Raw / Smackdown Is….

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It is nice to see the effort of bringing careers full circle on Raw. Fifteen years ago Cena was given an opportunity and began the Ruthless Aggression era. Luckily that was the story commentary was saying because I think current day John Cena wouldn’t be able to seriously keep the kayfabe alive. He would smirk if he had to say, 15 years ago your father gave me a chance and now I’m returning the favor. It seems like the roster has carte blanche to mock Jordan’s paternity. Only the announcers are keeping the illusion alive. Jordan and Cena gave a ppv caliber match, even if we knew what the outcome would be it’s a great test for Jordan and hopefully he gets a Cena stamp of approval backstage. We should always start Raw with an immediate match, because more often than not they turn out good and gets the crowd on board for the whole show.

Raw was book ended with the full circle theme with Big Show’s and Braun’s final main event. How has Braun been able to get the best Big Man writing in wrestling history? He’s starting to talk more and no matter what he says, his demeanor and anger carries the meaning. Big Show’s best contribution in his career has been his recent matches with Braun. Their cage match was an amalgamation of his career coming full circle. The top rope elbow was his original, and short lived, WCW finisher. Big Show started his WWE career by breaking down a steel cage and now he can end it crashing through a steel cage. It’s a poetic way to pass the torch to the new monster. Big Show had more face/heel turns than anyone can count and didn’t produce masterpieces in the ring, but his sporadic appearances this year have created the greatest super heavyweight vs super heavyweight showdowns of all time. It will be a fitting and proud way to exit, I hope Big Show takes it.

Heck of alot of love was shown to Miz. First from Cena and then from the commentary crew throughout his match. They are starting to count days. In 9 days he will pass Honkey Tonk Man for 3rd most days as an Intercontinental Champion. He then proceeded to have a clean win against Jeff Hardy, I won’t count Maryse giving him a wake up shake as cheating and the creative team shouldn’t either. Give Miz this win cleanly and continue to build up the Intercontinental Championship. Both men treated it with respect and fought as if there was a prize at the end. That is the sort of relevance the IC Title should command. Good work by creative on building the Championship up.
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Enzo did have his best performance in the last two months because he did make true points. He does bring controversy and curiosity which hopefully turns into dollars. Cruiserweights already had limited time on Raw so they’ve been throwing them in six man tags. Now we add in Enzo promos and the time dedicated to highlighting in ring performance is drastically cut, but if it wasn’t being paid attention to before, might as well cut it down and try the Enzo route.

It pisses me off how creative and creepy Bray Wyatt is yet has nothing new to say, just the same thing with new words. I also can’t tell if he’s flawless in his promos because they’re prerecorded? Or he’s great with speeches. I would like to see him have an in ring back and forth where he has to improvise a bit so I can get a full gauge of where he ranks. Regardless this feud continuing is obviously creative saying we have nothing else for you so just do the same stuff you did last month.
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JBL stepping down from Smackdown to fill philanthropic needs is a way to spin an exit for a guy that just stopped showing up to work when he was supposed to. If you look closely enough you’ll notice the Smackdown broadcast team’s smile stretches a quarter inch wider now.

Wishing someone’s death would be better for his children is taking a step too far in the morbid direction. But it solidifies Kevin Owens as a man to hate. A man that now deserves his comeuppance and gives Shane a rage meter to bash the X button on.
Daniel Bryan to Kevin Owens“Kevin I know you’re upset, but this is literally something that happens at WWE every week. Why would anyone believe a lawsuit angle.” I’m sure WWE has many lawyers and have a lot of courtroom experience.

