WWE week in review – May 11 2018

Saturday = Sarah Logan and Rowe (of NXT tag team ‘War Raiders’) have announced the date of 21st December 2018 for their upcoming wedding. Lovely stuff.
Sunday = Backlash… The less said about that show the better (see my review blog for further details… it was not a good show).
Monday= Natalya, Nia Jax, Naomi, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch have all filmed an episode for the Carpool Karaoke TV series. ūüôā
Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke (who together with Ronda Rousey & Shayna Bazsler for the MMA’s 4 Horsewomen group) have both reported for training at the WWE PC. eeeekkkkkkkk!!!!! The excitement is sooooo real! One step closer to the 4 horsewomen v 4 horsewomen 8 woman tag!!!

RAW:

  • Kurt Angle opens the show to promote the upcoming Money in the Bank ppv. Braun Strowman comes out to promote himself, Kevin Owens follows and does similar, and so Angle makes a match between the two with the winner qualifying for the MITB ladder match). A match that is started immediately, and Braun wins a decent contest. SCENES if Braun wins it!!!
  • An interview with Roman Reigns, followed by cell promos by Bayley and then Breezango talking up the upcoming MITB ladder matches. They are really pushing this ppv hard. Lots of qualfiying matches to come then. with 6 weeks or so still to go. Also the interview with Roman Reigns made it clear that he was firstly aiming to be in the MITB match and made no direct challenege for Brock Lesnar… Perhaps The Beast wont be competing at the ppv after all…
  • Another backstage segment, this time involving Goldust and then Jinder Mahal talking to Kurt Angle. Mahal was whining and complaining again, leading Angle to put him in a match with Chad Gable for later in the show (to give Mahal a chance to prove himself worthy of a MITB ladder match spot).
  • Baron Corbin and The Revival beat No Way Jose and Titus Worldwide. So much for Corbin being given a main event push then after his arrival to Raw…
  • Ember Moon beat Ruby Riott and Sasha Banks in a triple threat match to qualify for the Women’s Money in the Bank match. Decent match this, right result too. Ember I feel after her NXT run can be a big star, and they’ve given her a few good wins since she came to Raw. Maybe an outsider to win the whole thing…
  • Bobby Lashley promotional video. They really went in trying to talk up Lashley, and also went into his background and some of his personal life to. It was a real clear attempt to try and get Bobby over big time.
  • Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn backstage segment. Zayn moaned about a conspiracy against them, Owens was upset Sami slapped him at Backlash, Sami apologized and said they need to focus on tonight. Owens seemed reluctant to offer his word that he’d help Zayn win the main event tonight.
  • Jinder beat Gable. Nothing match tbh.
  • Alexa Bliss and the The Ascension with cell promos about MITB. Apparently there’s a Money in the Bank event soon……………….
  • Zack Ryder wanted to be in the MITB match, Kurt Angle was there and Jinder came over a moaned again, demanding tonight’s main event qualifier be made a 4 way with him involved. Kurt though shunned him away and said “woo, woo, woo”.
  • Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler beat Rhyno & Heath Slater. Pretty much a squash, as it should be. Drew got the pin after their ZigZag/Claymore combo-double team move, which looks pretty cool.
  • An Elias segment where he tried to sing another song was interrupted by Bobby Roode. The two then had a rematch from last week which Roode win. He also did an interview afterwards saying he hoped the win had put him in contention for a MITB shot. During the match they teased the spot from last week where Elias rammed Roode’s throat into the steel bit that holds the turnbuckle together. Roode was able to escape from it this time, but later in the match Bobby tried to They lift Elias across his shoulders, but Elias just collapsed instead which looked really off. Rood then quickly won with the Glorious ddt so it made the botch stand out even more. This was not a wrestling classic.
  • Seth Rollins came out to a huge ovation. He admitted Miz took him to the limit last night, but he was happy to ‘stomp’ on his chance to set the IC title record, and that he wanted to learn from Miz what kind of champion NOT to be. He said he knows a thing or two about MITB but his focus now was on making the Intercontinental Championship THE Championship on Raw (shots fired…. Mr Lesnar…). He then issued an open challenge which was answered by… DEAN AM… SORRY… NO… it was Mojo Rawley. Seth beat Mojo to retain in about as good a match as one could have with Mojo Rawley.
  • Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas did a promo whwere they wanted their new tag tema name to be the ‘Leading Men’ as they were no longer supporting actors to The Miz… They then were quickly beaten by the Raw Tag Team Champions ‘The Deletor of Worlds’. WONDERFUL! Now… can we get a title feud for Matt and Bray now please???
  • Natalya and Baron Corbin both did separate promos on the MITB match.
  • The main event of the show saw Roman Reigns vs Sami Zayn vs Finn Balor in a triple threat match, with the winner qualifying for the Men’s MITB ladder match. Balor and Sami eventually teamed up on Reigns, to which the crowd obviously cheered… a lot!!! All 3 men hit finishers and big moves on one another, until finally Zayn set up a Helluva Kick but Roman hit back with a Superman Punch. Reigns then prepared for the Spear but was yanked out the ring by Jinder Mahal. Amid the distraction Sami hit the Helluva kick but was immediately hit by a Sling Blade and then the woo dropkick and finally a Coupe de Grace and FINN BALOR got the win!!! Really fun match to end a fun episode of Raw. Delighted Finn will be in the MITB match, he’ll do some great spots I’m sure. And it seems Jinder vs Roman as the placeholder until Lesnar is back then… oh the joy…

