- Sheamus def Drew McIntyre – ***½
- Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. def Natalya & Tamina – **
- Karrion Kross def John Morrison – **¼
- Charlotte Flair © def Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler – **¾
- Reggie © def Akira Tozawa (24/7 Championship) ¼*
- MVP & Bobby Lashley win Tag Team Turmoil – ***¾
The show opens with all of the tag teams in tonight’s gauntlet match stating why they will be the winners of the match and will go on to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
RK-Bro come to the ring to get us started and Orton brings up that Lashley and MVP failed to take the titles from them last week because Lashley is a greedy SOB. Orton says tonight they will find out who will be their next challengers our of the seven other teams on Raw. Riddle then makes some jokes about some of the teams in the gauntlet match to the point where Orton can’t keep a straight face. “The Almighty WWE Champion” Bobby Lashley and MVP make their way to the ring and MVP is not in a joking mood as he tells Riddle to shut up as everyone is losing IQ points listening to him ramble on. MVP says that Riddle needs to worry about Lashley ripping Orton’s head off after that RKO he hit on Lashley last week.
Lashley wants Orton to face him one-on-one and after thinking about it for a moment Orton says it’s been a while since they faced each other so he accepts, but on one condition and that is the WWE Championship has to be on the line, MVP and Lashley have a sidebar and MVP accepts on behalf of Lashley, but it’s going to happen at Extreme Rules. Lashley then says they are going to talk with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville about being added to the tag turmoil match.
I thought this was a good opening segment as it both set up the WWE Championship match for Extreme Rules and hyped up tonight’s big tag turmoil match which would end up being the main focus for the majority of tonight’s show. This opening segment was also great just for Riddle making jokes which actually broke Orton as he couldn’t keep a straight face.
The New Day then come out as they will be starting out the tag turmoil match and they go on quite a run as they eliminate The Viking Raiders, Jinder Mahal & Veer, Lucha House Party, & Mace & T-Bar, but unfortunately Mace & T-Bar did not take their loss well as they attack New Day and well as Mansoor & Mustafa Ali when they try to make the save. Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville come out and say that they are not going to stand for this and they decide to postpone the match until later in the night so that both of the teams laid out by Mace & T-Bar have time to recover.
Fast forward to the last half hour of Raw and it’s time to continue the match and while we had that delay it was announced that Lashley and MVP had been added to the match. We continue the match where we left off with New Day and the team of Mansoor & Mustafa Ali where New Day add another victory to the record books, but that would be the only win on this second half of the match as the next team is AJ Styles & Omos and despite their best efforts New Day are unable to overcome the odds as Styles is able to hit a Styles Clash on Kingston to score the elimination.
Our final match up in this tag turmoil is AJ Styles & Omos vs Bobby Lashley & MVP and during this match we see a face off between the two hosses as Lashley and Omos square up and Lashley gets the control early on, but foolishly goes for a suplex which is reversed into a gourdbuster by Omos. We get some interaction between Hurt Business, Styles & Omos, and the tag team champions RK-Bro who are sitting at ringside and after this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a triple threat match between the three teams. The finish of the match sees Styles roll through on a springboard and get hit with a Spear by Lashley and that is enough to give Lashley & MVP the win. After the match, Omos lays out Lashley with a Tree Slam and when Lashley eventually gets to his feet he is met by an RKO from Orton for the second week in a row.
I can’t remember the last time the Raw tag division has gotten as much attention as it did on this show (if you put the time of both parts of the match together this match took up ⅓ of Raw), but I loved all of it as tonight was proof that tag wrestling can be fun and can be really good when it is given the chance which is why AEW put such a heavy emphasis on their tag division. I liked that they let New Day go on a streak for a while as they have been the standard-bearer for the WWE’s tag division for the past six years. I hope they follow up on the destruction T-Bar & Mace caused and don’t make it just a one-time thing as they could be a really good legit badass heel team if given the opportunity, hopefully, this leads to a New Day vs Mace & T-Bar feud. I thought it was really nice how they blended the tag turmoil match with the Lashley vs Orton feud as it makes the tag titles feel even more important which is a welcome change. I loved everything about this tag turmoil including how it started and ended the show.
Now that we got the meat of the show talked about let’s see what happened on the rest of the show.
We got Drew McIntyre facing Sheamus in a #1 Contender Match for the US Championship with the winner facing Damian Priest at Extreme Rules and as you would expect they had one hell of a match as they beat the crap out of each other and in the end Sheamus would pick up the win after rolling McIntyre up in a schoolboy and grabbing the tights. After the match, McIntyre grabs the face mask of Sheamus and hits him with it, and then to put an exclamation point on his frustration he lays out Sheamus with a Claymore. Sheamus and Priest had one of the better matches at SummerSlam and I expect no different at Extreme Rules as Sheamus is having one of the best in-ring runs of his career and Damian Priest is no slouch either.
We get an interview with Damian Priest after the match and he puts over Sheamus and McIntyre and then says at Extreme Rules Sheamus will find himself laying on his back in the middle of the ring just like he did at SummerSlam because he has Sheamus’s number.
We get an interview with Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. who are the odd couple tag team of the women’s division with Nikki playing the role of Riddle and Rhea playing the role of Orton. Rhea & Nikki talk about how they are working on getting on the same page even though they have nothing in common and tonight they will unleash super brutality.
Nikki and Rhea are taking on Natalya & Tamina in a “championship contender” match even though Nox and Shotzi have beat the champions twice on SmackDown and still haven’t received a title shot. This was a decent match as Nikki and Rhea pull out a couple of double team moves and in the end, Rhea and Nikki pick up the win after a Riptide on Natalya. I guess it’s now a race to who will get their tag title shot first, I predict it will be Nikki and Rhea because they are featured more often whereas Nox and Shotzi can barely get on the show most weeks.
We get a backstage edition of Moist TV which was taped earlier in the day, John Morrison’s guest is Karrion Kross who wants to make people’s worst dreams a reality, and tonight he will make Morrison suffer. Morrison tries to persuade him to go after a championship instead, but Kross wants to eliminate Morrison from existence before he does that. This leads to a match between the two up next which is very quick as Kross dominates Morrison and after being squirted with the drip stick he takes Morrison’s head off with a big boot and moments later the Krossjacket is applied and that is enough to get Kross the win. It makes no sense to have Morrison in this match as he needs to be picking up wins to establish his return to being a singles star as getting pretty much squashed does nothing to make the fans want to cheer for him.
After weeks of chasing Reggie around Akira Tozawa finally gets a title shot in an actual match, but it lasts less than a minute with Reggie coming out the winner. After the match, R-Truth and others run down to catch Reggie but he dives out onto them and then heads up the ramp where he runs into former 24/7 Champion Drake Maverick who has a serious look on his face, R-Truth stops and tells him he should be home with his wife before continuing his chase after Reggie. I guess the Drake Maverick and Grayson Waller team was short-lived and now he is back on Raw.