Ziggler’s new gimmick is DOA. If he’s upset about current opportunities why would he be ragging on Macho Man. You could see Dolph become less and less confident with each effort. Damian Sandow did this and his mimic of Savage got over. Pageantry is a large part of wrestling and Ziggler never had it. What he did have was crazy work ethic ability in the ring, but now the roster is stacked with that. Dolph will always be a victim of weak booking. He didn’t fail the WWE the WWE failed him and no gimmick of flaunting sour grapes is going to reverse the past. He is the number one guy that would benefit from taking the Cody Rhodes path. Explanation of Ziggler’s segment…
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I don’t have much to say about the World Championship scene because it’s been providing the least interesting story of any title in the company. On the plus side, Shinsuke found a guy he has chemistry with. Those RKO counters were worthy of his artist moniker.
With Smackdown having a long while until Hell In The Cell, next week’s show is being booked like a ppv. Three championship matches, a rare appearance from Vince McMahon and I expect Rhonda Rousey to encounter Charlotte Flair. But they are just buying their time until..

Match of the Week (Tied)
Braun Strowman vs Big Show – Cage Match
Shinsuke Nakumara vs Randy Ortton
Quote of the Week (Thanks http://tdewrestling.com/ for doing gods’ work)

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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Fans will always love the killing of kayfabe because it acknowledges that we are smart people who know reality vs fantasy, but there are times where we are tricked. When a shoot promo is actually scripted to break kayfabe, are we not just living in that newly created kayfabe? People will be comparing this to CM Punk’s Pipebomb but they are wrong to do so. Punk had no script and was just given permission to air his grievances. Punk went off on the business of WWE and mentioned other wrestling promotions. He was even about to attack Be A Star, a campaign against bullying the WWE runs, but they cut his microphone. I am not taking anything away from Cena. He did a very effective promo that aired many fans ,and probably McMahons, frustrations. However the words used could’ve have been copied and pasted from many dirt sheets from the past three years. Punk’s pipe bomb was a rage against the machine that got national attention. Cena’s promo was a calculated manipulation that I’m happy to ride shotgun with.
BTW the WWE heavily edited the promo for their YouTube, but here’s an unofficial full version.

Raw had a contract signing that I expected to be the same as any of the 8625 other signings they’ve had. My ears perked up with the line “You’re the blue chip prospect that has been protected.” Cena continues to show how he is way too self aware. There’s a difference in having fun creatively with your character and just having fun as a wrestling smark. Since Cena has returned this Summer he’s become Mr. Internet. And geez it must be frustrating to work with him nowadays. Is Cena out there to strictly throw new era guys to the sharks and see who can swim? Is Vince sending him out there to test his newer talent? Is anyone giving Cena direction anymore? Cena cut him close with truth about the US Championship. Reigns took it as a demotion while flinging it behind his back, erasing the work Cena did to make it relevant. Cena did what the Rock used to do to him. He broke the fourth wall and used “inside” jargon like “turn heel” “bury” and “promo”. Reigns legitimately looked like a guy who was put into a spot he’s never expected and stumbled on his lines so Cena just went off. “I could do this better part-time than you can ever do it full-time” – John Cena. No Mercy is shaping up to be a must watch.
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Following the rule of only one of our shows can be good every week, Raw dominated. I’m always glad to see it take only 5 minutes to get a match started. Unlike the usual 20 minute segment of talking. Some acknowledgement of a Bullet Club reunion when Finn, Anderson and Gallows helped eliminate a seal faced Big Show. Battle Royals are a good way to test fan reactions. The Bullet Club reunion? YES. Jeff Hardy vs Finn? YES. Jeff Hardy in Intercontinental Championship contention? Yes. Finn and Bray continue? NO. Big Show as unmasked Darth Vader, NO.

We’ve been seeing Brock a lot more lately. It is strange to see him, mostly Heyman, selling the Braun match with promo work. Brock always chooses his words carefully.

Predicting someone’s loss based on their history of losing in certain circumstances is usually a foreshadowing for a change in that history. So Alexa should have not brought up how Sasha keeps losing the Women’s Championship in her first defenses. Well now Sasha is on a streak of breaking curses. She had a hometown win, she broke her Brooklyn curse and now retained (record scratch). Nope Sasha lost it again. But if Sasha was going to lose it, I rather it be to Bliss instead of the sure to be next champion Nia Jax. When Asuka makes her arrival it would be best that she beats out the monster of the Women’s division.

