This week in pro wrestling, WrestleMania aftermath. What will happen after the most unique Mania’s ever? AEW begins it’s TNT title tournament! NXT has a six-women ladder match and the winner will face Charlotte Flair! Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano end their career feud! The Braun Strowman reign begins and has a bigger than life challenger. Let’s dive in to this week in pro wrestling!
The first WWE show after Mania embraced a few things and eliminated others. A superstar switches brands and a couple return! Are available stars getting the spotlight now? An impromptu multi match and a new tag team? Let’s dive into the first Raw after Mania!
A good showing. A multi match bonanza! Superstar switches brand.
Asuka vs Liv Morgan. Asuka wins via Asuka Lock submission.
On paper, this could be touted as a squash match in Asuka’s favor. However, this was interesting, because Liv put up a darn good fight. Asuka still showed her dominance, but Liv had a chance to showcase her new ring work. In which had The Empress on her heels for a bit. Eventually, Asuka finally cinched in the Asuka Lock for the win. Not a total game changer, the right one won and display the upcoming Liv. Good opening.
Street Profits vs Angel Garza/Austin Theory. Zelina Vega vs Bianca Belair. Street Profits/Bianca vs Garza/Austin/Zelina.
Yeah, you read that right. What initially started as a rematch from Mania, turned into three separate matches. I applaud WWE for this, but still felt like it was filler without replays. The first match ended up in a DQ win for the Street Profits. In which Zelina Vega said “but it was an accident!”, that had me rolling.
So now, a fight ensues… only to have Bianca Belair arrive to challenge Vega. This fight went on for a bit with Belair having control the most and Vega sneakingly strike back. However, Street Profits, Garza/Theory had a brawl and it became a no contest.
Now a Six-Man tag match, the teams go at it. This was pretty much a quick sweep to have Bianca hit the K.O.D on Vega for the win. Like I said in the beginning, in any other circumstances, this match may be hailed as brilliant. The the knowledge of the state of pro wrestling, made this a understanding of filling time. Still no replays, so that is a plus!
Roster change! New tag team! The Monday Night Messiah is furious.
Aleister Black vs Apollo Crews. Black wins via Black Mass pin fall.
Again, you read that right… Apollo Crews is now on Raw. I cannot remember the word for word reason, but Crews is on Raw now. Apollo’s first match is against the deadly striker Aleister Black and was fantastic! Well, if you ignored the multiple commercial breaks that ultimately downgraded this match. Every time a commercial came on, I yelled “REALLY!”. One of the main reasons why is that Crews looked his best in years, outpacing his NXT time. There will be ones that said Apollo was called up too soon and I agree. However, Apollo never had this type of spotlight to shine, in which he did.
The move did wonders for Crews and may have put a damper on Black. In my opinion, both men came out looking great. Not only Apollo reclaim his in ring grit, but Black took on a tough challenge and over came it. The match was dotted with near falls and desperate decisions. Whether if this was booked for time filling or not, the duo made the best out of it and stole the show tonight. Here is to hoping both men get this type of exposure after the pandemic allows live crowds again.
Ricochet/Cedric Alexander vs Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch. Ricochet wins via Recoil pin fall.
Stop me if your heard this from before… yeah, you read that right. Two… um… four guys that have been buried in WWE have a spotlight to shine. In which, Rico and Cedric just did that. Not to say the super talented Oney and Danny didn’t shine, but as rosters go.. you knew what was going to happen. The newly team of Ricochet and Alexander went toe to toe with the experienced Oney/Burch. It really never matter, because Ricochet and Cedric found a solid cohesion as a team now. The high flying duo made quick, but effective work out of Lorcen and Danny. I would love to see this Ricochet and Cedric team get a major push, the things they can do is amazing.
Seth Rollins vs Denzel Dejournette. Rollins wins via Curb Stomp pin fall.
Well, here is your first official squash match.. and Seth needed it. After the Messiah lost to Keven wens at Mania, he has become more of a changed man. This match had Rollins be really aggressive and not giving a care to it. This hopefully means that Seth and Owens are on a separate path in story lines. The feud has been done to death and this looks to be a new beginning for both, at least for Seth.
A irresistible return.. and squash. Followed by another quick win. With a surprise challenge!
