Week of 4/23/2018 - 4/29/2018 (Monday - Wednesday)

Discussion in 'The Weekly Wrestling Review' started by klunderbunker, May 1, 2018.

  1. klunderbunker

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    Monday Night Raw
    Date: April 23, 2018
    Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
    Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T.

    It’s both a new night for the roster as well as a go home show because April has to be the most packed month of all time. In this case we have the first night under the new roster after last week’s Superstar Shakeup, where your mileage may vary on how good of a thing that is. At the same time it’s the go home show for the Greatest Royal Rumble. Let’s get to it.

    In memory of Bruno Sammartino.

    The roster is on the stage in Bruno shirts for the ten bell salute.

    We get the Bruno tribute video with a who’s who of people talking about how important he was and what he meant to so many generations. He was before most modern fans’ time and I don’t think we can really appreciate how big of a star he was. Sammartino was the World Champion and that’s how he’ll be remembered. Outstanding stuff here, as usual with these tributes, and they treated him like the legend they should have.

    Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman to open things up. After a break, Heyman introduces himself for the man who is STILL the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. Heyman knows fans think he’s here to gloat, just like they were when they broke the Streak or when they took John Cena to Suplex (repeated 14 times) City.

    When it comes to Lesnar, this is real, and no one in the locker room or the crowd has a chance. Heyman delivers spoilers because Lesnar doesn’t gloat. However, Heyman can gloat all night long. He talks about the un-PG elbows to Reigns’ head and the multiple F5’s, but none of this matters to Lesnar. This Friday, Lesnar, who is dying to be in a UFC cage, will be flying across the world to be locked in a cage with Roman Reigns.

    A small ROMAN chant breaks out before Heyman talks about Brock’s new contract. Lesnar wanted a fight inside a cage and now the odds are stacked against Reigns even more than before. Reigns will be coming back home in multiple boxes as another victim, but here’s Reigns to interrupt. Reigns says he’s coming home with the title and that’s it. I’m still not sure what to expect over there, but they’re booking themselves in a necessary title change at this rate.

    We get some tweets of people paying respect to Bruno.

    Bobby Roode vs. Elias

    Roode cuts Elias off after only a mention of his name, which should make him a full on heel. Elias gets knocked around early but avoids the Blockbuster with Roode banging up his knee on the landing. An armbar gives the knee a chance to rest and the threat of a Glorious DDT sends Elias bailing to the floor.

    Back from a break with Roode firing off some chops until Elias sends him into the post. We hit the neck crank and here’s an inset ad for Undertaker vs. Rusev at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Egads man you talk about it all night and do a regular commercial and NOW THIS? Good grief the Saturday morning Memphis shows had fewer show advertisements. We hit the chinlock for a bit until Roode fights up with some clotheslines and a sunset flip for two. The Blockbuster drops Elias but he bails to the floor. Roode throws him back in but Elias rams him shoulder first into the ropes and gets the pin at 11:48.

    Bray and Matt laugh a lot and say run.

    Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy vs. Ascension

    Corey explains Bray’s transformation and Cole is just lost. Viktor locks up with Matt to start and cartwheels away, which Matt declares WONDERFUL with a round of applause. It’s off to Bray who can’t Rock Bottom Viktor but can clothesline Konnor. Matt gets taken down and a fist drop gets two as the announcers explain the Tag Team Title situation. Graves to Cole: “You’re ok with a ten year old winning the Tag Team Championships but the Hardy Compound is weird?” It’s back to Bray for the running crossbody and a corner splash, followed by the Side Effect for two on Viktor. The elevated Twist of Fate puts Viktor away at 3:45.

    More Tweets on Bruno.

    Here are Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for the Sami and Kevin Show. They hype up the Greatest Royal Rumble and say it’s great because one of them will win it. They’re here tonight because of Stephanie McMahon was smarter than their first guest, which means Sami and Kevin singing YOU SUCK.

