- Drew McIntyre def Veer & Shanky w/ Jinder Mahal via DQ – *½
- Rhea Ripley def Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler – **¼
- Mace & T-Bar def Mustafa Ali & Mansoor – **¼
- Tamina def Doudrop w/ Eva Marie – **
- Damian Priest def John Morrison w/ The Miz – **½
- Ricochet & Damian Priest def Sheamus & John Morrison w/ The Miz – **¼
- Omos def Riddle – **
- Keith Lee def Karrion Kross – **½
- Reggie © def Akira Tozawa (WWE 24/7 Championship) – *¼
- Nikki A.S.H. def Charlotte Flair (No Holds Barred Match) – ***½
The show kicks off with MVP and Bobby Lashley talking about Goldberg and how Goldberg is a gladiator and is used to crushing all of his opponents, however, Lashley isn’t a gladiator he is a kaiju. MVP tries to talk Goldberg out of challenging Lashley because it could be the last match in Goldberg’s career and he asks if Goldberg wants to be remembered as a champion or a casualty. Goldberg then makes his way to the ring and cuts a promo on Lashley which wasn’t good as he talks about how Lashley is scared and how Lashley should be worried about losing the WWE Championship because he’s next. Goldberg walks to the back and then we see MVP pointing at a fan in the crowd which is Goldberg’s son, MVP walks over to him and starts talking trash until Goldberg runs back down and lays MVP out with a spear and then leaves once again with his son in tow. Later in the show, Lashley formally accepts Goldberg’s challenge and says he hopes he brings his son with him so he can watch his dad get destroyed. The only highlights of this were MVP’s work on the mic and also just how much Goldberg’s son has changed as the last time we saw him he still had the baby fat, but it seems like he has shed all of that in the past 5 years. Out of the two main events for the men at SummerSlam, I am by far looking forward to the Cena vs Reigns match more than this one as I have zero interest in watching a Goldberg match in 2021 regardless if they get his son involved or not.
This week Drew McIntyre has to take on both Veer and Shanky in a handicap match and I found this match to be really boring, but thankfully Jinder would put me out of my misery by ending the match after hitting McIntyre with a chair causing a DQ. All three of the heels have chairs in their hands but McIntyre isn’t worried as he grabs his mighty sword and fends them off as Veer and Mahal bail leaving Shanky in the ring alone with McIntyre once again, but thankfully he gets away before McIntyre has time to chop him up using his sword. Two segments in a row where I could care less about the feud.
Up next is Rhea Ripley taking on Nia Jax and this was a better match than you would expect, but in the end Rhea picks up the win after sending Nia into Shayna on the apron and then rolling her up in a schoolgirl. After the match, Nia and Shayna argue leading to Shayna storming off to the back and while Nia is in the ring alone Rhea slides back in and hits her with the Riptide. Nia got busted open around her eye somehow during this match. I really hope this arguing leads to Nia and Shayna finally splitting ways as it’s past time for Shayna to be back in the title picture. So far this was the best thing on the show.
In our first rematch of the night we see Mace & T-Bar get their win back against Mustafa Ali & Mansoor and to make things worse Ali gets laid out after the match with a double chokeslam after he pushes Mansoor out of harm’s way. It really sucks that they have to do 50/50 booking with this feud as Ali & Mansoor are such a fun team and I would love for them to go on a win streak but who am I kidding that isn’t the way WWE books their feuds. Ali was super over during this match seeing as they were in his hometown of Chicago, so of course, he was the one that got laid out after the match as nobody is allowed to get over in their hometown.
It’s promo time for Charlotte Flair as she compares her situation of being cashed in on by Nikki A.S.H. to what Simone Biles is going through and how she empathizes with her mental health issues, at this point I was getting really worried about where this promo was going as I’m not fond of someone’s real-life mental health issues being brought into a fictitious storyline or promo. Charlotte says Nikki stole her title and how she is tired of being cashed in on and as she says this she is pulling weapons out from under the ring and says she is going to beat the crap out of Nikki tonight in their No Holds Barred Match, but Nikki comes out and Charlotte runs off. This was not one of Charlotte’s home run promos as it felt unnecessary to have this in the middle of the show, why didn’t they just save it until closer to the match or just leave it out altogether as there was nothing of worth said in the promo and felt like it was there just to fill time.
Up next is Doudrop vs Tamina as we are informed about Natalya’s injury, but no word as to what is going to happen to the tag titles, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tamina just carries them around until Natalya eventually returns as it isn’t like there are that many teams to win the titles if they vacated them. Tamina and Doudrop have a decent match but Doudrop gets distracted by Eva’s coaching and misses the crossbody and then Tamina hits her with a Samoan Drop for the win. After the match, Alexa and Lily are on the screen and Alexa does “the Eva Marie voice” announcing her as the loser of the match.
Later in the night, we got to Alexa’s playground where she says Lily is thrilled with how the Lily-Lution is going but says Lily has been influencing people for a long time and as she starts to name off people she is attacked from behind by Doudrop. Eva picks up Lily and talks bad about her before throwing her down and walking off and then we see Lily stand up on her own. I wonder if we are going to see Alexa vs Eva, Alexa vs Doudrop, or most absurdly Alexa & Lily vs Eva & Doudrop at SummerSlam?
After a backstage conversation with Riddle and Damian Priest, we go to Miz TV with guest Damian Priest. Miz accuses Priest of cheating last week when he knocked Sheamus’s facemask off but Priest ignores this as he puts Sheamus over as a badass before turning the tables on The Miz asking if his leg is really hurt or if it is what is between his legs that hurts. Priest goes back and forth with Miz and Morrison on the mic before finally getting enough and wanting a match with Morrison. Priest throws Morrison to the floor and then uses the dripsticks to get Miz soaking wet. We get a fun Damian Priest vs John Morrison match that sees Priest pick up the win after a South of Heaven. After the match, Sheamus runs down to attack Priest until Ricochet runs down and they babyfaces clear the ring and set up a tag match which starts in progress after a commercial break. We get a creative spot where Miz squirts water on the floor and Morrison uses the floor as a slip and slide as he slides Ricochet across the floor right into the steps. Priest and Ricochet would eventually pick up the win after Priest hits Morrison with the Reckoning for the 3 count. I am looking forward to Priest vs Sheamus at SummerSlam as that could be the sleeper match of the show.
Up next we have Riddle vs a solo Omos as there are no AJ Styles in sight on the show tonight. Riddle tries to get the upper hand before the bell by jumping on the back of Omos with a sleeper hold, but he slings Riddle off and the match starts from there. Omos tries to get a count out a couple of times but Riddle keeps getting back in the ring and he even gets the big man reeling with knee strikes and a springboard roundhouse, but Omos comes back with a clothesline and the chokebomb to pick up the win. Given that Riddle is feuding with Styles and Omos I have to imagine Orton is back soon for a tag title match at SummerSlam.
It’s time for our second rematch of the night as Karrion Kross and Keith Lee face each other for the second week in a row, this was one of the better matches of the night and it’s good to see Lee finally picks up a win even though it comes at the expense of the NXT Champion. I don’t understand why they need to put these two against each other when they both need wins and making Kross take losses lowers his value as NXT Champion going into a big title match at Takeover and thus it is going to mean less when Joe finally beats Kross for the title. The booking of both Lee and Kross is frustrating AF and the worst part is that it would be easy to fix, but Vince never does the easy thing.
