This week in wrestling provided a Bayley heel turn, maybe a Daniel Bryan face turn, an NXT Championship title match, and AEW’s title theft. Let’s dive in to this week in pro wrestling!
The Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD was home to this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw on 9/2/19.
Contract signing. Tag team action. King of the Ring match.
Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins never made it through their Universal Title match contract signing as the OC had other plans. The US Champ, AJ Styles, made fun of how they got to their match and it led to the newly minted champs defeating Gallows and Anderson via pin fall after Rollins rolled up Anderson.
They won the battle, but not the war. Roode and Ziggler were out and it led to a mugging of the champs, where we saw Braun Strowman unintentionally mowing down Rollins with a shoulder block before he ate a five man Magic Killer.
We’d find out later that next week’s Madison Square Garden event would see the legendary “Stone Cold” Steve Austin overseeing the contract signing where Strowman says Austin better not get in his way.
Roode and Ziggler beat Hawkins and Ryder in the next match of the night after a superkick/Glorious DDT combo on Hawkins. Roode and Ziggler look good together and have a real shot of leaving the PPV as the champs.
Cedric Alexander would lose his bid to become King Of The Ring after Baron Corbin bested him with the End Of Days after Alexander was attacked by the OC before the match, possibly setting up a US Title program.
Corbin would later find out he’d be involved in a triple threat match to advance next week as Ricochet and Samoa Joe pinned each other, leading to frustration after the controversial finish. This is a unique take on a double pin fall and next week’s match should provide plenty of entertainment.
Vikings pillage. Firefly Fun House! Miz vs Cesaro.
The raid continues as the Viking Raiders steamrolled through two jobbers once again.
“Firefly Fun House” returned and we got another brilliant delivery featuring Bray Wyatt and a money-hungry devil Vince McMahon puppet. He had challenged the winner of Strowman and Rollins to a title match at Hell In The Cell. It looks like it will happen. He also apologized for what “The Fiend” did to Finn Balor, and then he winked at us. Marvelous stuff here all around.
Lacey Evans is back on the winning track as she beat Natalya following a Women’s right after she tossed a tissue in her face. It’s just a matter of times before the young talent gets back into the title picture.
The Miz defeated Cesaro in singles action after a great contest. Miz scored the pin fall after a Skull Crushing Finale and it allows him to carry needed momentum into an IC Title match with Shinsuke Nakamura, who will have outside aide from his new friend Sami Zayn.
That heel turn!
Bayley and Becky Lynch got a victory via DQ in the main event as they competed against the Women’s tag team champions, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Sasha Banks was at ringside and she hit the backstabber to cause the DQ as Bliss and Cross left the ringside area.
Bayley snatched the chair from Banks, who questioned her best friends intentions and we left Raw following a shocking betrayal as Bayley turned heel, lambasting Lynch with the unforgiving steel, cementing a needed heel turn which adds intrigue to both title pictures.
Another quality outing from Heyman and his team this week as we head to Smackdown tomorrow night.–Joel R
On SDL Bayley explains her heel turn, great King Of The Ring match. 24/7 championship shenanigans and will Roman Reigns apologize to Daniel Bryan?
Bayley explains. A new Elias? A meh tag match. The Viper’s newest plan (it’s an old one).
The heel Hugger.
Just as you expected, Bayley came out with a heel persona. Inflatable dancing props, throwing her hands up, and… WHAT? It’s the same old Bayley! However, when she grabs the mic she was different. Bayley states that she is not different, she is just leading the Women’s division, like her heroes. The Hugger tells that she will beat the most selfish person in WWE, Charlotte Flair. The Queen arrives, admits that she can be selfish but wants the title. What followed was the BFFs Sasha and Bayley giving a steel chair beat down. Thus was actually good, I was suspicious for a heel Bayley on Raw, but this promo was great for her character.
Elias vs Ali, King of the Ring match. Elias wind via Drift Away pin fall.
