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WWEekly: The Top Talking Points of RAW, SmackDown and NXT (9.23 – 9.25.19)

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It’s the last week of the current season for WWE TV. We stand on the precipice of a new era for WWE, a new dive into the unknown as both RAW and SmackDown prepare for some big changes. SmackDown had its last week on a Tuesday night, preparing to go to FOX on October 4th and RAW had its last episode before the Fall Season starts. Both shows are going to be redesigned with new commentary teams and new sets. For now, though, let’s focus on the now and see how well they did this week.

RAW

– Seth Rollins made another promo about the Fiend. He wants to be the one to stand up to Wyatt and that he’ll keep his title. Braun came out and demanded another challenge at the title. This was set and happened in the main event. It was going well but once again trouble reared its head as The Fiend made an appearance, choking out Strowman with the Mandible Claw as Seth looked on from the corner, screaming like a little child. Braun had insulted Wyatt in his opening promo so he had earned the attack. There was also an episode of the Firefly Funhouse that saw Wyatt teach Huskus and Rambling Rabbit the meaning of sharing by snapping a Seth Rollins figure in half.

– Carmella ended up winning the 24/7 Title after rolling up Truth. She had had enough of the running, hiding and chases so was trying to reason with Truth as hungry title competitors watched on. She took the title and the pair ran off into the sunset.

– Rusev squashed EC3 with the Accolade. The crowd still don’t care that Rusev is back, that is sad.

– The Viking Raiders and The OC have an incredibly fun war that may just be one of the best tag matches on RAW in a while. The teams meshed well, Styles was a tool and the Raiders got a win with Thor’s Hammer. Get both these teams in the Tag Title Scene again, stat.

– Nikki Cross takes Sasha Banks to the limit in an interesting match between the pair. Banks manages to withstand, utilise some Bayley interference and ends up winning with the Bank Statement. It should also be mentioned that Bliss took Bayley out of the match by throwing her into the Time Keeper area. She will take on Alexa Bliss next week after attacking her post-match.

– Women’s division action continues as Ember Moon takes on Lacey Evans. Decent match with some excellent spots. Ember Moon is still heavily under-utilised in the women’s division, losing her to a Sharpshooter from Evans. Clearly, they want Evans vs Natalya to happen.

– We saw another AOP segment with the suited tag team dropping another promo before attacking Heath Slater and someone else backstage to illustrate their point.

– The Fatal Five Way match to determine the number one contender for a televised title match next week happens with Rey Mysterio coming out on top. An odd choice to some considering the match also featured Ricochet and Styles but it was a nice outcome to give Seth a “dream” match for the big premiere. It was a decent enough bout but let’s face it, as far as the title scene is concerned, people just want the Fiend.

– King Corbin nearly loses to Chad Gable after a long and technical bout that sees Gable shine once again. The newly dubbed King gets himself DQ’ed by hitting Gable in the face with his scepter.

SmackDown

– After Eric Rowan spewed some bile about his might making him right. Daniel Bryan came out demanding a fight. He got his wish but Harper derailed the fight leading to Bryan eating a series of Iron Claws. Roman came out to make the save and the pair formed an uneasy alliance to best the big brutes.

– Kofi Kingston delivers an interview ahead of the FOX move and Brock Lesnar. Kofi states he will beat the Beast and keeps his title. I don’t believe him. However, it was nice to see Kofi deliver a calm, softly spoken interview and still carry the same charisma.

– Sasha Banks and Bayley manage to best the team of Charlotte and Carmella as Banks turns a roll up attempt from Carmella into the Bank Statement. Carmella taps and is carried away from ringside by Truth as a bunch of the women’s division come for the 24/7 Title. Back in ring Banks and Bayley look set to further attack Charlotte but the Queen fights back and Becky Lynch comes out to even the numbers. She is attacked by Banks backstage later on in the show as both women look set to destroy one another at Hell in a Cell.

– The King of the Cucks, Mike Kanellis lost to Chad Gable in about 5 seconds. He really can’t catch a break.

– Ali and Shinsuke Nakamura have an excellent little match that sees Ali nearly die and Zayn get his friend and client another win through distractions. I actually would like to see a proper PPV match between the pair as the chemistry is clearly there.

– The New Day squash the B Team. The less said the better.

– Fire and Desire eat a loss from the Kabuki Warriors as Asuka and Sane look set to break back in to the women’s tag division. Decent enough match but sloppy at times and not enough Sonya Deville. Hopefully we get another bout that sees Asuka and Deville get into a slugfest.

– Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon get in each other’s faces about the fines and law suits and end up deciding to settle matters in a ladder match on the FOX premiere next week. Both men will put their careers on the line and we will hopefully see the retirement of Shane McMahon. I can dream at least.

NXT

– The show opens with another round in the ever-growing kaiju battle series between Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic. This one took the striking magic of the first and second bouts and added in even more insanity. The pair were able to pull off Moonsaults, Dives to the outside and we even saw an Avalanche Canadian Destroyer. Lee was able to fight through it all to resurrect and get the win with the Big Bang Catastrophe and bring the score to 1-1 in their series. What a way to open the show.

– Next up was the return of Dakota Kai who had been out with a torn ACL. She would take Taynara Conti as her first blood and the made her the first stepping stone in re-establishing herself in NXT. Dakota took some punishment, threw some kicks and won with the GTK (Go to Kick.) The NXT audience were all in on re-joining Team Kick.

– The wars continued as Matt Riddle looked to murder Killian Dain in a street fight. The pair started slow but the descended into madness once the weaponry was brought in. Riddle was put through a wall and Dain through a table and the chairs were used liberally. Riddle won with the Fujiwara Arm Bar earning himself an NXT Title shot. The champ, Adam Cole, came to mock Riddle but ended up getting an Arm Bar of his own.

– The Network hour started with Rhea Ripley taking on the newly named Kayden Carter (FKA Lacey Lane.) This was a pretty cut and dry bout with Ripley making an example of Carter.

– Lorcan and Burch were up next, looking to pick up a win over the Canadian Ever Rise team. The pair had appeared as local talent in a recent episode and actually left a good impression so hopefully we see them more. They made another good impression tonight, managing to overwhelm the Brit Am brawlers until Burch came and murdered them.

– Cameron Grimes (and his amazing hat) appeared for two weeks in a row and was put against Raul Mendoza this time. The match lasted longer than the Maluta affair but yielded the same result. Mendoza was able to avoid the Double Stomp and ran circles around Grimes with technical lock ups and speedy aerial moves. Again, a really impressive showing from both men. Grimes may just have the ultimate out of nowhere finisher.

– We ended with six-man action as Imperium looked set to ruin KUSHIDA’s NXT dream. Aicher, Barthel and Wolfe were representing the NXT UK power faction whilst KUSHIDA was teaming with Breezango. When in doubt call the police right? Well, the Fashion Police. A large portion of this match was Tyler Breeze being used as a punching bag for Imperium as the crowd watched on in horror. KUSHIDA won the match but WALTER had the last laugh, blindsiding KUSHIDA to end the show.

So, there you have it, wasn’t it a busy week? The thing is though, it’s only going to get busy as we are finally set for a war. AEW starts next week on TNT/Fite, we get NXT’s equivalent to Night of Champions as three title matches are confirmed presently and we’ll no doubt see the North American Title get some attention too. SmackDown has its FOX premiere so I could be talking about champion Brock and celebrating Shane’s loss and lastly, RAW has it’s fall premiere so will be bringing out the big guns. I hope I’ll be seeing The Fiend choke out Rey Mysterio to add to his list of legends he’s killed off to get to Seth.

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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