- John Morrison w/ The Miz def Ricochet – **¾
- NIa Jax, Shayna Baszler, Eva Marie, & Doudrop def Naomi, Asuka, Nikki Ash, & Alexa Bliss – **
- Mustafa Ali def Mansoor – *¾
- Drew McIntyre def Jinder Mahal w/ Indus Sher via DQ – **¼
- Lucha House Party def Mace & T-Bar – *½
- Riddle def AJ Styles w/ Omos – ***
- Jaxson Ryker & R-Truth def Elias & Cedric Alexander – *
- New Day def MVP & Bobby Lashley – **¾
The show starts with Miz TV where he brings on all of the men’s Money in the Bank participants as guests and of course he hypes up Morrison winning the match. Drew McIntyre comes out and gives a history lesson about the Alamo and says he’d rather die in Texas than let someone else win the Money in the Bank. Ricochet comes out and has an awkward exchange with Morrison where they do the robot and spell out their names. Riddle comes out with his foot taped up after kicking the steps last week and he climbs the ladder just so he can make a joke about being high. Riddle is dedicating his performance in Money in the Bank to Randy Orton.
AJ Styles and Omos come out and he is mad that last week’s last chance match was a triple threat since Orton wasn’t able to make it and because of that, he thinks he should still be in contention to be in the Money in the Bank match. Riddle mocks Styles and Omos knocks him off the ladder with Riddle landing right on his injured foot and if that wasn’t enough Styles goes over and stomps on the bad ankle. This leads to a brawl which sees McIntyre clothesline Omos out of the ring and then Ricochet hits Morrison with a triangle dropkick taking him out to the floor. Ricochet then breaks the drop stick to end this opening segment. I didn’t care for this opening segment at all as it felt like it was all over the place with no real focus and the ending brawl wasn’t that great either.
We get a rematch between Ricochet and John Morrison and just like last week they had a good match, but unlike last week the finish of the match sucked as Ricochet ended up getting counted out when Miz kept getting in between Ricochet and the ring even though it would’ve been easy to push Miz out of the way, I had no problem with the match ending in a count-out, but at least give me a believable reason as to why Ricochet would get counted out like we got last week. It was announced that next week we will be getting Ricochet vs John Morrison in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Jinder Mahal arrives on a motorcycle which felt completely out of place but yet he somehow felt like more of a star during this interview than he did for the entire time he was WWE champion. Mahal talked about how he and Drew McIntyre were close and when he bought that motorcycle McIntyre was with him. Mahal said he tried to text McIntyre a while back and it took him 2 days to reply and on top of that in the return text message McIntyre insulted him by writing 2 as shorthand for the word too. Mahal says tonight he will prove he has always been better than McIntyre, wow talk about petty Mahal wants to fight his best friend just because he didn’t have time to text him back and because he was in a rush so he texted 2 instead of too good thing McIntyre didn’t send Mahal a text with a poop emoji as he would really be out for blood then. We get another promo from Professor McIntyre later in the night where he gives us another Scottish folklore history lesson before saying he is going to beat Mahal. McIntyre and Mahal have a decent match but it ends in a DQ when Mahal’s backup Veer and Shanky interfere. After the match, Mahal hits McIntyre with a superkick and a Khallas. Mahal then proceeds to steal the sword that McIntyre carries with him. I am completely fine with McIntyre feuding with Mahal for a few months as long as it keeps him away from the title picture for a while as we need new faces challenging for the WWE Championship.
We get a backstage segment where Reginald gets scared by Alexa watching them from the shadows, but when Shayna and Nia turn around she is nowhere to be seen. Naomi and Asuka are in Gorilla with Nikki Ash and they are happy with her new superhero character. Nikki talks about her chances of winning Money in the Bank and when Nikki’s music hits she gets all excited and goes out to the ring. Alexa Bliss walks up to Naomi and Asuka and tells them that she will be winning Money in the Bank. We get an 8 woman tag where the four Money in the Bank participants (Naomi, Asuka, Nikki Ash, & Alexa Bliss) take on the quartet of Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Eva Marie, & Doudrop although it was really a six-woman tag as Alexa and Eva didn’t do much for the entire match.
There was a spot where the babyfaces were diving onto their opponents on the outside but Eva manages to dodge all of the flying babyfaces and gets into the ring but she turns around to see Alexa who screams at her and she darts out of the ring. Alexa stands on the turnbuckle for the first portion of the match and later on tries to hypnotize Reginald once again but Shayna prevents that from happening and then throws Alexa into the barricade to take her out of the match. The finish comes when Nikki goes for the la magistral on Shayna but is unaware that Shayna is not legal as Jax had been tagged in, Nikki goes for a crossbody but Nia catches her and hits a Samoan drop to pick up the win for her team. After the match, Eva announces herself the winner and this does not sit well with Nia and Shayna. This match was not that great as they were trying to jam in three or four different stories into this one match and it ended up affecting the quality of the match. I’m not sure why we needed the heels to get the win considering none of them are in the Money in the Bank match and of all the babyfaces why have Nikki take the pin when she is still trying to establish her new character as nobody is going to care about her if she starts getting beat every week.
We get a match between Mansoor and Mustafa Ali where Ali picks up the win after outsmarting Mansoor as he got himself tied in the ropes and after Mansoor helped untie him he rolls Mansoor up in a victory roll. Ali tells Mansoor that he needs to stop thinking with his heart and start thinking with his mind.
We also get a tag match out of nowhere as Mace & T-Bar took on the Lucha House Party where Mace & T-Bar control the match early on using their power to overcome the much smaller team, Mace & T-Bar look to hit their finisher but Metalik hits them with a springboard dropkick to prevent that from happening and moments later Dorado hits a hurricanrana out of nowhere and is able to get a 3 count for the upset win. Glad to see LHP pick up a win but I highly doubt this will be followed up on next week on Raw.
Riddle is in the back when Damian Priest walks up and asks him if he is ok after the fall from the ladder he took earlier in the night and Riddle says he is good, but Priest tells him he should be careful as he doesn’t want to cost himself a chance at competing at Money in the Bank. This would lead to the Riddle vs AJ Styles match up next which would end up being the best match of the night.
The match centered around Styles targeting the injured ankle of Riddle and Riddle doing everything he could to prevent that from happening. At one point in the match, Riddle channels his inner Daniel LaRusso as he connects with the Crane Kick, but moments later after Riddle hits a dragon screw he is taken back down when Omos catches him with a leg sweep. Riddle eventually rolls through an ankle and blocks a Calf Crusher in order to land a knee strike to Styles. Riddle ends up hitting the rope draped DDT and then goes up top with his one bad foot, but when he goes for the moonsault he comes up empty and he lands with all of his weight coming down on the foot. Styles sets up for the Styles Clash but gets distracted by the Viking Raiders messing with Omos on the outside and Riddle blocks the Clash and rolls Styles up in a schoolboy to pick up the win. I really wish this match had a different finish as the distraction leading to the schoolboy is such a weak and overused finish in WWE right now and I’m tired of seeing it as we see it multiple times a week. We are informed later in the night that next week we will see the Viking Raiders face AJ Styles and Omos in singles competition as Ivar will face AJ Styles and Erik will face Omos and in two weeks AJ Styles and Omos will have to defend their titles against The Viking Raiders on Raw.