We get our comedy segment of the night at Reggie defends his 24/7 Championship against Akira Tozawa this is pretty much what we have come to expect from Reggie matches as he spends most of the time ducking, diving, and dodging his opponent until Reggie hits one big move to win the match. We did see Tozawa enter into ninja mode but even that wasn’t enough to win the title of Reggie.
We finally get to our No Holds Barred main event between Charlotte Flair and Raw Women’s Champion Nikki A.S.H. which was the best match of the night as we got a weapon filled brawl with Charlotte putting Nikki through the announce table and later on she put herself through a table after Nikki got in the way. Nikki ends up getting the win when she hits Charlotte with a rope-draped version of the corkscrew neckbreaker. Although they showed Rhea in the back watching the match I feel like Rhea is a bit of an afterthought in this feud as the only interactions we have seen for the past two weeks are between Charlotte and Nikki, they should’ve just made the title match Nikki vs Charlotte and found something else for Rhea since it’s pretty clear she isn’t winning the title back this quick. I would’ve found a way to enter her into the Alexa and Eva story as she could be Alexa’s backup to match up with Doudrop while Alexa concentrates on Eva.
This week’s Raw was another one of those episodes where it felt like it was never going to end as the entire show consisted of rematches and ridiculous booking decisions. I did like the main event, the two Damian Priest matches, and of course, everything Alexa did on the show but other than that this Raw was a great big fail for me.
- Hit Row w/ Isaiah Scott & B-Fab def Legado del Fantasma w/ Santos Escobar via DQ – ***
- Ridge Holland w/ Pete Dunne & Oney Lorcan def Ikeman Jiro – **
- Roderick Strong w/ Diamond Mine def Bobby Fish – ***¾
- Grizzled Young Veterans def Cameron Grimes & LA Knight – **¼
- Trey Baxter def Joe Gacy (NXT Breakout Tournament Quarterfinal Match) – **¾
- Johnny Gargano def Dexter Lumis (Love Her or Lose Her Match) – **½
After a video package, we head into the CWC where we go straight to the ring for our first match of the night which sees Ashante and Top Dolla of Hit Row take on Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza of Legado del Fantasma.
The action starts out hot with both teams brawling until Hit Row clears the ring. We get Mendoza and Adonis starting things off with Adonis showing a lot of intensity as he is not dealing with Legado’s shit tonight but sadly he comes up dry on a crossbody attempt off the top rope, but that doesn’t slow him down for long as he comes back to fight Wilde and then tags in Top Dolla. Top Dolla lifts Wilde up with one arm while in a knuckle lock and he uses it to throw Wilde off the top. Wilde dodges both members of Hit Row and then comes off the top with a hurricanrana but in mid-move Adonis hits him with a dropkick. Adonis is not letting Legado get in anything as he beats Wilde’s ass until Santos Escobar gets on the apron only for B-Fab and Swerve to meet him up there and as the referee is distracted, Mendoza lowers the rope sending Adonis crashing to the outside and then Wilde sends him into the plexiglass as the show goes to a commercial.
As we come back Legado is in control as they double team Adonis with basement dropkicks for a 2 count. Adonis gets out of a chinlock but is pushed back into the corner where we get Legado making quick tags and hitting Adonis with clotheslines in the corner before hitting him with a double suplex and then Mendoza hits a moonsault for a 2 count. Adonis fights out of a chinlock and then goes for a sunset flip, but Mendoza rolls through and tries for a dropkick but Adonis ducks and then he hits Mendoza with a dropkick before making the hot tag to Top Dolla. The big man runs through Wilde and Mendoza as he nails Wilde with a big punch and a knee lift followed by a big sideslam, but as Dolla goes running the ropes he is hit with a chair by Escobar causing the DQ.
After the match, Escobar pulls Top Dolla out of the ring and sends him into the steps and while this is happening Swerve is getting attacked by Wilde and Mendoza and then Escobar enters the ring with the chair as Wilde and Mendoza hold Swerve, Escobar pulls out the grill of Swerve and shows it off. Legado puts the chair around the neck of Swerve but as Escobar goes up top Swerve is pulled out of the ring by Top Dolla. Top Dolla is pissed but as he has Legado looking at him B-Fab comes from behind and hits Wilde with a chair and then Top Dolla comes in and drops Escobar and Mendoza with a dropkick. Adonis slides in and beats the crap out of Wilde some more and then superkicks him out of the ring and then Swerve hits Mendoza with the JML Driver. Legado del Fantasma retreats up the ramp as Escobar shows off that he still has Swerve’s grill.
Other than the DQ finish I loved everything about all of this, especially everything that happened after the match as Hit Row looked badass in their beatdown of Legado del Fantasma. If it wasn’t clear before I will now state that I Fucking Love HIT ROW!!!! Unlike most things in WWE, Hit Row actually feels current and not five years behind the time and I look forward to seeing them all wearing gold. Also, Hit Row was looking fly in their matching red and white gear. I guess after what happened tonight we are going to get Swerve vs Escobar in a North American Title vs Grills match.
We see that Mr. Regal has assigned a security team for Samoa Joe to prevent anything from happening between Joe and Kross before Takeover: 36.
The second match of the night saw Ridge Holland take on Ikeman Jiro and oh boy, this was brutal in all of the best ways as poor Jiro was the lamb that was led to the slaughter as he was beaten, bruised, and battered all around the ring and the ringside area. Jiro even had his jacket torn off of him which given that it’s Ikeman he might as well have been stripped naked. After a couple of suplexes and a big headbutt, Holland finally puts Jiro out of his misery with an Emerald Flowsion. After the match, Pete Dunne gets on the match and talks about how they are the three toughest men in NXT and Holland is going to knock the rest of Timothy Thatcher’s teeth out. Dunne dares anyone to prove him wrong. I am liking this trio and I look forward to Joe having to go against them when he eventually starts to feud with Dunne.
We get an interview with Franky Monet, Jessi Kamea, & Robert Stone where Franky does all the talking as she says that last week’s loss was Stone’s fault and if this trio is going to work it has to be rebuilt in her image and under her rules. Stone tells her he understands what she is saying crystal clear.
Our third match of the night is a battle of former Undisputed Era members as Roderick Strong takes on Bobby Fish.
We get a couple of intense lockups to start out as both men are trying to gain control, Fish is in control for a moment as he has a side headlock wrenched in but Strong takes over control after a knee to the gut of Fish. Strong takes Fish to the mat but Fish is able to escape and he drives Strong into the corner where he delivers some strikes and then hits him with a suplex. Fish locks in a reverse chinlock which Strong escapes from and then they grapple on the mat with neither man really able to gain an advantage. Fish snapmares Strong into the middle of the ring and delivers a kick to the back, Fish picks Strong up and we get a strike exchange until Fish kicks Strong’s leg out from under him. Strong is sent into the corner but he is able to jump up over Fish, but when he runs to the ropes he is met with a big kick to the chest. Fish is finally in firm control as we go to a commercial break. We come back from commercial to a forearm exchange in the middle of the ring until Fish kicks the leg of Strong which he had been working over, Strong feigns being seriously injured to bait Fish so he can hit him with a cheap shot to knock Fish to the mat. Strong puts the boots to Fish and moments later he hits him with a suplex for a 2 count.
