- Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston def Jinder Mahal w/ Veer & Shanky (King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Final Match) – **¼
- Austin Theory def Jeff Hardy – **½
- Big E & Drew McIntyre def The Dirty Dawgz – **¾
- Mansoor def Cedric Alexander w/ Shelton Benjamin – **¼
- RK-Bro def The Street Profits via DQ – **¾
- Doudrop def Shayna Baszler (Queen’s Crown Tournament Semi-Final Match) – **
- Finn Balor def Mace – **¼
- Bianca Belair def Charlotte Flair © via DQ (Raw Women’s Championship) – ***½
This week’s show opens with Charlotte Flair coming out and she is not happy that there is no celebration for her last night on Raw nor is she happy about having to defend her title against Bianca Belair whom she calls a flash in the pan and a rookie. Charlotte then accuses WWE of favoritism towards Bianca Belair seeing as she has two title matches in the same week. Charlotte then tells Bianca to get to the back of the line and then calls herself the opportunity and Bianca will never beat this opportunity. Charlotte then tells Bianca to save her EST schtick for when she isn’t facing someone that is the greatest sports entertainer of all time. Bianca comes out and we get her and Charlotte going back and forth on the mic before they start brawling. Bianca hits Charlotte with a handspring kick sending her to the floor and the segment ends with Bianca standing tall in the ring.
Charlotte would later go into the office of Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville to complain about everything she said in the opening promo and Sonya assures Charlotte there is no conspiracy against her. Meanwhile, Bianca runs into the Raw Tag Team Champions Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley and they welcome her to Raw and Nikki gives her a Raw hat that was clearly too big for Bianca. I wonder if Rhea was still wearing Damien Priests’ pants after her luggage got lost over the weekend as she had to wear his pants during a match on a house show since his attire is the most similar to hers. Glad to see that Nikki is already getting ready for “brand warfare” at Survivor Series by giving Bianca clothing with the show’s name on it.
We fast forward to our main event match where Bianca and Charlotte have a really great match and of course, they are given a lot of time because Charlotte is involved. One of the many tropes that WWE loves to do that is absolutely frustrating is when they have a long match that ends in a DQ and what makes it even worse is when that match is really great just like this one was. Do we really need Charlotte going over to SmackDown with the Raw Women’s Championship, it wouldn’t have hurt Charlotte to take the loss, and win her 13th title in a month when she becomes the SmackDown Women’s Champion. It would’ve been fun to have Bianca win and tell a story of whether she can become a double champion at Crown Jewel. Now that Charlotte has retained it makes me think that Becky could retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship at Crown Jewel to set up a Charlotte vs Becky match at Survivor Series and then after that, they get the titles on the proper show in order to start the build for Royal Rumble.
New Day is interviewed in the Gorilla position and Xavier talks about how on Thursday he will stand alongside great kings such as Mabel, Ken Shamrock, & Booker T when he becomes King Xavier Woods I. This leads into our King of the Ring Semi-Final match where Xavier Woods ends up beating Jinder Mahal to advance into the finals and after the match, Xavier Woods tries on the crown and cape. I was actually worried at one point that they were going to have Mahal pick up the win after he hit that Khallas because that would be the WWE thing to do, but thankfully for this occasion, they made the right call.
Later in the night, Finn Balor would be in action against Mace where he picks up a quick win because that is how you start a singles run for Mace with a quick loss, actually they have a fun little match for the time they got and I wish they had gotten more time. After the match, Balor walks up to the stage where Woods is sitting, and he is wearing the crown and robe. Balor and Woods start talking trash and as things start to get heated we see Kofi Kingston come out to separate them and is able to calm them down. If given enough time this Balor vs Woods match could be the dark horse for the best match on the show at Crown Jewel.
We get a video from earlier in the day where Austin Theory talks about beating Jeff Hardy last week and then the 24/7 crew runs past and this leads to Theory picking a fight with R-Truth and then R-Truth challenges him to a match, however, once Theory has made his entrance R-Truth comes out and tells him he didn’t challenge Theory to a match for himself he did it for a friend and that brings out Jeff Hardy and we have a rematch from last week. Theory ends up picking up the win when he crotches Hardy in the corner and then hits him with the TKO. After the match, Theory looks to take another selfie with a beaten Hardy, but Hardy recovers and hits Theory with the Twist of Fate. Hardy grabs the cell phone of Theory and takes a selfie with a laid-out Theory.
We get Big E and Drew McIntyre in Gorilla position teasing the whole partners who can’t get along trope we have seen from them the past few weeks and this week they will be teaming against the Dirty Dawgz who they beat two weeks ago. We get a typical WWE tag match and in the end, Big E and McIntyre pick up the win when Big E hits the Big Ending on Big Bob Roode. After the match, Big E and McIntyre have words that seem friendly but when McIntyre goes to walk off Big E grabs turns him around and the trash talk is more hostile between the two men.
I have to be honest that this is one of the matches I am least looking forward to at Crown Jewel because it is the most predictable and the build hasn’t been great either, you know they have no ideas for what to do with a feud when they go back to the partners that can’t get along trope. Outside of the promo that McIntyre cut where he says he needs to win the WWE Championship one more time so he can have that moment in front of fans this entire feud has been whether or not McIntyre can get along in tag matches and that feud building trope just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
Mansoor beats Cedric Alexander in a quick match and then Mustafa Ali comes out onto the stage where he berates Mansoor for still coming out and acting like a happy-go-lucky fanboy, but at Crown Jewel, he will wipe the smile off Mansoor’s face. Mansoor finally has enough and tells Ali to shut the hell up and listen to him for once, he says that right now there is no smile on his face but there will be one after he beats Ali at Crown Jewel and shows everyone that Ali is nothing but a cowardly and sorry excuse of a man. Ali goes from looking very confident to worried that he may have bitten off more than he can chew as this is the first time we have heard Manoor speak with bass in his voice.
We get our weekly RK-Bro backstage chat and this week Riddle is insistent that Orton coming to the ring last week was part of a plan but Orton tells him there was no plan, but Riddle isn’t believing him. Riddle asks what the plan is for their match against The Street Profits and Orton says if Riddle really wants to know the plan he will tell him and once Riddle confirms he really wants to know Orton says the plan is to win. RK-Bro and The Street Profits are having a good match but just like with Charlotte vs Bianca this really good match also ends in a DQ when Styles hits an unsuspecting Orton with a Phenomenal Forearm and then they beat down The Street Profits as well. It looks like we are getting a triple threat tag feud in the near future.
It’s time for the Queen’s Crown Tournament Semi-Final match as Doudrop takes on Shayna Baszler and if you bet this match would last under three minutes you would be correct as this match was no longer than any of the others and in the end Doudrop bridges back while in the Kirifuda Clutch to pick up the win. Of all the matches that I wish did have a screwy finish, it would’ve been this one as neither woman needed a clean loss as Doudrop is still relatively new to the main roster and needs to make a name for herself while on the other hand, Shayna needs to be built back up as a killer after teaming with Nia Jax for the past year. With our finals being Dourop vs Zelina I think Doudrop may get beat as they like to have heels win these King of the Ring style tournaments, so with Balor and Woods both being babyfaces, I feel they would want to make Zelina the first Queen as that is something she can brag about for the next year.
