This Week In The WWE: 5/3-5/9

Welcome to Money In The Bank PPV Weekend!

Originally set for Baltimore, the PPV will be fought over two venues – the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida and the MITB matches from WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

For the first time ever, both the men’s and women’s match will be fought at the same time. Plus, instead of happening in the ring, they’ll start at the bottom of the WWE HQ and fight all the way to the roof where the two briefcases will be hung over to acquire.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Sure, they’ll be surprises along the way with other Superstars hidden around the HQ. No, I don’t think we’ll see anyone thrown off the roof as King Corbin suggested. But, it’ll be fun.

The MITB matches will be the stars. Expect Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins to be a stand-out match to with some chaos to keep the feud going.

As of Saturday morning, here’s the card:

  • Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio, Otis, King Corbin
  • Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Asuka, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans
  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
  • Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. The Fiend/Bray Wyatt
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley vs. Tamina
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way Match: The New Day vs. The Miz & John Morrison vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. Lucha House Party
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro (kick-off)
  • R-Truth vs. MVP
  • Possible add – RAW Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits vs. The Viking Raiders

Predictions:

  • Men’s MITB – Aleister Black (2nd choice: AJ Styles)
  • Women’s MITB – Lacey Evans (2nd choice: Shayna Baszler)
  • WWE Championship – Drew McIntyre
  • Universal Championship – Braun Strowman
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Forgotten Sons
  • Sheamus interferes in Hardy match for DQ
  • Somehow R-Truth beats Rob Gronkowski for 24/7 Title

Star of the week:

Karrion Kross and Scarlett – While we are all looking for something different in this pandemic wrestling environment, KK and Scarlett gave it to us with an unbelievable entrance! Complete with smoke, singing and vivaciousness from Scarlett, it all exceeded expectations and led as a wonderful precursor to Kross’ dominance over Leon Ruff in his debut match. That’s they way you make new superstars get over and look strong!


RAW

RESULTS

  • Last Chance Money In The Bank Ladder Qualifying Match: AJ Styles defeated Humberto Carillo, Austin Theory, Angel Garza, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, Akira Tozawa and Titus O”Neil
  • Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink defeated Ricochet & Cedric Alexander
  • Non-Title RAW Tag Team Title Match: The Viking Raiders defeated The Street Profits
  • Non-Title NXT Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair defeated Liv Morgan
  • Non-Title WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Buddy Murphy

This week’s RAW just felt like I went on and on. With it being the “go-home” show for the MITB PPV Sunday, you would think there would be more of an urgency too it, but there wasn’t. Not that it was a bad show, it just felt like it dragged a bit.

One thing that has been a downer is the constant 50-50 booking from week-to-week. Take for instance, the team of Ricochet and Cedric Alexander. They look really good one week and then get beat the next. This week, they lost to Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink, a team they beat last week and honestly, a team that they shouldn’t be losing to on TV if they are going to be real contenders to The Street Profits.  The same can be said for the tag team champs, who lost, predictably, a non-title match to The Viking Raiders which you would think sets up a championship match at the PPV.

I’m all for teams and individuals looked good and getting a victory from time to time, but you’re not helping make the teams you need to be strong look strong. It doesn’t make sense making everyone happy with wins on TV. Getting them on LIVE events is one thing (not that there are any of those these days), but on TV where most of your people see them is another.

What we did LOVE this week was Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan. Giving Morgan a chance to shine over three segments with a promo and a really good match with the NXT Women’s Champion does wonders for her. No, she shouldn’t have one and I’m glad she didn’t, but it will help build her character for a later point and time.

The gauntlet match was what it was. AJ Styles coming back to earn the final spot in the MITB Men’s Match wasn’t that unexpected but helps the PPV with another solid contender. I thought the WWE missed a chance to have some fun though. Having Bobby Lashley DQ’d was laughable to begin with. But, by having Austin Theory and Angel Garza as part of the match, why not have them face-off to provide some angst and tension within the group? It would’ve been better than what we got, which was predictability. Zelina Vega’s reaction only would’ve been priceless!

Nice build-up for Drew McIntyre and Seth Rollins. Still don’t understand having interviews in the ring in front of no one, but they make even less sense when Charley Caruso doesn’t say anything for long stretches. Just make a production piece of it, those work better.

Overall, the WWE has to think of ways to attract more viewers as the 1.6 million viewers they got Monday night was another historic low.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Johnny Gargano defeated Dominik Dijakovic
  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Tournament Match: Akira Tozawa defeated Jack Gallagher
  • Chelsea Green defeated Xia Li
  • Karrion Kross defeated Leon Ruff
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai defeated Charlotte Flair by DQ – Flair retains title
  • Interim NXT Cruiserweight Tournament Match: Kushida defeated Jake Atlas
  • Cameron Grimes defeated Denzel Dejournette
  • NXT Championship Match: Adam Cole defeated The Velveteen Dream

Holy Karrion Kross and Scarlett! Now, THAT’S HOW YOU MAKE AN ENTRANCE!

