- Big E def Baron Corbin (Pre Show Match) – **
- RK-Bro def AJ Styles & Omos © (Raw Tag Team Championship) – **½
- Alexa Bliss def Eva Marie w/ Doudrop – *1/4
- Damian Priest def Sheamus © (WWE United States Championship) – ***¼
- The Usos © def The Mysterios (SmackDown Tag Team Championship) – **¾
- Bianca Belair © def Becky Lynch (SmackDown Women’s Championship) – ½*
- Drew McIntyre def Jinder Mahal – **
- Charlotte Flair def Nikki A.S.H. © & Rhea Ripley (Raw Women’s Championship) – ***½
- Edge def Seth Rollins – ****½
- Bobby Lashley © w/ MVP def Goldberg (WWE Championship) – **
- Roman Reigns © w/ Paul Heyman def John Cena (WWE Universal Championship) – ****¼
I didn’t get to see all of the pre-show match, but what I did see was pretty good and I’m glad to see that Big E got his Money in the Bank briefcase back as we did not need Corbin cashing it in and losing once again.
The Raw Tag Team Championship match was a good choice for an opener and the title win by RK-Bro was a nice feel-good moment to start out the show. It’s nice to see that Orton is now fully on board with RK-Bro as he was all smiles after the match.
I was glad to see that they didn’t do anything too crazy in the Alexa vs Eva Marie match as it was kept short and the involvement of Lilly didn’t get ridiculous as we have seen in the past. It felt like this match was used to start the Eva and Doudrop split rather than to progress anything having to do with Alexa Bliss. I really liked Doudrop’s involvement in the match as she let Eva fight her own battle while coaching her from ringside just like Eva has done to her the entire time, the post-match shenanigans with Doudrop mocking Eva and walking to the back in her robe were great as well. I think we could get Doudrop completely dropping Eva and letting everyone know her name is Piper Niven very soon. I must mention that when Eva’s music hit the majority of people in the theater left for a piss break which made me chuckle because this was one of the matches I was most looking forward to seeing as I am a fan of both women.
Sheamus vs Priest was our first really good match of the night which I expected it to be as both men are great workers. I was glad to see Priest finally win some main roster gold and hopefully, this means he can finally get away from feuding with Miz and Morrison.
Next, we saw the Usos retain their SmackDown Tag Team Championship against the Mysterios and while this was a good match it didn’t feel like anything more than what we have seen from them on weekly TV over the past month. I did find it strange that they decided to make Eddie Guerrero’s three amigos a focal point in the match and Usos even used it to get heat at one point, I don’t know why they decided to go with that all of these years later. The people in the theater got a kick out of The Usos trash talk while they were in control. Since Rey took the pin once again this could lead to Dominik finally getting enough of his dad lecturing him before every match when Rey is the reason they keep losing and that is the reason for Dominik to finally turn on his father.
Since I actually watched the Eva vs Alexa match I had to find the opportunity to take my own bathroom break and I chose the Drew McIntyre vs Jinder Mahal match as I was expecting it to go a decent amount of time and I could find a better way to spend my time than watching Jinder wrestle, but much to my surprise, by the time I came back the match was over as it was much shorter than I expected it to be. I did decide to watch the match back once I saw that it was less than five minutes and it wasn’t plodding like I expected it to be and while it wasn’t bad there was nothing about it that made it PPV worthy as this felt like any random match on any episode of Raw.
Before I get into the big five matches I will touch on a few other things that happened in between the matches. I like that they used Mario Lopez and Tiffany Haddish as backstage interviewers (even though Tiffany called the United States Championship the National Championship) as I would rather have celebrities in small roles like this rather than in a 10-15 segment, speaking of celebrities wasn’t there supposed to be a DJ performance during the show or maybe that was just for the crowd in attendance to listen to.
I thought the segment with Nakamura and Boogs was fun just for the sheer fact that we got to see Pat McAfee jam out which never fails to get a laugh out of me. Pat McAfee was by far the MVP announcer of the night as his one-liners connected for me and none of them made me roll my eyes (like I do with Jerry Lawler) and his jokes were well placed and never felt out of place or like they were taking away from what was happening in the ring. I could’ve done without the Miz & Morrison getting soaked by water segment although I was amused by Xavier Woods’ cosplay of Scott Hall and was disappointed when Kofi Kingston didn’t show up as Kevin Nash.
We got the official announcement of WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia on October 21 for Crown Jewel which is whatever, but in happier news, we got the announcement that next year’s Money in the Bank will take place in Las Vegas and for the first time will be held inside a stadium which will be pretty cool as it’s time that it got the same treatment as SummerSlam. Rumble, & WrestleMania seeing as it has become WWE’s fourth-biggest show of the year surpassing Survivor Series.
One of the things I was most looking forward to outside of the matches themselves was the promised info and footage for WWE 2K22 and we got just that with a sneak peek showing off the new character models which look a hundred times better than what we got in 2K20, however, we are going to have to wait just a little bit longer than usual before we can get our hands on it as it is being pushed back to March of 2022 rather than the fall of 2021 like we expected. While it is a bummer that we have to wait 4-5 months longer than usual I am fine with that as it gives them time to work out every single kink and flaw the game may have and hopefully, after being given two years to work on the game it ends up being the very best WWE game has ever released.
It’s now time to get into the meat of the show with the matches that left me with a lot more thoughts both positive and negative.
My pick for match of the night was the Edge vs Seth Rollins match as they put on one hell of a show and had everyone going crazy in the theater as they bit for all of the near falls toward the end and when Edge finally picked up the win the room erupted in cheers and even my dad who was with me said it was a good match which he rarely does (because most of the time by this time of night he has knocked out asleep, but he did stay up for the entirety of this show). I loved that they continued the whole Brood thing from SmackDown by having Edge come out with the music and the fire surrounding him as that was the cherry on top of the sundae that was the match itself. I thought the match was very well worked with Rollins going to work on Edge’s neck while Edge had to resort to hitting big moves that Rollins wouldn’t expect in order to weaken Rollins (including the Glam Slam which popped me as I didn’t expect him to use his wife’s finisher) and then he finally had to resort to almost choking Rollins out in order to finally pick up the win. I have nothing negative to say about this match as it was fantastic.
Given what happened in the SmackDown Women’s Championship match my interest in this match was lessened further than it was going into it because the big surprise factor for after the match was gone, but with that said I thought all three women did a really good job in the match and this may have been Nikki’s best match since her Last Woman Standing match against Asuka way back in 2017. While I know people will complain about Charlotte winning the title once again it doesn’t bother me this time as I feel like she is the best choice right now out of the three women who were in the match, we saw that Rhea’s reign as champion was somewhat of a letdown and as I have said many times before I don’t think the Nikki A.S.H. character needs the title as I just don’t feel that gimmick works in the main title story so that leaves Charlotte with the only choice to go with.