We get a promo from Doudrop about what happened last week when she attacked Eva Marie before their match started and said she did that so Eva couldn’t try and bail on the match as she has done in the past. Doudrop says she isn’t surprised that Eva isn’t there tonight but she is challenging her for a match next week and if we thought the beating she gave Eva last week was bad, just wait until next week. Doudrop says the Eva-lution is an Eva-delusion and she is ushering in the Doudrop-lution. While ti wasn’t shown on Raw there is a video Eva posted on Twitter where she gets an MRI on her own dime so that she can find out what harm Doudrop did to her both physically and mentally, it was actually the best promo that Eva has ever cut you can check it out here.
It’s time for the Raw Women’s Championship match as Charlotte Flair defends her title against Nia Jax in a rematch of their crazy match from last week when they started shooting on each other. Right, when the bell rings Shayna grabs the mic and says that she is betting on Charlotte as she doesn’t think Nia has what it takes to beat Charlotte twice in a row, but she does and this distraction allows Charlotte to jump Nia from behind. At one point in the match, Charlotte tries to walk out but Shayna cuts her off and they have words. In the end, Shayna distracts Nia long enough for Charlotte to come off the top with a Natural Selection to pick up the win. Nia walks off confused by Shayna’s actions.
Alexa pops up on the screen and tells Charlotte that now that the fighting is done it’s time to have some fun as she invites Charlotte to the playground, but Charlotte declines as she is not interested in Alexa’s mind games. Alexa says Lilly has a lot of pent-up energy, so if Charlotte won’t come to her then she will come to Charlotte, and moments later Alexa suddenly appears in the ring. Charlotte asks Alexa what she wants and Alexa points to the Raw Women’s Championship and Charlotte says that is fine but this ring is her playground, not Alexa’s and later in the night Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte Flair would be made official for Extreme Rules.
I’m happy to see they didn’t change their mind with the Alexa and Charlotte feud as I was worried after last week when Alexa wasn’t featured at all, but it looks like we are back on track and it will be interesting to see how this feud goes as I remember the two of them had a pretty good match at Survivor Series a few years ago. I wish Nia and Shayna would just beat the crap out of each other and get it over with because their back and forth has been going on for months and at this point, nobody cares.
I thought this was a really good episode of Raw as I really enjoyed the tag turmoil and everything that went along with it as not only was the in-ring action really good, but the storytelling was also very well done and made the tag titles actually feel important. I also really enjoyed the Drew McIntyre vs Sheamus match. I wish every episode of Raw was this good and made this much sense as it would make it a lot easier to watch each week.
- Kay Lee Ray def Ember Moon – ***¼
- Santos Escobar w/ Legado del Fantasma def Carmelo Hayes – ***¼
- The Creed Brothers w/ The Diamond Mine def Chuckie Viola & Paxton Averill – **
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark © def Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter (NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship) – **¾
- Mei Ying w/ Boa def Virginia Ferry – ¼*
- MSK © def Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch w/ Pete Dunne & Ridge Holland – ***¼
The show kicks off and we immediately go into our first match of the night as Ember Moon takes on Kay Lee Ray after KLR had Ember’s name in her mouth last week during her sit-down interview.
Ember takes KLR down with a headlock takeover which KLR escapes only to be pulled right back into a headlock, but KLR sends her into the ropes and goes for a hip toss but Ember lands on her feet and hits and takes KLR down with a dropkick. KLR rolls out of an armbar but gets hit with a kick to the chest and is sent into the corner where she avoids a charging Ember and then she pulls her arm down across the top rope and then KLR hits Ember with a gourdbuster for a 2 count. KLR then targets the arm of Ember as she looks to lock in an armbar but Ember is able to escape and roll KLR up for a near fall. KLR catches Ember with a surprise kip up hurricanrana and then lights her up with a combination of strikes and then catches KLR with a lungblower off the middle rope for a 2 count. Ember locks in a crossface for a bit until KLR is able to turn her hips and get to her feet, but just when it seems like KLR is going to escape Ember catches her in a submission which KLR has to fight out of and then she catches Ember with a schoolgirl into the bottom turnbuckle as the show goes to a commercial.
KLR stays in control throughout the majority of the picture-in-picture as she continues to work over the arm of Ember and this continues as the commercial comes to an end. Ember catches KLR with a surprise small package for a 2 count. KLR hits Ember with a slap and a superkick which fires up Ember as she passes KLR into the corner and places her in a tree of woe where she raises her up and repeatedly kicks her in the back and that is followed by a kick to the head which gets a 2 count. KLR rolls over to the corner and pulls Ember into the top turnbuckle and then she hits Ember with a tornado DDT (which Ember takes a nice bump off of) which gets a 2 count. Ember hits KLR with a front suplex that sends her from the ring all the way to the floor and then Ember takes her out with a tope suicida. Ember throws KLR back in the ring and then goes up top, but KLR cuts her off and slams her down to the mat. KLR hits Ember with a senton atomico off the top for a 2 count. We get a forearm exchange and then Ember blocks a kick and hits an over-the-shoulder Michinoku Driver for a 2 count, and then both women trade pinning combinations until KLR bridges out of one and then transitions right into the Gory Bomb for the win.
Later in the night, we get an interview with Ember who says she is tired as it has been a stressful past three months as nothing is going her way, but tonight Kay Lee Ray finally woke her up and she doesn’t want to keep feeling the way she has been and now she knows what she has to do, so stay tuned.
I was expecting this match to be decent but it definitely exceeded my expectations as they did a great job of kicking the show off with a bang. Given what Ember said in her interview I am expecting a heel turn from Ember in the near future.
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch are interviewed backstage and they talk about how they are going to take back the tag titles they never lost when they beat MSK later tonight.
It’s time to see what kind of shenanigans went down at Indi Hartwell’s bachelorette party which took place over the weekend, the party is taking place at a fancy restaurant. Indi and Candice walk in and Indi is surprised to see everyone who came to the party and so is Candice as she mutters under her breath that Indi has no friends. Amari Miller can’t believe the wedding is happening, but Cora Jade says it probably won’t since it’s a WWE wedding. Indi goes to make a toast but before she does she asks McKenzie Mitchell if she wants to interview her and if she has her mic, but McKenzie tells her she left it at home (why did she take the mic home with her and not leave it at work). Indi wants to thank her friend Persia aka Steph De Lander for coming all the way from Australia to be there, but Persia tells Kacy she really came for Disney World not Indi’s party. Indi talks about how great her life has become since Dexter Lumis came into it and credits Candice LeRae for guiding her and making her the woman she is today, and showing her The Way.