Finally, we get a “No Holds Barred” interview between Goldberg and Bobby Lashley, in fact, this interview is so No Holds Barred that they had to put them in split-screen. Goldberg threatens to kill Lashley once again and Lashley makes sure to let Goldberg know those are illegal threats and he would be within his rights to call the cops, but he won’t because he is untouchable. Lashley says that their match at Crown jewel will end the same way SummerSlam did but this time there won’t be any family to help Goldberg (don’t put it past Goldberg to bring his son to Saudi). Lashley points out that last week Goldberg was on his knees thanking him for making their match No Holds Barred, but after Crown Jewel, he will be on his knees begging for forgiveness. Lashley says that up until now he has fought under restrictions but with No Hols Barred there is nothing stopping him from ending his career. Goldberg says something back which I missed and as the interview ends Goldberg tells Lashley “safe travels, kill you, Thursday Bobby”.
I hope this ends up being a good match but given that it is a 2021 Goldberg match I have my doubts, in fact, this match will be considered a success if it isn’t a complete disaster.
I did not think this was a great episode of Raw as it was clear they were in a holding pattern until after Crown Jewel when the new rosters go in effect. The couple of matches that were actually good had DQ finishes which makes the time you just spent watching the match feel like a complete waste. I am ready for Crown Jewel to happen and for these new rosters to take effect because both shows need to be shaken up quite a lot, especially Raw.
NXT 2.0 Results
- Odyssey Jones def Andre Chase – *¾
- Imperium def The Creed Brothers w/ The Diamond Mine – **¼
- Cora Jade def Elektra Lopez w/ Legado del Fantasma – *½
- Io Shirai def Jacy Jayne & Persia Pirotta (Winner’s Team Spins the Wheel) – **½
- Tony D’Angelo def Ru Feng – *¼
- Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza w/ Legado del Fantasma def Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen – **
- LA Knight def Grayson Waller – *¾
- Tommaso Ciampa & Bron Breakker def The Grizzled Young Veterans – **¾
We open the show with the new NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes coming to the ring along with Trick Williams. Hayes and Williams want the ring announcer Alicia to re-introduce Hayes which she does. Hayes and Williams talk about how good Hayes is as he calls himself the final boss. We then get Johnny Gargano coming out and he introduces himself to Hayes and Williams and then congratulates Hayes on his big win last week. Gargano says that with Austin Theory going to Raw, Candice out pregnant, and Indi being married he has lost his way and that is why he has decided to go back to doing what he does best which is to be in front of the fans and performing in the ring against guys like Hayes. Gargano says that Hayes may not miss when he takes a shot but there is always a first time for everything and then he challenges Hayes to step up to him. Williams makes a joke about how Gargano needs to handle his daughter Indi because she was in Hayes’s DMs and this gets Gargano laughing. Hayes looks confused as to why he is laughing and then reminds him that is his daughter and Gargano says he is right and there is my son-in-law and then waves as we see Dexter Lumis standing behind Hayes and Williams, Lumis locks Williams in the Silencer until Hayes pulls him away as they bail to the floor as Gargano and Lumis stand tall in the ring.
I think Gargano is the perfect first challenger for Hayes as he will immediately be in the ring with one of the best in NXT and once he beats Johnny Wrestling it will further solidify that Hayes is a big deal and is going to be a major player in WWE for years to come… unless they release him due to “budget cuts”.
Our first match is Odyssey Jones going against Andre Chase. This week we see that Mr. Chase has his own student cheering section as part of the crowd in the PC.
Chase goes for a lockup only to be shoved down. Chase grabs a headlock which Jones quickly escapes from and then he sends Chase into the ropes where he swats Chase to the mat as he tried a flying shoulder block. Chase takes an over-the-top bump off of getting his head slammed into the turnbuckle. Chase dodges an avalanche attempt and hits Jones with a dropkick off the middle rope and that is followed by a double stomp on both the back and the chest. Chase hits some punches to the face of Jones and then hits a basement DDT for a 1 count. Chase grabs Jones and looks to hit him with a punch but Jones blocks it and takes Chase down with one of his own. Jones hits Chase with a big slam and that is followed by an avalanche in the corner, a rolling senton, and then a standing frog splash which is enough to pick up the win for Odyssey Jones. This was a quick squash to further put over Jones.
The Diamond Mine is walking from backstage to the entrance area and while they are doing so Malcolm Bivens cuts a promo about The Creed Brothers not getting a tag title shot, so they are no longer asking for opportunities they are going to take them. We are going to see The Creed Brothers take on Imperium.
Brutus immediately takes Aichner to the mat with a fireman’s carry and then he escapes a headscissors only to be put into a headlock, Brutus shoots Aichner into the ropes and they collide with neither man budging on a shoulder block attempt. Aichner takes Brutus down with a drop toe hold and goes back to the headlock, but this time when Brutus looks to shoot him into the ropes we see Barthel make a blind tag and he takes Brutus down with an arm drag which he looks to roll into a wristlock, but Brutus backs him into the ropes. Brutus takes Barthel down to the mat and grabs a waistlock which Barthel rolls out of and then he grabs a hammerlock only for Brutus to reverse into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Barthel comes back with a flurry of strikes and then goes for a butterfly suplex but Brutus blocks and picks Barthel up for a fireman’s carry but he slides out the back and rocks Brutus with an uppercut and he follows that up by taking Brutus down to the mat and connecting with a penalty kick.
Barthel is momentarily distracted by Julius and this allows Brutus to drive Barthel into the corner and he makes a tag to Julius. Julius hits a single-leg takedown and then looks for a suplex, but Barthel reverses and smacks Julius which leads to Julius driving him into the corner. Barthel dodges a charge from Julius and hits him with a half-hatch suplex and then looks for a move off the middle rope, but Roderick Strong grabs his leg until Aichner runs over to stop him. Barthel comes off the rope as planned but gets caught with a powerslam and then he talks some trash to Aichner on the apron. Julius throws Barthel across the ring with a gutwrench suplex and then tags in Brutus who takes Barthel down with a fireman’s carry takedown and then he whips him into Julius who also hits a fireman’s carry takedown for a 2 count. We get another tag by The Creed Brothers where Julius slam Brutus onto Barthel for another 2 count.
Barthel escapes a rest hold and then counters a gutwrench suplex into a schoolboy which comes up short and then Barthel makes the hot tag to Aichner. Aichner takes Julius down with a big clothesline and then catches Brutus in a rolling Samoan Drop for a 2 count when Julius makes the save at the very last second. Julius drags Brutus back into their corner and then tags himself in while Aichner makes the tag to Barthel. Barthel lands a kick to the head and once again tries for the uppercut off the middle rope, but gets caught with a gutwrench powerbomb for a 2 count when Aichner makes the save. Brutus chucks Aichner out to the floor and this is the cue for Kushdia and Ikeman Jiro to run out and they brawl with Roderick Strong and Brutus, back in the ring Barthel catches Julius in an O’Connor roll and that is enough to earn Imperium the win.
After the match, Diamond Mine brawls with Kushida and Jiro to the back while Imperium stands tall in the ring. MSK attacks them from behind as these two teams will meet up next week at Halloween Havoc under a stipulation that will be decided by Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal. I don’t think it was time for The Creed Brothers to lose as they are still fresh faces, if they wanted Imperium to pick up a win going into their big tag title match next week I’m sure there were other teams that would’ve been a better choice for Imperium to beat.
We get a video of Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner bonding and training out in the woods and after they are done Wagner offers O’Reilly a beer and O’Reilly says if they can get on the same page they could cause some major damage. It didn’t take long for O’Reilly to let his distrust of people go as it seems like he is now buddies with Wagner.