The stakes for Emma vs Mickie James were dumb. If Emma wins Mickie had to tweet whatever hashtag of Emma’s choice and if Mickie won Emma could never say she started the women’s revolution again. It did at least give meaning and circumstances to what would’ve been a time filling match. Then they gave Emma a new terrible entrance that does not fit her mannerisms. Why are we seeing a public Emma burial. When it comes to the Women’s Revolution WWE needs to set a concrete timeline. But wait I want to complain more about Emma’s new song. It’s too bubbly and more suited for Emmalina. Her previous one didn’t need to change. Stop tinkering with what’s working. The Women’s Revolution should be marked in WWE starting at the time of #givedivasachance and the rise of the 4 Horsewomen in NXT.

Smackdown has a long time before their next ppv, so we aren’t seeing urgency in stories. A tone is set whenever they announce the main event to be a tag match with your top guys. No story had been established to call for this match, but I suppose it saved us time from a predictable segment. While that’s going down we have Shane O’Mac bending the rules to his will. Wrestling logic says if you could just stricken match results from the record why would every corky match finish involving interference still stand. Have we rewritten the books now all because KO was an impromptu referee? Has someone always had the power to reverse decisions post match? Might we be seeing a double turn between Shane and Owens? If Owens would ever turn face, Shane would be the guy with enough clout to make it impactful and believable.
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I’ve never be a fan of having a match to determine a match stipulation. The winner of the bout already has proved they can win without a stipulation. With New Day and the Usos, they could’ve chosen something more creative. Maybe another rap battle, a dance off, a game of Rocket League. Anything that can help stretch out the good will all of their encounters have earned lately. Expect the match to be called an Uso Penitentiary Match because House of Horrors was already taken and WWE loves to brand stipulation matches.

Outside of WWE, Kayfabe was further killed with the backlash involving the in ring incident at Triplemania in Mexico. I’ll let Rosemary’s tweet tell the story.

Rosemary, You have gained a new fan for your class through this. Sexy Star going into business for herself is a cardinal sin on this business built on trusting people with your life. That is not a figurative statement, that is literal. You are giving your body away to someone else. When you take privileges to do actual harm, it’s not only unprofessional it’s devil like.

Match of the Week: (Tied)
Peyton Royce vs Ruby Riot – NXT
Roderick Strong vs Bobby Roode – NXT

Watch NXT. There’s smart and well paced storytelling happening there.

Best Quote: Just the whole Cena and Reigns promo
“I’m still here because you can’t do your job” – Cena to Roman
Note to self: Don’t get in Billie’s way.
Wrestling isn’t everything, but everything is wrestling.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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If you ever knew someone that wanted to get into wrestling but didn’t know how. This 4 day weekend was a shining example of the good and bad of WWE. How one show can be a beacon of light for the future and another be a sluggish walk in quicksand. I was at the Barclays,or as Miz would say Barskeys, for Takeover, Raw, and Smackdown. I can report to you the intrigueing and annoying differences in crowd atmosphere per show and segment… SMH Beach Balls… SMH
When I’m trying to focus on the show but a Beach Ball is headed my way.
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I never give NXT enough love, but they are deserving of it. It would be difficult for any wrestling purest to argue that NXT Takeover Brooklyn didn’t once again steal Summerslam weekend. For the third consecutive year, what has become NXT’s Wrestlemania, was a tight and smooth show from start to finish. All matches were good to great and the video packages are excellently crafted for anyone who doesn’t follow NXT on a weekly basis.
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The lead up to the Fatal 4-Way Summerslam main event was the best program I’ve ever seen involving that many big bruisers. The uncertainty of whether Brock was leaving to the UFC added intrigue as it was now reasonable for Brock to drop the Universal Championship. Though anyone who understood that Brock has a contract through Wrestlemania could’ve seen long term plans formulating. Braun Strowman proved it is now his turn in the spotlight and unlike Roman he doesn’t have to cut a promo stealing a legends line. Forget whose yard it is, it’s Braun’s world and in due time it will be Braun’s Univers(al) Title.
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I’ll try something different now. I’ll rank the Summerslam matches.
1. Fatal 4 Way (Shows Braun is the rising star and pushes Roman back)
2. Smackdown Tag Team Match (great chemistry)
3. Raw Tag Team Match (beach ball R.I.P)
4. Smackdown Women’s Championship (Surprisingly very good)
5. Cruiserweight Championship
6. Raw Women’s Championship (was building but just ended suddenly)
7. Finn vs Bray (not more different than a Raw match)
At this point It’s getting harder to recall matches so it means they shouldn’t appear

