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WWEekly: The Top Talking Points of RAW, SmackDown & NXT (7.15 – 7.17.19)

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It’s official, we’re now on the road to SummerSlam. WWE are now preparing the matches and stories leading into the Biggest Party of the Summer. RAW was an interesting mess with one of the best return moments ever, SmackDown saw Shane get attacked twice and NXT gave us the continuation of the Break Out Tournament and the teasing of it’s first TakeOver title match. Let’s get into it shall we, as we dive into the good, bad and ugly events of this week’s WWE TV.

RAW

– Heyman opens the show with an I told you so promo then announces a ten-man cross promoted Battle Royal to determine who will fight Brock at SummerSlam. Heyman runs through the opponents giving them all mini hype packages whilst also showing his own personal interest in Sami Zayn and Cesaro.

– Ricochet & The Usos defeat Robert Roode & The Revival in a 2 out of 3 falls Tag Match that no one needed to see. Ricochet gets the first fall in about 30 seconds and the heels regain a fall with a FlapJack. Third fall comes from the 630 Senton on Roode. No one can celebrate as a brawl breaks out when AJ Styles and The Club come out.

– The Viking Raiders destroyed Vinny Gruner & Jackson James via Thor’s Hammer (I still refuse to call it the Viking Experience) Nothing more to say it was a simple, if a little messy squash match.

– Samoa Joe defeats Finn Balor via Roll Up. He continues to attack post-match but Finn lays him out with the Coup de Grace. Balor stands tall but then the best moment of the night happens. The music starts to slow down and stumble, the LED’s and lights glitch out and sounds of a struggle emit from the ring. Some torches reveal an all to familiar figure in the ring. Bray Wyatt, or more accurately, the Fiend is here and drops Balor with Sister Abagail. We have Wyatt’s first feud and it should be something special.

– Cedric Alexander defeats Drew McIntyre via Roll Up. This was oddly fun to watch, I’m okay with Drew losing as it gives Cedric a boost and we know McIntyre could crush him at a moment notice.

– AJ Styles & The Club defeat The Lucha House Party via Calf Crusher despite some momentary interference from Ricochet. I’m more surprised that this didn’t end in a DQ since Ricochet attacked during the match. It’s still nice to see AJ heel it up as he refused to break the hold after Kalisto tapped out.

– Maria Kanellis tries to steal Mike’s match against Zack Ryder citing she’d have a better chance of winning. When the ref refuses to let her fight Mike rushes into to fight but is instantly dropped with the Rough Ryder. Mike loses in less than a minute and Maria chews him out on the mic for it. I’m still not sure what the point of this story is yet.

– This was an unfortunate match. We had a four-way elimination match to determine who would face Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. It was Natalya, who would end up winning, against Carmella, Naomi and Alexa Bliss. It wasn’t a bad match but it went on way too long and the crowd were clearly not enjoying it. They started a litany of off topic and bored chants that clearly bugged the wrestlers in the ring. In the end Natalya won and got some of her wind back in a little promo section against Becky Lynch.

– Dolph Ziggler and Miz are up next for a special edition of Miz TV. Dolph tries to get under the Miz’s skin by claiming he’s a happy to be here company man. Dolph goes in hard on Miz just being in it for money whilst Miz retorts about Dolph’s performance against Kevin Owens at Extreme Rules. When Dolph makes a comment about Maryse, Miz loses it and pummels Dolph out of the ring.

– In the second-best moment of the show we see Drake Maverick and his wife checking into a hotel under the name Mr and Mrs 24-7 Champion. They head of to their room and R-Truth pops out from behind a wall and bribes the concierge to tell him where they are. We cut back later to Maverick in his bed with just the belt and some underwear on ready to get consummating. Instead there’s a knock at the door and room service enters with some champagne. When they don’t leave Maverick realises it’s a ref and starts freaking out. Truth pops out from under the cart and tries to roll up the champ. When that fails, he crossbodies Maverick onto the bed and reclaims his title. The pair run off leaving Mrs Maverick incredibly confused and horrified.

– Main event time as we get that Battle Royal. This was pure finisher laden chaos that I won’t full detail. It had plenty of fun moments, some RKO’s, a surprise Spear, Big E hitting a Big Ending on Strowman and in the end, Rollins won after surviving Orton’s hiding. The crowd seemed deflated but it’s obvious WWE want to continue the Brock/Rollins war before moving onto something more interesting. As it stands, it was a great main event with a lacklustre result.