We get a backstage promo from John Gacy and he talks about how violence is not needed to settle any difference or microaggression thrown our way and then says as a coalition they will be stronger than they could ever be as individuals. We then see that he was talking to Harland who is on the other side of a glass partition and Gacy tells Harland to follow him. I guess Joe Gacy is going to be WWE’s new Bray Wyatt as he is giving off the same kind of vibe that Wyatt had in the early days of the gimmick.
Legado del Fantasma is in the ring and Santos Escobar cuts a promo on Carmelo Hayes calling him a lucky S.O.B. for walking out with the North American Championship last week and then he says he and lady luck will be waiting for Hayes whenever he is ready. Escobar then turns the mic over to Elektra Lopez, but before she can say anything she is interrupted by cute Cora Jade and that is our next match of the night.
Elektra nails Cora with a knee to the gut and then slams her to the may by her hair and then she sends Cora into the corner and that is followed by a couple of slams. Cora tries to make a comeback but Elektra continues to beat her down as she biels her out of the corner. Elektra looks to set up for her finisher, but Cora counters into a rollup for a 2 count, and then Elektra drops her with a clothesline. Elektra goes over to pick up Cora but is caught in a small package and Cora scores the win by luck. It looked like Elektra’s shoulders weren’t on the mat during the pin so either the referee messed up or Elektra lifted her shoulder when she wasn’t supposed to, but I’m not complaining as Cora is my new favorite in NXT. Speaking of favorites in NXT where have my girls Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter been since the rebranding of NXT, it seemed like they were moving up the ladder right before the new era started but now they have seemed to vanish.
We get an interview with Tommaso Ciampa and Bron Breakker where they talk about their match against Grizzled Young Veterans later tonight and Ciampa says that if Breakker is so intent on protecting him during the match then he will follow his lead.
Our next match is a triple threat between three of the participants in next week’s triple threat tag match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship, and the team of the winner of the match gets to spin the wheel to determine what stipulation next week’s match will be contested under. The three participants competing will be Persia Pirotta vs Io Shirai vs Jacy Jayne.
Persia stands between Jacy and Io as the match begins but Jacy gives her a hand in the face as she walks by her and then she slaps Io who fires back with a chop and then Persia takes them both down with a double clothesline. Persia hits both women with a corner avalanche only to be hit with a running dropkick moments later (which Persia barely sells) and that is followed by a running hurricanrana by Jacy. Io and Jacy trade strikes with Jacy coming out on top with a knee strike and then she tries for a suplex only for Io to block it and then they turn their attention to Persia who they try to hit with a suplex, but she ends up hitting both of them with a suplex instead. Persia lifts Jacy up in a foreman’s carry but gets hit with a dropkick from Io which causes her to inadvertently hit Jacy with a Samoan drop. Io tries to lock in a crossface, but Persia powers out of it and slams Io to the mat. Persia charges at Io but she pulls down the top rope sending Persia out to the floor and this is when disaster happens as Jacy goes for a tope suicida but her feet get caught on the rope causing her to land face-first onto the floor, thankfully Persia is there to help her up so they can be on time for the next spot which sees Io take them both out with an Asai moonsault.
The match goes to a picture-in-picture commercial break and at first, it looks like everything might be okay as Io goes over to grab her, but thankfully, the referee runs over to stop her, and moments later the trainer runs over to her and that would be the last we see of Jacy in this match. While the referee and trainer are out of sight checking on Jacy we see Io buying time as she is continuing to beat down Persia on the floor and she even locks in a half-crab and a camel clutch and that is when you see the referee go over and tell the other two women that Jacy is out of the match and perhaps that changed the finish to the match. We get a bit more action on the floor that doesn’t look great as it seems both women are thrown off by what happened. The match gets back in the ring and we get some more conversation between the referee and Io before Io locks in a dragon sleeper on Persia. Persia powers out of the dragon sleeper and this time she hits Io with a Samoan drop for a 2 count. Persia locks in a bear hug as the picture-in-picture commercial comes to an end.
Io starts to fight out of the bear hug but before she can Perisa drives her into the corner and hits her with a kick for a 2 count. Persia drives her shoulder into the gut of Io and then hits her with an avalanche in the corner, but that wasn’t enough to put Io away. Persia goes for a suplex but Io counters it into a small package for a 2 count and then she is hit with a clothesline from Persia. Persia starts to take Io lightly and it ends up being a mistake as Io makes her comeback with repeated forearms but when she goes for a hurricanrana Persia uses her power to block it and hit a sitout powerbomb for a 2 count. Persia hits some clubbing blows to the back only for Io to make a comeback with more forearms and a roundhouse kick to the head which sets up the tiger feint kick followed by a springboard dropkick for a 2 count. Io locks Persia in the crossface which she powers out of, but Io hits a release German suplex and then goes up top where she hits the moonsault and that is enough to pick up the win. After the match, Zoey Stark and Indi Hartwell come out to be with their respective partners and Io spins the wheel and it lands on a “Scareway to Hell” match which is a ladder match.
I really hope Jacy is ok and they just took her out of the match as a precaution and not because she is actually injured as she was just starting to make a name for herself so it would be a major bummer for her to be put on the shelf this early into her run. I thought Io and Persia handled the rest of the match as well as they could but it was clear they were both thrown off which makes me think Jacy may have been the one who was supposed to win the match. If you think about it the whole thing where the winner of this match gets to spin the wheel is really a dumb stip because regardless of who wins the wheel is going to land on a random match, this stip only works if the winner gets to actually choose the match type.
We go to the back where Legado del Fantasma is putting the boots to Trey Baxter and while doing so are threatening Cora Jade, but the odds are soon even when Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen run over to join the brawl and that brings in the referees to break everything up.
We get a video for Solo Sikoa that tells us he will be making his debut next week.
We see Ikeman Jiro sneaking up on Kushida while he is taking a piss and he is excited to fight alongside his hero Kushida. Kushida says he needs a sweet jacket like Jiro, but Jiro says no and then he dumps everything out of Kushida’s bag and pulls out the Back to the Future jacket and glasses and puts them on Kushida. Why did we need this video to take place in the bathroom?
It’s time for Tony D’Angelo as he will be having his second match against jobber Ru Feng.
D’Angelo takes Fend down with a shoulder block and then takes him down with a double leg where he spins around his body clearly taking his opponent lightly. D’Angelo takes Feng to the mat with a headlock takeover and gives him a noogie as if he is Uncle Ted from the 90’s Cartoon Bobby’s World. D’Angelo eventually pulls Feng up to his feet and Feng fires back with a couple of forearms and a spinning kick only to be dropped with a running back elbow when he tries to run the ropes. D’Angelo drops Feng with a short-arm clothesline and then finishes him off with the northern lights suplex rolled into the fisherman’s neckbreaker for a quick win.
D’Angelo is interviewed after the match and is questioned about Mark the producer from Lashing Out and D’Angelo says he knows nothing about any Mark and maybe he went on vacation. D’Angelo then gives Samantha Irvin (the interviewer) some money and tells her to buy herself something nice and then tells her to forget about it. We have seen way more of D’Angelo’s character rather than his in-ring work so far and it’s clear he has the character down, but I want to see more of what he can do in the ring.
We get a video from Duke Hudson’s Poker Room where he beats a guy in poker and then calls himself the house because the house always wins.