While I don’t have a problem with Charlotte as champion I am worried about where we go from here as we need to shift away from Charlotte vs Rhea or Nikki and have a new feud for Charlotte, but I don’t know who that is as they haven’t built anyone else up as a potential challenger. I think the best scenario would be to quickly heat Shayna Baszler back up as a singles wrestler and let her finally have that dominant run on her own, but I don’t know if Vince sees her as a major player to contend for the Women’s Championship and furthermore we haven’t seen her on TV in weeks, so who knows what is up with her for all we know they could release her tomorrow. The other possibility would be for an Alexa vs Charlotte feud but then we get into another Nikki situation where the current Alexa character doesn’t really need to contend for a title nor would it feel right to have her do so, I don’t want or need the feud for the title to turn into a sideshow with Alexa’s shenanigans. The Raw women’s roster really needs an overhaul and it can’t come quick enough.
I don’t know who thought a Goldberg vs Bobby Lashley match needed someone getting their leg worked over but whoever had that idea was wrong as nobody wants to see that, they want these two bulls to beat the crap out of each other and hitting big power moves. I get that they had the finish be what it was so that we can get a rematch down the road, but I would’ve rather they just did the typical manager interferes in order to get a DQ rather than having it where Goldberg is deemed unable to compete. I did give the match two stars because Goldberg has set a low bar so the fact that the match went down without him completely blowing up or injuring Lashley does a lot for this match and I thought everything aside from the limb work was decent, I also enjoyed the post-match with Lashley locking in the Hurt Lock on Gage Goldberg. We better get ready for a few rematches because there are no other babyfaces built up to challenge Lashley unless they go back to Drew.
It’s now time to cover what is going to be one of the most talked-about segments coming out of this show as it was advertised to be Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks all the way up until match time to the point, but that was far from what we got. First off it had been clear for a few days that Sasha wasn’t going to be on the show, so the fact that they continued to advertise that the match was going to happen all the way up to match was clearly false advertisement and I feel for the casual fans who had no clue that this could be the case going into the show. We then have Carmella announced as Sasha’s replacement which was another slap in the face as we have seen that match every week for the past month, but thankfully this would end up being a red herring to the much-anticipated return of “The Man” Becky Lynch which popped those of us in the theater as well as those in the crowd in Las Vegas, but that optimism and excitement would immediately be shit on as they had Becky squash Bianca in less than 30 seconds to win the title. Who, what, where, why, and how did anyone think this was a good idea, this booking decision was stupid as fuck for a multitude of reasons with the first being that it made no sense as Bianca’s character would never be so weak to where one move would put her down for a 3 count.
They took all the excitement that people had for Becky’s return and turned it into venom toward her as nobody is talking about how happy they are to see her back, instead, they are pissed she ended the first title reign of someone who we all love in a matter of seconds and thus it makes Becky come off like a heel which I don’t think is what they wanted to happen. They robbed us of a dream match on one of the biggest shows of the year which could’ve put this show over the top. If they actually had a match and Becky won it off Bianca that way then I don’t see people being anywhere near as upset as they are because at least then Bianca had a fighting chance and just came up short. The easiest way to do this would’ve been to just have a triple threat and have Becky beat Carmella to win the title that way you’re not beating Bianca and it allows you to do the Bianca vs Becky feud since Bianca never got pinned. I really feel bad for both Becky and Bianca after this stupid decision as Bianca didn’t deserve to lose her title in the way she did as she was doing a great job as champion and Becky shouldn’t have been put in the position to have both her return and her first title win after returning ruined by fans who are taking out their anger of Bianca’s loss out on her. All of this was just complete and utter shit and they are going to have to do a lot to make up for this decision.
When I was talking about the Raw women’s division I mentioned how they don’t have enough credible women to challenge Charlotte who she hasn’t already feuded with, well the opposite is true for SmackDown as they have at least three or four women over there who could freshen up the title picture (Liv, Toni, Naomi, Mia, & Zelina) but they can’t even get on TV so hopefully, when the draft comes around they can put some of those women over on Raw to freshen it up because with Sasha, Bianca, & Becky on SmackDown they are not likely to see any time on TV for the foreseeable future. I feel like I have finished my rant on this match and will move onto something that I did enjoy.
Roman Reigns and John Cena put on a great match to the point where it was my second favorite match of the night but despite this fact, there was never any doubt in my mind that Reigns was walking out as champion given the stipulation added on Friday where Reigns would leave WWE if he lost. As great as the match was the only thing people are going to be talking about is the return of Brock Lesnar as he came back with an entirely different look and it seems like he is going to be a babyface for the first time since 2003. While I was sick and tired of seeing Reigns and Lesnar go against each other a few years ago I am very intrigued by the match now that the roles have been reversed and now that we have this new Roman Reigns. I look forward to seeing how Heyman handles the situation he has gotten himself in as for the first time in forever he is on the opposite side of Lesnar and with Heyman being aligned with Reigns that means that Lesnar is now going to have to talk for himself for the first time since the early days of his 2012 return. I thought everything involving Reigns, Cena, and Lesnar was done perfectly including the footage that surfaced of Lesnar suplexing Cena all over the ring once the show went off the air in a callback to their 2014 SummerSlam match.
I know there are a lot of people who are upset with how SummerSlam turned out, but outside of the terribly booked SmackDown Women’s Championship match and the asinine layout of the Lashley vs Goldberg match I thought the rest of the show was very solid both from a booking and in-ring standpoint, but I could have a skewed opinion considering I watched it in the theater for the first time ever and the environment in there added to the excitement level and I would definitely recommend watching it that way if you get the chance over watching it on regular TV and I really hope they do it for Rumble as that will be an even more exciting event to watch with a crowd.
NXT Takeover: 36
NXT Takeover: 36 Results
- Ridge Holland w/ Pete Dunne def Trey Baxter (Pre-Show Match) – **
- Cameron Grimes w/ Ted Dibiase def LA Knight © (Million Dollar Championship) – ***½
- Raquel Gonzalez © def Dakota Kai (NXT Women’s Championship) – ***
- Ilja Dragunov def Walter © (NXT UK Championship) – *****
- Kyle O’Reilly def Adam Cole (3 Stages of Hell Match) – ****¼
- Samoa Joe def Karrion Kross © (NXT Championship) – ***¾
I wasn’t expecting to have a preshow match as NXT hasn’t done one on their Takeover shows in quite a while. I am always impressed every time I watch Ridge Holland in the ring as he has a fantastic look and is always aggressive in his matches and this was no different as he threw poor Trey Baxter from pillar to post and after withstanding some shots from Baxter he quickly put the match to an end with the Emerald Flowsion. Ridge Holland is sure to be a top guy now that NXT is going in the direction of focusing on bigger and younger guys as he is one of the most impressive.
The first match of the night saw Cameron Grimes take on LA Knight for the Million Dollar Championship with the added stipulation that if Grimes lost then Ted Dibiase would become Knight’s new butler. This match went a lot longer than I expected it to be as I was expecting a fairly quick win for Grimes, but Knight hung in there and put up a good fight as we even saw him bust out a springboard moonsault and a german suplex off the top. I liked the use of Dibiase on the outside as it was nice to see him be a bigger part of the match rather than just standing there looking like a feeble old man. If there were any complaints I had with this match it would be with the referee as I feel like she needs to work on her counting cadence as I found her to be a bit too slow with it but that is something that can easily be fixed. This was a good choice to open up the show.
