This Week In The WWE: 5/24-5/30

To Flair or not to Flair…

Let’s be honest, Charlotte Flair is a future Hall of Famer. She has it all. The athleticism, the pedigree, the mic skills and of course, the look. She backs it up by showing up every show, every night and most of the time, she comes out on top.

The question, of course, is it too much? Is having The Queen on RAW on Monday nights, NXT on Wednesday nights and SmackDown on Friday nights just too much? Oversaturation say some. I say NO WAY!

As I’ve mentioned in past columns, I love the fact that she’s using each show kind of like the way her Dad, Ric Flair used the territories in the old NWA days. She’s making stars out of those who normally wouldn’t get the chance. In the past few weeks, she’s faced Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Mia Yim, Bayley, Nia Jax, Natalya, Io Shirai, Rhea Ripley among others. That’s getting it done folks.

I’m hoping that Vince goes full blown Flair and at some point, let’s Flair hold all the gold and simultaneously carry the RAW, NXT and SmackDown championships all at the same time.

Now, THAT would be unprecedented and really put Flair over the top, something not even Papa Flair could say!


Star of the Week:

Drake Maverick – The man just keeps going! Kudos to Drake and the WWE for making a negative into a positive as Maverick has gone from a released superstar to now one step away from winning the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship


BACKLASH PPV – UPDATED CARD

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley
  • Universal Championship Handicap Match: Braun Strowman vs. The Miz & John Morrison
  • Greatest Wrestling Match Ever: Edge vs. Randy Orton
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Nia Jax

NXT TakeOver: In Your House – UPDATED CARD

  • NXT Championship: Adam Cole vs. The Velveteen Dream (If Dream loses, he gets no more title shots vs. Cole)
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai
  • Karrion Kross vs. Tommaso Ciampa
  • Finn Balor vs. Damien Priest
  • NXT North American Championship Match: Keith Lee vs. Johnny Gargano

RAW

RESULTS

  • United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews defeated Andrade to win title
  • Angel Garza defeated Kevin Owens
  • Buddy Murphy & Austin Theory defeated Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo
  • RAW Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Nia Jax defeated Charlotte Flair & Natalya
  • RAW Tag Team Championship Non-Title Match: The Street Profits defeated Bobby Lashley & MVP (DQ)

What we loved:

Crews the champion – It’s about time Apollo Crews gets his first WWE Championship! 11 years in the making and we love it! I’m hoping they make it a a full-on push and not a blink in time.

Edge – Simply put, it’s epic Edge on the mic. Love the setting backstage. Love the self-doubt. Love the introspective look at what’s left for Edge.

Crowd – Having the NXT superstars ringside gave some ambience to the show, something it much needed. So, kudos for finally doing it after others (i.e. AEW) have done similar shots at it.

Huh?

Brawl to end the show – Explain to me how it makes sense to point out that the NXT superstars are behind barriers all show long for social distancing purposes and then they all of a sudden storm the ring to break up Drew McIntryre and Bobby Lashley’s brawl to end RAW. Makes NO, and I repeat NO, sense.

Mixed reviews:

#1 Contender’s Match – While we liked the match itself between Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax and Natalya, the outcome was all too predictable. Nia Jax being the heel vs. the now face Asuka to try and get revenge for her friend Kairi Sane is obvious. I would’ve love if they would’ve gone full blown Flair and have Charlotte win since she’s on every show, why not make her champion of all, right?!

Garza vs. Owens – Needed a bit more from this one.  A pre-match knee clip by Angel Garza ultimately cutting the match short left me wanting more from these two. Hoping we get a bit more time and storytelling the next time out.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Interim Cruiserweight Championship Group A Block Finals – Drew Maverick defeated Kushida & Jake Atlas in Three-Way Match
  • Johnny Gargano defeated Adrian Alonis
  • Raquel Gonzalez defeated Shotzi Blackheart
  • Charlotte Flair & Chelsea Green defeated Rhea Ripley & Io Shirai
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Leon Ruff
  • Cage Match: Timothy Thatcher defeated Matt Riddle

Uh-mah-zing – That cage match between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher was amazing! Loved the different cage set-up and need to see that again! I kind of wished they built up to that one, but it was a great surprise too! Thatcher losing two teeth during the match showed the brutality. Riddle’s flip off the top off the cage showed the athleticism. Kurt Angle being there lent some legitimacy to it. And of course, rumors of Riddle’s possible send-off to SmackDown gave us some finality. All in all, a main even worthy of top of the night!

Drake! Drake! Drake! – With Drake Maverick’s release weeks ago, who would’ve thought he’d still be around right? Well, with a controversial win over Kushida and Jake Atlas, pinning Atlas while Kushida was trying to submit him was cool. Kushida not crying about the loss and wishing Drake good luck in the finals against El Hijo del Fantasma was unique. Well done.