In a surprisingly nice match from Elias, no not Ali because we all know Ali can perform in a match. But the guitar playing, but rarely winning a match Elias looked impressive. Using moves he did in the indies, with Ali tugging on the crowds heartstrings. Ali went for the 450 Splash, but Elias rolls away and hits the Drift Away for the win. This is probably the best WWE Elias match I’ve ever seen. Not only Elias looked great, but it looked like he cared about the match. Ali is Ali, you are going to get a good match from him no matter what. But my last thought was how good Elias looked.
Fire And Desire vs Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross. Fire and Desire win via new unnamed finisher.
Ok, let’s get this out of the way. This was a snoozer. Two, maybe three things happened. Mandy Rose shouts at Nikki Cross “YOU’LL NEVER LOOK AS GOOD AS ME!”. Bliss yells back “NO ONE WANTS TO LOOK LIKE YOU!!” *cat fight*. Fire and Desire win via a new cool looking tag team move. Lastly, Fire and Desire get a win over the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Nice use of an under used team WWE! Now how about The Kabuki Warriors?!
Randy being Randy.
The Viper comes out and again taunts SDL champion, Kofi Kingston. This prompts Kofi to engage, only to be attacked by The Revival. Kofi fought, but the number game took over. It ended with a Super RKO by the trio. This was a good promo, but Mr Orton, please stop with the “STUPID, STUPID, STUPID” rants. It was great before, but it’s getting over used.
MATCH OF THE NIGHT! Two filler matches and Daniel Bryan is a baby face?
Chad Gable vs Andrade King of the King match. Gable wins via roll up pin fall.
Yup, you read that correctly, Chad Gable…. Shorty G.. that small guy won over Mr Charlotte Flair.. Andrade. It wasn’t an ordinary match, it was a story driven match of an underdog and man was it great. Gable looked like a fighter that watched hours of Andrade matches and took advantage of it. Zelina Vega interfered at one point that it looked Andrade was going to win, but alas failed. This match was fantastic, just go watch it and if you are not rooting for Gable near the end, then you hate underdogs. Match.. Of.. The.. Night.
Aleister Black vs Shelton Benjamin. Black wins via Black Mass pin fall.
Umm, yeah… It seems that WWE forgot about these two great workers. So they just threw them in a match, with the newer worker winning. That’s about it, Aleister hits a Black Mass for the win.
Again, yawn. But awesome.
The microphone back Shinsuke Nakamura fights a local jobber. But wait! There’s more! Shin’s new manager, Sami Zayn provides play by play at ringside. Yes, I found this annoying, why? Because both, maybe all three men deserved better. Shin wins with a Kinsasha.
Before the match, Bo Dallas won the 24/7 match from Drake Maverick. After the the Shin vs jobber match, the 24/7 match spills in the ring and Drake wins the title back. However, while walking up the ramp a royal lamp reveals itself. The greatest 24/7 champion. R-Truth rolls up Drake for the win. Becoming a 14-time champion… watch out John Cena!!
Daniel Bryan turning face? Erick Rowan shines.
Ok, most likely not. However, when Bryan asked for an apology from Reigns, Rowan shows up. The Redwood admits to everything and Daniel Bryan slaps him again. Rowan then attacks Reigns, but Bryan interrupts the attack. What is going on here?! This segment actually let Rowan shine, Erik has been caught in background hell and this gave a glimpse on how good he can be. On the mic and while slamming bodies around.
SDL was solid, nothing game changing for the landscape, but entertaining. The two most notable things were Chad Gable becoming an underdog beast and Rowan being a beast. Solid show.-David G
We open on the aftermath of Erick Rowan’s attack on Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. I get it is live but this ate up about 4 minutes of an hour program, dragging a bit.
Behind the scenes meeting with Drake Maverick, Humberto Carrillo, and Lince Dorado. Dorado says he deserves a shot at the cruiserweight championship, setting up Dorado and Carrillo for the main event tonight. If Dorado wins, this will make the Clash of Champions match a triple-threat. Standard stuff but has the same setup as last week, leaving me a bit disapointed in the story and struggle for the strap.