Our second match is for the NXT Women’s Championship as Raquel Gonzalez defends her title against her former best friend Dakota Kai. Dakota tried everything she could to put Raquel down but for this match, Raquel’s strength won out as she was able to overpower Dakota at every turn and throw her around with ease and a one-armed powerbomb off the middle rope was enough to finish off Dakota. This was a nice little match but it went pretty much the way I expected it to which is fine as Raquel is doing a good job of being the women’s champion. After the match, we saw Kay Lee Ray come out and it looks like she will be Raquel’s next challenger.
Up next is the match I was most looking forward to all weekend as Walter defended his NXT UK Championship against Ilja Dragunov, going into this match I was expecting a lot as their match back in October 2020 was one of the greatest matches I have ever seen so this had a lot to live up to and I am pleased to say that these two did not disappoint. These two went out and beat the hell out of each other with chops, kicks, suplexes, elbows, etc and despite Walter once again giving Ilja a grade-A ass-kicking he was not going to back down even if he came out of the match with his chest completely bruised. I’m not going to lie, I did have a feeling we might see a title change happen here as there is nothing left for Walter to do in NXT UK, but I never in a million years thought it would happen by Dragunov making Walter tap out so that was a total shock and shows how much they are invested in Dragunov and rightly so. The one main thing that I liked about their first match that we didn’t get here was the fact that there was no crowd so it made their strikes sound even more brutal, that was the only match in the Pandemic era that benefitted from having no fans.
This match was definitely a top contender for the match of the year just like it was last year and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. I am very intrigued where Walter goes after losing the title as it has been a long time since we have seen him without gold, I personally hope he comes to either NXT or even goes up to the main roster as there are dream matches in both I would love to see him in. As far as Dragunov goes there is a whole roster of NXT UK guys who he can work with as pretty much all of them feel like fresh matches because even if he has been in the ring with certain people before it hasn’t been at the level of an NXT UK Championship match. In an interview later in the night, Dragunov would say that the Ring General is dead, long live the Czar.
It was going to be hard to follow that incredible match but Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly were going to do their best. I had doubts this going into it as I have talked about in the past how Adam Cole’s matches haven’t connected with me as of late as I find them to always go way too long and feel self-indulgent, but I am happy to say that I felt neither of those things from this match and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked the finish of the first fall with O’Reilly countering Panama Sunrise into a pin as I liked how it came out of nowhere, it felt like the match had just started and already O’Reilly had scored the first fall.
The second fall is where the majority of the match took place and set up the main story for the rest of the match when O’Reilly was kicked off the top and landed ribs first into the turnbuckle and then fell to the floor, from that moment on the match centered around O’Reilly’s injured ribs. Just like Edge the night before Adam Cole decided to pay tribute to his other half as he momentarily locked O’Reilly in the lockjaw. Despite O’Reilly trying to make a comeback a few times his ribs are making it difficult for him to stay in control for long periods of time and eventually Cole picks up the win in the second fall after a press slam into the back of two chairs and the Last Shot.
Before the third fall can start we see medics attending to O’Reilly but Cole is not cool with that as he goes out and powerbombs him onto the announce table and once the third fall officially starts O’Reilly tries to make yet another comeback only to be put down with a low blow. Cole’s cockiness comes out as he ignores a perfect opportunity to climb out so he can hit Panama Sunrise off the top and when that doesn’t work Cole gets desperate and handcuffs O’Reilly to the ropes but O’Reilly is able to catch a kick and lock in a heel hook and that is enough to make Cole tap out and give O’Reilly his second fall to win the entire match and to finally bring the Undisputed Era to an end for good. This was a really good match and unlike most Adam Cole matches in the past, it felt like it flew by. Now that this is over Kyle O’Reilly can finally move on and feud with other people in NXT and as for Cole, well it looks like he is headed to be with his other buddies and his girlfriend in AEW.
It’s finally time for the main event as Karrion Kross defends his NXT Championship against Samoa Joe who is having his first match since February 2020. It’s crazy how Joe is having this big return match and that is one of the last things people have been talking about for this weekend in wrestling, that shows just how good this weekend has been. I thought this was a very good match but it didn’t reach great like the two matches before it, and this is just an observation, not a criticism but it seemed like Joe started to get blown up a bit towards the end of the match, but with that said I am glad to see Joe back as NXT Champion as he is the first 3x NXT Champion. I really would love it if Walter stayed in the states with his fellow Imperium members and we have a Walter vs Joe feud as that is a true big men slapping meat slobber knocker dream match.
Overall I would say this Takeover was a success as we had two really great matches with one of those being a top contender for match of the year and the other three matches were really good as well, especially the Million Dollar Championship match as I wasn’t expecting much but they put on a really fun match. The future of NXT is up in the air and this could be the last Takeover as we know it and if that is the case at least they went out with a bang, hopefully, even if the roster and the look of NXT are completely overhauled we can still count on having high-quality Takeover specials like this because they are so much fun to watch.
- Damian Priest def Bobby Lashley w/ MVP via DQ – **
- Drew McIntyre & Damian Priest def Sheamus & Bobby Lashley – **½
- Karrion Kross def Ricochet – *½
- Xavier Woods def The Miz w/ John Morrison – **½
- Mansoor w/ Mustafa Ali def Jinder Mahal w/ Veer & Shanky – *¾
- Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley def Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler – **½
- Riddle def AJ Styles – **¾
MVP and the “All Mighty” WWE Champion Bobby Lashley kick off this week’s show with a promo on what happened after Lashley’s match with Goldberg as MVP says they had no idea that Goldberg was going to bring Gage to SummerSlam and by the time the match was over Lashley was very angry and that is why he did what he did and then calls Goldberg a coward for not being able to finish the match. MVP says that Lashley didn’t realize that was Goldberg’s son that jumped on his back as he would’ve done that to anyone and for anyone who thinks that Lashley should apologize they can go to hell. Damian Priest has had enough as he comes to the ring and challenges Lashley to a match and if he doesn’t accept then he is a coward, Lashley goes to attack Priest but he fights back and sends Priest to the floor.
After a commercial break, we get Lashley vs Priest and just as Priest is starting to get on a roll Sheamus comes out and attacks him leading to a DQ. Sheamus and Lashley beat Priest down until Drew McIntyre makes the save and that of course means we are getting a tag match up next. We get a pretty good TV tag match but when the babyfaces take back control of the match we see Lashley walk out on Sheamus leaving him to get hit with a Claymore and pinned. Later in the night, we would get Sheamus and Lashley arguing backstage and by the end of the night, a match between the two had been made for next week.
I don’t expect Goldberg to show up again until it’s close to time to go back to Saudi Arabia, so Lashley is going to need a challenger for Extreme Rules and even though they are facing each other next week I hope that challenger is Sheamus because the only other choice would be to go back to McIntyre and nobody wants to see that again.
We go to a backstage interview with Doudrop who says she made a mistake ever associating herself with Eva Marie as she didn’t sign up to be treated like she is worthless. Doudrop says that Eva may have thought that calling her Doudrop was an insult, but she has come to like the name and will continue to use it and the next time she sees Eva she is going to Doudrop her. Eva Marie comes out of nowhere and slams a road case into Doudrop and then smashes her face into it repeatedly.
