Does the sky continue to fall? Has Vince found a solution for some of the downward trends? WWE Raw and SmackDown Live: how’d they fair this week?
Well now, last week was the first time in a few weeks that both shows fell pretty flat. What are we looking at for this week?
Roman Reigns has unfinished business on Raw, Kofi has a bone to pick with KO on SmackDown…seems promising, right?
- Seth Rollins & AJ Styles vs Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via End of Days – *** ¼
- Lucha House Party vs 3 Jobbers with no Names: House Party wins via (who cares) – -*
- Ricochet vs Robert Roode: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – **
- Lacey Evan vs Allie Katrina: Lacey wins via Woman’s Right – N/A
- Viking Raiders vs Hawkins & Ryder: Raiders win via The Viking Experience – * ½
- Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre: Reigns wins via DQ – ***
- WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston (c): Kingston retains via Trouble in Paradise – *** ¾
McMahon comes out starts blathering on about the Wildcard Rule, pats himself on the back in a way purposely done to be irritating and this is a 27 minute segment of talking, while leading to nothing more than WrestleMania rematches that had no real weight or suspense and would just hopefully be hollow good matches. Fantastic…great way to hook people…
Seth and AJ don’t like each other, so what do we do? Put them together to face two people the fans either don’t care about or detest. This first hour of Raw is IWC nightmare fuel. The match however was fairly good, the AJ hitting Seth thing is something we saw a few months ago before Daniel Bryan’s heel turn I believe. So it’s not clever, or intriguing, just mostly eye roll inducing.
Sami Zayn comes out to continue his shtick with commentary mentioning that someone was going to finally stand up to him. Who do we get? The least plotting, clever, or lying in wait character on the roster, Braun Strowman. This big doofus who ran rampant for competition and wouldn’t know subtle if it was written on the back of his eyelids is someone we’re expected to believe needed to “get fed up”. Then he chases Sami and Sami gets chucked in a dumpster. So we could’ve used Sami’s star power and status of being over to start a real angle with a newer person that could use the exposure…but no, worthless Braun. I hate every aspect of this.
Speaking of things I hate, Lucha House Party smashes nameless jobbers. Why? Just who actually cares about Lucha House Party? It wasn’t impressive, no one cares, go away.
Okay Lacey Evans handing out hand written invitations to her match, with Peach Cobbler scent is great character work. Finally, something that doesn’t make my eyes roll so hard my head falls off my shoulders.
Ricochet and Robert Roode have a modicum of logic with the MiTB spot being up for grabs. But this wasn’t given enough time and neither character is established enough for us to really bite into it…so this was just there.
Joe stalks Dominic and then…has a conversation. A useless conversation, that even though it’s delivered well, just why? Why wouldn’t Joe just put him to sleep as a message? The segment was out of character, and just a general waste of time.
Lacey’s match is a squash against another jobber that nearly didn’t have a name, until it was said as soon as the Woman’s Right put her to sleep. But after the match, Lacey’s comments were great and Becky running in for the scuffle was great and gave us a great tweet as well. No complaints here.
Usos sneak out of the locker room in a cartoony manner. Wonderful, what new stupid thing will happen to The Revival?
Ryder and Hawkins tried kinda, and had a few moments of offense before getting their lunch eaten. This was effectively a squash as well.
FIREFLY FUN HOUSE! Fuck yeah!
So Mercy the Buzzard tore Rambling Rabbit to shreds cause he didn’t approve of his life views, but it’s okay. Bray tells us all that no matter what you do to express yourself, paint a painting or murder, you can be forgiven. And then they have a carpet picnic with a bunch of zoned out depressed looking kids. This…this is tremendous. I want to be on Firefly Fun House.
Seth tries to talk, but I think I slipped into a coma while he was trying to speak English.
Drew and Roman’s match was actually pretty solid. It had a better pace than their ‘Mania match, and I was enjoying it, until we got the non-finish. Shane and Elias interfere, Miz runs off Shane while Drew and Elias keep on the Samoan Sex Machine. The prospect of Miz & Roman vs Shane/Drew & Elias is actually kind of cool. Miz and Roman…Awesome Samoan A List Sex? I’ll work on that.
Ucey Hot…why. Who rubs Icy Hot on THAT area before a match anyway? Just nothing about this makes sense, its dumb 10 year old humor, it’s just sad. And yes, the fact that it’s The Revival, the throwback no flips just fists team, they’re the ones rolls around like cartoon idiots. Just…moronic.
Lars kills No Way Jose and the conga line, and no one cares. Ugh.
