This Week In The WWE: 4/26-5/2

Will this be one of the final weeks without crowds at a wrestling event? It could be!

With signs of things trying to get back somewhat back to normal around the Country, there are reports that the state of Florida will allow sporting events and wrestling open their doors at possibly 25% capacity. I’m sure the WWE will pounce on this opportunity if it’s presented. As long as it is safe, it would be a welcome return to fill the void left with no crowds. But again, let us stress – ONLY IF IT’S SAFE!

With a week left until the Money In The Bank PPV, here’s how the card looks:

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
  • Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt/The Fiend
  • Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Aleister Black, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, King Corbin, Otis and winner of RAW’s Last Chance Gauntlet Match
  • Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Asuka, Dana Brooke & Lacey Evans
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley vs. Tamina

Star of the Week:

Sonya Deville – After last week’s emotional and  personal promo showing her true feelings against Mandy Rose, Deville was in top form showing her rage against her former best friend and tag team partner. Here’s hoping for a physical, twist-turning feud that goes on a for a bit and has some legs.


RAW

RESULTS

  • Rey Mysterio, Aleiser Black & Apollo Crews defeated Andrade, Angel Garza & Austin Theory
  • Nia Jax vs. Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler never started
  • Bobby Lashley defeated Denzel Dejournette
  • Liv Morgan defeated Ruby Riott
  • Jinder Mahal defeated Akira Tozawa
  • United States Championship Match: Andrade defeated Apollo Crews
  • Ricochet & Cedric Alexander defeated Ever-Rise

Kind of a disjointed show this week on RAW after a couple of really good weeks. That’s disappointing as short (or non-matches) ruled the evening. On a positive note though, Zelina Vega continues to be the Queen of RAW, sorry Charlotte Flair. Vega dominates every segment she’s a part of it – in a good way! Plus, how about them heels on those boots! How the heck did she even walk to the ring! Would love to see WWE put her in a pre-produced segment once or twice a month to showcase her talents out of the ring. We don’t need another in-ring promo segment in front of no crowd these days (sorry Miz TV, Moment of Bliss, MVP Lounge, every start to a WWE show).

While the opening six-man tag match was decent, it was just too long, stretched out over three segments, four if you count the MVP Lounge to start the show. Plus, it didn’t end there as we got a set-up for Apollo Crews’ US Title Match later that night. Damn that slap was loud!

Unfortunately, it led to the most disappointing part of the evening as Crews “injures” his knee and is now out of the MITB Men’s Ladder Match. He was of course the underdog, emotional favorite we were all pulling for!

Returns! We got them with Samoa Joe back at the commentary table and Jinder Mahal is back to grace us with his awesomeness on RAW for the first time in over a year.

I really hope they give Liv Morgan a REAL push! Much like Ricochet & Cedric Alexander, it seems like Morgan is up and down from week-to-week as opposed to a strong month of activity.

What the heck was up with the triple threat? We get the tease of a match of dominating non-divas only to see if end two minutes into it without starting as Nia Jax goes crazy with the ladder. There’s better way to build it folks than to just waste it like that. I could’ve used a good 8-10 minutes of back-and-forth between the trio instead of three segments of the six-man match.

Drew McIntyre continues to be the star of Monday Nights! His no-nonsense, yet whimsy approach with his cool one-liners plays well. Getting right to the contract signing and then to the expected physicality that ensued is a plus. We all know it’s coming, so address it head-on. I really wish they would come up with a better unveiling of the “contract signing” that has seen its better days.

I really hope they give McIntyre vs. Rollins some breathing room and not just a one-off at MITB. Murphy is now back too to be that sacrificial lamb for the WWE Champion.

Finally, is it really fair to Akira Tozawa or us, the fans, to see him get squashed every Monday night but be forced to see him as a contender for the Cruiserweight Championship on Wednesday nights? Non-sense!

Boy do we miss Kevin Owens!


NXT

RESULTS

  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Isaiah Scott defeated El Hijo del Fantasma
  • Candice LeRae defeated Kacy Catenzaro
  • Non-title NXT Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair defeated Mia Yim
  • Dexter Lumis defeated Shane Thorne
  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drake Maverick defeated Tony Nese
  • NXT North American Championship Match: Keith Lee defeated Damian Priest to retain title

This episode had a little bit of everything folks!

Quality in-ring action from The Queen, Charlotte Flair, comedy from The “Newly-Bros,” a returning Kacy Catenzaro against a new look Candace LeRae and of course, another solid main event, basking in the glory of North American Champion, Keith Lee. And oh yeah, let’s not forget the emotion of the evening from one Drake Maverick!

