Due to the VT trip here is 2 weeks in one. We have a rematch for the women's MITB, Great Balls of N-word, and plenty more in this Wreview!
Raw June 19th
The show begins with Roman Reigns coming out to make his Summerslam plans known. He seems to be in full heel mode tonight. Poking the crowd more than usual. He says he wants the champ at Summerslam. Then he refers to Samoa Joe as "some guy named Joe" and that makes Samoa Joe mad enough to come down and have a chat. He mentions that no matter how many people Reigns has beaten that he has never beaten him. Reigns says he'll never be Samoa Joe to him... just Joe and then it was on... It becomes decided that the 2 will fight later in the night.
I feel I have to mention here that I usually don't see Raw or Smackdown live. I watch the replay on Hulu and for Raw the 3 hour show is shortened to 2. So I miss the cruiserweights and often a womans match... I'm at their mercy. I wish I could see full Raw replays somewhere. I mean I'll pay 10.99 if that's what WWE Network needs.
Elias Sampson in the ring. Tunes guitar... general piss the fans off stuff. Finn Balor's music hits and out he comes. Elias slinks away. Finn preps for his match with a new look Bo Dallas. Finn goes over in a squash.
Seth Rollins out next to take the mic and speak about being the cover guy for the new WWE2k game. Cool that he appreciates being the cover boy. Then Bray comes out. Blah blah blah, basically just furthering this rivalry... nothing notable.
Miz then backstage still offering spots in the entourage. This time to a recently beaten Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Miz drops some great lines but the best is when he suggests their careers will be so irrelavant that they will come to Raw and only have a match out back with catering. Good stuff.
Next Hulu shows me Reigns vs. Samoa Joe and I had to reach for the PS4 controller because I thought "Main event already?" Well no, but it should have been, How are you gonna tell me you have the #1 contender for Brock Lesnar's title vs. the guy who just beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and not have that be you main event? The two fight a decent match and then an ambulance backs out near the stage. Reigns, and everyone else turn to see the doors fly open and hear a screaming Braun Strowman who still isn't done with Roman yet! The crowd popped huge for this, very huge. He starts heading to ringside and as he does Samoa Joe slaps on his sleeper hold and puts Reigns out! Then Braun comes in to hit his face-first chokeslam on Reigns and then leave.
I'm not sure at this point where the show is heading with no main event match announced but I'm intrigued...
Miz TV has Maryse as the guest as The Miz tries to win the favor back of his wife who has been getting the short end of the deal lately in Miz's feud with Dean Ambrose, yes this is still happening. So two bears are in the ring this week and eventually Ambrose hits the ring and Miz pulls Maryse in front of him and she spills her champagne all over her face. Miz follows Maryse as she runs away and the bears attack Ambrose. It's Axel and Dallas. They've joined the entourage! Miz comes back in and the beatdown of Ambrose continues. Anyone else already see an eventual assist from Ambrose's other fellow face brothers in the works? A little 3-on-3 perhaps?
Next was Sasha vs. Nia Jax which I think Hulu cut short. Emma, who Oh my God is back and I had no idea because her return was probably cut from a previous Raw... confront Alexa who was on commentary. They end up in the ring and Alexa hides behind Nia. Nia moves Alexa back in front of her and eventually Emma kicks Nia by mistake. Match thrown out. The women battle each other moving on.
Next Kurt Angle heads to the ring to tell us what he knows about the attacker of Enzo and Big Cass in recent weeks. This is apparently our main event so something big is about to happen. Enzo and Cass come out. Then the Big Show and the Revival as well. Kurt asks Big Show if he did it. Show is pissed he asked. The Revival are cleared by great alibis then Corey Graves stand from the announce position and has something to say.
He shows footage of the last attack on Big Cass and you can clearly see him set up the area and then just lay down. Cass then admits it and tears in to Enzo. He berates him and while he does Enzo is confused and upset... he even worked up tears... and you can't teach that! Probably not that hard when he realizes it's the end of their Tag Team run, and they are boys... I mean BOYZ.
Cass then kicks the bejesus out of Enzo leaving him in the ring. Claiming its his time and that he's ready to rise. I thought this was a weird end to the show but a cool way to focus on a story-line they built for weeks. I enjoyed them as a team but I see big things for heel Cass in the future. I also believe Enzo could succeed in the right environment. He's a great talker so hopefully he find something.
Smackdown June 20th
Smackdown begins with the replay of what happened in the women's MITB match on Sunday.