Two burials happened at Summerslam, Corbin was embarrassed by an unfocused Cena and lost after taking only one Attitude Adjustment. Then we saw Rusev take an unenthusiastic RKO outta nowhere instantly ending his squash match to under a minute. Rumors are swirling that Lana and Rusev are asking for their release. At least Corbin was on Smackdown and placed into the U.S. Title picture, but Rusev was a no show.

Cena back on Raw will help the John Cena Dream Matches Tour. In between his time with Transformers he can wrestle the Samoa Joes and the Roman Reigns, hopefully with a lot more respect than he showed Baron Corbin. When Cena and Roman were facing off, WWE’s expectations were dueling chants for each man. However WWE and Brooklyn are rarely insync so instead we got the singular chant of “You Both Suck”.

The Miz remains incredible and continues to ascend in the ranks of greatest Intercontinental Champion ever. On Raw he channeled his rage from his Talking Smack promo. Brooklyn knew his 12 years of service has deserved more moments. Coming off of a pre-show match performed in front of 4-10 people? Miz had many bones to pick. Then during the main event match, when the broadcast was in commercial, he chastised the ungrateful crowd for their beach ball hijacking behavior. The Miz remains the most clearly defined and consistent character on the roster. There was a time when CM Punk would be putting down Miz’s credibility and I would agree. I have absolutely done a 180 on my thoughts since those days. This brings me to the main event tag match with Cena. I respect Mr. Cena but right now him having fun is at the cost of breaking the illusion of seriousness. Cena is joking around too much and it is hurting the (illusion of) realism of wrestling. We can see him verbally telling Samoa Joe to not attack him yet because he wants to play with the crowd. John Cena is acting like the guy who has given his two weeks notice and is now just goofing off at work.

Fans were given conflicting messages about beach balls. Heel Cesaro hated them and jumped in the crowd to destroy one. Babyface Cena enjoyed it because the crowd was having fun. I was in the crowd and my point of view is, if you are playing with a beach ball you are an ass. There were no beach balls during NXT because if you are at that show you must be a respectful wrestling fan. But at Raw, there was an assembly of asses. Three beach balls roaming around three different sections, taking everyone’s eyes off of Finn Balor and Jason Jordan. Security guards having to chase down the balls, making anything else difficult to focus on. It was just disrespect all around during Raw. Smackdown was a unique mix. When beach balls made an appearance several fans followed Cesaro’s lead and ripped them apart at risk of being scorned by their section. Fan participation is so crucial to the enjoyment and the momentum of what is going on in the ring. I paid for a ticket just like the jerk hitting a beach ball. But my morals tell me that I have agreed to show up and be respectful to the performers in front of me. I said this a year ago and I will say it again, Brooklyn you don’t deserve these Summerslam weekends. Thankfully WWE has BANNED BEACH BALLS.
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By hook or crook, we saw the end of Enzo and Cass story. Before Cass’ injury the highlight of their feud was an oiled up Enzo slithering through a shark cage. It is never good to get injured, but if there is a silver lining, this will help Cass distant himself from an unconvincing heel turn. Enzo was moved to 205 Live and got a large pop from the crowd, myself included. I later came to feel that the pop was more because Enzo will be on TV less. Every competitor in the cruiserweight division can run circles around Enzo in the ring. However there are enough cartoonish characters on 205 for Enzo to play around with and be a breath of fresh air.
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Smackdown Live did what Raw was supposed to by delivering a post mania calibur show. And what do we expect from those shows, call ups! Smackdown became more GLORIOUS with the debut of Bobby Roode. It was going to be impossible for him to get anything but a babyface pop in Brooklyn so tonight he was booked like a face. Took punishment, maybe too much, from Aiden English to then perform a comeback. Roode’s storyline won’t be clear until he ties up loose ends at NXT but we can at least feel good about a traditional heel being on Smackdown.
Dolph Ziggler’s return was perplexing. His gimmick continues to be a guy who wants to get to the top, but isn’t that everybody? He apparently has discovered what it takes to get noticed and ran down the current gimmicks of the current roster. Does this mean I can expect Dolph to mimic everyone else’s gimmick in the coming weeks? I don’t think this was the way to reintroduce Dolph. A run in during a match in the future could’ve made a more instant impact. Though he did mention coming to the ring with a beautiful lady, Ziggler would benefit by having a valet.