We are set for tag action next but Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen don’t come out when their music plays so we go to the back to find Jensen laid out and then Joaquin Wilde hits Briggs with a chair shot as Legado del Fantasma walk towards the entrance.
After a commercial break, we join the match already in progress as Wilde is in control beating Jensen down in the corner, and while this is happening we get a video from during the commercial where security and the referees troy to stop Briggs and Jensen from coming to the ring but they layout security and that is how we got to where we are now. Jensen starts to make a comeback as he fights out of the corner and hits Wilde with a hip toss across the ring before bringing him over to the corner where he makes the tag to Briggs and they hit Wilde with a double shoulder block. Briggs hits Wilde with a big side slam and a standing splash but is unable to follow up as his back is hurting due to the chair shot from earlier. Wilde rolls out of the ring and Briggs goes after him but while Elektra has the referee distracted we see Escobar push Briggs ribs first into the ring apron.
Wilde gets back into the ring and tags in Mendoza who hits Briggs with a baseball slide and then Briggs slowly gets back in the ring where he is worked over by Mendoza and Wilde in the corner and then they hit him with a double back suplex. Mendoza goes up top and hits a splash to the back of Briggs for a 2 count, but every time he kicks out it makes the pain in his back even worse. Mendoza locks in a seated chinlock and Briggs stands up with Mendoza on his back, but he, unfortunately, backed into the wrong corner as it allows Mendoza to tag Wilde who grabs the ankle of Briggs, but Briggs fights and eventually makes the hot tag to Jensen. Jensen comes in on fire with a clothesline and a flapjack for Wilde and he follows that up with chops and clotheslines in the corner and then a powerslam for a 2 count. Escobar hops on the apron for a distraction to allow Wilde time to recover but as Jensen turns around he hits Wilde with a backdrop and then he takes time to deck Escobar out on the floor. Jensen gets back in the ring and is hit with a back elbow from Wilde who tags in Mendoza and then dropkicks Briggs off the apron. Wilde and Mendoza then hit a Russian leg sweep and running kick combo to pick up the win.
I like that Legado del Fantasma was smart enough to weaken their much larger opponents before the match and it ended up working out for them as Briggs in particular was significantly weaker during the match. This was a fine match but these short match times are killing any chance of the new guys having memorable TV matches.
We got a really good video package to hype up next week’s match between Mandy Rose and Raquel Gonzalez and I can’t wait to see this match as Mandy has been on fire since her return to NXT and Raquel has been a great champion as well.
We get another vignette of the spooky mystery person who will reveal himself next week at Halloween Havoc.
We see Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams looking through lockers trying to find Hayes’ title and they find a piece of paper with a drawing by Dexter Lumis and it looks like he is having an open house next week and Hayes & Williams plan to be there..
The next match has LA Knight facing Grayson Waller where the winner becomes the host of Halloween Havoc, but let’s face it neither man is going to be anywhere near as good of a host as Shotzi Blackheart did last year.
We see Waller ducking for something but the damn camera turns to the crowd and misses the first five seconds of action as we come back to Waller rolling Knight up for a 2 count. Waller catches Knight in a few more pinning combinations which prove unsuccessful and then Knight blocks a schoolboy attempt and kicks Waller and that is followed by clubbing blows to the chest. Knight works over Waller while he is up against the ropes and then Knight charges, but Waller passes him out to the apron only for Knight to drop Waller throat-first on the top rope and then he catches Waller with a slingshot shoulder block for a 2 count. Waller escapes a chinlock with a jawbreaker and hits Knight with a series of punches and a discus forearm. Waller hits a clothesline and a jumping side kick and that is followed by an STO. Waller looks to come off the middle rope but then gets down when he sees Knight getting to his feet and this leads to Knight hitting Waller with a running kick and that is followed by Blunt Force Trauma for the win. Yep, this was a match.
It’s time for the main event as the NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa teams with his challenger for next week Bron Breakker and they will be facing the team of The Grizzled Young Veterans.
Breakker starts the match out with James Drake and immediately takes him down with a shoulder block and then grabs a headlock, but when he is shot into the ropes Drake drops down and Breakker rolls him back into the middle of the ring and then he slams him down to the mat face-first a couple of times. Drake gets some advice from Zack Gibson and then gets ready to try again with Breakker and he nails him with a shot to the ribs. Drake grabs a headlock and is shot into the ropes where Breakker leapfrogs him and then we are supposed to see Breakker duck a clothesline, but Breakker makes a rookie mistake as instead of just running under the clothesline from where he was he walks back into the ropes first which was awkward. Breakker ducks the clothesline and then catches Drake in mid leapfrog for a powerslam. Ciampa wants to be tagged in but Breakker won’t do it so when he turns around Ciampa tags himself in.
Ciampa is caught with a back elbow and as Drake is sent into the ropes we see Gibson make a blind tag and both Ciampa and Gibson leapfrog over Drake, Ciampa runs wild with clotheslines to both men before taking them both down with a double clothesline. Ciampa hits Gibson with a running knee in the corner as we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break. Ciampa grounds Gibson and hits him with an elbow to the face, Gibson gets back to his feet and grabs the arm of Ciampa to bring him over to the corner so he can tag in Drake. Drake grabs the arm of Ciampa but he ends up reversing into a headlock takeover which he cranks on for a couple of minutes until Drake gets back to his feet and he backs Ciampa into the ropes so he can tag Gibson back in. Gibson trips up Ciampa and pulls him out of the ring only to be laid out with a right hand, but fortunately, Drake takes Ciampa out with a tope suicida sending Ciampa into the announce table. Gibson throws Ciampa back in the ring and GYV continues to isolate Gibson in their corner before Drake locks on a chinlock as the commercial break comes to an end.
Ciampa fights back to his feet and as Drake throws him into the corner he elbows Gibson off the apron and then catches Drake with a back suplex. Ciampa tries to reach over to make the tag but Gibson pulls Breakker off the apron and this leads to Breakker chasing Gibson back to his side of the ring while Ciampa is looking to make a tag, but Drake pulls Ciampa back into the center of the ring and puts the boots to him. Drake tags in Gibson and they hit Ciampa with a double clothesline for a 2 count. Gibson nails Ciampa with a forearm and then chokes him across the middle rope and then tags Drake back into the match and they hit Ciampa with a double team that sees Drake come off the top with an ax handle to the back. Ciampa tries to make a comeback with chops to the chest of Gibson but he hits Ciampa with a knee to the gut and he beats him back down to the mat where he chokes him with his boot.
GYV hit a flatliner and middle rope dropkick combo and then Drake rolls into a Koji clutch only for Ciampa to escape and he nails Drake with punches until Drake grabs the beard of Ciampa which allows him to take control as he hits a few punches on Ciampa. Drake goes for a neckbreaker but Ciampa counters it into a ripcord DDT. Drake signals for Gibson to knock Breakker off the apron once again, but it proves to be a mistake as Breakker quickly takes Gibson down and is then back in his corner right as Ciampa walks over, but instead of tagging him properly, he slaps Breakker in the face. Breakker gets in the ring and after staring at Ciampa he hits Drake with a couple of Steiner-lines and a flying shoulder block and that is followed by a side belly-to-belly suplex. Breakker takes down the straps and locks in the Steiner Recliner only for Gibson to break it with a boot to Breakker’s face and he rushes Gibson sending him out of the ring using just one hand and then he hits Drake with the military press into the powerslam for the win.
