Raw / Smackdown Is….

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Again this is how you get people on board with Roman. Less words and more violence. Don’t try to look like a superhero. Take lessons from what Braun has shown you. Braun doesn’t have a silly move like a Superman punch, everything he does looks to have force. So Reigns should go for more spears and powerbombs and leave the punches at the kiddy table.

THEY ARE GOING TO DO THE THING. The reluctance to unify the Shield too early tells me WWE wants to make it clear that it will be a one time deal. In the meantime, let’s keep Miz and The Bar strong for as long as possible. I do not want to see a Shield payoff until the day of TLC. Put the Shield behind the 8 ball more. They are known to be one of the most powerful factions ever, so we have to see them indecisive and the competitor dominant in order to even the odds.

Mickie James having her own locker room was the funniest part of her segment. And Alexa labeling her room like a seven year old who stole all the glitter from the arts and crafts room wasn’t anymore convincing. Continuity in the woman’s division is currently not on the writers priority list, when Nia Jax turning on friend Alexa Bliss was their Raw ending storyline less than a month ago. The commentary for Nia Jax has switched from making her an imposing monster to now turning her into another Total Divas star. Her character is not fitting to speak about her appearance at fashion weeks or her “rising star”. However if the division can only have one unstoppable beast, I’d rather it be Asuka.

I’m feeling sorry for Matt Hardy, when I see Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks having immense amounts of fun in the wrestling world and be vessels for creativity. Matt came back to WWE with loads of momentum that he generated for himself through ingenuity, risks and social media. Now I only feel robbed of what insanity we could’ve seen if he hadn’t returned. I can’t put blame on Matt or WWE, neither could’ve expected the turmoil of the Broken Universe legal rights or predict Jeff’s injury. I just believe an alternate universe for Matt would’ve been more delightful.
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“The Demon fuels the man. You don’t paint your face to become the Demon. You peel your skin to reveal it. Show me your face Finn show me your true face.” Please someone take notice on how well Bray is written in comparison to the rest of the roster. Sister Abigail will be returning and spooks central is back just in time for our Six Flags Fright Fest discounts. Instead of being snobby and too cool for school I am going to always appreciate Bray Wyatt. It may look like he’s always saying the same thing because he’s always framed the same way, but though his themes stay consistent his specifics are unique to the situation. We have a bad tendency of being cynical because of over saturation. I will like to take some time, step back and re-appreciate The Eater of Worlds.

This week in Enzo Amore Revitalizing The Cruiserweight Division News

And then we had Smackdown Live which continued its ho-hum lead up to Hell In A Cell. Gifs will some it up.
Meanwhile, in Denver…

Hell In A Cell predictions:
Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens (Hell in a Cell Falls Count Anywhere): Because Shane hasn’t had a win and this program won’t have a payoff until Survivor Series. WINNER – SHANE

Jinder Mahal WWE Champion vs Shinsuke Nakamura: It’s that time. By rule of reverse momentum, Shinsuke was the last to look beaten on Smackdown so it is his turn from comeuppance. Ratings and attendance haven’t been as good as they could be, a change may help reinvigorate interest. WINNER – SHINSUKE

The New Day Smackdown Tag Champions vs The Usos (Hell in a Cell) New Day will retain, but it will be to a no contest. I am expecting the debut of The Authors of Pain to tear down the cell and demolish both teams. NO CONTEST

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs The Hype Bros: I only put this here, because this will be where the break up occurs. Ryder goes heel. WINNER – CHAD GABLE & Shelton Benjamin

Match of the Week: Roderick Strong vs Drew McIntyre for NXT Championship

Quote of the Week: Bray to Finn – “The Demon fuels the man. You don’t paint your face to become the Demon. You peel your skin to reveal it. Show me your face Finn show me your true face.”

