This Week in WWE – Raw, Smackdown, 205 Live, NXT – 6/4/2018-6/6/2018

Baron Corbin Will Save Us All (Or at least those Seth Rollins misses)

Raw was live at the Toyota Center in Houston, home of Survivor Series 2017.  It’s a cool arena, and I feel like the typically go kind of big when they do shows in Houston.  Before I get into this, I’m going to preface the recap by saying that this was actually a fairly enjoyable episode of Raw.  No, Strowman didn’t murder anyone with any oversized vehicles or classical musical instruments, but it was a reminder that sometimes, when the people in the ring look like they’re enjoying themselves, it’s a lot easier to enjoy it with them.

  • The Show kicked off with Elias, which is a great way to start Raw (if WWE reads this, read it as: push this guy!  He’s a f***ing superstar).  He trash-sings destroying a guitar on Seth Rollins.  The Kingslayer comes out, talks his usual game, and Jinder joins the fray to outnumber the actual Top Guy.  Roman, not to be completely forgotten in the smoke trailing behind Seth Rollins’ rocketship to the very top of the company, comes to help his “former Shield-mate” as we are repeatedly reminded.  As expected, Angle makes it happen.  Jinder Mahal and Elias defeat Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.  While Rollins put on his usual show and landed “The Stomp” on Jinder, Elias would take advantage of a neck injury (work) and Drift Away the Architect for the pinfall.
    • Funny side note:  Texas is usually a pretty Roman friendly state.  It has explained in some small way why they do so many damn shows in the Lone Star, but last night we saw them cheer Rollins like a God when he was taking it to Jinder, only to boo Roman every time he landed a strike on the Modern Day Maharaja.  Not that it’s surprising, but Texas has even turned (Wrestlemania crowds don’t count, that’s not really locals).
  • Curt Hawkins got TV time.  Local Talent James Harden (not that one) defeated Curt Hawkins by disqualification when Baron Corbin attacked the jobber to get Hawkins his 200th straight loss.  While this is foreshadowing Corbin as the one to eat the Ultimate Burial of Vince McMahon by taking a loss against Hawkins, that isn’t what is important here.  Hawkins had promised a victory, and that the crowd would get a taco when he won and broke the streak.  The food was at ringside, so I feared the predictability that I ended up getting of a “food fight”, but it wasn’t as hokey as it usually comes across because 1) Baron Corbin knocked Hawkins out with a crunchy taco.  This happened.  He slapped the shit out of him with a crunchy taco and took him out.  2) Baron Corbin was having an absolute blast through this whole thing.  Sometimes I think that these segments fail because the participants don’t seem on board with it.  But Corbin and Hawkins together made this one of the most enjoyable few minutes of Raw not involving Rollins that has happened in weeks.  Please keep giving Hawkins matches on Broadcast TV.
  • Corbin then informs Kurt Angle that due to his ineffective management, Stephanie McMahon has appointed him to be the Constable of Raw.  I don’t know why he was given a British title that is generally elected as opposed to appointed, but whatever.  Corbin was having a ball, so I’ll let him run with it.
  • Nia Jax defeated Natalya via pinfall.  Ugh.  I will say the match was fine until the ending, where Natalya tried to sell the most amazingly awful fake knee injury I’ve ever seen.  Nia went ahead and landed the Samoan Drop and got the win, then realized Natty was injured and spent time trying to check on her.  Ronda was on commentary (mute your television if you watch this match because for the love of God stop having her talk).  She got up and stormed down all stick up her ass like and tried running Nia off while she was tending to her “bestie”.  Who is the face here?  I’m lost in their shitty storytelling.  This segment got entirely too much TV time post match.
  • Braun Strowman defeated Bobby Roode.  Pre-match, Roode admitted to Renee that he wasn’t looking for a win, he was just looking to survive on his way to the MitB match.  Not only did Strowman get the expected victory, he used the two wrecking balls he calls hands and broke a ladder in half.  This man is easily the most entertaining “monster” character they’ve ever had.
  • They spent more TV time, lots of it, in the ongoing saga of Bobby Lashley and Sami Zayn.  I skipped it.  Do yourself a favor and don’t try and fill in the blanks here.  Lashley is a garbage promo anyway, but they’re spending way too much time with a microphone in his hands when all anyone really wants to see him do, if they even want that, is destroy people in the ring.  Sami most definitely deserves better with the year they’ve actually let him have so far.
  • The B Team (Dallas & Axel) defeated numerous other teams to become the number one contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championship in a Battle Royal.  I really thought they were actually going to let The Revival get some momentum here, but no.  Ziggler and McIntyre were eliminated first, so they’ll undoubtedly play a role in the outcome of the championship match.
  • The Riott Squad defeated Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Alexa Bliss via DQ.  Alexa acted hurt and left her teammates behind.  When the numbers got the better of the good guys, Bayley ran down and came in on a hot tag, seemingly as an approved replacement, and picked up the win.  In the back, Ember told Bayley and Sasha to bury the hatchet so they can celebrate, but Constable Corbin sent Angle to inform them the DQ would be the official ruling and Riott Squad were the winners.  Of course this led to more Sasha melodrama.
  • Special Moment for Some Special Kids: I’m not going to lump it all in together, but Big Show introduced the Special Olympics team for the State of Texas who then got to be a part of the Finn Balor entrance on the stage.  It was really cool.  Their partnership with Special Olympics is easily my favorite thing about WWE as a corporation.
  • Finn Balor defeated Kevin Owens with a Coup de Grace off the top of a ladder.  These two work great together.  Definitely worth a viewing.  Finn went back up the ladder and pulled down the briefcase, closing the show standing tall.