Charlotte comes to the ring with the help of a crutch and talks about how top stars being injured in the NBA has sent teams into turmoil, but the fact that she may miss Money in the Bank is even worse. Charlotte then talks about how Rhea is so scared of losing her title that she has started to use Charlotte’s moves against her. Rhea comes down to the ring also on a crutch as she is mocking Charlotte but I think her crutch is too short for her as she is bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame as she comes to the ring. Rhea says she sees right through what Charlotte is doing but she can play Charlotte’s game better than she can and then calls Charlotte a little drama queen. Both women try to kick the leg of the other but they both dodge and this leads to them fighting with the crutches and after Rhea’s crutch is knocked out of her hand she ducks a shot from Charlotte and picks the crutch back up and then she knocks Charlotte’s crutch out of her hands sending Charlotte retreating from the ring. This segment did nothing to get me hyped for their match as the whole thing came off as silly, especially Rhea walking down with a crutch of her own. Rhea would’ve come off looking a lot better had she just came out and called Charlotte on her crap and then attacked her in order to prove Charlotte wasn’t really hurt rather than mocking her as that doesn’t seem like something the Rhea character would do as she should be all about business while keeping the fun and games to a minimum.
Up next we get a cool-down match before the main event as Jaxson Ryker teams with R-Truth against Elias and Cedric Alexander, but before the match even begins we get the 24/7 geeks running out chasing after Tozawa and R-Truth ends up joining the chase as he leaves Ryker to fight his own battle. Once the match starts Ryker hits Alexander a couple of times and then wants him to tag in Elias but Elias decides to exit the match as well as he wants no part of Ryker. Ryker hits Alexander with the Boss Man slam to pick up the win. First off it saddens me to see that Shelton Benjamin is back to being just another 24/7 geek and makes me wish the Hurt Business was still together. The match was nothing and Ryker picks up another win but nobody cares.
We are told by the announcers that Sheamus has been cleared to compete and next week he will finally defend his title against Humberto Carrillo because that feud is still going despite the fact that we haven’t seen Carrillo in weeks, you would think if they wanted to go back to the Sheamus feud they would at least put Carrillo on the show to keep him relevant.
We then go to our main event of New Day vs MVP & Bobby Lashley and for a main event this was pretty lackluster as nothing during or after the match made me more or less interested in watching Lashley vs Kingston at Money in the Bank, this could be any random tag match on any episode of WWE tv as nothing made this match stand out.
This episode of Raw consisted of segments that were either bad or boring as nothing they did on this show made me want to watch Money in the Bank any more than I did before I watched this episode of Raw. The only real highlight of this entire episode of Raw was the Riddle vs Styles match but even that got messed up, in the end, thanks to a stupid distraction finish. I definitely wasted three hours of my life watching this episode of Raw which is a shame as the two episodes before this were actually good but that is just like WWE taking two steps forward and one step back and that is exactly what they did with this episode of Raw.
NXT Great American Bash Results
- MSK © def Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher (NXT Tag Team Championship) – ****
- LA Knight © def Cameron Grimes (Million Dollar Championship – If Grimes Loses he become Knight’s butler) – ***
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark © def The Way (NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship) – ***¼
- Adam Cole def Kyle O’Reilly – ****¼
After a video package hyping tonight’s matches, we go into the CWC which has parts of the Statue of Liberty on each side of the entrance. Our first match of the night sees MSK defend their NXT Tag Team Championship against the team of Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher.
Ciampa takes control very early but after a dropdown and leapfrog spot, we get Carter taking Ciampa down with a springboard corkscrew crossbody and Carter blows Ciampa a kiss just like Ciampa did to MSK before the match started. Thatcher is tagged in and both men jockey for position until Thatcher goes for the arm but Carter is able to make a blind tag to Wes Lee. MSK looks to double team Thatcher but he ducks a kick and then slaps Carter in the face before taking Lee down with an enziguri. Ciampa runs in and delivers a boot and then both Ciampa and Thatcher ground MSK and deliver repeated clubbing blows to the chest of both men. Thatcher drives his knee into the ribs of Lee before tagging Ciampa back in and Ciampa delivers a running knee to the head as Lee sits in the corner. Ciampa goes to slam Lee but he slides out the back and after being hit with a shoulder block Lee rolls back and catches Ciampa with a dropkick which causes Ciampa to stagger over into the corner where Lee is finally able to make a tag to Carter. Carter hits Ciampa with a one-legged enziguri and a running knee in the corner before delivering a penalty kick which sends Ciampa rolling out of the ring for a breather. Carter looks to hit a moonsault to the outside on Ciampa, but Thatcher shoves him out of the way and takes the move in order to protect his partner but Carter ends up getting taken down by a clothesline from Ciampa.
Ciampa goes for a back suplex on Carter, but he lands on his feet and makes a tag to Lee. Lee comes in on fire as he delivers some forearms and then he takes Ciampa down to the mat with a snapmare so that he can hit him with a dropkick to the back. Lee looks to run to the ropes but Thatcher low bridges the rope sending Lee to the outside before throwing him right back in the ring where he is hit with a running knee by Ciampa. We get tags on both sides with Thatcher coming in and getting hit with another double team sequence from MSK and then they hit him with the assisted standing shooting star for a 1 count. Carter tries to follow up on the attack, but Thatcher hits him with a belly-to-belly suplex before tagging Ciampa back into the match. Carter tries to make a comeback but he gets shut down with slaps and a jumping knee, we get a strike exchange and then Ciampa runs the ropes only to get hit with a jumping knee from Carter. We get a tag to Lee and MSK goes for their finisher but Thatcher comes in to prevent it only for Lee to cause Thatcher to hit Ciampa with an uppercut by accident. Lee catches Thatcher with a superkick followed by a tiger feint kick and then looks to hit the backflip kick only to be intercepted by Ciampa with a dropkick to the head. Ciampa hits Lee with Project Ciampa but he is somehow able to kick out. Lee counters an attempted Fairy Tale Ending by backdropping him into a bridged pin but Ciampa kicks out.
We get a tag on both sides and Thatcher tries to lock in a choke but Carter escapes and hits a knee strike knocking Thatcher back toward his corner where Ciampa tags himself in. Ciampa sits Carter up top and looks to hit an air raid crash, but Carter escapes and hits a Cheeky Nandos kick. Carter hits Ciampa with a Swanton and then tags in Lee who hits a corkscrew senton which gets a 2 count as Thatcher breaks up the pin and pulls Lee out to the floor. Carter tries to leap off the stairs onto Thatcher, but he ends up getting caught with an uppercut and then Thatcher rolls Lee back into the ring. Ciampa hits Lee with the Fairy Tale Ending and then Thatcher locks Lee in the ankle lock, but Carter shoves Ciampa into Thatcher to break that up. Thatcher grabs the leg of Lee but ends up getting caught in a small package by surprise and this is enough to keep Thatcher down for the 3 count as MSK retains their NXT Tag Team Championship.
This match was as good as I expected it to be as we got a fun clash of styles of the high flying MSK taking on the hard-hitting team of Thatcher and Ciampa, what I liked about this match is that they kept it simple and knew their role as the opener of this show as they put on an exciting match without getting too cute and going for spots that the matches after them couldn’t follow. I also enjoyed that there weren’t a ton of kickouts in general and only one finisher was kicked out of and that was a nice change of pace. I get that people have a lot of love for MSK and I will agree they are a good team, but I was secretly hoping that Ciampa and Thatcher would pick up the win as I absolutely love them as a team as their hard-hitting style is fun to watch. Great job by both teams as they started the night out with a great match.
