Crash Course Wrestling Column Week Of 8/7/2017

Summerslam is fast approaching and WWE continues to load up the card with matches from Monday Night Raw, Smackdown Live, and 205 Live. However, how are they doing getting people hyped with only 14 days remaining? Let’s get to it.

Monday Night Raw = Skippable

Monday Night Raw this week had three major factors going for it, it was headlined by a Last Man Standing Match involving Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, Lesnar was advertised, and it was in Toronto. For those of you new to the product, Toronto fans are always a wild card. They boo and cheer whoever the hell they want. So with those major factors where did this show fall short?

Raw kicked off red hot with Miz calling out Jason Jordan for attacking him last week. Instead of Kurt Angle’s bastard son, Miz was bombarded by the Beast Incarnet BRRROOOCCKKKK LESNARRRRR. Heyman and Miz had an exchange of words on the mic until Heyman insisted that we do some role-playing for the upcoming Summerslam event. Heyman went on to explain that Miz would play Roman Reigns, Bo Dallas would play Samoa Joe, and Curtis Axel would play Braun Strowman. This preview of Summerslam involved Brock Lesnar killing everyone with suplexes and F5’s. This was possibly more of a spoiler for Summerslam than a prediction.

The red hot start unfortunately burns out as this show continues. The 9 o’clock spot saw Bayley come out to announce that she separated her shoulder last week in her match with Nia Jax and will be out of action at Summerslam. Remember what I said about the Toronto crowd? Well Bayley begins to get booed here and instead of ignoring the fans she addresses them. It wasn’t a good look for her as she began to get flustered and trip over her words. Hopefully taking time off will help her rebuild the buzz she once had.

So what does this mean for Alexa Bliss at Summerslam? Let me save you a lot of time and tell you that next week it will be Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks to determine a new #1 Contender for the Raw Women’s Championship. How did we get there? There were two triple threat qualifying matches, but when you put women like Alicia Fox and Mickie James in them, it becomes painfully obvious who is walking out with the W. In other Summerslam Matches news, Big Show will take on Big Cass with Enzo Amore locked in a shark cage. Do we really need more shark cage matches?

In potential reunion of 2/3rds of The Shield news, both Ambrose and Rollins found themselves in matches tonight. Rollins took on Sheamus and Ambrose took on Cesaro. At the end of the Rollins/Sheamus match, Cesaro and Sheamus beat down on Rollins and Ambrose was no where to be found. Rollins caught up with Ambrose backstage and Ambrose said he wants to do things by himself and he still doesn’t trust Rollins. Later Ambrose had an amazing match with Cesaro and was beaten down as well. Rollins came for the save, Ambrose offered the Signature Shield Fist Bump, and Rollins walked away. The crowd was red hot for this and when that fist bump eventually connects, the roof is going to blow off of whatever arena they are in.

It’s main event time and it was a highly anticipate main event. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing Match. These two brawled all over the arena and used chairs, steel steps, the LED light board, you name it. At one point Strowman launched an office chair right into Roman Reign’s face, which you can view below. I mean what else do you want from a main event? The finish came when Samoa Joe came from the crowd and choked Reigns out with the Coquina Clutch allowing Strowman to pick up the victory. Hats off to WWE for booking an exciting main event for Raw and hyping Summerslam at the same time. If only the middle of show pulled its weight this would have been a very watchable Monday Night Raw.

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Smackdown Live = Skippable

Smackdown Live has been pretty lackluster recently and if you factor in the crowd for this show it may make it somewhat enjoyable. Just like Monday Night Raw, Smackdown Live took place in Toronto and had the billed main event of…wait for it… Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton..again. However, this time it was called a “grudge match”, it was also grudging for fans, but lets get to it.

The show starts off with John Cena cutting a promo and putting over Shinske Nakamura calling him a legitimate competitor. Baron Corbin comes out to ruin the hype fest. John Cena sees a sign in the crowd that says “Baron Corbin is a Dumpster Fire” and refers to the sign and calls Corbin a dumpster fire. The Toronto crowd begins chanting DUMPSTER FIRE CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP, only in wrestling. Daniel Bryan comes out and announces that Baron Corbin will face John Cena at Summerslam.

The 9 o’clock spot saw Shane McMahon come out to explain how he will be a fair special referee in the match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens for the United States Championship at Summerslam. Owens and Styles are in the ring as well and have an exchange of words. The two get into a scuffle and Shane McMahon tries to break it up and gets a Paylay Kick for his troubles.

As mentioned earlier, Jinder Mahal vs Randy Orton was the main event of the show. The crowd cheered Jinder because he is from Canada. The match was good, but has been seen many times. Randy Orton pins the WWE Champion with an RKO out of nowhere. Now the real main event was the Fashion Files and discovering who viciously murdered Tully the Horse. Its a real shocker:

 

 

205 Live = Skippable

Let me start off by saying that I am slightly concerned about this show. Each week it feeling more and more like an after thought. The writing seems lazy and everything seems somewhat half-assed. That being said, this week was headlined by “friendly competition” between TJP and Rich Swann. When I say things are feeling half assed, I primarily mean this feud. More on the main event in a bit.

I have to give the matches on 205 Live some credit, they are always very good. If only the matches had more meaning behind them. The opener saw Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese. Nese is recently being pushed as this guy who talks shit at the top of the ramp and counts his abs. These two have a good match, but the Toronto crowd could care less. Tony Nese wins with a roll-up.

Before the main event Jack Gallagher attacks The Brian Kendrick backstage. Next up, TJP vs. Rich Swann. After weeks of one upsmenship by TJP they are finally here to battle it out. Crowd cares a little more here, but not much. Another good match here with TJP hitting the Detonation Kick for the 1, 2, 3. TJP talks shit all the way up the ramp to Swann, so much for friendly competition. TJP and Swann continue to back where Swann says that TJP isn’t the guy is thought he was as 205 Live goes off the air.

NXT = Coming Soon