This Week In Wrestling

ThisWeekInWrestling

 Raw

Elias opens the show to brag about his attack on Seth Rollins from last week which, obviously, brings out Rollins to get all in his face about the attack from last week (…it happened last week). Anywho, Jinder Mahal gets involved and they beat Rollins up a bit before Roman Reigns makes the save to seamlessly, organically, and incredibly predictably lead into another tag team match between these four guys. Like, I get it and it does make sense: you can further two angles at once and all that but, honestly, it just feels like another desperate attempt to transfer Seth’s cheers onto Roman. Anyway, Elias, surprisingly, hit a DDT onto Rollins onto a chair in the ring (somehow I guess that doesn’t count as a chair shot to the head?) while the referee was distracted, then planted him with the Drift Away and got the win. This was good news for Elias, who I’ve made no secret about that I find exceedingly bland in the ring, and hopefully it lights a bit of a spark under him for his title shot against Rollins at Money in the Bank.

Next up, Curt Hawkins desperately tries to end his losing streak (what a class-A gimmick, I might add) against some jobber but Baron Corbin randomly interfered and cost him the win by disqualification, and then beat him up afterwards. Backstage, Corbin explains to Kurt Angle that Stephanie McMahon has made him her “constable” to enforce her will; quite how that translates into going after a loser like Hawkins I am not sure.

While Ronda Rousey struggles her way through commentary, Nia Jax had a bit of a friendly exhibition with Natalya that saw Nattie “tweak her knee” (what a retarded phrase that is) and get squashed from the Samoan Drop. Afterwards, Nia and Ronda got a bit heated in their concern for Natalya’s health, which was weird because I though Nia was a heel now after last week?

Following the “every man for himself” attack from last week, Bobby Roode takes on Braun Strowman. This ended about as you’d expect, with Roode staring up at the lights, and was filled with contrived ladder uses to remind us all that Money in the Bank is just around the corner.

Because the WWE refuses to push the Revival and has no interest in their tag team divisions, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt announce a good, old-fashioned, lazy battle royale between the rest of Raw’s tag teams to decide a number one contender. Despite featuring the hot new pairing of Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, the Revival, and the Ascension (who could all do with a push towards the belts), this was won by Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas when Heath Slater accidentally knocked Rhyno over the top rope. The B-Team celebrate like they’re Lex Luger and I am left shaking my head at the decision to push them, after all this time of treating them as nothing, over actual tag teams and the attempt to sow dissension between Slater and Rhyno.

Sami Zayn finally pushes Bobby Lashley’s buttons by questioning his military service, though it’s not exactly set the feud on fire just yet, before a traditional six-man tag team match between Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon and Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. Things fell apart at the end so Bayley ran out, hit the Bayley-To Belly, and got the pin fall win…even though she wasn’t actually in the match. Afterwards, Kurt Angle is forced to tell the faces that the win didn’t count and the slow burn towards Sasha vs. Bayley continues…even though it already broke down ages ago and it feels like they’ve skipped over a year of feuding and storytelling.

Finn Balor gets to main event against Kevin Owens, as though it’s Ring of Honor or something, which resulted in a pretty decent match that was building some real momentum until Owens got disqualified for not heeding the referee’s directions. After the match, again to push that Money in the Bank is coming, Owens teased hitting a Frog Splash onto Balor from a ladder but hesitated so long that Balor attacked and landed the Coup de Grâce from the ladder and then symbolically climbs the ladder to retrieve a briefcase and give everyone a sneak peak at what will happen at the pay-per-view.

SmackDownLive

Carmella gets to open the Blue Brand in an attempt to “unmask” Asuka and expose her as a loser and a fraud, mainly by showcasing video footage of her losing matches. Asuka tries to interrupt but gets interrupted by Mandy Rose and Sonya Devilla…who are also interrupted by Paige, who gives Asuka the choice of who the kill in the opening match and Asuka elects to take on Rose and Deville. Despite the numbers advantage, Asuka had this one in the bag and got the win after forcing Deville to tap out, however she got jumped by Carmella afterwards.

Damn, Harper is back on television and back in the ring! In an attempt to further the feud between the Bludgeon Brothers and the Club, he took on Karl Anderson in what was a pathetically short match as Anderson rolled him up to steal the win. I guess that, next week, Luke Gallows will pin Rowan to really sell the idea that the Club has their number before they get murdered at Money in the Bank.

The Mixed-Match Challenge has, apparently, paid off as Naomi and Jimmy Uso took on Lana and Aiden English next…um…why wasn’t this Lana and Rusev again? between this and the other week, when Aiden was in Lana’s corner or whatever, I can’t help but be reminded of when the WWE tried to separate Rusev and Lana because they “didn’t look right together” or whatever. Anyway, Jimmy got the win following the Superkick, which was a bit weird as I thought Lana was getting some weird, random push and a win here could’ve really helped with that.

Backstage, which was an interesting twist, AJ Styles, Paige, and Shinsuke Nakamura sat down for one of those ill-fated contract signings. Rather than ending in a brawl and the table being tipped over, it ended with Styles getting pissed and slapping Nakamura in the face. Afterwards, Becky Lynch got a big win over Charlotte, making her tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her, I guess to sell the idea that anyone could win the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match and be believable as a potential champion.

Big Cass talks some more trash about Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara got attacked by Andrade Cien Almas (which sounds like a shit first opponent for Almas), and then the night ends with the New Day taking on Rusev, the Miz, and Samoa Joe in a match I think I predicted last week and everyone saw coming. Considering the slapped-together nature of the heel team, this was, by all accounts, a pretty decent and fun main event that saw Rusev and Joe leave Miz to the wolves.

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