    Cue Angle to say that they shouldn’t quit their day jobs. Owens understands Angle’s bitterness as Stephanie has his manhood in a jar in Connecticut. They recap the conspiracy on Smackdown and say that Stephanie must hate Angle for what she’s done to him. Angle agrees, because if not for him then Stephanie would still have full use of her arm. Owens talks about Angle needing this job because he has five kids. Actually it’s six because Sami forgot Jason Jordan “just like Angle did for years.”

    Angle warns them about the beating they’ll be receiving on Friday when they’re in the ring with him, Daniel Bryan, Shane McMahon, Chris Jericho and everyone else they’ve treated badly over the years. As for tonight, they can have a tag match with Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman. Can we please not do the Stephanie vs. Angle story again? It wasn’t great the first time.

    The Miztourage offer their services to Seth Rollins but get shot down.

    Greatest Royal Rumble rundown.

    Titus Worldwide vs. Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre

    Titus runs Ziggler over to start and a standing moonsault gives Crews two. A blind tag lets McIntyre kick him in the face though and Drew hits a reverse Alabama Slam to rock Apollo. The Claymore into the Zig Zag is good for the pin at 2:10.

    Post match Ziggler brags about having a dangerous man watching his back. Drew says Ziggler is right because he’s dangerous to a soft locker room. People are just back there collecting checks and it makes him sick. This is how a superstar looks and speaks because he’s the wake up call and reality check that this place needs. Again: let Drew be a star on his own without Ziggler around. It doesn’t benefit anyone but Dolph, who will manage to let everyone down.

    Chad Gable comes in to see Angle and asks about Jason Jordan. Angle says he’ll be back soon but Gable is here as a singles competitor. Jinder Mahal comes in and complains about not receiving a celebrating last week. He demands to be sent back to Smackdown and threatens to call Stephanie. Gable tells him to have some respect but Jinder thinks he’s Nicholas. It’s about to get physical so Angle makes a match right now.

    Jinder Mahal vs. Chad Gable

    Jinder jumps him before the bell and the referee starts the match anyway. Mahal hammers away but gets sent outside, where a hard clothesline drops Chad to send us to a break. Back with Gable in a chinlock until Mahal sends him chest first into the buckle. Gable fights up and starts in on the leg with a dragon screw legwhip, only to get caught with a hot shot. A running knee to the face rocks Gable again and the Khallas is loaded up. Gable walks the ropes though and flips back into a rollup for the pin at 8:50.

    The Riott Squad says last week was a message to the entire women’s division. They’re here to take over and Logan says a scared animal is easy prey. Riott promises to take over in the ten woman tag tonight. This was pretty rough.

    More Bruno tweets.

    We look at the Lesnar/Heyman/Reigns segment.

    Samoa Joe has no problem with Reigns winning the title but he’s worried he won’t have anyone to put to sleep at Backlash.

    We run down the rest of the Rumble card.

    The Miztourage, in new shirts, offers their services to Finn Balor but their TOO SWEET offer is declined.

    Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman/Bobby Lashley

    Sami and Owens try to bail but Strowman throws them back in without too much trouble. Lashley forearms Owens down in the corner but it’s off to Sami for some right hands to take over. A suplex gives Sami two and the double teaming begins. Owens is sent outside and Lashley gets two off a crossbody but Owens pulls him to the floor. We hit a backsplash and it’s off to a break.

    Back with Lashley fighting out of Sami’s chinlock and dropping him with a clothesline. That’s enough for the hot tag to Strowman, who runs around the ring and shoulders Owens down. Sami gets taken down as well so Strowman goes outside to run Owens over again, just as he gets up. Strowman does it a third time, this time with a dropkick as the fans are going insane for this stuff. That’s enough for Sami as he bails up the ramp, only to be thrown back inside by Lashley. There’s the delayed suplex to Sami (one arm version), followed by the running powerslam from Strowman for the pin at 12:03.

    Owens hasn’t moved since taking that dropkick in a funny visual.

    Video on Baron Corbin.

