Another week goes by and another WWEekly comes to life. This week was an odd one as we saw a bunch of interesting stuff that could probably lead to nothing. Becky Lynch still continues to be the best member of the main roster and her character is only going to get better. It was an odd RAW, an odd Smackdown and an excellent NXT. Let’s get into it.
Lynch vs the Authority
So Becky Lynch kicked off both RAW and Smackdown this week by being talked down to by members of the authority and taking none of it. On RAW she clashed with Stephanie McMahon who told her she needed to seek medical attention for her injured knee or be suspended. Becky didn’t accept the snide comments made her way lying down as she attacked Steph and was both suspended and forcefully escorted out of the ring. She had a confrontation with Ronda on leaving but it didn’t amount to anything.
The next night she appears on Smackdown where she gets into it with a cocky Charlotte and is confronted by Triple H. He goes through the same stuff as Steph did yesterday. The difference is, he changes tones and insinuates that there is no injury and Becky is just scared of facing Ronda. This earns him a slap from Lynch and she leaves Smackdown by smugly walking through the crowd. Becky may not be fighting on TV at the moment but she is not letting people forget about her. She is channelling a modern-day Stone Cold esque character and the fans love her for it.
Ronda Rousey defeats Liv Morgan &Sarah Logan via Arm Bar (in separate matches)
After watching Becky leave RAW and chewing her out for being unprofessional, Ronda gets into the ring and fights not one but two competitors. She destroys both Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan in incredibly quick fashion whilst dealing with and calling out a hostile crowd. She seemed unstable during the segment and it worked well in her favour. She somehow feels more dangerous now as she cares less about crowd response and more about kicking ass. Ruby Riott looked to be getting in ring but decided against it. She was interviewed about this but declared she wasn’t scared of Ronda, but is picking her moment so that when she beats her, it’ll be for the belt. That would be a fun feud actually.
The Revival defeat Heavy Machinery, The B Team & Lucha House Party via Shatter Machine
Ever since we first heard rumours of the Revival being disgruntled about how their WWE career is going, they have reaped some benefits. Now they have another tag title shot that might finally see them winning. They have finally made it seem like the Shatter Machine is deadly again and their team sneakiness is finally paying off. This might seem cynical to some and a desperate ply to keep them in WWE. Anyway this was another fun multi tag match that kept the action fast, kept teams moving and never allowed a dull moment. Heavy Machinery are being booked strong so there may be some hope for them on the main roster. So the Revival has another title shot and WWE may be committing to more tag team wrestling. It’s going to be a wait and see kind of situation.
A Monster & and a Gold Medallist Walk Into a Ring
Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin defeat Braun Strowman & Kurt Angle via DQ
The main event scene for this week’s RAW was centred around Kurt Angle and Corbin mainly. Kurt Angle was trying to talk about potentially retiring as he can no longer grapple with Father Time. He’s not allowed to get through this speech as Corbin and McIntyre interrupt to gloat at Kurt’s expense. Braun comes out too and a match is made for the main event.
The match itself is fine but nothing too remarkable and ends with a DQ finish because Braun really wants to punch Corbin in the face. After the finish Braun gets some revenge by Chokeslamming both of his opponents onto the steel steps. It didn’t feel like a main event match but hey it had Kurt Angle in so people will be happy.
Boss n Hug Going to Chamber
Sasha Banks & Bayley defeat Alicia Fox & Nikki Cross via Roll Up
This is mainly here as it gives us the last team in the Tag Title Elimination Chamber match. It was more of a handicap match as Banks was taken out before the match could begin by the team of supposed crazy people. Banks and Bayley were the odds on favourite to be in the Elimination Chamber match and will probably be the ones to win it.
Violent Double J
Elias defeats Jeff Jarrett via Drift Away
Jeff Jarrett wrestled his first WWE match in twenty years this week and you know what, I liked it. It was a lot of fun. Before the match Road Dogg and Jarrett were dropping promos and singing songs but are interrupted by Elias. He mocks them and delivers an exceptional burn to Road Dogg about tanking RAW’s ratings. The match itself saw Elias mock both Dogg and Jarrett whilst he was on top by dropping a crotch chop at Dogg and pulling off the Jarrett Strut. He won with the Drift Away but couldn’t celebrate. He’s distracted by Road Dogg and eats a stiff guitar shot to the back from Jarrett. The guitar didn’t break but Elias certainly did. This will not be the last we see in the battle of the troubadours.
