It’s a “lose your championship” kind of week for the WWE.
First, we get Becky Lynch giving up her RAW Women’s Championship now that she’s going to be a Mom. Then, we get Sami Zayn being “forced” to let go of his Intercontinental Title.
Zayn, after getting some dental work to go along with his pandemic hiatus, says he’s still the champion but will now have to watch a tournament go forward to see who the next I-C Champ will be.
I thought the WWE handled Becky’s situation well with some human moments to start RAW Monday night with “The Man” and Asuka, who was just learning that she actually won the title and not the MITB contract during Sunday night’s PPV. Pulling the curtain back a bit and letting the ladies enjoy the moment for what it was as mothers was really good to see.
Welcome back to the brand extension! It’s now called the Brand Invitation and it starts with the announcement of King Corbin coming to RAW Monday night to face WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. Now, that’s quite the invitation to not only come, but face the #1 superstar on the show. NXT Charlotte Flair, who you could argue started this by being on RAW each week (along with Akira Tozawa and others), got things going by showing up on SmackDown.
They’ve done so much to make sure the bands are separate and now it seems, out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to mix it up because of talent shortages. I get that, I just hope they don’t overuse it. Make it special and it will be ok.
STAR OF THE WEEK:
Becky Lynch – Congrats to “The Man” on her awesome news and impending birth of her first child. That opening segment on RAW Monday night did more to humanizing her (and Asuka) than anything they could’ve ever done. I’m glad they were upfront and honest with the WWE Universe, something that can NOT be said about their handling of Roman Reigns (and others) during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, as for Seth Rollins. That’s a different and bizarre story for later on.
MONEY IN THE BANK PPV
- Men’s Money In The Bank Match: Otis defeated King Corbin, AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, Daniel Bryan and Aleister Black
- Women’s Money In The Bank Match: Asuka defeated Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Carmella, Dana Brooke and Lacey Evans
- WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins
- Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman defeated Bray Wyatt
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley defeated Tamina
- SmackDown Tag Team Fatal Four-Way Championship Match: The New Day defeated Lucha House Party, The Miz & John Morrison and The Forgotten Sons
- Bobby Lashley defeated R-Truth
- Kickoff Show: Jeff Hardy defeated Cesaro
- No DQ Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Humberto Carrillo
- Angel Garza defeated Akira Tozawa
- Non-Title Women’s Tag Team Title Match: The Iiconics defeated Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
- Non-Title WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Andrade
- R-Truth, Ricochet & Cedric Alexander defeated MVP, Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink
- Aleister Black & Rey Mysterio defeated Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy via DQ
- Shayna Baszler defeated Natalya
What we loved:
Becky Mama – As we said above, nothing but positivity from this one! Congrats to Becky Lynch and the family!
Asuka as Champ – Such an awesome and genuine reaction. Asuka has proven she’s worthy in the ring and over the past few months during a down-time in the biz, she’s more than shown she can be out of the box out of the ring too which should bode well moving further.
R-Truth – The dude is just funny and entertaining. Good stuff from him and Cousin Ricky!
Rey Mysterio Line of the Year – “What a d**k!” – Mysterio to Charly Caruso after congratulating Seth Rollins on being a father and Rollins just walking away. Rollins of course got the last laugh though with an injury to end Rey’s evening.
What we didn’t love:
Zelina’s gang of 3 – While I do love the tension between Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory, why just hand over a match with Drew McIntyre to Andrade (again) when he just had one a few weeks back? Just let the tension ride and let them fight it out for a spot against the champ? It would be a very good match and advance the story line as well. Missed opportunity there.
Tag team champs losing on TV again – Just like the men’s tag champs on both RAW and SmackDown the past two months, it seems like having them lose on TV is a pattern. The Iiconics haven’t been around for over 6 months and they come back and beat Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in their first match. Seems wonky to me and doesn’t make your champs look strong. 50-50 booking. Ugh! Predictably, it sets up a title match at Backlash.
Just plain bizarre:
Seth Rollins – After being catatonic most of the night, a night in which he should be happy about becoming a father, he goes wild on Rey Mysterio, giving him a bloody eye injury at the end of their tag team match, causing a DQ win for Mysterio and Aleister Black. Then, after the match, Rollins is all apologetic again. All this comes after he shakes hands Sunday night after his title loss to McIntyre. I wish they could’ve, at least for a night, let him be happy like his fiancée Becky Lynch.
MVP’s Stable – Well, it looks like we’ve got the beginning of MVP’s stable now with Bobby Lashley coming aboard. Will it be long before Apollo Crews joins too? I like the factions, there’s no doubt. They were great in the Attitude Era and can be again! The MVP faction. Zelina Vega faction. Who’s next? Plus, a strong Lashley is better than anything he was with Lana.