Tony Nese vs Mike Kanellis
Both Nese and Kanellis looked strong here and showing their styles well. Nese did a good amount of selling for Kanellis early on, thwarting Nese’s many of Nese’s attempts and leading up to a great chain of traded two counts. Continuing the match, with Nese gaining momentum, but Kanellis finally gained the upper-hand at the end. Kanellis wins via super-kick into a twisting face-plant.
Move of the Match: Nese’s backwards dive over the top rope and onto Kanellis on the outside. This showed Nese’s ability as he expertly landed and popped right up.
Another promo for Singh Brothers, really looking forward to the “Bollywood action” they keep hyping!
THE Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa vs Brandon Scott and Tyler Hastings
Originally scheduled for Jack Gallagher to fave Brian Kendrick but Gallagher wasn’t cleared for action. Great dynamics in this match but it ended very quickly, possibly due to this substitution. Kendrick and Tozawa win with a roundhouse kick/flatliner combo. Still worked and continued the story, Gallagher’s no-show making him more and more the heel.
Post match, Kendrick bashed Gallagher for his absence and says they are now scheduled for a match next week, if Gallagher is up for the challenge. My money is Gallagher shows up and milks this next week, whether he shows up or not.
Backstage, Oney Lorcan is being interviewed but this is interrupted by Tony Nesee causing a commotion. Lorcan tries to console him, telling Nese that he’s “been there,” but this sets off Nese and has him lash out at Lorcan in a nice one-sided backstage brawl.
Lince Dorado vs Humberto Carrillo
This main event was honestly a win-win, in my opinion, and both players did great in this match-up. I prefer Dorado’s style but that may be a bias as I think Carrillo needs to take acting lessons to emote better. He lands some great moves and sells well but he rarely emotes, the only time in this match being while he was in rear naked choke. Dorado continued to beat Carrillo, through submission moves to giant splashes, but Carrillo’s eventually hero’d up and began to fight back. Eventually Dorado hit the hurricanrana on Carrillo, making the match at Clash of Champions a triple threat.
Move of the match: Carrillo’s over the top rope dive, similar Nese’s but with a beautiful twist. I still preferred Nese’s brutal looking drop in the opening match as Carrillo landing right on his feet, softening the sell of Dorado.
Post match, Drew Gulak came and attacked Dorado, joined by Nese who helped beat Dorado and Carrillo. Do I smell a tag team match-up in the future?
Overall a good show and the main event kept Carrillo looking strong, even in his loss. I wouldn’t doubt they push him to take the championship at Clash of Champions.– Patrick S
Breezango vs Chase Parker & Matt Martel
There wasn’t much to this match. Parker & Martel (the former Team 3.0) were making their NXT debut, and Breezango have only recently reformed. Thus this was simply a matter of both teams attempting to establish their place on NXT’s crowded tag roster. The Fashion Police picked up the victory this time.
Velveteen Dream vs Kona Reeves
They keep trying to make Reeves happen, but I’m just not buying what he’s selling. That’s especially clear when he tries going ego to ego with a charisma monster like Dream. “The Finest” was allowed plenty of offense here, but it was of course Dream who picked up the win with a Dream Valley Driver.
After the match Dream’s celebration was interrupted by Roderick Strong on the big screen. As Strong talked smack, the camera eventually pulled back to reveal Dream’s velvet couch on fire. Dream and Strong will face each other with the North American Title on the line in two weeks when NXT makes its debut on USA Network.
Taynara Conti vs Bianca Belair
I’m not sure I understood the booking of this match. Conti was essentially a glorified enhancement opponent for the more established star Belair. However, if you were tuning in for the first time you would easily have thought it was the other way around. The Brazilian was n control for most of this match until the “EST” made a late comeback for the win. I don’t know if that was the best way to make her look like a legit title contender again.
Speaking of Women’s Title contenders, a new #1 contender will be determined in two weeks via a triple threat match. Belair, Mia Yim, and Io Shirai will do battle when NXT debuts on USA with the winner getting another shot at Shayna Baszler.