We get an update on our phone charger as it is now at 91% but we will get to more on that later in the night.
We go back to the ring where William Regal is joined by Samoa Joe and Regal wants to address the situation going on between Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross and demands they both come down to the ring. Gargano is out first and then Kross comes down without Scarlett by his side. Gargano immediately starts talking trash to Kross as he stands behind Samoa Joe as he says he is living rent-free in Kross’s head. Regal announces that next week Gargano and Kross will face each other for the NXT Championship. Kross then takes his turn at talking trash to Gargano as he tells Gargano he has stronger convictions than him as he always has three things on his mind which are to never lose the NXT Championship, headline WrestleMania, and win the WWE Championship. Kross then accuses Gargano of wearing Candice’s pants before saying guys like Gargano get beat up by guys like him and next week will be no different. Regal then says he wants to make sure everything goes without a hitch next week and that is why he is making Samoa Joe the special referee. Gargano says Kross couldn’t even lace Candice’s boots and this makes Kross want to fight, but as he steps forward Samoa Joe gets in his face as Kross is all pissed off.
I don’t understand why they didn’t make that match for this week as you would think having the NXT Championship on the line would be something they would want on a Great American Bash rather than just any other episode of NXT. I feel like it’s pretty clear that we are getting a new NXT Champion next week as it seems like Kross is main roster bound and they need to get the NXT Championship off of him.
We get a video of Kushida as he is upset about being jumped by the Diamond Mind and wants to get his revenge on them.
Our next match is Cameron Grimes vs LA Knight for the Million Dollar Championship, but if Grimes loses he has to become Knight’s butler.
Grimes catches Knight with a running boot right as the bell rings and then he clotheslines him out to the floor where he hits him with a penalty kick from the apron and then throws him back into the ring where he comes off the top with a big crossbody for a 2 count. Grimes slows the match down as he applies a side headlock until Knight pushes him off into the ropes and connects with a back elbow. Knight takes control of the match and despite being sent hard into the corner he is able to drop Grimes throat-first across the top rope and then looks to slingshot into the ring but is caught with a forearm by Grimes. Grimes goes for a running knee which Knight ducks only to have Grimes hit him with a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Knight tries to back suplex his way out of a headlock but Grimes lands on his feet and tries to shove Knight into the corner but Knight ducks and Grimes connects with the top turnbuckle head-first. Knight sends Grimes into the ropes and hits him with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam where he almost drops Grimes at the last second and this gets him a 2 count.
During a picture in picture commercial Grimes hits a running crossbody and then looks for a splash in the corner, but Knight side steps and hits Grimes with a jumping neckbreaker for a 2 count. Knight grounds Grimes until Grimes starts to fight out and when he runs to the ropes Knight catches him with a knee to the gut. Knight catapults Grimes throat-first into the bottom rope and then takes time to play to the crowd before going back to the chinlock, Grimes fights out of the chinlock, and after building up some momentum he catches Knight with a backflip slam and both men are down. Once the men get back to their feet they have a strike exchange until Knight pulls the hair of Grimes and then he fires up and goes on the attack with palm strikes which has Knight covering up next to the ropes, Grimes hits a couple of running forearms and then slams Knight to the match for a 2 count. Grimes looks to go for a deadlift German but Knight elbows out of it and looks to send Grimes out of the ring, but he skins the cat, however, Knight sees what he is doing and catches him with a burning hammer for a very close 2 count.
Knight waits for Grimes to get up so he can hit Blunt Force Trauma but Grimes counters into a backslide for a 2 count and then connects with a kick to the head. Grimes goes up top but Knight leaps up and hits Grimes with a superplex off the top for a 2 count. Grimes goes out and grabs the Million Dollar Championship, but he gets caught with it and as the referee takes the belt back outside the ring Grimes catches Knight in an O’Connor roll but Knight reverses into a pin of his own for yet another 2 count. Grimes catches Knight with a poison rana as he gets back to his feet and this leads to a very close near fall. Grimes calls for the Cave In, but before he can do anything Knight rolls out of the ring and Grimes tries to hit him with another penalty kick, but Knight catches the leg and drops Grimes onto the apron. Knight pulls Grimes off the apron and hits him with a DDT on the Million Dollar Championship which was laying on the floor from earlier. Knight gets back in the ring looking to get a count out win, but Grimes jumps in the ring at the very last second and as Grimes gets to his feet he staggers around and walks right into the Blunt Force Trauma from Knight which is enough to give Knight the win.
This was a good match but is probably not a match that people will remember within a month. I am sure we are in store for some funny segments with Grimes as Knight’s butler before we see them have their blowoff match to end the feud at the Takeover on SummerSlam weekend.
Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez are backstage getting interviewed and they are not happy with Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart as they blame them for not being in the women’s tag title match tonight. They say they have put Shotzi on the shelf before but next time it will be for good. I am down for a Shotzi & Ember vs Dakota & Raquel part 3 match as their matches always deliver big time.
We go to the entrance where we are introduced to the eight participants in the 2021 NXT Breakout Superstar tournament and they are Trey Baxter (Blake Christian), Carmelo Hayes (Christian Casanova), Andre Chase (Harlem Bravado), Josh Briggs, Ikeman Jiro (Jiro Kuroshio), Joe Gacy, Odyssey Jones (Omari Palmer), & Duke Hudson (Brendan Vink). The tournament kicks off next week with Ikeman Jiro vs Duke Hudson.
We go back to the ring for our final title match of the night as The Way defends their NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship against the team of Zoey Stark and Io Shirai.
Io and Indi start out the match with some basic chain wrestling and mat work before Io hits Indi with a running dropkick to the knee and then she goes for a dropkick to the ribs but Indi rolls out of the way and then snatches Io up in a fireman’s carry where she drops Io face-first into the turnbuckle and also makes a tag to Candice who goes for a couple of pin attempts which turn up unsuccessful and then she tags Indi back in. The Way tries to charge at Io in the corner but she is ready for them as she knocks Candice out of the ring and then comes off the top with a dropkick to Indi for a 2 count. Io tags in Zoey and they hit Indi with a double suplex and moments later Zoey gets Indi in a backslide for a 2 count. Indi ducks a spin kick from Zoey only to be hit with a thrust kick. Zoey charges at Indi in the corner and looks to have gotten caught in a fireman’s carry but Zoey elbows out only to walk into a back elbow from Indi which knocks her silly and allows Indi to hit her with a front suplex onto the top rope causing Zoey to fall to the floor.
Indi has Zoey grounded with a top wrist lock as we come back from a commercial, Zoey arm drags her way out of the hold and then tries to jump toward Io to make a tag but Indi catches her only for Zoey to catch her with a big spinning kick and now both women are down. We get a brawl in the middle of the ring between Candice and Io until Io hits her with a shoulder block and a flapjack which causes Candice to crawl over to the ropes where Io hits her with the tiger feint kick followed by the springboard dropkick for a 2 count. Io whips Candice into the corner where she hits her with a running back elbow and then tags in Zoey who hits Candice with a running knee in the corner and that is followed by a double knee attack by Io. Io lifts Candice up in a double underhook and after a kick from Zoey, she hits Candice with a backbreaker. Zoey calls for the finish and she hits Candice with a sliding knee but somehow Candice kicks out at the very last second. Zoey tags Io back in and she goes for the moonsault but there is no water in the pool as Io crashes to the mat and this allows Candice to lock in the Gargano Escape and when Zoey tries to come in she is cut off by Indi who hits her with a uranage and locks in the Silencer (which is the finisher of Dexter Lumis), Io rolls back into a pin and Indi quickly breaks her hold on Zoey in order to break up the pin.
