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WWEekly – The Top Talking Points of RAW, Smackdown and NXT

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Another week has been and gone. This week saw a few surprises and a strange reunion that received one of the pops of the year. There was also some NXT news that took place away from Full Sail at the WWE UK Tournament (totally worth watching.) Now enough stalling, let’s get to breaking down these shows.

Repetition Repetition Repetition

So RAW started with Kurt announcing the multi-man match to decide Brock’s next competitor is not happening. Due to “contractual snags” the match has been cancelled and once again that brought out Reigns and Lashley to have another verbal beatdown. They tear into each other for their faults and failures. Again. Then they’re put in a tag match with the Revival, again. The difference was this time, we had Constable Baron Corbin at ringside for the promo section (he even made the match), everyone was better on the mic and most importantly the Revival finally got a win in a much better match. In crafty heel fashion, Dash got the roll up on Reigns as Dawson distracted him. Sure it’s mainly just 50/50 booking but it was done in much better fashion with a much more satisfying ending.

B Team Brilliance

The B Team have gone from being Miz’s stooges to clueless team to comedic brilliance. They have been killing it lately as the lucky losers who have ended up with a title shot. The past two weeks has seen them imitating the Deleters of Worlds with Axel parodying Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas parodying his real life brother Bray Wyatt. This has been brilliant as Bo is perfect at playing his own sibling. The feud was upped a bit this week as Hardy and Axel had a singles match. This ended with Matt Hardy going for a superplex only to slip on the ropes and Axel landing on him in a faux crossbody attempt. Again they get lucky in a win and continue to go unbeaten. The segment ended with the B Team getting a standing ovation from the Deleters of world for their performance.

They’re Alive

For the first time in forever the Authors of Pain were on RAW television. They originally went through the backstage area attacking people, to get scolded by Titus Worldwide for messing with people. Later on they basically flattened their opponents, the Gibsons. The Gibsons didn’t stand a chance as AOP threw them around and constantly beat them down. They were crushed in quick succession via the Last Chapter. AOP didn’t end there though as they kept beating on their opponents after the match too. This once again brings out Titus Worldwide to stop the senseless violence. AOP walk off completely unphased by them at all. We now know who’ll be the first victims in building up AOP, Titus Worldwide.

Natalya in Title Contention?

So Natalya beat Alexa Bliss on RAW this week. She made the Goddess tap out to the sharpshooter in pretty quick fashion. This came off the back of a very long promo segment where Mickie James was helping Alexa self-aggrandise. Bliss was basically talking about how good she is and how she isn’t scared about having to fight Jax again at Extreme Rules. This brought Natty out, who wanted to get some revenge for what Bliss has done to Ronda Rousey. Bliss seemed completely uncaring until Natalya also brought out Nia Jac who was back and ready for a fight. She ends up tripping Bliss up after Mickie James tries to do the same to Natty. This lead to the finish and the Natty win. This should mean that Natty should be considered as a number one contender since she has a legit win over the champion.

Bayley Snaps Again

Bayley and Sasha Banks were forced to team up again this week. They were paired alongside Ember Moon to deal with the Riott Squad. Both Sasha and Bayley didn’t want to team after the events of last week where they both fell out and things got violent. The same happened again this week. The face team lost to the squad and out of nowhere, Bayley leaps into the ring and just beats down Sasha. This goes around the ring and then around the outside. She throws Sasha into the ring steps and after the beating, stands tall and gets in Sasha’s face. They even had to bleep her as she said “you ain’t sh-t” in Sasha’s face. This also ended with both women being sent to counselling by the GM, Kurt Angle.

Did Mojo Rawley Just Get Interesting?

Mojo Rawley has been a weird heel. He has some brutal attacks and an air of intensity that some wrestlers still lack. However no one seems to care about him. This week he may have finally done something to make himself seem interesting. He was scheduled for a rematch against No Way Jose but instead of fighting, he decides to rundown the conga line that follows Jose to the ring. He seems to take extreme umbrage with the guy dressed as a cheeseburger called Todd. Rawley claims this’ll be the highlight of his career and the closest Todd will ever get to being a WWE wrestler. The segment ends with Rawley sucker punching Jose and walking away smugly. It was a surprisingly decent segment from the former Hype Bro. More like this please as this could finally build Rawley up a bit.

Braun and Kevin: Best Friends II

Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman are amazing. One of the best bits of RAW this week was the Kevin and Braun segments that happened during the show. It started with Braun wanting to team with KO after feeling he has been too mean to him after last week. He sets up a match against the team of the arguing Finn Balor and Constable Baron Corbin. The match happens later in the night and KO is terrified. The entire match is littered with Corbin annoying Finn and KO reluctantly working with Braun. One of the best moments is where Braun does a lap of outside shoulder tackles and then encourages KO to do the same. After some hesitation, KO obliges and hits the shoulder tackle on Finn but is reversed by Corbin. The match ended with both Finn and Corbin being counted out as they fight on the outside.

After the match, KO tries to celebrate with Braun and shake his hand. KO gets scared and just runs away from Braun. He hides in a green room and waits for the coast to clear. Later on he tries to sneak out of the building and get away. He grabs some people to escort him to the parking lot and then flags down the valet to give him his keys. This doesn’t happen as the valet doesn’t have his keys, Braun does. Braun indicates behind KO and the camera pans to a smoking, flipped over car wreck that once was KO’s car. Kevin is nearly crying and Braun just walks off muttering the greatest evil laugh ever.

