With WrestleMania firmly in the rear-view mirror and Money In The Bank on the horizon, it looks like the WWE is starting to get a big more comfortable with the new pandemic world that we’re living in. And for the wrestling world, it’s being a bit more creative, out of the box thinkers and doing it all for the folks on tv and social media instead of in the arena.
With that, we’re getting more and more vignettes, character development and something a bit more entertaining than in recent weeks. Here’s hoping they keep it up because after all, it’s tough creating seven hours of network tv content without relying on a live audience to react off of and to give the show a quality feel.
Making Drew McIntyre the focal point of RAW makes obvious sense with him being the WWE Champion, of course. I’m not entirely sold on Seth Rollins getting that first PPV title shot, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I’m hoping they make it more than a one-off because I already know it will work in the ring, but I want to see what it looks like outside the ring and the build-up too.
I don’t understand at all having The Miz & John Morrison continually lose on television. After a fast build to the titles with a returning Morrison, the duo has done nothing but lose every since. That’s no way to treat two of your top-tier stars on the brand.
Star of the week: A goof if you will. I give it to the guy who took Triple H’s water on the way to the ring to celebrate his 25th Anniversary in the WWE. A funny moment that made me laugh in the midst of some really trying times. And that in itself, is a win!
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Aleister Black defeated Austin Theory
- Shayna Baszler defeated Indi Hartwell
- Ricochet & Cedric Alexander defeated Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink
- Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Apollo Crews defeated MVP
- Liv Morgan defeated Ruby Riott
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Buddy Murphy
- Non-title NXT Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair defeated Kayden Carter
- Non-title United States Championship Match: Andrade defeated Akira Tozawa
- Non-title WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Angel Garza
Things I stopped to watch on RAW: Aleister Black – Zelina Vega on commentary
Things I don’t get: Kairi Sane fed to the wolves for the second straight week against Nia Jax – Liv Morgan with no direction
Things That Were Just Good: Apollo Crews getting a shot at the Money in the Bank match. Good for him to finally get a shot in a big PPV match
Things I Could Do Without – Bobby Lashley flipping tires. I swore Hornswoggle was coming out of that tire!
Things I Want To See – A triple threat match between Garza vs. Andrade vs. Theory just for fun
Odd: Austin Theory and Angel Garza NOT attacking Drew McIntyre at Zelina Garza’s request.
Knod to HBK & Burt Reynolds – Drew McIntyre’s Playgirl pose
- Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez defeated Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Match: Jake Atlas defeated Drake Maverick
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Match: KUSHIDA defeated Tony Nese
- Mia Yim defeated Jessie Kamea
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Match: El Hijo Del Fantasma defeated Jack Gallagher
- Velveteen Dream & Dexter Lumis defeated Adam Cole & Roderick Strong
NXT felt like a more streamlined show this week. Simple with lots of action, especially in the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Loved the backstory with Drake Maverick, who was already released last week but is still being shown in the tournament. It’s heartfelt and personal. One of the best parts of the show.
Short segment videos with Rob Stone & Chelsea Green and dinner with Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano were interesting! What’s up with “the cup” at the dinner table? Yuck! But, we do love LeRae’s new look!
Ever since Keith Lee won the North American Championship, it seems like the buzz is off him a bit. Maybe it’s just me. Having him booted from the main event by Damien Priest, only to be replaced by Dexter Lumis seemed an odd thing so we’ll see where it goes.
No Finn Balor to take on The Velveteen Dream was utterly disappointing.
El Hijo Del Fantasma is highly entertaining! And yes, he avoided getting kidnapped!
Finally, the build to Tommaso Ciampa vs. Killer Kross continues to get better! I don’t want to see them in the ring for a while. Let them continue to fester for a bit with Scarlett Bordeaux stirring the pot!
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: King Corbin defeated Drew Gulak
- Sheamus Daniel Vidot
- Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Lacey Evans defeated Sasha Banks
- Lucha House Party defeated The Miz & John Morrison
- Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross defeated Carmella & Dana Brooke to retain titles
First things first. Most of Triple H’s 25th Anniversary celebration with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon was an inside rib, but I didn’t mind it at all. It made me laugh and that was the point! Good use of the cell phone to with Stephanie McMahon and Ric Flair making cameos! And yes, we forget how many times Trips has lost at WrestleMania putting others over. Thanks HBK for reminding us!
Corbin vs. Gulak was really good and we need to see more as soon as next week when we get Daniel Bryan vs. Corbin.
As I said last week, I don’t get what Sheamus’ beef with Michael Cole is. Continuing it with no seeming pay-off is getting tedious.
Lacey Evans beating Sasha Banks helps on a few fronts. It gives Evans a needed win. It keeps the Banks-Bayley possibility alive. It also kept Tamina in the conversation with a well place superkick.
The push for The Forgotten Sons continues as they get some heat with The New Day, The Miz & John Morrison and the Lucha House Party. Expect many variables of those combinations over the next two weeks. Here’s hoping they actually let The Miz & Morrison win again on TV someday. Just don’t get the LHP win Friday night.
Good use of Braun Strowman’s history with Bray Wyatt to hype his upcoming Universal Title Match at MITB with The Fiend. Please don’t give me a contract signing anytime soon!
WWE stock rose over $5 this week after the company’s Q1 conference call on financials. That’s a much needed boost for Vince McMahon after a few weeks of bad news. With no live events on the horizon other than the TV and PPV tapings, here’s hoping they hash out some long-term booking and creative ideas to help solidify those stock prices too!
The WWE’s strength is in video production and content creation. That should be the bulk of their tv time moving forward. Being able to control the environment will serve them well going forward with no instant crowd reaction.
Thanks for letting us share our thoughts! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! You can also check out my blog, The Crowe’s Nest as we delve into more pro wrestling, sports entertainment and the World of Sports. My apologies ahead of time – I AM a Patriots and Red Sox fan! If you’re not down with that, I’ve got TWO WORDS for you… NEW ENGLAND!