Candice goes to pick up Io but is hit with the big uppercut and then goes up top once again but a distraction from Indi allows Candice to get to her feet and she hits Io with a German suplex off the middle rope for a 2 count when Zoey breaks up the pin. Indi takes Zoey out with a boot to the face and runs back over to the corner so Candice can make a tag. Indi lifts up Io and spins her around before hitting a back suplex while Candice dropkicks Zoey to the floor. Candice is tagged back into the match only to walk into a small package from Io for a 2 count and then she kicks Io in the face before tagging Indi back into the match. The lights then go out and the charger finally hits 100% as the CWC turns green and when the lights come back on we see Tegan Nox at the top of the ramp in her best oversized flannel shirt. Candice is scared to death and this allows Io to hit The Way with a running dropkick which sends Candice to the outside and then Io tags in Zoey who hits Indi with her 360 GTS for the pin and we have new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions.
After the match, Tegan walks down the ramp, and during her walk she transitions from wearing the flannel as a shirt to having it around her waist in her best Raven cosplay and I actually wouldn’t mind if Tegan’s gimmick had to do with her being a fan of 90s grunge music. Tegan goes after Candice on the floor and then she throws her into the ring where she continues her attack until Candice is finally able to bail and run to the back with Tegan right behind her. We would also see footage later on of after the match as Indi was laid out she was picked up and carried to the back by Dexter Lumis, which of course means that Index is still a thing.
I enjoyed this match quite a bit as I am a fan of all four of these women especially Zoey who I am very high on and believe will be women’s champion by this time next year as she has so much going for her and is going to be such a star for this company if they allow her to be and I am happy to see her win some gold so early in her NXT career. It’s also nice to see bionic woman Tegan Nox make her return and hopefully this time she can have the run that she and all of her fans want her to have because she deserves it after everything she has been through in the past few years. I look forward to the Tegan vs Candice feud as I’m sure we are going to get some really good matches from the two of them and I am guessing those could be our two captains for the women’s WarGames match for this year.
We get an interview with Toni Storm who is upset that Raquel Gonzalez is focused on Shotzi Blackheart when she should be focused on her and then says Raquel knows if she steps into the ring with her she will lose her championship. When asked about Sarray’s request to face her she declines the request because she didn’t like how Sarray used her as an example of someone she would like to face as she isn’t an example she is the exception to any rule. Toni says Sarray may have been a big deal in Japan, but it was after she left, and says Sarray is not on her level.
We get a very lengthy rap performance from Hit Row as they celebrate Swerve’s championship win over Bronson Reed last week. I am not that big of a rap fan but this was pretty damn entertaining and Swerve is just as good at spitting as he is wrestling. I get that Hit Row are heels but the crowd inside the CWC were dead for this performance and were completely still in their seats which is a shame as had they gotten into it this could’ve been an all-time great segment in NXT. If I wasn’t on the Hit Row bandwagon before I definitely am after this.
It’s now time for our main event as Adam Cole takes on Kyle O’Reilly.
We get a feeling out process which turns into a test of strength that goes down to the mat until they eventually break and both men get back to their feet. Cole blocks O’Reilly from going for his arm as he backs him into the ropes and then O’Reilly goes for a kick but Cole ducks and bails to the outside. Cole tries for a sunset flip but O’Reilly changes position as he looks to lock in an armbar, but once he realizes he can’t get Cole to break his grip he transitions into an ankle lock but Cole reaches the ropes and as he does O’Reilly drops a knee onto the outstretched arm of Cole. O’Reilly targets the arm of Cole as he puts Cole in a hammerlock and drives elbows and knees into it. Cole tries to fight away from O’Reilly, but when he runs to the ropes he gets caught with a kick to the chest and this sends Cole out to the floor. Cole tries to hit a one-legged enziguri to O’Reilly who is still in the ring but O’Reilly dodges it and then tries to come off the apron with a diving knee but Cole sidesteps him and connects with a spinning neckbreaker on the floor. The match goes back to the ring and Cole nails a kick to the head of O’Reilly for a 2 count. Cole sends O’Reilly hard into the corner sternum first and then grounds O’Reilly with a headscissors but eventually breaks it when he sees O’Reilly won’t give up. Cole lifts O’Reilly in a fireman’s carry but O’Reilly elbows out and hits Cole with a kitchen sink. O’Reilly hits a brutal strike combination and follows up with a series of rolling underhook suplexes for a 2 count.
O’Reilly hits a shin breaker and then ducks an enziguri only to miss a kick and get hit with a backstabber for a 2 count. Cole stops attacking O’Reilly just so he can talk some trash which allows O’Reilly to recover and drive Cole into the corner where he hits rapid-fire punches to the gut and then goes for punches in the corner, but Cole slips out and kicks O’Reilly’s legs out from under him causing him to fall to the mat and then he repeatedly wraps O’Reilly’s leg around the ring post. We go to a picture in picture commercial break as Cole continues his attack on the leg of O’Reilly as he gets back in the ring he wraps it around the ropes and hits it with a dropkick and he follows that up with a big stomp to the back of the leg. O’Reilly tries to fight back with upkicks but Cole keeps control as he goes back to the leg. We come out of the picture in picture with a strike exchange until Cole takes O’Reilly down with a single leg and looks for a spinning toe hold but O’Reilly pushes him off into the ropes and hits leads to both men hitting a clothesline on each other and we have both men laid out in the middle of the ring.
We get both men trading forearms from their knees and when they get to their feet O’Reilly wins the exchange but as he goes for a discus elbow he is hit with a kick which sends him into the ropes where Cole grabs a hold of the leg before O’Reilly can come back with a rebound lariat. O’Reilly drops to the floor but when he sees Cole going to get out of the ring he grabs the leg and hits Cole with a dragon screw in the ropes. O’Reilly hobbles over to Cole in the ring and tries for a brainbuster but Cole blocks and tries for one of his own but it gets blocked as well. Cole and O’Reilly trade kicks to the injured body parts of their opponent and then Cole catches O’Reilly with a chop block and as O’Reilly gets to his feet he is hit with a running kick by Cole which gets a 2 count.
Cole climbs up to the middle rope looking for the Panama Sunrise but O’Reilly ducks causing Cole to land on the injured leg. O’Reilly goes for another strike combination but Cole jumps over the leg sweep attempt and tries to hit O’Reilly with a kick but O’Reilly catches the leg and hits Cole with a bridging Regal plex for a 2 count. O’Reilly kicks Cole in the leg and then delivers multiple kicks to the head of Cole only for Cole to fire back with forearms until O’Reilly takes him down and tries for the armbar once again and this time he actually locks it in but Cole escapes and looks to go back to the leg only for O’Reilly to catch him in a small package for a 2 count. O’Reilly rolls into a kneebar but Cole counters it into a figure four which O’Reilly eventually escapes from and then he applies a heel hook and just when Cole looks like he may tap he reaches the rope. O’Reilly picks up Cole and grabs the leg but Cole grabs the top rope and when O’Reilly eventually pulls him into the middle of the ring Cole connects with an enziguri only to get caught with a knee and a stomp to the back of the head before dropping Cole with a discus forearm. O’Reilly connects with a penalty kick but he ends up sending himself to the outside and as he slowly gets to his feet Cole comes off the apron with a Panama Sunrise on the floor and once he gets O’Reilly back into the ring he covers him but gets a 2 count when O’Reilly’s foot touches the rope.