While I do wish we had gotten the Piper Niven name back I am not mad at her keeping Doudrop as her name because it has grown on me over time and although the name is a bit ridiculous at least it didn’t lead to some over the top ridiculous gimmick as she is still the same person she was in NXT UK for the most part. I think Eva’s attack during this may have been the most aggression we have ever seen from her. We were told that they will be facing each other next week and I fully expect that we will continue to get rematches until Extreme Rules when the feud is blown off in a gimmick match.
Up next it’s time for Karrion Kross and oh boy this poor guy’s treatment on the main roster keeps getting worse with every week that passes as he first gets Scarlett taken away from him, then he loses a squash match to Jeff Hardy who has been irrelevant over the past year, and now he is dressed up in a Demolition/Sultan/Gladiator looking outfit and even has to wrestle in suspender looking straps. Thankfully they do allow him to get a win this week as he squashes Ricochet in quick fashion.
It’s time for Moist TV with your host John Morrison, Morrison introduces his guest Logan Paul who gets booed out of the building but he continues to play babyface. Just as Morrison starts his interview he is cut off as The Miz makes his way to the ring and he is pissed that Morrison didn’t introduce him. Logan Paul promotes him and his brother’s boxing careers which gives Miz the perfect opportunity to insult him by asking what round his brother is going to get knocked out in during his fight with Tyrone Woodley. Logan and Miz face off until Morrison breaks them up and we get more arguing between Miz and Morrison as Logan Paul makes his exit from the segment. Miz is pissed because he should’ve had a match at SummerSlam but instead, he humored Morrison and played with water guns instead and Morrison comes back with accusations of Miz faking his injury. As a total screaming match takes place in the ring we see Xavier Woods come to the ring as he is set to take on The Miz up next.
Mix and Woods have a really good match that actually gets some time and in the end, Morrison inadvertently distracts the referee while Miz has Woods pinned and then Woods gets a small package to pick up the win. After the match, Morrison apologizes to Miz who acts like everything is still good between them and as they are spraying the crowd with the drip sticks Miz attacks Morrison and then hits him with the Skull Crushing Finale. We would later find out they will also be facing each other next week, so for the record 3 matches that should be saved for the next PPV will happen on next week’s Raw which means we will most likely get rematches of those matches until Extreme Rules.
I think it was time for Miz and Morrison to finally part ways as it’s time to see what Morrison can do on his own as a babyface, if they play their cards right he could end up being a top guy on Raw and a future challenger for Lashley as he can hold his own as one of the top guys now as he had experience with being the top guy in multiple promotions while he was on the indies.
We get another Reggie vignette where this time he buys R-Truth & Tozawa some ice cream from an ice cream truck to distract them momentarily before running up a tree and then flipping on top of the ice cream truck and riding off as R-Truth and Tozawa blame each other for not catches Reggie.
We get a quick match between Mansoor and Jinder Mahal where before the match we see an inset promo where Mansoor tells Mustafa to let him win the right way and without cheating. Jinder ends up getting himself disqualified when he continued to stomp Mansoor in the corner past the referee’s five count. This whole Mansoor and Mustafa Ali story is sneakily one of the most interesting things happening every week on Raw.
Charlotte Flair comes out and cuts a lengthy promo talking about herself and how great she is, when she is finished Alexa Bliss comes out with Lilly and says that she and Lilly just wanted to say hi and that is all we got from this segment. Well, this was a complete waste of time but at least we know Charlotte’s first challenger in her 12th reign as champion. You can read above in the SummerSlam recap of my opinion of this feud.
We get a new Elias vignette where he is setting his sights on conquering wrestling and once he does that he can conquer the world. He says the old Elias is dead, long live Elias the WWE superstar and then he puts on a white hat and walks off. Wait a minute, was the old Elias, not a WWE superstar?
We get a backstage segment between Nia and Shayna where they make amends after what happened a few weeks ago and Shayna says that they may butt heads a lot, but when they are on the same page nobody can stop them. We get a tag match with Nia Jax and Shanya Baszler taking on Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley and they get a lot of time and have a pretty good match, the finish comes when Nia accidentally takes out Shayna, and then Nikki takes Nia out on the outside with a crossbody and Rhea finishes things up with a Riptide on Shayna to pick up the win. I guess since there is nothing else for Nikki or Rhea to do, being a tag team could be fun, after all, WWE does love their odd-couple tag teams.
It’s time for the RK-Bro Championship Celebration, Riddle comes out first and introduces Orton who is skeptical at what is happening as he told Riddle earlier in the night not to do anything stupid. Riddle then asks the ring announcer to announce them as the new Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro and this leads to tons of fireworks going off that could’ve been used at SummerSlam. Riddle then presents Orton with the gift of his own scooter complete with tassels, hearts, and it even has Orton’s name on it. Riddle demonstrates how to open and close the scooter and then the celebration is interrupted by AJ Styles and Omos.
AJ mocks Riddle for giving Orton a scooter saying that Omos will break that one over his knee as well and then he asks why Orton didn’t buy Riddle anything as he didn’t even get him a plant which is something a guy like Riddle would like. Styles says that he has something for Orton and that is a Phenomenal Forearm to wipe that stupid smile of Riddle’s face. Riddle accepts a match with Styles because with Orton in his corner he can do anything. Styles and Riddle have the best match of the night which is not a surprise and toward the end we see Orton beat the crap out of Omos with his new scooter and this distracts Styles long enough for Riddle to hit him with a knee and then he hits the Bro Derek to pick up the win. After the match, Orton hits an RKO on Styles, and RK-Bro pose as the show comes to a close.
I guess this tag feud is going to continue which I have no problem with as it is one of the more enjoyable things on Raw each week so I am fine with one more month of them feuding, it’s not like there are any other credible heel teams to challenge RK-Bro anyway.
- Ridge Holland w/ Pete Dunne def Timothy Thatcher w/ Tommaso Ciampa – **¾
- Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter def Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne – **
- Kay Lee Ray def Valentina Feroz – *½
- Carmelo Hayes def Odyssey Jones (NXT Breakout Tournament Finals) – **¾
- Xyon Quinn def Boa w/ Mei Ying – ½*
- Legado del Fantasma def Hit Row w/ B-Fab – ***½
Since this week’s article is already long enough I won’t be doing any play-by-play breakdown of the matches this week, so it will just be general thoughts and opinions like I do for Raw and SmackDown.
The show opens with Ted Dibiase and the new Million Dollar Champion Cameron Grimes showing up in a limo and they make their way to the ring to celebrate the big championship win. Dibiase says that he came to NXT to find someone to carry on the legacy of the Million Dollar Man and that person would have to be strong of mind and heart and then says that Grimes has never quit. Grimes gets on the mic and talks about how Dibiase drove him crazy when he first showed up and Dibiase says he was testing Grimes and he passed the test. Grimes talks about how he thought he was a big shot having all of that money and he lost track of where he was going, but as he was scrubbing toilets and doing other work for LA Knight he realized that he couldn’t let Dibiase suffer the same fate he had as Knight’s butler. Grimes said he took care of Knight and became Million Dollar Champion and then he asks where he goes from here, Dibiase tells him that he is going to go To The Moon! Money with Grimes’ face flies everywhere as the segment comes to an end.