Nia Jax vs Deonna Purrazzo. Jax wins via Package DDT pin fall.
After how Raw was going, I was actually amped for this match! Nia is back from her injuries and facing a up and comer Deonna. That feeling went away really quick, as we are regulated to the same old Jax matches. Purrazzo didn’t get a chance to shine much, this was all bout Nia returning. At least The Irresistible Force added a new move for the win. However, this could’ve played out a tad better, like having Purrazzo steal a win.
Humberto Carillo vs Brendan Vink. Carillo wins via Moonsault pin fall.
Sigh.. another squash match… but no replays, right!? After the Street Profits multi match, Seth’s and Nia squashes, I got burned out on quick matches. However, WWE says “hold my beer” and gives us another one. This time making a rumored start that Vinny gave up on the dominant win. Yes, I am confused as the rest of the smarks. However, Humberto manages a squash after taking a beating, so I guess it isn’t such a squash? Naw… it is and was not entertaining at all.
Drew McIntyre vs The Big Show. McIntyre wins via Claymore Kick pin fall.
Here is where WWE fully embraced the fact that they pre-tape. It was not a closely guarded secret, as many knew Mania was pre-taped. However, this segment.. the main event for the Raw after Mania.. was announced as taking place 20 minutes after Drew’s Mania match. A beaten down, but victorious McIntyre goes on about his huge win over Brock Lesnar and gaining the WWE title. The promo was interrupted by none other than The Big Show.
After a quick squabble between the two, a championship match started. Funny thing was, that I didn’t hear it was for the title until the commentators said it was. Drew retain and it was a a ho-hum match, mostly to put Drew over and to promote The Big Show show on Netflix, which I may watch. This just seem like a lazy way to end things for a Raw after Mania. Maybe WWE was scrambling or they planned this out. The outcome was merely a meh for me.
Initially, I was all aboard the Raw train. With surprising work from Liv Morgan to the great Apollo Crews showcase, I wanted for this to be more. Alas, it spiraled into a mediocre mess with constant squash matches. The bright spot was that it was ALL wrestling! Something WWE has not done since the lock down. It is trading one bad for the other and I rather have some type of matches, instead of replays.-David G.
This week on Dynamite, the first round for the TNT title begins with Cody Rhodes and Shawn Spears. The Best Friends name is up for grab. Jon Moxley and Jake Hager build to their match. A ranked women’s match and Chris Jericho on commentary! Let’s dive in, because this is Dynamite!
Murder Hawk squash. A bloody women’s ranked match. Great promo and Best Friends fight over name.
Lance Archer vs Allen Angels. Archer wins via Black Out pin fall.
Jake the Snake began the show with a solid promo towards Cody. Then the Murder Hawk arrived and backed up every word. Poor Allen Angels, he didn’t last 3 minutes as Archer hits a Black Out for the pin fall. This was just a classic showcase to show how dominate Lance is. The match was , meh.. the Roberts promo was spot on and accomplished it’s goal.
Hikaru Shida vs Dr Britt Baker. Shida wins via Running Knee Strike pin fall.
Ok, I must admit… I was not looking forward to this match at all. Why? Well, Shida has been the number one contender for the title for like ten weeks. Hikaru only had one shot at the title and lost, now Britt Baker is the conversation? Right… however Britt proved me wrong. The match a the usual at the start, with Baker taking control and showing off new moves. I began to write this off as a Britt win and/or a display of her newer move sets. Until this happened… somehow, Shida caught the Doctor with a strike and broke her nose.
This was the opportunity that Baker needed as she hammed it up. The ladies were covered in blood, as well as the mat. Britt went for her Lockjaw submission, but the ref did not approve. So Baker demanded his glove to apply the hold, that’s great improv there. Shida makes her way out and after big moves after big moves from both ladies. Hikaru hits a Running Knee on Baker’s BROKEN NOSE for the win. Impressive, there was no losers in this match.. both won.
Best Friends w/ Orange Cassidy vs Kenny Omega/ Michael Nakazawa. Best friends win via Strong Zero pin fall.
Beforehand, Kenny and Nakazawa had small talk about the history in Omega’s trailer. Nak suggests that they need a name and chose Best Friends, since they are best friends. Omega begrudgingly accepts, then Cassidy appears from their bathroom and the real Best Friends are angry about Omega taking their name. Now the match is set for the winner takes the Best Friends name. Yeah, this comedy is just getting started.
