By “Gorgeous” Garrett Smith
Monday Night RAW opened on a historic note this week. As Vince McMahon introduced his daughter and son in law Stephanie, and Triple H to bring forth a new chapter in the women’s revolution. Triple H gave a very emotional speech that seemed very genuine and heartfelt, as majority of the women on the roster today are his projects that he brought up through NXT and has gone on record as saying they are like his children. This led into Steph announcing that for the first time ever, there will be an all-women’s ppv this fall called “Evolution”. This is an amazing thing because even Steph said that this was because of the fans raising their voices that ignited the change just a few years ago. And in reality its true because I remember how the hasgtag #givedivasachance was everywhere, and 30 second matches turned into main events and the women in today’s pro wrestling are arguably some of the best performers in the business. I am excited to see how this will play out, and since legends like Lita and Trish Stratus are confirmed for the show in some capacity, and maybe we will get some amazing matches between current superstars as well as these Hall of Famers.
Other RAW Highlights Include:
- The B-Team retains their RAW Tag Team titles over Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt,
- Sasha Banks and Bayley defeat a pair of enhancement talent in a squash match.
- Kevin Owens convinces Steph to force Braun Strowman to put his MITB contract on the line against him at Summerslam.
- Mickie James defeated Natalya.
- Titus Worldwide stands their ground against the Authors of Pain.
- Mojo Rawley squashed Tyler Breeze for the second week in a row.
- Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre turned into a tag team match Finn/Rollins vs Drew/Dolph, faces go over.
- Ember Moon defeated Liv Morgan.
The main event was lackluster to put it nicely. The WWE likes to really do 50/50 booking these days and were not going to have Roman Reigns lose to the same guy twice in a row (unless his name is Brock Lesnar). Last week he and Bobby Lashley won their qualifying matches to face each other this week to determine who would face Lesnar at Summerslam for the Universal title. When it was official you could hear the collective sigh from the crowd, as it was just a rematch of what they had just seen at Extreme Rules less than two weeks ago, and you heard it again when Reigns got the pin. How many times is WWE going to go to the well with this? Are they really going to pull the trigger and let Reigns go over this time? He loses more and more credibility each and every time he loses to the Beast, and since Vince is in charge he will likely try to keep the belt on Lesnar and convince him to parade it around his next UFC run. This story needs to be over.
Randy Orton began Smackdown Live by telling the audience why he attacked Jeff Hardy so viciously the previous week. He credited the fans for the lack of respect they have been giving him, as well as cutting down all the major stars that began their runs in the indie scene. He went on to talk about his legend killer status, and now he is the legend going to bring everyone down a peg, starting with Hardy. I love this version of Randy Orton. He was so boring as a face and it got old very quickly. He one of the bet heels of the modern era and these actions suit him much better.
Other SDLive Highlights Include:
- Andrade “Cien” Almas defeated Rusev, and It looks to be the end of Rusev Day.
- Samoa Joe defeated R-Truth.
- Billie Kay loses to Asuka.
- Becky Lynch defeated Carmella, and will face her at Summerslam for the Smackdown Women’s title.
- The New Day defeats Sanity in the first round of the tag team number one contender’s tournament.
- The Bar announces their return and will face The Uso’s next week in the first round of the same tournament.
- The Miz and Maryse came to celebrate the premiere of their new reality show, and bait Daniel Bryan to come to the ring to attack him.
Last week, General Manger Paige announced that she was going to announce the new number one contender to AJ Styles and his WWE Championship. So this week, she made good on that promise, and after Styles said how proud he was to defend the most prestigious title at Summerslam he was interrupted by James Ellsworth. He was there to remind the champ that he in fact had beaten him on three separate occasion in the past (I’m sure we all remember that feud vividly). After he insulted the GM, she fired him on the spot and escorted him out with security. During this time, Samoa Joe attacked Styles from behind in the ring, trapped him in the Coquina Clutch, and signed the contract after putting his old rival to sleep. Styles versus Joe in the WWE was only a pipe dream just a few years ago. This is absolutely a feud that they cannot mess up (however I said the same thing about Styles/Nakamura). These two have so much history and chemistry that this has potential to be a very money feud. I haven’t been this excited about a feud in months.
205 Live Highlights Include:
- Akira Tozawa defeated Jack Gallagher.
- Kalisto and Lince Dorado defeated two jobbers.
- Drew Gulak defeated Hideo Itami, TJP, and Mustafa Ali to become the new number one contender for the Cruiserweight Title.
NXT added a new wrinkle into the story of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa this week. If you were one of the few people that avoided all of the spoilers from this round of tapings then good on you, but for many it was even ruined by the WWE itself. It was strange news as they had it plastered all over their social media accounts and website. However, we knew that Ciampa was challenging Aleister Black for his NXT championship this week. It was an amazing match, but after interference from Gargano himself attacking Ciampa and inadvertently hitting Black with the belt, Ciampa was able to pick up the victory and become the new NXT champion. It makes their never ending feud have an actual prize to battle for going forward, and makes NXT must see television on the road to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.
Other NXT Highlights Include:
- After Adam Cole defeated Sean Maluta, Ricochet confronted the champ, and Mustache Mountain as well as The War Raiders confront Undisputed Era as a whole.
- Lacey Evans defeated Tenilla Price.
- Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane sign the contract for their match in Brooklyn.
“Gorgeous” Garrett is the Head Writer for Mark Set Go and a former SmackDown Predictions Champion. To stay up to date on thoughts on WWE and much more follow him on twitter @SmithGarrett91