Definitive match of the week:
Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas NXT Takeover

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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It was the mighty back to back go home show double header. The table has been set for Summerslam. One of the only four times in a year where both Smackdown and Raw have a go home show in the week. Raw had a better overall showing, while Smackdown had the most memorable moment.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Was that the ultimate reasoning over the fist bump heard around the world or are Dean and Seth on the same page. We finally got the payoff of a Shield reunion and the execution made all the wait well worth it. Seth and Dean were excellent in convey doubts of not only trusting each other but trusting themselves as well. When they got into a tussle it was built by anger over how these two can not just quit each other.
Heels are booked to get humiliated and on Smackdown we all had a laugh at the bully. Baron Corbin’s Money in the Bank cash in fail was great in the moment but serves as another example of WWE giving too much away before a big event. We are now going into to Summerslam without the possibility of a cash in and a weaker looking opponent for John Cena. This only adds more anger to Corbin to want to destroy Cena, more he already had plenty of that. Corbin’s main motivation has never included much story besides wanting to beat a guy up, but at least now he has the revenge factor in play. I guess that’s an improvement. The career of the Lone Wolf might just lay in the hands of John Cena. Remember Damien Sandow cashed his briefcase in and lost, yikes, nevermind he’s a bad example. But Cena did give him his best match ever, so maybe Corbin will steal the show.

Remember when Sasha Banks was jobbing to Nia Jax in squash matches a few months ago. It’s a distant memory to what happened Monday when Sasha executed her best Bank Statement ever by reversing a Samoan Drop into a DDT into the Crossface. It was a very impressive move by both of them. Going into Summerslam this is one of the hardest matches to predict. I believe it isn’t Sasha’s time. And the only is because of her link with Bayley. It would be conceivable for Nia Jax to interfere in this match and Alexa to perceive it as a sign of friendship, but Nia really only does it because Alexa is easier to defeat than Sasha for the Women’s Championship. This triangle can spin the wheels until Bayley returns and then the seeds of Sasah vs Bayley can be planted because that’s where the money is.

Big Cass is his best heel self when he is shooting and keeping it 100% real. Now that may bury his friend Enzo and an irrelevant Big Show, but we rarely see tag teams have two members survive. Some one has to be a Marty Jannety, some one has to be a Jim Neidhart. The only way this angle will be saved is to have Enzo urn on Big Show to accept the manager role he is destined for.

We have almost been conditioned to not pay attention to cruiserweight bouts on Raw. So it was a problem when the title changed hands out of nowhere. Neville has been a great champion, his loss should’ve been on a bigger platform. In other divisions a title change on Raw would be exciting. In the Cruiserweight division it’s like you went to a concert and you were in the bathroom while they played the song you came for. But like Corbin’s cash in, Tozawa’s win makes their Summerslam match more unpredictable.

