With the Australian Super Show Down lurking, WWE spent the majority of it’s air time this week building towards their trip down under. We got more hype matches and build up towards the card and some of the best heat gathering ever seen. All three shows delivered so let’s get into breaking down the top talking points of RAW, Smackdown and NXT.
The Price of Loyalty – Shield still at War
Braun Strowman defeats Dean Ambrose via DQ
Roman Reigns defeats Dolph Ziggler via Spear
Drew McIntyre defeats Seth Rollins via Claymore
Another week of war transpired on Monday Night RAW this week. Opening with an interview about Dean Ambrose’s loyalty to the Shield and only finishing these segments with the Shield battered down once again by the Dogs of War. The show had three matches between the two factions. The first made by Baron Corbin, was Dean Ambrose vs Braun Strowman and it was a semi squash match. Ambrose did get offense in but this was mainly Strowman treating Ambrose like a rag doll. Eventually Strowman would hit a Powerslam and was set to punish Ambrose further, only to be interrupted by the Big Dog, Roman Reigns.
More fighting ensues only to once again be stopped by the General Manager Corbin. He makes two new matches, Roman vs Ziggler, that happens next and Seth vs Drew that happened later in the show.
Roman Reigns had a normal match against Dolph Ziggler. He didn’t have too many invincible spots, nor did he undersell Ziggler’s offense. We knew he wasn’t going to lose but he certainly made Ziggler look strong. There were Superman Punches and Zig Zags and attempted Superkicks but the finish saw Dolph reverse one Spear attempt into a roll up only for Roman to kick out and hit a surprise Spear for the three count. This was the only match where there were no shenanigans after the bell rang. It was a simple, clean match and you couldn’t ask for much more really.
The final match out of the trio was Seth and Drew putting on another war. As to be expected of these two it was physical and fun to watch. Drew won after some interference from Dolph, there was no physical contact, Dolph just ran in and distracted Seth long enough to eat a Claymore. After that we got more battling between the two factions and the Dogs of War stand tall. They pose for the crowd who are begging Braun to hit another Powerslam which he refuses to do because he has to be heel. The crowd was hot for this storyline and now we’ll probably see the Shield win at Super Show Down because Dean won’t join the Dogs of War. They can pretend to tease it all they want but most people can see Dean won’t turn on his brothers.
Well not yet anyway.
Ronda Rousey defeats Ruby Riott via Arm Bar
Another Super Show Down hype match. This time we had Ronda Rousey taking on the leader of the Riott Squad. Ruby took it to the women’s champ and definitely made Rousey work for her victory. It was good to see that Liv was back at ringside and seemed fine after the unfortunate business last week. Riott was bringing out some new heel tactics including “fish hooking” the mouth of the champion. She would keep control for a lot of the match too as any comeback would be squashed. It wasn’t until a Riott Kick was caught that Rousey really took control of the match. She would launch Riott with a suplex, hit several strikes and a gutwrench slam. She would take care of any distractions, hit a Samoan Drop and lock in the Arm Bar for the win. This match did it’s job. We got more action ahead of Super Show Down and we’ll see what happens when the two trios collide down under. It should also be noted that the Bellas were at ringside but they didn’t really get involved in the match.
Stuck in the Middle with You
Konnor defeats Bobby Roode via Gutwrench Face buster
Never has a feud been more deserving of a Steeler’s Wheel reference. Bobby Roode has found himself stuck in the middle of a go nowhere feud between Chad Gable and the Ascension. The former NXT and US Champion had to eat a loss to the brute of the Ascension after Gable got himself taken out Viktor. Roode may have dominated the match but let’s face it, he just lost to one member of an undercard tag team. What is going on with this? Bobby Roode is due something big given his status. There has to be something worthwhile out of this right or else why would Roode be subjecting himself to this. He seems completely out of it at the moment. He’s sleepwalking through this tag team with Gable and now eating losses to the Ascension. It’s not looking good here is it?
AOP Aren’t Joking
B Team defeat The Revival via Roll Up
After weeks of solid tag team action, RAW shot itself in the foot by giving us another joke victory for the B Team against the Team that nearly beat Dolph and Drew. Thank you for your service Revival, prepare to be beaten by the comedy team again. B Team got the win by reversing a rocket launcher into a roll up. The B Team take their victory and celebrate on the ramp.
They don’t get the chance to celebrate for too long though as the Authors of Pain ambush them and beat the hell out of them. I may be biased because of my dislike for the B Team but I really enjoyed this. We needed this for the AOP. They throw the B Team boys back to the ring and hit a Super Collider, leaving the former Tag Champs broken in the ring.