    Baron Corbin vs. No Way Jose

    The Conga line is back. Actually hang on a second as Corbin isn’t coming to the ring with all of those people at ringside because he’s not going to get jumped. Corbin is here for serious competition but Jose isn’t on his level. Therefore, no way Jose. Corbin leaves so Jose starts the Conga line again, only to get jumped by Corbin on the stage, including the chokebreaker.

    Alexa Bliss gives a public service announcement about bullying over Nia Jax. Apparently Nia ate the rest of a burrito bowl that Bliss was trying to give to a homeless woman but Alexa did nothing. She can make things right at Backlash when she gets the title back. This has been your Moment of Bliss.

    Finn Balor/Seth Rollins vs. Miztourage

    Axel runs Balor over to start and does a little dance before it’s off to Dallas for some knees. The chinlock goes on in a hurry but Balor is right back with a Pele for a breather. The hot tag brings in Rollins to clean house, including a suicide dive to take them both out. There’s the Sling Blade to Axel and it’s a Stomp into the Coup de Grace for the pin at 4:56.

    Natalya fires her team up for the ten woman tag. Nia says that insulting her can be bad for your health. Bayley and Sasha stare at each other without saying anything.

    More Bruno tweets.

    Alexa Bliss/Mickie James/Riott Squad vs. Nia Jax/Natalya/Sasha Banks/Ember Moon/Bayley

    Logan takes Banks to the mat to start and it’s off to Sasha vs. Morgan. Banks pulls her into the corner and hands it off to Ember as Booker talks about training Moon. A springboard spinning crossbody gets two and one heck of a suicide dive takes Morgan out as we take a break. Back with Logan chinlocking Banks but Mickie tags herself in, much to Logan’s annoyance.

    That means another chinlock so let’s hit that inset promo for Reigns vs. Lesnar (I mean, it’s not like these people are going to the show or anything so giving their time to someone else is totally cool). Back again with Banks fighting up and bringing Natalya in to clean house. The Sharpshooter goes on but Logan makes the save with a chop block. She tags Bayley in but Mickie kicks the injured Natalya to the floor.

    Her knee is bad enough that the trainers come out and Sasha checks on her as well. Bayley fights Riott off and the hot tag brings in Nia to wreck some people. Nia DIVES off the apron to take everyone out, leaving Mickie to baseball slide Natalya again. Trash talk ensues and here’s Ronda Rousey to defend her friend. Mickie baseball slides Ronda as well and the armbar makes Mickie tap for the DQ at 14:15 before I can finish typing this. Remember: Mickie James, a six time Women’s Champion and future Hall of Famer, was tapped out in seconds by the armbar. Stephanie McMahon blocked it three times.

    Rousey helps Natalya to the back to end the show.

    Elias b. Bobby Roode – Rollup
    Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. Ascension – Elevated Twist of ate to Viktor
    Dolph Ziggler/Drew McIntyre b. Titus Worldwide – Claymore/Zig Zag combination to Crews
    Chad Gable b. Jinder Mahal – Rollup
    Braun Strowman/Bobby Lashley b. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens – Running powerslam to Zayn
    Finn Balor/Seth Rollins b. Miztourage – Coup de Grace to Dallas
    Alexa Bliss/Mickie James/Riott Squad b. Nia Jax/Natalya/Ember Moon/Bayley/Sasha Banks via DQ when Ronda Rousey interfered


    Date: April 24, 2018
    Location: KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Kentucky
    Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

    It’s the other go home show for the Greatest Royal Rumble and that could mean a lot of tag matches tonight. The big story is Daniel Bryan showing up on MizTV for his first real showdown with Miz since he’s been cleared to wrestle again. That likely means Big Cass interfering to set up a Backlash match, but it could be fun either way. Let’s get to it.

    In Memory of Bruno Sammartino.

    We open with MizTV and Miz silencing us all. Miz knows this is the A show but something is missing. That something is a title, which his guest vacated a few years back and that Miz will win again in Saudi Arabia. His guest is a man who just two weeks ago said that he wanted to punch Miz in the face. A few weeks ago, Miz’s life changed when his daughter was born and Miz thought Bryan’s daughter would have changed that. Maybe Birdie and Daniel don’t have the same bond that he and Monroe Sky do.