Later in the night, we would see Dibiase and Grimes walk back out to the limo and as Dibiase gets into it, Grimes tells Dibiase he thinks he should keep the Million Dollar Championship as that legacy belongs to him, Dibiase takes it but then gives it back and tells Grimes that every time he looks at it he can remember who he is. Grimes says something doesn’t feel right and after a closer look, he realizes that Dibiase has gotten him once again as he switched out the title with a replica and as the limo drives away Grimes smiles and says that damn Ted Dibiase. I thought this was a really nice way to close the book on this Cameron Grimes and Ted Dibiase story and I’m glad they let it have a nice happy ending.
We then go to our first match of the night as Ridge Holland takes on Timothy Thatcher. Poor Thatcher tried his best to wear down Holland but every time he went for a submission he was either unable to fully lock it on because Holland is so big or Holland would power out of it and in the end he puts Thatcher away with the Emerald Flowsion. After the match, we see Ciampa get involved, and right as he is putting the boots to Holland he gets attacked by Oney Lorcan and a returning Danny Burch. Holland grabs his club and jabs, Thatcher, in the throat with it and then the four heels walk away.
InDex is interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell backstage and is asked when the wedding date is and Lumis hands her a drawing that shows the date is on September 14. We go to the announce table where Beth Phoenix is thrilled at this news and is ready to start helping Indi plan the wedding, but Barrett is absolutely disgusted. I can’t wait for this as I’m sure it is going to be comedic gold and I look forward to Indi trying to convince Gargano to walk her down the aisle.
We go to our next match which sees Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne take on my favorite tag team of Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. If Kacy and Kayden weren’t cute enough before their new little dance during their entrance makes them even cuter. It seems like Kacy may have bulked up a little recently as she doesn’t seem quite as tiny as she used to be. This was a pretty typical tag match although there was a nice fake-out by Kacy at one point which allowed her to tag in Kayden. Gigi had some strikes in the match that didn’t look that great. I didn’t like how they showed Gigi up on the apron right before Kacy & Kayden hit their finisher and then she didn’t even attempt to break up the pin. After the match, Kacy & Kayden go over to the commentary table and let their intentions be known that they want a shot at the tag titles and Kayden even hops up onto the table which almost gets Beth Phoenix to laugh. Later in the night, we see Mandy Rose approach Gigi and Jacy and tells them if they come with her they will never feel bummed out like they were after their loss ever again, they shrug and follow her.
Raquel is interviewed backstage and she says that Dakota put up a hell of a fight and she realizes that she hasn’t seen the last of Dakota. Raquel then puts over Kay Lee Ray’s NXT UK title reign but it makes no difference who steps up to her as she will come out the winner. Franky Monet and crew walk up and Franky says she doesn’t wait in line and she will take Raquel’s shine and her championship as well. I have to mention that we got both side and underboob during this segment between Franky and Jessi Kamea.
We get a video package showcasing Kay Lee Ray and that leads to our second women’s match of the night as Kay Lee Ray takes on Valentina Feroz who is dressed in some cultural garb including a headdress and shoulder pads with feathers. This was a squash match as you would expect as KLR picks up the win after hitting a superkick and a Gory Bomb she beats Valentina with ease.
The new NXT Champion Samoa Joe comes to the ring and puts over that he is the first 3x NXT Champion and while he should be celebrating, he realizes that now that he is champion he is the king in a land of savages so there is no time to celebrate. Joe talks about how people are treating him differently now that he is champion so he wants to know who is going to stop staring and actually step up to him? Pete Dunne comes out and says that he and Joe have been face-to-face enough in the past month that he thinks Joe should know the truth which is that he isn’t the baddest man in NXT. Dunne tells Joe to go fetch his buddy Regal and tell him to make the match.
LA Knight comes out and talks about how Joe is scared because it took Joe forever to take out a guy he could’ve beat in seconds. Knight tells Joe he is going to be his first and last challenger. Knight then tries to climb on the ring apron, but Dunne tells him if he steps into the ring he will snap all of his fingers and Knight immediately drops back down to the floor. We then get Kyle O’Reilly coming out still selling the rib injury from Takeover, KOR introduces himself to LA Knight and then says the only thing Knight could win is a Steve Austin vest look-alike contest. KOR says he isn’t there to talk his way into a title match because he earned a title match after winning the Undisputed Finale.
Ridge Holland attacks O’Reilly from behind with a punch to the ribs and then he headbutts him. Dunne tries to attack Joe from behind but he turns around right in time, and then Ciampa attacks Dunne but Ridge Holland comes down and trips up Ciampa and hits him with a big headbutt. Knight tries to attack Joe but gets hit with a headbutt and bails out to the floor. Joe and Ciampa stand tall in the ring and stare down Dunne & Holland and then Ciampa looks over at Joe hinting that he wants a title shot as well.
This was a really good segment as they weaved a few different stories into one segment and even after this we still aren’t completely sure who Joe’s first challenger will be, but I kind of hope it isn’t Dunne as I would save that match for the Takeover during WrestleMania week. I don’t see Knight being a serious challenger as that could be a title match for TV, but Joe vs O’Reilly could be really good and lead to a series of matches similar to the matches he had with Nakamura during his first stint in NXT.
Kyle O’Reilly is interviewed about being attacked by Ridge Holland but before he can say anything Duke Hudson walks up and mocks him and this leads to a slap from KOR and a brawl breaks out until they are broken up.
It’s time for the finals of the 2021 NXT Breakout Tournament between Carmelo Hayes and Odyssey Jones. Earlier in the night, we got sit-down interviews with both competitors. William Regal comes out with a contract and he will be sitting at ringside during the match. Jones dominates the early portion of the match by using his power to stop whatever Hayes hits him with, but Hayes eventually uses Jones’s momentum against him as he catches a charging Jones with a dropkick to the knee. Hayes tries to drain the energy of Jones with a front facelock but when he tries to knock Jones off his feet the big man won’t go down until he connects with a tilt-a-whirl facebuster, Hayes tries to capitalize but Jones still has enough in him to catch Hayes with a shoulder breaker. Hayes hits the ax kick off the top but when he goes for a second one he misses and Jones hits a splash, Jones goes to cover him but Hayes counters into a crucifix pin to get the win. After the match, Hayes is presented with his contract for a guaranteed title shot, but he says it’s too early to pick which champion he wants to face, but he will guarantee one thing when Carmelo Hayes shoots he doesn’t miss.
This was a good match, but I wish it had got a bit more time seeing as it was the final of a tournament but only got 7 minutes. Although Odyssey Jones lost I know he is going to still have a bright future especially since WWE wants to go back to focussing on bigger and younger guys. I think I could see Hayes challenging for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship once Roderick Strong eventually wins it from Kushida.
Pete Dunne and his crew cut a promo and each one has their sights set on something different as Dunne wants Joe, Burch & Lorcan want MSK to regain the tag titles they never lose, and Ridge Holland wants to put Ciampa on the shelf just like he did Thatcher.