Kevin Owens defeats Bobby Lashley via Roll Up
Seattle is really passionate about basketball it would seem. We learnt this on RAW as they booed the building down when Elias dared joke about Seattle not having a basketball team. This was coming off some outrage for Elias isn’t getting the right nuts. The crowd must have booed for about ten minutes before any more promo work could be done. At one point the lights were raised just to show off the nuclear crowd. Elias and Owens were almost in fits but tried to carry on the promo. Elias would rip into the light guy and decided to take another jab before carrying on with the promo they were meant to do.
After that we had a match between KO and Lashley that was a lot of fun to watch. The finish saw Lio Rush targeted by Elias and put in a Full Nelson. Lashley is distracted and KO gets the roll up. More fighting happens and Rush tries to get involved and is thrown away by Elias. Lashley is also laid out and the segment ends. This was another Show Down hype match with Lashley’s tag team partner there in spirit as remember you can’t see John Cena.
The Brothers of Destruction Stand Tall
Normally, I’d leave these Brothers of Destruction/DX segments out of WWEekly as they are mainly just enjoyable and nostalgic promos but this week was something special. Shawn Michaels returned to RAW, to once again address the Super Show Down match. Shawn delivered an amazing promo that soon turned into a brawl as both Kane and the Undertaker appeared to attack Michaels. HHH tried to make the save but the Brothers of Destruction overpowered him and ended up hitting stereo Chokeslams on DX. HHH then ate a Tombstone to end the show. This was played up for two reasons. Reason one, nostalgia, because nostalgia sells PPVs and Reason two, because they need to build hype for this rumoured DX vs Brothers of Destruction match at Crown Jewel.
AJ Saves Joe
WWE and the law don’t really go together all that well. Samoa Joe was revealed to have been charged with trespassing after his little excursion to the Styles family home last week. Paige started Smackdown off addressing last week’s incident and was prepared to fire Samoa Joe there and then. However AJ Styles saved Joe’s job by begging Paige to keep their match at Super Show Down so that he could beat the life out of Joe. He would then deliver a rather hammy video promo to the crowd apologising for not being in attendance at the show. He would talk about his families fears after Joe’s attempted intrusion and once again confirmed what he is was going to do to Joe in Australia.
Fabulous Truth: A Fabulous Unit
The Fabulous Truth defeat Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega via Code of Silence
Despite losing his talk show at the hands of the Miz last week, spirits were high for the Fabulous Truth as Truth had a chance at redemption. They had a match against Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega this week and were out for blood. Though there was no real context for the match it was fun to watch. Vega ate the loss as she was tapped out by Carmella. It was an enjoyable tag bout and it keeps the Fabulous Truth looking like a strong unit. Despite the jarring shift, Carmella makes an entertaining face and her pairing with Truth is potentially comedic gold.
The Perfect Nine
What is it with Randy Orton and trying to find the most disturbing ways to hurt his opponents? After his match with Tye Dillinger falls through due to Dillinger attacks before the bell, the Viper set out to maim the Perfect 10. Since Dillinger doesn’t have stretched ears, Orton would have to look for a new way to gross out audiences. This time he would try to break Dillinger’s finger by trapping it in the turnbuckle attachment and twisting it. He would wrench the trapped digit in multiple directions before eventually letting go. It should be noted that Dillinger got some offense in against Orton but was cut down by a Draping DDT from the Apron. Also thank you to the random fans that kept shouting “perfect nine” during this segment for the name.
One Night in Milwaukee and the World’s your Oyster
So, this was just as expected. Aiden English presented an edited video that made it seem like Lana had amorous affections towards the Drama King of WWE. There was a very obvious cut that showed the video had been doctored but it still seemed to have an effect on Rusev. English once again played his heelish role perfectly, milking the crowds wanting for the video to maximum effect and taunting the crowd with the promise of more… if he gets his deal with TMZ. This may be a fairly standard direction for the feud to go through but I feel that those involved can make it highly enjoyable. Rusev sold his shock incredibly well and Lana looked mortified at this video. The video itself was mainly of Aiden English warming up with some vocal barbs towards Milwaukee before being interrupted by Lana who wants to talk about something. She mutters the words, “I want you.” Before a very obvious cut that showed there was obviously more to the sentence. Hopefully this feud doesn’t drag too much as it could easily become boring or stereotypical very easily.
Mr. Bootysworth Gets Battered
There have been very mixed reactions to this segment online. Instead of having another hype match, the New Day decided to build to Super Show Down by showing off how to make their signature pancakes. They brought out Mr Bootysworth to educate the audience on the pancake recipe only for the Bar to cut them off. They ended up taking out the New Day, blinding Kofi with flour and hitting him with a double team move. They then bullied Mr Bootysworth by filling his hat with pancake batter and then covering him in the rest of the batter from a giant bowl. This may have been dumb comedy but it did make the Bar look like sneering, bullying heels so it was at least partly successful.