Carmella and James Ellsworth come out to discuss why anyone would think it's not ok that she won. She sites references to other interferences that stuck in MITB history. THe argument was compelling.
Big E takes on an Uso trying to further this feud.
Women keep complaining to Daniel Bryan all night. Making a case for why it wasn't fair.
Dolph takes on Nak... again. Nak goes over. Then Owens comes out to have the U.S. open challenge to someone from that town. AJ Styles is denied and then out comes Chad Gable who claims to have just moved there today. They have a pretty solid match including and awesome roll-through suplex by Gable. Owens wins after a hard-fought match. I'm hoping this continues and much like when Cena had it, becomes another good feature every week.
Hype Bros. are back and they too are whining to Daniel Bryan about being #1 contenders for the Tag Titles... they do have a point. They won a match for it when Zack got hurt. So Bryan decides they can face the Usos next week and if they win they get a shot.
Then Bryan hits the ring with all of the ladies to decide on the Women's MITB and he decides they will have a rematch of the woman's MITB next week on SD! What an injust choice. D. Bryan is clearly a puppet of what he think the fans want to see rather than upholding justice and the rules put in place. He would favor the fans... the only reason the guy was ever so over is the stupid fans.
Last up Jinder Mahal vs. Luke Harper in the main event. Not sure why Luke has been buried for so long. He had some great matches awhile back with Randy Orton. Let's get this guy some regular matches and a maybe a persona. So they fight Jinder goes over with a dumb ending and then Orton comes out... yada yada yada
NXT June 21st
Peyton Royce vs. Ember Moon to lead off the show. Always good to see the Iconic Duo. This a solid match obviously booked to re-establish Ember near the top of the Women's division. Personally I'd rather see Peyton get the push but I get it. Asuka is on top still and they have unfinished business.
Hideo out back with Ohno. He apologizes for freaking out on Ohno recently. But it comes off like he's lying. Then Sanity beats up the Ealy Brothers. Not sure how 2 indenitcal beasts like that are only jobbing but I'm sure that will change at some point. Then it's announced the next week Nikki Cross and Asuka in a last woman standing match for the NXT title. Can't help feeling like Ember Moon will interfere in this one...
Speaking of ladies the "new" Sonya Deville who claims it's time to Put your hair up, and square up... was in action and completely destroyed some poor girl. Seems like they are booking her heel, but eventually I think her ass kickings will be cheered.
Backstage segment with Bobby Roode taking pics and then he sees Roderick Strong swith his wife and baby. Roode says to the wife that when she's ready to be with a real man to give him and call and brawl breaks out. Then it's announced that Regal has decided Strong will get a shot at Bobby Roode's NXT Title. This segment did much more than the last in-ring thing they did. Much better heat here now.
Lastly it's Kassius Ohno vs. Aleister Black. I mean this match was a slugfest... Gotta pause for a minute to say that as much as I appreciate that Ohno has basketball themes to his outfits, he's wearing Chicago Bulls stuff tonight, he needs to also adapt the short to his game. The brief cut tights are doing him no favors. For as good as he is, his body shape is distracting. I heard this was why WWE cut him the first time but he looks worse now than he ever did before. Again... looks, because his in-ring skill is still pretty good. Can't help but wonder if a lighter faster Ohno would be even better. Anyway after a bunch of hard-hitting Black hits Black Mass and gets the win. A pretty damn fine match. I hoped Itami would interfere but regardless a great match for weekly NXT.
Raw June 26th
Roman comes out to start the show and lately I have that feeling like those times where it seemed Cena led off every show. It's just a bummer to have him lead it off. He does seem to be embracing the heel role a bit better lately but we still hate him. Strowman eventually comes out and attacks after Roman is distracted by an empty Ambulance. It ends with Strowman tossing Roman off the side of the ambulance and down to the floor from the stage. He loads him in the back and slams the door much to the delight of the crowd.
Next Elias Sampson is in the ring and joined by the Tag Team champs as it appears a trio of singer will happen... but alas the Hardy Boyz interrupt and soon Finn Balor joins them. It's 3 on 3 tag action when we come back... We're back, and this match happened. Balor goes over big in the end over Cesaro. Josh Duhamel was on commentary during this match which was mildly distracting but I guess when you're in Hollywood you bring out some stars.