The match begins with Omega and Chuck Taylor exchanging quick and precise moves. Then it journeyed into Japanese comedic wrestling. Best Friends stayed true to their traditional wrestling, however, when you get Nakazawa in a fight all bets are off. If you never seen Nakazawa wrestle, he is a like a comedic Street Fighter Hakan. In which uses baby oil for his moves, vaguely like a Turkish oil wrestler.. just google it. Now with Kenny getting back to his roots from Japanese wrestling the duo go on an oiled tear. However, The Best Friends find a way to get the win with The Strong Zero.
If you are not a fan of comedic wrestling, then you may have hated this. I found it very enjoyable, especially when The Best Friends most popular member is a stoic Orange Cassidy. There was plenty of great moves by both teams and this gave the AEW audience a preview of what to expect from Nakazawa. Which is pure comedy and great wrestling. Now, can we have Cassidy vs Nakazwa now!
Promos! The Exalted One destroys. The TNT title tournament’s first match!
Jon Moxley and Jake Hager’s promo.
Earlier in the night, right after Shida and Baker’s match AEW showed a video promo about Jon and Jake’s match. It was well done, the match will be next week and a “No Holds Barred” match. The thing that really irked me was that they showed a condensed promo later on in the show! Look, it was great the first time.. don’t show it again AEW. All the second showing did was cement the fact AEW is filling air time during the pandemic. According to AEW owner, Tony Khan.. they supposedly had months of content. If replaying an edited promo from earlier is content, then AEW fans may be doomed.
Brodie Lee vs Lee Johnson. Brodie wins via Discus Lariat pin fall.
Before the match, The Exalted One belittles some of his Dark Order members for not dressing the part and picks out one that did. Now, I am not sure if this was a total dig at Vince McMahon like weeks prior. However, I see it as a knock on pro wrestling entirely. Hopefully, Brodie can move away from the Vince bashing. Yes, smarks may enjoy it, yet it can seem as a bitter former employer that now bases his entire character on it. Brodie Lee is way more talented than that, but he needs to prove it from now on. Oh, Brodie squashes Johnson in like a few minutes and looked good doing it.
Cody Rhodes vs Shawn Spears. Cody wins via Figure-Four Leg Lock pin fall.
Yeah, that’s right.. a submission pin fall! I have to scan my old brain to remember if this has happened on a main promo and on their main show before. I really can’t remember it happening, so I am going to use Google… and Google told me… get a life! So I actually looked up Google and can not find a match in a MAJOR promo that had this finish. If you do know of such a finish, leave a comment below, I am dying to hear from you all! So the match began with a normal build. Spears taking it to Cody, Rhodes fighting back, classic build.
However, weapons started to make it’s way into the match. Here I thought this was a traditional wrestling match. Alas, AEW shows its weakness again and not clarifying the rules and/or just ignoring them. Yes, this was interesting with the weapons, but clarification is better. We see Spears drop Cody on to a steel barricade (in which I found out, like Jericho.. the bottoms can be removed). Later on, The Chairman drops Rhodes on a table from in to outside the ring, shattering it.
Then when it looked all is lost for Cody, The American Nightmare hits back to back Cross Rhodes… only for a two count. The former Perfect Ten then attempts a C4. Yet Cody escapes and lock in one of his father’s signature moves, the FIGURE-FOUR! However, this was not like the way Dusty Rhodes would’ve won… instead of a submission, Cody got the pin from Spears in agony. That is game and Cody advances to the TNT title.
Well, it was not the best of AEW shows, but still entertaining. The Britt vs Shida match was about to have me phone this in, but kudos to them for reigniting my interest! The Archer and Brodie squash matches need some spacing. I understand that Lance needs them, as the US crowd may not know about him. However, the same can not be said about Brodie. Lee was a big name in the mainstream free agency, he had his squashes.. he needs to move on to be a bigger player. Also, his easy win tonight.. could’ve benefited the lower Dark Order members. This slight move can make The Dark Order look like they can be bigger then The Elite and Inner Circle.-David G.
