Crash Course Wrestling Column Week Of 5/1/2017

Monday Night Raw: Skippable, except for the main event

If history is any indicator of the future, in theory this Raw should have been solid. Usually a Raw following a Pay-Per-View has some refreshing elements to it along with a couple twists and turns. I’m not going to say this Raw was horrible, but it was kind of just…there.

The show starts with an empty podium in the ring with all the Raw women standing around it. Alexa Bliss comes in and chirps all the women saying they suck. Bayley cries in the corner and is a child. They all brawl leading to an 8 man tag after break, Banks, James, Bayley, and Brooke vs. Emma, Jax, Bliss, and Foxx. All women got their spots in during this match with Alexa pinning Bayley off a DDT.

The cruiserweights had a lot of time to shine on tonight’s show along with a start of a storyline between TJ Perkins and Austin Aries. After Austin Aries picked up a victory over TJP using the Last Chancery, Perkins snapped and put Aries in a kneebar and shockingly enough the more refs that came out the more resistant TJP was to let go. There was also a fast-paced and fun 6 man tag match that really showcased all the cruiserweights and their talent. If you are unfamiliar with the crusierweight division this is a good one to check out:

As a follow up to Payback, Cesaro and Sheamus came out on Raw to address their actions on the Hardys the night before. Not too much was furthered here other than Sheamus and Cesaro said they hate being overlooked and they are heels now.

At the 10 o’clock spot, Kurt Angle came out and said that disciplinary actions must be taken for how vicious Strowman and Reigns were on each other at Payback. Before he could come up with a plan, Bray came out and said Randy Orton was suffering in the House of Horrors still. Didn’t that match end in the arena? Did Orton enjoy his stay so much he went back? Anyway, Bray says Angle needs to notice him more and walks off. When this aired I was very confused as to why this was the 10 o’clock, but my questions are answered come the main event. Speaking of which, lets get to the best part of the show.

Earlier in the night Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and The Miz all argued over who should be next in line for the Intercontinental Championship. Hmm three guys in a ring all wanting the same thing? I smell a triple threat match and that is exactly what was set for the main event. I would say most Raw main events are pretty good in-ring, if not great. However, Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz was absolutely spectacular. Miz picked up a sneaky victory after Samoa Joe interfered and took out Rollins and Bray Wyatt came in an Sister Abigailed (verb?) Balor. Miz picked up the scraps and is now the #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship. The only disappointing part here is we have seen this rivalry play out on Smackdown. What wasn’t disappointing was the in-ring quality of this match, check it out:

 

Smackdown Live = Fun Show, but skippable

There were two main focuses to Smackdown Live this week, Chris Jericho and Charlotte. Both being top notch performers I am completely fine with that. Chris Jericho, comes out to open the show only to be put in a championship rematch with Kevin Owens 48 hours after Payback. I usually roll my eyes at these rematches hours after a Pay-Per-View because of the predictability factor. However, I understand you have to “follow the rules” of wrestling, as ridiculous as that sounds and Smackdown Live has trained me to get somewhat excited for these matches. This was no exception, more on that in a bit.

In the women’s division we saw the Mean Girls + Ellesworth pitting against Charlotte. Going as far as trying to recruit Becky Lynch into their stable of meanness. The 9 o’clock spot was supposed to be Naomi & Charlotte vs.  Natalya and Carmella. However, right before the match, being the mean girls (and Ellesworth) that they are, they attacked Charlotte backstage. This match became a handicapped match for Naomi who was eventually saved by a beat down and limping Charlotte. Naomi picks up a victory only to be attacked by the Mean Girls + Ellesworth. Becky comes out for the save and they tease the classic “WHOSE SIDE IS SHE ON!?” spot. Becky shakes the hands of all the Mean Girls until she gets to Ellesworth where she throws his lanky ass into everyone. So whose side is she one? After this segment Charlotte for sure. I have actually really enjoyed how the WWE has used this stable to get Charlotte over as a face, well done.

Before I move to the main event, I have to admit that I am a sucker for tacky and ridiculous backstage segments. I mean it’s wrestling, you kinda have to like that stuff in some way. As reported last week, The Fashion Police (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) are the #1 Contenders for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. This week the writers threw this together to help familiarize the audience for those who do not know the true Fashion Police:

Back to more serious business. The main event saw Kevin Owens take on Chris Jericho (c) for the United States Championship. It was a good match that we have come to expect from these two with Kevin Owens hitting a pop-up powerbomb into the pinfall. This win makes Kevin Owens a two time United States Champion. After the match, Owens continued to attack Jericho even though EMTs repeatedly told him to stop. They were about as useless as the refs. To end off the show, Owens wrapped a chair around Jericho’s neck and threw him to the ring post. How those LED screens don’t break is beyond me. What did break was Jericho’s neck region and I can only assume this is to write him off television so he can tour with his band Fozey this summer.

205 Live = Watchable

205 Live is one of those shows that does not need to be on your weekly schedule of wrestling because it is kind of like when you select “Minor Show” in your WWE Universe on 2K17. However, this show was fun in fact that it paid off two feuds that have been going for awhile. First, we had Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali. For weeks Gulak has warned Ali about his high-flying and destructive nature when he is in the ring. Going as far as to being out signs that say “No Fly Zone” and chanting “I’m not lying, no high flying”. Well this week Ali learned his lesson that earning more high flyer miles can lead to your demise. Check out their match here:

The main event saw a payoff to the long Noam Darr, Rich Swann, and Alicia Foxx storyline. Darr and Swann went at it the ring and at first it was a kind of a sloppy match with both guys botching here and there. After the beginning stages of the match they had a hard hitting match with some great near falls and high-flying (Drew Gulak would be pissed). Darr eventually got the upper hand and won the match. After the match Alicia Fox came out and hugged Darr. I guess this was all a ruse?

NXT = Skippable

NXT this week was headlined by a Women’s Battle Royal to determine the #1 Contender for Asuka’s championship. I was interested in this match due to the face that NXt’s Women’s Division has changed shape quite a bit over the last few months. More on the main event in a little bit. This show also saw the in-ring return of Hideo Itami as he took on Kona Reeves who for some reason reminds me of the The Rock mixed with Roman Reigns. Hideo won after hitting a GTS on Kona for the pinfall. Glad to see Hideo back I hope he doesn’t catch the injury bug again because that could be the kiss of death for his WWE career.

As I mentioned, earlier the main event was a Women’s Battle Royal. There were a lot of women in this match that were very expendenable and were eliminated quite early. The final three came down to Ember Moon, Ruby Riot, and Nikki Cross. As Ruby Riot ascended the top rope, which I still believe is the stupidest thing you can do in a Battle Royal, Asuka came out and pushed her off it resulting in a DQ. William Regal came out to announce that at NXT Takeover: Chicago it will be Asuka vs. Ember Moon vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross for the NXT Women’s Championship.

Disagree with my opinions on one or every show? Think I suck and din’t complain enough about the current product? Let me habe it via the comment section right here on this page. If not, I will see you next week as we will be on week away from NXT Takeover: Chicago and WWE Backlash right here on BeerSpit: Fresh Content. Great Culture. Served Daily.