Before I say a few quick hits and do predictions. This gif is something all wrestling fans are hoping to see… Get well Nature Boy!!!
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It was smart to let Jason Jordan get the rub from Hardys to boost him.
I can’t tell if Big Cass and Jason Jordan got new entrance music or did they just make the audio louder.
All those developmental guys posing as security had too goofy of a haircut to ever make it as a security guard.

SUMMERSLAM Predictions
Brock Lesnar (C) Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman – Brock will win, they will tear the house down. There are too many leaks, and business deals behind the curtain all attached to Brock remaining on top. WINNER Brock

Jinder Mahal (C) vs Shinsuke Nakamura – The card is going to need a feel good moment and the current world climate doesn’t have the room for the boring xenophobia villain. I am worried for the Championship in the long run, but it will get a shining moment this Sunday. WINNER Shinsuke

AJ Styles (C) vs Kevin Owens – Kevin Owens has been in some form of a title picture for a long time now. It’s time to move him into a different but still high profile feud. Expect Shane to cost him a win. WINNER AJ

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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I think by rule we are not allowed to have both Raw and Smackdown be good in the same week. They have to take turns. Raw moved their stories forward and is forced to make adjustments due to injuries. Raw and Smackdown were both in Toronto or as Graves and JBL would say, because they probably had Vince in their ear, Bizzaro World.

The feud of the year is Braun and Roman’s to lose. This has made Braun a star while not burying Roman. Constant exhibitions of power have been shown by both men. And we can continue to question which of these two are going to be “The Guy”? Usually we have this question while a heelish authority are pulling strings. Instead we have one experiment being the benefactor of a previous experiment. Even if Roman is “The Guy”, at least this long feud has given us the illusion of WWE souring on him and choosing Braun. Regardless if we keep getting more chair throws and runway spears, I’ll stay invested.
The will they won’t they between Seth and Dean is classic sitcom fodder. The Ross and Rachel of current times. Next we can expect for them to realize they are each other’s lobsters. This week they had the Toronto crowd in the palms of their clenched fists. An extension of five knuckles teetered the hopes of a city. A friendship reborn or a cut dug deeper. Two years of unspoken tension finally has its spotlight in the simmering summer sun.
Bayley is too normal and too nice and she shouldn’t acknowledge boos just because the crowd isn’t buying into her goody tooshoesness. Corey Graves says Toronto is Bizzaro world but I think they’re just astute at seeing through the veils. It’s Canada, where screw jobs happen and wrestling reality began. I think WWE thought Bayley could have an “I Lost My Smile” moment, but it became another Bayley segment where her sweetness backfired.

Bayley became the girl that cries wolf. If you are always the oh chucks me, feel bad for me promo. When it comes time for a In Real Life reason to feel bad for you. You have already spent all your good will. She has to find an edge to her character. She can still remain a kids favorite with that edge. WWE needs to understand that kids can still eat up all her merch and happiness when that is part of her presentation, but with Bayley presentation and character need to be separated. When she finds that edge it has to turn her into an in ring bad ass with actual confidence. She does not have to be turned heel but need be more steadier and stern than her inflatable dancing tubes.
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Jason Jordan’s entrance music is more bland than any jobber they’ll throw at him. This week we were lead to believe that random wrestlers are just allowed to be backstage at Raw. And despite having a roster with the 100 in a row losing Curt Hawkins, all you have to do to get a match is be walking down the hall. Jean-Pierre Goulet got more of a pop than Jason Jordan.
Yes Finn, based on Bray Wyatt’s record we can confirm he doesn’t care about wins and losses. That scale has way more chips on the L side. The pattern in Bray Wyatt feuds continues. A segment where lights go out, check, segment where he talks on screen, check. We’ve seen Bray doing the same thing for a year now and it doesn’t matter who he’s facing. Watch any promo Bray’s had and you won’t know who he’s in a program with because they all blend together.