Strong hits Fish with a uranage backbreaker for a 2 count and then we get another forearm exchange until Fish drops Strong with a back elbow. Fish is in control as he hits Strong with a running knee strike in the corner followed by a strike combination. Strong ducks a roundhouse, but Fish comes back with a kick to the gut and a sliding elbow for another 2 count. Fish continues to hit Strong with various strikes and then goes to lock in a sleeper but Strong backs him into the corner to break it and then he hits Fish with a back suplex. Strong goes on the attack with strikes and then a slam for a 2 count. Strong picks up Fish but he breaks free and lands a spinning kick for a very close 2 count. Fish tries to get a quick pin with a schoolboy, but Strong kicks out. Strong hits Fish with a jumping knee strike and he then hits the End of Heartache to pick up the win.
This was as good as you would expect a match between Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish to be as they put on one hell of a match and it was nice to see Strong get the clean win despite Diamond Mine being at ringside as it was nice to see someone in WWE show some self-control and not book an obvious DQ spot. I wonder if this is the end of this feud as I don’t know where they go from here as the right man got the win and there really isn’t a need for a rematch.
We go to the back where LA Knight is getting ready for the upcoming tag match when Cameron Grimes walks up in his tux and asks Knight if he can go get ready for the match, but Knight says he is going to be wrestling in the tux and he better have his back tonight. Grimes then asks Knight if he has his back which Knight says that he does and then he tells Grimes to shine his boot.
We then go to the tag match with Grizzled Young Veterans taking on LA Knight and Cameron Grimes.
Grimes takes control and immediately Knight demands to be tagged in and Grimes gives him what he wants. Knight takes it to Gibson until he tries to send him into the corner, but Drake uses his body to prevent Gibson from going into the turnbuckle and this allows GYV to take over as Drake is tagged in. Drake tries for a vertical suplex but Knight counters it into a neckbreaker and then makes the tag to Grimes. Grimes comes off the top with a crossbody but after being distracted momentarily by Knight he is put in a side headlock and as he backs Drake into the ropes Gibson nails Grimes with a knee to the back. GYV makes another tag and takes Grimes down with a double clothesline. Gibson locks Grimes in a sleeper hold until Grimes throws him off and then hits him with a backdrop which leaves the path clear for Grimes to make the tag, but as he goes for it Knight drops down off the apron. Grimes is fired up now as he tells GYV to bring it as he takes on both members of the team hitting them both with a hurricanrana and then hits Gibson with a PK from the apron and moments later he hits Drake with the moonsault powerslam for a 2 count. Grimes rips off the shirt and looks for the Cave In but Gibson distracts him and we get another blind tag by GYV and moments later they hit Ticket to Mayhem to pick up the win.
After the match, Ted Dibiase comes out to talk to Grimes and says he tried to tell Grimes that Knight wouldn’t be a man of his word and that he gets that Grimes is a man of his word, but he needs to find a way to get out of this situation and then he helps Grimes to the back.
The match was fine as it served as a way to continue the story between Knight and Grimes which continues to be a highlight every week as Grimes is such a gem as he is able to take whatever he is given and make it work and no matter what he is doing every week he always puts a smile on my face and makes me laugh. I love how for the first time in forever Ted Dibiase is a babyface in this situation and I like how he has become a mentor and a voice of reason for Grimes.
We get a video package highlighting Samoa Joe’s time in NXT.
We get a video of Dakota Kai explaining why she turned on Raquel Gonzalez. Dakota says she brought in Raquel because she needed someone she could trust and if it weren’t for her Raquel would still be irrelevant. Dakota says Raquel’s job was to stand behind her and take care of anyone that got in her way, but somewhere along the way Raquel became a star in her own right and she let Raquel get those victories because people knew the whole time that Dakota was the leader of the two. Dakota says the moment that did her in was when Io Shirai picked Raquel over her to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship at Takeover: Stand and Deliver, so Raquel stole the moment that should’ve been for her. Dakota just wanted Raquel to repay her for everything she had done for her and make her a champion as well by regaining the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship, but Raquel didn’t care as she got what she wanted and didn’t put her heart into winning the tag titles back. Dakota couldn’t take being called Raquel’s sidekick as she is nobody’s sidekick. Dakota says that Raquel was wrapped up in her own little world that she didn’t see the betrayal coming and says she brought Raquel into this world and she will take her out of it and become NXT Women’s Champion.
Wow, this video was fantastic as Dakota did a great job of explaining why she turned on Raquel and took us through her thoughts ever since she brought Raquel in as her backup up to the turn last week. I thought her reason for turning makes perfect sense and if you think about it she does have a point with everything she says to the point where she somewhat comes off as the babyface in this situation as she was pushed to the side in favor of Raquel even though she had been there longer. This was probably one of the best partner betrayal explanations they have ever done as everything she said made sense and I liked how they added in the part about Raquel not giving it her all to win the tag titles back because she already had what she wanted as that was a nice little touch. After this video, I’m looking forward to seeing these two ladies in the ring against each other at Takeover: 36.
Commentary informs us that due to the injuries he suffered last week at the hands of Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole is unable to compete but we will have a face-to-face between the two men next week.
It’s now time for the final quarterfinal match in the 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament as Trey Baxter takes on Joe Gacy.
We get Gacy escaping a waistlock and throwing Baxter across the ring but Baxter tries it for a second time, but this time he transitions into a pinfall attempt but Gacy lifts him up by his neck and biels Baxter across the ring. Baxter prevents Gacy from running to the ropes before kipping up and hitting a kick which dazes Gacy, but when Baxter charges in, Gacy lifts him up to his shoulder only for Baxter to slide out the back and hit Gacy with a dropkick sending him out to the floor. Baxter goes for a tope suicida but Gacy catches him and throws him onto the apron and as Baxter bounces off the ropes Gacy nails him with a big elbow strike. Gacy throws Baxter back in the ring, but when he goes for a slam Baxter counters into a sleeper hold as he is on the back of Gacy, only for Gacy to quickly throw him off. Gacy picks up Baxter and hits him with a headbutt followed by a running elbow and then short-range clotheslines while Baxter is up against the ropes. Baxter dodges a charging Gacy and then lands a springboard dropkick which sends Gacy to the floor where he hits him with a couple of tope suicidas and Fosbury flop. Gacy rolls back in the ring and Baxter hits him with a rope-assisted tornillo for a very close 2 count. Baxter goes back to the sleeper hold, but Gacy runs back into the corner to break the hold. Gacy sits Baxter up top and tries to lift Baxter up, but he escapes and slams Gacy’s head into the turnbuckle knocking him down to the mat. Baxter goes up top and hits a 450-foot stomp to pick up the win.
This was a really fun match and better than I was expecting it to be and I hope we see a lot more of Gacy in the future. We now have our two semi-final matches set as Carmelo Hayes will take on Duke Hudson next week and in two weeks Trey Baxter will face Odyssey Jones.
We get footage from earlier in the day where Io Shirai and Zoey Stark are bonding by going out to eat at a Japanese restaurant as Zoey wants to bond with Io just like Io and Kairi bonded. We then get some really questionable and racist stuff as Io orders in Japanese and Zoey says she will have the same thing Io is getting and when the food comes out its squid or octopus and all kinds of other food that Zoey is unfamiliar with and we get the old trope of Zoey acting like she likes the food but in reality, she is spitting it in a napkin and throwing it on the floor and one time she flings it across the room. Io asks for the check and Zoey says she can tell Io is starting to like her more, but Io sticks her with the bill. Zoey then has some awkward small talk with the waitress as she asks her if she and Io know each other but she says no and they just speak the same language and then Zoey asks if she is from Japan but the waitress says she is from Kansas. Zoey walks off leaving the to-go box behind.