    Miz knows Louisville wants to see Bryan come out here and punch him in the face so bring it on. Instead it’s Big Cass in a suit to say that he’ll be the guest since Bryan is nowhere to be seen. He was cleared on the same day as Bryan and no one was talking about him (So he’s the Groucho Marx to Bryan’s Elvis? Well, give or take a few days.). Miz gets annoyed at Cass for talking down to him and Cass goes on a rant about how Bryan should be picking up his trash but instead is getting the spotlight.

    Bryan spews garbage to these people and they’re all nothing. Cass was like Bryan until he was about fifteen and that sucked. Then he grew up and beat up everyone who treated him badly. Now Cass is big, right and handsome but he lives in Bryan’s shadow. I like Cass, but this long form promo is NOT his strong suit and this was rocky to put it nicely.

    Becky Lynch and Asuka are coming to the ring for a match when they find Bryan being tended to and clutching his shoulder.

    Here are the Iconics for a tag match but, after saying how hot they are, Peyton does a Becky Lynch impression, talking about four leaf clovers and other things I couldn’t understand. The Iconics’ thinking: Charlotte broke Asuka’s undefeated streak and they beat Charlotte, so they’re better than Asuka!

    Becky Lynch/Asuka vs. Iconics

    Joined in progress with Lynch rolling Royce up for two but a cheap shot in the corner puts Becky in trouble. It’s off to Billie for some choking on the ropes and the arm work begins. Billie taunts Asuka a bit too much though and Becky gets a boot up in the corner. The hot tag brings in Asuka to clean house, including some strikes and a standing ankle lock to Royce. There’s a German suplex before it’s off to Becky again, only to have her run into Asuka by mistake. That leaves Becky two on one and Peyton sends her into the post, setting up a rollup with feet on the ropes for the pin at 4:12.

    A smiling AJ Styles leaves Shane McMahon’s office as a happy man. Tonight it’s a six man tag with Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev Day vs. AJ/some people who are Too Sweet.

    Greatest Royal Rumble rundown.

    Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega are coming.

    Naomi comes in to see the Usos but won’t promise not to come out and help Jimmy this week. Jimmy says it’s ok but he knows Naomi loves him. They’ll get the titles back on Friday and tonight he’s taking care of Rowan. He’s got this, but Naomi still looks worried.

    Rowan vs. Jimmy Uso

    Jimmy gets dropkicked at the bell and the beatdown is on in a hurry. Harper kicks Jey in the shoulder as Jimmy low bridges Rowan to the floor. The suicide dive doesn’t work so Jimmy posts him, setting up a high crossbody back inside. Jimmy gets shoved off the top and into the barricade though and pain seems imminent. Rowan loads him up for something but cue Naomi with the full Glow entrance for a distraction, allowing Jey to superkick Harper. Jimmy rolls Rowan up for the pin at 2:52.

    It’s time for the contract signing between Carmella and Charlotte. Carmella comes out first and takes over from Renee Young, saying she’s here first because she’s the champ and makes the rules. She shows us the same highlight package from last week but isn’t happy with the reception. Therefore she shows it again, but this time Charlotte interrupts. Carmella won’t stop holding up the title until Renee tells her to sit down and sign. They sign and the table is flipped onto Carmella, allowing Charlotte to walk away in short order.

    More Greatest Royal Rumble rundown. My goodness I know they’re heading to Saudi Arabia soon but could you be a little less obvious about filling in so much time?

    Aiden English says Shinsuke Nakamura isn’t giving interviews.

    Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin

    Hang on a second as Jeff is passed over for someone else.

    Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin

    Jeff is at ringside. The announcers talk about the famed OVW Class of 2002 as Orton punches away to start. Shelton pulls him arm first into the top rope and kicks Orton to the floor to take over. Back with Orton fighting out of a chinlock but getting caught with the dragon whip for two.