The New Super Show Down Poster
Becky Lynch can do no wrong at the moment. Every segment she is in pure gold at the moment. This week she was revealing her new poster for Super Show Down since she doesn’t feature on the current poster. This poster was of her standing over Charlotte after the attack last week. This angered Charlotte enough to bring her out on the attack. She accidentally hit a fan with a mic which was a tragically funny moment then rushed to the ring to beat the hell out of Becky. This is the first time a brawl has gone in Charlotte’s favour as she got to stand tall for this segment. She even hit a variation of the figure eight using the ring apron for leverage. However it seems no matter what Charlotte does, the crowd cannot get behind her.
A Gold Standard Match
Shelton Benjamin defeats Daniel Bryan via Pay Dirt
Shelton Benjamin was given this match as he felt he was underappreciated by Smackdown Live. He had the main event match against Smackdown’s favourite, Daniel Bryan. The even more shocking thing, he won and not via a roll up or cheap shot. He won with his finisher and left the ring for Miz to have his pound of flesh. Miz was going to take full advantage of the damage to his Show Down opponent and dished out some punishment of his own in the form of a Skull Crushing Finale. Again, it was mainly a hype piece for the Super Show Down but it gave us an excellent match between an underappreciated veteran and one of the best with Miz jabbing at Bryan on commentary.
Fighting with a Lady
Lacey Evans defeats Candice LeRae via Woman’s Right
NXT started off with some in ring action between Lacey Evans and Candice LeRae. This match was teased last week after Evans made a pass at Gargano and commented on LeRae’s shortcomings as a wife. LeRae came out on fire and mounted some solid offense but was stopped in her tracks by Evans. The Lady of NXT would then grind down LeRae and would work over the smaller competitor. Candice would mount a comeback and eventually hit the Wild Ride on Evans but only achieved a two count. Evans would make another comment and Candice got angry mounting two flurries of offense against a stunned Evans. A surprise Woman’s Right ends the match and Evans picks up another high-profile scalp. Candice can eat losses at the moment as she is the type of wrestler who will always have the crowd behind her. They could potentially be building Evans up as a threat as we will need another heel challenger after Baszler moves up.
Forgotten Sons Destroy Forgettable Jobbers
Forgotten Sons defeat Cesar Rise, Torry Kirsh and Vinny Mixon via Slingshot Powerbomb
Jaxson Ryker is terrifying. The man is going to be the breakout of Forgotten Sons. He is the powerhouse, the threatening one and if this match is any indicator, the finisher of the team. These guys really do work well as a unit. They may have been a team on the house circuit for a long time now but they are still new to NXT TV. They seemed to have no problems destroying these three jobbers as they dominated the match. They were continuously in control, the jobbers getting no offense in what so ever. This wasn’t flashy but it didn’t need to be as it just further establishes the threat of the Forgotten Sons.
Premier Talents Go To War
Johnny Gargano defeats Tony Nese via Gargano Escape
Can 205 Live stars invade more often if this is the match quality it produces? Tony Nese is a very talented athlete trapped on a show that although it’s figures are rising, isn’t seen by a lot of people. The competitors of 205 Live should be allowed to spread their wings more often and show off. Anyway this was a fun match between Johnny Wrestling and the Premier Athlete. They worked well together and Gargano took some nasty turnbuckle spots. One was Buckle Bomb to the bottom buckle and a German Suplex into the turnbuckle. Gargano wasn’t as conflicted during this fight and was able to stay calm during the match. He would kick out of a 450 Splash, suffer some more offense then lock in the Gargano Escape for the win. This was a feel good win for Gargano that was not at the expense of a popular NXT guy. I hope this gives 205 Live more of a spotlight too as Tony Nese put on one hell of a match.
Wall Street Fight
Lars Sullivan defeats EC3 via Diving Headbutt
Once again I am stealing from Mauro Ranallo for a segment title. EC3 was out for blood and didn’t even wait for his entrance to finish before attacking Lars Sullivan. He would beat the big man down, knock him out of the ring and smash him multiple times into the steps. He would continue to dominate until eventually being overpowered by the Leviathan Lars Sullivan. EC3 gave it his all and both men were left bleeding but unfortunately Sullivan put EC3 down with a Freak Accident to the apron and a Diving Headbutt for the three count. This was a fun, brutal match that was all fight and no flash. EC3 may have lost but he was strong in defeat and rocked Lars way more than many probably though he would.
Well that was the go home week for Super Show Down. Although most of both shows revolved around hype building we still got to see some fun spots and brilliant matches. It may seem like the Shield are dominating RAW but at least they’re providing a thriving main event scene and we get to experience some amount of faction warfare. This was the first week where Smackdown felt wrestling light but it was still an exceptional show that utilises it’s roster well. NXT was overcome by the shadow of the massive triple threat that happens next week for the North American Championship. That is all for now though. Hopefully Super Show Down doesn’t suck after all the hype that has been built up for it and we get some exciting news to talk about next week.
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