I really don’t know why we needed to see this bonding time as they could’ve easily just shown up next week and told us about it as it didn’t really add anything to their story as a team. If there is one thing I have learned from watching Survivor and listening to podcasts about Survivor is that you never use the food that people from other countries find as a delicacy and make it out to be disgusting and that is what this entire segment was about and it was just completely unnecessary.
We get an interview with Indi Hartwell where she says her heart is torn between family and true love and while she isn’t necessarily pulling for one or the other, she thinks that if Lumis were to win then the Garganos would see that he is not that bad of a guy and tonight we will find out if it’s meant to be.
Karrion Kross comes down and gets on the announce table to call out Samoa Joe and he gets him as security tries to hold Joe back but he knocks them out as Kross leaves the CWC before Joe can get to him. Joe continues to attack the security and even chokes one of them out as he looks intensely into the camera, Joe lets out a roar before leaving the ring.
We get a Prime Target video hyping up the Walter vs Dragunov II match at Takeover: 36. We then get a video from Kushida where he accepts Roderick Strong’s challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. The announce team inform us of what is coming up next week which you can see down below in the coming up this week section.
It is now time for the Love Her or Lose Her match between Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis.
Gargano hits a couple of arm drags which leads to him working on the arm until Lumis escapes and then he hits Gargano with a couple of arm drags of his own before landing a dropkick. Lumis crawls toward Gargano who looks scared and he bails from the ring only for him to land some clubbing blows when Lumis reaches out to grab him and then he hits Lumis with a suplex on the floor. Indi Hartwell comes down to ringside and has words with Gargano before he gets back in the ring where he is met with a Thesz press from Lumis. Lumis beats down Gargano in the corner and then catches him coming off the ropes with a back elbow. Gargano gets back in control momentarily, but when Gargano sends him into the ropes he ducks a clothesline and then slides out of the ring. Lumis goes under the ring as Gargano looks confused in the ring and Indi goes under the ring with him, Candice LeRae comes down and together they pull Indi from under the ring and she has a hold of Lumis who comes out from under the ring as well and they look each other in the eyes until Gargano kicks Lumis and sends him into both the steps and the barricade as the show goes to a commercial.
Gargano stays in control during the picture-in-picture commercial break and as we come back Gargano has Lumis in a rest hold which he fights out of and as Gargano goes for a discus forearm Lumis hits him with an uppercut and then plants him with a spinebuster. Lumis hits Gargano with some right hands and a bulldog out of the corner followed by a back suplex and a leg drop for a 2 count. Lumis stalks Gargano looking for the Silencer but Gargano elbows free and sends Lumis out of the ring so he can hit him with a tope suicida before rolling him back into the ring. Gargano gets distracted as he argues with Beth Phoenix blaming her for encouraging the whole InDex thing. Gargano tries for a slingshot spear but gets hit with a big uppercut when he dives through the ropes and Lumis follows that with a slingshot falcon arrow for a very close 2 count.
Lumis goes up top but misses a foot stomp and gets hit with a basement superkick for a 2 count. Gargano and Lumis trade forearms and then Lumis catches Gargano coming off the ropes with a pop-up uppercut and then they both hit each other with a superkick and both men are down. Lumis and Hartwell lock eyes and she gives him the nod to go for the elbow, but when he does Gargano moves out of the way and locks in the Gargano Escape only for Indi to get up on the apron which causes Lumis to crawl towards her and when he gets to her he brushes his hand across her face and then grabs the ropes to force the break. The Garganos scold Indi and as this is happening Lumis rolls Gargano up in a schoolboy for a 2 count, but when he kicks out he knocks Lumis into Indi knocking her off the apron. Lumis lays out Gargano with a big right hand and then goes out to check on Indi but this distracts Lumis and Gargano catches him with a tope into a tornado DDT. Gargano rolls Lumis back in the ring and hits One Final Beat to pick up the win which means Lumis will lose Indi.
After the match, a sad and forlorn Indi starts to walk to the back with the Garganos but she keeps turning around to looks at Lumis, and just when they get to the top of the ramp Indi runs back down to the ring, slides in the ring, and takes Lumis down with a Thesz press and starts kissing all over him while the Garganos look on disgusted. Indi takes one last look back up the ramp before going back to making out with Lumis to end the show.
This main event was all about the story and had nothing to do with how good of a match they could put on which is somewhat rare in NXT as they like their heavy work rate main events, so this was a nice change of pace. I am really interested to see where the InDex and The Way story goes from here, will the Garganos eventually accept Indi being with Lumis or will they shun her from the family forever and what does Austin Theory think of everything that happened on the show, I guess we will have to tune in next week to find out how this all plays out.
I thought this was a really good episode of NXT as I enjoyed the opening segment with Hit Row and Legado del Fantasma as well as the Strong vs Lumis and Baxter vs Gacy matches and I thought the explanation Dakota gave as to why she turned on Raquel was very well done and I look forward to seeing what Raquel has to say next week and of course I enjoyed how the main event segment ended as true love won in the end just like it always does.
NXT UK Results
- Blair Davenport def Xia Brookside – **¼
- Dave Mastiff & Jack Starz def Danny Jones & Josh Morrell – **
- A-Kid def Jordan Devlin – 2-1 (30 Minute Ironman Match) – ****¼
The show opens with a video package narrated by Shawn Michaels which hypes up tonight’s first-ever Ironman match in NXT UK between Jordan Devlin and A-Kid and then after our NXT UK opening video we go right into the first match of the night.
The first match sees the smiley Xia Brookside take on NXT UK’s newest addition to its women’s division Blair Davenport.
Blair shows her power right at the start as she backs Xia into the corner, but Xia comes back with an arm drag, and then she works over the arm until Blair counters and repays Xia as she works over her arm as she tries to pull it out of the socket and then just stomps on it. Xia uses the ropes as assistance to help her flip out of the move and then she nails Blair with a knee to the gut followed by a hurricanrana and then a schoolgirl for a quick 2 count. Xia has Blair reeling as she continues on the offense with a dropkick and a monkey flip, but when she goes for a second monkey flip in the corner she is thrown over to the apron and dropkicked to the floor where she is sent into the barricade before being rolled back into the ring. Xia fights her way out of a neck crank and then she blocks a punch from Blair by grabbing her wrist and delivering several short arm forearms followed by a flying headscissors as Xia is in control of the match once again as she hits Blair with double knees to the back as Blair is leaned up against the turnbuckle and she follows that up with a running neckbreaker for a 2 count. Blair starts to fight back as she sends Xia into the corner and when Xia tries to escape by crawling through her legs she nails her with a big kick to the head and then she springs up to the top and delivers a missile dropkick followed by a V-trigger knee strike and the Kamigoye follows for the win. After the match, Blair is celebrating and the lights have gone down, and just when I thought we were all done with this match Blair grabs Xia and hits her with a falcon arrow right in the middle of the ring.