After the match, Ciampa goes to walk to the back but he turns around to see that Breakker wants him in the ring and he obliges as the show comes to an end with the champion and his challenger standing face-to-face.
This episode of NXT felt a lot like this week’s Raw as they both felt like they were just getting through their show so they can get to the bigger show they have been building to. None of the matches really stood out this week which is strange for NXT as they usually have at least one match each week that delivers, but now that most of the matches are getting their time cut the chance of that happening every week may be a thing of the past. I do think the Halloween Havoc card is pretty solid and I hope they give the matches the proper amount of time as there are a couple of matches that could be pretty good.
Crown Jewel Results
- The Usos def The Hurt Business (Pre-Show Match) – **¾
- Edge def Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell Match) – ****¼
- Mansoor def Mustafa Ali – ***¼
- RK-Bro © def AJ Styles & Omos – **½
- Zelina Vega def Doudrop (Queen’s Crown Tournament Finals) – *½
- Goldberg def Bobby Lashley (No Holds Barred Match) – **½
- Xavier Woods def Finn Balor (King of the Ring Tournament Finals) – ***
- Big E © def Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship) – ***¾
- Becky Lynch © def Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair (SmackDown Women’s Championship) – ****½
- Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman def Brock Lesnar (WWE Universal Championship) – ***½
I am not going to do a detailed match-by-match breakdown of the show, but I will give my thoughts on a few things from the show.
- The choice of opening the show with Hell in a Cell was a great idea as it got the fans hyped for the show right from the start as had it gone on in the middle of the show it would’ve made it hard for the fans to care about any match that came after it, so it was smart to put it on at the start when the crowd has the most energy.
- Mansoor and Mustafa Ali had a really good match and this was another great match placement call as the only thing that would keep the energy high after the Hell in a Cell match would be Mansoor coming out.
- Riddle riding to the ring on a camel was cool, but the match was just there and I’m ready for RK-Bro to find new opponents.
- I felt so bad for Zelina and Doudrop as this crowd didn’t care about their match at all and to be honest why should anyone with the way the tournament has been booked. I bet if they had allowed these two to have matches longer than 3 minutes in the earlier rounds of the tournament they would’ve cared more than they did. As much as the lack of crowd enthusiasm hurt this match the match itself was unfortunately not good at all. Congrats to Zelina on becoming the first Queen it’s nice to see WWE actually doing something with her,
- I think I liked the Lashley vs Goldberg more than most and by that I mean I didn’t absolutely hate it. The match was pretty much what I expected it to be and the fact Goldberg didn’t drop Lashley on his head was a plus, however, Goldberg did fail in his mission to kill Lashley as he clearly walked away from being speared off the stage.
- Congratulation to Xavier Woods on finally fulfilling his dream of becoming King of the Ring and for the first time since I believe 1998 the winner of the King of the Ring tournament is a babyface.
- The Drew McIntyre vs Big E match was the surprise of the night for me as I knew they were going to put on a good match, but didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, just imagine how much better it would’ve been if the outcome wasn’t predictable as nobody believed McIntyre would bring the WWE Championship over to SmackDown.
- My match of the night was the triple threat match between Becky, Sasha, and Bianca as these three women put on a show for this Saudi Arabian audience and showed them what women are capable of when they are allowed to do what they want. There were a quite a few creative spots in the match and some really impressive feats of strength by Bianca. This was definitely the highlight of the entire show for me personally.
- I thought the Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns match was really good up until the finish, while I do like them continuing the whose side is Paul Heyman on story with him throwing the title in the middle of the ring I thought the whole tug of war with the title and the Usos costing Lesnar the match was lame.
Overall, I thought this was the best Saudi Arabia show that WWE has had yet as every match with the exception of one was good to great and what was bad on the show was kept pretty short. I say this show gets a thumbs up from me.
NXT UK Results
- Aleah James def Xia Brookside – **
- Dave Mastiff & Jack Starz def Symbiosis w/ Eddie Dennis – **¼
- Jordan Devlin def Joe Coffey – ***¼
This week’s show starts out with action from the women’s division as Xia Brookside takes on Aleah James.
We get a handshake to start the match between the two babyfaces. We see both women trade wristlocks with each one finding a way to escape and then Aleah escapes a hammerlock and takes Xia down with a drop toe hold. Aleah goes back to a wristlock until Xia uses the ropes as assistance to flip out of the move and then she takes Xia back down to the mat with a headlock takeover until Aleah applies a headscissors which she raises up on to apply more pressure, but Xia escapes with a handstand and lands a kick to the chest of Aleah. Xia snapmares Aleah into the center of the ring and hits her with a kick to the back and then applies a rest hold that works on the arm until Aleah escapes and hits a jawbreaker. Aleah starts to fire up as she takes Xia down a couple of times and then hits a dropkick, but when she looks to hit a DDT Xia grabs the arm to take Aleah down, and then she hits her with a running neckbreaker. Xia hits Aleah with running knees to the back of the head and then sits her up top where she looks to hit an iconoclasm, but Aleah kicks her away and catches her in a sunset flip pin and that is enough to give Aleah the upset win.
After the match, Aleah extends her hand to Xia for another handshake but Xia slaps it away and walks to the back frustrated over losing to a rookie like Aleah.
This was just a fine TV match and nothing more. It looks like Xia could be turning to the dark side which may be good for her as she has been with the brand since its beginning and has yet to find much success while others who came after her have gotten all the glory and attention.
We see Emilia and Meiko training at the PC when Meiko is asked about her title match against Jinny coming up and she says something I couldn’t understand before saying Jinny isn’t the final boss she is.
We see a video from Kenny Williams where he talks about being indestructible and then he talks about being even more of a scumbag than before and we also got cameo appearances from the cockroaches and maggots from the WrestleMania 33 match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt.
Our next match sees Dave Mastiff and Jack Starz take on T-Bone and Primate from Symbiosis after the brawl they had a couple of weeks ago. Pretty Deadly will be on commentary for this match.
T-Bone throws Starz around until he tries to throw Starz into the corner as Starz jumps up and over T-Bone and then hits him with a couple of dropkicks and an arm drag, but one shot from T-Bone puts him back in control. T-Bone sends Starz hard into the corner and then hits him with a fallaway slam and then he tags in Primate who stays in control as he grounds Starz with a modified armbar, but Starz escapes and slides through the legs of Primate and gives him two boots to the butt which sends Primate out to the floor. Primate tries to get back on the apron but Starz hits him with a dropkick and catches T-Bone with one as well when he tries to get into the ring which staggers him and allows Mastiff to come in and take T-Bone down with a clothesline.
Primate gets back in the ring and Starz drops him with another dropkick and an arm drag and then he finally makes the tag to Mastiff. Mastiff hits a big slam followed by a senton and then Starz (who made a blind tag) hits Primate with a slingshot crossbody for a 2 count. Starz tags Mastiff back into the match and as he comes in Primate hits him with several strikes to create enough space to make a tag to T-Bone. Mastiff reverses a whip into the ropes and hits T-Bone with a kitchen sink and then he tags Starz back in who hits T-Bone with several uppercuts and then tries to go for the arm but T-Bone pulls him in for a backbreaker. Starz tries to fight out of the heel corner but T-Bone throws him out to the floor where Primate hits him with a slam and then T-Bone throws him back into the ring where he hits Starz with a sitout powerbomb for a 2 count.