Candice gets up to speak (we can even see her baby bump) and gets distracted by Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter and tells them to stop flip-flopping and they tell her it’s Tik Tok. Candice says that she didn’t approve of their relationship at first and then runs down a list of negative ways to describe Lumis until Indi cuts her off and tells her to get to the good stuff. Candice says that she can tell that Lumis loves Indi and that is all she could ever ask for. Candice tells Indi that Johnny Gargano is going to be a tougher nut to crack in order for Lumis to get his acceptance and Indi tells her that Lumis will just have to crack Gargano’s nut. Indi then wonders what is going on at Lumis’s bachelor party and Candice tells her she still has some spy gear that she may have used in the past and they decide to go check out what is happening with the guys and they run off leaving the guests on their own.
It’s time for our second match of the night as NXT Breakout Tournament winner Carmelo Hayes takes on Santos Escobar who is being accompanied to the ring by Legado del Fantasma.
Santos out wrestles Hayes at the start to the point where he offers to let Hayes walk, but that’s not going to happen. Hayes grabs a wristlock and despite Escobar trying to roll out of it Hayes keeps it locked in and then takes Escobar down to the mat before hitting him with an armdrag moments later. Hayes ducks a clothesline and sends Escobar out to the floor with a hurricanrana and then Hayes gives Escobar the chance to leave. Escobar gets back in the ring and Hayes tries for a headscissors but Escobar blocks it as he slams Hayes to the mat and then hits him with a standing splash and then works over the back of Hayes until he hits a DDT for a 2 count. Hayes is sent into the corner where he jumps up and over Escobar and rolls to the other side of the ring where he catches Escobar with an O’Connor roll which is unsuccessful, but Hayes is able to flip over when Escobar kicks out and lands a kick to the head. Escobar reverses a whip into the ropes but Hayes flips over his back and hits a bicycle kick which knocks Escobar out to the apron. Hayes jumps out to the apron but Escobar rolls back in the ring and runs into Hayes knocking him off the apron and into the announce table and that sends the show to a commercial break.
We come back from the commercial and Escobar is in control as he locks Hayes in a Liontamer, but he eventually releases the hold and sends Hayes into the corner where he connects with a clothesline followed by a running knee attack. Escobar sits Hayes up on the top rope and hits him with a hurricanrana which gets him a 2 count. Escobar tries to lock in a crossface but once again Hayes is putting up a fight and doesn’t allow him to fully lock it in. Escobar picks up Hayes and drives his shoulder into his gut and this sends Hayes rolling out to the floor where he locks in a Liontamer on top of the steps which is a pet peeve of mine as that move isn’t going to hurt anymore on the steps than it would in the ring. We go back to the ring where Escobar chokes Hayes on the ropes, but Hayes is able to move and he sweeps the leg of Escobar leaving him stuck between the top and middle rope where Hayes hits him with a kick to the back and then lands a springboard leg drop.
Escobar rolls to the outside for a breather but Hayes follows him out and smashes his head against the announce table before throwing Escobar back in the ring where he connects with a springboard clothesline followed by a running knee strike and a suplex cutter which gets him a 2 count. Hayes goes for a springboard but Escobar catches him in midair with a knee, Escobar sets up for the Phantom Driver only for Hayes to escape and hit Escobar with a lungblower followed by a tilt-a-whirl facebuster. Escobar rolls out to the apron where Hayes hits him with a slingshot DDT. Wilde and Mendoza distract the referee and this allows Elektra Lopez to slam Hayes on the floor, Hayes rolls back in the ring and is immediately hit with the Phantom Driver which is enough to give Santos Escobar the win.
We are two for two in really good matches on this show as Hayes impresses once again and Escobar was great just like he always is. I hope this role of Elektra beating up Escobar’s opponents continues as it gives off a real Chyna in DX vibe which is pretty cool.
We get an announcement from General Manager William Regal that next week on the premiere of the new NXT we will have a fatal-four-way between Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne, Tommaso Ciampa, & LA Knight and the winner will become the #1 Contender for Samoa Joe’s NXT Championship. While I’m not sure who is going to win I can say for sure that LA Knight will be the one taking the pin.
We get an exclusive video where Malcolm Bivens formally introduces us to the two newest members of the Diamond Mine which are Brutus and Julius aka The Creed Brothers. Bivens runs down the amateur wrestling accomplishments of both brothers and then Roderick Strong welcomes them to the group.
It’s time for the debut of the Creed Brothers as they take on two poor jobbers by the names of Chuckie Viola & Paxton Averill who are going to want to find a new line of work after this match.
Brutus starts the match with Chuckie Viola with Viola going for a single leg but Brutus pushes him across the ring, so Viola decides to land some strikes but it doesn’t end well for him as Brutus picks him up and tosses him to the floor with ease. Avilla tries to check on his partner but Brutus shoves him out of the way and throws Viola back in the ring where he tags in Avilla, but he runs right into a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Brutus tags in Julius. We get a pair of consecutive fireman’s carry slams by the Creed Brothers and then Julius drives Avilla into the corner before sending him across the ring with a half-hatch suplex. Julius screams how he loves punishing people and then hits a big powerslam. Julius biels Viola into the ring and the Creed Brothers each pick up an opponent and ram them into each other. Julius hits Avilla with a rolling spinebuster and that is followed up by a lariat to a seated Avilla for the win.
Ok, this was a fun squash match that harkens back to the 80’s & 90’s when the Steiner Brothers would toss around jobbers and on a weekly basis and I’m glad to see we finally have a new version of the Steiner Brothers all these years later as they were always one of my favorite tag teams and I have a feeling the same will be said for the Creed Brothers and I can’t wait to see more of them throwing people around week after week.
We get a video promo from Hit Row as they are in the studio and Swerve said he should’ve known Escobar had something up his sleeve, but he promises that you won’t catch Hit Row slipping ever again. Top Dolla and Ashante the Adonis talk about how a hard head makes a soft ass and then B-Fab says she doesn’t know who Elektra is but hitting her with a pipe isn’t the way to say hello and now the two of them have a problem.
It’s time for the first of two tag team championship matches as Io Shirai & Zoey Stark defend their NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship against my favorite team in NXT Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter.
Kacy and Zoey circle the ring and Kacy rolls under a clothesline and tries for a drop toe hold, but Zoey doesn’t go all the way down so Kacy grabs a headlock only to be sent into the ropes, Zoey ducks a kick and pushes Kacy into the ropes where she flips by Zoey and then tries for a backflip into a headscissors but Zoey ends up landing on her feet and we have a stalemate. We get a tag on both sides as Io and Kayden come in and we immediately get a drop-down and leapfrog spot and then Kayden cartwheel over Io and then Io cartwheels by Kayden and looks to take her down with a headscissors, but Kayden lands on her feet and so far neither team has gained any kind of an advantage. Io tells Zoey she doesn’t need her help but when she turns around he is hit with a dropkick and then Kayden grounds her with an armbar. Kayden drags Io over to the corner and tags in Kacy who sends Io into the corner but misses a charge and Io ties her up in the corner and hits her with a lungblower as the show goes to a commercial break.
