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.
Greg DeMarco: Box Office Brock Lesnar And The New WWE
After a hard-hitting WWE Money In The Bank, Greg DeMarco offers perspective on Brock Lesnar winning the Money In The Bank briefcase and the obvious shift in the WWE product & presentation.
I know you read that headline and wondered what in the hell I was smoking. Brock Lesnar leaves Hartford with the Money In The Bank briefcase, and I’m calling it a new WWE? I have to be insane, right? Well, that perspective is 100% wrong. (I mean…I may be insane–but not for that reason!) WWE Money In The Bank was shock and awe from start to finish, and you have every reason to be excited. The reactions I am seeing prove that the online community doesn’t want to enjoy WWE. Hopefully, for me, some mainstream fans will read this article too!
Box Office Brock Lesnar
I know what you’re thinking…same ol’ sh*t, right? I can’t say I agree. On the technicality side, Brock Lesnar has never held the Money In The Bank briefcase, so it’s wrong there. But I get it, you’re tired of seeing Brock on top. The truth of it is, he’s Box Office. And WWE needs box office.
What is “Box Office,” exactly? It’s the ability to get fans to spend money, which is how WWE makes money. Brock Lesnar sells the WWE product–to fans, to viewers, to advertisers, and to networks. Wrestling Twitter is a vocal minority, and appeasing them got WWE nowhere with WrestleMania 35, or as I was calling it for the months leading up to it, “HappyMania.” Brock is back, and I think it’s fantastic.
Disagree with me? Great, but the sold out crowd in Hartford blew the roof off the joint when his music hit, so they obviously agree. Brock will likely cash-in in advance, proclaiming his championship opportunity for WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on June 7. Then we get to give the briefcases a rest, as we continue to shuffle the rosters up and use fun words like Wild Card (bitches…yeehaw!).
One prevailing thought I have seen is that the other seven guys in the match busted their asses for no payoff. I can’t agree with that either–their payoff is a paycheck. They’re businessmen. Those who complain about how they are booked don’t get the business. And as All Elite Wrestling is proving, they don’t take too kindly to people complaining about booking, either.
A New WWE?
I know a lot of people don’t see it, because they’re too worried about booking. But the WWE product shifted tonight. And as dangerous as it is, I hope it sticks.
The product got way more physical at WWE Money In The Bank–way more physical. It started with the Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match, which in reality doesn’t need a gender specific distinction. Money In The Bank describes both ladder matches tonight, as both delivered in both brutality and story. Everyone put their bodies through hell during those matches, and they deserve to be praised.
But it didn’t end there:
- Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe…brutality.
- Shane McMahon vs. The Miz…brutality.
- Tony Nese vs. Ariya Daivari…brutality.
- The entire segment with the Women’s Championships…brutality.
- Roman Reigns vs. Elias…brutality.
- Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles…brutality.
- Lars Sullivan and The Lucha House Party…brutality.
- Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens…say it with me…brutality.
Sense a theme, here? WWE provided a more physical product, and did things that make sense. Yes, there were botches that everyone wants to blame on the refs. In each instance, it appeared to me that the talent messed up, and the commentators covered by blaming the officiating. And that makes sense to me. You didn’t think they were going to blame the wrestlers, did you?
It’s really funny that this comes after AEW reveals that they’ll present a more realistic, athletic oriented product after the onset of their TV deal. It’s probably the single bad move they’ve made (okay, maybe second to the whole PAC/Page ordeal), announcing their plans to the world and giving WWE a heads up on what’s coming so they can beat AEW to it.
Seriously, it’s like they went “Here’s our formula!” without even realizing WWE had a high profile PPV to air 6-days before Double Or Nothing. C’mon guys… #UseYourHead.
At the end, it looks WWE is going back to what works for them: giving the fans what they need, and not what they want. Imagine going to the doctor and misdiagnosing yourself. Would you rather the doctor provides you with what you want and now what you need? You’d sue that doctor for malpractice! It’s getting to be that same way with WWE. Prescribe to us what we need, Vince. Even if we don’t like the taste when it goes down, it’s for the best in the end.
Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/19/2019
Best of Super Juniors 26 and Money in the Bank are the big things this week. Let’s see what matches made the cut, and if there were any surprises!
Best of Super Juniors 26 and Money in the Bank are the big things this week. Let’s see what matches made the cut, and if there were any surprises!
Last week was an interesting week since it wasn’t a normal Top 5 and we had two Sami Callihan matches. When it came down to it though, IMPACT: oVe Rules 8 Man: oVe vs Tommy Dreamer vs Fallah Bahh vs Rich Swann vs Willie Mack, won the vote for the week. I’m always a happy when less popular matches or companies get a fair shake in the rundown.
Either way, let’s see exactly how much New Japan shows up and if anything from Money in the Bank was worth a watch!
5. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: Ryusuke Taguchi vs YOH
Taguchi has been having a crisis of character so to speak. He’s become more of a comedy wrestler who’s history doesn’t really inject respect or fear into his opponents. YOH is up and coming, and was trained by Taguchi in the New Japan Dojo. So YOH is trying to establish himself beyond the tag realm and Taguchi is trying to refind himself.
We saw an interesting match. Taguchi showed a little of both worlds from comedy to more of his extensive moveset. YOH was a walking reference to older wrestlers; he even mastered the Paradise Lock apparently. Taguchi picks up the win with the variation of the Dodon that he used to remove Prince Devitt from New Japan. Very good match.