This was a fun little match to showcase Xia and also give Blair another win under her belt. I was a bit surprised to see Xia in control for so long during the match as she dominated the majority of the match until right at the end when Blair started hitting her big moves. Blair may have my favorite signature and finisher move combination as I love the V-Trigger knee strike setting up for the Kamigoye knee strike to end the match. I like how they have Blair’s logo appear on the mat as she is celebrating her win. Given what happened after the match I assume this will not just be a one-off match as Xia is going to want revenge for the post-match attack.
We get a replay of Moustache Mountain beating Symbiosis last week and then having a staredown with Pretty Deadly. We go to footage from after their match last week where Moustache Mountain meets up with Pretty Deadly in the hallway and Pretty Deadly wants to embarrass the fan’s favorite tag team and Moustache Mountain takes them up on their challenge, so that will be our next tag title feud.
We get a video from Sid Scala where he announces an 8-man tournament to decide Tyler Bate’s next challenger for this Heritage Cup Championship. The eight men in the tournament are Mark Andrews, Noam Dar, Kenny Williams, Oliver Carter, Nathan Frazer, Teoman, Sam Gradwell, & Wolfgang. The first-round matches are as follows Andrews vs Dar, Williams vs Carter, Wolfgang vs Gradwell, & Frazer vs Teoman. The tournament will start next week with Noam Dar vs Mark Andrews.
We get a weird black and white video of Isla Dawn pulling a box out from under some rocks and inside the box is a watch which she listens to and makes ridiculous-looking faces that make her look like she is off in the head rather than creepy and we see flashes of Emilia McKenzie as she does this. Isla puts the watch back in the box and the box back under the rocks and then walks off. They really try to make creepy witch Isla Dawn happen but I am not creeped out nor am I interested in whatever they want her to be doing.
Subculture walks up and is asked what’s next for them (did this interviewer guy not just see that Andrews is in the tournament, that is what is next for them) and before Webster can give an answer he sees Wolfgang and walks up to him and tells him it was cute how he slapped Bate and Wolfgang says he should try it sometime and then Webster slaps Wolfgang before Subculture runs off and Wolfgang chases after them. We are told later in the night that Wolfgang vs Webster will happen next week.
It’s time for our second match as Danny Jones and Josh Morrell are set to face the newest pairing in NXT UK Jack Starz and Dave Mastiff.
We get our usual arm work to start out the match and then Starz takes Jones to the mat with a drop toe hold where he grabs a front facelock which he turns into a cravate, but Jones spins out of it and we get each man trading shoulder blocks until Starz takes Jones down with a flying shoulder block. We get a dropdown by Jones and when Starz runs to the ropes he hangs on when Jones goes for a dropkick and then tries for a pinning combination for a 2 count. Starz brings Mastiff over to the corner and tags in Mastiff, but he is caught with a jawbreaker, and Jones tags in Morrell. Morrell barely phases Mastiff when he hits a dropkick but a forearm does some damage, but Morrell stupidly decides to try and suplex Mastiff only for Mastiff to easily suplex him out to the floor. Starz goes over and throws Morrell right back in the ring and then Mastiff tags Starz back in the match where they deliver a double backdrop for a 2 count. Starz tries to sit Morrell up top but Morrells kicks off the turnbuckle and catches Starz with a crossbody for a 2 count.
We get a tag to bring Jones back in and he exchanges forearms with Starz before trying for a backslide, but when he realizes it isn’t working he spins Starz around and catches him with a ripcord enziguri. Jones sends Starz head-first into two corners and then drops him with a big boot as he starts to get fired up. Jones hits Starz with a running knee in the corner and then tags in Morrell who hits a nice running dropkick to Starz for a close 2 count. Starz tries to fight back but Morrell slams him to the mat and goes for a split-legged corkscrew splash but Starz gets out of the way and then fires away with some strikes before hitting a backdrop which clears the way for Starz to make the tag to Mastiff. Mastiff catches the leg of Morrell and flips him backward onto his face. Mastiff tags in Starz and then hits Morrell with a Chaos Theory. Starz sets Morrell in a tree of woe and while he is trapped Starz hits him with a running headbutt, Starz knocks Jones off the apron before tagging Mastiff back in. Mastiff hits Morrell with a cannonball in the corner to pick up the win.
This was a fine match but nothing too special as it was just to showcase the new pairing of Starz and Mastiff.
Amale is getting her makeup done when Nina Samuels comes in pissed that she is hogging the camera crew and this leads to an argument and a pull apart. We are told this match will happen next week.
We get a video of Aoife Valkyrie who wants a rematch with Jinny, but this time Joseph Conners will be in a shark cage.
We go to the NXT UK PC where Stevie Turner runs up on Meiko Satomura training Emilia McKenzie and Aleah James and she tells Meiko there is nothing she can teach them that will help them beat her, in fact, Meiko couldn’t even beat her and as she does this she pokes Meiko so Meiko grabs her wrist. Stevie then tells Meiko she is wired differently, Meioko goes to kick at her as the segment ends.
It’s main event time as A-Kid takes on Jordan Devlin in a 30-Minute Ironman Match and I am going to try and break this match down into 5-minute segments to make it easier to review.
0-5 Minutes: After a bit of feeling each other out we get some rapid-fire chain wrestling which leads to a stalemate as neither man gains any kind of an advantage. We then get some arm work by both men until A-Kid escapes and hits a dropkick which causes Devlin to bail to the outside for a breather before returning to the ring where he is taken to the mat with a headlock takeover but he quickly escapes. Devlin tries to go for the previously injured leg of A-Kid, but A-Kid tries to transition into a submission move until Devlin reaches the ropes to force the break. Devlin overpowers A-Kid while they are in a knuckle lock and he tries to keep the shoulders of A-Kid down but he keeps popping them up off the mat. Devlin tries to break a bridge by A-Kid but when he does A-Kid tries to jump up and escape the knuckle lock only for Devlin to power him up into a Gory Special looking for a submission, but once he sees that isn’t going to work he leans forward getting A-Kid’s shoulders on the mat only for A-Kid to keep getting his shoulders off the mat.
6-10 Minutes: A-Kid uses his core strength to sit up and he tries for a sunset flip but we get a couple of roll throughs and then A-Kid goes for an armbar only for Devlin to reach the ropes moments later and then he bails to the outside. Devlin gets back in the ring and gains control with a wristlock and a big forearm. Devlin counters a double leg takedown attempt by locking in a front facelock and when A-Kid tries to slide out Devlin spins around into a grounded hammerlock which he wrenches back on until A-Kid is able to escape. Devlin escapes a headlock with a headscissors which A-Kid eventually escapes from and then A-Kid tries for a bow and arrow but Devlin counters it into a pinfall for a 2 count. A-Kid hits an arm drag and a dropkick for a 2 count and then after another extended front facelock segment from A-Kid we see Devlin slap the shit out of A-Kid, but A-Kid stays focussed as he takes Devlin right back down to the mat. Devlin sends A-Kid into the ropes and A-Kid looks for a springboard, but Devlin follows him in and hits A-Kid in the back and then ties his leg up in the ropes where he goes to town with stomps and kicks. Devlin locks in a cloverleaf and A-Kid has no choice but to submit giving Devlin the first fall in the match.