Kofi and Daniel was a very good tv main event. It didn’t have the same emotional weight as the WrestleMania match, and there were a few more miscues in this one, along with less time. But all in all it was a damn good match, fun and Kofi retaining is great. So at least the show ended on a high note.
Overall Score: 2.5/10
So a question may be asked, “ Why the low score when there were 3 good matches?” – it’s simple, pro wrestling, Raw especially is much more than in-ring product. Plus even with good matches, the fact the show was illogical, borderline brain damaged and implemented completely wrong people into stories (Bruan into Sami’s angle) just ruined any level of momentum the show tried to create.
Yes there were high spots, but usually beaten down by garbage. Someone should throw this episode in the same dumpster Sami was launched into.
We are Abdullah.
— Tweet Pro Wrestling 🇮🇪 (@TweetPW2) May 7, 2019
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- Andrade vs Ali: Ali wins via DQ – N/A
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Daniel Bryan & Rowan vs The Usos: Rowan wins via Claw Hold Slam – *** ¼ – NEW CHAMPS CROWNED!!
- Carmella & Ember Moon vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville: Rose wins via The Bed of Roses – ½*
- WWE Championship Triple Threat: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles: Kofi retains via Trouble in Paradise – *** ½
AJ Styles kicks off things since Wild Card Rule and he feels if anyone gets to come back, it’s him. Kofi tries to square up, AJ shoots back well, Sami Zayn comes out. Stuff happens and we end up with a Triple Threat Main Event. Okay, that could be good.
Kevin Owens has a video, saying it’s his Birthday so plans changed, piss off.
Andrade and Ali was starting to get interesting and Orton interjects himself getting Andrade DQ’d. So I didn’t give this a rating cause Ali and Andrade could put on something great, so out of deference to them, I won’t grade an incomplete assignment. No partial credit here.
Roman Reigns career evolution video with a lot of edited crowd audio. I love the Samoan Sex Machine and have since the beginning, but I’m not naïve.
Shane is about to hand the Tag belts to Daniel Bryan and Rowan, but the Usos show up and say maybe a match would be better. Shane agrees, so we get a match for the vacant tag belts.
As a match, it really wasn’t bad. However, Usos doing their best impression of Young Bucks circa 2014 with 400 Superkicks, is getting old. So I would’ve enjoyed more variety in the moves, but the match was solid.
So the B Team, the quirky beloved goofballs are now definitely aligned with Shane. Not only are B Team not credible, the only reason they were over for a while was because they were sympathetic goofballs that got treated like jokes. So quirky underdogs are now beating up their former MIZtourage leader. Sure…that makes sense.
Bryan and Rowan get eyed up by Heavy Machinery in denim vests. Ugh, I get the blue collar thing, but I don’t need a team that has proven nothing on main roster (or even NXT for that matter) to be positioned to possibly beat Bryan and Rowan. Ughhhh
Women’s tag was just bad. I do like the story element of Sonya sacrificing everything for Mandy because that’s usually always a time bomb. However, Paige running down Sonya and Mandy after sounded like a bitchy heel promo. So…is Paige just jealous that Mandy and Sonya have found their footing without her? Paige comes off Richard Petty.
Matt Hardy backstage interview and R-Truth shows up…to only have Lars Sullivan pop up. This was the most awkward scene in a while. Hardy says “He’s here” and then tries to get into a pose, but doesn’t know what to do with his hands and R-Truth reacts like a turtle in molasses in December. Just a stupid, awkward and campy segment.
Aleister keeps up with these hollow asinine monologues.
Okay there was a lot in this match, and it’s all pretty solid. To fast forward, I really like Owens getting involved, but Kofi kicking out of 3 Blue Thunder Bombs and then coming to, so he can counter the Helluva Kick and win was just a little too dumbass Superman. I get the reason it was used, just to make Kofi look super resilient or heart of the champion kind of crap, but 3 was overkill. Glad Kofi retained, just wish the finish was more exciting and less ridiculous.
Overall Score: 5/10
Definition of average. We did get 2 good matches, but the show was a roller coaster. Unlike Raw, it didn’t go through bad segments consecutively, so it was easier to tolerate. Yes the 2 hour length helps in that as well, but still nothing special.
So this is 2 weeks in a row where both shows were pretty bad or at least disappointing. Hopefully something changes.
NXT Minus 6: Too Early To Fantasy Book War Games?
Everyone loves fantasy booking. Right?
The answer is No. It’s not too early.