IC is definitely the Top Belt

The IC title is definitely the biggest deal on RAW at the moment. With Brock no showing RAW, it has fallen on the shoulders of the IC division to pick up the slack. They certainly did with the main event on RAW this week. This was a twenty-minute or so masterclass in wrestling with a slightly naff finish. There was so much back and forth that it was hard to tell who would be victorious. The big finish saw Drew break up a pin fall and get the DQ victory for Seth. They then tried to beat up Seth after the match only to be interrupted by Roman Reigns coming to the rescue. So this probably means a tag match will be in the works next week.

Rusev Keeps The Heat On

Rusev kept the pressure on this week as he beat Xavier Woods this week on Smackdown. After an excellent match, Rusev got the win and would take to the mic and rundown Styles in the wake of their title match at Extreme Rules. He even acknowledged the poor assault on Aiden English last week. Rusev has gone full heel at the moment and the crowd can’t cope. Rusev day is still over as hell but now it seems WWE want him to be booed.

Some Sane Booking

So Nakamura couldn’t be on Smackdown this week because of an odd incident. News broke before the show that Nakamura would not be on the show after being bitten by a police dog. This meant that Hardy issued an open challenge for the US title instead. It appears brother Nero has made a return for now and this helped as he had to take on the forces of Sanity, mainly Eric Young who accepted the challenge. After a while the match was broken down as the Usos came out to attack the other members of Sanity.

What follows was an extremely frenzied six man tag match between the Usos and Jeff Hardy taking on Sanity. Again there was a lot of back and forth. The match ended with Jeff Hardy going over with a Swanton Bomb on Alexander Wolfe. The Usos get some revenge and the feud heats up.

Ellsworth…

Ellsworth is one of the most polarising people in WWE. He was riding solo this week as Carmella wasn’t on the show. He decided to call out Asuka and try to pick a fight. He would also try to put himself over as a ladies man just to make the audience cringe. This brought out Paige who informed the audience that Asuka wasn’t in the building and that Ellsworth was completely aware of this. Ellsworth would try to flirt with Paige and ended up being booked into a match with Asuka next week. It was funny to see Ellsworth use his big mouth to get himself in trouble.

Oh Hell Yes!

The big thread for tonight’s Smackdown was Daniel Bryan vs the Bludgeon Brothers. This opened the show via Miz TV and set up the main event where Bryan took on Harper in a singles match. This was an excellent match and as Bryan was setting up for the Yes Lock, Rowan got involved for the DQ. They then started attacking Bryan in the middle of the ring and just as they were setting up for the double team bomb, Kane’s music hit. He would then work alongside Bryan to clear out the ring of the Bludgeon Brothers. Kane then signalled for a hug and then after a bit of hesitation Bryan accepts. Team Hell No are back together and as a bonus Paige comes out to give them a tag team title match against the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules.

Aleister Black’s Next Opponent

Aleister Black kicked off NXT by taking to the ring to talk about his match with Sullivan. After a very brief speech, Tommaso Ciampa takes to the stage to run down Black and to warn him he is coming for the belt. The crowd once again railed against Ciampa as he tried to lay out his claims to the belt and why he should be Black’s next challenger. This sets up a feud between these two or we will see Gargano get to cost Ciampa the same opportunity he once had. Either way only good things can come from this.

Candice LeRae is Back

Candice LeRae has kind of been side lined as the Gargano/Ciampa feud went on. She was a bystander and occasional victim of this feud, suffering attacks and losses because of it. Now she is taking the first steps back to relevance and eventual title contention. She had a match against Lacey Evans and got the win with a moonsault. The match itself saw her take a beating and go fully underdog against the taller, stronger woman. The crowd was fully behind her the entire time. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next for her.

Top of the Mountain

So at the UK Tournament Undisputed Era lost their tag team belts. Who did they lose them to? The answer was Moustache Mountain. The team of Tyler Bates and Trent Severn were in the main event of NXT as they were set to fight a team of jobbers. As said jobbers made their entrance they were destroyed by the Undisputed Era. They would then grab mics, run down the new champs and slowly stalk to the ring to attack. As Moustache Mountain were outnumbered it was a sure set they’d succumb to the numbers. Just in the nick of time, Ricochet takes to the ring to even the odds.

This leads to a six man tag match between the Undisputed Era and Moustache Mountain with Ricochet. This match was amazing. Both teams gave each other hell and the match got to breathe. There were plenty of spots to see and a lot of back and forth as both teams took advantage. The eventual finish saw Ricochet take out Adam Cole with the 630, Kyle O Reilly makes the save and eats a springboard move for his troubles and then Roderick Strong takes out Ricochet out with an apron assisted End of Heartache. He then rolls Ricochet into the ring and Cole gets the pin. The Undisputed Era gets the win but don’t get their belts back.

In Conclusion

What a week it was. There was certainly a fair bit of news to talk about this week but once again there were bits that went under the radar. We saw Becky Lynch get another victory, Kona Reeves was back on NXT though he still isn’t the finest and we saw Vanessa Bourne call out Kairi Sane. Every show was a fun watch as the filler was kept to a minimum for once. Hopefully we see the quality stay high as the weeks go on. It’s also hard not to be feeling some sense of excitement going towards Extreme Rules. It’s shaping up quite nicely.

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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