Wrestling isn’t everything but everything is wrestling.
Remember the reason for the season in all your joyous happy Rusev Days to come: Happy Rusev.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

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At the end of No Mercy, I was left thankful that Hell In A Cell was only two weeks away. The Wrestlemania caliber hype was at a peak a few weeks prior and felt to have chilled with a soft go home show. Bad is the wrong word to describe No Mercy as there were quality matches and gruesome moments, see Cesaro’s teeth go into his gums. Unfortunately the build was better than the payoff and No Mercy served more as set up for future rematches.
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There’s more money in Cena going for the 17th championship over a Roman that has already beaten him. It’s best to make the challenger the underdog and that is what this result did. The passing of the torch is not a passing of the torch if you have to mention that you are passing the torch. Cena’s schedule will have less dates but he is not nearly as departed from WWE as The Rock was in 2012. When Cena comes back he’ll just say he handed the torch to Roman only until he returned. “My job in the WWE is to be the best, or be a vehicle for the best” John Cena

Watch Enzo’s Raw Talk. You’ll see why he is being given the Cruiserweight ball.

Enzo Amore was the popular kid hanging with the cool cliq. Then within that circle people started to take a deep look at him and evaluate his worth. As Enzo’s mouth was no longer able to hang with the cool cliq, he was kicked out of the cafeteria table and left to eat lunch outside with the Freaks and Geeks (205). When inserting himself with this new group he brought cool cred with him. He was after all one the popular ones and perhaps being adjacent to him would help the Freaks and Geeks gain notoriety. But like any stereotypical high school narcissist, Enzo anoints himself the group leader. He aims for the groups hot girl (Cruiserweight Championship). He gets the girl and turns her into a babe. Now the two of them rise to a new atmosphere that looks down on the Freaks and Geeks. 205 Live will become Revenge of the Nerds and I love it.
I was going to write about The Miz vs Roman Reigns feud being equivalent to Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns, but then I read Max Landis’s Twitter rant and feel a scriptwriter could put it together better than me.

I remember a time when the thought of a Bray and Finn program was exciting. Two clashing ring styles putting on unique matches. Eater of Worlds vs The Demon King. But why now that we have it, we can’t get excited. Perhaps because Bray has become everyone’s stepping stone. Perhaps because Finn is in the Universal Championship holding pattern like every small guy on Raw. Perhaps because these men are unique individually but can’t find much creativity in the ring. You can set your watch to the patterns for many Finn matches. He has a good move set that can be a great one if he held some tools back. Bray is fantastic at taking his opponent’s offense and creating aggressive counters for them. Yet I have not seen the creativity.

On Smackdown Rusev has become the rosters most versatile heel. I celebrate Rusev day with a chest hair grooming and 5 squared meals of Bulgarian kebapche drenched in lyutenitsa. I’m onboard anytime a vicious brute can do comedy. I love seeing someone take chances and that is what Rusev is doing. Aiden English, best friend to all heels, has been getting a lot of camera time to compliment and holster up other heels through his gift of song. Sure this all ended with a Randy Orton RKO but let’s not allow it to ruin our Rusev Day.
Happy Rusev Day to all, and to all a good Rusev.
Quote of the Week: all of Enzo on Raw Talk. “When I step outside the squared circle, I have a small circle and I don’t let any squares in it”
Oh my… 😬
Match of the Week: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs The Bar at No Mercy
Hey Seth Rollins has a name for his Finisher, at least according to Graves, it’s the “Kingslanding”. I will always be in support of G.O.T. names.

FOR KICKS. FAN OF THE WEEK: This Anime Loving Artist.

RAW / Smackdown Is….