Loved, loved, loved seeing Maverick with the unlikely win over Tony Nese in the on-going interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. I just hope there’s a pay-off and he sticks around after the seeming release two weeks ago.

What’s up with the Mexican Mafia? They’re now getting inside the arena as they tried to kidnap El Hijo del Fantasma before he got beat by Isaiah Scott

The Poison Pixie is here! Candace LeRae gets the new look last week and makes her in-ring debut as the Poison Pixie, complete with an awesome intro by husband Johnny Gargano! It was nice to see Kacy Catanzaro back on NXT TV, but poor Kacy, you knew she was going to get the beatdown! It was interesting to see a different side to Gargano too! Gargano gets a match with Dominik Dijakovic next week!

What the hell was with the “Newly-Bros Show! How about Byron Sexton’s outfit, man! Finally the lunacy of RAW/Smackdown has hit NXT with Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher! But, it works as thankfully Imperium puts an end to it with a savage attack on the tag team champions.

A beautiful bully is what The Queen has become. The Women’s NXT Champion made her in-ring weekly tv show debut against the superstar she beat to start her NXT career five years ago – Mia Yim. Loved seeing Charlotte being the bully she truly wants to be. Classic showdown between Flair and Io Shirai after the match to set-up next week’s title match.

Also next week – time is up! Tick. Tock. Apocolypse! Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux are coming to NXT! Can’t wait for more! I’m sure Tommaso Ciampa is waiting too!

Kudos to Keith Lee for a physical main event title defense in a battle of big men. Who’s next for Lee after dispatching of Priest with a pair of Spirit Bombs for the victory.

Next week is stacked!


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Daniel Bryan defeated King Corbin (DQ)
  • Sheamus defeated Leon Ruff
  • Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Carmella defeated Mandy Rose
  • Non-Title SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E)
  • Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler

Happy May Day!

The first day of May brings us a solid SmackDown. I still don’t understand why every WWE show has to start with an in-ring promo, but this week’s it’s Daniel Bryan doing it with a heartfelt speech about hos MITB changed his wrestling career. Will it happen again on March 10th?

Good stuff from Bryan and King Corbin. There’s no one better in the heel ranks than Corbin these days and the physicality, complete with ladders, sets up their MITB match nicely. Plus, we’ll get another crack at it next week as Bryan, Drew Gulak and a partner of their choice (Elias anyone?) will take on Corbin, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.

How about Those Forgotten Sons? Forgotten no more as Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler get their first signature TV win Friday night, beating the tag team champs in a non-title match that should put them in position for a shot at the gold soon. Nice push for the boys from NXT.

As we said earlier, Sonya Deville continues to shine in her feud with Mandy Rose. Not only did she cost Rose a shot at the MITB contract with a distraction that let Carmella advance on, but she literally took the boots to her former BFF as well after the match. Really liking this feud moving forward.

Too bad we don’t get the first couple of SmackDown both in the MITB match as Otis does advance past Dolph Ziggler in fighting through the WWE headquarters in one week.

Sheamus starting in the Jeff Hardy/Michael Cole Groundhog Day continues and I don’t know why. Same ol’ same ol’ and there’s really no reason why Sheamus is so hell bent on fighting Jeff Hardy and using Michael Cole as his punching bag. Makes no sense that they’ve wasted a month on this already.

Lastly, what started as something cool with Bray Wyatt giving us storytime with “The Black Sheep” kind of just ended and fell flat. The Fiend vs. Braun Strowman for the Universal Title feels bigger than what it’s being portrayed and played on as on TV. It’s missing that edge, that toughness, that grit. I need a bit more and we all know that Wyatt has it in him. Does Strowman? We have a week to find out.

Speaking of next week, besides the 6-man tag match, we get Lacey Evans & Tamina vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks, the return of Jeff Hardy and Braun vs. Bray face-to-face.

Still no mention of Roman Reigns! I guess we can add Sami Zayn’s name to that list as well. C’mon WWE. Just be honest with us there.


Parting Shots:

• It was great to hear Maura Ranollo’s voice back on NXT, even it wasn’t live on site. He IS the voice of NXT!
• What the heck is going on with Natalya on social media? If you haven’t seen it, follow here along for all the fun (this is one of the tame one!)….


Thanks for letting us share our thoughts! Shoot me an email at jcrowe567@gmail.com. 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!

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