After a shocking title change at Wrestlemania, tonight we learn who will be the next contender for Charlotte Flair’s NXT Women’s Championship! And in the main event of the evening, it’s Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano. Black Heart vs. Rebel Heart: One Final Beat!
Welcome back, Mauro Ranallo! He’s running solo this evening, obviously doing voice-over work, as he is not present at Full Sail University. But it’s nice to have him back on commentary. His passion and enthusiasm add that little extra to the contests.
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match – Io Shirai vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tegan Nox vs. Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai vs. Candice LeRae
Everything that needed to happen in this match happened. At the start, all six women are going at each other, before Kai calls for Raquel Gonzalez to bring in a ladder. That sets up the inevitable standoff with the three women she betrayed at War Games five months ago: Nox, LeRae, and Yim.
The trio take turns beating down Kai, until Shirai intervenes with a double dropkick on Yim and Nox. From there, the plunder is introduced, as Shirai gets the ladder and Green brandishes a steel chair. After a series of back and forth tussles to get to the top of the ladder, Io is the last woman standing, and she hurries her way to the top, only for Gonzalez to run interference, tipping the ladder over. The Genius of the Sky uses her quick thinking, and springboards off the top rope onto the women waiting outside the ring.
At this point, Gonzalez is the only woman left on her feet, so she hoists Dakota onto her shoulders and begins to ascend the ladder. The HBIC stops Gonzalez from climbing, while Kai continues making her way up. LeRae stops Kai’s momentum, while on the other side of the ring, Nox and Yim deliver a double chokeslam to Gonzalez, sending her through a table set up at ringside.
Towards the end, Robert Stone is trying to help his associate Chelsea Green to her feet to climb for the waiting briefcase. Green’s knee isn’t cooperating, so Stone helps her up the ladder. Shirai and LeRae meet in the ring, and topple the ladder, sending the Robert Stone Brand duo tumbling outside. As LeRae and Shirai battle atop the ladder, Io rakes Candice’s eyes, effectively knocking LeRae out of contention and freeing Shirai to capture the briefcase to end the match.
Winner: Io Shirai
I had predicted Shirai to win this match weeks ago. However, after Charlotte defeated Rhea Ripley at Wrestlemania last weekend, I started to have second thoughts. But in the end, Io pulled it off. Great performances all around from everyone involved. Even Chelsea Green actually looked like she belonged there, and I’ve lambasted her short career to no end! Nice opening match.
The Prince Speaks
After replaying recent events involving Finn Balor and Imperium, along with showing highlights of Balor’s match on NXT UK against Alexander Wolfe, we get to hear from The Prince himself. Balor makes his intentions known that he is targeting Walter, and is coming for the NXT UK Championship.
I don’t know what all I can say about this segment. The build has been stellar, but with circumstance being what they are, this match won’t be taking place anytime soon. The prevailing theory was that Balor would challenge Walter at Takeover UK: Dublin later this month, but that’s been postponed. Alas, it does make sense for Balor to lay out the challenge now, and while everything is put on hold, we know where his focus is.
Indus Sher (Rinku & Saurav w/Malcolm Bivens) vs Ever-Rise (Matt Martel & Chase Parker)
After a brief flurry of offense from Martel, Rinku overpowers his opponent, throwing Martel across the ring. Martel tags in Parker, and they lay out a series of double team moves before Rinku levels Parker with a shoulder tackle. From there, it’s sheer domination from Indus Sher. Power move after power move, double team spots galore. Ultimately, Rinku tags in Saurav, and they finish Parker with a pendulum backbreaker/elbow drop combination to pick up their first win on NXT.
Winners: Indus Sher
Simply a squash match to show the brute strength of the new tag team on the scene. Their attack on Matt Riddle two weeks ago shows that they are targeting the top. I will say, and this was pointed out to me after the fact by my good friend Jaime, that they did botch the finish: Saurav was the legal man after the tag, but Rinku was the one that picked up the pinfall after the finisher. Small mistake, but not like it made a difference in the result.
NXT Champion Adam Cole (still apparently on “vacation”) congratulates Velveteen Dream for beating Bobby Fish, but says that Dream still doesn’t deserve a shot. Cole says he will “shatter” the Experience.
