How did we fare predicting the Stomping Ground PPV? What matches have already been set in motion for next month’s Extreme Rules? What’s the latest news from the land of NXT? All that plus the BIG NEWS from WWE Creative in this week’s Scrumming!
Stomping Grounds Results
Overall we seem to be mostly back to our winning ways with the PPV predictions this month. The only official misses were Ricochet winning the US Title and Roman once again picking up the victory over McIntyre. Unpredicted matches were the Cruiserweight triple threat and the Smackdown tag title match. That brings our record for the night to 5-2-2, which is much better than I’ve been doing recently on main roster PPVs. Many of the storylines carried over into Raw and Smackdown this week as they began setting up matches for Extreme Rules, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
New Executive Directors
WWE announced this week that 2 new new executive director positions had been created to oversee Raw and Smackdown. Former ECW President Paul Heyman has been named the Executive Director of Monday Night Raw while former WCW President Eric Bischoff has been named Executive Director of Smackdown Live. According to press release the new execs will oversee creative for each show and be expected to maintain continuity across brands while also providing individual voices to each flagship show. Both men have decades of experience in the business. In their new roles they will report directly to WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
Assorted News and Notes
WWE Network debuted a new “365” special this week that gave a lot of insight into Alexa Bliss’ roller coaster year between Wresltemania 2018 and Wrestlemania 2019. The most notable part dealt with her multiple concussion battle. The special revealed that both her initial concussion and the one that followed occurred doing the same move with Ronda Rousey. That said, she claimed not to blame Rousey and appeared friendly with her even after the injuries.
After the 1st concussion she followed WWE’s protocols and worked her way back towards a dream match with Trish Stratus at Evolution. Unfortunately the 2nd concussion happened at a house show less than a week before Evolution. The second recovery was much more difficult, and Bliss began to wonder if she might never be able to work a match again. Thankfully, she did make her in ring return earlier this year at the Royal Rumble, and seems to be ok since then.
Wyatt’s amazing Firefly Funhouse sketches have been getting increasingly darker in the lead up to an eventual return to the ring. Bray has even been backstage at TV the last couple of weeks, and his Funhouse puppets started popping up in the background of backstage segments this week. Expect the master of the Funhouse to make his in ring return sooner rather than later.
In addition to giving a needed boost to sagging ratings, another reason for Taker’s surprise return may have been revealed. The Deadman has reportedly hand picked Drew McIntyre as his opponent for Wrestlemania 36. Mixing it up with Drew and Shane while tagging with Roman next month could be the beginning of that feud.
Former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal underwent knee surgery this week. According to his social media posting, the injury occurred during a June 15 match against Ali. Mahal states that the injury was not as bad as initially thought and that the surgery went well. Ali replied wishing him a speedy recovery so that they could have a rematch. No word on how long Mahal will be out of action.
Although rumors have made rounds many times regarding WWE’s indie partners being showcased on the WWE Network, thus far we’ve only seen talent sharing among these partners. On Saturday July 13th that changes when Evolve’s 10th anniversary show will be broadcast live on the Network from the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia. The card has not yet been set, but NXT is providing Adam Cole vs Akira Tozawa and Matt Riddle vs Drew Gulak for the show. Interestingly, this is the same night as AEW’s Fight for the Fallen show. Could this be how WWE counters their perceived new rival?
If you’ve not been paying attention to NXT UK lately, current UK Champion Walter has been joined by the tag team of Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel as well as former Sanity member Alexander Wolfe to form an intimidating new heel faction called Imperium. Walter successfully defended his title against Travis Banks this week. The UK tag champions Grizzled Young Veterans have a title defense vs Moustache Mountain within the next couple of weeks. On the women’s side of things, Kay Lee Ray won a battle royal to earn a shot at Toni Storm’s title, but it hasn’t yet been announced when that will happen. Former UK women’s champion Rhea Rhipley is also preparing for a showdown with relative newcomer Piper Niven that should be pretty epic.
Back home in regular NXT a new tournament has started featuring a number of familiar indie performers who haven’t yet spent much time on NXT TV. So far only one match has taken place in which Angel Garza (AKA Humberto Garza, a 3rd generation luchador and cousin of NXT/205 competitor Humberto Carillo) defeated Joaquin Wilde (FKA DJZ and Zema Ion when he was with Impact Wrestling. The rest of the bracket looks like this…
Dexter Lumis was previously known as Samuel Shaw, and Bronson Reed is Australian stand out Jonah Rock. Isaiah Scott is Shane Strickland who wrestled as Killshot in Lucha Underground and his opponent Cameron Grimes was previously known as Trevor Lee. Finally, Chinese superstar Boa has been at the PC for quite some time and he goes up against the man formerly known as ACH, Jordan Myles.
It’s a good time to introduce all of these new potential stars as there are rumors that one of the largest call ups ever will thin the NXT ranks later this summer. If true, the fresh influx of talent would be in preparation for Smackdown’s move to Fox in the Fall.
Evolve 131 July 13
-NXT Title Match: Adam Cole vs Akira Tozawa
-Matt Riddle vs Drew Gulak
WWE Extreme Rules July 14
We already have at several matches set for the next PPV with even more seeming likely.
–Mixed Tag: Winners Take All: In a clever twist, Baron Corbin chose Lacey Evans as the special ref for his match against Seth Rollins at Stomping Grounds. With Rollins having already attacked every potential male ref, going with a woman seemed to thwart that possibility. The heels overstepped their authority and cheated throughout the match of course until Evans eventually slapped the Universal champion and finally struck him below the belt. This brought out Rollins’ girlfriend and Raw Womens Champion Becky Lynch to even the odds.
After successfully defending both of their belts Sunday night and standing tall together to close out the PPV, the champs once again had to deal with their foes on Monday night Raw. When all was said and done a mixed tag match was set for Extreme Rules. Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Raw Womens Champion Becky Lynch with face Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans with both titles on the line. However, should the challengers lose, they won’t get another shot at either champion going forward.
–Roman Reigns & the Undertaker vs Drew McIntyre & Shane McMahon: Reigns may have once again succeeded in winning at the PPV, but McMahon and McItyre weren’t yet done putting up a fight. During a 2 on 1 handicap match Monday night the Big Dog got some surprise help from an unlikely source. The gongs of the Phenom rang in the arena and the Deadman appeared to even the odds against the cheating heels. Now the match has been set for Extreme Rules, and since it is Extreme Rules I would expect some extreme stipulation(s) to be added in the coming weeks.
–WWE Title Match: Kofi Kingston vs Samoa Joe: Having successfully defeated Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens within a period of 24 hours between Stomping Grounds and Raw, Kingston was attacked by Samoa Joe. Expect a better story to develop in the weeks ahead, but the match has been set.
–Smackdown Womens Title: Bayley vs Alexa Bliss: I’m not sure if they made this rematch official yet or not, but it seems like the direction they are going. Alexa’s latest friend Nikki Cross took responsibility for the loss at Stomping Grounds and decided to make it up to her buddy by obtaining another opportunity. Cross faced Bayley on Smackdown this week with the stipulation that should she win, Bliss would get another title match. Nikki did win, and couldn’t wait to tell her friend the great news.
–Intercontinental Title Match: Finn Balor vs Shinsuke Nakamura: Once again, though nothing has been set officially, this match was strongly hinted at on SDL this week. IC Champ Balor was being interviewed backstage regarding his next challenger when Nakamura entered the picture expressing interest. The champ smiled, and the match seemed a certainty without a word being spoken.
–Women’s Tag Title Match: The Icconics vs The Kabuki Warriors: Just as soon as we noticed the lengthy absence of the Warriors, they magically reappeared laying claim to a potential title shot. Paige’s Japanese duo faced the cocky Australian duo this week IN JAPAN with a victory earning them a short at the belts. I predict this to be a safe bet to be added to the Extreme Rules card next week.
NXT TakeOver Toronto Aug 10
WWE Summerslam Aug 11
NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff Aug 31
WWE Clash of Champions Sept 15
WWE Hell in a Cell Oct 6
NXT TakeOver Wargames Nov 23
WWE Survivor Series Nov 24
WWE TLC Dec 15
- Lightning add Bogosian to depleted blue line on eve of trade deadline February 23, 2020
- Abysmal defense leads to ugly Lightning defeat in Arizona. February 23, 2020
- Week in pro wrestling 2/17/20 TakeOver aftermath and AEW cage match February 22, 2020
- Vipers lose a thriller, fall to 0-3 February 22, 2020
- Vipers finally at home, looking for first win February 22, 2020
- Butherus: What is cheating? February 21, 2020
- Fresh faces featured in Bolts streak-snapping loss to Knights February 21, 2020
- Tampa Bay entertaining 2-year deal with Winston February 20, 2020
- Vipers trade for CFL star S.J. Green February 19, 2020
- Elusive eleventh conquered: Bolts make history in win over Avs February 18, 2020