NXT Title Match: Adam Cole© vs Jordan Myles
Based on their accomplishments prior to WWE, you would think these two to be more evenly matched. However, the story they expertly told in this match was that Myles is the underdog rookie who is quite ready for the gold while Cole is the established top dog of the brand. Some day they are going to meet again on more even footing and have an even better match, but within the framework of the story this week they did an amazing job of both coming out exactly where they belong in the NXT pecking order. Cole retains the NXT Title and Myles has a nice jumping off point from which to build his NXT career.-Jason M
Other notable things this week:
- Prior to the main event Jordan Myles was interviewed by Cathy Kelly. Keith Lee was by his side, acting supportive of the Breakout winner’s opportunity. However something about the actual words Lee spoke made me think he was jealous of that opportunity and may be looking to put Jordan in his place soon.
- Footage was shown of Io Shirai beating up Candice LeRae in the parking lot, but they never really followed up on it as a story.
- Having finished the Breakout Tournament as runner up, Cameron Grimes was shown having something of a mental break while pacing and talking to himself.
- Following up on last week’s phenomenal encounter, Rhea Ripley steps in the ring with NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler next week. ~Jason M
The UK brand brought us a shorter than usual episode this week comprised entirely of extra footage from Saturday’s TakeOver event. Before I get to the 2 matches that were taped before Saturday’s show, here are some of the other notable bits that were shown:
- The Grizzled Young Veterans were upset about losing their tag titles and begged for a rematch. They’ll face the new champions South Wales Subculture next week.
- Joe Coffey and Dave Mastiff were both shown reeling from the effects of their Last Man Standing Match. They each had mates by their side, and while nothing of note happened here it’s clear their story isn’t quite over. Side note, Wild Boar in a suit and tie but still wearing his black contacts was quite an amusing visual to me.
- Welsh superstar Tegan Nox has finally recovered from her 2nd knee injury and had been shown ringside during TakeOver. She makes her in ring debut for NXT UK next week.
Rhea Ripley vs Piper Niven
Given the amount of time given to the building of this feud, I was expecting a much more even match. Instead, it was pretty much the Ripley show as the former UK Women’s champ was firmly in control of about 80-90% of the match. Interestingly, while it was her Riptide finisher that eventually got her this pin, she spent most of the bout focused on submissions. I’m not sure what this means for Niven going forward, but it’s clear that the powers that be have plans for Rhea. It’s also worth noting that the audience is responding well. In spite of her clear heel attitude, she’s being cheered and sliding into a tweener position quite naturally.
Kassius Ohno vs Sid Scala
This match was originally advertised as Ohno vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher, but it was established earlier in the show that Gallagher was not medically cleared for the match. Ohno demanded that a replacement opponent be found, so General Manager Johnny Saint sent his assistant to the ring. Scala’s selling was far too cartoonish to be taken seriously, but it was highly entertaining in its own way. The much smaller Scala put up much more of a fight than anticipated, but there was never any real doubt that Ohno would get the victory in the end. ~Jason M
- There are mixed reports regarding the future of former American Ninja Warrior star Kacy Catanzaro. There’s a rumor that, following a back injury, she’s decided to quit wrestling. However, none of her social media suggests she’s done as a wrestler, and follow up reports suggest that she’s still discussing options with WWE.
- The next roster draft is scheduled to take place in October. The announcement says it begins Friday Oct. 11 (SDL’s second show on Fox) and continues Monday Oct. 14 on Raw. After spending the last few months mixing rosters on a regular basis, this draft is meant to finalize clearly separate shows. With NXT firmly established on USA by that point, I have to imagine it will also be involved as a 3rd brand.
- There’s been another shake up in the writers’ rooms for Raw and SDL. Ryan Ward is out at Smackdown with former Raw lead Ed Koskey taking over the head writer job for SDL. 205 lead Jonathan Baeckstrom had already been brought into the Raw team by Paul Heyman and will now take over as Lead writer for Raw.
- Ric Flair is attempting to trademark the phrase “The Man.” He says Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch can continue using the moniker, but he wants to be financially compensated for it. I’m no legal expert, but I imagine this can’t possibly go the way the Nature Boy wants.
- Chris Jercho’s AEW title was stolen from his limo while eating at Longhorn’s Steakhouse. Within 24hrs it was recovered and was reported as found from a roadside. A reportedly $30,000 title.
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