We come back and Zoey is now in the ring as Kacy fights out of a surfboard and then Zoey tries for a slam but Kacy escapes and tries to make a tag but Zoey pulls her back and then goes for a back suplex, but she backs up to far and Kacy is able to stretch out her arm and make the tag to Kayden. Kayden hits Zoey with a bulldog and as Io tries to come in she puts her in the corner and whips Zoey into the same corner, Kayden knocks Zoey down with a back elbow and then hits the running corner dropkick and splash combo move. Kayden waits for Zoey to get to her feet and when she does Kayden catches her with a springboard victory roll which leads to a kick to the face for a 2 count. Zoey catches an attempted kick and spins Kayden around which allows Zoey to connect with a big kick of her own and then she backs into her corner so Io can tag herself in.
Io connects with the tiger feint kick on Kayden and then lands a PK on Kacy from the apron, Io goes up top and connects with a big dropkick for a 2 count. Io locks in a crossface for a minute before deciding to let go and then she beats down Kayden some more before sending her into the ropes where she grabs the ropes to stop herself and this allows Kacy the chance to tag in. Kayden trips up Io and then they hit Io with a wheelbarrow into a moonsault for a 2 count. Kayden tags back in and lifts Io in a fireman’s carry, but Io elbows out of it and hits Kayden with a release German suplex and that is followed by a double knee attack in the corner. Zoey tags in and lands a big kick to the head of Kayden for a 2 count.
Zoey sends Kayden into the corner but as she does Kayden connects with a back elbow to Io and then she dodges a charging Zoey causing her to crash into Io as well knocking her off the apron. Kayen hits a hammerlock STO and then can’t decide what to do next, she finally goes up tp the middle rope and Kacy gets up on her shoulders and we see Kayden come causing Kacy to come down with a splash onto Zoey for a 2 count when Io hits a springboard dropkick on Kayden causing her to crash into the pin. Zoey kicks Kacy in the back of the leg and then hits a running knee for a 2 count. Zoey hits Kacy with her spinning GTS and then tags in Io who hits the moonsault and that is enough to pick up the and retain their titles. After the match, Kacy and Kayden walk up the ramp and are attacked from behind by Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, & Jacy Jayne and Mandy is wearing a face mask after getting her face kicked in by Sarray last week.
I thought this was a super fun match and I’m so happy to see Kacy and Kayden get a title shot and hopefully this is the first of many title matches for them as they are such a good white meat babyface team who are always coming up with fun and innovative double team offense. I love their whole package from the gear, the dances, the look, etc they are by far my favorite team in NXT and there is a chance once they do win the titles I might get as emotional as everyone else did when the Lucha Bros won the tag titles this past Sunday at All Out. Given what happened after the match I guess we are getting a Mandy, Gigi, & Jacy vs Sarray, Kacy, & Kayden match in the future.
We get a promo from Kyle O’Reilly where he talks about how challenging the past year has been but he says that at Takeover: 36 one obsession ended and starting next week another one begins because he will do whatever it takes to win next week and go on to beat Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship. I thought this was a really good promo from O’Reilly as it was very calm and genuine and I would take this version of O’Reilly over “Cool Kyle” any day of the week.
We go to the Dexter Lumis bachelor party that happened over the weekend and we start out in a limo with Lumis, Gargano, Odyssey Jones, Drake Maverick, and in a nice callback to his feud with Cameron Grimes we see the NXT referee zombie. Gargano wants to know who is paying for this party and the wedding as well as he states he is not spending one red cent on any of this, at that time Cameron Grimes swings open the door as they have arrived at their destination. Grimes hands all of the party attendees a wad of money and then lets Gargano know he has paid for everything and then Grimes makes a truce with Lumis putting their bad blood behind them. We are at a big fun park where we first see the guys ride go-karts where Lumis lets Gargano beat him, after that we get some ax throwing which everyone is terrible at especially Gargano but Lumis who is an expert at axe throwing grabs Gargano’s arm and shows him the proper technique which allows Gargano to hit the bullseye every time. We see Drake Maverick jumping on some indoor trampolines and Grimes bets Odyssey Jones that he can send Maverick to the moon and we then cut to Jones jumping across the trampolines in slow motion and he does send Maverick into the air and Maverick takes a nice back bump.
We then get some laser tag as it’s all of the bachelor party attendees against a team of nobodies and the main story in this part is Lumis goes around and chokes out the members of the other team which allows Gargano to walk up and easily eliminate them and gives their team the win. Gargano high-fives everyone on the team and then we finally get the high five between Gargano and Lumis which triggers a flashback of the fun they had that day together. Candice and Indi who have been spying this whole time finally reveal themselves as they want to celebrate this moment and we actually get a group hug between In-Dex and the Garganos and for the first time since his NXT debut we see Lumis crack a little bit of a smile.
I know a lot of people are not into the fact that we are getting a wedding on NXT as they feel that is the definite sign that NXT is going to change and be just like Raw and SmackDown and while they may be right I had to admit that I have loved everything involving In-Dex including these bachelor and bachelorette parties and I can’t wait until next week’s wedding as I know it is going to be a lot of goofy fun and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a big swerve as that seems to happen with WWE weddings.
We go backstage where Franky Monet and Jessi Kamea are hanging out when Robert Stone runs up out of breath as he tells Franky he talked with William Regal and next week she will be getting a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship match against Raquel Gonzalez. This news excites Franky as she knows that after she wins the title next week everyone will be talking about her.
It’s now time for the in-ring debut of Mei Ying and her victim is Virginia Ferry.
Mei hits a shot to the throat and then goes for a sleeper but Virginia counters with a jawbreaker which barely affects Mei as she comes back with a boot that takes Virginia down. Mei hits another jab to the throat followed by a cartwheel chop and then she finishes her off with a Tongan Death Grip for the win.
I get that they wanted this to be a squash match, but less than a minute is too short to be able to really get a feel of anyone in their debut, they should’ve at least had her go a couple of minutes so we could see more of what Mei Ying is capable of, I will say that I do like her using the Tongan Death Grip as a finisher.
We get a promo from LA Knight as he is driving through the city in his fancy car and I wonder how and why he was allowed to use an official NXT camera outside of work, but then again McKenzie Mitchell takes her mic home so who the hell knows what goes on in NXT. Knight talks about how he is going to win the four-way next week. We then get a Tommaso Ciampa promo backstage where he also talks about how he is going to win the four-way next week.
It’s time for our main event as MSK defend their NXT Tag Team Championship against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
Burch and Carter start out the match and Burch gains control with a headlock which he uses to take Carter to the mat for a minute before Carter gets to his feet and sends Burch into the ropes, Burch attempts a clothesline only for Carter to slide under and dropkick Burch in the leg and he follows that up with a running dropkick to the head. Carter doesn’t immediately follow up and that allows Burch to fight back and bring Carter into the corner where he tags in Lorcan. Lorcan rocks Carter with an uppercut and then tries for a back suplex, but Carter lands on his feet and is able to make the tag to Wes Lee. We get a kick combination from MSK that ends with a double stomp to the back of Lorcan by Carter, Lee struggles to cover Lorcan as he wants to make a tag so he grabs a front facelock and brings Lorcan over to the corner where he tags in Carter who hits Lorcan with a senton atomico, but is unable to even get a 1 count.
