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Monday Night Raw = Watchable
It’s go-home week for the biggest party of the summer. All major WWE shows are trying to sell you on why their matches will be the best at Summerslam. Monday Night Raw was up first to prove to you that they are the superior brand in sports entertainment and I have to say they did a grand job at that. The theme of the night was the fact that “Summerslam has come early”. What does that mean? Lets get to it.
Last week on the Crash Course Wrestling Column, I mentioned that when Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins eventually nail that Shield Fist Bump whatever arena they are in will not have a roof once its over. Boy was this ever true and in my home city no doubt. Of course the one show I couldn’t attend, but I won’t be bitter like Bret Hart. The show opens with Ambrose and Rollins getting in a physical scuffle. Cesaro and Sheamus come out to beat them down some more, but Ambrose and Rollins save each other like true brothers would do. Ambrose and Rollins get the upper hand over the tag team champions and initiate the fist bump. The roof explodes off the TD Garden in Boston and Kurt Angle comes out. He announces that at Summerslam we will see Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you tell a story.
In the Women’s Division we had Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax with the winner facing Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship at Summerslam. This match was put into place after Bayley was announced to have a shoulder injury and couldn’t compete at Summerslam. These two put on a great match that lasted two commercial breaks. Sasha Banks was able to tie Nia up in the Banks Statement for the submission victory making Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship at Summerslam official. Little side note, Cole spoiled this match result from the start when he slipped up and mentioned Alexa Bliss facing Sasha Banks at Summerslam. However, we all figured that so who really cares.
Big Cass brought the shark cage this week and Boston hated him on a whole new level. He could barely get words out for his promo. Enzo and Big Show came out eventually to go attack Big Cass, but Cass has new pals in Gallows & Anderson and they helped wedge Big Show’s hand in the shark cage. Cass slammed the door on Big Show’s hand in hopes of injuring him before Summerslam. Later in the night Big Show insisted to Enzo that he will still compete at Summerslam. I am partially hoping for Big Show’s 54th heel turn this Sunday just in time for him to be a New Year’s baby again by December.
Summerslam comes early part 1: We get the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match tonight between Akira Tozawa and Neville. This match was awesome and the Boston crowd was fully invested with this one. Neville went for the Red Arrow and missed allowing Akira to hit his Back Senton for the 1, 2, 3. Winner and NEWWWWW WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa. Time to invest in the Titus Brand folks. I wish this was on the official Summerslam card, but it had a risk of getting lost in the shuffle on that show. Looks like we will be gettign the championship rematch possibly on the Summerslam pre-show. The major question becomes, where does Neville go next?
Summerslam comes early part 2: We get Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor tonight. Many people have been sour on this feud and I didn’t totally get it until tonight. I figured this match would get thrown out and a stipulation would be added to their match on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was a quarter right. Bray wins clean with a Sister Abigail and then dumps a bucket of blood on Finn Balor. This now sets up Demon Balor vs. Bray Wyatt at Summerslam. Wasn’t it kind of assumed he was going to be the demon? Couldn’t we have saved this as a surprise?
The main event was billed as a face to face to face to face confrontation. Not the easiest to say, but it got the point across nonetheless. Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman all in one ring surrounded by a dozen jobber security guards, what could go wrong? Heyman hypes the match and then Reigns spears Joe and Brock and Strowman are separated by security. I am all for the brawl spot before a major Pay-Per-View, but this one was kind of lame. Strowman and Lesnar barely made contact as the show went off the air. However, I and many fans are still stoked for their confrontation come Sunday at Summerslam.
Smackdown Live = Skippable
This Tuesday it was Smackdown Live’s turn to push the blue brand as the superior brand this Sunday at Summerslam. How did they do? Well quite honestly they couldn’t hold a candle to Raw’s sell job last night. Didn’t think I would have been saying that a few months ago. However, it wasn’t all bad so lets get to it.
