This Week In The WWE: 8/9-8/15

The biggest news from the WWE doesn’t come in the ring this week, it’s where that ring will be come SummerSlam.

After calling the Performance Center its home for the past five months, the WWE will venture outside to a new venue starting this upcoming week for SmackDown and SummerSlam. Starting Friday night, the WWE returns to LIVE shows at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to kick-off SummerSlam weekend. Moving forward, not only will PPV’s be LIVE and in Orlando, but RAW and SmackDown will do the same. It should bring some new energy and creativity to the shows with a bigger venue and being LIVE each week. That’s a good thing. Plus, there’s rumors that there will be virtual fans on hand until the point and time where the WWE can bring back fans to the arena. I’m looking forward to it. I think we all are. It would be very cool to see yourself up on the big screens on Monday Night RAW or Friday Night SmackDown right from your very own home, just like the NBA games from the Bubble.


Star of the Week: Asuka

Beating Bayley on Monday night to win a SummerSlam title match for Sasha Banks’ RAW title was the start. Beating the NXT, RAW and SmackDown ladies in the Tri-Branded Battle Royale to gain a SmackDown title match against Bayley the very same night at SummerSlam now gives Asuka the chance to be a double-strap diva and rid Bayley and Banks of half their gold. That’s one helluva week!


SummerSlam PPV – Updated Card:

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
  • Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. The FIend
  • United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
  • Hair vs. Hair Match: Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville
  • RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
  • Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio (Mysterio can bring weapons)

RAW

RESULTS

  • Seth Rollins defeated Humberto Carrillo
  • Angelo Dawkins defeated Andrade
  • Bianca Belair defeated Zelina Vega
  • Non-title US Championship Match: Shelton Benjamin defeated Apollo Crews
  • Cedric Alexander, Ricochet and The Vikings Raiders defeated Akira Tozawa and the Ninjas
  • 24/7 Championship: R-Truth defeated Akira Tozawa to win title
  • Peyton Royce defeated Liv Morgan
  • Asuka defeated Bayley by submission – Asuka wins shot at Sasha Banks RAW Women’s Championship at SummerSlam
  • Randy Orton defeated Kevin Owens

We told you it was coming…

Damn you Randy – Even though we’ve been telling for weeks that Randy Orton would take out his mentor Ric Flair, it still stings to see it go down at the end of the show. Sure, they spared us watching The Legend Killer punt The Nature Boy in the head with the lights going out (presumably by Retribution), but it still was one helluva a way to put some added heat into Orton vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. This one could have tentacles for weeks to come as we could see Flair align himself with the new young studs and his returning daughter Charlotte to get revenge on Randy or maybe Nach just says attaboy to Randy and helps him beat Drew. Either way, it’s a great angle being played out.

Damn!

Damage to Dominik – That certainly is no way to celebrate signing a WWE contract! Mysterio’s son gets a kendo stickn whooping from Seth Rollins and Murphy in a beating that brings back memories of Tommy Dreamer in the ECW Arena. Give the kid credit, he took it like a champ!

Asuka does it again! – Bayley submits and we get Asuka vs. Sasha Banks in a SummerSlam rematch. Always good stuff and now we get more on a bigger stage!

Intrigued:

Lana & Nattie & Mickie – I do like the pairing of new besties Lana and Natalya and now you add in a returning aMickie James and you have me interested in next week’s match. Looking forward to some good veteran work there!

Underwhelmed:

RAW Underground – It’s not that I don’t like RAW Underground, because I do. I like the look and the idea of it. I just don’t think it’s been explained very well for two weeks. Why are they fighting? What do they get for winning? What’s the pay off? So many questions and yet, so few answers so far. BTW: I’m with Liv Morgan: bring back the dancers! Shayna Baszler was a nice addition, but it seems toned down. Let her loose!

Retribution – Again, I like the idea of a rogue faction, I really do. But after destroying the ring on SmackDown last week, we get very little out of the group on RAW other than to break some glass. By week two, we should get a tease as to who they are and why they are there. Plus, the damage should be a bit more don’t you think! Time to ramp it up ladies and gents! Seems like a perfect fit for Tommaso Ciampa since no one in NXT can figure out a role for him these days.

Lots to like:

Short but sweet – Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega, Angelo Dawkins vs. Andrade, Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce – they all paid off in brief but fun matches. We’d all like to see things go a bit more than five minutes, but at least they’re getting airtime, right?! The same can’t be said of the 8-man match between the The Viking Raiders, Ricochet & Cedric Alexander vs. Akira Tozawa and The Ninjas which did little but to set up R-Truth’s latest 24/7 Title win.