In an extraordinary turn of events, immediately after Raw, an episode of ‘Table for 3’ was broadcast on the WWE Network featuring Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles discussing a number of different topics including their previous past encounters with one another. During which Shane referred to a match between Angle and Styles that had took place in TNA… and as they talked FOOTAGE FROM THE MATCH WAS SHOWN!!! TNA IMPACT FOOTAGE WAS SHOWN ON THE WWE NETWORK!!! And just as shocking was the announcement on screen after the show had ended which read: “To Watch All AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle IMPACT Wrestling Matches In Their Entirety, Download The Global Wrestling Network App… Avaliable On All Your Favorite Streaming Devices!” … WOW! I Was absolutely stunned when I watched this, and them so openly talking about TNA Impact was astounding to me. Maybe a one off? Maybe it’ll be more ongoing? Who on earth knows!?

Tuesday=

Brock Lesnar will apparently NOT be at the Money in the Bank ppv. It also means he will break the previous record (held by a certain CM Punk) to become the longest reigning world champion of modern times (surpassing the 434 day record currently held by Punk). A shame that once again the WORLD CHAMPION wont be at a huge show but such is life in WWE rn. SURELY This will only last until Summerslam at the latest??? SURELY???

DURING NEXT WEEK’S SMACKDOWN LIVE EPISODE FROM THE 02 ARENA IN LONDON, ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS AND HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATE ZELINA VEGA WILL FINALLY MAKE THEIR DEBUT APPEARANCES ON THE BLUE BRAND! YES YES YES YES!!!

Smackdown:

  • A fairly nothing promo from Paige was followed by Miz beating Jeff Hardy to qualify for MITB. Match was just there to be honest, went TWENTY MINUTES and needed to go about 10. Odd result too…
  • Sheamus and Cesaro did a backstage segment with The New Day that was full of silly stuff as usual. Kind of over these two teams at this stage, seen soooooooo much of them both past year or so and little they do now is different to a year and more ago.
  • There was another promo video for SANITY. JUST GET THEM ON THE SHOW ALREADY!!!
  • Renee Young was outside a locker room with Shinsuke Nakamura, Renee said he wasn’t cleared to compete tonight and she asked if things with him and AJ Styles were done? He responded, once again, with ‘No… speak English’. Renee said we know he can speak English (FINALLY, KAYFABE, SOMEONE HAS CALLED HIM OUT ON THIS… AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) but Nakamura claimed to have ‘forgotten’. Young demanded an answer so Shinsuke replied by saying Styles was ‘NUTS’ (this got a lot of laughs from the crowd and to watch myself I found it hilarious).
  • Carmella cut a promo, and said she wanted a party next week when Smackdown is in the UK to celebrate her win over Charlotte. I’d be surprised if this is much different to recent stuff but I’m sure Carmella can pull it off.
  • Tye Dillinger and Naomi cut separate promos about MITB. SPOILER ALERT; neither are going to win.
  • Charlotte beat Peyton Royce to qualify for the MITB Ladder match. Basic match but it was ok, seemed to me that Charlotte dragged Peyton with one or two minor things, to an ok match. And Flair needed a clean win after THAT match on Sunday.
  • Daniel Bryan was interviewed backstage (without really saying much too different to recent stuff), Shelton Benjamin and Asuka promos on MITB (apparently the Money in the Bank ppv is soon… WHO WOULD KNOW????) , Cesaro beat Xavier Woods, Renee interviewed AJ Styles, Bludgeon Brothers did a promo, Mandy Rose beat Becky Lynch after Paige had told Sonya Deville was banned from ringside (it obviously didn’t matter… so that whole thing was rendered pointless), and it was then reveled that next week on Smackdown (from the UK) New Day will face The Bar with the winning team getting 1 member qualifying for the MITB ladder match, they mentioned the Carmella celebration and Almas and Vega’s debut! I don’t know what happened here, it seemed to me as if they tried to squeeze soooooooo much stuff into this second hour or so of the show. I don’t know if maybe Miz and Jeff Hardy went too long but there was a lot going on here, without anything happening… if that makes sense…
  • The main event of the show did indeed have a thing going on… as Rusev faced Daniel Bryan in a MITB qualifier. Aiden English sang a song before the match, burying the place the show was in and their sports teams. The crowd really were inot both men as the match got underway, and after some exchanges of offense, Daniel Bryan attempted a suicide dive to Rusev on the outside but instead he was caught and thrown into the announce table. Later on Daniel Bryan made a comeback with a running clothesline, he did his dropkicks to Rusev in the corner, and he followed it later on with a Hurricanrana from the top rope. Bryan hit the Bulgarian Brute with the Yes Kicks but Rusev ducked under the final one, and went on to attempt a big slam but Bryan countered with a nearfall. Rusev then got a nearfall of his own after a kick, and went for his Accolade submission but after having his arm hurt by Bryan earlier in the match he found it difficult to apply, and as a result Bryan countered into the Yes Lock but Rusev got to the ropes, and Bryan then set up for a finish but Aiden English pulled Rusev out of the ring, Bryan attacked them both on the outside and later hit a missile dropkick back in the ring on Rusev. And then Rusev countered the running knee with a knee to the stomach, Machka kick, 123. RUSEV WINS! RUSEV QUALIFIES FOR MITB! Good good match (no surprise between two of the most over guys in the company right now). Crowd seemed absolutely astounded by the finish, and the commentators tried to suggest that Bryan had lost as a result of the punishment he had taken in recent weeks. Interesting to me was the very end of the show; after Rusev’s music stopped playing, they showed Daniel Bryan slowly sitting back up with a look of despair. The crowd chanted for him as the show went off the air. Now… to ME this will lead to either Daniel being so close to winning MITB, and then Miz costing him, OR Bryan winning the title at Summerslam and The Miz attacking him and Bryan getting cashed in on. A lot of ifs, buts and maybes here and maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, but MAYBE???? Fingers crossed.

205Live: Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik defeated Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher, Tony Nese (appearing to be a heel again) beat a jobber, it was revealed 205live and the WWE UK division will do a crossover episode next week as they did the last time WWE was in the UK (might have to actually watch the show next week then), and finally Buddy Murphy defeated Mustafa Ali in what was a great match (this one I did see).

Wednesday=

Chris Jericho revealed on his podcast with guest Daniel Bryan this week that HE was the WWE’s back up for Shane McMahon were Shane not able to make Wrestlemania. Shane suffered from a number of medical issues not long before his Wrestlemania tag team match with Daniel Bryan against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.¬†IMAGINE IF THIS HAD OF HAPPENED OMFG!!!

Charlotte Flair will soon need surgery to repair a ruptured Breast Implant. Although she is still expected to be on WWE’s tour of Europe next week.

Xavier Woods suffered a minor injury last night on Smackdown. During his match with Cesaro he took a strong uppercut which caused an injury to his tongue. Some even said he has now a small hole in it. OUCH. 