Cole looks to set up for the Last Shot, but O’Reilly trips him up and tries to get a heel hook locked in but Cole kicks him off and O’Reilly goes for a kick but Cole ducks and rolls O’Reilly through so he can hit him with a superkick which knocks O’Reilly into the ropes and he comes back with a rebound lariat. O’Reilly is fighting through the pain as he hits Cole with a brainbuster and then goes up top where he looks to hit the knee drop but Cole moves out of the way and when O’Reilly lands he hits him with the Last Shot but somehow O’Reilly is able to kick out. Cole goes up to the middle rope looking for the Panama Sunrise once again, but this time O’Reilly throws him off only for Cole to dodge a running knee in the corner and then he hits O’Reilly with a couple of kicks to the knee. Cole goes up once again and this time when he jumps off he is met with a knee to the chest which hurts O’Reilly more than it does Cole. Cole finally hits O’Reilly with the Panama Sunrise and follows up with the Last Shot to finally put O’Reilly down for the 3 count.
I liked this match a lot more than their unsanctioned match as there weren’t as many spots where it felt like the match should end but it didn’t and it was also nice to see they didn’t go overboard and start spamming their finishers. I really liked the limb work and selling of the injured body parts by both men. I expect we will get the third match between these two at Takeover in August as they each have one win apiece.
I thought this second year of NXT Great American Bash was a big success as we got two really good matches with the men’s tag team championship match as well as the main event which was a lot more tolerable than what I was expecting it to be. We also got the return of Tegan Nox which is just another great addition to the already stacked women’s roster. Finally, we got stuff to look forward to in the coming weeks as we have the breakout tournament starting next week as well as the NXT Championship on the line between Karrion Kross and Johnny Gargano. This was a really fun watch and I look forward to watching NXT next week.
NXT UK Results
- Kenny Williams def Nathan Frazer – ***½
- Mark Andrews w/ Subculture def Lewis Howley w/ Sam Stoker – **¼
- Blair Davenport def Laura DiMatteo – **
- Trent Seven def Eddie Dennis – ***¾
We open the show with Nathan Frazer taking on Kenny Williams.
Williams goes to work on the arm of Frazer in the early portions of the match until Frazer is finally able to escape and he eventually takes Williams down but it doesn’t last for long as Williams backs Frazer into the corner. Frazer gets whipped into the opposite corner but is able to flip out of the way when Williams charges at him and he takes Williams down with a dropkick in the corner and then stomps a mudhole in him. Williams rolls out of the ring and Frazer takes him down with a tope con hilo. Williams goes to work on the leg of Frazer slamming it onto the apron and then he applies a toe hold but Frazer kicks him off and tries a couple of pinning combinations but Williams continues to kick out. Williams ducks an enziguri and when Frazer tries to slide behind him he catches him with a kick to the face for a 2 count.
Williams torques on the knee and then tries to hit it with a knee drop but Frazer moves out of the way and hops around as he hits Williams with punches and then hits a twisting suplex, but is unable to make a cover due to his knee being worked over. Frazer tries to whip Williams into the ropes, but he blocks and then he pulls Frazer in and he goes flying out to the apron where he tries to go for a springboard dropkick but his leg causes him to think twice as he drops back down to the apron but then he successfully hits a springboard dropkick with one leg which gets a 2 count.
Frazer tries for the Final Cut but Williams throws him off and he lands right on the bad leg which allows Williams time to hit him with a wheelbarrow facebuster for a 2 count. Frazer catches Williams with a surprise rollup but only gets a 2 count and then goes for the springboard moonsault but Williams sidesteps and delivers a boot only for Frazer to come back with an enziguri which causes Williams to rebound off the ropes and that is when Frazer hits him with the Final Cut. Frazer slowly crawls over and heads up top but Williams rolls out to the apron to avoid the Frog Splash. Frazer grabs WIlliams on the apron but Williams kicks him away and removes one of the paddings off the turnbuckle and he pulls Frazer into the exposed buckle and hits the Headlock Driver to pick up the win.
I thought this was a good match and from what I can remember it was the first match from Frazer where he wasn’t able to flip around the entire match as it was more focused on him selling the leg and he did a superb job with his selling. Williams was good in the match as well and I liked the finish with him using the exposed buckle in order to help pick up the win.
We get a replay of the finish of the Jordan Devlin vs A-Kid match from last week when Devlin injured the knee of A-Kid.
We then get another backstage interaction between Rampage Brown and Joe Coffey where they go into Sid Scala’s office but they kick the cameraman out of the office.
We get a video of Meiko Satomura talking about her title win and then we see Amale talking about how she is looking to take advantage of the opportunity that is being given to her and how she will beat Meiko Satomura.
Up next it’s Mark Andrews taking on Lewis Howley of Pretty Deadly and if Andrews wins then Subculture gets a tag title shot. I have to mention that Sam Stoker is wearing a shirt that has pictures of the NXT UK Tag Team Championship all over it.
Andrews is taken down with a shoulder block after he pushes Howley into the ropes and then we get a drop-down and leapfrog spot which leads to Howley hitting Andrews with a hip toss. Andrews cartwheels out of an arm wrench and hits Howley with an arm drag but Howley is able to send him into the corner where Andrews jumps up and over Howley and tries for another arm drag, but Howley blocks it so Andrews spins around his body in order to hit the arm drag. Howley sends Andrews into the ropes, but Andrews hits Howley with a wheelbarrow bulldog for a 2 count. Howley tries to lift Andrews but he slides out the back and pushes Howley into the corner where he floats over to the apron and then he gets cocky as he begins to strut on the apron so Andrews knocks him to the floor with a dropkick and then follows up with a tope suicida. Andrews throws Howley back in the ring but then gets distracted by Sam Stoker and this gives Howley time to recover and as Andrews gets back up on the apron Howley sends him shoulder-first into the ring post.
As Andrews rolls back in the ring Howley takes him down with a clothesline and then he hits a big leg drop for a 2 count. Andrews tries to fight back but Howley beats him down and tries for an uppercut but Andrews catches him with a backslide for a 2 count. Howley ducks his head too early after sending Andrews into the ropes and ends up paying for it and then Andrews hits a crazy tilt-a-whirl into a crossbody and as Howley goes to pick up Andrews he hits him with a jawbreaker and then he hits him with a dropkick which sends Howley over the top to the floor. Howley sidesteps a baseball slide and sends Andrews into the barricade and then he throws Andrews back into the ring where he applies a chinlock and when Andrews starts to fight out he shoves him into the corner but runs into a boot, Andrews starts to climb up but is cut off and Andrews joins him looking for a back suplex, but Andrews blocks and elbows Howley off the top, Andrews tries for a moonsault but gets caught only for Andrews to turn it into a satellite DDT and both men are down.