Symbiosis isolates Starz on their side of the ring as Primate hits him with a forearm to the back followed by a back suplex and then he tags T-Bone back into the ring and they hit Starz with a few double team moves. T-Bone hits Starz with a delayed vertical suplex and then he throws Starz back out to the floor once again. Primate looks to hit a cheap shot like earlier but this time Starz slides out the back and hits Primate with a slam of his own, Starz gets on the apron and hits T-Bone in the gut with his shoulder and then he goes up top where he connects with a crossbody and he then rolls through into a tag to Mastiff. Mastiff nails T-Bone with repeated forearms and then hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex Mastiff shoves T-Bone into Primate knocking him off the apron and then hits the rolling Samoan drop. Eddie Dennis causes a distraction and Mastiff turns around into a kick but it barely affects him as Mastiff throws T-Bone across the ring with a German suplex and then follows up with a big cannonball in the corner. Just when it looks like Mastiff and Starz are about to win the match we see Eddie Dennis pull Starz off the apron and hit him in the gut with a chair causing the DQ.
After the match, Symbiosis continues to attack Mastiff until Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter run out to make the save as they clear the ring of Symbiosis.
This was once again just another fine basic TV tag match and so far this episode of NXT UK has been underwhelming compared to last week. It looks like we could be getting a four-way for the tag titles pretty soon.
We get a vignette for Amale and she says she carries the hope of France on her shoulders and her loss against Emilia McKenzie was a fluke and next week she is back in action and this time nothing is going to stop her.
We get an interview with Charlie Demspey at the PC and he thought his first match against Josh Morrell was a great way to test himself and he can’t wait to see what the rest of the roster has to offer as this is the beginning of him building a great legacy. Gallus walks up and says good for him for wanting to make a legacy but just make sure his legacy doesn’t get in their way. Charlie goes back to training when we hear a commotion and it ends up being Teoman and Rohan Raja trying to get their hands on Gallus.
It’s time for another edition of SuperNova Sessions starring Noam Dar alongside the much slimmer Sha Samuels and because of the return of fans, the set has been moved to the ring. Dar’s guest this week will be his opponent next week the NXT UK Heritage Cup Champion Tyler Bate who is joined by Trent Seven.
Dar and Samuels mock Seven saying he is riding Bate’s coattails. Dar says that while he may not like Bate he does respect him and that is why he invited him on his show as he wants to give Bate a chance to relinquish the Heritage Cup. Dar wants to save Bate the embarrassment he will have after next week when Dar gives him a beating, Moustache Mountain acts like they are going to hand the cup over but they then tell Dar to sit down. Dar says that Bate has gotten lazy and he never learns from his mistakes with the biggest mistake being the fact that he still carries around the dead weight that is Trent Seven and says Bate is too worried about Moustache Mountain. Seven gets to his feet as he has had enough of Dar as he tells Dar those tag titles are very important to him and then he corrects himself to say the both of them, Bate says that while Seven is right tonight they are talking about the Heritage Cup, not the tag titles. Bate says that he has beaten Dar every time they have stepped in the ring and next week will be no different. Dar takes a cheap shot at Bate and then both men’s tag partners have to hold them back. The segment ends with Dar and Samuels talking smack while Moustache Mountain is in the ring.
We see Jordan Devlin working out for his match coming up and as he has his back turned Gallus comes from behind and steals his ring jacket and then runs off because they are the most unlikable babyfaces of all time.
It’s main event time as Jordan Devlin takes on Joe Coffey with Gallus barred from ringside. Joe Coffey comes to the ring holding Devlin’s jacket and then Devlin jumps him from behind as he attacks Coffey around the ring and then tries to throw him in the ring, but Coffey rebounds off the ropes and takes Devlin down. Coffey lands some uppercuts until Devlin drives him into the ring apron and then finally throws him into the ring where he hits a slingshot splash and moments later the match officially gets started.
Coffey lands a couple of punches until Devlin takes him to the mat with a headlock takeover and when Coffey gets to his feet and tries to shoot Devlin into the ropes he hangs on and brings Coffey right back down to the mat. Coffey eventually gets back to his feet and shoots Devlin into the ropes where he trips him up with a dropdown, but moments later Devlin reverses a whip into the ropes and we get a few missed clotheslines and waistlock switches until Coffey pushes Devlin into the ropes and catches him with a big running crossbody. Coffey hits a backbreaker and a side slam for a 2 count and then starts to focus on the arm of Devlin as he has him in a modified armbar and when Devlin tried to escape by hitting a hip toss we see Coffey keep control of the arm. Devlin then tried to escape the hold by grabbing a headscissors but Coffey just throws him off while still holding onto the arm, Devlin is finally able to get to his feet and he spins behind Coffey to get loose, and then he sends Coffey shoulder-first into the ring post.
Devlin hits Coffey with a dropkick sending Coffey rolling into the ring post ribs first and Devlin uses that opportunity to stretch Coffey around the ring post. Devlin is starting to feel confident as he is playing to the crowd and then he hits Coffey with a kitchen sink moments later. Devlin continues to work over Coffey’s midsection as he sends him hard into the corner and then hits him with a couple of kicks to the chest before locking in a cobra twist which Coffey escapes from with a hip toss. Coffey hits Devlin with a push kick and after some miscommunication, he tries for a belly-to-belly but his back gives out which allows Devlin to apply a bodyscissors to a standing Coffey which Coffey tries to fight out of by hitting Devlin with punches, but he is able to get Coffey down to the mat where he keeps the bodyscissors locked in.
Coffey eventually rolls over and gets back to his feet where he backs Devlin into the corner to break the hold, but Coffey is in a lot of pain and is unable to follow up immediately but he is able to catch Devlin with an uppercut out of mid-air when he dives off the top. Coffey and Devlin slowly get back to their feet where Devlin sends Coffey into the ropes but he comes back with a shoulder block followed by a flying shoulder block for a 2 count. Coffey catches a charging Devlin with a pop-up powerslam for a 2 count, Coffey then looks for a deadlift German but Devlin elbows out of the waistlock and hits Coffey with a uranage followed by a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Devlin goes up top again and this time he is cut off with an uppercut and then Coffey climbs up looking for a superplex but Devlin slides under the legs and tries to pull Coffey down only to receive a back elbow and then Coffey hits the double jump crossbody for yet another 2 count.
Coffey swats away a boot to the face attempt by Devlin which sends Devlin out to the apron, but he comes right back in with a slingshot cutter, but as he looks to go for the cover Coffey rolls out to the floor. Coffey is hit with a penalty kick from the apron and is then taken down by an Asai moonsault by Devlin. Devlin throws Coffey back in the ring and for the third time he goes up top and for the third time he is stopped as Coffey sends him flying with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex off the top, but Coffey is unable to go for the cover. Coffey and Devlin trade punches from their knees until Devlin lands a punch that drops Coffey. Devlin looks to set up the Devilinside but Coffey fires back with punches only for Devlin to throw some punches of his own moments later and then Coffey comes back with a second flurry which backs Devlin into the corner and then he catches a charging Devlin with an elbow and a few more punches for a 2 count. Coffey and Devlin go into opposite corners and Coffey hits Devlin with a Glasgow Sendoff, but when he goes for All the Best for the Bells Devlin lands a headbutt causing Coffey to crumple to the mat. Devlin goes up top for the fourth time and finally, Devlin hits the 450 splash but Coffey isn’t out just yet. Devlin hits the Devilinside and is finally able to keep Coffey’s shoulders down for the 3 count.
