This week the King Of The Ring tournament begins. Will we find out who attacked Roman Reigns? Who survived the match between Matt Riddle and Killian Dain? Will 205 Live survive? Let’s dive in this week of pro wrestling.
Monday Night Raw continues to present a quality effort each and every week since the inception of the Heyman Era and tonight was no different. St. Paul, MN was home to the weekly broadcast from the Xcel Energy Center on 8/19/19.
The Big Dog claims his yard. The Boss and The Man verbal attacks. The Fiend claims another Legend.
Dolph sells Big Dog like no other.
We began with Roman Reigns making a statement with a quality win over Dolph Ziggler. Reigns looks for answers to the identity of his attacker tomorrow night, but a big fight feel made this one special as Ziggler sold like a million bucks and Roman put in an honest day’s work on the road to victory.
The Boss tells nothing.
Becky Lynch had words in regards to Sasha Banks, who would sit down for her own interview later in the show. Unlike Lynch, Banks was evasive and revealed nothing as to why she attacked Natalya and Lynch last week.
Another Legend runs in to the Fiend.
Jerry “The King” Lawler was filling in for Corey Graves, who was on a stint of vacation, but it would have served him better to stay home in Memphis. As he prepared to speak about the King of The Ring tournament, he was surprised and attacked by “The Fiend”, who applied the Mandible Claw, and left the hall of famer a battered mess atop the entryway ramp. “The Fiend” continues to terrorize the WWE and it’s worth watching every second of it.
King Of The Ring begins. Xavier Woods gets hurt. Boring tag match.
King Of The Ring begins.
In King Of The Ring qualifying matches, we witnessed two solid outings as Samoa Joe and Cesaro took their liberties with one another, going hard, fast and furious with strong style strikes and power offense. Samoa Joe snatched the victory away from the “Swiss Cyborg” as he tapped him with the Coquina Clutch to advance to face the winner of Ricochet and Drew McIntyre next week.
King Of The Ring continues.
Cedric Alexander seized a victory himself as he advanced in the tournament at the expense of Sami Zayn following a handspring neuralizer and a lumbar check. Alexander has been taking advantage of needed TV time and he continues to dazzle with extraordinary matches in the time allotted. He’ll face the winner of Baron Corbin and the Miz next week.
Kofi and Randy feud continues.
The Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston story continued, this time after a DQ ended a tag team match between the New Day and The Revival. Orton has aligned himself with Dash and Dawson and “The Viper” struck with an RKO on Big E. before the Revival injured the knee of Xavier Woods as Orton held world champion Kofi Kingston at bay as the attack ensued. This story continues to get more personal each week.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in a non-title match. Cross hit her version of the roll of the dice on Deville to secure the victory and while both teams gave an honest effort, there is still a lot of work to be done as it relates to “Fire and Desire” in the ring.
A Legend retires? Bad Banks. New Raw Tag Team Champions.
Rey Mysterio teased his retirement with an emotional and jarring interview, but just as he was set to remove his mask, his son Dominic entered the scene and begged his father to stay and help guide his career through tag team action. Mysterio had tears in his eyes and agreed. This was truly a great segment and soundly executed by Rey and Dominic.
Sasha goes full on heel.
Natalya spoke before the main event about her late father and why Sasha Banks attacked her last week, but Banks entered the scene and beat the holy heck out of her. She then told Natalya to go to hell and to say hi to her father for her. Wow, that was a level of savage we haven’t seen or heard in a while.
Surprise winners for Raw Tag Team titles.
The main event saw the tag team titles defended by “The Good Brothers” against Braun Strowman and Universal Champion, Seth Rollins, after a DQ ended the US Title match between AJ Styles and Strowman earlier. An assault was laid upon Strowman after Gallows and Anderson saw the match’s end via the disqualification and it led to Rollins saving Strowman and the booking of the main event.