Balor Beats the Odds
Finn Balor defeats Lio Rush via Coup de Grace
Finn Balor was incredibly banged up heading into his match tonight. He expected to be facing Lashley but instead was told by Lashley he’d be facing Rush and may get a match if he impressed enough. Just to make things worse, Lashley attacked Finn before the match. So with the injuries piling up, it was up to Finn to get back into the match and overcome Lio Rush. In the end Balor could overcome and hit the Coup de Grace on Rush and scarpered before he could be attacked anymore. We are definitely seeing an IC feud between Finn and Bobby and I can’t be happier. Rush should also be allowed to wrestle more often on the main roster as he kills it on 205 Live.
A Moment for Dean Ambrose
EC3 defeats Dean Ambrose via Roll Up
A moment of Bliss continues it’s interruption spree as this week saw Alexa Bliss’ interview with EC3 interrupted first by Nia and then by Dean Ambrose. Nia has nothing much to say but Dean is on fire, first insinuating Nia had a crush on him and that she needs to leave him alone. He then turned his attention on EC3, who still hasn’t said anything despite being one of the best talkers and hits him with a bunch rapid fire questions and insults. He called EC3 a Creed fan, asked him what happened to EC’s 1 and 2 and lastly asked why he hasn’t said anything. Ambrose challenges EC3 to a match and EC3 doesn’t give him an answer. Instead he punches him in the face and walks to the ring. The match itself is fun and has the surprise ending where EC3 gets a win over Ambrose with a roll up. It felt more like a warm up match for the two so we hopefully get more between them. If Ambrose is really leaving WWE then it’s most likely we see him put over EC3 on the way out.
A New Alliance?
Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura defeat Gallows and Anderson via Machka Kick
Smackdown had a new heel team on the horizon. Rusev and Nakamura formed their unlikely alliance after being embarrassed by R Truth and being challenged by the Good Brothers after attacking him. This match was pretty interesting in terms of story. It’s always sad to see an established team lose to a newbie team but when it involves Rusev and Nakamura I’m willing to give it a pass. Nakamura ended up saving Rusev so that he could hit a Machka Kick on Anderson. It wasn’t the most compelling match but it did what it needed to do and gave us an interesting premise going forth as we shall see what happens with this new alliance. Oh and is Lana’s new gimmick that she just holds her shoes and screams at people?
Randy Orton defeats Mustafa Ali via RKO
The best match we got on Smackdown saw Smackdown veteran Randy Orton pummelling down Smackdown newcomer Mustafa Ali. Ali tried to use speed as a means to deal with Orton. It doesn’t work as Orton knocks him down, hangs over the rope and Suplexes him onto the announcer’s table. Ali comes back and sets up for the 054 but Orton pulls him off the turnbuckle and transitions the fall into an RKO. He ends the match with a shot outta nowhere but can’t really revel in it as Joe hits him with a Coquina Clutch outta nowhere and chokes Orton out.
They Don’t Need a Chamber
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville defeat Carmella & Naomi & the IIconics via Double Underhook Face-Buster
The three teams for Elmination chamber collided in a three-way tag match on Smackdown. This provided another opportunity for Naomi and Mandy Rose to be in the same ring together. The whole match felt like a build up to that moment. Obviously the other teams got a chance to shine but the ending came from those two as Mandy Rose got the surprise win over Naomi with Angelina Love’s Implant Buster or the Fairy Tale Ending for fans of NXT. There was plenty of action and it looks like RAW will have some competition in the chamber.