Thank goodness for this main event because had the match not delivered this was going to be one of the most underwhelming episodes of NXT UK ever, but Devlin and Coffey put on one hell of a match and saved the show. I’m not the biggest Joe Coffey fan as I think he gets pushed more than he should but he put on a great showing in this match and I am actually looking forward to their third match.
- Drew McIntyre def Sami Zayn – **¼
- Mansoor def Mustafa Ali – **
- Hit Row w/ Ashante the Adonis & B-Fab def Daniel Williams & Dustin Lawyer – ½*
- Happy Corbin w/ Madcap Moss def Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs – **½
This week’s show opens with the “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns coming to the ring and he is on cloud nine after beating Brock Lesnar and Crown Jewel, but he wants to know whether Heyman is holding the title for him or for Brock Lesnar seeing as last night when he reached out for the title Heyman threw it into the middle of the ring. Reigns says that while Heyman may not be the best at his job he is the best at his and then he runs down the names he has beaten during his reign as Universal Champion. Reigns then tells Heyman to bring up what Lesnar tweeted and then he makes a joke that he messed Lesnar up so bad he started tweeting. Heyman reads the tweet that says Lesnar is going to beat Reigns senseless the moment he arrives at SmackDown and then Reigns knocks the phone out of Heyman’s hands. Reigns says this is his show and he isn’t going anywhere and he doesn’t mind kicking Lesnar’s ass two nights in a row and he isn’t leaving the ring until Lesnar comes to the ring.
After a commercial break, we see Reigns is still in the ring and after a few minutes Lesnar finally makes his way out and he immediately clotheslines Reigns to the floor and sends him into the steel steps, and then he picks the steps up and hits Reigns with them. Lesnar looks to hit an F-5 on Reigns through the announce table, but The Usos come out to make the save only for Lesnar to throw them over the barricade. Reigns tries to recover but Lesnar grabs one of the cameras and throws it at Reigns but it ends up crashing into the ring post. The referees and agents run down and Lesnar starts throwing them around including Daivari who he throws across the announce table, we then see Adam Pearce call the roster out to try and break things up and Lesnar throws a few of them around as well before getting into the ring where he holds the championship high.
Adam Pearce would get into the ring after the commercial break and talk about how Lesnar’s actions won’t be tolerated and thus he is suspended indefinitely, but Lesnar comes out and grabs Pearce by the collar as he wants to make sure he heard him right and when Pearce repeats himself we see Lesnar hoist him up and he hits him with an F-5 and then obliges the crowd who are cheering for one more as he gives Pearce a second F-5, and somehow during all of this Pearce had his pants torn. Later in the night, Sonya Deville is interviewed on the condition of Pearce and she says that while he is no longer a spring chicken he should be fine and then said she offered to be the one to tell Lesnar about the suspension but Pearce insisted.
.While these Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns segments were entertaining they went on entirely too long as they took up the first 36 minutes of the show. On the episode of SmackDown where all of these new stars are supposed to be introduced it would’ve been nice if 10 minutes could’ve been shaved off of these segments and put toward those new talents. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep Lesnar suspended for the rest of the year and bring him back to win the Rumble match where we will get our third WrestleMania match between Lesnar and Reigns and this time perhaps they put the match inside Hell in a Cell.
After all the chaos involving Lesnar, we go backstage where Sonya is talking on the phone when she is approached by Naomi who is not happy about what happened last week when she was beaten down by Sonya and Shayna Baszler. Naomi still wants a match against Sonya, but Sonya tells her that tonight is not about her as she is busy with other things and then tells Naomi to get out of her face. Naomi walks off but Sonya turns around into Drew McIntyre and he is aware of how chaotic the show is already so he is going to do Sonya a favor as he is going to go out and issue an open challenge to anyone who has the balls to challenge him.
McIntyre comes to the ring and throws down the open challenge as promised which is answered by Sami Zayn who comes out and talks about how he is now the longest-tenured member of the SmackDown roster and is known as somewhat of a locker room leader. Zayn says that while McIntyre may be a former WWE Champion but he is just a newbie on SmackDown and he will be accepting McIntyre’s challenge. McIntyre and Zayn have a fine match that ends when Zayn tries to mock McIntyre by counting down before hitting the Helluva Kick, but when he charges toward McIntyre he is met with a Claymore which gives McIntyre the win.
Up next is the coronation of the new King of the Ring, King Xavier Woods and we get Kofi Kingston introducing Xavier Woods to the ring who has his trusty trombone in hand. Kingston presents King Woods with his cloak, scepter, and crown and then he hands the mic over to the King, and he thanks the fans for showing him love and making his dreams come true as this means the world to him. King Woods says his reign as king will be fun but fair and the fans in attendance have the opportunity to hear the King’s gospel which leads to Kingston reading from the royal scroll and then he tells us all to Hail King Woods as New Day celebrate in the ring.
This was a really fun segment and I’m glad to see they let both Woods and the fans have this moment rather than having someone come out to interrupt him to start a new feud.
We get a vignette for Xia Li who is coming soon to SmackDown.
It’s time for a rematch from this brand new SmackDown roster as Mansoor takes on Mustafa Ali and in a much shorter match than the one they had at Crown Jewel we see Mansoor pick up the win once again when he sits down on a sunset flip attempt.
We get a rapid-fire introduction to some of the new talents coming to SmackDown as we get Ridge Holland who is a street fighter, Aliyah who plans to make SmackDown more bougie, Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza who are handsome, and for some reason, they thought we needed to be introduced to Sheamus who has been around for over ten years and was just on SmackDown last year.
Up next, we got the SmackDown debut of Hit Row who all get a turn on the mic to introduce themselves during their entrance. We then see Swerve and Top Dolla squash a couple of jobbers in less than two minutes. If they weren’t going to immediately place Hit Row in a feud then this was the best way to showcase them as they got time on the mic and in the ring. I really hope the main roster doesn’t ruin Hit Row as they were one of the best things about NXT over the past six months and they all have the chance to be top stars if given the chance.
We get a match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Happy Corbin that is our longest match of the night and was nothing special as Nakamura cost himself the win by going out of the ring to help Boogs as he was being attacked by Madcap Moss, that led to Corbin throwing him into the steps and hitting End of Days for the win. I just don’t get why we need to see a match between two guys who have feuded earlier in the year feuding yet again when we just got a complete roster overhaul, why even do the draft if you are going to have the same guys face each other?
It’s time for the main event segment where Becky and Charlotte will be switching their titles because, in the three weeks between when the draft happened and now WWE decided not to switch the titles over to people on the brand each title represents, everything would’ve made a lot more sense if Charlotte dropped the Raw title to Bianca on Raw and Becky dropped the SmackDown title to Sasha at Crown Jewel. In the segment, we see both women reluctant to give their titles to the other person and at one point Becky reaches over to grab her title but Charlotte throws it on the mat only to immediately pick it back up at the command of Sonya Deville and then Charlotte hands the title over to Sonya. Becky seeing this decides to just throw her title at Charlotte.
We then get the entrance of Sasha Banks and once she enters the ring Becky says she is just going to make her exit and she will see one of them at Survivor Series. Sasha and Charlotte go back and forth on the mic until Sasha attacks Charlotte. Sasha looks for a backstabber but Charlotte blocks it and bails out to the floor where Sasha comes off the apron with a Meteora. Sonya separates Sasha and Charlotte and that is how the show comes to an end.