SmackDown

– SmackDown opens with the oddest segment in recent memory, the town hall of Shane McMahon (my absolute favourite wrester ever and best in the world don’t you know.) He had a mass of superstars praising and loathing him until Kevin Owens came out and tried to give him a Stunner. If you’ve seen the clip, you’ll know why I said try. This was odd but interesting as we got to see some long-lost faces speak up for once.

– Aleister Black and Cesaro have another awesome match that sees Black kick Cesaro’s gum shield out.

– Charlotte Flair defeats Liv Morgan via Figure 8. Post-match Liv steals Corey’s headset and proclaims she’ll be real when she comes back, citing a comment she made at Charlotte during the town hall. Hopefully we get more Liv from now on, a seriously underrated talent who deserves more attention.

– Ember Moon and Bayley defeat Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville via Eclipse. After the match Bayley claims she wants to fight new people and challenges Ember Moon to a Title Match at SummerSlam.

– R-Truth gets stuck in a washing machine so Carmella recommends they hide out at Comic Con.
– Andrade vs Apollo Crews can’t even start properly as Andrade attacks Apollo before the bell. Once the match starts, Andrade seems invincible until he goes for a pin after the Double Knees and Crews rolls him up.

– The Kabuki Warriors defeat The IIconics via Count Out. Since the IIconics can’t out-wrestle The Kabuki Warriors, they just stay outside for a count out. The pissed off Kabuki Warriors attack the IIconics afterwards, laying them out with kicks and the Insane Elbow.

– A promo segment from the New Day sees them challenge Randy Orton, Samoa Joe and Elias to a six-man tag match. This comes after Daniel Bryan makes his big announcement, well doesn’t make it as he comes out and walks back off. The heels are all teamed because they want to take Kofi’s title. Orton wins the match by hitting an RKO on Kofi whilst Elias takes out Big E and Joe chokes out Xavier. I think we know our SummerSlam feud.

– Dolph Ziggler defeats Kevin Owens by count out as Kevin Owens is forced to flee after Shane McMahon sends the goon squad after him. Not quite before he hits Shane with a second Stunner, this time it lands properly. McMahon swears revenge.

NXT

– Matt Riddle defeats Arturo Ruas via Knock Out. He can’t celebrate however as Killian Dane attacks him from behind. The returning Dane, brutalised Riddle with a series of Sentons and strikes ending in one final running Senton through the stage. Dane walks away looking triumphant whilst a confused Riddle is left broken. Welcome back to NXT Killian Dane.

– Bronson Reed (Jonah Rock) defeats Dexter Lumis (Samuel Shaw) via Super Splash. This was awesome. Whilst not the most exciting match in the tournament it did showcase something I haven’t seen in quite a while, a character dedicated wrestler who’s stare creeps the hell out of me. NXT might have found it’s new Bray Wyatt in Lumis. Plus, Reed is just awesome to watch in general.

– KUSHIDA defeats Apollo Crews via Sakuraba Lock. Welcome back Apollo Crews, wasn’t it nice to have a full and competitive match? Again, NXT knocks it out of the park with a technical/power bout that saw Kushida win after enduring and showing off his high-flying and technical offense against an even more athletic opponent.

– Adam Cole comes down for his first title defence. He brings out Tucker from Gargano’s tour as an easy win but Tucker is not alone, Johnny Gargano is with him and goes right after Cole. They fight around the arena as Cole tries to run and Gargano pummels him into the ground. The show ends with Cole trapped in the Gargano Escape.

In Conclusion

So, there you have it, another WWEek gone by. It wasn’t the best of weeks but it certainly wasn’t one of the worst. I want to give my awards this week to the creeps as both The Fiend and Dexter Lumis stole the shows for me. Kevin Owens also deserves some credit for his one-man war against Shane McMahon and speaking the truth. There’s a lot brewing on RAW and SmackDown and all I can hope is that it creates an enjoyable SummerSlam. Only time will tell though, so it’s just a matter of watching and waiting. Oh and NXT please use Dexter Lumis more often, thank you in advance.

John is a UK based wrestling obsessive who still wants to believe the Bullet Club is fine. He is always tearing the business apart and first realised wrestling was for him when he saw Mankind fall from the top of the cell at King of the Ring 1998.

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