We get a recap of the NXT UK Championship match from Takeover 36 and we are told we would get Ilja Dragunov appearing on the show next week.
We go to our next match which sees Boa take on Xyon Quinn. Boa is still without Xia Li but does have Mei Ying who decides to stay on her throne for this match. Boa dominates with a bunch of kicks and knee strikes until he gets distracted by Mei Ying standing up and when he turns around Quinn hits him with a running forearm and picks up the win. After the match, Quinn looks to go up the ramp but when he sees Mei Ying he thinks twice and leaves through the crowd. If Boa didn’t already feel like a total jobber he does now and this whole Tian Sha thing is nothing without Xia Li.
Johnny Gargano is in William Regal’s office and he is trying to convince Regal to cancel the wedding of InDex, but Regal refuses saying it is going to make great TV watching Gargano go cuckoo bananas and Gargano flips out that Regal used one of his sayings. LA Knight storms into the office and he wants a piece of Joe and this leads to both men screaming trying to get their point heard but Regal quickly gets enough of them and throws them out of his office and then calls them both buffoons.
We go to the Diamond Mind training facility where Roderick Strong is teaching a class alongside Hachiman. Malcolm Bivens says that the Diamond Mine push themselves beyond limits unlike Kushida and then he says Strong will have an open challenge next week.
It’s time for our main event as Hit Row takes on Legado del Fantasma in a match that should’ve been on the Takeover card and given what happened last week it also should’ve been some kind of No DQ or Street Fight match as this feud is heated enough to where just a regular wrestling match isn’t enough. I thought the match was really good as there were twists and turns throughout the match with it looking like each team had a chance to win at different points in the match. I was wondering whether or not Legado was going to bring in a woman to counter B-Fab and they did just that in the form of Elektra Lopez who turned the tables on B-Fab as she was the one hitting someone with a pipe and then she was smart enough to toss it to Swerve in order to distract him long enough for Escobar to roll him up for the win.
While I am fine with Elektra being the woman in the Legado stable as this is a way to establish a new talent, I can’t help but think just how badass it could’ve been if they had not let Mercedes Martinez go and had her in the group or if they had waited and let Zelina Vega be that woman as either of those names would’ve made an even bigger impact. Now that both groups are even with four members I wonder if they take this feud all the way to November and put them in WarGames or if that spot will be reserved for Pete Dunne’s group vs a group of babyfaces?
I didn’t feel like this was the strongest episode of NXT outside of the main event as it felt more like an epilogue for Takeover: 36 rather than the start of the build for the next Takeover as we got teases for what could be coming up but nothing felt a concrete direction. Next week we will be seeing Ciampa vs Holland, Gargano vs Knight, O’Reilly vs Hudson, Roderick Strong’s open challenge, and an appearance from Ilja Dragunov.
NXT UK Results
- Aoife Valkyrie def Jinny (No DQ Match – Joseph Conners in a Shark Cage) – ***¼
- Kenny Williams def Oliver Carter w/ Ashton Smith (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinals Match) – **½
- Rampage Brown def Joe Coffey via Knockout (Win by Submission or Knockout Only) – **¾
Just like with NXT I will not be doing play-by-play this week since this article is going to be long enough as it is.
After a lengthy recap of the NXT UK Championship match from Takeover, we get our intro video and then go inside the BT Sports Studio where we go straight to our first match of the night.
Our opening match is between Jinny and Aoife Valkyrie and it will be contested under No DQ rules and Joseph Conners will also be locking inside a shark cage during the match.
I liked that they let Aoife put Conners into the cage rather than having a referee do it like we usually see. Aoife gave Jinny one of the hardest whips into a guard rail that I have ever seen. Aoife stays in control of the match for quite a long time to the point where I was starting to wonder if Jinny was ever going to turn the tides in her favor. We get a nice table tease spot that ends with Aoife missing with Peripeteia and going through the table. I thought that injured leg was legit but thankfully Aoife was ok and was able to make a comeback Aoife finally hits a pumphandle driver to pick up the win after a hard-fought match.
We go to the locker room where Amale comes in and wants a rematch with Meiko Satomura but Emilia McKenzie steps in between them and Amale says she doesn’t care if she has to go through Meiko’s pet project first.
We get a video from the new NXT UK Champion where he talks about how it’s hard to describe what he is thinking and feeling, but is happy to be the new NXT UK Champion.
Up next, Oliver Carter takes on Kenny Williams in a Quarterfinal match in the Heritage Cup Number One Contender Tournament.
Williams picks up the first fall in the second round after leapfrogging over Carter and catching him in a sunset flip for the 3 count and then Carter evens things up in Round 3 after an axe kick. Carter looks to end things quickly in Round 4 by hitting another axe kick but Williams avoids it and hits Carter with a chop block to the front of his knee. Williams undoes the turnbuckle pad and throws it across the ring to distract the referee and as she is dealing with that Williams nails Carter with a metal water bottle to pick up the win. I thought this was one of the more underwhelming Heritage Cup Rules matches as it never kicked into that next gear for me.
Nina Samuels goes into Sid Scala’s office as she wants some competition and that is exactly what he gives her as next week she will be facing Blair Davenport.
We get another spooky video from Isla Dawn where she is back in the woods with her little box and she adds Dani Luna’s hair to the box along with Emilia McKenzie’s watch.
We get a lengthy video to hype up next week’s Heritage Cup Tournament match between Teoman and Nathan Frazer.
It’s finally time for the main event that has been building up for months as Joe Coffey and Rampage Brown look to finally end their feud once and for all in a match where the only way you can win is by submission or knockout. They really went all in for this match as they changed the turnbuckles to boxing-style corner pads, the ropes are all black, and the referee is wearing all black.
This match had the potential to be really good given the build it had gotten over the past month, but I felt like it missed the mark and the main reason it missed was that it was way too long, to the point where my attention drifted away several times throughout the match. A match this long would be excessive on a Takeover let alone on a weekly TV show, Cagematch had the match going 19:47 but it felt a lot longer than that. I feel like Joe Coffey has become the Adam Cole of NXT UK as his big matches always go way longer than they need to be. There was one spot in the match that was completely unneeded as Coffey and Brown are sitting back to back and they start talking to each other and actually start pumping each other up wanting to finish things between them and then they actually help each other their feet in a moment that surpasses anything Shawn Michaels has ever done on the hierarchy of melodrama. I know it seems like I completely hated this match, but I actually enjoyed some of it but the length and the melodrama overshadows anything I found positive about the match. The right person did go over as Rampage Brown is a future NXT UK Champion and should be one of Dragunov’s first challengers.
This was a pretty lackluster episode of NXT UK as outside of the opener there really wasn’t anything on this show that truly amazed me.
- Bianca Belair def Liv Morgan, Zelina Vega, & Carmella (4-Way Elimination Match) – **½
- Cesaro def Chad Gable via DQ – **14
- Rick Boogs & King Nakamura def The Dirty Dawgz – **¼
- Sami Zayn def Dominik Mysterio – **½
After a recap of the two big returns at SummerSlam in the form of Becky Lynch and Brock Lesnar, we go to the announce table where Michael Cole informs us that Pat McAfee is out due to Covid, but taking his place will be Corey Graves and Kevin Owens.