11-15 Minutes: A-Kid gets back to his feet but it is clear that his leg has seen better days which makes it easy for Devlin to club him down to the mat, but when he goes to slam A-Kid’s knee into the mat he pops up with a desperation forearm and then goes for a suplex, but Devlin counters it into a slam for a 2 count. A-Kid gets to his feet and stumbles over to the ropes, but Devlin hits him with a chop block and then kicks his leg out from under him. A-Kid limps into the corner and when he sees Devlin going for another chop block he jumps up and flips off the top rope landing behind Devlin where he locks in a rear-naked choke only for Devlin to get to the ropes moments later. Devlin rolls out to the floor and grabs the leg of A-Kid smashing it into the apron and then he applies a ring post figure four which he is happy with as he pats himself on the back. Devlin gets back in the ring and hits a shin breaker followed by a Boston crab but A-Kid quickly gets to the ropes. We get a forearm exchange until A-Kid ducks and hits a German suplex and this leads to both men trying to hit rolling German suplexes as we hit the halfway point in the match.
16-20 Minutes: Devlin blocks an O’Connor roll by grabbing the ropes and then he goes to suplex A-Kid to the floor, but they both tumble over the top to the floor. A-Kid gets back into the ring first and when Devlin slides in A-Kid tries to lock in an omoplata, but Devlin gets to the ropes before he can fully lock it in. Devlin goes out to the apron and looks for a slingshot cutter but A-Kid counters it into the rear-naked choke and then he releases Devlin so he can hit him with a running kick which leads to a very close 2 count. A-kid pulls Devlin to his feet and then gets hit with a big forearm as both men fall over from exhaustion. Devlin lands some more punches backing A-Kid toward the ropes which proved to be a mistake as A-Kid hits a step-up Superman punch for another 2 count. As Devlin kicks out A-Kid grabs the arm and locks in a Fujiwara armbar and when that doesn’t work A-Kid flips him over and locks in the cross arm breaker which gets Devlin to instantly tap out tieing the score at 1-1. A-Kid wants to go right back on the attack, but Devlin rolls out to the floor leading to a cat and mouse chase sequence as every time A-Kid would chase Devlin into the ring he would roll right back out to the floor. A-Kid catches the leg of Devlin and flips him over the ropes back to the floor and now every time Devlin goes toward A-Kid he is sent back to the floor.
21-25 Minutes: Devlin becomes frustrated and grabs a chair, but before he has time to use it A-Kid nails him with a kick which does damage to his leg. A-Kid rolls Devlin back in the ring and goes up top where he hits a crossbody for another near fall. A-Kid waits for Devlin to get to his feet and once he does A-Kid goes for a single-leg dropkick but Devlin catches the leg and looks to lock the cloverleaf in once again, but A-Kid fights it off so Devlin uses his power to raise A-Kid off the mat and looks for a powerbomb, but A-Kid reverses it into a hurricanrana for another very close 2 count. Devlin leans against the ropes and after a kick to the chest, he falls out of the ring but is able to slide back in moments later. Both men trade forearms and A-Kid swats away some punches to the body before delivering a big punch which causes Devlin to bounce against the ropes and then he falls forward catching A-Kid with a headbutt on his way down and this gets the closest 2 count of the match and I actually fell for this false finish. We get a strike exchange as both men are on their knees and then A-Kid lands a kick that causes Devlin to fall out onto the apron. A-Kid joins Devlin out on the apron and lifts him to his feet but Devlin fights back as we enter the final 5 minutes.
26-30 Minutes: Devlin teases hitting a Devilinside on the apron, but A-Kid fights back and drops Devlin with a kick. Devlin rolls out to the floor and pulls on the ring skirt to trip up A-Kid and then he pulls A-Kid off the apron with a Devilinside to the floor and both men are laid out at ringside. Both men get back in the ring before the count of 10 and Devlin lands a kick to A-Kid’s head. Devlin pulls A-Kid off the mat looking for a Devilinside, but A-Kid counters into a destroyer. A-Kid goes over to the corner and when Devlin gets up he hits him with the single-leg dropkick, but Devlin kicks out yet again. A-Kid tries to lock in the cross arm breaker but Devlin locks his hands to prevent it from happening and then tries to roll towards A-Kid to get his shoulders on the mat but he isn’t successful and then after much struggle, A-Kid locks in the omoplata which gets him the submission he needed to pull ahead 2-1 with only 1:32 left on the clock. Devlin tries to grab a quick pin with a jackknife cover but A-Kid kicks out and then he tries for a schoolboy which is also unsuccessful and then A-Kid tries to lock in the omoplata once again only for Devlin to escape and try for another pinning combination but A-Kid rolls through and lands a big punch to Devlin. Devlin continues to fight but the clock runs out with the score being 2-1 as A-Kid is declared the winner.
This was just as good as I expected it to be but I have to say the match wasn’t laid out like I expected as I thought we would see more big impact moves throughout the match and more high flying offense from A-Kid, but they kept the action on the mat for a good portion of the match and they did a good job of both working on and selling their injured body parts especially A-Kid with his injured leg. While I wish they had done something different with the final score as it ended no different than every Heritage Cup match, I did like how they had A-Kid pick up that second fall with time still left on the clock as usually, Ironman matches end with a tie forcing overtime or the winner picks up that last fall in the very last seconds of the match, but this time they allowed a different sense of drama toward the end as the story wasn’t whether someone is going to win in the last few seconds of the match it was whether someone was going to be able to keep themselves in the match by forcing the match into overtime so kudos to whoever was in charge of laying out this match. These days with all of the kick-outs and finisher spamming it is hard to fool people with near falls but this match fooled me a couple of times with the near falls mainly because they were smart with their use of finishers. This was a really good match and I recommend it as a must-see.
This episode of NXT UK was all about the Ironman match to the point where after it is over you forget about everything else that happened during the show as this takes up so much time. I am looking forward to the Heritage Cup #1 Contender Tournament as tournaments are always fun and that should give us some fun matches over the next month or so.
- Jey Uso w/ Jimmy Uso def Dominik Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio – **¼
- King Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs def Apollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez via DQ – *¾
- Tegan Nox w/ Shotzi def Tamina – *¼
- Street Profits def Dirty Dawgz – **
- Bianca Belair def Zelina Vega – **¼
- Finn Balor def Baron Corbin – *¾
Sasha Banks comes to the ring to kick off the show as she has returned to take back her spotlight which she deserves and she will never let anyone steal that spotlight ever again. We get a video recap of last week and then Sasha talks about how Bianca Belair would be nothing without her and all of the good things that have happened to Bianca this year happened because of her. Bianca then comes out and says the last time she checked Sasha was the one begging her to choose her to face at WrestleMania so they could main event the show together. Bianca slides in the ring which causes Sasha to bail from the ring and go over to the announce table which she stands on top of. After some more back and forth between Sasha and Bianca we get Bianca telling Sasha that if she wants a title shot then it’s on and of course that would be made official for SummerSlam. Zelina Vega comes out and is not happy about Sasha getting a title shot and says that before Sasha swooped in like a vulture Bianca had accepted her challenge for a title shot and wants to know what Bianca is going to do and then Sasha speaks up asking Bianca what she is going to do and Bianca tells her to stay out of it as Zelina was talking to her and not Sasha. Bianca says she will face Sasha at SummerSlam and as for Zelina, she will take her on tonight.
