This Week In Wrestling

ThisWeekInWrestling

Clash of Champions

Winners: Drew Gulak, AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Bayley, The Revival, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sasha Banks, Kofi Kingston, and Seth Rollins.

Drew Gulak managed to retain the Cruiserweight Championship in the kick-off show, fending off Humberto Carrillo and Lince Dorado and what amounted to an exciting, fast-paced, high-flying match. After throwing everything at each other, the end came when Lince crashed and burned on a Shooting Star Press attempt and got nailed with the Aztec Press only for Gulak to toss Carrillo out of the ring and steal the win.

In a late addition to the card, AJ Styles put the United States Championship on the line against Cedric Alexander; honestly, I would have expected to see the Intercontinental Championship here instead but, nope, former WWE Champion AJ Styles got lumbered with the kick-off show which, I guess, makes the preshow more exciting but isn’t a massively great look. Anyway, this wasn’t Cedric’s night as, despite starting off like a house of fire, as soon as he got hit with a Styles Clash on the outside, this was all AJ. Styles even pulled Cedric out of a pin fall to continue the attack, landing the Phenomenal Forearm and another Styles Clash to emphatically defeat Cedric. The O.C. arrived to continue the assault after the match, pretty much destroying Cedric’s momentum in one fell swoop.

Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman put the Raw Tag Team Championship on the line against Absolutely Glorious, the stupid name for Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode’s stupid non-team. Despite appearing to be on the same page at the beginning of the match, Ziggler and Roode arranged for another miscommunication to occur between the champions, which allowed the heels to take advantage and get the win with the Glorious DDT. Here’s hoping that the Viking Raiders get the next shot so the tag belts an stop being sued as props for thrown together teams.

Charlotte Flair challenged for the SmackDown! Live Women’s Championship afterwards; surprisingly, there was no appearance by Ric Flair here and, even more surprisingly, Bayley got the decisive win in less than five minutes, getting the pin after smashing Flair off the exposed turnbuckle bolt and running for the hills immediately afterwards.

More tag team action followed as the New Day put the SmackDown! Live Tag Team Championships up for grabs against the Revival; Xavier Woods was sporting a massive knee brace to sell the recent assaults he’s had to endure and, as a result, spent a lot of the match on the outside and ended up having his knee destroyed after hot-tagging in to Big E and being forced to tap out, allowing the Revival to be the first tag team to win the NXT, Raw, and SmackDown! Live Tag Team Championships. I’m sure they’ll be on the preshow or jobbing to a John Cena/Roman Reigns super team in a few weeks.

One last tag team match followed as Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross successfully defended the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships by defeating Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, despite the match being interrupted by R-Truth’s 24/7 Championship shenanigans (because nothing demeans the Women’s Tag Team Championships more than a bunch of losers running around like idiots for a crappy belt…)

The Miz challenged for the Intercontinental Championship by taking on Shinsuke Nakamura; Sami Zayn was talking trash at the start of the match (until his microphone gave out…and Miz chucked it out into the crowd…) and distracted Miz enough for Nakamura to take advantage with a Kinshasa to the back of Miz’s head for a two count. Zayn’s interference stopped Miz getting a pin fall off the Skull-Crushing Finale and allowed Nakamura to hit a normal Kinshasa to retain after Miz chased Sami away.

Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks next; this was a pretty intense contest, with Sasha growing so frustrated at her inability to put Becky away that she ended up grabbing a steel chair. In the fight over the chair, the referee got clobbered and taken out, allowing the two to battle all over the arena. The match was thrown out but Becky ended up locking Sasha into the Dis-Arm-Her using the chair, most likely to set-up a Hell in a Cell match between the two at Hell in a Cell.

Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston were up next, with the WWE Championship on the line; despite the personal intensity and animosity between these two, things took a while to get going but soon picked up, with Kofi getting an SOS out of nowhere for a two count, Orton hitting an RKO out of nowhere only for Kofi to get a foot on the ropes, and Orton even going for the Punt Kick in a nice surprise. Kofi moved of the way, though, and hit the Trouble In Paradise to get the win. Hopefully, this brings their issues to an end and we can start building towards a fresh, new heel challenger for Kofi.

Rowan and Roman Reigns went at it in a no disqualification match after that; Reigns attacked immediately and they brawled to the floor to use the barricades and steel steps to wonderful effect. Rowan hit a lovely-looking Powerbomb through an announce table, then the Claw Slam through another table, before Reigns started to mount a comeback with a Superman Punch while they were fighting on the ramp. Reigns charged in, most likely for a Spear, but ate a Big Boot from Luke Harper, who joined Rowan in destroying Reigns and allowed Rowan to get the pin fall off another Claw Slam. I’m not a big fan of Harper’s (I don’t really see what everyone else thinks is so great about him) but, on the plus side, this hopefully stalls another surely-pointless solo push for Rowan and will add another team to SmackDown! Live. It’d be even better if Rowan and Harper both joined forces with the true mastermind behind it all, Daniel Bryan.