Winner: Taguchi via Dodon’s Throne
4. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 4: Will Ospreay vs Rocky Romero
This was a little similar to the earlier Taguchi match. Rocky had something to prove. CHAOS members, and Rocky is perceived as being past his prime, but he wanted to prove he can still hang. It’s been 3 years since his last BOSJ, how does the most decorated Junior Tag wrestler fair against the Aerial Assassin?
We got a great match. Rocky had numerous hope spots, hit the Forever Lariats, his half of Strong Zero and reversed the Stormbreaker first attempt into a legit Huricanrana. Ospreay turned out too be just a little too big, a little too athletic and a Shooting Star Press followed by a Stormbreaker ends this great match. Very good.
Winner: Ospreay via Stormbringer
Rating: **** 1/4
3. IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Rich Swann
From My Analysis:
So damn this main event went 2 commercial breaks, but it was really solid. Swann wouldn’t stay down and even had great hope spots. A Super Frankensteiner countering the Avalanche Powerbomb, Lethal Injection, 450, but Elgin kicked out. Swann tried a top rope Phoenix Splash, and missed. Elgin hits Splash Mountain, and Rich kicks out. Elgin rolls to the outside, catches Rich and repeatedly Powerbombs him into the post. Kid Ref tries to get the match back in the ring, Elgin pushes Kid Ref and Powerbombs Swann again for posterity. Kid Ref calls for the DQ and then runs for his life. This was a great match, the “non-finish” is rather annoying coming out of a roughly 25 minute match. But love him or hate him, Elgin can wrestle.
Winner: Swann via DQ
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 3: Dragon Lee vs SHO
Winner: Dragon Lee via Desnucadora
WWE MiTB: Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Drew McIntyre vs Baron Corbin vs Finn Balor vs Ricochet vs Andrade vs Randy Orton vs Ali vs Brock Lesnar
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 1: Dragon Lee vs Taiji Ishimori
Winner: Ishimori via Bloody Cross
Rating: *** 3/4
WWE MitB: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Kevin Owens
Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT UK: Ligero vs Jordan Devlin
Winner: Devlin via Snap Saito Suplex
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: Robbie Eagles vs Rocky Romero
Winner: Eagles via Ron Miller Special
SmackDown Live: Randy Orton vs Finn Balor vs Andrade vs Ali
Winner: Andrade via Hammerlock DDT
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 2: El Phantasmo vs Bandido
Winner: Phantsmo via Greetings from Chasewood Park
205 Live: Tony Nese vs Ligero
Winner: Nese via Running Kneese
WWE Raw: Fall Count Anywhere: Braun Strowman vs Sami Zayn
Winner: Zayn via Claymore
NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 4: Ren Narita vs Robbie Eagles
Winner: Eagles via Turbo Backpack
WWE MitB: The Usos vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan
Winner: Usos via Double Uce
2. WWE MitB: Universal Championship: AJ Styles vs Seth Rollins (c)
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Now it’s Rollins who has to come up with something else to put Styles away. Fans rally up as Rollins stands. Rollins still has the tried and true, “Burn It Down!” He mule kicks then runs, but Styles dodges to roll Rollins to a Calf Crusher! Rollins endures but Styles cranks back hard! Rollins rolls it back and kicks Styles away! His leg is free but it is hurting! Styles crawls away but Rollins pursues. Styles hops up, moonsault DDT! Cover, TWO!! Rollins escapes with one good leg! Styles gets back up and waits for Rollins. Rollins stands and SUPERKICKS Styles down! Both men are down again, but fans rally and duel again. Styles and Rollins crawl for each other to start throwing hands! Rollins hits, Styles hits, repeat. Rollins CHOPS but Styles punches again.
Fans duel, Styles goes for the Phenomenal Blitz, but Rollins dodges to enziguri! And dodges the Pele! Mule kick! Curb Stomp countered! STYLES CLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Rollins survives THE Styles Clash?! No one can believe it, but the fans are loving it! Styles grits his teeth as Rollins starts sitting up. Styles goes to the apron, takes aim and springboards. Phenomenal misses! Revolution Knee hits! And then, SUPERKICK! Styles is on his face, but Rollins gets back up! CURB STOMP!! Rollins put so much into that, he has to crawl to a cover! Rollins wins!!
Winner: Rollins via The Stomp
Rating: **** 1/4
1. NJPW BOSJ 26 Night 1: SHO vs Shingo Takagi
This match has had a great build all year. SHO is the power of Roppongi 3k, and throughout the LIJ and Roppongi feud for the Junior Tag Titles, we always saw SHO try to go at Shingo. Shingo called him out a little and this is a great rivalry. SHO has something to prove, but Shingo doesn’t want to be upstaged by someone who was a Young Boy only a few years ago.
We saw the story unfold beautifully. Shingo dominated early, until SHO fired up and showed he wasn’t just going to roll over. As the match progressed SHO started to anticipate Shingo’s moves and stay a step ahead. Both men hit all of their signature moves, and neither wanted to really budge. This was just so well done, and more of a heavyweight style because they are both bigger Juniors. Shingo edged out SHO by hitting Last of the Dragons after numerous Pumping Bombers. But damn this was great.
Winner: Shingo via Last of the Dragons
Rating: **** 1/2
Shingo and SHO, there is no other answer. This has been a feud that started at the end of last year and persisted through the entire year so far. Long term booking is always fun, and when both men put on a great story telling match, it’s even better. Plus there’s no guarantee it’s over since SHO still has to surpass Shingo to feel completed.
Don’t sleep on Ospreay and Romero though, that was a great match, just didn’t quite match up to SHO and Shingo.