Smackdown was a disappointment, probably because Raw was good and we can’t be spoiled with too much good. No stories progressed forward or added new depths. Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles was the segment of the night as it is a feud where continuity actually matters. Something that WWE often forgets. But to bring up video of guest referee Shane screwing Stone Cold back in 1998 was a joy we never knew we needed. It now adds doubt to Shane’s ability, while also looking like a possible detriment to either competitor. I still find it peculiar what WWE edits out of their YouTube clips. They usually take out anything that is shoot worthy like, “Canadians know all about a McMahon screwing them over, the only difference between now and then is that guy deserved it”.

Cena has become Meta and is having fun being extremely self aware. He’s calling himself Super Cena and saying how rare it is for him to lose cleanly. At this rate the rest of the world will follow his meta and actually cheer him wholeheartedly at Summerslam. It will be easy too, being that Corbin has all the charisma of a dead battery. My interest in this program will peak if the Money In The Bank contract is put on the line. As of now my interests is based on if the crowd will latch on to “skinny fat or dumpster fire” chants.

Fashion Files….. Please end at or right after Summerslam… you are teetering on overstaying your welcome.

Quote of the Week
Kudos to Graves for The Simpsons reference “These two are like the modern day Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy” look at Enzo wearing shorts over his yoga pants
Match of the Week
Braun vs Roman – Last Man Standing (The Flying Chair)

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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Smackdown continues to bounce back strongly after Battleground and Raw is putting more emphasis on its second hour over its first. As the Summerslam picture clears up, we may have injuries ruining plans. We also get a high profile roster cut that surely everyone saw coming.

Smackdown over delivered. It has gotten to the point where what are they having left for their PPV’s. It is odd to complain about getting good free matches but that is where we stand. Last week Smackdown had to recover from an awful ppv and this week they’re Summerslam picture took a clearer shape.

Smackdown continues to have a smoother opening flow over Raw. This week we got straight into a US Title rematch between Styles and Owens. This bout was another example of a rematch that turned out better on free tv over the ppv. The referee took a glancing hit that blinded him from seeing Owens shoulders raised during the pin. As a consequence we will now have a rematch at Summerslam with a special guest referee, one isn’t as fragile as a toothpick. Would’ve been cool if Daniel Bryan chose himself instead of Shane O’ Mac but WWE can’t risk Bryan having any contact.

I won’t be shy to say that Nakumara has been underwhelming since his call up. However John Cena is at the point in his career and schedule that he is best utilized putting guys over. No longer can anyone say Cena only has the five moves of doom he has been giving high calibur matches for a long time now and helped bring out the best in a guy like Nakumara who finally got to work with a ring general like Cena. Grant it Nakumara dropped Cena on his neck and that was a kind of highlight you only see in Japan, it only added to a match better than any Smackdown ppv has provided.

After the show went off air Baron Corbin attacked Nakumara while 205 was airing on the Network. Original planning was for Corbin to interfere during the match, but perhaps WWE want people to turn the network on after Smackdown so for the first time they continued a Smackdown story on 205. Corbin then received an AA from Cena through the announce table, kicking off a Cena vs Corbin program for Summerslam. This will be Cena’s last Smackdown program before transitioning to Raw after Summerslam. The Nakumara vs Jinder program cuts the legs off of Jinder’s argument of xenophobia. Nakumara is more foreign than Jinder, but he’s beloved. Unfortunately the WWE Championship has fallen far from grace since the introduction of the Universal Title. I am hoping a significant win by Nakumara can help elevate it back.

Raw basically ended after the triple threat. I enjoy a main event match not going on last, because this way I won’t calculate how much time the match will be given. However it makes the remaining hour become a cool down period before the next days Smackdown.