Scarlett’s watching you, Ciampa – It was short, but plenty powerful! Having Scarlett watch Tommaso Ciampa’s match with Leon Ruff and then having Karrion Kross’ eyes on the video bring us a powerful message heading into their In Your House match was well played out. Loving every second of NXT’s first couple and how they are being portrayed. Strength!

Funny:

Mia and Keith’s Dinner Party – Playing on the parody of the Gargano’s family dinner, Keith Lee and Mia Yim did the whole dining and it made me laugh out loud! It plays to the strengths and should lead to a fun match potentially at ICY. This week, we’ll get Candice LeRae vs. Yim on NXT Wednesday night.

Surprising:

Chelsea Green – First, she comes out as Charlotte Flair’s partner against Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley, gets the win with Flair and then fires Rob Stone as her manager. That’s a hell of a night. You wonder where they are going with the Stone thing or if they’ll just drop it entirely and let Green stand alone. Either way, nice rub for Chelsea. As for Flair, all she does is show up and shine. Enough said.

Nice nod – Johnny Gargano bringing up Adrian Adonis’ name when bringing out Adrian Alonis was a nice touch. Adonis was a legend!

Not sold on…

Cole vs. Dream, II – Do we really need a rematch between these two? It looks like we’re going to get another cinematic match at ICY between the longest reigning NXT Champion, Adam Cole and The Velveteen Dream. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the need for a “special” match and I fear that the WWE is overdoing it a bit. But, let’s see what they come up with up. I’ll leave an open mind….for now.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi-Finals: Jeff Hardy vs. Elias (never happened)
  • Battle Royal for spot in Intercontinental Championship Semi-Finals vs. Daniel Bryan: Sheamus wins
  • Sonya Deville vs. Lacey Evans – double count-out
  • Chad Gable defeated Cesaro
  • Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss
  • Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi-Finals: Daniel Bryan defeated Sheamus

Welcome back Drew Gulak – Free agency was short. Gulak never went anywhere!

What we loved:

Friday Night Drama – We start with the illusion that makes it look like Jeff Hardy was drunk and hit Elias with his car. We can see right through this one – Sheamus set the whole thing up to make it look like Hardy was drunk driving to keep Hardy out of the Intercontinental Tournament.  Sheamus then goes out and wins the Battle Royal only to lose to Daniel Bryan in the semi’s. All this, while AJ Styles takes his free ride to the finals, facing Bryan in two week in what should be a classic for the I-C Title. BTW: loved Chad Gable’s line of Dolph Ziggler that he’s a jackass! Finally, a good singles showing for Jey Uso until being the final elimination by Sheamus in the Battle Royal.

Sheamus vs. Bryan – One of the in-ring highlights of the week. Really good stuff to end the week. Plus, Jeff Hardy’s back out of cuffs to cost Sheamus the match further playing out that storyline from the top of the show. A full explanation I’m sure is coming next week.

Fun:

Sasha vs. Alexa with Nikki and Bayley – I don’t know what was better – the in-ring quality of Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks, which always delivers or the commentary back-and-forth from Nikki Cross and Bayley with Michael Cole and Corey Graves. Entertaining and fun throughout. Now, we’ll get a tag team championship match to come this upcoming Friday night.

Give me more:

Sonya vs. Lacey – A double count-out just doesn’t cut it for me. I need me some more of Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville. Give these two a solid 20 minutes and it will be solid gold!

Ode to Fast Times:

Mandy & Otis – For those of you who loved Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you’ll get the parody of the Phoebe Cates/Judge Reinhold pool scene played out this time by Mandy and Otis, the first couple of SmackDown.

Bro Show comes to Friday night – Yes, we get the confirmation that Matt Riddle has graduated from NXT Wednesday nights to SmackDown Friday nights. A nice touch having Kurt Angle introduce him as well.

Overall, SmackDown wins the honors as top show of the week from the WWE. Congrats, blue brand!


Parting Shots:

Listening to Jeff Jarrett on Backstage Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was a good time. I wish they would find a more convenient LIVE time for the show on FS1. For most of us, including me, it’s become a DVR show to watch on Wednesday which doesn’t help their overnight ratings. CM Punk returns this week as well. This show is a good watch, but could be so much better if allowed the flexibility.

Did you hear? Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, who has always said he wants a career in the WWE after his NBA days are over, has challenged former Patriots and current Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski, the current 24/7 Champion to a match at SummerSlam if it were to be held in Boston.


Coming up this week:

RAW – Rey Mysterio Jr. Retirement Ceremony / Aleister Black vs. Seth Rolllins / Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair / Apollo Crew vs. TBD

NXT – Interim Cruiserweight Championship Finals : Drake Maverick vs. El Hijo del Fantasma / Candice LeRae vs. Mia Yim

SmackDown – Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks / The Miz & John Morrison’s Warning for Braun Strowman


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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