Lorcan drives Carter into the corner and makes the tag to Burch as Carter tries to fight out of the corner but is unable to overcome the odds and we get some quick tags by Lorcan and Burch as they continue to work over Carter. They send Lee to the ropes and he hits a springboard tornillo crossbody which sends Burch stumbling into the wrong corner as Carter tags in Lee and then connects with a running dropkick in the corner which sends Burch rolling out to the floor, MSK stand tall as we go to our final commercial break of the night.
Lorcan and Burch regain control during the picture-in-picture commercial break as they isolated Carter and roughed him up on their side of the ring and as the commercial comes to an end we see Burch has Carter grounded with a reverse chinlock. Carter fights out and tries to make a tag but Burch picks his leg and ducks when Carter tries to hit an enziguri and then he hits Carter with a back suplex for a 2 count. Lorcan is tagged in and we get a strike exchange in the middle of the ring and Carter starts firing away with forearms only to be stopped with a knee to the gut and a snap suplex. Lorcan fires away with mounted punches and then we get some frequent tags between Lorcan and Burch, but that comes to an end when they send him into the ropes as he holds onto the ropes and then passes Lorcan out to the floor, Carter blocks a whip attempt and hits Burch with a jumping knee attack.
We get a tag on both sides as Wes Lee and Oney Lorcan come in and Lee hits Lorcan with clubbing blows to the back before knocking Burch to the floor with a big boot. Lee hits a kick to the midsection and that is followed up with a dropkick, Lee circles the ring and hits Lorcan with a running forearm followed by a kick to the back of the head and a bridging German suplex for a 2 count. Lorcan catches Lee with a jawbreaker but is unable to follow up as Lee hits a spinning kick to the head. Lee tags in Carter and they hit the shoving standing shooting star press for a 2 count when Burch breaks up the pin.
Lorcan and Burch rolled to the floor and MSK hit them with dives to the outside from opposite sides of the ring. Carter throws Lorcan back in the ring and goes up top looking for a senton atomico, but Lorcan gets his knees up and after knocking Lee off the apron he hits Lee with a chop block and then applies the ankle lock and when Lee tries to make the save he is caught by Burch who locks him in a crossface, but Carter is able to roll through the ankle lock sending Lorcan crashing into Burch and now all four men are down in the ring. Each man gets to his feet one at a time and is hit with a strike by the next person to get up and then Lorcan backs Carter into the corner with chops and then charges at him, but ends up getting hit with a hip toss into the corner. Carter nails Burch with a kick to the head and then MSK hits their springboard twisting neckbreaker finisher to pick up the win and retain their NXT Tag Team Championships.
After the match, Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland enter the ring and after a nod from Dunne we see Holland nail Burch with a headbutt and then Dunne hits Lorcan with a buzzsaw kick. Dunne sends Lorcan into Holland who picks him up and after another kick to the head by Dunne, we see Holland hit Lorcan with the Emerald Flowsion. Dunne and Holland go to leave the ring, but when they see Burch starting to stir Holland goes back in and hits him with another headbutt. Dunne and Holland stand outside the ring as the show comes to a close.
I thought this was a fine match but feel both teams are capable of much more as this was nowhere near either team’s best match, but it was fine for what it was. I was not expecting Dunne and Holland to turn on Lorcan and Burch after the match as I thought they were going to be our new heel faction to replace the Undisputed Era, but I guess they have other plans for each pair.
I thought this week’s show was pretty good as we get a few really good matches while also introducing some new characters such as the Creed Brothers and Mei Ying who I expect will play a major part in this new NXT. I also enjoyed the bachelor and bachelorette party stuff as it was a lot of goofy nonsense that wasn’t offensive and it actually told a story of Gargano finally starting to accept Lumis as his new son-in-law. I am looking forward to next week as we have two big matches with the four-way and the NXT Women’s Championship as well as a wedding which are also a lot of fun both when they are bad and when they are good.
Well, that’s it for the NXT era completely controlled by Triple H, next week we will get a whole new NXT with a different look that is way more colorful and it is going to be interesting to see how long it takes before Vince’s vision completely takes over the show from both a presentation and a booking standpoint, I really hope the show stays somewhat different than Raw and SmackDown but with Vince having more control than ever I don’t expect that to happen as all three shows will feel the exact same by the end of the year, which is a shame as NXT has always been the show fans can look to when they need a break from all of the stupidity that goes on with the main shows, but within a few months, we may not even have that to turn to.
NXT UK Results
- Wolfgang w/ Mark Coffey def Sam Gradwell (Heritage Cup #1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinal Match) – **¾
- Saxon Huxley, Oliver Carter, & Ashton Smith def Symbiosis – ***
After a recap of the NXT UK Championship match at Takeover: 36 and the intro video we go into the BT Studio where we go right into our first match which is Wolfgang vs Sam Gradwell in a Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinal match. Sam Gradwell cuts a promo before the match where he of course calls Wolfgang and yogurt.
Round 1: After feeling each other out we get a test of strength which is broken by a kick from Wolfgang and then he takes Gradwell down with an armdrag and grabs a wristlock which Gradwell eventually escapes from and then Wolfgang hits a shoulder block sending Gradwell out to the floor. Gradwell wants to brawl around ringside and Wolfgang obliges him as they trade forearms on the floor before Gradwell gets back in the ring, but when Wolfgang tries to get back in, Gradwell slams his arm across the top rope. Gradwell comes off the apron with a flying forearm as Wolfgang is laid out on the floor and Gradwell wants to win by count-out, but Wolfgang slides in at the last second as the round comes to an end.
Gradwell continues to run his mouth during the break before the next round.
Round 2: Wolfgang fights out of a headlock and sends Gradwell to the corner, but he charges back only to be met with a knee to the gut. Wolfgang has some words for Gradwell before he delivers a big stomp to the gut and then rocks him with a couple of uppercuts. Gradwell is able to escape a front facelock and he goes right back to work on the arm as he grounds Wolfgang with an armbar, once Wolfgang escapes he sends Gradwell into the corner and when he bounces out Wolfgang hits him with a backdrop. Wolfgang hits Gradwell with a crossbody splash in the corner and follows up with a clubbing blow off the top rope. Wolfgang hits the big senton splash to a seated Gradwell and then crosses his arms as he is feeling confident that he is fixing to pick up the first fall. Wolfgang takes his time lifting Gradwell off the mat and when he does Gradwell slaps him in the arm and then bails to the outside as the clock runs down to zero in the second round.
Round 3: The round starts with them charging at each other and Wolfgang ducks a clothesline and starts firing away with jabs which turn into forearms in the corner, but Gradwell is able to duck a clothesline and then he catches a charging Wolfgang with a knee to the face as Wolfgang’s face connects with the knee brace of Gradwell. Gradwell hits the running STO and covers Wolfgang to pick up the first fall.