Are there any two people that are as talented on the mic but no longer have anything intriguing to say as Bray Wyatt and Enzo Amore. When you become all bark and no bite it become impossible to believe in your character and we start to question if you even believe in yourself. Enzo has become repetitive going back into the bouncing checks analogy he’s done before. Bray continues to find his motivation for fighting someone out of thin air. Always something about their world not matching his. I expect Finn and Bray to have a good match at Summerslam but I want to see the reasoning for Demon Balor be more focused than we see now.
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The Raw tag division has gained momentum since Revivals return and the new development of The Club becoming tweeners. It is a shame that the progress won’t have the reward of Tag Title gold. The Shield storyline will take precedence in the division and the titles will become the reason for their uneasy alliance to continue.
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Brainstorming ways we can see Seth regaining Dean’s trust. Trust falls? Warning him not to open that soda cause it was shook? Have Dean drop a dollar and Seth return it to him. We need to see some bound reform between these two, before there is a miscommunication that will push Dean over the edge.
Dean’s heel turn should be based on a psychological breakdown of him not being able to forget and forgive. He is not ready, but it’s as if too many people are pushing him to do so. Then Seth can win the IC belt and that will be another thing Seth has taken from Dean and then boom Dean snaps.

Bayley’s injured shoulder is sad. It may be the wrong time for it to occur to her, but may be the best time for the women’s division.

How I think she will be remembered. She had a job solely off her look that was mostly make up fake boobs and a hair color. Her longevity was based on her Total Divas role. She tried to use wrestling as a stepping stone. Fans see through that BS and have booed her out of the business.

Quote of the Week:
Corey Graves talking to Revival about their Twitter feud with the Hardys. “ just to be fair I reported them on twitter on a terms and service violation”

Match of the week: Nakumara vs Cena

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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In what played out like a therapy session between scorned lovers, Seth Rollins finally apologized to Dean. He finally said the words “I’m sorry” in what was a heart cutting segment between the former Shield brothers. Will Dean ever get over the betrayal? Is payback still due? Did we really hear a Roman chant to reunite the Shield? It is obvious to everyone that the Ambrose vs Miz feud has to end. The Miztourage will serve as the catalyst for either a Seth Intercontinental run or an Ambrose heel turn. The Universal Title picture is going through a big man phase right now and it won’t end until Brock drops the belt. Keep all of these guys interesting by having the two hash out past grievances.

I like that they addressed this private matter needing to be handled in the most public way, you know being that we live in this social world we all might as well just spill all the beans because we can’t control what is shared anymore. This is footage of Kurt Angle’s final date with Jason Jordan’s mom.
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Remember when the Big Show was Andre the Giants son. It’s okay if you didn’t because he’s built a career outside of that first characteristic that was placed on him. I worry for Jason Jordan in the same way I would’ve worried for The Giant (Big Show) back in his debut. It took The Big Show a company change to not be identified as Andre the Giants illegitimate son. Jason Jordan can only hope to have enough longevity for this segment to be forgotten. In the short term this is great for Jordan as it gets him in the spotlight.
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Where this left Chad Gable was an uncomfortable scripted interview. With Talking Smack canceled I can only expect to see Renee Young to stiff line feeding interviews. She’s best off loose and off the cuff. I feel for her, it must be frustrating when you keep getting cut at the knees at doing what you do best.

Did Big Cass’ new theme change or just get louder and add some transformers noises. How can Enzo ever have a career in the ring after this feud, his notebook of quips must be running dry cause he is repeating lines. He is never anyone to fear. Even Spike Dudley was more of a threat.

We don’t need to bring up 9/11 for a silly Wrestling Flag on a pole match. I understand the overplayed patriotic angle, but we Cena should show some constraint. This is going to be a quick throw away feud before Cena’s Summerslam program.
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This is the best spot for Anderson and Gallows right now. They’ll change shows and invade as the beat them up bad asses. Breezango can afford a loss and it will maintain The Club in an angle the audience is already invested in. Plus Smackdown will get another great grappler in Anderson.

BATTLEGROUND predictions.
Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal – Jinder will win with the help of the Sig brothers. WINNER Jinder

John Cena vs Rusev – This will be the surprise match of the night. It is both mens PPV return and the flag gimmick is not too intrusive of a rule.

Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles – The US Title open challenge is too good of a concept to hype, to not keep the Title on AJ.

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling