This Week In The WWE: 9/13-9/19

Friends. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.

It seems like this could be the new theme song of the WWE these days. Sasha and Bayley. Alexa and Nikki. Peyton and Billie. Roman and Jey. Drake and Killian, Drew and Keith and I’m sure more to come.

Whether it be besties turned bad or friends of convenience or even family members not exactly on the same page, it seems like the WWE has super-sized the idea of friends becoming foes. It’s a time-honored tradition played out time and time again over wrestling history. Remember Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zybysko?

Let’s see how the WWE puts a new spin on things. What they do in the next few months, if done right, could be the stories we talk about in 30 years from now.


Clash of Champions – UPDATED CARD

  • WWE Championship Ambulance Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
  • WWE Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
  • WWE Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax vs. The Riott Squad
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn

Star of the Week:

Roman Reigns, Jey USO & Paul Heyman – This feud has put Roman Reigns in a place that even Vince McMahon couldn’t have dreamed of when he was trying to shove a fan favorite Roman Reigns down the WWE Universe’s collective throats as champion. Roman is taking no prisoners, including his own flesh and blood, to claim what he thinks is his rightful spot atop the WWE, this time as Universal Champion. Taking down cousin Jey Uso should put the rest of the WWE on notice that no one is safe when they try to take what Reigns thinks is his and only his! And when you put the voice of Paul Heyman together with the forthright, directness and physicality of Reigns to back it up, it’s truly the cherry on top of the sundae.  Watch the Samoan history video from SmackDown.


RAW

RESULTS

  • Champion vs. Champion Match: The Street Profits defeated Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Cedric Alexander defeated Ricochet
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka defeated Mickie James (match stopped due to Mickie James injury)
  • Non-title United States Championship Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Erik
  • Steel Cage Match: Seth Rollins defeated Dominik Mysterio
  • Kevin Owens defeated Aleister Black
  • The Riott Squad defeated Natalya & Lana
  • Non-Title WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee went to a no-contest when RETRIBUTION interfered

Loved it:

RETRIBUTION – Now, we have a purpose and some depth. Not only did RETRIBUTION have some promo time, but they also left their mark all over the top of the WWE Universe. First, they take out WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee in the main event. Then, they get into with The Hurt Business to close the show. Let’s hope they keep it interesting with some creative plans. Honestly, I really thought Randy Orton was going to be in the middle of the ring when they attacked McIntyre & Lee in the main event, but I like the way they went with it instead. A good night for RETRIBUTION and a few weeks of aimless wandering. It also looks like RAW will be there home.

Zelina steps up – Well, well now! Not only did Zelina Vega tell Andrade & Angel Garza she’s had enough of them, but then she walks right into RAW Women’s Champion Asuka’s grill to challenge for her title. It’s something no one saw coming, so a cool swerve. Do I expect her to beat Asuka, no. But, wouldn’t it be fitting if Andrade and/or Garza try to get back in her good graces by trying to help her win the title? Or maybe, that will dig a deeper hole for one or both of them. Either way, it’s entertaining and a good hook.

Steel Cage Match – Lots of good physicality between Seth Rollins and Dominik Mysterio. The right guy won to hopefully end their feud. Now, it looks like we are on to Rollins vs. Murphy as they traded shots hitting each other with the cage door during and after the match. You have to wonder where Mysterio’s sister Aaliyah plays in all this as she went to check in on Murphy. Is it getting Murphy over to the good side or can Murphy stay true to Rollins and try to get sis over to the Monday Night Messiah? Hmmmm….

Braun destroys RAW Underground – Sure, it makes no sense that now we’re getting SmackDown stars each week on RAW when the rules only say once a quarter, but the WWE has never been about following their own rules. Make it up as they go, right? Either way, having Braun Strowman destroy everyone in the Underground and promise to come back next week is good for the show. It’s better than the middle-ground we were seeing on SmackDown lately with The Fiend, who now has Roman Reigns to play with.

Solid:

Cedric Alexander – There’s no getting out of the athleticism of Alexander. Plus, putting him in the ring with Ricochet is always a good match. Now, he’s good some personality to go with it as a member of The Hurt Business.

The Riott Squad – Makes sense to give them a win heading into their Clash of Champions Title match with Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler. Poor Natalya & Lana, maybe her going through a table is retribution for the third-party social media chaos.

Owens vs. Black – This feud would be greatly enhanced with a crowd I think. Right now, it just seems like filler, but it’s action packed in the ring, so no harm, no foul in this crazy pandemic World. Plus, a little social media rib from Black saying Owens might be part of RETRIBUTION. Interesting.

 Odd:

Lee vs. McIntyre – Maybe it’s me, but the Keith Lee I found as likeable in NXT is coming off a bit gruff on RAW. McIntyre and Lee seemed awkward at times in their back-and-forth going into the main event and of course, immediately went to blows. I did like them teaming up to fly over the top rope to fight off RETRIBUTION though. That was some good stuff right there! I’m just not sure where Lee is headed though.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Non-title NXT Women’s Championship Match: Io Shirai defeated Shotzi Blackheart
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Desmond Troy (the former Denzel Dejournette)
  • Kushida defeated Austin Theory
  • NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Breezango defeated Imperium to retain titles
  • Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter defeated Xia Lia & Jessi Kamea

LOVED IT:

Gauntlet Eliminator Match – Thank you William Regal! Instead of defaulting to another multi-man #1 Contender Match for Finn Balor’s NXT Championship, we get an exciting, unique new concept. Next week, we get the first ever Gauntlet Eliminator Match to see who will face Balor at the next NXT TakeOver in October. It’s kind of like the Royal Rumble where two men start the match. Every four minutes, we get a new entrant until all five men are in the ring. Last one left faces Balor. Love the idea and can’t wait to see how it plays out. Now we just need to know who’s in it.

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/1306388653078466560

Io vs. Shotzi – I make no bones about it that I’m a Shotzi Blackheart admirer. Good showing against the champ here in the opening match. But too much Io Shirai here who finishes off Blackheart with a missile dropkick and top rope moonsault. Wouldn’t be shocked if we see this again down the road for the Championship. Maybe Shotzi takes home the #1 Contenders Battle Royale next week?

Kushida – I’m diggin’ the new attitude. He’s a badass and looking to take over. A tremendous upgrade.

Still the Champs:

Breezango – There definitely more than just the Fashion Police. There the cream of the crop in the tag team division. They keep us entertained outside the ring and more than satisfied in the ring. Tyler Breeze and Fandango get a shout out and it’s more than just a pelvic thrust from Wade Barrett.

https://twitter.com/WWENXT/status/1306413537879883777

Damian Priest – Honestly, I was expecting much from the main event with Priest defending his NXT North American Championship against Timothy Thatcher, but I was impressed. It overdelivered and both men won me over with a very good match. Props to Priest for his first successful title defense!

Not so friendly:

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/1306402186423865345

The ladies – Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter showed a good sign of friendly respect to Jessi Kamea & Xia Li after beating them in their tag match. Yet, Li wasn’t so willing to bump fists. Looks like we got ourselves something to look out for in next week’s Battle Royale.

Drake & Dain – They’ve never been friends, yet found themselves fighting The Undisputed Era Wednesday night. Well, that was until Dain said he wasn’t showing up. When Dain did show up, TUE insulted him and actually got his team a win via DQ when TUE brought in a chair. And to celebrate, Dain drops Drake with a solid punch to the face. Great line by Barrett: “Friends don’t punch each other in the face every time you see them.” Classic!


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Cesaro defeated Gran Metalik
  • Nikki Cross defeated Lacey Evans
  • AJ Styles defeated Sami Zayn
  • Samoan Street Fight: Roman Reigns & Jey Uso defeated Sheamus & King Corbin

LOVED IT:

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/1307120885237714944

Alexa Bliss – Yes, I’ve been a Miss Bliss fan for years now. But I love the straddling of the good vs. evil line of being Nikki Cross’ best friend and everyone’s darling put up against being possessed by The Fiend. She’s playing it well. Plus, how could you not like a Miss Bliss kiss and Sister Abigail.

Sasha Banks & Bayley – It’s what we’ve come to expect from Sasha Banks. Everything is gold. In her first interview since being attacked by BFF Bayley, Banks put down the gauntlet that she’ll take the SmackDown title from Bayley and that her bestie was NOTHING without her. So how does Bayley react? By hunting her down at the WWE Performance Center. Touché!

Can you say ladder? – Even though we all knew it would come to this, it’s still going to be amazing. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn for the IC Title in a ladder match at Clash of Champions! Pretty good heel vs. heel match too with Styles going over Zayn.

Big E’s not playing – Revenge is mine says Big E as he attacks the security member who set him up for the Sheamus attack a few weeks ago. Damn, all this superstar on car violence is sure to be costly. Vince sure does love to destroy his cars! I’d love to see the line item in the WWE budget for replacing all the busted vehicles over the years.

Yo’ cuz – As you’ve seen from our star of the week, it’s another banner week of storytelling from your main event on SmackDown. Sure, the Samoan Street Fight wasn’t anything earth shattering in terms of a match, but the story of Roman vs. Jey, cousin vs. cousin remains the best thing going. Reality is king and the WWE is using it to its fullest. The little nuances make all the difference. From the smiles to the daggers that Reigns sent Uso’s way at the end of the show, you could feel the temperature in the room drop 50 degrees.

No sense:

Lucha House Party – Why exactly are we pushing the trio only to try to rip them apart? Having Kalisto and El Dorado criticizing Gran Metalik during his match with Cesaro is ridiculous. No one, and I repeat, no one wants to see that feud, especially when you’re trying to push them with a title shot at Clash of Champions. 

Lacey Evans – Why do they continue to waste her talents with the same ol’ catchphrases and losing matches? Evans could be a dominating force in the WWE if they just gave her a chance. BTW, in this pandemic World, I’m shocked the sanitizer hasn’t become a finishing move.

Wasted:

The Dirt Sheet – Did we really need to waste 10 minutes of talk just to see Otis rip off The Miz’ clothes? I did not. You know what else we don’t need? A lawsuit.

Parting shots:

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Legend. Icon. Inspiration. And yes, all around badass. Regardless of your political bias, you have to admire her spirit, her fight and her life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.


Coming Up This Week:

RAW:
RAW Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Match: Dominik Mysterio & Humberto Carrillo vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy vs. Andrade & Angel Garza.
RAW Underground: Braun Strowman vs. Dabba Kato
Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee – if Lee wins, he could replace Randy Orton at Clash of Champions

NXT:
Gauntlet Eliminator NXT #1 Contender Match – Kushida vs. Cameron Grimes vs. ? vs. ? vs. ?
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Battle Royale
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jake Atlas

SMACKDOWN:
TBD


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