Later in the night, Zelina goes into the locker room of Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and Pearce tells her they can’t just have a title match without any advertising. This doesn’t sit well with Zelina as she doesn’t see how they can justify denying her a title match when Bianca has accepted her challenge on two occasions. Pearce tells her that tonight’s match is non-title but if Zelina wins and impresses them then she can have the winner of Sasha vs Bianca after SummerSlam. We get our Zelina vs Bianca match later on in the night which goes on longer than I expected it to but it was a decent match and although Bianca picked up the win Zelina had a nice showing, but I guess since she lost once again she will not be getting that title shot.
We are set to have Dominik Mysterio take on Jey Uso, but first, we get Rey and Dominik in the back and Rey scolds Dominik for taking a match against Jey Uso when they already have their tag title match for SummerSlam as a loss could destroy their momentum and they need to be more strategic. Dominik understands what his dad is saying but then he tells Rey that he doesn’t need his help tonight. Jey and Dominik have a really fun match where it looks like Dominik is going to pick up a win as he is on the top, but he gets distracted when Rey takes out Jimmy at ringside and allows Jey to get back on his feet. Dominik jumps over Jey and rolls through but when he turns around he is hit with a superkick followed by the top rope splash to pick up the win. This did a good job of continuing the story they are telling between Dominik and Rey as Dom said he didn’t need his dad’s help but he helps anyway and ends up costing Dominik the match.
Edge is interviewed in the back where he calls Rollins a bastard and how their issues go back further than just the past few weeks and when Rollins gets to the building he will meet him in the ring and show him how much of a bastard he can be. Edge comes to the ring later in the night and reveals Rollins isn’t there and he doesn’t blame him because if he was there Edge would do something to Rollins that would land him in jail. Edge was content in letting their past go until Rollins cost him the title at Money in the Bank.
Rollins pops up on the screen and says that Edge should’ve seen the attack coming last week and if Edge were half the man he is then he would know you always have to have a plan B. Edge says he has a plan B which is to face Rollins at SummerSlam, but Rollin says he calls the shots and he will think about whether he wants to face Edge at SummerSlam, but while he is thinking about it maybe Edge should as well and question what he is getting himself into as Edge already knows what it’s like to have Rollins boot on the back of his neck. Rollins asks what would happen if he stomps on a neck that has been fused three times, Edge’s comeback would be over and on top of that, he doesn’t know what Edge’s future as a husband or father would be. Edge gets fired up telling Rollins to keep his family out of his mouth. Edge reminds Rollins how he eliminated him from both the 2020 and 2021 Royal Rumble matches and none of that would’ve happened if Rollins had finished the job back in 2014. Edge says that Rollins walks in his footsteps but he can’t fill them because he is just Edge lite. Rollins is fired up after this and accepts Edge’s challenge for SummerSlam.
This was a really good back and forth as both men showed fire at different times in the exchange and just when it seemed like Rollins had hit a nerve by mentioning Edge’s family the veteran came back at him targeting Rollins ego knowing that if played on it long enough he would get Rollins to accept the match and that is exactly what happened. I think Rollins vs Edge has a chance to be the best match of the night at SummerSlam.
We get a championship contender match as King Nakamura takes on Apollo Crews and this match felt like it was in fast forward and just when it started getting good we had Commander Azeez interfere causing the DQ. After the match, Nakamura throws Crews into Boogs knocking him off the apron.
Kayla Braxton interviews Paul Heyman who is upset at how the contract signing went down last week and compares it to if he knocked out a football player and signed their contract would that mean he gets the money that the contract was worth, he says Cena facing Reigns at SummerSlam is meritless. As Paul Heyman turns around to go back into the locker room he bumps into Big E who is holding his Money in the Bank contract and is giggling at Heyman.
Our next match is Tamina vs Tegan Nox who thankfully has regained her whole name. This was a really quick match that saw Tegan hit her inverted cannonball twice but when she goes for the Shiniest Wizard Tamnia ducks and hits her with the superkick. Tamina picks Tegan up for the Samoan drop, but Shotzi shoots her missile from her tank which distracts Tamina long enough for Tegan to roll her up and pick up the win. Glad to see Tegan pick up a win even though the match was nothing much to talk about. WWE will never do this but it would be cool and I would love it if they had a babyface women’s faction on SmackDown consisting of Tegan, Shotzi, Toni Storm, & Liv Morgan since they don’t know what to do with any of them, that could be a really fun element to add to the SmackDown women’s division.
Balor is interviewed and he is pissed at Corbin for sticking his nose in his business and costing him a chance against Reigns at SummerSlam and speaking of SummerSlam he has a bone to pick with John Cena as well.
We get a tag match up next as the Dirty Dawgz take on the Street Profits who are back in action as Montez Ford is cleared to compete after the surgery that he had. This was nothing special as it was pretty much in line with any other Profits vs Dirty Dawgz match we have seen a hundred times in the past. It was nice to see the beautiful Frog Splash from Montez Ford once again as he used that to pick up the win.
Heyman is in the locker room with Reigns and lets him know that Balor vs Corbin is up next and Reigns says he is interested. I would like to think that Heyman came up to him before every match and told him what match is next because the Head of the Table doesn’t have a monitor in his locker room to see for himself.
Balor vs Corbin is indeed up next and poor Corbin doesn’t even have music at this point. Corbin grabs a mic just as the bell rings and tries to apologize for last week but Balor doesn’t accept his apology and nails him with a forearm. This was yet another really quick match as it only goes around 2 minutes and most of that time Balor beats Corbin’s ass as he pretty much dominated the match with the exception of a few spots. Balor gets the easy win with a Coup de Grace.
After the match, Balor gets on the mic and says that a few years ago he would be smiling and would’ve accepted getting screwed out of his Universal Championship match but that was the old Balor, this Balor isn’t going to take that crap and he doesn’t care if he has to go through Cena in order to get his title shot he is willing to do it.
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman come down to the ring and Reigns says he understands why Balor is out there mad at Cena but Balor should remember that he tried to help him out by giving him an opportunity so Balor should keep his name out of his mouth. Reigns throws the mic at Balor who shoves him out of the ring but Reigns lands on his feet and then gets back on the apron, but The Usos attack Balor as Reigns walks up the ramp. The Usos go to splash Balor but he gets out of the way and then goes on the attack beating them both down and then he takes them both out on the outside with a tope con hilo. Reigns returns to the ring after seeing what has happened and they brawl until Balor hits a sling blade only for The Usos to return and beat Balor down. Reigns locks Balor in the guillotine choke until he passes out. SmackDown comes to an end with Reigns standing tall with his title in the air and his cousins by his side.
This was a good ending segment to close the show as Balor looked strong beating down both Usos as well as getting some shots in on Reigns before being overcome by the numbers. I really hope they don’t make the SummerSlam match a triple threat match like they did at WrestleMania just because they don’t want Cena to get beat and need someone to take the loss. I would save the Reigns vs Balor matches for after SummerSlam as they are going to need a hot feud going into the fall.
This was an interesting episode of SmackDown as there were more matches than usual but none of them lasted that long as they were going with the Raw booking style of quantity over quality on this episode. I pretty much had to go back and rewatch the entire second hour as I got completely distracted just like everyone else did as it was during this time that it was revealed that WWE was doing more cuts to the NXT roster, but you can read more about that in the news section. I thought this was one of the weaker episodes of SmackDown as of late and Cena’s presence was definitely missed, but I did like the ending segment and the confrontation between Rollins and Edge.
