This Week In The WWE: 12/27-1/2

RIP Jon Huber.

Words can’t do justice. To all that knew him, he was a devoted father, husband and wrestling superstar. Gone far too young at the age of 41 due to a non-COVID-19 lung issue. We’ll always remember Brodie Lee, Luke Harper and Jon Huber.

Kudos to All Elite Wrestling for a tremendous tribute Wednesday night on TNT. Extremely well done on every front.

The WWE also released a tribute after AEW’s show.


RAW

RESULTS

  • Keith Lee defeated Sheamus to win shot at WWE Championship
  • Gran Metalik defeated The Miz
  • Shayna Baszler defeated Dana Brooke
  • AJ Styles defeated Elias
  • Mustafa Ali defeated Ricochet
  • Charlotte Flair defeated Nia Jax by DQ
  • The Hurt Business defeated The New Day, Jeff Hardy & Riddle

Alexa Bliss vs. Randy Orton

That was something I will say that. I didn’t know whether to love it, hate it or just walk away from it. Yes, it was some sight seeing Alexa Bliss call out Randy Orton, begging him to light her on fire as he did to The Fiend. Of course, we don’t know whether Orton dropped the match to a fully engulfed with gas Bliss as the show ended. It was indeed a true cliffhanger in that mode. But, do we really believe that Orton would now intentionally murder two people on national TV? I’m not quite sure, other than shock value, what the WWE is looking for with this angle. We’ll all see Monday night for the next episode of RAW.

Thumbs Up:

Keith Lee vs. Sheamus was as good as expected. I really did think it was going to be Sheamus going over in this one, but I do think it works better having Lee get another shot at McIntyre while Sheamus stews the defeat and puts off an encounter with his BFF for a bit.

AJ Styles vs. Elias was very good. Good to see two “bad guys” go at it and just get after it without the old heel cliches. Mustafa Ali vs. Ricochet was its usual good stuff. I wish they would come to a resolution to the matter as its not helping either side with the same ol’ story each week. I’d like to see a darker side or Ricochet in my mind. Take off the masks from RETRIBUTION and form a true stable that has a chance to do something.

The Miz getting his Money In The Bank briefcase back is a good thing. Having him lose to Gran Metalik to bring him down wasn’t needed. It only would’ve made sense to bring The Miz down if they had dragged it out for a couple of weeks. Having him down for about an hour or so did nothing. They need to build The Miz up to more than a cartoon character of comedy to truly be a challenger worthy of Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship.

Thumbs Down:

Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax – I just can’t get behind anything that Nia Jax is doing these days. Charlotte Flair is The Queen, but there’s no flow or chemistry when these two get together. Why waste it? And another thing. Let Shayna Baszler be a bad ass by herself. It would work better for her.

Angel Garza. Please, I’m begging them to stop the romancing the rose storyline. It’s been old since they started it back around WrestleMania. It’s even older now. It’s doing nothing to move Garza forward. At least he got the 24/7 Championship victory over R-Truth on Tik Tok!


NXT

RESULTS

  • Bronson Reed defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Breezango
  • Mercedes Martinez defeated Valentina Feroz
  • Pete Dunn defeated Roderick Strong
  • Lucha House Party defeated Legado del Fantasma
  • NXT North American Championship Match: Johnny Gargano defeated Leon Ruff to retain the title

Thumbs Up:

Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong. The rivalry continues between the Kings of NXT and The Undisputed Era. Dunne’s look really good the past couple of weeks in singles competition against TUE. As for Roddy, well, he continues to be Strong.

Another year of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. Adam Cole and Roderick Strong make an interesting entry. I’d love to see WWE bring in a few teams from outside NXT to make things interesting too.

Balor vs. O’Reilly. That’s about as good as it gets on the mic with these two. You could feel the passion, the reality, the urgency and yes, we’re ready for round 2! Adding Karrion Kross into the mix with Scarlett just puts it over the top. Doomsday is here. Tick. Tock. Oh, hi Damien Priest. That was a very good segment!