Once both men get to their feet Andrew fires away with chops and forearms and then he slides under a clothesline and hits Howley with an enziguri and then hits him with a code red for a very close 2 count. Howley throws Andrews out to the apron where he ends up getting kicked in the head and is hit with a springboard hurricanrana which brings Stoker up to the apron to serve as a distraction and this brings out Subculture who pull Stoker off the apron and Dani Luna hits him with an Attitude Adjustment on the floor. Howley is distracted about everything happening on the outside and Andrews rolls him up in a schoolboy for a 2 count. Howley blocks another satellite DDT attempt by Andrews but that doesn’t stop Andrews as he hits Howley with the Stundog Millionaire. Andrews hits Howley with the Shooting Star Press to pick up the win.
This match was ok but if it weren’t for Andrews I doubt it would’ve been as good as it was as he was the one who shined in the match. Howley did everything technically right in the match but nothing he did was flashy or stood out and that is one reason why I can’t get behind Pretty Deadly as a team as they just seem very bland in terms of their in-ring work but at least they make up for that somewhat in the character department as they are good at being annoying heels.
We go to the UK PC where Jack Starz is talking with James Mason about his loss last week when Dave Mastiff comes up and reminds Starz he is the gatekeeper of NXT UK and then gets mad at the cameraman for being there.
Tyler Bate is interviewed about what Mark Coffey did last week after his match and Bate understands that Coffey and Wolfgang are having a fun game of tit for tat with each other so if Coffey wants a match he can have it.
It’s now time for a big debut as Laura Di Matteo takes on Blair Davenport fka Bea Priestley and I was surprised to see her debut as I didn’t remember them announcing that she would be debuting this week. Green lighting seems to be a thing this week as after Tegan’s return with green light we get Blair’s entrance that also has a lot of green light.
Blair powers Laura down to the mat while in a lockup and then she yanks away at the arm of Laura before slamming her to the mat. Laura reverses a whip attempt and hits Blair with a big clothesline and follows up with a running forearm in the corner. Blair is sent into the opposite corner but catches a charging Laura with a boot and then she comes off the middle rope with a double stomp to a bent over Laura for a 2 count. Blair hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Laura blocks a suplex attempt so Blair beats her down with clubbing blows before sending her to the ropes, but Laura ducks a clothesline and hits Blair with a DDT. Blair blocks a whip attempt and hits an enziguri and then she shows off her agility as she jumps up to the top rope and comes off with a dropkick. Blair connects with a running knee to Laura who is up against the middle rope and then she finishes the match by hitting Laura with the Kamigoye for the win. After the match, Blair announces her arrival and gives a warning to the entire locker room as they have not seen anyone who wrestles like her.
I have never really seen Blair in action although I have read and heard a lot about how good she is and if this debut is any indication she is just as good as people say. I love the fact that she uses the Kamigoye as a finisher as that is one of my favorite moves so it will be nice to finally see someone within WWE use it. I really like Blair as not only is she a badass in the ring but she has a really great entrance and presence as well.
We get a video hyping up a match between Jinny and Aoife Valkyrie that is happening sometime soon. We also get a video of Teoman and Rohan Raja at the dinner table and all that comes of this video is that we found out that Teoman and Raja will take on Ashton Smith and Oliver Carter next week,
We go to Sid Scala who tells us that in 2 weeks will have the rematch everyone has been waiting for as Walter will defend his NXT UK Championship against Ilja Dragunov. I guess they aren’t waiting until fans are back to have this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they book the match to where Dragunov wins by DQ or Count-Out so he can have a win over Walter but not win the title that way they can save the big rubber match for when fans do come back, I wouldn’t be shocked if that is when Walter is finally dethroned and Ilja Dragunov becomes the new NXT UK Champion.
It’s main event time as Trent Seven takes on Eddie Dennis.
Seven throws his shirt at Dennis and then goes right after him with punches and chops until Dennis takes him down with a headlock takeover, Seven slams Dennis and hits him with a leg drop which sends Dennis rolling to the floor for a breather only to be hit with a tope through the middle and bottom rope and both men crash into the barricade. Seven thinks he has thrown Dennis back in the ring but he comes back and clotheslines Seven into the barricade. The match goes back in the ring and Dennis hits a swinging sidewalk slam for a 2 count. Seven blocks a powerbomb attempt and comes back with chops before faking a chop and going for a DDT which Dennis tries to prevent at first but Seven is eventually able to plant Dennis on his head. Both men are slow to get to their feet but when they do Seven goes for a dragon suplex which is blocked so he goes for a ripcord but Dennis connects with a boot and then slams Seven to the mat for a 2 count. Dennis locks in a cravate but Seven fights out and we get a strike exchange until Seven sidesteps an uppercut and hits Dennis with the snap dragon suplex followed by a Emerald Flowsion for a 2 count.
Seven gets to his feet and goes up top where he attempts a corkscrew senton but Dennis rolls out of the way and then Dennis goes up top be he ends up getting cut off and Seven joins him up top, but Dennis clubs Seven and then climbs down so that he can hit Seven with the Severn Bridge and then he hits a second Severn Bridge into the corner and as he bounces out of the corner Dennis goes for a clothesline but Seven ducks and hits a dragon suplex only to run into a clothesline moments later and both men are spent as they are laid out on the mat. We get a strike exchange as both men work their way up from their knees to their feet and then Seven hits a superkick which causes Dennis to bounce off the ropes and he spins around into a couple of hard chops from Seven and then Dennis blocks a backhand and goes for the Last Stop Driver but Seven slides out the back and hits the Seven Star Lariat for a very close 2 count.
Seven lifts Dennis for the Birminghammer but Dennis grabs the rope to block it so he lets Dennis down and walks into a boot and by this time they are having to lean on each other in order to stay on their feet. Primate and T-Bone come out as their leader sets Seven up top where he looks for a suplex, but Seven reverses it into an Emerald Flowsion off the top which would’ve gotten him a win but T-Bone puts Dennis’s leg on the rope. T-Bone and Primate pull Dennis out of the ring but Seven takes them down with a tope suicida and then he throws Dennis back in the ring but Primate gets on the apron only to get knocked off and Dennis tries to take advantage with a schoolboy, but Seven kicks out. Seven hits Dennis with a backfist and then he hits the Birminghammer for the win.
After the match, Symbiosis attacks Seven but Tyler Bate runs out to make the save and Moustache Mountain clears the ring. Bate pulls out a set of nunchucks and for some reason, Primate thinks it’s a good idea to get back in the ring and he gets hit in the gut with the nunchucks. The show goes off the air with Moustache Mountain standing tall.
This was a much better match than I expected it to be as both men beat the crap out of each other and the top rope Emerald Flowsion was a nice surprise. Bate coming out with the nunchucks felt so random but I thought it was a nice touch and hopefully, this becomes a recurring thing we see from Bate.
This was a good episode of NXT UK as I enjoyed the Frazer vs Williams match and the main event quite a bit and I also thought Blair Davenport had a good showing in her debut match. I am absolutely looking forward to Walter vs Dragunov II in a couple of weeks as I’m sure their match will be just as good if not better than their first.