NXT:

  • Ricochet came out to open the show (featuring a FRESH red suit-like jacket and some tidy brown shoes with no socks… more on that later). He cut a promo saying he wanted to make sure everyone remembered him, no matter where he had been around the world. He said each and every time he steps into the ring he proves there is only one and only Ricochet. He went on to say that there is one and only thing on his mind… and then someone in the crowd said “SOCKS” and Ricochet quickly came back with “no. not socks” to which me and everyone who was in the audience at Full Sail too laughed a lot (this is clearly someone who has been heckled by tough indie crowds before so this will have been water of a duck’s back to him)… anyway Ricochet was of course referring to his desire to go after the NXT Championship. After this the Velveteen Dream came out, he questioned who gave him the authority to make a challenge for the NXT title, and went on to say although Ricochet makes this look good but there is one man and one experience and that is Velveteen Dream. He would continue by saying that ‘no matter how many flips or flops (crowd ooed) you do, you better make sure to land in the back of the line, behind The Dream’. Ricochet mocked the idea of Velveteen Dream deserving a title shot, and said he knows who he is but that his biggest success was getting¬†Aleister Black to say his name, but that he¬†may not remember that because Black had just knocked him out. Dream said anything Ricochet does he can do better, to which Ricochet challenged him to do it… Dream slowly took off his necklace and other jewelry and went to attack Ricochet but stopped as Ricochet clenched his fist. Dream then got down to the ground and did his spider-like, provocative pose and made his way out of the ring. Ricochet’s music played.¬†THIS. WAS. AMAZING. I absolutely cannot wait for this match!!! I was so happy at the time and spot they gave these two to perform, they just went out and bounced off one another and it was awesome. Terrific start to the show.¬†

 

  • EC3 beat Raul Mendoza in a decent match for how short it was, but it was pretty much a squash. Cathy Kelley interviewed EC3 on the entrance rampway afterwards and he said¬†he has ‘the mind of a genius and the body of a deity’ and that the only thing you’ll see from him going forward is victory after victory until NXT is re-branded as ‘NX3’.¬†Fine character work from EC3 once again. He’s a star. And in WWE he’s only just started.¬†

 

  • We were shown footage from last week that saw¬†Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch confront Pete Dunne. They both said they didn’t like Dunne and called him “a piece of garbage” but said they both had issues with the Undisputed Era and asked for Dunne to be their partner against them, to which Dunne agreed.¬†Great stuff, kind of nice to they kept it real in the sense that Burch and Lorcan both don’t like Dunne (he’s really heelish as a character don’t forget despite being positioned as a face nowadays) but they are willing to put that aside to fight their mutual foe in the Undisputed Era. Should make for some great matches between the two teams.¬†

 

  • Dakota Kai (who the crowd really popped for when she came out) came out followed by her opponent Vanessa Borne (who’s theme music is great and tbh she’s hot as HELL). This was a fine match but the crowd didn’t seem to care too much. Kai looked very sound in the ring and Borne played her part too. To win the match Dakota Kai used a form of¬†¬†flip-backstabber type move (not sure what it’s called but it looked really good) and then got the pin. Kai needed to win after Borne buried her last week, so right result here. Then afterwards as Kai was celebrating her big fear, as NXT¬†Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler came out. Dakota seemed frozen in fear (this really doesn’t make me sympathize with Kai, it just makes me think she’s stupid… but that’s just me) and as Shayna made her way into the ring she cornered Kai in a corner. As she looked to attack Dakota she turned around and locked in her Kirifuda Clutch submission on Vanessa Borne instead, as Kai ran away scared. Seems Vanessa Borne is right after all, Dakota Kai is a “scaredy cat”. I want to like Dakota I really do, but this aint making me want to side with her. Shayna was great as always, but this will only make sense to me if Kai ends up toppling Shayna (spoiler alert… she wont). Backstage just after¬†Cathy Kelley was smiling at the camera, waiting to interview Dakota, but Kai came into shot and Kelley asked her why Baszler was so good at playing mind games with her, then Baszler appeared and dared Dakota to kick her, which obviously she didn’t do, to which Shayna mocked her and walked away. THEN laughing at what had happened, lurching in the background, was NIKKI CROSS!!! (IT’S HAPPENING, IT’S HAPPENING…. SO IT IS TRUE… SHE DIDN’T FOLLOW SANITY TO SMACKDOWN BECAUSE SHE’S INDEED GOING AFTER THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE!!! PRAISE THE LORD)!¬†

