This Week In WWE – May 21-23, 2018

Not a lot of good this week, so we’re going to hit this one quickly so you can catch up if you missed it.

Monday Night Rollins

Albany, New York was subjected to this three hours of mostly shit, save for the few minutes of Seth Rollins greatness they got and more fantastic work from Elias.

  • Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens ended in a no contest when Jinder Mahal interfered.  Seth Rollins came to make the save.
  • Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens.  It was fine, you got some Rollins.  This whole thing was literally the first hour of the broadcast, and concluded with Jinder laying both of them out with a chair at the top of the ramp.  Jinder will face Roman at Money in the Bank because they can’t imagine a world where Roman Reigns isn’t on a PPV, though I hope Jinder gets the win and somehow gets to be the one to take out Brock Lesnar, even though I really wish it was how Curt Hawkins would break his streak.
  • They went ahead with that bullshit segment where Sami Zayn interview Bobby Lashley’s “Sisters”.  They weren’t his sisters, this segment was awful and this feud is literally meaningless.  This is really not the way to get Lashley back to where I’m sure they want him with what they’re undoubtedly paying him.
  • PAPERWORK!!!  Stephanie McMahon presided over another predictable contract signing for the Nia Jax vs Ronda Rousey match for Money in the Bank.  She did 90% of the talking, and made me uncomfortable constantly referring to Nia as the “bigger, more powerful” competitor.  Rousey said a couple of words, proving further how much she would benefit from a Paul Heyman, because I care less and less every time she attempts promo work.
  • Baron Corbin defeated No Way Jose because creative is lazy and has nothing logical in mind for either of them, which is really sad for Corbin because he had momentum on Smackdown.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Chad Gable?  Again, with Gable now wrestling solo, it means little to have him in any sort of feud with a guy committed to a tag team presently.
  • The B Team (formerly The Miztourage) defeated Breezango.  They’re not going to get much of a push, either team, but at least they’re all getting TV time, which is better than either pair was really getting for a while.
  • Natalya defeated the majority of the Riott Squad and Dana Brooke, qualifying for the Money in the Bank match that I’m fairly sure she’ll win, because they have telegraphed the living shit out of the title driving a wedge between the Queen of Harts and The Baddest Woman on the Planet.
  • Elias defeated Bobby Roode.  Elias is fantastic and if they don’t push him up the card soon they’re going to wait too long.  He’s a fucking star and they’re wasting him on meaningless shit.
  • Ember Moon defeated Alexa Bliss.  This was fine.  For some reason this didn’t make the Hulu cut but the entirety of that Lashley-Zayn bullshit did.
  • Braun Strowman defeated Finn Balor.  This match was surprisingly damn good.  With the exception of Lesnar (bullshit), Balor came the closest to defeating the Monster Among Men.  Strowman picked Balor up at the end in an uncharacteristic show of respect from the big man.  If they can find a way to parlay this into Balor challenging Lesnar, or if Strowman and Balor continue to tag, I’m going to be ok with it.  As much as I would like to see Rollins move to the top belt, either of these guys would be just fine by me as the one to take the Red Strap.

The House That AJ Styles Built

Smackdown headed to Wuhstuh, Mass on Tuesday night, and somehow we managed to avoid any nut shots.

  • MizTV kicked off with The New Day, as Miz attempted to figure out who would be the representative in the Money in the Bank match.  Miz made the mistake of saying he could beat any of the New Day, any time.  So they decided that it was E, not for MitB, but for tonight.  Paige confronted a fleeing Miz and made it happen.
  • The Miz defeated Big E when The Bar distracted by assaulting Kofi and Xavier on the outside and The A Lister hit the Skull Crushing Finale.
  • Lana defeated Billie Kay to qualify for Money in the Bank.  Yes, you read that correctly.  WTF are they doing with The Iiconics?
  • Almas destroyed another jobber.  Stop this madness and put him in the ring with someone who matters, and give Vega as much mic time as you can.
  • The Good Brothers defeated The Usos and will now challenge The Budgeon Brothers at Money in the Bank for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles.  Confused?  Me too.  Way too many brothers.
  • AJ and Nakamura meet in the ring for the reveal of Shinsuke’s stipulation for Money in the Bank.  He says it’s a pillow fight, then they brawl, then he drops AJ with a Kinshasa on the outside and does a 10 count before announcing it is a Last Man Standing Match.  They had to change the Ciampa-Gargano TakeOver: Chicago match to a street fight (because that’s apparently not what a no-DQ unsanctioned match already was) so they didn’t double up on back to back nights.
  • Naomi defeated Sonya Deville to qualify for Money in the Bank.  I’m a little disappointed, mostly because Deville is going to be pretty damn good if they play it right and give her any sort of push, but at least they’re doing right by Ember Moon.
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Jeff Hardy.  This match was pretty great and rectified the fact that the rest of the show was pretty well crap.  Bryan will now face Samoa Joe next week for the final Money in the Bank spot.

205 Live

Don’t for a minute think that 205 Live slipped into the hum-drum loop that Raw and Smackdown have been in for a while now, because this was still a good show with actual wrestling on it.

While the main event from 205 Live would be the Hideo Itami-Akira Tozawa match they built to but has zero stakes, the highlight of this entire show was getting The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher on commentary during the Drew Gulak-Gran Metalik match where they kept calling the GM Jake Maverick and Gallagher wanted to let everyone know that he really enjoyed Gran Metallica’s first album but everything since then hasn’t been for him.  They are treasures and ongoing reminders of why this division needs a tag belt.

  • Drew Gulak tapped out Gran Metalik.  It was a pretty good match.
  • TJP defeated a jobber.  This is apparently part of the ongoing storytelling on Twitter where TJP has complained about his lack of competition on 205 Live and even his request to Paige for a chance to wrestle actual competition on Smackdown.  If he wants it, let Almas beat his ass.
  • Hideo Itami defeated Akira Tozawa.  This was a stellar match, and a reminder of just how good both of these guys are.

The House That Tommaso Ciampa Built…..Then Burned to the Ground and Peed on the Ashes

  • TM61 defeated Heavy Machinery via cheating.  It’s fine, but they need to get Tucky and Dozer into tag championship position ASAP.  They are stars.
  • Lars Sullivan wins a handicapped match against Ricochet and Velveteen Dream.  The level of talent involved in this match alone should peak your interest, and while there are almost no good handicapped matches in the history of professional wrestling, they managed to pull it off and it worked really really well.  Sullivan should easily be the next one up to challenge Black for the belt now, or at the very least challenge EC3.  I hate that Sullivan getting to look more like a monster had to come at the expense of two of the top talents on the roster, but they managed to make this match more memorable than just the usual handicapped “monster squash”.  Maybe we’ll get “The One and Only Dream Team” for the Tag Titles at some point.
  • Johnny Gargano pump fakes an injury related retirement, but instead calls out Gargano to a street fight for TakeOver: Chicago.  Ciampa appears and taunts Gargano, who attacks.  Candice tries to get help breaking them up and Johnny ends up inadvertently knocking her out in the madness.