Round 4: Gradwell hits a couple of glancing kicks to the shoulder of Wolfgang and then takes him down with an arm wringer and then splashes the arm before locking in a grounded hammerlock, Wolfgang fights back to his feet and lands a shot to Gradwell’s midsection before landing punches in the corner. Wolfgang sends Gradwell hard into the corner, but when he tries to do it for a second time Gradwell blocks it by grabbing the top rope, and then he pulls on the injured arm of Wolfgang. Wolfgang blocks an STO attempt and hits Gradwell with a headbutt followed by a slam which he turns into a facebuster which is enough to pick up the 3 count and tie the score 1-1.
Round 5: Wolfgang blocks some punches and lands some of his own before Gradwell stops his momentum by pulling on the arm once again and then grabbing another armbar, but Wolfgang gets him to release the hold after a few punches to the gut. Gradwell creates some distance with a kick to the shoulder and then lands a really nice discus forearm, but Wolfgang is able to kick out. Gradwell tries to lift Wolfgang in a fireman’s carry but his ribs won’t let that happen. Gradwell dodges a couple of Spear attempts by Wolfgang, but finally gets hit with one on the third attempt and that is all she wrote as Wolfgang gets a 3 count and wins the match with a score of 2-1.
This was a decent match but nothing out of this world as the main story of the match was Gradwell working over the injured arm of Wolfgang while Wolfgang worked over the midsection of Gradwell and in the end Wolfgang was able to fight through the pain to pick up the win. We are now set for the semi-finals of the tournament as Noam Dar will take on Kenny Williams and Wolfgang will take on Teoman.
We get a replay of what happened last week with Blair Davenport and then we get an update from Sid Scala that Blair Davenport has been suspended effective immediately.
We got a video to hype up the Noam Dar vs Kenny Williams Heritage Cup Tournament Semi-Final match which will be happening next week. We will also see Pretty Deadly defend their NXT UK Tag Team Championship against the Coffey brothers of Gallus next week.
We go backstage where Gallus are celebrating Wolfgang’s win when Devlin walks out of his locker room in a robe as he tells them he was getting a massage which they mock him for and then they go to walk off, but Devlin runs his mouth to Joe Coffey and Coffey acts like he is going to hit him which makes Devlin flinch.
It’s time for some tag action as Symbiosis take on Saxon Huxley and his tag partners for the match Oliver Carter & Ashton Smith.
Huxley starts the match with Primate and he immediately nails him with a knee to the gut and some clubbing blows to the back, but Primate comes back with some clubs to the back of his own only for Huxley to fire up and take Primate out of the ring with a shoulder block. Primate is all fired up so Dennis has to calm him down and tells him to make a tag to T-Bone which he does. T-Bone and Huxley lockup a few times with neither gaining control until T-Bone lands a kick and some punches, Huxley reverses a whip into the ropes but runs into a back elbow and is taken down with a shoulder block. T-Bone runs to the ropes and gets caught with the big Thesz press from Huxley and then Huxley finally makes a tag to Oliver Carter who gets a few punches in before tagging in Ashton Smith.
Smith grabs a front facelock but T-Bone drives him into the corner which leads to Smith knocking Symbiosis off the apron and then he runs into an exploder from T-Bone. T-Bone lands some forearms to the lower back and then makes a tag to Primate, T-Bone drapes Smith across the top and Primate springboards in with an ax handle to the back which gets a 2 count. Eddie Dennis is tagged in and he dodges some punches from Smith before landing an elbow to the face. Dennis tries for a swinging slam but Smith blocks it and hits an uppercut to the back which causes Dennis to fall into a tag to Primate. Primate tries to prevent Smith from making a tag but Smith throws him out of the way and makes the tag to Carter who comes in with several clotheslines and a jumping side kick, Primate reverses a whip into the ropes but Carter springs off the middle rope with a moonsault for a 2 count.
Carter hits Primate with a spinning heel kick in the corner and then sweeps the leg of Dennis to take him off the apron, T-Bone comes in and Carter hits him with a rolling kick, but all of this action allowed Primate to get himself together and he sends Carter hard into the corner and Carter flies ass over tea kettle over the ropes to the floor. Primate tags in Dennis who throws Carter back in the ring and nails him with a basement dropkick to the head for a 2 count. We get a couple of quick tags between T-Bone and Primate as they keep Carter isolated on their side of the ring until he catches T-Bone with a superkick and then is able to make the hot tag to Huxley who comes in with running knees to the gut of Dennis followed by an elbow drop for a 2 count. Huxley comes off the top with a clothesline for another 2 count and then tags in Smith as they hit Dennis with a double suplex.
Smith gets Dennis up in a fireman’s carry but a distraction from Primate allows Dennis to escape and he throws Smith into a dropkick from T-Bone, Dennis hits the swinging slam on Smith but only gets a 2 count. T-Bone is tagged in and after knocking Huxley off the apron he hits Smith with a running powerslam which is followed by a diving headbutt from Primate which gets a very close 2 count as Carter breaks up the pin. The match has broken down as Carter throws Dennis out of the ring and hits him with a plancha and then Huxley takes both T-Bone and himself over the top rope to the floor. Smith passes Primate into the corner and then nails him with a big clothesline and that is followed by the doomsday cutter from Smith and Carter which is enough to pick up the win for their team.
This was a fun tag match and I’m glad they continue to feature Saxon Huxley as he has become one of my favorites to watch on NXT UK as his style is completely different than everyone else and I hope after he finishes feuding with Symbiosis we can see him enter the Heritage Cup Championship scene as it would be interesting to see how his style would translate to those rules.
We go to a video from earlier in the week where Stevie Turner gives her thoughts on Meiko Satomura after being defeated by her a few weeks ago, Stevie says that through her loss she realized what it would take to beat Meiko. Emilia McKenzie walks up and she doesn’t like Stevie talking bad about Meiko and says she will beat her just like Meiko did.
We get a video of Pretty Deadly who talk about how just six months ago they were challenging Gallus for the NXT UK Tag Team Championship, but now they are the champions and Gallus is challenging them. We will be getting Gallus vs Pretty Deadly next week.
The rest of the episode consists of a replay of the Walter vs Ilja Dragunov match from Takeover: 36 with several talents giving their insight on the match. The talents giving their insight are Ilja Dragunov, Sheamus, Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor, Cesaro, Drew McIntyre, & Toni Storm.
With most of the time on the show being taken up by the Walter vs Dragunov replay, there wasn’t as much time for everything else, but I thought what we saw was pretty solid as Gradwell and Wolfgang had a decent match and the six-man tag was a lot of fun.