    The powerslam takes Shelton down and there’s the hanging DDT. Shelton is smart enough to roll away when Orton is crouched down and slapping the mat for the RKO. Hardy watches on as a masked man takes out his knee. Orton grabs said masked man and unmasks him as Sunil Singh. That earns him an RKO but Shelton grabs Paydirt for the pin at 8:18.

    New Day is celebrating (with champagne glasses full of BootyO’s and pancakes) to the success of their new book. Cue the Bar to say they’re bringing the titles to Smackdown because unlike the pancakes, the competition around here doesn’t stack up. They take the pancakes and hit the catchphrase because they can.

    Anderson and Gallows are fired up to be Styles’ partners tonight.

    Sanity is coming.

    Daniel Bryan has a very taped up shoulder and says he was attacked by a coward, who he says was 7ft tall. At Backlash, he faces Big Cass and he’ll be fine for the Greatest Royal Rumble. Makes sense, and I could see them holding off on Miz vs. Bryan for a few months.

    Samoa Joe is ready to take the Intercontinental Title. He’s fine with becoming a double champion at Backlash if Roman Reigns wins the Universal Title. Believe that.

    AJ Styles/Anderson and Gallows vs. Rusev Day/Shinsuke Nakamura

    Shinsuke now has a Japanese rock song set to the tune of his old music. I could go for never hearing that again. Graves says it’s because Nakamura is sick of the fans singing along. How does he know this? Graves: “Because I habla espanol.” Styles and Nakamura start but English gets tagged in before anything happens. That earns Nakamura a forearm off the apron and AJ pulls English into the corner for the tag to Gallows. So why isn’t AJ considered a coward too?

    The villains are knocked outside in short order and we take a break. Back with Rusev kicking AJ in the head so Aiden can grab a chinlock. Therefore, let’s hit that inset promo for Friday! Back again with Rusev slamming AJ but getting kicked in the head, allowing the hot tag to Anderson. Everything breaks down but Nakamura kicks Gallows in the knee, setting up Kinshasa to the back of Gallows’ head for the pin at 10:08.

    Post match AJ goes after Nakamura but takes ANOTHER low blow but Anderson shoves AJ out of the way to take Kinshasa. AJ is still down and can’t help Anderson from taking a second Kinshasa (sounds like a setup for an Anderson and Gallows turn to Nakamura) to end the show.

    Iconics b. Becky Lynch/Asuka – Rollup with feet on the ropes
    Jimmy Uso b. Rowan – Rollup
    Shelton Benjamin b. Randy Orton – Paydirt
    Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev Day b. AJ Styles/Anderson and Gallows


    Date: April 25, 2018
    Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
    Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson

    After a few weeks of insanity on the main roster, it’s rather nice to see how things are going down in NXT. This week we have the first defense of the North American Title as Adam Cole defends against Oney Lorcan, but there’s a slightly bigger title match. Tonight we have Aleister Black making his first defense of the NXT Title against Johnny Gargano. The shenanigans should be high with this one. Let’s get to it.

    Opening sequence.

    Here’s the Undisputed Era to open things up, with Roderick Strong officially announced as a Tag Team Champion. Adam Cole talks about how much gold the team has, which is what happens when you back the team into a corner. NXT has fought against them from the start but ladies and gentlemen, here they stand.

    Bobby Fish talks about having the deck stacked against them every time but they’re always winding up in front. Strong says he isn’t here to pat himself on the back so everyone else can do it for him. For once he did something for himself by taking the safer long term prospect. All Pete Dunne cares about is the United Kingdom Championship so how long would it be until he turned on Strong?

    During the match, Strong had an epiphany: it’s always Roddy vs. the world, but why fight on your own and come up short? They are done being backed into a corner and now they can’t be stopped. Cole is ready to defend the North American Title on his own, just like he won it. It’s not like he needs any help defeating Oney Lorcan. Now why is it so hard to get an explanation for actions like the one Strong just gave us?

