Crash Course Wrestling Column Week of 8/21/2017

We are 24 hours removed from the biggest party of the summer, Summerslam. Third time was the charm for Brooklyn, as this is the third of four events happening in Barclays Center this week. The last one being Smackdown Live tomorrow night. How did WWE follow up a 6 hour show last night? With a 3 hour show featuring beach balls of course, lets get to it.

Monday Night Raw = Watchable

Monday Night Raw starts off with the REIGNING AND DEFENDING UNIVERSAL CHAMPION, Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman cuts a long promo about the match last night and how he always delivers spoilers instead of fake news. Braun Strowman’s music hits and Strowman comes out to confront Brock. To take it a step further, Strowman levels Brock Lesnar and leaves the Universal Champion down in the ring. Later in the night it is announced that Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal Championship against Braun Strowman at No Mercy on September 24th.

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In injury news, we saw Big Cass take on Enzo Amore in a Brooklyn Street Fight. Enzo comes out with a Certified G-rocery cart full of weapons. I stole that joke from WWE.com so that’s a new low. Anyway, match gets going and Big Cass goes for a Big Boot to Enzo on the apron, but Enzo pulls down the top rope and Cass crumbles to the floor. Cass lands weird on his leg and it bends in an awkward position. After the fall, Big Cass could barely stand on it and the match had to be stopped. F-bombs flew all over the arena courtesy of Big Cass who was clearly frustrated with the bad timing of the injury. The censor guy made his paycheck tonight.

Quick side note here: We all agree that crowd reaction at a wrestling show is a fundamental part of talent and characters getting over right? I also understand that beach balls are a major part of other sporting events, but these sporting events don’t rely as heavily on the crowd participation. Beach balls were an unfortunate theme tonight as it took away from Balor vs. Jason Jordan, the main event, and other segments throughout the show. I say this not because I’m going to be a sour mark, but because it hurts the progression of the show and the future of the show. However, chanting “THIS MATCH SUCKS” during a fast paced, high octane 8 man Cruiserweight match is the exact reason why the Cruiserweights can’t get over in the first place. If you go to a live show play into the gimmick and don’t be a jerk, I men the whole damn thing is fake anyway so why get yourself over?

Rant aside, because that is a different part of BeerSpit, John Cena returned to Raw for the first time in over a year. He says he was looking for a certain superstar and that certain superstar was none other than Roman Reigns. These two had an exchange of words until Miz came out. The Miz cut one of his best promos in a long time. He delivered it with so much passion and spoke about being under-utilized and how the top spots are always set aside for John Cena and Roman Reigns. Cena asked for a tag team match between the Miztourage and himself and Reigns. Samoa Joe comes out and says he will be Miz’s partner and we have our main event for the evening.

In the tag team division, the newly crowned Raw Tag Team Champions, Ambrose and Rollins, were looking for new competition. The crowd began chanting for the Hardy’s and their prayers were answered. The Hardy’s came out to a huge pop and a match begins between the two teams. This is a great match with Rollins and Ambrose securing a victory over The Hardy’s. I hope this isn’t the last time we see these two teams interact.

In next week news, we know that Alexa Bliss will envoke her rematch clause and take on Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship. On to the main event, Roman Reigns & John Cena vs. The Miz & Samoa Joe. Star studded main event with some really good action. However, Big Match John always pulls one out no matter which show he is on. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale and is countered into an Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall victory. After the match, John Cena and Roman Reigns stand side-by-side and glare at each other as if confused that they worked so well as a team. Raw goes off the air and I wonder how many popped and inflated beach balls were found on the floor of the Barclays Center.

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Smackdown Live = Watchable

The final show to take place in Barclays Center for 2017 has come and gone. Smackdown Live delivered the fallout to Summerslam we were waiting for from the blue brand. In fact, fallout so good some would even refer to it as GLORRRRIOUSSSS [SMACKDOWN SPOILERS]. Lets get to it.

The show opens with Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens, and AJ Styles. Owens is mad because he believes that Shane counting the three even though AJ Styles’ foot was on the rope should be official and he should be the new United States Champion. Shane disagrees, Owens requests his rematch and to be able to choose the referee this time.

Aiden English came out in the middle of the first hour and did his singing thing. I know it isn’t exactly Elias Sampson, but if you boil it down, it’s essentially the same gimmick. Before English can finish we hear the beautiful piano riff which can only mean one thing, GLORRRIOUSSSSSS. Bobby Roode is officially a part of the Smackdown Live Roster and he picks up a pinfall victory with a Glorious DDT. He was super over with the Brooklyn beach balls crowd and fills the void where John Cena was.

Shinske Nakamura took on the two Singh Brothers at the 9 o’clock spot and squashed them. After the match Jinder attacked Shinske so it looks as if this rivalry will take us to the next Smackdown Live Pay-Per-View.

Chad Gable was talking to Daniel Bryan backstage and told him that all people want to talk about is the fact that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s son. Gable went on to say that he was concerned about his future and so was I. Daniel Bryan told him not to worry as he traded someone for Jason Jordan and I guess was just getting around to delivering that memo. Bryan announces that Gable’s new tag team partner is…. AIN’T NO STOPPPINNGG MEEE NOWWWW, Shelton Benjamin. Thus, keeping the tag team a multi-racial deal, I wonder if Vince will notice that American Alpha is no longer, hmmm. It was also announced that they will have their first tag team match together next week.

Before I get to the main event, WWE has banned beach balls and are now confiscating them from fans. This is a good move on their part as I can see the slippery slope ahead if they didn’t. Main event time, AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens with Special Guest Referee Baron Corbin for the United States Championship. A good match between the two, but the main focus is on the referee of course. Shane McMahon comes out and accuses Baron Corbin of doing a shitty job which I think is unfair considering Shane did a worse job on Sunday. While Corbin is distracted, Owens hits a low blow on Styles and Corbin turns around to count the three. SHane pulls him out and tells him he sucks and Shane is now the referee. Not sure how legal that is, but AJ Styles hits the Phenomenal Forearm and retains his United States Championship as Smackdown goes off the air.

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205 Live = Watchable

This episode of 205 Live had a lot of things going for it. Great in-ring wrestling, story development, and a new debuting member to the 205 Live roster. The opening match was a tag team involving Cedric Alexander & Gran Metalik vs. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak. This match had some fast paced action along with some impressive dives by Cedric and Gran Metalik. Cedric eventually hits the Lung Blower on Drew Gulak for the pinfall victory. Cedric Alexander has been on a roll recently on 205 Live.

Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick have been exchanging words for a few weeks now and this week Gallagher challenged Kendrick to a Gentleman’s Duel, which involved a table full of gentlemenly weapons. The Brian Kendrick never showed up, but instead came on the titantron. He called Gallagher a clown and sent an actual clown to the ring to fight Gallagher. Jack goes to beat up the clown, but is attacked from behind by Kendrick. Kendrick puts Jack Gallagher through a table leading to a No Disqualification match between the two next week.

The main event saw a Crusierweight Championship Rematch between Neville and Akira Tozawa. If you remember, Neville won the title back at Summerslam. These two have been putting on great matches and this was no exception. Neville picked up the submission victory with the Rings of Saturn to retain his championship. After the match, Enzo Amore came out to do his shtick on Neville, but Neville leaves the ring. This officially makes Enzo Amore part of the 205 Live roster going forward. A little odd at first because although he fits the weight class he doesn’t quite fit the style. We will see what happens next.

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NXT = Skippable

This show was filmed with NXT Takeover and is somewhat fun to watch with such a hyped up crowd. Not too much story development happens this weeks, but the main event is worth checking out.