Crash Course Wrestling Column Week of 9/18/2017

With the Mae Young Classic now behind us, we have a regular week of wrestling ahead. By regular I mean more than 7 hours, but hey we are wrestling fans so “thank you sir may I have another” kind of has to be our motto. We have the go-home Monday Night Raw before No Mercy and an exciting Smackdown Live of the fallout from the Vince McMahon/Kevin Owens angle. Oh and 205 too… Lets get to it.

Monday Night Raw = Skippable

This show was tough to rate as watchable or skippable. It was a good show that served its purpose of hyping No Mercy, but with very little story development and progression, there was nothing that happened that you can’t just read here.

The show starts off with Kurt Angle coming to the ring to announce that the main event tonight will be a Fatal Four Way match to determine who faces Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz comes out and says the Miztourage should be in the match because they are the stars of the show. Kurt Angle changes the main event to be a Six Pack Challenge, Elias Sampason vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Jason Jordan vs. Bo Dallas vs. Curtis Axel with the winner facing The Miz at No Mercy for the Intercontinental Championship.

Before the 9 o’clock spot we get Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax. The match here doesn’t matter as much as this was a way for Bayley to make her return from shoulder injury. Bayley gets a positive crowd pop here which is nice to see because the crowd was starting to turn on her before the injury. I was secretly wishing for a Bayley heel turn here, but we can always save that. Bayley and Sasha Banks team up and take out Alexa Bliss.

The 9 o’clock spot saw an incredible Triple Threat Tag Team match between Rollins & Ambrose, Cesaro & Sheamus, and Gallows & Anderson. These three teams busted their ass in this match and it went through two commercial breaks. Eventually Dean Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Karl Anderson for the pinfall victory. I was surprised they had this match as the actual match as No Mercy does not have this many moving elements. That doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be this exciting though.

There was some hype in the middle of the show for both Roman Reigns vs. John Cena and Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. WWE produced a great video package for Reigns and Cena leading to Sunday. However, to follow that Reigns came out and did his typical cursing bit to get heat from the crowd. Although it works, it’s cheap heat. Nonetheless, Cena vs. Reigns has big hype going into No Mercy. Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman argued via satellite to hype their match on Sunday. I am making it sound worse than it actually was.

Braun followed this up not by cursing, but instead killing Enzo Amore. Enzo was doing his typical shtick for the live crowd and gets absolutely flattened by Strowman. Braun drags Enzo to the ring, tosses him into the ring as if was a child, and powerslams him. Neville comes out to pick up the scraps with a Red Arrow. Enzo and Neville will meet face to face on 205 Live.

The main event was another awesome match for this show. The only problem here was that when you looked at the line up (Sampson, Jeff & Matt Hardy, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Jason Jordan) there was only one plausible winner here. I wondered earlier why the Triple Threat Tag Team match didn’t have a Tower of Doom spot and my questions were answered here. This match had the tower of doom spot and a lot of other great in-ring wrestling. Jason Jordan hit his Neckbreaker for the pinfall victory. Jason Jordan will now face The Miz at No Mercy for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz kills Jordan after the match and stands tall as Raw goes off the air.

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Smackdown Live = Skippable

This weeks Smackdown Live had a lot of hype going into it, as last week ended with a bang, or a headbang to Vince’s head. However with only Kevin Owens joining us via Satellite and AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin for the United States Championship ending so quick, the hype was slightly distinguished. This doesn’t mean it was all around a bad show, so lets get to it.

The show opens with Shane McMahon telling us he was disgusted by Kevin Owens’ actions last week. Isn’t one week kind of a lame suspension for someone who was told they were suspended for the “foreseeable future”? I think WWE could have just had him off TV for a week to “cool him off” after he attacked Kevin Owens, but hey I don’t get paid the big bucks to write scripts so I’ll go with it. We are told that later we will talk with Kevin Owens via Satellite. Owens must be getting some lessons from The Rock.

Randy Orton took on Aiden English and beat him fast with an RKO after English jumped off the second rope. Randy Orton is so good at these catch RKO spots and this one looked as smooth as ever. Rusev came out after the match and gave Orton a vicious superkick. We catch up with Rusev later and he is parading around backstage screaming about how he beat Orton. If we are getting goofy, pumped Rusev, I am all for it.

The 9 o’clock spot saw the return of Charlotte Flair and it was nice to see her in a Smackdown Live ring once again. Natalya interrupted her from thanking the fans while her father, Ric, was recovering in the hospital. Natalya says she wants to celebrate one of her favorite women in the world. She pulls the cloth off a giant picture of herself. Charlotte announces she wants a Smackdown Women’s Championship match. This announcement invokes Tamina, Becky Lynch, and Naomi to come out. Daniel Bryan announces that the main event tonight will be Charlotte vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi in a Fatal Four Way Match where the winner will face Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Hell in a Cell.

AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin for the United States Championship happened, kind of. The match never got started as Tye Dillinger interfered before the bell and Corbin hurt his leg. Styles capitalized on this injured leg and locked him in the Calf Crusher. The Tye and Corbin rivalry continues.

Dolph Ziggler did his gimmicked entrance stealing shtick again this week. This time he copied Shawn Micheals, Triple H, and DX. During this segment the crowd was chanting “CM Punk” which got me thinking. If you want this new Dolph gimmick to get the utter most heat possible, have Dolph do a “run-in” on the championship match at Hell in a Cell with CM Punk’s music and attire. Boom, gimmick solidified and utterly hated. Book it.

Kevin Owens came to us via Satellite right before the main event of the show. In a change of heart, he actually apologized for his actions and said he had a lot of respect for Vince McMahon. However, he did not apologize or feel bad for Shane McMahon. He told Shane that what he did to his father was just the tip of the iceberg for what he was going to do at Hell in a Cell.

As mentioned earlier, the main event was a Fatal Four Way match with the winner facing Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This was a strong match for these four women. Charlotte and Becky shined the most here, but Naomi and Tamina got their spots in too. At one point Charlotte hit a moonsault on both Tamina and Naomi which looked really good. In the end, Charlotte picked up the pinfall victory to solidify herself as the #1 contender for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship.

205 Live = Coming Soon

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