    North American Title: Oney Lorcan vs. Adam Cole

    Cole is defending and has heavily taped ribs. Lorcan is smart enough to go for a waistlock to send Cole bailing to the floor. Mauro’s analysis: he doesn’t think Cole is at 100%. On the way back in, Lorcan shoulders him in the ribs to keep the champ in trouble. Cole comes back and stomps him down before hitting a chinlock.

    The fireman’s carry neckbreaker plants Lorcan again but he’s right back up with a running elbow. The running Blockbuster gets two and Cole gets dropped ribs first onto the top rope. Cue Kyle O’Reilly with a trainer to throw up the X, followed by a belly to back suplex to put Lorcan on the apron. Cole is just fine and the Last Shot retains the title at 5:54.

    Post match Danny Burch runs in for the save but gets superkicked down.

    Video on Shayna Baszler.

    We look at Candice LeRae defeating Zelina Vega last week.

    Video on Bianca Belair, who faces Candice next week.

    Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss

    I don’t say this often (if ever) in NXT but yes, again. Knight headlocks Moss to start and double shoulders put Sabbatelli and Moss on the floor early on. Back in and Heavy Machinery rams them into each other before standing on their chests to pose. Things finally settle down and Moss hammers Dozovic into the corner to take over. It’s back to Sabbatelli to throw some punches but Dozovic launches him to the floor. Moss comes back in and slugs away but Sabbatelli walks away, leaving Moss to take the Compactor for the pin 4:07.

    Post match Heavy Machinery calls out the War Raiders, saying they’re going to eat all the steaks and lift all the weights. If the Raiders are ready to face them, Heavy Machinery is ready for war.

    Video on the women’s division.

    Dakota Kai doesn’t want to talk about Shayna Baszler and her injury. Baszler comes in and demands that Kai looks at her. Kai came all the way here but needs to understand that the women’s division under Baszler is Kai’s worst nightmare. If they go through with this, Kai rising up to fight Baszler could be money.

    Kona Reeves is coming.

    Video on Lacey Evans. Dang there are a lot of these tonight.

    Next week: TM61 vs. Street Profits and Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong.

    NXT Title: Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black

    Black is defending.

    Hang on though as Tommaso Ciampa, now with face paint (or maybe tape), jumps Gargano from behind. Johnny fights out of White Noise through a table though and dives onto Ciampa. The beatdown is on until Ciampa gets in a low blow. White Noise through another table leaves Gargano laying. A stretcher is brought out with Candice LeRae out to help her husband too. We follow the stretcher to the back with Kassius Ohno (in a Larry Sweeney shirt) holding Gargano’s hands. The ambulance leaves and Ciampa is shown standing on a production truck, watching it leave. Heck of an angle here and the rematch will rock.

    Back in the arena, here’s an angry Aleister Black to take a mic. Black calls out Ciampa but gets….Sanity? Eric Young says Gargano provided hope in the chaos. Out of the chaos we will find sanity but Black cuts him off, asking if Young is looking for the title. If so, let’s do this.

    NXT Title: Aleister Black vs. Eric Young

    Young is challenging. They take each other down and Young grabs a headlock. That goes nowhere so Young elbows hsim down instead. Black knocks him to the floor and moonsaults into the seated pose to remain calm. Back in and Young gets caught in an armbar but Alexander Wolfe offers a distraction to get him out of trouble. Some choking has Black down and Young gets two off an elbow.

    Black fights out of the chinlock and hits a big boot for a breather. A running knee knocks Young silly and more strikes make things even worse. Black gets two off a Lionsault to a standing Young and grabs something like an Octopus hold, albeit with Young standing straight and Black hanging to the side. A Death Valley Bomb gets Young out of trouble for two and he goes to the top. That’s broken up so Young tries his slide through the legs into the sunset flip, only to eat Black Mass to retain the title at 8:51.

    Post match the rest of Sanity gets Black Mass as well to end the show.

    Adam Cole b. Oney Lorcan – Last Shot
    Heavy Machinery b. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss – Compactor to Moss
    Aleister Black b. Eric Young – Black Mass

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