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WWE has been pacing their shows well lately. It has helped with burn out potential. Storylines have been rotating the kickoff of the show. This week The Miz and the Intercontinental championship took the lead spot. With that came daddy drama between Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle. It has been over a month since the two shared camera time, yet it already felt well worn out. It’s good to see more fire under Jordan now as he needs to be more Kurt Angle “Wrestling Machine” edition instead of Kurt Angle “American Hero”. I’m all for a Jordan rise as long as Miz stays IC champ at the other end of it. Let Jordan get over by beating on the Miztoutage. Don’t adjust the gamma on your television set, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel are that orange.
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Curt Hawkins losing streak is now a viable part of WWE programming. In realistic terms wouldn’t an employee with 114 match long losing streak be fired? Wouldn’t they just be considered inapt at their job and therefore terminated. However we’re told to believe in wrestling, wins and losses are not job qualifiers for review. Curt Hawkins 0-115. I’m campaigning for his first win at the Wrestlemania 34 preshow.

Raw has a weekly quota to meet on the word bitch and Reigns plans on meeting it. Cena didn’t show up and still won the segment. Roman proved that Cena carried this similar storyline back in 2012 better than Reigns is today. Reigns went with a deep cut stating no one that may look like Cena could ever make it, just ask Alex Reily. This talk taken directly from dirt sheets helps validate all the hours of internet dwelling us fans do. Though when Roman does it, it feels manipulative like someone handed him that line without Roman knowing the story behind it. As Iron Sheik would say, someone needs to humble him.

Has anyone been a better gif generator than Braun Strowman?

Smackdown had a hard case of deja vu. It was a large task to follow up last week’s Vegas show that had the ratings boost from Vince McMahon’s appearance. Shane didn’t show as much vigor as his old man. Owens is pulling his weight on this program while Shane has no zingers to comeback with. This program is Shane’s biggest test since his return. He has to pull out what he showed us leading up to his Undertaker Wrestlemania 32 match. Right now he’s sounding more like someone saying the generic things a character in his situation should say, instead of what Shane O’ Mac should be saying.

To show Smackdown’s effort for repetition I would bring to the court’s attention exhibit A. Jinder Mahal cut the same promo but just went a little further with his racism. Kudos to the crowd for “that’s too far” chants. This segment caught the attention of The Washington Post and a bit of unwanted publicity. The WWE is no stranger to criticism in their depictions of nationalism or blurred lines of racism in order to get heat on a heel. I expect WWE to lean into this angle and keep Shinsuke’s retribution to come only from his hard kicks and not his words. Jinder still saying people turn their backs on him remains senseless when he’s always been a heel and never designed himself to be liked. You can’t be abandoned if you were always alone.

Exhibit B:
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Quote of the Week: Finn Balor to Bray Wyatt- If the demon is the creation of the man. Which one is more dangerous?
Match of the Week: Smackdown Women’s Fatal Fourway

No Mercy Predictions
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman – All announce tables will be destroyed. Because I believe there is more money in a rematch, Braun Strowman should become the Champion. However I can see some false finish occur. Perhaps the ring will collapse or the ropes will snap. WINNER – Braun

Roman Reigns vs John Cena – Should be match of the night. Both men can go, no matter what you feel about them, they keep you engaged. Hopefully I won’t see more than 2 Superman Punches. Please Please counter a Superman Punch into an AA. John Cena has to go shoot Transformers at some point. But The Rock did win the first Cena vs Rock match and he wasn’t sticking around. WINNER – Cena

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs Bayley vs Nia Jax vs Emma vs Sasha Banks – This will be where we start to see the seeds of Bayley vs Sasha be planted. They’ll do some team up moves and then Sasha will try to sneak a roll up on Bayley or Bayley will give Sasha a hug and turn it into a Bayley to Belly. Neither will win as Alexa Bliss is the safer choice to be champion right now before the debut of Asuka. WINNER – Alexa Bliss

Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose – A great match to start the PPV with. I don’t foresee a large amount of shenannigans to interfere in this one, but I do expect a win via some confusion from a blind tag. WINNERS – The Bar

Wrestling isn’t everything, but everything is wrestling.

Raw / Smackdown Is….

Sin City Smackdown was set up to be a special ppv caliber night. It was promoted as such with branded graphics and video packages. My expectations were high so I expected to be writing mostly about Smackdown this week and I just let Raw wash over me.

