The show opens with Alexa Bliss’ Title Celebration
Fresh off her historic performance at MITB, Bliss here goes into another feud. Kurt Angle also announces Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Title at Extreme Rules. Bliss talks cocky until Ronda Rousey comes down. After Bliss roasts Rousey including a line saying “You are just an over-hyped rookie”, Rousey comes unglued and attacks. Rousey attacks Angle,Bliss and security. Rousey then powerbombs Bliss through a table. Backstage, Angle suspends Rousey for 30 days which just postpones her title win until Summerslam. This segment was fantastic. Bliss played a great cocky champion and Rousey showed her character off really well.
(c) Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler IC Title Open Challenge
Rollins comes hot off a great match with Elias at MITB, Ziggler opens Rollins’ open challenge and is accompanied by Mcintyre. As soon as the bell rings, both men try to hit their finishers. The match gets slow but picks up and gets competitive. Rollins hits a suicide dive. There is also a sequence of roll up near falls ending in a Ripcord Knee by Rollins for another near fall. The Curb Stomp is reversed into the Fameasser which goes for a really good near fall. That spot triggers “This Is Awesome” chants. Rollins hits 2 superkicks for another near fall. A crossbody by Ziggler is rolled through and powered up into a buckle bomb by Rollins. Mcintyre distracts Rollins and Ziggler picks up a shock win. While this was a very good match and made this RAW get into great territory, I think for right now Ziggler winning is the wrong choice. For 1, unless this leads up to Rollins vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam it is absolutely pointless as Rollins was a great champion. For 2, if you wanted to give the title to someone give it to Mcintyre. He’s a fresh, young and dominant talent and would be a better champion than Ziggler. ***1/2
- Bobby Roode beats Curt Hawkins stretching his loss record to 0-204
Braun Strowman Promo
Strowman says that winning Money in The Bank is his greatest accomplishment which is true. Strowman calls out Lesnar but Kevin Owens comes out. Selling his injuries from MITB, Owens tries to allign with Braun. Braun shakes Owens’ hand but holds on. Braun attacks but Owens rolls out immediately. This segment sets up the main event later.
- Bayley and Banks backstage segment, Bayley asks Sasha to be her partner against the Riott Squad.
- Bray and Matt beat Rhyno and Slater after a great B-Team impersionation of Bray and Matt video.
- Angle and Corbin backstage segment, Angle says he has a big announcement for tonight.
Jinder Mahal vs. Chad Gable
Pre-match, Mahal cuts an annoying promo on self re-invention after his match against Reigns. Like anyone was watching that match and not chanting about unrelating wrestling. Gable hits a series of very solid suplexes. Gable hits a moonsault for a near fall. After Gable got to looking good in this match, Mahal hits the Khalas to close. ** Chad Gable deserves much better. Mahal still REALLY sucks.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. The Riott Squad
Liv Morgan and Bayley start the match. Banks tags herself in creating tension. Bayley hits a sliding huricanrana ringside to Sarah Logan. Meteora by Banks to Liv, near fall. Bayley inadvertantely distracts the referee allowing Logan to cheap shot Banks and Liv gets the roll up win. So now finally, Banks vs. Bayley’s feud can finally start right?
- Post-match, Sasha Banks and Bayley stare down, Banks slaps Bayley and leaves.
- Back from commercial break, Bayley and Banks are brawling backstage. Banks stands tall.
Kurt Angle’s “Big” Announcement
Angle says his announcement will be about Brock Lesnar’s next Universal Title Defense. Roman Reigns comes down and complains more about losing at Wrestlemania and Greatest Royal Rumble. Bobby Lashley comes down and decides to show actual character for once. Kurt Angle announces a Multi-Man at Extreme Rules (AGAIN) for Universal Title’s #1 contendership. Revival comes down and challenges Lashley and Reigns.
Lashley and Reigns vs. The Revival
Dawson and Reigns start the match. Lashley hits an Elevation Spinebuster to Wilder and tells Reigns “That’s How It’s Done”. Sidewalk slam elbow drop by Revival for a near fall. Reigns adds a move to his 5 move moveset and hits a Leg Drop to Dawson draped over the middle rope. Superman Punch by Reigns to Dawson, Roll up to Reigns by Wilder for a near fall but Reigns recovers and hits a Superman Punch to Wilder. Lashley tags himself in and hits a mocking spear to Wilder to close the match. **1/2 While I liked the Reigns and Lashley one upping dynamic this match was not good. At least, Lashley actually showed character. I hate the Revival being booked like this and this match put them down even further as jobbers.
- Finn,Angle and Corbin Backstage Segment. Finn looks for entry into the multi-man. Owens interreupts and so does Strowman. Strowman stands up for Finn. Angle makes a Corbin and Owens vs. Finn and Braun main event.
- Mojo Rawley beats No Way Jose
- Banks and Bayley segment again. Banks drives off from Bayley.
- Elias concert
- Seth Rollins interview with Renee Young, Rollins announces next week he’s invoking his rematch clause against Ziggler next week.
Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman and Finn Balor
Corbin and Finn start. Corbin wrestles in a suit now. Corbin and Braun stand-off, somehowe Corbin is taller than Braun. Strowman gorilla presses Balor to ringside taking out Owens and Corbin. Owens is still heavily selling his injuries from the Money in the Bank match. Corbin punches Balor off of the springboard for a near fall. Deep Six by Corbin to Balor for a near fall. Hot Tag by Braun but Corbin dives off the apron to stop Braun from colliding with Owens. Strowman charges Owens through the barricade. End of Days to Balor closes the match. *** This was a very fun main event with some good heel work from Corbin. I also loved the team up from Balor and Braun. The match was also very competitive and Corbin picked up a rare victory.
- Rousey and Bliss opening segment
- Ziggler vs. Rollins
- Owens/Corbin vs. Finn/Braun
- Bayley and Banks segments
- Revival vs. Lashley and Reigns
- Mahal vs. Gable
Raw Last Words:
This episode, by riding the momentum of Money in the Bank, massively improved from former week’s episodes of Raw. The show started hot with Rousey’s attack and then went to a great Ziggler vs. Rollins match with a shock win. Bayley and Banks finally brawled and the main event was fun. This was a great follow up to MITB
RAW Grade: B
Smackdown Live: Show opens with Paige announcing a WWE Title #1 Contender Gauntlet Match with Big E, Rusev, The Miz, Samoa Joe and, Daniel Bryan
Carmella cuts a VERY annoying heel promo on never having any self-doubt. Asuka comes down but removes her mask to be James Ellsworth. Ellsworth claims Asuka to be the greatest woman ever. The actual Asuka comes down. Ellsworth squares up to Asuka but gets kicked, Carmella takes down Asuka and stands tall.
Billie Kay vs. Becky Lynch
Another REALLY annoying Iconics promo. Becky Lynch immediately attacks after the bell. Bexploder but Kay rolls ringside. Kay sends Lynch into the post. Cheap shot by Royce for a near fall. Becky hits another Bexploder for a near fall. Lynch hits a crossbody to take out Royce. Dis-arm-her taps out Kay. ** While this continued Lynch’s much deserved roll of victories and good performances the match was very sloppy and made Iconics look annoying.
- Jeff Hardy Backstage Segment on Shinsuke Nakamura, Hardy says Nakamura’s actions made him more focused, Hardy turns around and reveals the face paint. This was awesome.
- Daniel Bryan interview with Renee Young, Announcing he’s #1 in the Gauntlet
- Usos promo on sAnitY and starting in the WWE, sAnitY comes down and a brawl starts. sAnitY stands tall.
(c) Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Goodbrothers for the SD Live Tag Titles
Gallows and Rowan start the match. Plancha dive by Karl Anderson caught, Harper throws Anderson into the steps. Superplex by Rowan to Gallows. Facebuster on the apron by 2B to Anderson on the apron. Splash by Rowan to Gallows for an awkwardly close near fall. Gallows fires up and superkicks Harper. Hot Tag by Anderson, Spinebuster to Harper for a near fall. Deep Six by Harper to Anderson for another near fall. Rowan boots Gallows over the barricade and 2B hits the Bludgeoning on Anderson to close. *** While the smark in me wanted Gallows and Anderson to pull the victory this match pleasently suprised me. I continue to love the fast style 2B worked and this match was one of their best so far. Anderson and Gallows had the oppurtunity to shine and hopefully this leads to more for them.
Daniel Bryan enters at #1 (when Bludgeon Brothers are leaving) with Big E at #2. Big E hits a splash on the apron to Bryan. Diving Headbutt by Bryan misses, Big E pins for a near fall. Supercanrana by Bryan. Crucifix Backbreaker by Big E for a near fall. Amazing Apron Spear by Big E triggers a “This Is Awesome” chant. Running Knee by Bryan eliminates E. Samoa Joe comes down at #3, Joe chops the hell out of Bryan’s chest. Brutal snap powerslam by Joe, Bryan lands on his head. Ringside, Joe has a Coquina Clutch locked in, Bryan escapes and eliminates Joe by countout. Bludegon Brothers attack Bryan. The Miz comes down at #4, Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Bryan to eliminate Bryan. Rusev comes down at #5. Rusev hits a Machka kick for a near fall. Miz sends Rusev into the steel steps and rolls him in for a near fall. Miz mockingly hits the It! kicks. Snap DDT by Miz for a near fall. Miz goes to mock Bryan and hit a Running Knee but is stopped by a second Machka kick by Rusev. The Accolade taps out The Miz for Rusev’s shock win. ***3/4 This match was REALLY REALLY good for SD Live. Bryan played the Iron Man and got taken out by Bludgeon Brothers which hopefully starts a new feud. The Miz played a great heel, Big E had some great spots, Joe played a dominant heel and Rusev pulled off a shock win. Unlike, the gauntlet match on RAW before elimination chamber every member of this match had a purpose and it played out perfectly.
- Gauntlet Match
- Bludgeon Brothers vs. Gallows and Anderson
- sAnitY debut
- Lynch vs. Kay
Last Word: It was hard to choose which show was better this week while both were good. In the end, I chose Smackdown because it meant better for the future of the brand and played less of a role as a MITB post-show. The Gauntlet Match was amazing with a deserving Rusev win. 2B vs GB was fast and hard-hitting and sAnitY’s debut was very well done.
Record for 2018: 8-3 SD Live