In the News
During the 8/6/21 episode of SmackDown, it was revealed by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com that WWE was on yet another spree of talent cuts, and this time NXT was the victim once again as 13 names were let go with the most notable being Bronson Reed, Bobby Fish, Jake Atlas, Mercedes Martinez, Leon Ruff, & Tyler Rust. It is baffling to see some of these names as they were featured prominently on TV very recently such as Bobby Fish who just wrestled on this week’s NXT losing against Roderick Strong and speaking of Strong it looks like he has lost a Diamond Member in the form of Tyler Rust. The fact that it was only a month or so ago when Bronson Reed was being looked at to come up to the main roster and now he is no longer with the company it is just confusing.
The fact that WWE continues to release people citing budget reasons when they are making more money than ever before is just a complete crock of bullshit and the fact they are releasing people who are major players on their shows just makes these cuts even more unpredictable and even more heartbreaking. It comes to the point where you are scared to really get behind a talent or character in WWE because at the snap of a finger they could be gone from the company. At this point, I don’t know what to do with my WWE fandom as I hate the fact that I give time and money to a company that treats people like shit, but at the same time I want to support the men and women who are still there as they can’t help the way the company is run nor is there anything they can really do about it other than quit but it’s not like there is room in AEW and the indies for all of this talent so some are going to have to stay in the company. I seriously fear that the next round of cuts are going to really be a heartbreaker for me personally as I could see them going for my favorite girls such as Kacy Catanzaro, Kayden Carter, Liv Morgan, Mia Yim, Asuka, Naomi, Toni Storm, Shotzi, Tegan Nox, and hell at this point I don’t even know if Alexa is safe because this company has become more ruthless and unpredictable as ever. I just hope and pray all of those released are able to land on their feet and find work elsewhere because they are all talented and while WWE may have taken for granted the talent they had on the roster we the fans never did as we appreciate every time they step in the ring.
It seems that the release of Bray Wyatt is not sitting well with anyone as both the WWE locker room as well as WWE’s TV network partners are frustrated with WWE releasing Wyatt. Andrew Zarian reports that the TV networks are finding it disappointing and scary that top stars are being released. The veterans in the WWE locker room no longer feel safe about their job status regardless of their position in the company. You would think since the network partners aren’t happy with this decision then the WWE would be doing everything in their power to bring him back as they don’t want to upset one of their main sources of revenue.
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reports that Wyatt was recently cleared of an “undisclosed physical ailment” and was being set up to return later in August which makes his release all the more bizarre. Fightful Select reports that the fact that Wyatt was released due to budget cuts comes as a surprise considering that Wyatt is one of the top merch sellers.
Someone else who wanted to put their two cents into the whole Bray Wyatt release situation was Ronda Rousey who went on Twitter and tweeted “I’ve seen you same “fans” chanting #WeWantWyatt last night chanting “we want beach balls” over @WWEBrayWyatt performing. If the @wwe treated him like he was expendable it was because you ungrateful idiots did first.” Just like always, Ronda provides her shitty take on a situation which in this case she has no clue about as she talks big as if she has been in the business for a long time, but in reality, she only had a cup of coffee in the business and whether its UFC or WWE Ronda always comes off as bitter and trying to stay relevant. Those fans who were chanting about the beach balls don’t make up the entirety of WWE’s fanbase. What Ronda doesn’t understand is that we can root for someone and want the absolute best for them while at the same time be pissed or disinterested in the way they are booked on the show. Wyatt is loved by a lot of fans but once we see him getting booked like crap we are going to shit on it because we know he is capable of so much more as he is one of the most creative guys WWE ever had on their roster and the fact that his release has hit so many people hard shows how much he is loved and adored.
I would also like to say that it is complete bullshit that people are blaming Alexa for Wyatt’s release just because people claim he wasn’t needed due to Alexa taking over that creepy character. Alexa sent out a tweet after his release heartbroken at the news as she loved working with him. If Alexa taking over his gimmick was the reason he was released then why didn’t they just release him after WrestleMania, but no, he was cleared two days prior to being released and they were planning on bringing him back this month. The reason Wyatt was released is because of Nick Khan and his bullshit “budget cuts” as well as the hot and cold relationship between Wyatt and Vince, Alexa didn’t have a damn thing to do with his release, and to anyone who thinks that they can GTFO.
We move on to another departure from the company as Ric Flair decided to split ways with WWE this past weekend. The reason for his decision to leave the company is not exactly known in detail but Fightful Select reports that Flair was upset with recent booking decisions and even called Vince directly to voice his displeasure. Bryan Alvarez reports that Flair gave Vince an ultimatum and when Vince didn’t do what Flair wanted then was when he decided to cut his ties with the company (well as much as he can, given that his daughter is one of their biggest stars). I am really curious as to what this recent booking decision was that he didn’t like and when he says recent how recent are we talking about because it could be that whole Lacey Evans storyline, but if it’s not that then it has to be something involving Charlotte but that doesn’t make any sense either as she has been booked strongly since her return like she always has been, so I am really puzzled as to what he was unhappy with.
We have yet another WWE talent that could also be looking for greener pastures as Adam Cole’s (Bay! Bay!) contract is set to run out after SummerSlam weekend. Cole’s contract was originally supposed to be up around when NXT had their Great American Bash show but he agreed to an extension so that he could finish out his story with Kyle O’Reilly. It is highly rumored that Cole could be leaving the company in a few weeks where he is likely to go to AEW where he can join his former Elite buddies as well as his girlfriend Britt Baker D.M.D. but that doesn’t mean that WWE isn’t doing everything they can to keep him as he was scheduled to have a meeting with Vince during the 8/6/21 episode of SmackDown, but as of this writing, nothing has come out as to how that meeting went. To go along with the Adam Cole story it seems like Pete Dunne’s contract is set to expire soon as well and his circumstances are said to be very similar to that of Adam Cole.
Finally, I would like to send my thoughts, prayers, and condolences out to the family, friends, and fans of “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton who passed away in his sleep on Wednesday at the age of 62. Eaton is regarded as one of the best in-ring performers of all time who never fully got the credit he deserved. Eaton was best known as one-half of the Midnight Express along with Dennis Condrey/Stan Lane and their manager Jim Cornette. The Midnight’s feud with the Rock N Roll Express throughout the 1980s was one of the biggest tag teams feuds of all time and sold-out arenas across the south. Eaton would later go on to be a member of the Dangerous Alliance where he would pick up more tag gold alongside Arn Anderson. Eaton’s crowning solo achievement would be when he won the WCW TV Championship from Arn Anderson in 1991 at the very first SuperBrawl PPV. Aside from his talent in the ring, Eaton was well-liked and respected for the man he was as he was always very quiet and kind to everyone and was willing to help the younger talent that came after him. Eaton will be dearly missed by both his co-workers and fans around the world and as a fan of his I would like to thank him for all the years of joy and entertainment he gave us throughout the years.
Coming up this Week
- Lashley and MVP speak on Goldberg attacking MVP last week
- Charlotte Flair talks to the WWE Universe
- Face to Face with Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
- Raquel Gonzalez speaks for the first time since Dakota Kai turned on her.
- Ilja Dragunov live in the CWC
- Carmelo Hayes vs Duke Hudson (NXT Breakout Tournament Semi-Final Match)
- Ember Moon vs Sarray
- Mark Andrews vs Noam Dar (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Wolfgang vs Flash Morgan Webster
- Amale vs Nina Samuels