Oh dear lord, this was such a mess, and as bad as what we saw was it was even worse behind the scenes as reports are coming out that the segment didn’t go as planned and led to a confrontation between Charlotte and Becky backstage after the show. Alex McCarthy of Talk Sports reports that apparently, the segment was supposed to see Charlotte continue to pull the title away from Becky but a timing issue caused Charlotte to drop the title and that is when things went downhill as Becky then just threw her title at Charlotte out of frustration. Fightful Select reports that after grabbing Charlotte’s title Becky would hold up both belts claiming to be “Becky Two Belts” once again until Sonya would make her hand over the SmackDown Women’s Championship. While Charlotte had stated her unhappiness with doing it this way but was going to go ahead with it anyway.
What makes this even worse is that Becky, Charlotte, and even Sonya hated the idea of the title exchange and didn’t want it to happen to the point where Charlotte even lobbied to drop the title to Bianca this past Monday on Raw as it could’ve been a big moment for Bianca, but stubborn McMahon and his stooges obviously had a different idea because God forbid this company makes a booking decision that makes sense.
TalkSport says that after the segment Charlotte walked through the Gorilla position without speaking to VInce much to his displeasure and then left to get on a flight to Orlando to be with Andrade who himself would tweet out “Fu WWE” last night. While Fightful reports that Charlotte was told to leave the arena before Becky finished her dark match so there would be no further incident between the two.
Whether all of this is a shoot or an elaborate work to get some hype around the Charlotte vs Becky match at Survivor Series one positive thing is that they are sure to use it as part of the storyline which can only be seen as a positive as it adds some heat to a match that has been done to death. It really is the perfect story to tell considering that Becky and Charlotte used to be best friends and traveling buddies but that friendship has been strained over the past couple of years due to their personal and professional lives going in separate directions. If this ends up all being a shoot then shame on WWE for letting this happen when they could’ve easily avoided all of this by having both women drop the straps earlier this week.
I have to say that before all of this news came out as I was watching the segment I was thinking that we really need a break from the Horsewomen which is strange to say as all three have taken months off recently, but as soon as they come back they are immediately pushed into feuds against each other or are pushed over the other talent on the roster and it’s really starting to get old. I don’t see why WWE employs so many women when it seems they are only concerned with pushing the same 3-4 women at the top while women like Toni, Liv, Shotzi, Tegan, Mia, Shayna, and even Asuka sit on the sidelines or if they are used it is in matches that last less than 5 minutes and have no story around them. Poor Aliyah and Xia better not get too excited about being called up as Toni has been on the main roster since July and has only had 3 matches and poor Mia Yim hasn’t had a match since November of 2020.
It would be nice to see a main event women’s feud in the company that has nothing to do with any of the Horsewomen (or Natalya). It’s so frustrating seeing the same women at the top when there are so many talented women who haven’t even been able to show a sliver of what they are capable of. While I don’t watch Impact Wrestling I do keep up with what they are doing and I can only dream of how great it would be if WWE treated their women’s division like Impact does as every woman on their roster is used in a prominent role and they only have a weekly two-hour show whereas WWE has five hours with Raw and SmackDown, so there should be no excuse. I will now get off my weekly women’s wrestling soapbox but it just frustrates me as women’s wrestling in WWE has become something I really enjoy watching because we have seen it when it is great, but it seems that since Bruce Prichard and Johnny Ace have returned the division has been on a downward spiral. I just want all the women to get the same amount of time and respect that the Horsewomen get, because if they are never going to get that same time and respect then women like Cora Jade, Franky Monet, Toxic Attraction, Amari Miller, etc are just wasting their time in NXT.
I went on a complete tangent but getting back to this episode of SmackDown I thought that other than the stuff involving Lesnar and Reigns this show was complete trash which is a bummer seeing as they had a really good show at Crown Jewel.
In the news
PW Insider reports that the people they talked to within WWE were very pleased with Crown Jewel and it looks like WWE plans to return to Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2022.
PW Insider reports that the talent that went to Saudi Arabia had to have negative PCR tests and also those who went had to have been vaccinated as well.
WWE does not have any NXT Takeover shows listed on their internal schedule for the rest of 2021. I guess we can say RIP to WWE’s version of WarGames.
Andrew Zarian reports that the first 30 minutes of next week’s NXT Halloween Havoc will be commercial-free.
WrestleVotes reports that WWE is looking to change up the Karrion Kross character once again as he will be a calm and cool psycho and with this change, he will have different music and a different entrance, but unfortunately, the helmet will stick around and there still is no chance of Scarlett being by his side.
While many people within WWE are saying that the rating from last week’s SmackDown when they went up against AEW Rampage was a hot topic backstage Shane Helms has claimed that is not the case. I know there are a lot of other news topics coming out regarding the ratings from last week including Vince McMahon’s reactions, but I am not going to take time to post all of that news because first off I have the same mindset as a lot of others who think that people care too much and look way too much into the ratings. The other reason why I won’t spend time covering all of the rating talks is that a lot of the reports are coming from Meltzer and the Observer and when it comes to WWE vs AEW reports I no longer see them as being objective as its been clear from the start that Meltzer has become just as biased towards AEW as cable news channels have become towards their political party of choice and thus I cannot take anything he says in those reports as the honest truth.
After taking a nasty fall to the floor on NXT 2.0 reports are saying that Jacy Jayne had a CT scan and the results came back normal which is great news as I was worried for her as the bump looked like it could’ve been serious.
PW Insider released details of the alignment of several WWE stars post the draft saying that for Raw Mia Yim and Tegan Nox will be babyfaces while on SmackDown Xia Li will be a babyface while Shotzi will be turning heel. Of course WWE decides to turn Shotzi heel that is just like them to turn one of the most likable and charismatic women on the roster heel.
PW Insider goes on to say that when it comes to Hit Row they are looking to make Top Dolla the big singles star while Swerve and Ashante will become a tag team, speaking of tag teams it looks like WWE wants to use Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez as a tag team rather than having Apollo as the singles star with Azeez as his enforcer.
Andrew Zarian reports that WWE has plans to bring back Retro Raw in January.
The Wrestling Observer reports that the reason for Eva Marie’s absence from WWE recently is due to her filming a movie.
Dave Meltzer reports that Paul Heyman wanted Aleister Black to be the one to beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36, but obviously, Vince saw things differently.
I forgot to include this in last week’s article but a big congratulations go out to Lacey Evans on the birth of her baby girl on 10/16/21.
Coming up this Week
- The fallout of Crown Jewel
- The New Raw roster takes effect
- RK-Bro © vs AJ Styles & Omos (Raw Tag Team Championship)
NXT 2.0: Halloween Havoc
- Tommaso Ciampa © vs Bron Breakker (NXT Championship)
- Raquel Gonzalez © vs Mandy Rose (NXT Women’s Championship – Spin the Wheel Make the Deal)
- MSK © vs Imperium (NXT Tag Team Championship – Spin the Wheel Make the Deal)
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark © vs Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta vs Toxic Attraction (NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship – Scareway to Hell Ladder Match)
- The debut of Solo Sikoa
- Special Guest: Chucky
- Host: LA Knight
- Tyler Bate © vs Noam Dar (NXT UK Heritage Cup Championship)
- Mark Coffey vs Rohan Raja
- Amale in action