 

  • War Raiders beat Heavy Machinery. I love War Raiders. I hate Heavy Machinery. End of.¬†

 

  • Street Profits were shown in a pre-filmed promo package¬†of them training on a basketball court. It was fine, but it was just fine.¬†

 

  • Then in the main event of the show we had Tomasso Ciampa taking on Kassius Ohno. Ohno of course was upset that Ciampa attacked Garbo in the way he did last week, hence this match was made. Bare in mind this was only Ciampa’s second match in a little under a year. He came out once again to no music, just the boos from the crowd, but looked a million and one dollars. Ohno came out looking really fired up. I thought this would be good, it was in fact EXCELLENT.¬†Kassius Ohno started the match with a hard-hitting beatdown on Ciampa, but came back with a huge running knee before proceeding to stomp violently on the back of Ohno’s head. Ciampa was roaring like an absolute madman (he’s a real life monster heel and he’s AWESOME) and put Ohno in a side headlock, Ohno responded with fist and elbow strikes that looked absolutely brutal, then it appeared as if Ohno elbowed Ciampa in the eye and then Ohno followed up with a knee drop to the eye after he had pulled down his knee brace so it was the bare knee that hit Ciampa. He was sporting a black eye before the match (this was filmed at the tapings a few days after Takeover hence he was still hurt from that) so this just made it look worse. He then hit Ciampa with a¬†headlock, with Ciampa’s legs were wrapped around him, and then hit him with a form of drop. Ciampa then distracted the referee whilst he returned the favour and targeted Ohno’s eyes by digging his fingers into his eye area, and finally Ohno tried to comeback but Ciampa hit him with a running knee to the back of the head, but only got a 2 count for this. Before he finally hit a form of flipping neckbreaker (which looked tremendous) to pick up the win. This match was OUTSTANDING. In any other year in the history of NXT other than 2018 (where we have had THREE of the best matches in WWE history and we are only in mid-May) this would be the NXT match of the year (or at worst a contender) for sure.¬†After the match had ended Ciampa removed his own knee brace and then wrenched Ohno’s head back (as Johnny Gargano did to him for the finish of their match at Takeover: NOLA)¬†Ciampa then screamed that he ‘broke Gargano’s body, I broke Candice’s heart’ and now the Gargano fairytale was over, before he made his way back up the rampway. This just added to the excellence on display from Ciampa (aka the very best heel in WWE right now).¬†

Thursday=

It was announced via a video that was released by 205live GM Drake Maverick, Buddy Murphy will finally challenge Cedric Alexander for the Cruserweight Championship on the¬†May 29th episode of the show.¬†Murphy is being pushed hard recently and the show is pretty much centered around him some weeks, so I’d presume the heel Murphy will take the belt at some point. If not in a couple of weeks then not long after surely.¬†

Friday =

TONI STORM (former Mae Young Classic competitor and the current Women’s champion of UK promotion Progress, whom have a working relationship with WWE) is apparently being advertised for the WWE’s upcoming UK Championship special shows at the Royal Albert Hall in June.¬†OMFG PLEASE let this be?! Toni is one of the best female wrestling performers in the world and was awesome in getting to the semi-finals of the MYC, only losing out to eventual winner Kairi Sane. And she’s 22 YEARS OLD! SHE’S THIS GOOD AT 22?! She reportedly turned down a WWE offer after the MYC to continue plying her trade on the independent wrestling scene, and she’s got plenty of time to get to the WWE, but fgs they need to get her signed up ASAP because her potential is absurdly high.¬†

 

And so ends another 7 days of WWE. Been a rocky one, we had the worst ppv in modern history on Sunday, a decent Raw on Monday, and average Smackdown and a tremendous NXT followed. And of course we had Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke sign up at the Performance Centre. Another newsworthy week as the start of the build for Money in the Bank (I don’t know if they mentioned it enough on tv this week) got underway. Here’s to next week, which will be much better by default that it wont have the worst ppv in modern history taking place… THANK FUCK (I’m STILL and NEVER will be over how fucking TERRIBLE that show was).¬†

Josh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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