Complaints and Brawls
Jeff Hardy defeats Daniel Bryan via DQ
Daniel Bryan was in his home state this week so he got cheers and positive responses so used this as a chance to trash everywhere else. He was once again preaching his environmentalist messages and was flanked by Rowan. This week Rowan had an Amon Amarth t-shirt on and actually spoke. He was interrupted by the crowd which infuriated Bryan. Rowan is his intellectual peer. He was going to file a complaint against WWE but this got lost as he turned radical preacher again.
The match with Jeff was fine that saw Jeff Hardy ready to win and even hit the Swanton Bomb but the match is thrown out because Rowan interferes. We then get a brawl between every member of the men’s Elimination Chamber contenders. This was sparked off by Joe and features everyone. It was chaotic as expected and rounded the show off nicely, if leaving it a bit empty feeling. Bryan ends the show but screaming at Kayla Braxton in an interview.
Johnny’s First Challenge
NXT opened with a three promo segment between Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa and the Velveteen Dream. It started as a Gargano bragging section then transitioned into Ciampa applauding him for following his lead. They have a small back and forth but instead of this continuing, Dream comes out, talks about winning the World’s Collide Tournament and talks about his title shot. He shuts down Ciampa and insults Goldie then reveals he’s going to go after Gargano and the North American Title. He taunts Johnny about his current ways and basically demands a challenge from Johnny. This was a good opener, set up a title match and didn’t end in violence for once.
Jaxson Ryker defeats Mansoor via Choke Bomb
We got more Jaxson Ryker! The intimidating force of the Forgotten Sons always seems the most interesting and he once again flattened an opponent with very little effort. This was one of the first times we’d seen any of the Saudi Arabian prospects in a match too. Ryker overpowered him, put him in the Tree of Woe. He blocks a comeback by Spearing Mansoor out of the air. He finished him off with a Choke Bomb and that basically ended that.
A Better NXT
Drew Gulak defeats Eric BugenHagen via The Gulock
Matt Riddle defeats Drew Gulak via Bro-mission
Drew Gulak has now made his way to NXT to help make it a better place. He had a match against another debuting wreslter, Eric BugenHagen. Eric is a unique individual who a lot of people will find incredibly annoying. He is a singing, air guitaring rocker who was not afraid of hitting a high note. Gulak made relatively easy work of him and quickly tapped him out.
Gulak made a fuss over the lack of competition and ended up bringing out Matt Riddle. Matt threatened to kick him out of NXT and the two hard a match. This was a masterclass of technical mat wrestling and submissions. After a while, Riddle lost his patience at being out submitted by Drew and started making it a striking contest. This backfired though as Drew hit some stiff Dropkicks and kept applying holds. It wouldn’t be until Riddle could deadlift Drew into a Powerbomb/Knee Strike combo that he could get back into it. Drew kicked out but Riddle was able to transition into the Bro-Mission and bested Drew in the match. Something tells me it isn’t over between these two as Drew will not take a submission lying down.
The Next Challenger?
Io Shirai, Kairi Sane & Bianca Belair defeat The Horsewomen of MMA via Moonsault
The main event saw the Sky Pirates team up with Bianca Belair to take on the three Horsewomen of MMA. Shayna, Duke and Shafir were out to cripple the face team but couldn’t get anything going until Kairi Sane was distracted and targeted by the whole heel team. She was worked over until she could get the hot tag in to Io who basically ran rough shot over everyone. She tagged in Kairi and the two took out the Horsewomen. Bianca hits the K.O.D on Shayna and has her pinfall broken up. She seems to be ignored by the Sky Pirates for most of the match despite being involved in helping them with double team manoeuvres. She has to tag herself into the match to be involved and was even robbed of the finish by Io Shirai. Shirai hit her Moonsault and got the three count. She would then gesture multiple times that she is the new challenger and since she has a pinfall victory over the champ, it would make sense. Shirai could be an exciting competitor against Baszler.
So there you have it. It’s been a solid if slightly lacking week as both RAW and Smackdown felt like steps down from previous weeks. I might be biased towards NXT these days but it seems to always be enjoyable. It probably has the best roster and the best writing so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that quality is always high. There is still plenty to enjoy on RAW and Smackdown but don’t expect the same level as previous weeks.