The new SmackDown Women’s Champion “The Man” Becky Lynch makes her way to the ring and she gets quite a pop despite what happened at SummerSlam. Becky is glad to be back and even better to be back on top. Becky talks about how giving up the Raw Women’s Championship was the hardest thing she had to do because it felt like she was giving up her life, but ever since that day, she has been working hard to get back where she was at. Becky says that now she has new priorities and if we thought she was dangerous before when she was just fighting for herself just imagine what she is going to be like now. Becky understands that people are upset with her for what happened at SummerSlam as they are saying she won the title in an underhanded way, but she would like to apologize…for absolutely nothing. Becky says that everything is about timing in WWE so she took advantage of the opportunity she was given.
Bianca Belair comes out and she is obviously not happy with what happened at SummerSlam, but she isn’t going to make excuses. Bianca says she has worked too hard for too long to have her championship lost in 26 seconds. Bianca said she accepted Becky’s last-minute challenge at SummerSlam, so how about Becky accept her challenge to a match right there tonight. Zelina Vega and Carmella eventually come out wanting a title shot, but they are interrupted by Liv Morgan who calls Zelina and Carmella out on the fact that they continue to lose despite being given numerous opportunities and this leads to an argument between the three. Bianca finally cuts them off saying they have all lost their damn mind and says this is between her and Becky and has nothing to do with any of them. Bianca asks Becky once again for a rematch but she says no and then leaves the ring with her title held high.
The four that are left in the ring start brawling and this sets up a 4-way elimination match that starts during the commercial break. We see Zelina and Carmella team up for a bit against their opponents but as you would expect the partnership would come to an end and Zelina would ger eliminated quickly thereafter courtesy of a K.O.D. Carmella throws Bianca into the barricade and looks to go after Liv, but when she runs to the ropes Liv follows her in and hits the Oblivion to eliminate Carmella. Bianca and Liv have a nice little match with Liv even getting a couple of near falls but a reverse powerbomb into the corner and a K.O.D. finishes off Liv and gives Bianca the win.
I wonder if this Becky heel turn is going to work because she got a really nice pop tonight when she came out, even after what happened at SummerSlam and there were even cheers when she declined Bianca’s offer and left the ring. I also thought Becky looked damn good as she seems to be more fit now than when she left. Carmella and Zelina being used as Sasha’s backup was a good spot for them, but using them in this spot where they are wanting a title shot after losing every match within the last couple of months is just absurd and it was nice to see Liv come out and call them out on that fact. It was nice to see that they remembered Liv is a part of the SmackDown roster and brought her back to TV, now I just wish they would do the same with Toni Storm. The fact that they let Liv hang in there with Bianca for a minute and actually look strong before having her beat gives me hope that they have plans for her, but given that this is WWE those plans could easily change and she could be gone for another month.
Paul Heyman is backstage when Kayla Braxton walks up wanting to interview him which annoys Heyman, but he says that despite the return of Brock Lesnar his loyalties still lie with the “Tribal Chief’ Roman Reigns. Heyman then goes to open the door to Reigns’ locker room but it’s locked. We come back from the commercial break to Heyman still at the door and Kayla Braxton walks back up and the look on her face this time was priceless as she was very close to corpsing. The Usos finally open the door and tell him Reigns isn’t there yet and then they try to pry Heyman for answers as to whether or not he knew Lesnar was coming back and Heyman swears on everything that is holy that he had no clue. Usos ask Heyman why he sent them to the locker room before the match and Heyman says that was Reigns’ call, not his. The Usos eventually go back into the locker room leaving Heyman outside.
Our next match of the night sees Cesaro take on Chad Gable. This was a criminally short match as Gable and Cesaro put on a sprint that saw Gable hit a moonsault and Cesaro hit a top rope hurricanrana, but when Cesaro looks for the Giant Swing he is attacked by Otis. Alpha Academy layout Cesaro with a German suplex and discus clothesline combo and then Otis comes off the middle rope with a splash. I really hope we get an extended match between these two as they could steal any show they are a part of.
Kayle Braxton is out in the parking lot awaiting the arrival of Roman Reigns but instead, we see Baron Corbin drive up in his brand new car and he is happy once again, in fact, he insists that he now be called Happy Corbin. Happy Corbin comes to the ring with all-new Las Vegas-themed music and video. Corbin talks about how he never thought this smile would ever come back across his face as last week he was thinking about filing bankruptcy and had been wearing the same shirt for months, but look at him now. Corbin says the best part of all of this is he did it himself and now he’s the happiest man on earth and then he throws to a video showing how he was down on his luck but then after going to Vegas he won big and is now back to being happy once again. Corbin talks up how expensive his wardrobe is and how his wife has now come back to him and then he once again insists we call him Happy Corbin. Corbin then asks Big E to come out to the ring as he has something he needs to say.
Big E is glad that Corbin no longer smells. Corbin wants to make things right with Big E after he stole his briefcase a couple of weeks ago, so he offers to buy the briefcase but Big E declines despite Corbin upping the amount of money each time. Corbin then asks why Big E wants the briefcase anyway seeing as he will probably cash in and lose just like he did, but Corbin doesn’t want that for Big E as he wants him to be happy just like he is. Corbin gives him one final offer of $100,000 and although Big E says that is a lot of money he declines once again. Big E starts pulling things out of his singlet that Corbin can spend his money on and Corbin finally says that Big E can be miserable because when Big E cashes in and loses he will regret not taking his offer. Big E tells Corbin to leave before he slaps the smile off his face. Corbin actually leaves still smiling as nothing can get him down on this day.
Between the down on his luck Corbin and now this Happy Corbin we are really seeing the best character work Corbin has ever done in his entire career as he is doing a fantastic job with these characters. I look forward to seeing what is going to happen to cause Corbin to no longer be happy.
We see a video from earlier in the day of Edge where he talks about how satisfying it was to beat Seth Rollins, but he didn’t like that he had to go to a dark place in order to beat Rollins as it affected him in a big way, but now that he has beaten Rollins that weight is off his back and now he can go back to focusing on winning the Universal Championship. We then transition to a live promo from Seth Rollins as he is backstage and he congratulates Edge on his win and he says that loss taught him something about himself and it gave him respect for Edge. Rollins says he admires the life that Edge has made for himself and he has decided that if he wants to get back to the Universal Championship then he should start being more like Edge.
I think it’s pretty clear that we are getting another Edge vs Rollins match at Extreme Rules as it doesn’t seem like Rollins is going to leave Edge alone as the loss seems to have made him crack.
Roman Reigns is walking to his locker room when he sees Heyman standing at the door and asks what he is doing and when Heyman doesn’t answer Reigns asks him if he has to open his own door which makes Heyman stumble over his words as he opens the door.
Our next match sees King Nakamura & Rick Boogs take on the Dirty Dawgz. This was a pretty basic TV tag match that saw Boogs pick up the win after he avoids a Fameasser and hits the pump handle slam. During the match, we saw an inset promo from Apollo Crews who is upset at Nakamura soiling the Intercontinental Championship and he says his ancestors are screaming and hiding their faces in shame at this embarrassment of a champion. I guess we are going back to Nakamura vs Crews for the Intercontinental Championship.
