillotine Leg Drop – **
- WWE 24/7 Championship Scramble: Titus O’Neil wins – * ½
- WWE 24/7 Championship: Robert Roode vs Titus O’Neil (c): Roode wins via Roll-Up – N/A
- Drew McIntyre vs The Miz: McIntyre wins via Claymore – ** ½
- WWE 24/7 Championship: Robert Roode (c) vs R-Truth: Truth wins via Roll-Up – N/A
- NoDQ Tag Match: Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston vs Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin: Kingston wins via Trouble in Paradise – ** ¼
Brock and Heyman come out to kick things off. Brock seems to be loving the hate, using the briefcase like a boombox. Heyman doesn’t say anything interesting beyond the fact that he made it clear that Brock isn’t sure which belt he wants yet. But Brock seems to be tickled, and I was amused.
Foley takes a Uber to the arena! We all know he didn’t pay for that one, Foley is notoriously cheap.
Wait, so Sami and Braun are going to have a match? Even though Braun didn’t hang Sami up, and we can kinda figure it was Brock, or someone trying to help Brock. We need to see Sami get smashed? I mean, the crowd seemed to like it, even though Braun is bland and his involvement against Sami is just dumb. But it is what it is.
Wh-Why do we need to hear Lars Sullivan talk? So, generic cornball question from Charles is interrupted by…the god damn Lucha House Party. Okay well that’s a half point off of the score. Oh god, they’re giving them a modicum of offense too. Sheesh…no one cares about any of these four. Stupid Lucha morons.
Ricochet and Cesaro time! Oh okay, start with a commercial, hey the match starts to pick up, and then we go to that crappy picture in picture commercial break during what might’ve been a Sasuke Special from Ricochet. Well, talk about taking a match that could’ve been match of the night, and butchering it with poorly timed breaks.
So Styles and Corbin will clash eventually? Well…ugh.
So Shane is claiming he’s done with The Miz and moving onto Reigns. But now Shane has Drew Mcintyre in his arsenal as well as Elias. While I don’t mind this whole thing from a pro wrestling perspective, I’d really prefer McIntyre to stand on his own for a singles push soon. Playing the lackey really isn’t a great look, even though yes, it’s well positioned in the story.
This was a solid match between the two best tag teams in WWE. The fact that The Revival went over because of heel tactics is even better. So with the Usos’ being jerks and The Revival taking a few short cuts, we might get to see a few good matches out of this. I don’t need a whole year like New Day and The Usos basically had, but a few months of solid matches would be great.
Firefly Fun House introduces another verse to the theme song and a 90s style introduction clip, and then distorted into a creepy video with depressed kids and Let Him In, written on faces and shirts. Not the quality I’ve been expecting, but not awful.
Alexa comes out for Moment of Bliss with Nikki Cross in tow. Alexa is seemingly getting nasty with Nikki and she’s just acting like a loyal puppy who wants to make Alexa happy. Granted, I still see this as a bigger game, but that’s not the point Becky Lynch comes out for the interview and IIconics and Lacey Evans interrupt. A few decent lines were thrown around, Becky challenges all 3. Nikki immediately stepping up to fight with Becky was cute and perfectly simple with the “I’ll be your partner”. Also the way the heels try to dismiss it since they’re one short and Becky just shrugs at Alexa and says “She’ll do”. Plus the whole just stand there and look pretty, let the man do the work – that’s just a fantastic line, and Alexa plays along bringing her coffee. If Alexa really is hurt, this was a genius way to get them all over in a match. Alexa being disinterested sipping her coffee and just occasionally rooting on her team was perfect. This was such a perfect moment with a decent match attached.
Okay so the new title is effectively the PG Hardcore DDT Heavymetal Weight 24/7 and Free Tank of Gas championship! Foley has a scramble match and we see a few people we rarely see, including Eric Young doing his best Crash Holly impression. Titus World Slide wins the scramble, so he’s the inaugural champion, only to be rolled up at the top of the ramp by Robert Roode after like 65 seconds of being champion. Then the Scooby Doo chase begins!
Miz puts up a solid fight being out numbered and outclassed by McIntyre. So Shane just being a manipulative prick is great. Working his way on the Mr. McMahon 2.0 persona is entertaining and again, Roman and Miz being on the same page and working together as a positive thing…are just unexpected.