Which has to be the only reason The Miz decided to have Lavar Ball and his sons on Miz TV. Now... I watched on Hulu and therefore was pretty confused by the segment, I heard watching it Live didn't help much either. I heard the 15 year old was dropping the N-Bomb? I still never really got what the point was other than to shamelessly promote the Balls and Big Baller Brand. I'd rather wear the North Korean flag than these shirts or shoes. Anyway let me describe what I saw just to make sure we're all on the same page.
Miz introduces Lavar and Melo Ball and they have a seat in the ring. Then Lavar introduces Lonzo Ball that just got drafted by the hometown Lakers. They all sit there and talk.. Eventually The Miz makes the Balls angry. At one point as Lavar asks for his young one to handle this Miz exclaims, "What? Are you gonna unleash all the balls on me?" This was the only thing that made the segment worth a damn and yet they never really seemed to grasp the Great Balls of Fire PPV tie-in... anyway... then as Lavar takes his shirt off and squares up with Miz... Dean Ambrose's music hits and out he comes in a BBB t-shirt. He tries to speak but Lavar keeps talking. Dean suggests he "do his thing" and then mentions something about a free t-shirt. Then his music hits again as he walks to the ring... and scene. At least that's what I saw.
Honestly I don't get why anyone allows Lavar Ball to be anything more than the father of Lonzo Ball. He is a nobody. Why does he get interviewed at the draft? Why do we care about his tweets? Or that he claims to be able to beat Jordan? He's a bum. Let's stop giving him time in places. Sadly for his son, who looks like a cross between Screech Powers and Drake (look it up), I now want him to fail just so his Dad will go away and leave the limelight he so covets. I feel bad for Lonzo who is a talented ball player and now has an even bigger hurdle to climb as he enters the NBA with a loud-mouthed Dad in the way. Eventually he'll tell his Dad off, but right now he doesn't have the balls... yup I did it. Moving on...
Enzo and Cass then have a fake reunion in the ring only so Cass can destroy him again on the ramp as they leave. Moments later Cass comes out to threaten Corey Graves about his involvement in the footage from last week.
Then Seth Rollins beats Curt Hawkins and Bray Wyatt comes on the screen to jabber afterwards. Then Heyman, who appears to have pink eye, talks about Lesnar and Joe at GOBF. Yup that's Great Balls of Fire shortened... not as sexy as MITB.
Lastly the women's gaunlet match for the #1 contendership and I can't help but feel that with tomorrow's SD main event slated to be the women's MITB rematch that this has to be a first for Raw and SD to both have ladies main events in the same week! This match starts with Bailey and Nia so that tells you right away that either Nia is going all the way here, or Sasha Banks is taking it... So surely after Nia beats everyone (Bailey, Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and Emma) it comes down to Sasha last and she beats a tired Nia to earn the win. Then Kurt Angle comes out and raises her hand. Alexa comes out to face off but ends up getting hit and drops her title and Sasha holds it up to almost no pop from the fans. I feel like most fans are over her face run. But with Alexa as the top heel we'll see.
No matter how much I like these ladies this was a poor end to the show. A note I've thought a lot lately. It used to be the show would end on a note that made you want more right now. You couldn't wait for next week. Lately Raw ends and I'm like, good that's over now. SD is clearly winning this brand split and the poor booking and lack of talent stepping up or being given chances is hindering a pretty damn good roster.
Smackdown June 27th
Smackdown kicks off with Daniel Bryan. Then Carmella and James Ellsworth hit the ring with the mics. They declare the reasons the MITB rematch isn't fair and then Bryan throws Ellsworth out of the building for the night. HIm getting dragged away by security is pretty damn funny. The guy found a niche and is doing a great job.
Then the Hype Bros. get a shot at the Usos and I gotta say this match shocked me. They went to commercial and came back and like that it was over fast and the Usos won. No fanfare or weirdness, or cheating. They just beat the Hype Bros and not only stopped their momentum but also gave us nothing in the way of break-up shenanigans. Then The New Day comes out and the two teams exchange barbs... solid ones, Big E at one point referenced the speech given by Booker T back in the day right before he called Hogan the N-word on Live TV. Probably in reference to the previous nights use of the word... anyway there will be more next week as it's announced they will have a "Rap Off" next week.
Then the Fashion police were interrogating The Ascension with a little Good Cop, Good Cop routine. Pretty funny stuff. Always good to see an Eddie Money reference. Also nice to see The Ascension entertaining me for the first time since NXT.