News broke earlier in the day on WWE’s The Bump that due to current events, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin will not be able to defend his title in the foreseeable future. Due to that, NXT GM William Regal announced that, starting next week, we will have a Cruiserweight Tournament to crown the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion.
The NXT Women’s Championship match from Wrestlemania is highlighted, and we hear from both competitors in a pair of post-match interviews. Charlotte quotes her father in saying the “woman makes the title”, and adds that Ripley was just “alright” in their match. A distraught Ripley is shown, and all she says is “She was a lot better than I expected.”
Adam Cole continuing to berate Velveteen Dream makes sense, to stretch out this story as long as we can. Dream has to prove his worth to the champ before Cole will give him a shot.
The Cruiserweight Championship tournament should be fun, as long as they give the right guys a chance. We don’t know the competitors yet as of this writing, but there is potential for some stellar match-ups. I’m also glad that they went with the “Interim” tag, as Devlin isn’t being stripped of his title; he simply can’t travel to the States to defend it.
Initially, I loathed the decision to put the title on Charlotte at Wrestlemania. I thought it was way too soon to take it away from Ripley. But in hindsight, this could prove to be a great opportunity to build the women’s division on ALL shows. Charlotte has come out saying that she will defend the title not only on NXT, but Raw and Smackdown as well. Similar to what happened with Drew McIntyre defeating Brock Lesnar, the woman who takes down Charlotte will make herself a star.
As for Ripley, that short statement after Wrestlemania was powerful. Now she knows that she has to step up her game to dethrone the Queen.
Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa – Black Heart vs. Rebel Heart: One Final Beat
It has all come down to this: Gargano vs. Ciampa in their fifth and supposedly final matchup. The build that NXT did to get us back to this match has been stellar, and this match does not disappoint. The match is set up in a cinematic style, similar to what the Boneyard Match was at Wrestlemania. Only difference here is that this is an ACTUAL match.
Gargano arrives with his wife Candice LeRae, and as he walks to the warehouse, she hands him a brown paper bag. Johnny and Tommaso walk into the warehouse at the same time from opposite sides, to find Triple H sitting on a chair in the middle of the ring. Hunter tells them that the match starts in the ring, and ends in the ring, but he doesn’t care what happens in between, but when it’s done, it’s done. Trips tosses the steel chair down, and tells the combatants, “When I walk out the door, it’s on.”
The Brawl Begins
After a brief staredown and trash talking, Gargano and Ciampa proceed to tear into each other. The brawl starts with both guys getting offense in the ring, before it spills to the outside and plunder is introduced. One of the most noticeable points of this match is that there is no commentary. Only thing we need to hear is Johnny and Tommaso berating each other with verbal attacks, along with referee Drake Younger pleading with the guys to stop the onslaught at several points.
Several memories of this rivalry are present in the match, from Gargano doing the Ciampa pose on the ring apron and clapping, to Ciampa brandishing a crutch, saying “This brings back memories”, to Ciampa cutting away the protective padding on the ring to expose the wooden planks. The action spills outside to the parking lot, where both guys climb atop a production truck and duke it out.
Back inside, Ciampa is giving chase to Gargano, but Johnny sneak attacks Tommaso, saying “It ends in here, where you wanted”. Gargano hoists Ciampa onto the top turnbuckle, but Ciampa counters and hits Gargano with an Air Raid Crash to the floor outside! Brutal looking spot, even with the camera cuts.
Later, as both competitors are showing wear and exhaustion, Candice reappears, standing between both men, begging for them to stop. She looks at Johnny and asks, “Who are you?”, then turns to Tommaso and asks him, “Are you happy now? Finish it.” Ciampa looks at her with remorse, so Candice says she will, and she turns and kicks her husband right in the groin. Tommaso looks on in confusion as Candice leaves the ring.
Ciampa looks down at Gargano, and all the feelings start to pour in again. Tommaso sits beside Johnny, and tries to console him. They share a brief embrace, and both men apologize. As they make it to their feet, Candice sneaks in behind Tommaso and kicks him in the groin. Johnny reaches into his tights and pulls out a protective cup, the mystery item that his wife gave him prior to the match. Gargano holds it in Ciampa’s face, tells him “You lose”, and hits Tommaso with the Fairytale Ending to finish the brutality.
