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WWEekly: The Top Talking Points of RAW, SmackDown & NXT (7.1 – 7.3.19)

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What a week of wrestling. It feels like WWE is actually trying to take some steps in the right direction. There was less Shane McMahon, a match to open RAW and a heel turn/faction creation that needed to happen and even SmackDown felt more watchable than it has in weeks. It’s still being treated as a RAW spin-off more than anything but it’s at least had some improvements. NXT continued to move along nicely too. With all that being said, let’s get into it.

RAW

– RAW kicks off with a match for once and it’s an absolute banger, literally. Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman have a Falls Count Anywhere match that ends with Strowman putting Lashley and himself through the LED screen causing a ton of explosion and “hospitalising” both men. Explosive start to a show that I want more of.

– Next up is the Viking Raiders vs The New Day. The match is going well until Samoa Joe starts choking out Xavier Woods. Kofi Kingston tries to save his team mate and the match is restarted as a six-man tag. We get a fun, chaotic tag match that ends with Joe choking out Kofi for the win.

– R Truth watches Drake Maverick and his fiancé enjoy a romantic moment when Maverick promises to forget about the 24/7 Title. Later in the show, Maverick strikes when R Truth’s back is turned and attacks him with his luggage case. He wins the title and runs away to enjoy his honeymoon with his wife.

– Street Profits are making an appearance on RAW, annoying Paul Heyman and talking about wanting some of the main roster smoke. Right now, though the only smoke is where the LED board used to be.

– Lacey Evans beats Natalya via Women’s Right after some interference from Baron Corbin.

– There’s another Miz vs Elias 2 out of 3 falls match except this time Miz wins.

– Undertaker comes and cuts a promo on Drew and Shane. The light show is nice and Taker gives a good performance but the promo itself is just flat.

– Carmella interrupts Alexa Bliss’ Moment of Bliss celebrating Nikki Cross to try and give Cross a reality check on her friendship with Alexa. Instead Bliss ends up losing a match to Carmella in about 9 seconds. After that Nikki Cross has a match with Carmella and wins via The Purge.

– WWE’s newest top couple Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch take on the greatest greatest love ever known, Maria and Mike Kanellis. However, there’s trouble in paradise as Mike gets his arse handed to him and Seth makes him tag in Maria. Instead of fighting Maria berates Mike for being useless and claims that she pregnant, with a baby that obviously aint Mike’s.

– Ricochet defeats AJ Styles via Roll Up to keep the US Title but then falls victim to an AJ Styles heel turn as he reforms the Club with Gallows and Anderson. They all beat down Ricochet with the main blow coming from a second rope Styles Clash. They end by posing over Ricochet’s fallen body.

Smackdown

– Kevin Owens is the hero of SmackDown as he not only calls out Shane and Drew for being scared of the Undertaker and mocks Dolph Ziggler ferociously when he tries to interrupt. They are forced together in a match against Heavy Machinery where the winner gets a Tag Titles shot. Heavy Machinery win with the Compactor on Owens. After the match KO hits Ziggler with a Stunner to a massive face pop.

– Daniel Bryan defeats Big E via Running Knee after interference from Rowan.

– Bayley defeats Nikki Cross via Bayley to Belly after goading Cross into a match. Cross tried to host A Moment of Bliss with Bayley but the champ was more interested in giving Cross a reality check.

– Kofi Kingston flips off Samoa Joe. They have an intense promo section but no one will remember anything but the finger.

– Andrade defeats Apollo Crews via Hammerlock DDT after Zelina Vega dumps Crews into the announcer’s table. Nice match with a predictable end. More from both men please.

– Shelton Benjamin has a staring problem and is now a mute. Well this is what this little interview segment leads you to believe.

– Ember Moon defeats Mandy Rose via Eclipse. She also hits MX in this match for any NJPW fans. It’s was another good match and gave Ember a win.

NXT

– Mia Yim defeats Aliyah w/Vanessa Borne via Protect Your Neck. Aliyah tried to take advantage after Borne saved her from Yim but never really stood a chance. Yim threw Borne into the steps after the match for good measure. She finished her segment by leaving a message for Shayna Baszler who wants the NXT Women’s Title and is coming to “whoop that ass.”

– Lorcan and Burch have been picked to receive a Tag Title match which happens next week. Forgotten Sons are not happy about being left out of the title scene.

– Adam Cole visits the Gargano family pizza restaurant to collect pizzas. He leaves a signed photo of himself to mock their son and later rundowns down Gargano to a performance centre class of recruits. He doesn’t stop with Gargano though as he runs down the whole class, offering the pizzas and telling them to give up.

– KUSHIDA defeats Jeff Parker via Hoverboard Lock. Complete domination from KUSHIDA, wrapping the jobber in knots. Hoverboard Lock is being called the Sakuraba Lock.

– Cameron Grimes (Trevor Lee) defeats Isaiah “Swerve” Scott (Shane Strickland) via Rebound Double Stomp. It’s hard to see Swerve without Chaka Khan but hey, he still wrestles amazingly. As does Grimes. Both men put on a mix of technical and brutality in their Breakout Tournament match. This match was amazing.

– Bianca Belair defeats Priscilla Zuniga via K.O.D. Word of advice, don’t disrespect Bianca Belair or this happens, another super squash beat down.

– Roderick Strong defeats Tyler Breeze via End of Heartache. Ouch, ouch and more ouch. If you value your back or midsection this match will hurt you to watch. Excellent match that saw Breeze distracted by other members of the Undisputed Era, allowing Strong to win.

In Conclusion

So, once again I’ll say, it’s been a pretty good week for WWE. It’s not been too difficult to watch, nor has it been excessively awful in terms of actually quality. There were some fun moments, shocks, oddities and excellent NXT matches. There are more title matches and PPV prep coming up next week as we hurtle towards Extreme Rules. Let’s hope they keep improving and building off this excellent start to the Heyman/Bischoff era. If rumours are correct, then WWE is moving away from the PG antics and I couldn’t be happier with that. I don’t need a re-run of the Attitude Era but I would love to see some of the edge come back to WWE TV.

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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