Each week, Brian Bayless and Jennifer Smith will recap the week that was in WWE TV. Share your thoughts with us via social media!
Matches of the Week
Jennifer: NXT was chock full of great matches this week, including a rowdy tag team and killer women’s match. But I’m going to have to give it to Lars Sullivan vs. Velveteen Dream. Both men are looking to face Champion Tommaso Ciampa at the upcoming TakeOver: WarGames II. Highlights from this match include: Dream’s pink velvet pants, introducing Sullivan’s face to the steel steps, throwing Dream directly onto the ring apron, Sullivan’s enormous thighs, Ciampa showing up and getting knocked to the floor with a flying double axhandle by Dream, and the surprise pin by Lars to win. Post match, Ciampa attacked Dream but was met with a twisting DDT right onto the belt. The Blackheart could only watch as Dream sauntered about holding his beloved belt.
Brian: Buddy Murphy vs. Mark Andrews was a very good match wrestled at a fast pace. It continues a long streak of very good-great main events on 205 Live. It was also nice to see some fresh blood on the show with Andrews. And as far as I’m concerned, Buddy Murphy is the most improved wrestler of 2018. He’s been a revelation since joining 205 Live.
Segments of the Week:
Jennifer: Becky Lynch responded to Ronda Rousey’s promo with a scorching one of her own. She defended her path to becoming “The Man” and pointed out that unlike Ronda, she had not been hand picked to be a champ. Becky’s absolute demand for the spotlight has been backed up in every way, in the ring and on the mic.
Brian: Ronda Rousey’s promo on Becky Lynch to hype their Survivor Series match was awesome. It was brief and to the point including some strong lines in what might turn out to be the most anticipated match on the show.
Quotes of the Week:
Jennifer: “And I don’t care if you’re the baddest bitch on the planet because I’m gonna make you mine.” – Becky Lynch to Ronda Rousey
“I mean, it’s all just menacing glances and awkward silences anyway.” – The Miz, on talking to Randy Orton
Brian: “You wanna know why I did what I did” – Dean Ambrose to Seth Rollins before hitting him with the Dirty Deeds following a run-in attack.
“And Becky, you might say that you’re the man but I am the baddest bitch on the planet” – Ronda Rousey to Becky Lynch.
Jennifer: The Miz and Daniel Bryan were named co-captains of the SmackDown Live Men’s Survivor Series team and I really enjoyed their skits backstage as they were trying to decide who to add to the team. They asked Shane to join (ugh, why?) and set up a match between their picks of Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy to fill a spot. Rey Mysterio defeated Andrade Almas in their first ever match to secure his spot on the team. Jeff Hardy tapped to Samoa Joe to complete the roster. I liked the way they put this team together, instead of just announcing random dudes. Nikki Cross made her SDL debut with a quick match against the champ, Becky Lynch. She tapped out, but had a nice showing even though it was odd to see her under the bright lights and in the white ring. The Usos beat The New Day to become captains of the SmackDown Live tag team Survivor Series squad and in a classy move, immediately invited The New Day to be on the team. On NXT, Johnny Gargano released a video explaining why he attacked Aleister Black. It is definitely worth a watch but basically he believes he had to play dirty in order to get another shot at Ciampa. Great stuff!
Brian: The opening segment where they laid out some of the RAW Survivor Series teams was decent and I liked how they had Kurt Angle want to reclaim his role as RAW’s team captain. Seth Rollins losing the RAW Tag Team Titles to the Authors of Pain in a valiant effort plus getting attacked after the match by Dean Ambrose put him over strong as a face. Drew McIntyre was also put over strong in beating Kurt Angle with relative ease as he ascension up the card continues. And on 205 Live, Lio Rush showed fire in a squash match and cut a really cocky heel promo against Cedric Alexander to hype their match next week.
What Didn’t Work:
Jennifer: Shane McMahon trying to convince the WWE Universe that he doesn’t think he’s the greatest in the world after literally yanking the World Cup trophy out of Paige’s hand. And then justifying his win at Crown Jewel by saying he did it for all of SmackDown Live.
Brian: Once again, Nia Jax has turned heel again by aligning with Tamina as they continue to flip-flop her character on a regular basis. She also will be Ronda’s next opponent. The finish of Natalya & Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Riott Squad, that saw Ruby snap Natalya’s deceased father’s glasses in half, felt cheap more than anything else. As great as the Elias act is he still struggles to maintain a positive reaction once the bell rings. And the Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley program is not working. And speaking of things not working, the Lio Rush & Lashley pairing still is not clicking. Lio’s act is not translating into heat for Lashley, who has been a disappointment since returning to the WWE.
Final Rankings for the Week
2. SmackDown Live
3. 205 Live
4. Monday Night Raw
1 – NXT (36 points)
2 – SmackDown Live (30 points)
3 – 205 Live (29 points)
4 – Monday Night Raw (12 points)