Rhea vs. Raquel vignette. The Last Woman Standing match is going to be awesome. Let’s just say that New Year’s Evil is stacked folks!

Highway Robbery:

Shotzi Blackheart over Pat McAfee for Breakout Star of the Year. There’s no bigger Shotzi fan than me, but even I can admit that McAfee took NXT by Storm and is a star in the making. He proved it on the mic, behind the scenes and yes, even in the ring during WarGames. Here’s hoping the WWE doesn’t keep him on the shelf too long.

Lucha Like!

Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado showing up to take on Legado del Fantasmo was a cool surprise. Long live Lucha Libre! Pretty cool week for Gran Metalik with wins on both RAW and NXT over 48 hours.

Meh:

Year-end awards presentation. They were kind of just there. Obviously, the tie-in with Balor vs. O’Reilly for the match of the year was a home run to set up their in-ring promo. All the rest, I could’ve done with online.

Johnny Gargano’s curse-breaking win over Leon Ruff did what it needed to do. That’s about all.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Non-title Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E defeated King Corbin by DQ
  • Big E & Apollo Crews defeated Sami Zayn & King Corbin
  • The Riott Squad defeated Tamina & Natalya
  • Carmella & Bayley defeated Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair
  • Otis & Daniel Bryan defeated Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso

Another level:

Sure, on its face, another Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso match seems like filler. But, oh no. Not when the Head of the Table is involved! First off, Owens and Uso beat the snot out of each other with KO getting the expected knockout victory. Then, and you could see Roman Reigns foreshadow it earlier in the show by saying “they” don’t understand, “they’re” trying to take away what we have, Reigns was going to get Owens for making a match against Reigns’ wishes. Every week, they take the best angle in the WWE up a notch! It’s the very first attack through the ThunderDome crowd! I’ll be honest though, I thought Adam Pearce was in danger of an attack too. Maybe that’s next week?

Thumbs Up:

I like the way they are bringing a lot of people into the mix for Big E’s Intercontinental Title run. Sami Zayn as former champ, King Corbin as first challenge and now Apollo Crews as friend and Open Challenge acceptor for next week will keep it fresh. Zayn is awesome no matter what and making Big E look strong out of the gate will eventually make him a contender for Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship.

The Riott Squad keeps winning. After months of going nowhere, it’s good to see Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott on a winning streak even if it is beating Tamina and Natalya with the help of the annoying one, Billie Kay. There’s got to be a better way to use Billie, right?

Sasha. Carmella. Bianca. Bayley. Getting them all together in the same ring makes Friday night a winner for all of us. Loved that Carmella gets the pin to get her some juice back after losing at TLC. Damn, Reggie has some moves! Can’t wait to see him in a ring soon too!

Sonya Deville is back! That’s good for business although we do need an explanation as to how one loses a loser leaves town match and then returns back so soon. We know the reality of it due to her stalking case, but how the WWE plays it on TV will be interesting.

I could’ve done without the drums and the predictions, but that was one helluva beatdown by Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler on TSP. The Dirty Dawgs deserve some gold in their future!

Interesting:

Otis & Daniel Bryan teaming up was fun. Chad Gable + the YES movement sure is inspirational. Will it be more than a one-time effort? Even Otis looks better with Bryan, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in the same ring. The three amigos salute at the end was hilarious!

Annoying:

Billie Kay’s gimmick.  


Parting Shots:

With so many tag teams forming on the fly in the WWE these days, I’d love to see an old-school Crockett Cup tournament in the WWE. Take it across all three brands, maybe bring in some indy teams as well and I think it would be a fun event for 2021. There’s absolutely room to make some odd and unique pairings and match-ups instead of the old and tired matches.


Coming up this week:

RAW
Legends Night
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee

NXT – New Year’s Evil hosted by Dexter Lumis
NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Damien Priest vs. Karrion Kross
Fight Pit Match: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
Last Woman Standing: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar vs. Gran Metalik

SMACKDOWN
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E vs. Apollo Crews


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