- Big E, King Nakamura, Rick Boogs, & The Mysterios def Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn, Otis, & Dirty Dawgz w/ Chad Gable, Commander Azeez, & Trae Young – **¼
- Seth Rollins def Edge – ****½
- The Street Profits def The Usos © via DQ (SmackDown Tag Team Championship) – ***
We open the show with a 9/11 tribute video and once that is finished we go into Madison Square Garden where Michael Cole and a returning Pat McAfee welcome us to the show.
The Bloodline makes their way to the ring and Reigns asks Heyman if the WWE runs New York and when he says yes, Reigns asks if he runs the WWE which Heyman agrees with. Reigns says that in that case he runs New York City and everyone in Madison Square Garden should acknowledge him which gets the crowd in MSG to chant Reigns’ name. Brock Lesnar then makes his entrance but when he gets in the ring The Usos stand between him and Reigns, Heyman asks Lesnar of all the titles he could go for why did he choose the Universal Championship? Lesnar doesn’t answer Heyman but instead asks Heyman why he didn’t tell Reigns he was going to be at SummerSlam? Heyman is scared to death as Reigns stares him down wanting to know the answer to that question as well, when Heyman says he didn’t know Reigns takes the title from him and The Bloodline leave the ring.
Heyman tries to get himself together as he does the proper Brock Lesnar introduction which gets a smile from Lesnar as he says it’s like old times, Lesnar says that before Reigns fires him he wants Heyman to accept his challenge and when Heyman plays dumb Lesnar makes it clear that he wants a Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns and Heyman has five seconds to answer. Heyman doesn’t answer fast enough so Lesnar sets him up for the F-5, but before he can hit it Reigns hits a Superman Punch which rocks Lesnar but when Reigns goes for a second one Lesnar catches him in a fireman’s carry only to be hit with a couple of superkicks from The Usos which causes Lesnar to stagger around the ring for a moment before he runs through both Usos and hits them both with a German suplex.
Kayla tries to get an interview with Reigns after the commercial break and he ignores her, but Heyman reiterates that he had nothing to do with Lesnar being at SummerSlam and then says Reigns will answer Lesnar’s challenge when he feels like it. We get another segment with Heyman backstage later in the night where Nox and Shotzi ask Heyman if he wants a ride on the tank which he declines and then he runs into Kayla Braxton once again and this time he tells her that Reigns will answer Lesnar’s challenge after he watches The Usos retain their tag team championships. Heyman turns around to leave but runs into Big E who makes noises while holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.
In the main event of the night, The Usos retained their SmackDown Tag Team Championships after Reigns runs in and attacks Ford to cause a disqualification after Reigns saw that The Usos were about to lose their titles. Reigns then locks Ford in a guillotine choke until he passes out. Reigns gets on the mic and says he accepts Lesnar’s challenge as he will smash him after he is done smashing Balor. The lights go down and when they come back up we get the entrance of “The Demon” Finn Balor, once Balor gets in the ring we get a staredown between him and Reigns.
The tag team championship match was fine but it felt like a complete afterthought given what happened after the match, with Reigns interfering I am sure we are going to get a rematch at Extreme Rules.
I thought that everything involving Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman on this show was fantastic as Heyman did a great job of being scared and not knowing what to do as his plan to ride the middle and make both Reigns and Lesnar happy is falling apart right in front of him. If Lesnar wasn’t intimidating enough already, this new look he has with the beard and long hair just amplifies the intimidation even more and I can’t wait to see him and Reigns collide. I am glad they finally decided to turn Lesnar face as he needed something new as his heel role had grown old, but now with this new character, I can’t wait to see what he does next. I am glad to see that Finn Balor has brought back The Demon persona as it has been forever since we last saw it, but with a Lesnar vs Reigns match on the horizon, it makes it hard to believe that Balor has even the slightest chance of beating Reigns at Extreme Rules.
We get a ten-man tag match where Big E, King Nakamura, Rick Boogs, & The Mysterios take on Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn, Otis, & The Dirty Dawgz. Before the match starts Sami Zayn (who is wearing a Knicks jersey and what looks to be pajama pants) gets on the mic and says he has someone special that is going to be in his team’s corner and he says this person knows a lot about winning in Madison Square Garden, that person is Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young and the crowd in MSG are not loving this.
Because there were going to be a couple of long matches and segments happening in the rest of the show this match was made in order to get all of the notable midcard guys on the show for the MSG crowd. Trae Young gets ejected from ringside at one point when he is caught choking Rey Mysterio on the ropes. It doesn’t take long before the match breaks down and everyone is hitting their signature moves and in the end, Big E hits Zayn with the Big Ending to pick up the win for his team.
After the match, Big E is interviewed and he cuts a serious promo where he says that since he has the Money in the Bank briefcase he may be back later in the night or he could show up on Raw because if you have a title then you’re gonna feel his power. I think we could see Big E cash in on Lashley instead of Reigns because after Lashley is done with Orton at Extreme Rules he is going to need something to do as he has gone through everyone else on Raw, so it would make perfect sense to bring Big E over and have them feud.
It’s time for the contract signing for the SmackDown Women’s Championship match at Extreme Rules between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are presiding over this contract signing. Bianca comes to the ring first and when Sonya hands her the contract she doesn’t immediately sign as she has something to say. Bianca talks about how if you had asked her to say one thing about Becky Lynch prior to SummerSlam she would tell you that Becky never runs from a fight, but it looks like that has changed. Bianca knows that if they had actually had a match at SummerSlam things would’ve ended differently, but at Extreme Rules, Becky can hopefully win back some of her respect while she wins back the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Bianca then signs the contract.
Becky Lynch then comes out wearing sunglasses and a luxurious coat as she is fully embracing this new heel persona. Becky says that the moment she knew that she had Bianca’s number was when she saw Bianca being starstruck and excited to be in the ring with her and then she tells Bianca that you can either be a fan or you can be The Man, Becky says there is no shame in sitting out there with the other fans being a fan of her. Becky then asks what would happen if she didn’t sign the contract and both Sonya and Bianca tell her to sign it. The fans start chanting for Bianca and this pisses off Becky as she says she came back last minute to save the show and that left her baby girl at home to be there and this is how she is treated, after soaking in the boos from the crowd Becky finally signs the contract. Becky tries to throw the contract at Bianca but she catches it and Becky storms out of the ring raising her title high.
When I first read that Becky was going to be turning heel I never thought it would work because of how much she is loved, but I am happy to say I was wrong as she is doing a great job so far in this role and I love her coming out with the glasses and coat as she looks like a big Hollywood start. I can’t wait to see her and Bianca actually have a match at Extreme Rules.
The final topic to discuss on this episode of SmackDown is the Edge vs Rollins match and as great of a match as they had at SummerSlam I think this one may have been even better. The finish saw Rollins hits Edge with three superkicks and a Curb Stomp which does Edge in as he isn’t moving and Rollins slowly makes the cover to pick up the win and even he can’t believe what he just did. After the match, the referee calls for the EMTs and they load him up on a stretcher as he is completely unresponsive. We see Edge being wheeled into an ambulance as he has Adam Pearce, Sonya Deville, and Rey Mysterio by his side. After the ambulance drives off we see an interview with Rollins and when asked what he is feeling he stumbles over his words as he is shocked and he finally says that he doesn’t know what he feels, he kind of feels nothing.