Winner – Johnny Gargano
Candice helps Johnny to his feet, and they leave the warehouse as NXT goes off the air.
Wow, what a fantastic way to end the best rivalry in NXT history. The presentation of this match was perfect, with no commentary to talk over what we were witnessing. All we needed to hear was the competitors talking trash to each other, and Drake pleading for the physicality to end. Only gripe I have is similar to what my colleague David said during the Raw recap: WAY too many commercials. They really took away from the momentum of the match. Outside of that, perfect match, perfect brawl, perfect ending.
I absolutely loved this show. Everything that needed to happen, happened. Io Shirai is the next contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, Indus Sher looked dominant and added another dimension to the tag team division, and Gargano and Ciampa tore each other apart. The video packages were well done to keep stories going, as well. Wonderful show.
It’s hard to say where we go from here with a lot of things. As of this writing, there’s nothing advertised for next week’s show, outside of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament. When does Io get her shot? Where do Gargano and Ciampa go from here? What’s the state of the NXT Tag Team Championships? Lots of questions going into next week. -Josh L.
Friday Night SmackDown:
Continuing the fall out of the most unique WrestleMania’s ever, SmackDown starts the Strowman era. Will it last or will it be a transition period? The new SmackDown Women’s Tag Team champs defend their title and accept all challengers! The Dirt Sheets make appearance. Another call up debut for the main roster! Let’s dive in right now!
The Monster reign. WrestleMania rematch. Elias’s new song. Tucker fights for his pal.
The newest WWE Universal Champion, Braun Strowman arrives. The Monster makes it clear that this is his time, but Shinuke Nakamura interrupts. Challenging the Monster for the title, Cesaro attempts a a cheap shot and Shin kick Braun in the head. Yawn.. the only thing that was good was WWE allowing Shin to cut a promo in English and some Japanese. Other that that it felt like fodder.
Alexa Blis/Nikki Cross vs The Kabuki Warriors. Cross wins via Twisted Neckbreaker pin fall.
Another hoo-hum match. However, this had underlying stakes. The rumor is that Kairi Sane may be done with WWE, so losing this match may be her “lights out” match. Sane and Asuka looked great again, Bliss and Cross are improving. Yet there is just something missing with Cross/Bliss and I don’t know what it is. It is hard to believe that Alexa is a total face and the same with Nikki, thank you WWE booking. However, here they are.. total faces and the champs. A nice match between the four, with Kairi taking in her heel persona. The closing minutes had Cross hitting a Twisted Neckbreaker for the pin fall.
Walk with Elias.
Elias debut a new song… on the the same perch that King Corbin almost “Mufasa” him on. Yes The Drifter made a line about it in his newest song. The surprisingly thing was that the song was not interrupted. A staple for every time he sings his songs. This time, it was all song… all drifting.
Dolph Ziggler vs Tucker. Dolph wins via Superkick pin fall.
A quick, but decent match. It was as shame as Tucker looked good in this match again. Tucky displaying that a big guy can do some of the flippy guys moves, but to no avail.. Ziggler with the help of Sonya DeVille gets the win. Ziggler hits a SuperKick for the win and probably cementing a feud with Heavy Machinery’s Tucker. This was a bit confusing as it seems to set up a break up of Heavy Machinery. A little too soon if you ask me.. they still need the Tag Team titles before this. Maybe this is a long story to it, but the seeds have been planted.
The Dirt Sheets. An NXT debut! Nikki Cross needs to lay of the caffeine.
The Miz and Morrison comedic antics continue as they stated the world needs some good news. The SmackDown tag champs give us a rundown of the “good”news. John Morrison became the first man to retain the tag titles by himself, good news. AJ Styles was buried, Braun Strowman won the Universal title, and the Miz became the first man to defend the title from his couch, again, good news. John Cena disappeared, great news and their song went gold.
Which led the duo to preform the track “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho” live, in the most dad cringe way possible. I was rolling watching this as it was absolutely horrible. The Usos came out and Jey did a cough in to his elbow, a poke at Miz being sick and missing Mania. Then New Day arrive and state that there will be another Triple Threat match for the titles. This time it will the other half of the teams, Big E vs Jey Uso vs The Miz. This was a great spot from the cringe to the technicality of the titles defended at Mania. Hopefully, this will be the end of the feud. It was fun run though.