- King Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs def Baron Corbin (Money in the Bank Qualifying Match) – **½
- Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox def Natalya & Tamina – **
- Seth Rollins def Cesaro (Money in the Bank Qualifying Match) – ***¼
The last SmackDown of the Thunderdome era starts out with a video recapping Edge’s attack on Jimmy Uso last week. We then go live to Jimmy Uso who looks to go into the locker room of Roman Reigns but Paul Heyman stops him and lets him know that Reigns has something else he has to take care of right this moment but he will give Jimmy his undivided attention later.
Reigns comes out to the ring and he has an issue with what Edge said last week about him being in the head of Reigns and Reigns says he is an honest man so he will admit that maybe for 20-30 seconds when Edge had him down in the crossface he was scared, but he used that as fuel to push through and in the end, he smashed, stacked, and pinned both Edge and Bryan at WrestleMania. Reigns warns Edge to never say he is in his head because that is not going to happen and the only reason he got the best of him a few weeks ago is that he had his focus on some family business.
Jimmy Uso comes out wanting to know where Reigns was last week as he was out there for them but he guesses that Reins was off taking a vacation. Reigns wants to know when he told Jimmy to do anything for “us” and furthermore if anyone deserves a vacation it is him, but he wasn’t on vacation he was busy doing what Jimmy couldn’t do. Jey Uso walks out making his return to SmackDown and he tells Jimmy that he always has his back and they may be going through some hard times right now but he should keep his head up and it’s time for the Usos to get back to doing what they do and become tag team champions once again. Reigns says this is all he ever wanted for the three of them to be together on the same page and if they are united there is nobody who can touch them, the Usos and Reigns embrace to bring the segment to an end. So I guess they are not going to do anything to Jimmy for the DUI as far as making him take time off to get some help because of course a wrestling storyline is way more important and always comes before the well-being of one of their talents.
Corbin is interviewed and he talks about all the bad things that have happened to him recently since he lost his crown with the most recent thing being that he is starting to get phone calls about foreclosure on his home. Corbin says he really needs to win Money in the Bank as that is the only thing that can help him turn his life back around and get him back up on his feet. Corbin then makes his way to the ring in silence as his music has been taken away from him.
Baron Corbin vs King Nakamura in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match kicks off tonight’s action and as an added bonus Big E will be on commentary during the match. Big E (who is wearing a Bayley shirt) has his couch and foot bath like always and this time he is joined by Pat McAfee who also has a foot bath and will be commentating the match using the mic rather than wearing the headset. We also see before the match that Nakamura has bought Corbin’s car that was repossessed last week as he and Rick Boogs arrived at the Thunderdome in it earlier in the day. We get our weekly McAfee mark out moment with him rocking out to Nakamura and Boogs while standing in the foot bath. Most of the jokes throughout the match are Big E and McAfee making fun of Corbin’s hairline. This was pretty much like every Corbin vs Nakamura match we have seen over the past month and in the end, Nakamura picks up the win after a Kinshasa to qualify for the Money in the Bank. The losing streak of Corbin continues and hopefully, we are closer to a full face turn for the Lone Wolf.
The Usos are backstage and we see that Jey has brought his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal back with him which has to be a record for the longest time after WrestleMania that we have seen that trophy. The Usos leave to go take care of Edge before Reigns even has to ask them to and later in the night we see them outside of Edge’s locker room and even though Jey wants them to wait on Edge to come out before they attack Jimmy gets impatient and storms into the locker room, but Edge is not there.
Natalya and Tamina come out and they are set to face a mystery team in a non-title match which they are not happy about. We then get the debut of both Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox or as I guess they will now be known as Shotzi & Nox because nobody is allowed to keep their full name even if they are cool and unique names, but at least Shotzi got to keep her tank with the rocket gun. This was a fine match to showcase Shotzi and Nox and they end up getting the win after Shotzi hits Natalya with the senton for the pinfall. Talk about a great week, that is what Nox had as she made her big return just three days prior and she is immediately thrown on the main roster which means that her streak of bad luck and having numerous injuries isn’t being held against her and they don’t see her as being too injury prone. I do wonder if we are going to get Nox doing double duty for a while between SmackDown and NXT as it seemed like after Tuesday she was set to feud with Candice LeRae who was the one that kayfabe put her out of action, I could see her doing double duty until the Takeover on SummerSlam weekend as they can blow off the Nox vs Candice feud there.
As for Shotzi I am super hyped that she got called up as I am a huge fan of hers as she is so much fun to watch whether it be in the ring or cutting promos as she has so much charisma and her personality makes it to where you can’t help but love her. I do wonder what is next for Ember Moon now that her tag partner is gone, honestly, if I had my choice I would’ve brought Shotzi and Ember up together as a team (and brought Nox up on her own) seeing as they work so well with each other, but this could’ve been a case where Ember didn’t want to go back to the main roster just yet seeing how her first stint on the main roster went. Congratulations to Shotzi and Nox for their debut on SmackDown, hopefully, they can breathe some new life into the women’s tag division as it has been on life support for the past month.
Sonya Deville comes to the ring as she will be naming the replacement for the injured Bayley who was supposed to face Bianca Belair at Money in the Bank in an I Quit Match, but due to a freak accident during training Bayley injured her knee and will be out for the next 9 months. Before naming a replacement Sonya throws to a video of Bayley where she blames the fans for the injury. Sonya then tells us that Bianca will not be defending her championship at Money in the Bank rather she will defend it next week on the first SmackDown with fans and her opponent will be Carmella. Carmella comes out and puts herself over and this brings out Liv Morgan who is not happy about Carmella once again being favored and given an opportunity, Liv starts to corner Sonya and is starting to raise her voice until Sonya tells her to shut her mouth. Sonya says that Liv didn’t let her finish as she is going to give Carmella’s spot in the Money in the Bank match to Liv and then tells Liv she has 30 seconds to leave the ring, but instead Liv tells Carmella that she hopes she wins the title next week because when she cashes in Money in the Bank she wants to cash it in on Carmella. As Liv goes to leave out comes Bianca who is fine with Carmella being Bayley’s replacement but she says that if Bayley is faking this injury then shame on her but if it is legit then she respects her competitiveness and looks forward to finishing things between them when Bayley returns.
I am completely fine with Carmella being the replacement for Bayley as I knew there weren’t many options to go with and the only other thing they could’ve done is bring in Sasha, but I think they want to save that for SummerSlam so putting Carmella in that spot for a one-off title match is fine and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sasha returns after the match to set up Sasha vs Bianca II for SummerSlam. I am glad that we finally have Liv confirmed for Money in the Bank even though her inclusion came at no surprise seeing as they have been building it up for the past month and as of right now she is the frontrunner to win the match as she is the only one who really has a story going into the match where it would make sense for her to win. Going into next week we still have two spots left for the women of SmackDown and it’s funny how a few weeks ago I didn’t know where they were going to find four women, but now I think there are at least six options they could go with to fill those last two spots and of the options listed below I hope that #4 & #5 come true as both Toni and Becky would be fantastic additions to an already stacked lineup for Money in the Bank. The options are:
Option 1: Sonya puts Carmella back in the match after she loses to Bianca,
Options 2 & 3: Shotzi and Nox if they don’t do a women’s tag title match on the show.
Option 4: Toni Storm is coming to SmackDown so why not put her in the match.
Option 5: Becky Lynch returns to be in the match which would get a big pop out of the returning live crowd.