Joe makes a convincing point that the referee screwed up. I guess we’ll see how this goes.
Oh R-Truth has a car ready for Robert Roode, and funnily enough, a referee also. One Roll-Up later and the perfect Saturday Morning Cartoons on the brain mofo has the 24/7 belt. Three total champions in like 60 minutes. This is gonna be gold. I’m waiting for a Bayley Buddy to pin the champion.
So even though the tag match was turned into a NoDQ match, Bobby and Baron still kind of suck. Solid match all in all, but it’s very reminiscent of when Baron was GM and he’d just add stipulations and still fail more often than not.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Really solid episode of Raw. Decent wrestling, storylines were moved along well enough, 24/7 title could be fun and damn did that whole Moment of Bliss thing play out like a damn beauty. So I would give the show a 7, but Lucha House Party being on the show and getting in offense is a half point off.
Firefly Fun House was a little disappointing and just there, so neither added nor subtracted to the Steiner Math.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- Andrade vs Ali: Ali wins via Inside Cradle – *** ¼
- Carmella vs Mandy Rose: No Contest – *
- Kofi Kingston vs Sami Zayn: Kofi wins via Trouble in Paradise – ** ½
- Becky Lynch & Bayley vs Lacey Evans & Charlotte Flair: Bayley wins via Roll-Up – **
- Elias vs Roman Reigns: Reigns wins via Spear – ***
So Elias apologizes to Shane and uses the fact he put all his energy into the performance, for why he lost. It’s a decent excuse. Oh we’re getting a rematch tonight. Gotta love Shane trying to set up anything and everything to soften up Roman for Jam in the Sand III.
Okay so the fake out reveal for Big E was funny and then the side comments about Becky’s mom were also amusing. Kofi trying to end the digressions by saying he needs to be serious since he’s champion was an amusing jab at people saying he’s a comedy act. KO and Sami interrupt, as Sami talks, the New Day take a jab at KO losing and Owens just walks off. Sami makes a challenge to stand up for him and his buddy. Ok, I don’t expect Sami to win, but it should be a decent match.
Carmella and a bunch of others are looking for R-Truth, but Carmella is his friend, trying to help him out. So we get Truth in a blonde wig and Carmella needing to give him a makeover.
So we get a great match for people who like good wrestling. Andrade and Ali seem to work well together and it was just fun to watch. Ali getting the win is interesting, cause that makes you wonder if he positioned himself as next in line for the Intercontinental Championship, or maybe it becomes a Triple Threat. This result could have interesting ramifications.
Mandy Rose and Carmella have beef that came from the MiTB Ladder match, and we get a non-finish when the undercard mob comes out to get R-Truth since he came out to second Carmella. I’m a little annoyed at the non-finish, but Carmella and R-Truth are amusing.
Kofi and Sami was shorter than I’d like, and also didn’t do much to help Sami, but I guess if they’re moving away from KO and Sami until after the Saudi show, it was fine. Plus the Dolph Ziggler attack needed time, so the shorter match was necessary I suppose.
Roman walks in and Elias is looming above him singing his song – and it was actually pretty neat. I like the way the scene was framed, and definitely came off as Elias trying to play mind games.
This women’s tag wasn’t really set up in as entertaining of a way as the 6 woman tag from Monday. This is just Champs versus people they just beat. The match was fine and Bayley getting the pinfall after Becky got ganged up on a little bit was fine.
Oh Jinder and the B-Team catch Truth, but he manages to get away.
The ring work may not have been fantastic, but the story beats were entertaining. Shane trying everything to screw Roman over the same way he’s screwed with Miz, but failing this time, added a wrinkle. Shane looked concerned for a change, until Drew McIntyre showed up to tip the scales. Shane going from concerned to “yup this was all part of the plan, yup”, is a fun moment.
Overall Score: 6/10
Even though I didn’t mind the show, it was really nothing overly special. A few beats were rehashed from Money in the Bank and Monday, so this falls into the same rut that SmackDown has hit lately. Instead of feeling like two shows, SmackDown just extends certain stories and feels like only half of the show is dedicated to new/unique stories.
So not a bad show, but in no way was it a must watch.
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