We saw new tag team champions crowned as they went back to the well of unlikely bedfellows, stalling the momentum recently garnered by the OC. Strowman and Rollins won the straps, which were surely lead to them losing them back to Gallows and Anderson next week or shortly thereafter before they begin a Universal Title feud. It was a quality match and Raw as a whole, was fantastic. They could have done the main event ending differently however, in my opinion. We shall see.–Joel Reser
On SDL, the King Of The Ring tournament continues, Buddy Murphy is law, Roman Reigns finds out his attacker, and blah.
Randy Orton is great. Superb King Of The Ring match. A moment of Blah.
Randy Orton opens the show, but it is the Viper at his best. What I mean is Orton is at his best when he cares about the story line he is in. It shows with his feud with Kofi, this is like Orton from 2009, playing off the crowd and telling them to shut up. After calling Kofi “stupid” many times, the SDL champ blindsides the Viper with a taste of his own medicine and is about to Brian Pullman Randy’s leg. However The Revival come in for the save, but Kofi beats them down with a steel chair. This was great on both ends, Orton being a fantastic heel and Kofi doing whatever it takes.
Andrade vs Apollo Crew. Andrade wins via Hammerlock DDT.
It’s such a shame that Andrade seems to hog all the rub, when Apollo shows that he can hang with a title shot off pure athleticism. A great match between the two that featured great spots. Alas, Mr Charlotte Flair gains the win after a Zelina Vega interference and Hammerlock DDT. Bith men actually looked strong after the match. I know I said before that this was rare in WWE, but it’s seemingly becoming a trend.
Alexa Bliss and cohort Nikki Cross host A Moment of Bliss with Charlotte Flair. Let me sum this up for you: Blah, blah, blah. Bublah, bublah, blah. Bayley shows up, blah. It was that bad. With stiff acting, poor writing, Alexa being heel this time (she switches more than Big Show), a Bayely pushing Flair off a chair. Yay… snooze.
Murphy’s Law. Filler match. Surprise duo.
Buddy keeps getting better.
The best not so secret Buddy Murphy again shined, this time against Daniel Bryan. Whoever Murphy made happy in being rewarded matches against some of the best SDL talent, he needs to keep it up. This time not only did Buddy win, but did it with his move Murphy’s Law. Yup, no cheap roll up surprise. Buddy won it clean, with his finisher. Nice job WWE… then gets beaten down backstage by Rowan and Bryan. Bad job WWE…bad, bad job.
The Revival vs Heavy Machinery. Revival wins via roll up.
Remeber how I praised WWE for not using a cheap pin fall? Well, throw that out the window here. I don’t what angle WWE is going for here. In one hand Heavy Machinery was supposed to be a very hot tag team and the Revival was coming back from losses. However, WWE did whar WWe does and just neutered both team’s momentum with this outcome.
Sami Zayn has a new job.
Zayn is back to blaming everything, but this time with a resolution. Sami will be Shinsuke Nakamura’s manager! Yeah, I was confused and delighted at the same time. Yet, I was still disappointed that Zayn can not get a push to save his life.
More neutering. What da hell answer.
WWE hates Kevin Owens.
No not the fans, WWE creative. Once again, a Stone Cold like persona must apologize to a McMahon. Who’s ego is running this show?! I’m sorry, I must’ve drifted off and forgot the biggest ego, a McMahon. So the every day hero Owens was forced to apologize to Shane. Had a KOR match vs Elias and lost due to Shane being the ref. Show us the signs of ugh here.
No seriously, What da hell?!
Before anyone can process what happened to KO, we are treated to who attacked Roman Reigns. Throughout the show Bryan and Rowan a hooded person backstage and stated that this is the one who attacked Roman. Now Reigns, Bryan, Rowan, and the mystery figure are all in one spot for the reveal. It was…… a DANG ROWAN LOOK A LIKE! Yep, this worse than the most drunken fan booking and that is how the show ends. With everyone looking at each other in silence, even the crowd could be heard laughing. Not in a good way.