Option 6: The least likely of the options would be that Sonya puts herself in the match.
Up next, we get Seth Rollins vs Cesaro in the final Money in the Bank qualifying match for the men, and during this match, Kevin Owens would be on commentary. Cesaro and Rollins got a good bit of time as they went almost 20 minutes and we even got some blood in this match as Cesaro is busted open after being sent into an exposed turnbuckle and in the end, Rollins hits the Curb Stomp to pick up the win and to qualify for Money in the Bank match. This is such a bummer as I was really wanting to see Cesaro in the match as he would’ve been a favorite to win seeing as he has been given somewhat of a push this year, but I guess now that this feud with Rollins is finished so is the push for Cesaro. I will say that the only good thing about Cesaro not qualifying is that I can put my full attention on rooting for Big E to win the match.
Seth Rollins is celebrating his victory and talking about how he is going to become a 2x Money in the Bank winner and how he plans to cash it in when Edge walks up and makes a vague callback about when Rollins stomped his head in back in 2014 when Rollins was trying to make Cena bring back The Authority. Edge says that the difference between the two of them is that Rollins whines about not getting title shots whereas he goes out and takes them. This was a nice first interaction between Rollins and Edge which is most likely leading to a match between the two at SummerSlam.
We get our weekly Alpha Academy segment that happens right before the main event and this week Gable just cuts a promo backstage about Otis being a human wrecking ball and with that, I will refrain from making a Miley Cyrus joke.
Edge comes to the ring and calls out Roman Reigns and says he doesn’t care how many family members are with Reigns he is going to take the title at Money in the Bank and leave anyone who gets in his way looking like Reigns and Jimmy Uso did when he was choking them with the part of the chair. We cut to the back where Reigns is watching, Reigns gets up and tells the Usos to stay put as he is going to handle this on his own. As Reigns takes his time to get to the ring we cut back to see The Usos who don’t like the look of things and decide to go out anyway and when they show up Reigns berates them for disobeying him. Reigns gets in the ring and we get a brawl and just as the Usos start to come in we get the return of the Mysterios as they fight off the Usos using chairs.
The Usos make an opening so they can help Reigns but that comes to a halt as the Mysterios are right back on their feet and Dominik hits both of them with the 619. As all of the chaos is going on with the Mysterios and the Usos we see that Reigns has gotten away as he stands at the top of the ramp recovering from the beating he just took. Edge puts the crossface on Jey Uso since he is the only one of the family Edge hasn’t put it on yet. As the show starts to come to a close Edge switches back and forth between putting the crossface on Jey and Jimmy as the Mysterios hold them down and that is how the final SmackDown inside the Thunderdome comes to an end.
This was a great closing segment as it was nice to see that Edge had some backup of his own to deal with The Usos so that he can put all of his attention on Reigns. I have to say that seeing Edge and Rey back on the same side brings back fond memories of the fall of 2002 when the SmackDown six were stealing the show every week.
Well, that’s it the last SmackDown of the Thunderdome era is in the books and I look forward to next Friday when the fans are back in the arena as I feel we might get a couple of surprises for the go-home show to Money in the Bank.
In the News
TMZ Sports is reporting that on Monday night Jimmy Uso was unfortunately arrested for a DUI in Pensacola, FL after he was stopped around 10:35 PM after he was driving 50 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. Once pulled over officers smelled alcohol and once Uso stepped out of his vehicle he was unsteady. Uso would admit to drinking several beers before getting behind the wheel and would go on to fail a field sobriety test. After taking a breathalyzer it was determined that Uso’s blood alcohol levels were .202 and .205 and the legal blood alcohol limit for Florida is .08. Uso was released from jail Tuesday morning at 9 AM after posting a $500 bond.
In an update to the story Fightful Select reports that there is a unanimous concern for the safety of Uso across the board in WWE as talent, staff, and management are both frustrated and disappointed but above all are worried for his well being This is the third DUI Uso has been arrested for as in 2019 he was arrested twice, the first occurred in Detroit, MI and also included a disorderly conduct and obstruction charge and the second also took place in Pensacola, FL five months after the arrest.
It is clear that Jimmy Uso has a problem that he needs to seriously get help for as there should be no reason why he should be choosing to drive while being intoxicated given there are numerous other ways to get around including family, friends, Uber, Lyft, etc I really hope Uso gets help before he does this once again and something tragic ends up happening that completely ruins his life and possibly someone else’s. Wrestlevotes over on Twitter posted today that he had spoken with two of his sources and they say those higher up in WWE are extremely disappointed and legitimately pissed off over his arrest and say getting caught this many times is no longer a case of a bad mistake or bad luck its lack of judgment. It looks like the big singles push Uso was getting during this Roman Reigns story could be coming to an abrupt end. With WWE being so willing to release people right now it wouldn’t be the biggest shocker if he were one of the people on the next list of people they release.
In more unfortunate news it was reported on Friday by WWE that during a training session Bayley was severely injured and is likely to miss nine months of action. A replacement opponent will be named to face Bianca Belair next Sunday at Money in the Bank for the SmackDown Women’s Championship as Bayley was scheduled to face Bianca in an I Quit Match. This situation really sucks as Bayley was one of the MVPs of the Pandemic era of WWE and now just one week before fans return and WWE goes back on the road she is out of action for the foreseeable future. I have to imagine the only suitable replacement would be Sasha as there is nobody else credible enough to challenge for the title right now.
WWE has announced that the July 23 episode of SmackDown will be simulcast from both the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH as well as the Rolling Loud festival in Miami, FL. Rolling Loud is the world’s biggest rap festival and this year WWE will share the same stage as headliners of the festival which include Travis Scott, Post Malone, & A$AP Rocky. To read the entire press release you can check out this article.
The latest on the return of Brock Lesnar is that WWE is trying to convince him to work the house shows and his return most likely won’t occur until after SummerSlam.
Stephanie McMahon spoke with Variety and confirmed that WWE will be undergoing major production changes for the fans to enjoy once they return to live audiences. These changes include new set designs, a new presentation of the talent, different locations, and arena setups. She also states that they will be using augmented reality in ways they never have before including the entrances of the superstars and in addition to the augmented reality she states there will also be animated graphics.
WWE is expected to return to doing their shows in Saudi Arabia by the end of the year
Variety is reporting that John Cena is scheduled to start filming a movie called Argyle starting in August and the filming will take place in Europe which means that if WWE is planning on doing Cena vs Reigns at SummerSlam his availability to promote the match could be limited.
Congratulations to Dana Brooke on her recent engagement to boxer Ulysses Diaz.
Coming up this Week
- Bobby Lashley vs Xavier Woods
- Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Ash vs Naomi vs Asuka
- Sheamus © vs Humberto Carrillo (WWE United States Championship)
- John Morrison vs Ricochet (Falls Count Anywhere Match)
- Omos vs Erik
- AJ Styles vs Ivar
- Karrion Kross © vs Johnny Gargano (NXT Championship)
- Ikeman Jiro vs Duke Hudson (NXT Breakout Superstar Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Teoman & Rohan Raja vs Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter
- The return of the live audience
- Roman Reigns & The Usos vs Edge & The Mysterios
- Bianca Belair © vs Carmella (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
- Seth Rollins vs Big E vs Kevin Owens vs King Nakamura
As always if you have any feedback to give whether it be positive or negative please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MTW3589.