The “A” story of the WWE has shifted away from the universal title to the Kevin Owens Show. In this business you do not get a much bigger vote of confidence than being able to go toe to toe with Vince McMahon. Whenever Vince makes a return to camera I can feel his imposing and dominant presence through the screen. I could only imagine how petrifying it can be to have a heated conversation with him. This is what Kevin Owens was confronted with. The paper thin plot of Kevin Owens suing WWE was sensibly eradicated with the logic of Vince McMahon being a damn billionaire and too powerful to allow a single individual to bring his empire down. When a 72 year old man gets headbutted and bleeds, it doesn’t matter how rehearsed it might have been, it naturally brings concern to viewers. I haven’t had this much concern since Vince last took a bump via a Lesnar F-5 that legitimately injured him. Vince has the right policy in place of keeping old men away from competing. No matter how jacked McMahon was in the Attitude era, I can’t see him as physical threat. He is a super strong psychological threat though. Kevin Owens role was able to highlight his best features. When Owens behaves like a child whose toy was broken so he wants to break all the other kids toys, he’s at his best. The trance he falls into is a far departure from his usual me first complaining. The dynamic reach Owens possesses is why the company is giving him the vote of confidence and why this is the new “A” story.

Jinder Mahal didn’t have to be on this show. You claim to have such a stacked card but then you cut down the time of title matches by giving time to the one championship that’s not defended. Instead we get ignorant jokes toward Shinsuke. Nothing was funny except the Singh brothers overselling. The whole segment just made me angry with how much of a waste of time it was. Please don’t have Shinsuke come back next week with counter photos. I understand Jinder was trying to relate to Shinsuke as a minority in America but it falls on deaf ear when Shinsuke is loved because of the unique diversity he brings to the WWE.

Rusev no longer needs to carry a national pride gimmick. He needs to just be a well spoken plotting brute. Let him use his brain more. EXAMPLE:
Zigglers act is to not have an act. And emphasizes how you don’t have an act comes off as trying too hard to have an act. Lets just line this all up to have Bobby Roodes propelling program. Soon enough Ziggler will do the Glorious intro and be interrupted by Bobby Roode’s Glorious intro and Roode will say something about Ziggler never being big bucks. There will be no more question as to Roode’s persona. This feud will solidify him as a face, and I expect some good matches but an overall ho-hum story because Ziggler is involved.
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Vince McMahon’s goal to make New Day gain the record for most title reigns is alive. I’m in favor of flipping this title several times, but now lets get another team involved. Don’t eject the Usos but just insert Gable and Benjamin. I notice the resurgence to the Championship has come through performance of great matches, whereas in the past New Day leaned heavily on their comedy they now put the ring ability in the forefront. This helps even out the rest of the division because no one can conquer New Day on a promo level but there’s enough talent out there to have believable in ring competition.

On Raw Roman Reigns comebacks do not resonate when they aren’t true. The whole angle between Cena and Reigns is based on real life, so when he says arenas are selling out and merch sales are great he’s just lying. WWE isn’t doing great financially. They had to cut cost and no longer have pyro for goodness sake. Cena is constantly getting the better of these exchanges and he went where we didn’t think WWE would let him go. He mentioned Roman’s wellness policy violation from last year. You don’t shed light on that. Fan signs that mention it get confiscated, so how can Cena just bring it up so nonchalantly. Further proof that Cena as carte-blanche to do what he wants.

The best truth spewed on Raw was another show stealing promo by the Miz. This weeks victim of kayfabe killing was Enzo Amore. Possibly with Cena’s blessing, Miz has freedom to scathe the ungrateful talent. We’ve all bashed on Enzo enough, so I’ll just congratulate Miz and Maryse on their pregnancy news. Hooray for a future second generation superstar.

Match of the Week: Kairi Sane vs Shayna Baszler – Mae Young Classic

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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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.
brooklyn where are the balls.gif
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.