Becky Lynch Got a Win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Smackdown Live carries the Blue Brand to Corpus Christi.

  • Carmella kicks off the night to “expose the real Asuka” as they advertised all damn day on Twitter.  It was just an excuse to kill TV time with the original Asuka promo package and footage of Asuka losing at Mania and beyond.  Mella is Money, it’s hard to argue, but even the best can’t run nearly identical promos every week without them getting stale.  Asuka comes out, Mandy Rose and Deville (in rainbow ring gear, Pride Bay Bay), somehow this ends up with Asuka getting a handicapped match against the former Absolution members while Carmella moves to commentary.
    • Carmella on Commentary is where she really shines.  She eats Byron and Phillips alive.  It’s great, then she teams up with Graves and they just completely ignore the other half of the table for the remainder of the match.
    • Mella distracts Asuka, moonwalks on the commentary table.
    • Asuka defeats Sonya Deville via the Asuka Lock.  
    • Mella superkicks Asuka’s head off, dances some more, stands tall with the title.
  • The New Day and Mr. Bootyworth deliver a giant platter of pancakes to Miz in the locker room, who appears to be doing Tai Chi?, and ask Miz to pull a name out of a hat to reveal which of the trio will be the representative in the Money in the Bank match.  They blindfold Miz and swap out the hats with one filled with pancake batter.  I’m so glad they’re just milking this thing.  New Day have so much fun.  There’s something so great about watching performers just enjoy themselves, it reminds you that this is supposed to be fun, not the looming North Korea Crisis.
  • Karl Anderson defeated Luke Harper via pinfall.  Gallows and Rowan were in the respective corners.  I’m really surprised they had Harper take a loss here, roll up or not.
  • Jimmy Uso & Naomi defeat Aiden English & Lana (Uso over English) via pinfall.  I know it’s likely just part of the ongoing effort to make Lana the Yoko Ono of Rusev Day, but I didn’t necessarily like it.
  • Fucking Paperwork.  I’m not going to PG it up anymore if they’re going to insist on doing these utterly predictable contract signing segments.  AJ Styles slaps the shit out of Nakamura.  Contract is signed, like there was ever a doubt, please just let this feud end, I’m so bored and I DO NOT LIKE BEING BORED WITH ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH AJ STYLES!
  • BECKY LYNCH DEFEATED CHARLOTTE VIA SUBMISSION!!!!!!!  Yes, you read that right, Becky Lynch was actually booked to get a victory, and over the Queen no less.  Probably just to soften the blow when Charlotte undoubtedly takes the briefcase in a few weeks, but still.  I’ll take it.  The best friends hug it out in a show of sportsmanship afterwards, which I always appreciate.
  • Big Cass got entirely too much screen time for a promo on Daniel Bryan.
  • Sin Cara is talking to Dasha backstage when he’s confronted by Zelina Vega, then attacked from behind by Almas.  I’m not necessarily thrilled that this is what they’re doing with Almas right out of the gate.  Almas is a top caliber star, don’t waste time getting him up the card.  It also feels a little lazy to just toss him in the ring with the luchador, too, or maybe I just read too much into things with VKMs history of blatant xenophobia.
  • The New Day defeated The Miz, Rusev and Samoa Joe when both of his partners abandoned Miz to the Pancake Powered Trio after he throws the platter of pancakes in their faces by accident.  It was a fine match, and I like any time Woods is actually part of a match.  He’s a grotesquely underutilized member of the team that is oft overshadowed by Big E’s power and Kofi’s proven abilities.

Mustafa Ali wants another piece of Buddy Murphy

Corpus Christi was also given the privilege of witnessing the most exciting hour of WWE each week, this time with Buddy Murphy getting another opportunity at Mustafa Ali, who defeated him in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament en route to his loss Wrestlemania against now champion Cedric Alexander.  Murphy, coming off his loss to Alexander last week in a match of the year contender, will bring that amped level of intensity to the ring against the always exciting Ali who is looking to get another chance at the title himself.

  • Lince Dorado defeated The Brian Kendrick via pinfall.  It was fine, Drew Gulak on commentary was the best part of the match itself.
  • TJP defeated another jobber.  What the hell are they doing with TJP?
  • Apparently Lio Rush is going to 205 Live.  Whatever, I’m sure he’ll tweet something stupid before he shows up and get released.
  • Mustafa Ali defeated Buddy Murphy via DQ as Hideo Itami interfered and attacked Ali.  Now that’s a match I can get excited for.

NXT TV 6/6/2018 Coming Soon

In the meantime, just go enjoy the Twitter feud between @VelveteenWWE and @KingRicochet.  It’s wildly entertaining.  Velveteen deserves a Peabody for his Twitter.  Can we get David Starr to NXT so they can have a feud over which is better at being “really good at Twitter”?