Still don’t get it:

Crews loses again – I just don’t understand the constant jobbing out of the United States Champion. Win one week, lose the next two. It’s no way to make him look strong. If you want the belt on MVP or Bobby Lashley or Shelton Benjamin, just do it already and make them stronger for more than a night. 50-50 booking doesn’t help anyone.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Karrion Kross defeated Danny Burch
  • Non-title NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Santos Escobar defeated Tyler Breeze
  • Mia Yim defeated Indie Hartwell
  • Bronson Reed defeated Damian Priest
  • Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah defeated Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter
  • NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match: Cameron Grimes defeated KUSHIDA & The Velveteen Dream

This week’s NXT was like breakfast for dinner. Everyone likes it, it tastes really good but it’s never something that stands out in what you remember for the week, right? Well, that’s how I feel about this week’s show. Nothing tremendously outstanding but everything was really good. It lacked that “can’t miss” match like it’s been having week-to-week. Some of that is due to giving those that haven’t had a chance fight it out for the Keith Lee opportunity for the NXT North American Championship, but when Cameron Grimes is beating KUSHIDA and The Velveteen Dream, I lose a little faith. Here’s hoping the heel turn for TVD and a match next week vs. Finn Balor makes up for it.

There was plenty of set-up to the night as the best thing on NXT these days – Karrion Kross & Scarlett Bordeaux toss a fireball Keith Lee’s way en route to their NXT Championship contract signing. When I mentioned liking the slow burn to this feud, I had no idea we’d have this just happening. But it makes it more personal, that’s for sure!

Adam Cole and The Undisputed Era took out Drake Maverick and Killian Dain for no reason other than to call out Pat McAfee for a face-to-face week, which of course, McAfee agreed to.

In a bit of a surprise, especially considering the rumors of sexual misconduct swirling regarding The Velveteen Dream, we get a TVD return and a heel turn to boot Wednesday night. It wasn’t that good of a match with Cameron Grimes and KUSHIDA but at least we had the payoff of the Finn Balor vs. TVD match which should more than make up for it. I do like the idea of more sinister TVD too. After a lackluster run at Adam Cole and the NXT Championship, the Dream needs a little lift in his character.

Finally, count me in on more Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter. They don’t win much, but they sure do entertain when they’re out there and it’s good to see them put into the Robert Stone Brand angle to provide a little depth. Give me more! Athleticism and personality persona fide!


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Tri-Branded Battle Royale – Asuka wins to claim title match vs. Bayley for SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam
  • Sheamus defeated Shorty G
  • Gran Metalik defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Big E defeated John Morrison

Loved it:

Battle Royale – Setting up Asuka to win two title matches at SummerSlam as she now faces both Bayley and Sasha Banks for their SmackDown and RAW Championships is fabulous. There’s a lot that can happen. Do Bayley and Sasha trip each other up? Can Asuka run the gauntlet? Does Shayna Baszler get involved? Lots of intrigue!

Hair vs. Hair – Sure, we all saw it coming but now that they actually want to go through with it, I can wait to see former best friends Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville beat the holy hell out of each other to protect their golden (and not so golden) locks!

Retribution gets some teeth to it – Attacks to start and end the show give some grit to Retribution. First, they beat up Big E and John Morrison to begin the night. Then, as the full SmackDown roster comes out to protect Big E and Morrison, Retribution takes apart the entire locker-room.

Did anyone else find it odd though that Braun Strowman and Sheamus both come out from the back right after the Retribution attack but neither either didn’t know it was happening or do anything about it? Hmmmmmmmm……. I do think we need to hear from them on what the anti-WWE message they keep spray-painting everywhere really means. Plus, we need to find out some teases as to just who some of these rebels are. We need some depth and next week could be a huge week in that development.

Welcome back:

Kalisto – Kalisto is back to help Gran Metalik get a win over Shinsuke Nakamura in a very lackluster match. But, it was funny to see Lucha House Party steal the Tag Team Titles from Nakamura and Cesaro to start a little feud there.

Huh?

Sheamus vs. everyone? – It seems like Sheamus is taking on everyone these days. Last week, Jeff Hardy and King Corbin were in his crosshairs and this week, it’s Shorty G and Big E. Not sure where they’re going with Sheamus.

Alexa Bliss – Why is everyone beating up Miss Bliss? Maybe only The Fiend can save her? It would be a pretty cool double-turn! Strowman is definitely better as a badass than a one-trick babyface pony.


Parting Shots:

ICYMI – Former longtime referee Mike Chioda showed up on All Elite Wrestling this week to officiate the TNT Championship Match between Cody Rhodes and Scorpio Sky. Good to see Mike back at it after being let go earlier this year by the WWE after nearly three decades. Good luck ahead Mike!


NXT TakeOver: 30 – Updated Card:

  • NXT Championship Match: Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross
  • Pat McAfee vs. Adam Cole
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai vs. Dakota Kai
  • NXT North American Championship Match: Bronson Reed vs. Damien Priest vs. Cameron Grimes vs. 2 TBD

Coming up next week:

RAW:
Shawn Michaels confronts Randy Orton for his attack on Ric Flair

NXT:
Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee Face-to-Face
NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match: Finn Balor vs. The Velveteen Dream
NXT North American Championship Qualifying Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland
6-Man Tag Team Match: Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango & Isaiah “Swerve” Scott

SMACKDOWN:
Intercontinental Championship Match: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy


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, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins fan! If you’re not down with that, I’ve got TWO WORDS for you… NEW ENGLAND