Edge vs. Orton II – Just a wrestling match? Something smells fishy here, don’t you think?
- NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) defeated Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher to win titles
- Tegan Nox defeated Indi Hartwell
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Tournament Championship Match: Jake Atlas defeated Tony Nese
- Cameron Grimes defeated Finn Balor
- Interim NXT Cruiserweight Tournament Championship Match: Jack Gallagher defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
- Kayden Carter defeated Aliyah
- Matt Riddle defeated Timothy Hatcher
What we loved:
The End is Here – The best thing on NXT this week was the continuing saga of Karrion Kross and Scarlett. After an amazing debut last week, a well-done produced piece putting EVERYONE in NXT on notice – not just Tommaso Ciampa – was well done.
In Your House is back! – Yes, the infamous 90’s PPV’s are back for at least one night as the next NXT Takeover is an In Your House Special on June 7th! And having Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Road Dogg Jesse James make the announcement with memories of their first matches at IYH 25 years ago was funny as hell too! I hope they use the old school graphics as well!
New Tag Champs – Imperium is now a two-title stable. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel took full advantage of Timothy Thatcher walking out on his championship partner Matt Riddle to win the belts for the first time. Now with Walter’s NXT UK Championship, Imperium is getting well stocked to take over NXT.
Thatcher & Riddle – Pretty quick end to this partnership. Now, I get that Thatcher didn’t like the comedy and off-beat antics of the “Bros,” but to end it so quickly and have a match the same night seems a little rushed to me.
Dinner with the Gargano’s & Rhea Ripley – Both were just kind of there this week.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament – I’ve enjoyed it so far, but I wish they gave them a bit more time. It’s been really good in-ring action. This week, we barely got 10 minutes combined in wins by Jack Gallagher and Jake Atlas. Now, we get Kushida vs. Drake Maverick and Akira Tozawa vs. El Hiro Fantasma in the upcoming week. I hope they give them some room to show their wares!
Aliyah – Why build her up as a new Rob Stone client only to have her lose right away?
Didn’t like at all:
Balor’s bully – Having Damien Priest come out as the man who attached Finn Balor while Balor was fighting Cameron Grimes seemed like a yawner instead of an OMG moment. Priest is just coming off a losing feud with Keith Lee and now having him get an upper hand on Balor to cost him the match with Grimes is a bit forced and yes, rushed again. It should’ve had more play time in it and a stronger payoff.
- Intercontinental Championship Tournament 1st Round Match: Elias defeated King Corbin
- Dana Brooke defeated Naomi
- Intercontinental Championship Tournament 1st Round Match: Daniel Bryan defeated Drew Gulak
- Braun Strowman & Otis defeated The Miz & John Morrison
What we loved:
Drew vs. Daniel – Give me more of this, please! Unfortunately, it’s a first round match and not further in the tournament. Would love to see these two do an ironman match.
The Queen stirs the pot – instead of heading into the normal physical theatrics, Charlotte Flair got things going again between Sasha Banks and Bayley. Not only do we get a match with champion vs. champion as SmackDown’s Bayley will face NXT’s Charlotte next week, but maybe we get a Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha three-way dance too!
Sonya brings it – Daville continues to be dynamite on the mic in previewing next week’s mixed tag match with Sonya & Dolph Ziggler taking on Otis & Mandy Rose. She’s just being herself and it rings true! Well done Sonya! Keep it up!
Main event – The combination of Otis and Universal Champion Braun Strowman was predictable as Tucker wasn’t available to join the new Mr. MITB against The Miz & John Morrison, but it worked. The double worm was fun and the right team won. Plus, we get to stoke the fire for Otis and his eventual cashing in of his contract down the road. Plus, I did appreciate the clean win and no shenanigans at the end of the match.
AJ in the I-C Title mix – Isn’t AJ Styles on RAW? I see we are already taking liberties with the brand invitational.
The Undertaker: Last Ride – If you haven’t seen part 1, do it. NOW! Loved it and need me some more this week as part 2 of the five-part docu-series continues on the WWE Network Sunday night. Loved the candor from Mark Calaway and loved the fact that WWE didn’t shy away from using stars not currently with the company to tell the story, i.e. Jim Ross, Chris Jericho and more! You simply can’t tell the Dead Man’s tale without good ol’ JR!
Plus, the emotion, openness and access we’re getting from The Undertaker and wife Michelle McCool is fabulous. This is MUST SEE TV folks!
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!