Crash Course Wrestling Column Week Of 7/31/2017

Monday Night Raw = Skippable

It is the last Monday Night Raw before we welcome in August and also the third to last episode before the biggest party of the summer, Summerslam. Raw this week opens with Kurt Angle hyping his hometown crowd of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. After the hype, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out. Heyman hypes the Fatal Four Way for Summerslam as only Heyman can and also announces that if Brock loses at Summerslam both him and Lesnar will leave WWE. Seems as if that UFC contract was just too sweet to turn down.

The Tag Team Division saw The Hardy’s take on Gallows & Anderson and pick up a pinfall victory after a Swanton Bomb. These two teams and The Revival brawled on the ramp after the match and Jeff Hardy dove off Matt’s back and off the ramp onto Gallows and Anderson. I’m not sure how many multi-man matches WWE plans to have at Summerslam, but it is looking like the Raw Tag Team division will make it another one. Speaking of Tag Teams and scuffles, Cesaro & Sheamus beat the shit out of Rollins and Ambrose so it looks like Rollins and Ambrose will get a Raw Tag Team Championship shot at Summerslam.

The 9 o’clock spot saw Miz TV with the special guest of Jason Jordan. This was Jordan’s first major speaking role and Monday Night Raw and he held his own. Miz offered Jordan a spot in the Miztourage and of course face Jordan turned it down. Everything broke down and Jordan did a belly-to-belly suplex to Miz and into the Miztourage.

Although it was believed to be the main event, Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe took the 10 o’clock spot. This is three fourths of the Summerslam main event as Cole reminded of us many many times. I thought this match was slower than expected, but a good match nonetheless. All three superstars brawled around the arena and used steel steps to show that at Summerslam there will be No Disqualifications or Countouts. In the end, Roman Reigns pins Samoa Joe after a spear to resounding “boos” from the Pittsburgh crowd.

The Main Event of Raw was very anti-climatic and quite insulting to those who stayed up for the whole show. Big Show took on Big Cass with Enzo Amore in his corner. This match ended in Disqualification after Enzo got himself involved. The show goes off the air with Big Cass destroying both Big Show and Enzo. I had high hopes for this fued when it first started, but recently it seems as if it is just spinning its wheels.

 

Smackdown Live = Skippable

Although this weeks Smackdown Live is Skippable, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any must watch things on this show. The first segment is the opening match of AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. These two put on a better match here than they did at Battleground. Similar to Battleground, in this matc hthe ref gets knocked down and counts of 3 count on Owens even though his shoulders weren’t fully down. After the match Kevin Owens finds Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon to demand a rematch and a capable referee. This leads to the announcement that at Summerslam, Shane McMahon will be the special guest referee for Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles with the United States Championship on the line.

Before we get to the main event, some notable things that happened between the cracks of the show. Aiden English picked up a victory over Sami Zayn which marks his second upset victory on Smackdown Live. Looks like they will be going somewhere with him. Rusev picked up a victory to avenge his lost to John Cena at Battleground. After the match, Randy Orton came out to address Rusev. Orton says that if Rusev wants an opponent at Summerslam he has one right here. Rusev talks jibberish and gets an RKO from Orton,

The main event was a dream match consisting of Shinske Nakamura vs. John Cena with the winner facing Jinder Mahal at Summerslam for the WWE Championship. As you can imagine these two tore the house down. A lot of false finishes and submissions with many times where it looked like Big Match John was going to get the pinfall. At one point Cena takes a scary neck bump which set up the KING SHAAAASAAAAA and Nakamura is going to Summerslam. If only watch one match this week in wrestling, watch this one.

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05 Live = Watchable (if you have time)

This episode of 205 Live had two really great matches. The main event was Akira Tozawa vs. Ayria Davari t odtermind who will face Neville at Summerslam for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Although the outcome was predictable the way WWE has been pushing Tozawa as of late, the two still gave it their all in the ring.

The sleeper match of the evening saw Tony Nese go one-on-one wit hteh returning Grand Matelik. IT has been some time since Matelik has been on 205 Live. This match has a lot of high spots and great action that could make 205 Live unique from other WWE produced shows if every match was similar to this one. Tony NEse hit Gran Matelik with the running knee in the corner to pick up the pinfall victory.

As mentioned earlier, the main event was Akira Tozawa vs. Aryia Davari to determine the #1 Contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. This match was alloted quite a bit of time and the two competitors used all of it. Akira hit his Back Senton for the pinfall victory. I think this was the most hang time he has ever gotten from that move. You can be the judge of that. This means that at Summerslam we will see Neville (c) vs. Akira Tozawa for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

NXT = Skippable

NXT is in a weird spot right now as they can continue to try to push their new stars. This episode fell pretty flat despite an altercation between Ember Moon and Asuka that seemed to jazz the crowd back up. The one thing you need to watch from this show was the main event. The mian event was advertised as “Aleister Black in action” which didn’t really help with the hype for this show. However, it ended up being Aleister Black vs. the debuting Kyle O’Reilly, an indy darling known for his work in ROH. These two put on a spectacular match worth checking out. Black won with a Black Mass kick to O’Reilly for the pinfall victory.

Also it looks like we are going to Aleister Black have his first real feud with Hideo Itami. When Black came to the ring Itami was already in the ring begging for a new competitor to beat on. Black came out for his scheduled match and gave Itami the Black Mass kick for his troubles.