The Forgotten Sons vs Lucha House Party. Forgotten Sons win via The Memory Remains pin fall.
Yup, The Forgotten Sons made it to the main roster. WWE is known to pull up NXT talent in the following week after Mania and this is it. Hopefully, The Forgotten Sons can have a better run on SmackDown then in NXT, as they seem to be well… forgotten. This was a non-stop match with both teams getting in big moves. The Forgotten Sons stood tall with the Memory Remains pin fall, a Stomp to Inverted DDT combo. Sons may and should really benefit from Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker being former US Marines. In which gives the talent to destroy anyone just by looking at them. With a focus story line and some time, this stable can be a creditable threat. Let’s hope WWE doesn’t treat them like the Revival.
Nikki Cross is way too excited.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are backstage and Cross says that she feels unbeatable. Enter two blondes, Carmella and Dana Brooks. Mella and Brooks want a friendly shot at the titles, but Bliss is not too sure about that. After a quick “pow-wow”, Bliss was about to give an answer and Cross blurts out “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”. The Goddess tell her BFF “I love you girl.. but from now on, decaf…”. I honestly chuckled at that, it was the only thing going for this entire segment.
Bayley brags. Sheamus squashes a second generation wrestler. The main event, with a twist
The champion Bayley is at it again. Bragging how she the greatest Women’s champion and no one can touch her. To Bayley’s credit, she has beaten almost everyone on the roster, the first WWE women’s Grandslam Champion, and has held the title for 182 days. However, she still needs her BFF, Sasha for help. The Boss was about to defend her pal from the “sheep” as Tamina rolls in. The towering brute tells Bayley she wants a fair shot at the title this time. Bayley agrees, but only if she can beat Sasha Banks first. Now The Boss is caught up in a match she didn’t want any part of. Tamina pointed out before leaving, that before Banks left the WWE, her BFF was screwing her over. Thus sowing the inevitable Banks/Bayley feud. If it’s anything like their NXT classic, I am so down for that.
Sheamus vs Cal Bloom. Sheamus wins with Brogue Kick pin fall.
Absolute squash. Sheamus dominated from the start to finish was about ninety seconds. What struck me for some reason, was the Cal Bloom guy. So after a quick research, I found out that Cal is the son of Wayne Bloom. Wayne was one half of The Beverly Brothers, with Mike Enos in WWE (1991-1993) and was also in The Destruction Crew in AWA. Cal was also a UCF Knights Tight End. The kid was promise and it was nice to see WWE giving him TV time to help along his growth, even if it is jobbing out.
Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura. Strowman retains with Running Powerslam pin fall.
To say this was anti-climatic, will be almost correct. The match itself was, but the SmackDown’s ending was a swerve I didn’t expect. After a beating Braun took for about 90% of the match, The Monster swooped up Nak and hits a Running Powerslam for the pin. This should be the end of the Sami Zayn trio and Braun. Just as the show was going to go off air, the Firefly Fun House song starts. Bray Wyatt goes on to acknowledge that he rewrote WWE history with John Cena and now wants his title back.
A series of photos of Strowman being in the Wyatt Family and Bray said he turned his back on him. Wyatt took Braun out of the swamp, gave him a home and Braun walked away. The Firefly puppets express their disapproval, except Ramblin’ Rabbit.. that good ol rabbit. While Strowman said he will not play these games to Bray. Wyatt tells the Monster, ” Since I brought you into this world, I’m gonna have to take you out.”. Bruan responds with “Anytime you want. I’m ready to let… you… in”.
This is like the debate on whether pineapple deserves to be on pizza, there isn’t too much middle ground. Either you love it or hate it, I fall in the latter. This seems horrible timing and WWE again realizes that they shouldn’t gave Goldberg the title. Now with Braun winning his first Universal championship, it may be stripped from him, before he can do anything with it. Logistically speaking, it may be the only thing WWE can come up with due to the circumstances. Roman Reigns will be out for the foreseeable future, Bray and Strowman do have a history together. However, I still fell that Braun got his title run a little too late and The Fiend does NOT need a title. Bray Wyatt’s Fiend suits well as a destructive force that changes WWE stars. But that is just my opinion.– David G.
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