What a week. RAW, SmackDown and NXT all boasted a great viewing experience this week. All three shows had a wide range of positives and it was quite difficult to fault two of the shows this week. RAW has a serious tag team problem but we’ll get to that, don’t you worry. With that being said, let’s get into it so the ranting can begin.
– Sasha Banks opens the show, revealing all about why she’s been attacking people since coming back. She is bitter about being relegated to the tag titles whilst Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch got to main event WrestleMania. Now, she gets what she wanted, to be the centre of attention. Ultimately though her promo is interrupted by an attack from Natalya. Later on, in the night they have a match which sees Natalya tap into an aggressive side we have not seen in a while, even against Becky. Banks taps her out with The Bank Statement after a grueling bout then throws in a post-match beatdown just for fun.
– Braun Strowman challenges Seth Rollins to a Universal Title match at Clash of Champions. Of course, Seth accepts. This didn’t need to be as scripted as it was, came off as forced.
– Ricochet and Drew McIntyre have an amazing King of the Ring match that sees Ricochet win via 630. A huge upset but an exceptional match. This was probably the highlight of the show.
– Sadly, the other King of the Ring match was nowhere near as good as Corbin and Miz just didn’t have the chemistry to work well together. Corbin won with the End of Days and posed in the throne to end the segment.
– Nikki Cross takes the fight to Bayley next but is beaten by the Diving Elbow Drop.
– Next is an eight-team gauntlet that lasts a long time. The crowd lost interest half way through, both The OC and Viking Raiders received a double DQ and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode are now a tag team that beat the Revival…. Okay then. They continued on to win the gauntlet despite everyone else in the gauntlet BEING AN ACTUAL TAG TEAM. The tag divisions in WWE are a joke at this point. The RAW tag title Clash of Champions match is between two teams that aren’t regular tag teams… just think about that.
– Okay match of the night two goes to Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. Yet again Cesaro proved, even in defeat, that he is one of the best in the world. He deserves to be pushed to the moon and back but for now we’ll settle for matches of this quality. Alexander won with the Lumbar Check after a long, strenuous fight.
– We get a clip show of all the best moments from Firefly Funhouse that cameos the Fiend at the end. Bray is amazing on RAW even in recap clips. I honestly hope they don’t mess this up, he is the best bit of main roster WWE right now.
– AJ Styles and Braun Strowman have an interesting match that ends in an intentional DQ finish from AJ. When the ref is knocked out, AJ goes full dickhead and The OC get involved. Braun batters them with a chair but does not hit AJ. However, when the ref wakes up, Styles pretends to be hit by the chair causing a DQ. The OC pay for their transgression when Braun goes apesh*t to close the show.
– SmackDown rings eerily familiar as we start with another Randy Orton/Kofi segment. They spout the same stuff about it being a personal feud and about how it has escalated. Orton retorts on the TitanTron and reads out a “fan letter” from Kai Kingston. In the end, Orton and Kingston fight backstage and Orton lays out Kingston once again. He also has a match with Big E that sees the Revival get involved.
– Buddy Murphy and Ali have an excellent King of the Ring match that plays like a rerun from a 205 Live episode. Ali wins with the 054 following an incredible Tornado DDT. I’m sad Buddy didn’t win but the pair put on one hell of a match.
– Miz demands an IC title shot after getting into another war of words with Sami Zayn. Zayn and Nakamura end up smashing Miz from behind.
– Bayley defeats Lacey Evans in front of Charlotte Flair. Okay match, won by an Elbow Drop.
– Chad Gable beats Shelton Benjamin to progress to the second round of the King of the Ring. Again, the KOTR offers up an interesting matchup.
– Drake Maverick wins the 24/7 title again, stealing it from Elias. Maverick takes advantage after Owens destroys him whilst he makes a speech from the throne. A king’s throne not the throne you’re thinking of. Maverick is champion again and now might finally consummate his marriage.
– We get more of the Roman Reigns whodunnit mystery. Bryan and Rowan try to get Roman to apologise to them but Reigns refuses at the behest of the crowd. Roman has CCTV footage proving Rowan was the attacker. Bryan is pissed at Rowan and slaps him around. Bryan claims Rowan has acted on is his own but all this earns him is a Spear.
– Io Shirai opens the show, once again looking like a total badass. She defeats jobber Cami Fields in quick and brutal fashion. Fields got about three strikes in and Shirai was sure to punish her, winning with the Harajuku Clutch. Candice LeRae saves Fields from getting beaten with a kendo stick.
– We get the sequel to NXT’s biggest Kaiju battle as Dominik Dijakovic takes on Keith Lee once again. This was amazing. Over the top in every sense. It was incredibly hard hitting, athletic and full of WTF did they just do moments. There was an Avalanche Spanish Fly from Keith Lee for Christ sake! Ultimately, Dijakovic won with the Feast Your Eyes Knee Strike but holy cow was this a journey over the destination. This was unbelievable, please seek it out and watch.
– Shane Thorne interrupts a Johnny Gargano retrospective, it’s mildly amusing.
– Next up we see former NXT UK women’s champion Rhea Ripley confront Shayna Baszler. It’s going to be a battle of the baddies if these two go to war. She says very little but reminds Shayna that, “you haven’t beaten me bitch.” I think that got the message across.
– Undisputed Era dethrone Street Profits for the NXT Tag Titles. The match, much like the TakeOver match is a lot of fun and shows that the Street Profits are more than mouth pieces but unfortunately can’t get the job done and lost their titles to a High and Low. Undisputed Era hold the belts for the third time with O’Reilly holding the belt every time. What a match to end an amazing episode of NXT.
So there you have it, the latest week of WWE summarised into a nice little list of events. As you can see bar the awful tag team scene, the main roster programming has genuinely been fun to watch. They seem to be trying to up the quality heading into the Wednesday Night War. NXT was amazingly good, boasting two incredibly strong matches, more Io heel antics and some interesting story points on Gargano and Pete Dunne. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum going next week. We’ll soon see.