Next Lana gets her rematch vs. Naomi and the match lasted about as long as this sentence. I didn't see the finish but it's been argued since that she had a shoulder up during the pin. IDK... who cares? Speaking of who cares next Aiden English is in the ring about to sing and then Randy Orton comes out, RKO's Aiden then stages a sit-in to get what he wants. SHane McMahon comes out says yeah cool and then Jinder comes out and basically it sets up the return of the Punjabi Prison match. I keep hearing the term "Long-awaited return" used with this match but I didn't even really remember the first one, or any other one for that matter. It never captured my attention I guess but then when I heard it was Khali and Batista it all came in to focus for me. There's a decent chance I didn't buy that PPV back in the day... you know the day where matches had to sell the PPV instead of just getting them all for 9.99 a month?
So then Mike and Maria Kanellis come out only to be interrupted by Sami Zayn heading to the ring for his match with Mr. Money in the Bank Baron Corbin. A solid match with Corbin getting the win. Then Shinsuke is interviewed backstage about possibly facing Corbin and I gotta say I'm impressed his English is getting much better, or maybe that interview was taped...
Last but not least is the Womens' MITB rematch and I felt the ladies brought it a lot more this time. My favorite parts involved Tamina first landing a splash that reminded me her Dad was the Superfly, not the Superfall. Then later while on the ground Charlotte tries to pin her under the ladder and then is told by the ref to turn the ladder for the way the spot is supposed to go. It was awkward. But eventually through the crowd comes James Ellsworth and he tries to climb the ladder again for Carmella but Becky dumps him sideways on to the top rope straddle... then Becky tries to climb only to get thwarted by Carmella and the help of a chair and Carmella goes up to claim what is rightfully hers. A 2 time MITB Champ!
I feel like this ending still gave WWE the direction it was looking for without the brushback of a man being involved in the finish. YOU HAPPY NOW TROLLS?!!
NXT June 28th
NXT begins with the VERY unfortunate return of Mauro Ranallo. This man is so fricken bad. I'm insentsed... NXT is my favorite show and to have dragged down by this man and his fake voice and stupid yelling... ugh isn't saying enough. When the WWE signs a guy I think they think they have to use him but in this case the guy sucks. Just let him sit home, or maybe have him load the trucks after the show or build the ring. This guy is THE WORST ANNOUNCER OF ALL-TIME. He makes NXT worse immediately. Hopefully Nigel can make up for him much the way Corey Graves tried to. I mean otherwise I'll mute the show.
Velveteen Dream in action defeating Ho-Ho Lun. Then Oney Lorcan looks for revenge again Hideo Itami and gets it quickly.
The match begins with Lorcan flying across the ring and breaking Hideo's nose with and uppercut. The refs check him and Lorcan stays back. Eventually the bell rings and both guys head to the back.
They run a promo for Strong vs. Roode coming up next week and then we see Itami heading back to the ring with his nose straightened and gauze stuffed.
Lorcan comes back out and the two men start the match. It's solid and then Lorcan, who appears to have a hurt knee, needs assistance and the ref checks him. Itami takes advantage and hits a GTS to get the win.
Hideo then grabs the mic and asks "Kassius prease come out" he does and as the two begin to talk Sanity hits the ring and beats them both up. Then Wolfe takes the mic and talks about Eric Young, who isn't there, and his "master plan" he's working on. Anyway next week Killian and Wolfe will take on Kassius and Itami.
The Sainty fellas leave but Nikki Cross stays. Asuka comes down and the match, the first ever last woman standing match for the NXT Womans Championship, is underway. Lots of fun spots. Use of garbage cans, chairs, stairs, tables, ladders... they are really going for it! Nikki Cross might have gotten her gear from the Repo Man. A powerbomb off Asuka on to the chairs off the apron is an awesome spot.
A suplex off the ladder through the announce table finally has both ladies down but Asuka struggles to her feet in time to beat the count and win. Best thing about this finish was the announcers cleared out so we didn't have to listen to Mauro yell through the finish. But seriously it was a solid woman's match. Good stuff although I'm not a fan of the last person standing format.
To sum up all the action from the past 2 weeks you have Raw limping it's way to a poorly named PPV with an actual decent card. Smackdown continues to ride the Orton/Jinder feud while the undercard is amazing. NXT has at least one great match per show and is a solid watch. Oddly the shorter your show the better it is. NXT = 1 hour SD = 2 hours Raw = 3 hours I guess less IS more.
I'll limit 205 Live mentions to these few sentences. Seems like Aries is gone for awhile which sucks. Tozawa vs. Neville will probably be good at some point. Few other things but not something anyone needs to see. Only watch it if you're bored and need a wrestling fix.