Tick. Tock. Apocolypse. With the hype and the build-up, the duo still make a debut that was something different and exciting to watch! By far, the best thing on Wednesday night!

Johnny Gargano and Dominik Dijakovic gave us a strong, physical opener. NXT’s first couple (for the moment) swerved their way to victory with a Candice LeRae distraction to help her husband get the victory. Where Gargano’s next feud is coming from is a mystery at the moment but he and the Poison Pixie are making things interesting nonetheless.

We got expected wins from Mr. Winning Wednesday night Akira Tozawa (as opposed to his alter ego Mr. Losing Monday night) and Kushida in the interim NXT Cruiserweight matches. Both go 2-0 in the tourney and currently, both on top of their respective blocks. The tournament has been good with some of the best wrestling matches of the week. I wonder if they’ve made up their minds about Drake Maverick though.

Who will be Finn Balor’s attacker? We still don’t know, but we do know that Cameron Grimes didn’t do himself any favors by saying he could beat Balor up and will get decimated next week.

I like what they’re doing with Charlotte Flair. By taking on some new names on both RAW and NXT it almost has the feel of her father, Ric Flair traveling to the territories each week to take on the local top stars. Like her Dad, she makes them look good, gets the win most times and keeps the title. All good for business. This week, with a DQ loss to Io Shirai, it keeps a potential rematch alive and with Rhea Ripley’s return, sets up a nice three-person dynamic for a bit between the trio.

The NXT Championship Match between Adam Cole and The Velveteen Dream fell a little flat to me. I expected more from these two but it just didn’t click. Cole extends his historic NXT Championship reign (340 days on Wednesday) but the match really didn’t do much for me and needed the expected run-in from The Undisputed Era. The Velveteen Dream’s run at Cole hasn’t been all that memorable. Maybe it’s the lack of crowd to give it some emotion and feedback, but it just hasn’t worked.  Who’s next for Cole, maybe NXT North American Champ Keith Lee? That I wouldn’t mind seeing. There’s history there.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Sonya Deville defeated Mandy Rose
  • The Miz & John Morrison & The Forgotten Sons defeated The New Day & Lucha House Party
  • Tamina & Lacey Evans defeated Bayley & Sasha Banks
  • King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro defeated Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak & Otis

The go-home show to the MITB PPV was all about the set-up with a showcase on three tag-team matches. Before we get to those, let’s talk about the non-in ring stuff.

Braun Strowman’s face-to-face with Bray Wyatt fell kind of flat. It was nice to see Wyatt in person, but it was the same ol’ you started with me and I want your belt back-and-forth. Nothing new here to make me want to be invested in the storyline.

As expected, Jeff Hardy returned to SmackDown and as expected, Sheamus confronted him. That was pretty good stuff between the two veterans. We should expect that match to be added to the MITB PPV this weekend.

I thought the best part of the show was the opener between Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Letting these go at it no only with the physical style in (and out of) the ring, but with the banter while they do it, this was very good to watch. I hope they keep it up.

 As for the tag team matches, we got some very good action. Really enjoyed the 8-man match between those fighting for the SmackDown tag team championship Sunday. Plus, it was good that that The Miz & John Morrison got some street crede back with a win. Still, with some tensions with The Forgotten Sons, it sets up for an exciting match for The New Day to defend the titles.

The women’s tag match went pretty much according to schedule with Tamina looking like a contender for Bayley’s SmackDown Championship, although it’s very unlikely she’ll beat Bayley.

In the main event, the heels got over as King Corbin ended up atop the ladder to end the night. We, of course, in McMahon comedic style, got Otis breaking a ladder as he tried to climb it. I don’t expect either Corbin or Otis to be at the heights on Sunday either.

And oh yeah, the Hacker is still watching us. Payback is coming!


Parting shots:

  • With the Country starting to open up more and more things, I expect the wrestling world to push the envelope. But, here in the Northeast, they’re already canceling things through Labor Day. One of the things to fall by the wayside will be SummerSlam in Boston. State officials have already said no large gatherings before September 7th.  So, expect an alternative plan there for the WWE. Maybe we’ll get it back in Boston next year.
  • It was nice to see Roman Reigns address that he’s not at the WWE events due to making sure his new kids are healthy. I applaud him for that. Making sure your family is safe is always first priority. I wish the WWE would just address the situation honestly on TV as well.  

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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