What started as a surefire great SDL, tumbled towards the finish line. SDL could’ve just been one hour with the Andrade vs Apollo Crews match and the Buddy Murphy vs Daniel Bryan match. That may have had it rated as one the best SDL in years. Yet, WWE again tries to swerve things and attempt to make you care about the mundane. Let’s they step it back up again.-David G.
The fate of 205 Live.
With the announcement that NXT is officially moving to a live show on USA each week and SDL moving to Fridays, the fate of 205 seems to be a bit uncertain. It could continue to travel and broadcast with SDL on Fridays, or it could pre-tape and be saved for any night of the week. Personally, I think the best bet is to somewhat fold it into NXT.
Most of the 205 roster continues to work NXT simultaneous to their Cruiserweight efforts as it is, and the Full Sail crowd would be far more appreciative of their efforts than many of the mainstream crowds they currently get. Either keep it as a separate show and stream it live on the Network before or after the live NXT on USA (similar to it’s current post SD schedule), or fold the division into the overall NXT show. Either way it could be a winning formula.
Moving on to what the Cruiserweights brought to the table this week, the entire episode consisted of just one match, but that match incorporated many storylines. The match was a 5 on 5 tag team elimination match dubbed the “Captain’s Challenge.”
It arose out of last week’s battles between Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak and his challenger Oney Lorcan. Those two rival captains picked teams from the roster for this week’s match with Gulak taking Ariya Daivari, Mike Kanellis, Angel Garza and Tony Nese. Lorcan chose Humberto Carrillo, Isiah “Swerve” Scott, Akira Tozawa and Gentleman Jack Gallagher for his team.
Order of elimination:
- Tozawa by Kanellis
- Kanellis by Gallagher
- Gallagher by Nese
- Nese by Lorcan
- Swerve by Gulak
- Gulak by DQ for using a chair on Lorcan
- Daivari by Lorcan
- Garza by Carrillo
Carrillo and Lorcan both survived to give their team the win. Team mates Tozawa and Gallagher had a moment backstage after their eliminations where they followed up on last week’s match by setting up Jack vs Brian Kendrick for next week. Swerve got a lot of ring time to establish his rising star on the brand, and of course Lorcan continued to look tough as nails taking the chair beating and continuing the match. Perhaps the biggest stars of the night though were cousins Carrillo and Garza. Positioned on opposite sides a family rivalry was established throughout the match. Garza was the last man standing for his team until Humberto finally got the pin and set himself up for both an ongoing feud and a future title shot. ~Jason Moore
Imperium’s Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner kicked off the show in a match against The Hunt. The feral pairing of Wild Boar and Primate is a lot of fun, but this match is happening to showcase Imperium. That said, the Hunt held their own enough that it wasn’t a complete squash. Upon their return to the locker room, Barthel and Aichner find themselves under siege by mystery assailants. A bit later in the show Walter and Alexander Wolfe are shown to be irate about the attack on their stablemates. Walter still plans to meet Tyler Bate in the ring later.
Trent Seven hits the ring via the audience for the final segment of the show. Thinking him the mystery attacker, Walter storms down to the ring which gives Bate the opportunity he needs to take out Wolfe with a chair. Having removed 3/4 of Imperium from the picture, Mustache Mountain now has a 2 on 1 advantage to do a little damage to the champion. The show closes with Bate in the middle of the ring holding the UK Title aloft.
Ray pushes Storm’s buttons
Kay Lee Ray makes short work of a woman named Shax. It’s unclear if Shax is simply one off enhancement talent or a genuine roster member, but Nigel did mention she was trained by Paige’s mum. Post match KLR takes to the mic for some smack talk on UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm. Some of Ray’s comments get personal, and her mind games genuinely seem to be working on the champ. The question now is does that make Storm’s title vulnerable or does it simply fire her up to fight back harder? We’ll find out at TakeOver on the 31st.
Tag title opportunity
TakeOver is in Wales, and the Welsh duo of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster want in on the action. Webster did his part last week by defeating Mark Coffey. Now Andrews needs to defeat one half of the tag champions James Drake in order for them to be added to the match in Cardiff. They were in the midst of an excellent match when Gallus decided to join the party ringside. Their goal was likely to distract Andrews, but instead they distracted the champions and made Drake vulnerable to a quick pin. The tag title match at TakeOver will now be a triple threat endeavor.
Also made official during the show was the addition of Noam Dar vs Travis Banks to the Cardiff card. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was the go home show the way that it successfully hyped every match on the TakeOver card. They still have one more week to cram in a bit more hype though. TakeOver Cardiff will be live on WWE network Saturday August 31 at 2pm EST.~Jason Moore
The BIG news of the week for the Black & Gold brand is its pending move to the USA Network. Starting next month NXT will be a live 2 hour broadcast every Wednesday on cable TV. A lot of questions remain regarding how things may change for the brand, but while we await those answers there are several weeks of episodes that were taped last week.
The Undisputed Era is out in force to kick off the 1st show of the post-Toronto tapings. As he celebrates retaining the NXT Title, Adam Cole (BAY BAY) claims that “the Mount Rushmore of NXT would just have my pretty face 4 times!” The rest of the UE has unfinished business from their TakeOver matches though.
Roderick Strong says that since Pete Dunne was the man who got pinned in the triple threat for the North American Title that he himself did not lose. He still wants Velveteen Dream one on one, and Dream made an appearance later in the show acknowledging that Strong may indeed get his chance. Next Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish showed footage from the tag title match that seemingly proved Fish was the legal man when o’Reilly got pinned. They demand justice from William Regal.
The Era starts to leave, but before they can make it all the way up the ramp they’re greeted by Breakout Tournament winner Jordan Myles. Myles’ reward for winning that tournament was a contract for the title match of his choosing and he chooses Cole’s NXT Title.
A Thorne for the rookies
Shane Thorne continues to have disdain for the opportunity newer stars got in the Breakout Tournament, and this week he has his sights set on fellow Australian Bronson Reed. Thorne interrupted an interview with Reed and goaded him into a match. At first it seemed like the match was going to be a showcase for the larger Reed, but the tenacious heel stayed in the match long enough to take advantage of a small mistake from his opponent. Thorne has now defeated 2 of the Breakout rookies and surely has his eye on others.
Fresh off her failed attempt at winning the Women’s Title at TakeOver, Mia Yim was looking to regain some of her momentum in a match against Vanessa Borne. Borne’s tag partner Aliyah was providing interference at ringside, but Yim overcame the odds for the win. Unfortunately she was not able to overcome the 3 on 1 odds when the Horsewomen attacked her after the match. Clearly they aren’t yet done telling the story of Yim vs Baszler.
Also continuing to build momentum through wins was Damien Priest. Mansoor put up an impressive fight, but there was never any doubt Priest would stand tall at the end.
Beast vs Bro
Following up on their impromptu encounter at takeover, the “Beast of Belfast” Killian Dain and the “Original Bro” Matt Riddle officially met each other in the main event match of this week’s show. Riddle ambushed his foe to get things started, but Dain focused much of his aggression on the already injured ribs of the former MMA fighter. It was a back and forth battle of strength and power that eventually spilled outside the ring for some steel steps action. Dain followed that up with a trio of Vader Bombs inside the ring for the victory. Riddle did not accept defeat though. As the show went off the air the Bro was running backstage to continue the fight. ~Jason Moore
News and tidbits:
- It was officially announced that NXT will air live on the USA network and will be a two hour show on Wednesday’s.
- Rowan changes his name back to Erik Rowan.
- WWE’s power couple Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch became engaged.
- Former WWE and MMA Superstar Ken Shamrock will be returning to the ring in Impact Wrestling.
- Formerly known as Dean Ambrose and now as Jon Moxley has suffered an elbow injury and is AEW’s “All out”.
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