Sonya Deville is backstage on her phone when Naomi walks in all excited to be on SmackDown once again and she asks when her first match is, but Sonya had no clue Naomi was even coming to SmackDown and accuses Adam Pearce of going behind her back. Sonya says she doesn’t think Naomi measures up and then brushes her off by saying she will let her know something next week. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the Naomi joins the Bloodline story because she needs something that is going to make it to where they want to put her on TV every week, and being associated with Reigns is sure to get her plenty of TV time.
We get another Rey Mysterio giving Dominik a pep talk and this week he decides it’s time for Dominik to go on his own so he is going to step back. Rey says he got Dominik a match tonight but he doesn’t know who it is against but if Dominik is confident and determined he will get the win tonight. Dominik’s opponent ends up being Sami Zayn.
Zayn and Mysterio have a pretty good match and Mysterio is in control for the first portion of the match but when he goes for the 619 Zayn lowers the rope and Mysterio takes a nasty bump to the floor and this brings Rey to ringside to check on his son. Mysterio eventually recovers and makes a comeback and is able to hit the 619, but when he goes up top Zayn rolls out of the way and as Dominik goes to get him he is hit with an exploder into the corner and then Zayn hits the Helluva Kick to pick up the win. After the match, Rey tries to talk to his son but he shrugs him off and leaves the ring, and then walks up the ramp with Rey behind him trying to talk but Dominik is ignoring him. I guess we are leading to a Mysterio vs Mysterio match with Dominik eventually turning heel.
We go to the Gorilla position where The Bloodline is getting ready to come out and Heyman tries to give Reigns the Universal Championship saying that this is supposed to be a family celebration and Reigns tells him he is family. We get a big pyro explosion for The Bloodline as they hold their titles high.
Reigns decides that he doesn’t want to talk tonight as he hands the mic to Heyman and he tells everyone to acknowledge their “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns and the SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. Heyman looks to continue talking but is cut off by the music of Finn Balor who comes out and says that he was going to ask Reigns for a title shot at Extreme Rules, but seeing as Edge wants back into the title picture and Brock Lesnar has returned he doesn’t want to wait in line and that is why he is challenging him to a Universal Championship match next week on SmackDown. Balor throws the mic at Reigns and we get a brawl as The Bloodline beats him down until the Street Profits make the save. Balor and the Street Profits clear the ring and Balor hits Jey with the Coup de Grace as the show goes off the air. It would be announced online that the Balor vs Reigns match fo has been made official for next week.
I am looking forward to the main event for next week and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a Brock Lesnar appearance next week since the title is being defended.
I thought this was a decent episode of SmackDown as we got a decent opening segment involving the women even though I would’ve preferred to see Toni Storm out there over Carmella and Zelina who continue to lose. I thought the Happy Corbin segment was really good and I look forward to seeing where that character goes next. Although we didn’t get as much from The Bloodline as we usually do, I enjoyed what we did get and I thought they did a good job with Heyman showing fear of Reigns and not knowing exactly what to do now that Lesnar has made his return.
In the News
One of the main stories going around this week was the contract status of Adam Cole and despite it originally being reported that it was due to expire right after SummerSlam it is now being reported on Fightful that it was scheduled to expire on 8/27. Andrew Zarian reported that many within WWE thought Cole would resign but as time went on that feeling has changed. It is highly expected that Cole will leave WWE and go to AEW, but Dave Meltzer reports that Cole hasn’t officially made a decision on what he is going to do.
Fightful reports that WWE recently offered Pete Dunne an extension on his contract which is set to expire pretty soon, but there is no word as to whether he is going to resign or not.
Dave Meltzer reports that while there were plans to do a Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar match it would be way down the road, but they decided to bring Lesnar back earlier than they wanted as a way to try and counter the hype around CM Punk’s return to AEW. It has also been reported that Lesnar will now be the top babyface on SmackDown while he is around. Fightful reports that Lesnar’s new deal has him wrestling eight matches over the next year and a half.
As far as the other big return at SummerSlam it is being reported that Beck Lynch’s return wasn’t supposed to happen at SummerSlam, but with Sasha Banks not being able to compete they needed something big to make up for the Bianca vs Sasha match not happening. It’s also being reported by Dave Meltzer that Becky will be the top heel of the SmackDown Women’s Division and that she chose to come back as a heel. As far as Sasha goes, Fightful reports that WWE is hoping she will be back soon.
Andrew Zarian reports that officials at the USA Network are not pleased with SmackDown getting both Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch, but WWE has reassured them that this will only be temporary as rosters are expected to be reshuffled once they do the draft come October.
It was reported by Bodyslam.net that several fans in attendance at the recent NXT tapings that happened on Monday were thrown out of the CWC for posting spoilers from the show, they claimed that it violated the no picture taking or video recording rule even though these people were doing neither and furthermore they were never asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
During SmackDown we saw a new logo for NXT which features a brightly colored paint logo, so it looks like the “new NXT” is coming much sooner rather than later.
Dave Meltzer reports that WWE is no longer scouting indie talent as they will leave that to AEW, their current focus is centered around aesthetics over experience and the goal is to teach people who are not in the wrestling business how to wrestle the WWE way. What I get from this report is that we are fixing to get a rehash of 2003-2009 cookie-cutter guys who all look and work the same which didn’t work then and it won’t work now because wrestling is at its best when there are a bunch of different styles because nobody wants to see a Randy Orton vs Randy Orton match.
PW Insider reports that with both Adam Cole and Karrion Kross leaving NXT, Johnny Gargano will be the new lead heel for the brand with Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong right under him. I’m sorry but I don’t see how anyone is going to boo this current version of Johnny Gargano as he is the biggest goofball on the show and I couldn’t hate him even if I wanted to.
After stealing the show with Ilja Dragunov at Takeover PW Insider reports that officials in NXT want Walter on the main NXT brand on a consistent basis just like his Imperium team members Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner.
Andrew Zarian reports that the reason for the new look on Karrion Kross is to make him more marketable in order to sell merchandise.
For anyone wondering where Kofi Kingston has been, according to PWInsider it appears that as of right now he is not cleared to perform. I have to imagine the Miz and John Morrison breakup wasn’t supposed to happen this soon but with Kingston unable to compete they were unable to have their feud with New Day so they pushed the split up to give Miz and Morrison something to do.
Coming up this Week
- Bobby Lashley vs Sheamus
- The Miz vs John Morrison
- Eva Marie vs Doudrop
- Tommaso Ciampa vs Ridge Holland
- Johnny Gargano vs LA Knight
- Kyle O’Reilly vs Duke Hudson
- Roderick Strong Open Challenge
- Appearance from new NXT UK Champion Ilja Dragunov
- Teoman vs Nathan Frazer (Heritage Cup Championship #1 Contender Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Nina Samuels vs Blair Davenport
- Roman Reigns © vs Finn Balor (WWE Universal Championship)
As always if you have any feedback to give whether it be positive or negative please feel free to contact me on Twitter @MTW3589.