We kick off Smackdown Live with a live celebration featuring Jinder due to it being India’s Independence Day. WWE pulled out all the stops here with Indian singers, dancers, drummers, you name it. Shinsuke Nakamura ruins this prestigious celebration with the violins in his theme music. Shinsuke says he is going to win Sunday and gets the upper hand on Jinder. Eh, we have seen this before just with Randy Orton instead of Nakamura.
Right before the 9 o’clock spot we saw Rusev and Chad Gable go at it. The match ended in a double count-out and Randy Orton hit an RKO out of nowehere on Rusev adding fuel to their match on Sunday. I use the phrase “adding fuel” very lightly. At the actual 9 o’clock spot we saw a public apology by AJ Styles for his accidental kick to Shane McMahon last week. Kevin Owens interrupts this apology, goes to superkick Styles, but yep you guessed it, kicks Shane instead. Usually foreshadowing is subtle, but this is wrestling so Shane is getting clocked at Summerslam. Oh sorry, [SUMMERSLAM SPOILERS].
On to some good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first? Trick question, you always say bad news first. It’s like if someone asked do you want dog shit or ice cream first? Always save the better tasting one for last. If you can’t figure out why, well then you deserve the dog shit last. Bad news
Barrett: Fashion Peaks had it’s final episode tonight. Good News: It was awesome and a new hybrid of the Fashion Files returns in two weeks.
The main event tonight was John Cena vs. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. JBL kept saying that this was biggest main event since the inception of Smackdown. I don’t work for WWE, but trust me that’s wrong. That being said, a good match between the two, but the real excitement came after the match. John Cena hit a super Attitude Adjustment from the second rope and went for the cover. Baron Corbin sprinted down the ramp and broke up the cover resulting in a Disqualification. Corbin beat John Cena with his Money in the Bank Briefcase. After attacking Cena, Corbin began to walk away, but returned to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase. At this point I’m thinking the bell isn’t going to ring, I mean how many times have they pulled that before? However, the bell sounds and Crobin is about to attack Jinder, but is distracted by Cena. This quick distraction allowed Jinder to get a roll up and keep his championship.
This is interesting for a few reasons. This is third time John Cena has been involved in a failed cash-in, Corbin now doesn’t have the briefcase, and what does it mean for Summerslam? There has been speculation all week that Nakamura was going to win the WWE Championship only to be cashed in on by Baron Corbin. With that element out of the mix, where does this bring us come Sunday? Stay tuned right here to BeerSpit for all your Summerslam coverage and news.
205 Live = Watchable
After some pretty boring shows over the past few weeks, 205 Live pulls of a watchable episode this week. The show opens with a great in-ring match involving Cedric Alexander & Gran Metalik vs. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak. A lot of high paced action in this match. The finish saw Cedric Alexander hit a Lumbar Check on Drew Gulak for the pinfall victory.
We also saw some development between the Kendrick & Gallagher feud along with the Rich Swann & TJP feud. Jack Gallagher saved Mustafa Ali from Kendrick trying to break Ali’s leg. Generic interview girl caught up with Brian Kendrick after this segment and he was very distraught/said he was sick of Jack Gallagher. Rich Swann was supposed to take on TJP in a rubber match this week, but was replaced by Ariya Davari. We find out later that TJP is on crutches when he comes out during Davari vs. Rich Swann. Swann is about to go for the 450 Spalsh, but the distraction allows Davari to knock Swann off the top rope. Davari gets a pinfall victory.
The main event spot was reserved for the Titus Worldwide Championship Celebration featuring the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa. The King of the Cruiserweights interrupts this celebration which is what you get when you forget to invite a King in the first place. Neville looks horrible and Titus alludes to the fact that Neville probably hasn’t slept in days since losing the championship. Not sure how that works since he lost it 24 hours prior, but I can stretch my imagination. Neville shows a countdown clock on the titantron which is counting down to Summerslam. He tells Akira that when that clock strikes 0 it will be the end of Tozawa’s reign and the end of Tozawa. Akira dives out of the ring and takes out Neville as 205 Live goes off the air.
NXT = Coming Soon
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