6. NXT teases us with a Matt Riddle-Arturo Ruas match that went 3 minutes? I know it’s not happening, but those guys deserve a Takeover spot. Kudos to NXT for playing up the mma aspect. Everything from Mauro’s commentary to the ref stoppage made this feel like it should have been in an octagon. If you haven’t already seen it, check out Ruas’ match from the Evolve 10th Anniversary show. Dude is a killer.
5. We got the final opening round match of the Dusty Rhodes Everyman Classic. Bronson Reed is good. He delivered what might be the biggest frog splash I’ve ever seen. There is always a place for athletic big men, but he’s not the story.
4. Dexter Lumas is creepy. The key to wrestling is to crank your personality up to 11. If this creepy thing is any part of Dexter Lumas, I don’t want to be in a room with him. I don’t trust him around my kids. I wonder how many crimes against humanity he’s already committed. Creepy in a way that Bray Wyatt can only hope to be.
3. Tyler Breeze enters the running for Savage Burn of the Year. He looked at Jaxson Ryker and asked “Weren’t you Buddy Murphy?” Brutal. That line alone is worth the return of Prince Pretty.
2. I finally got the moment I was waiting for: an interesting KUSHIDA match. I was ready to send him to 205 in exchange for Akira Tozawa. And if this is Apollo Crews, I will gladly take him back full time in NXT. Stellar matchup and worth watching. 4.4 stars.
1. Oh no, this cannot be happening. They’re turning Keith Lee into Kassius Ohno 2.0? He’s talking about getting passed over for the new guys? And he’s jobbing to Damian Priest next week? Been here a year and zero Takeover matches? The Ridiculous Keith Lee deserves better. THIS…CAN…NOT…BE…HAPPENING!!!
Bonus time: Old school versus new generation. Tyler Breeze heads up a cast of NXT OGs to take on Undisputed Era in (cue William Regal voice) War Games to determine NXT supremacy. Keep Apollo around. Throw in Cesaro and Harper, maybe even Samoa Joe, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a brawl. Either that or Undisputed Era versus the Club. I’m cool with both.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (7-17-19)
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Have I ever told anyone that I can’t stand Matt Riddle? I have? Okay. I don’t even know what it is, but he sets my teeth on edge. I will give him props for having a good match with Arturo Ruas, but I’m not sure what they’re doing with his character, except teasing a heel turn after that NASTY beatdown of Ruas. I am here for Killian Dain vs Riddle, that even sounds like fun!
Looks like we are going to Undisputed Era vs Street Profits at some point, but I’m waiting for UE to make a big deal about Street Profits being on the Main Roster for the last couple of weeks.
I love that Mia Yim is learning from everyone’s mistakes in dealing with Shayna Baszler and is going after Baszler’s friends, who are the real reason she’s stayed on top for so long. This feud is going to get nasty in a hurry and I can’t wait!
The next match of the NXT Breakout Tournament had a lot to live up to after two AMAZING matches and one not so amazing. I’m not sure what in the world Australian Strong Styles is, I’m guessing it’s like any ‘Strong Style’ in that it’s pretty hard hitting. I also didn’t know Australia had a Black Forest, it was never on ‘Crocodile Hunter’. I did like this match, however. I can’t say it was as amazing as some of the other matches, but it was really good. Bronson Reed won the match for Australia, so we’ll see what happens in Round 2.
Someone should tell Tyler Breeze that having a beard doesn’t make you a man. I’ve seen teenagers with better facial hair. I did love the little dig at Forgotten Sons, but I don’t think Breeze really wants to pick a fight with Jaxson Ryker, that’s not going to end well.
Well, it looks like we’ll likely get a confrontation between Io Shirai and Candice LeRae next week, unfortunately for Kacy Catanzaro, she’s going to be Shirai’s punching bag before that.
I wasn’t really into KUSHIDA vs Apollo Crews. I’m just not a huge fan of either guy. The match was really good, but I don’ t think anyone really thought Crews was going to beat KUSHIDA, who is getting built into a title contender, but it was a longer match than Crews has been having for most of his WWE run, so there’s that.
I’m still not into Keith Lee, I just don’t get it, but I’m super stoked about the prospect of Lee vs Damian Priest, that promises to be a wild match.
So, it’s officially official, we WILL be getting Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano III and it sounds like it’s going to be the last one. I did like Gargano comparing his victory tour of trying to inspire young people in Cleveland with Cole’s obnoxious antics at the Gargano restaurant. Also, love the ‘Johnny Badass’ thing, very cool. NXT TakeOver: Toronto II is going to be a wild ride in that Three Stages of Hell match! Thank you, William Regal for booking that!
That’s it for Tiffany’s Belated NXT Takes! Tune in Monday for Monday Night RAW!