This Edge vs Rollins feud has become one of my favorite feuds in the WWE right now as not only are they having really great matches but everything else surrounding the matches is great as well and I am intrigued by how the story goes from here, is Rollins really regretting what he did or is it just an act. Given how Edge was taken out I don’t expect we will see him until at least the Saudi show if not longer, but when he does return we are guaranteed a third match between him and Rollins which I am looking forward to because if it is anything like the first two we are in for a treat.
This was a really great episode of SmackDown as everything on the show was great from everything involving Reigns, Heyman, Lesnar, and Balor to the Women’s Championship contract signing, to the Edge vs Rollins match this was pretty much a flawless show. There are two things that they didn’t have on this show that needed to be on this show that would’ve put it over the top, seeing as this episode was somewhat of a 9/11 20th anniversary memorial show they had Lilian Garcia come out before the show to sing the National Anthem and I have to wonder why they didn’t find time to put it on the show as that needed to be on the show and not just a WWE digital exclusive as that would’ve been the perfect way to start the show as a callback to the post 9/11 episode of SmackDown.
Something else that wasn’t on the show that was supposed to be but got scrapped was a tag match where Liv Morgan & Toni Storm were set to take on Zelina Vega & Carmella, but the match got cut due to time. This really pisses me off as not only did we not have a women’s match on the show featuring a team of two of my favorites in Liv and Toni, but more importantly Zelina Vega didn’t get to perform in New York the day before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, which for anyone who doesn’t know Zelina lost her father during 9/11, so it would’ve been nice for them to let her perform on the show as she even had special gear made for it. They could’ve cut the 10-man tag and put the tag match in its place as there was no point to the 10-man tag either storyline or personal whereas there was a personal reason why Zelina should’ve been on the show. They still could’ve got the celebrity spot with Trae Young as you could’ve had him be in the corner of Carmella and Zelina and although he couldn’t get physical with any of the ladies he could’ve distracted the referee or done something to still have that pop of him getting ejected from ringside. This is one of those things where the more I think about it the more pissed off I get as this meant so much to Zelina as her father was the reason she got into the business in the first place as he was a huge fan and watching wrestling was one of the things they always did together. I guarantee had she went to AEW with her husband they would’ve found a way to put her on Rampage but even that wouldn’t be the same as Rampage was taped on Wednesday so it wouldn’t be like having a live match on the show.
In the News
It looks like WWE may be losing yet another one of their big stars as Kevin Owens’ contract is set to expire in January and the feeling amongst those in WWE is that he will AEW bound when that time comes.
On Wednesday, WWE sent out a tweet that Triple H underwent a successful procedure last week following a cardiac event that was caused by a genetic heart issue. They assure us that Trips is expected to make a full recovery. This led to an outpouring of well-wishes from those both in and outside of the WWE including several recently released talents that are now in AEW. While a genetic heart issue could be the legit problem, a part of me has to think that this heart issue could be credited to years of steroids, but I’m not a doctor so what do I know. Regardless of the cause, I want to send my own well-wishes out to Mr. Triple H and his entire family.
Sports Gamers Online is reporting some exciting news concerning WWE 2K22 as for the first time since SmackDown vs Raw 2008 GM Mode is finally returning to a WWE game and according to sources the mode is set to be deeper than fans would ever expect and the mode itself could sell the game.
Fightful reports that many of the talents on NXT have been left in the dark as to what exactly is coming with the rebranding of the show nor do they know who will be in charge of the show while Triple H is absent with his recent health issues. As far as what the new look will be for NXT it is being reported that it will have a scaled-down version of the Raw and SmackDown sets and thus the sterility and uniform look has found its way to NXT and now none of the shows will feel or look any different from each other.
Although she didn’t appear on SmackDown it was reported that Sasha Banks was spotted at Madison Square Garden, the reason for her still not being used is unknown.
For the first time since 1998 (when Kurt Angle signed his contract with the WWE) the WWE has signed an Olympic Gold Medalist to their roster as Gable Stevenson signed a contract with the company this week and will be joining his brother Bobby Stevenson who joined the Performance Center a couple of weeks ago. Gable has signed the first ever NIL (name image and likeness) contract with WWE and while he is training he will still be allowed to wrestle at the University of Minnesota where he will defend his NCAA Division 1 National Championship. You can read more about Gable Steven’s unique deal with WWE here.
It is pretty much all but confirmed that the next WWE Draft will take place on the 10/1 SmackDown & 10/4 Raw and then the following SmackDown will see the start of both the King of the Ring and Queen of the Ring tournaments which will culminate at the next Saudi Arabia show on 10/21.
It has been reported by both Dave Meltzer and Andrew Zarian that the original plan for Adam Cole had he stayed in WWE was that he would be brought to the main roster in the roll of Keith Lee’s manager and said that the idea came from either Vince or Bruce Prichard and not from the creative team. I’m not the biggest fan of Adam Cole and actually find him to be somewhat overrated, but even I realize how stupid of a decision that would’ve been as Cole is a really good worker and it would’ve been a complete waste to not have him in the ring doing what he does best. It’s pretty clear that between this and them wanting him to do away with his Twitch channel he made the right choice by getting out of that company and going where he is wanted and will be used like he deserves to be used.
Throughout this week Mick Foley has shared his thoughts on the current state of WWE both in video and podcast form, his first video came from his Facebook where he talks about the problem that WWE is currently facing where none of the up and coming stars want to come there for fear they won’t be utilized properly. He says that younger talent sees how the NXT talent has been cut or forgotten about once they reach the main roster or if they are used their character is greatly watered down and made a mockery of. Foley says that if he were a young talent with a choice of what company to work for he would be worried that WWE wouldn’t do the right thing with his career from a creative perspective. You can read all of his thoughts on this topic here. Foley would later go on Sean Waltman’s 1-2-360 podcast and further elaborate on what he was talking about and you can read that here. Andrew Zarian reports that, as you would expect those higher up in WWE are not happy with Foley’s recent comments as true as they may be as they consider it an unwritten rule that the legends should never criticize or disparage the company.
Coming up this Week
- Bobby Lashley © vs Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
- New Day, Mansoor, & Mustafa Ali vs AJ Styles, Omos, T-Bar, & Mace
- Charlotte Flair vs Shayna Baszler
- Rhea Ripley vs Natalya
- Pete Dunne vs Kyle O’Reilly vs LA Knight vs Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Championship #1 Contender Match)
- Raquel Gonzalez © vs Franky Monet (NXT Women’s Championship)
- In-Dex Wedding
- Kenny Williams vs Noam Dar (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Semi-Final Match)
- Pretty Deadly © vs Gallus (NXT UK Tag Team Championship)
As always if you have any feedback to give whether it be positive or negative please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MTW3589.