The night came to an end with the Universal Championship match between former tag champions Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman; Strowman attacked early and tried fort he Running Powerslam but ate three consecutive Superkicks before countering the Stomp, kicking out of the Frog Splash, and manhandling Rollins some more. Strowman ended up crashing through an announce table but, after pushing Rollins off the top rope, busted out a Diving Splash….for a two count, because he buggered his knee on the landing. Rollins then hit the Stomp but Strowman kicked out at one~!, and a second Stomp only got a two count, and a third got a two-and-fifteen-eights count (which made Strowman look absolutely monstrous as even Brock Lesnar couldn’t do that). Rollins countered the Running Powerslam, busted out the Pedigree, and hit a fourth Stomp to finally get the win. His victory was short-lived, however, as the Fiend, Bray Wyatt, attacked on the ramp, hitting Rollins with Sister Abigail and locking in the Mandible Claw to close out the event.

Raw

Seth Rollins started the show this week to recap what happened at Clash of Champions; Bray Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron to talk in riddles, which left looking confused (and like a doofus) in the middle of the ring.

This excitement was followed by an equally exciting segment when Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode popped out to talk about how great they are. The Revival were also there and all four men got absolutely wrecked by Braun Strowman, because don’t forget that that guy only needs the minuscule assistance from a small child to be a Tag Team Champion.

Anyway, we actually got a match and, wouldn’t you know it, it was a six-man tag team match between the Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander and the entire O.C. After taking a bit of a beating in the early going, it was Erick who, strangely, took the majority of the beat down for the match. Once Cedric tagged back in, the match quickly ended after AJ Styles hit Cedric with a Phenomenal Forearm; while Ivar took out the O.C. after the match, Cedric was left staring up at the lights after taking a Styles Clash. Wow, that push got derailed pretty quickly…

So, I thought that the finals of the King of the Ring were taking place at Clash of Champions but, obviously, they didn’t; instead, the match between Chad Gable and Baron Corbin took place here. The result, however, was the same as, despite a plucky performance by gable, Corbin hit the End of Days to get the win and was given the crown, sceptre, cloak, and the throne and, honestly, I almost fully expect Corbin to adopt the “King” gimmick from now on.

After Maria Kanellis claimed the Ricochet was the real father to her unborn son, Mike Kanellis decided to get a measure of revenge by…losing to Ricochet in no time at all. After the match, Maria claimed that it was actually Rusev who is the father and, speak of the devil, Rusev appeared, all trim and cut, and crushed Mike with the Accolade because…I actually don’t know what this crap with Mike and Maria is.

Cesaro and Rey Mysterio went at it next, which was precipitated by Cesaro talking shit about Rey’s son; while Cesaro didn’t win here (which is bullshit to be honest), I take it as a good sign that Cesaro was actually given time to talk for a change. After that bullshit, Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a non-title match to play right into my fantasy booking; as if to illustrate this further, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair attacked Sasha and Bayley afterwards and Sasha and Becky’s rematch at Hell in a Cell was officially announced to be a Hell in a Cell match.

Dana Brooke and Lacey Evans were up next; Lacey won after trapping Dana in a Sharpshooter to send a message to Natalya (are they feuding? I didn’t even realise…) before the night ended with a match between Robert Roode and Seth Rollins. Dolph Ziggler was at ringside to help Roode gain a measure of control however, once Rollins started running through his trademark offense, Ziggler decided to attack for a disqualification finish. The O.C. joined in the post-match beat down and Kane, of all people, arrived to make the save (as a side note, Mayor Kane had a cup of coffee with the 24/7 Championship (his “I still got it!” line was gold!) but R-Truth managed to win it back shortly afterwards). Before anyone could even begin to figure out why Kane would do such a thing considering what happened the last time Kane and Rollins were in the ring together, the Fiend, Bray Wyatt, arrived and stuck the Mandible Claw on Kane to close the show.

 SmackDownLive

There was no time to waste this week on the Blue Brand as we got right into it with…six-man tag team action. The Revival teamed up with Randy Orton to take on the New Day; the heels targeting Xavier Woods, who was still sporting a dodgy knee, but the New Day regained the momentum once Kofi Kingston got the hot tag. In the end, Kingston hit the Trouble In Paradise on, and pinned, Scott Dawson for the win but, after the match, hell must have frozen over because Brock Lesnar showed up and immediately got himself a shot at the WWE Championship, hitting Kofi with an F5 for emphasis. Well, it was a nice reign while it lasted…

In an interview with Michael Cole, Rick Rowan (yeah, he got his first name back, apparently) chatted about how smart he is. Back in the ring, Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn attacked Ali to restart that feud and, finally, Shane McMahon showed up to try and clear the air with Kevin Owens (who was obviously back on the show, having sued Shane for wrongful dismissal…) This was all in service of setting up another match between the two at Hell in a Cell because…I dunno, life is unfair?

Anyway, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair went at it after all that crap; Bayley was at ringside and attacked Charlotte right as she looked to be closing in on a win with the Figure Eight. After the match, Carmella, of all people, showed up to help Charlotte fend off the heels…because they’re suddenly friends now?

After Baron Corbin’s coronation was disrupted by Chad Gable, Heavy Machinery destroyed the B-Team, before Daniel Bryan closes out the show to try and mend the rift between him and Rowan. Rowan shot him down, however, and then he and Luke Harper (…he also got his first name back…) attacked Bryan; Roman Reigns (of all people) tried to make the save but they both ended up getting destroyed in a beating that finally made Harper and Rowan look halfway decent.

 

 

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