WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review

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Star Ratings + Results:

  • Randy Orton defeats Jeff Hardy inside Hell in a Cell @23:52 ***3/4
  • Becky Lynch defeats Charlotte Flair to win the SD Live Women’s Title @13:34 ***1/2
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler defeat The Shield to retain the RAW Tag Titles @22:08 ****1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title @19:00 ****
  • Miz and Maryse defeat Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella @13:00 **1/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Title @12:12 ***
  • Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman goes to a no contest @24:51 *

 

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Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton Hell in a Cell Match:

  • A WWE dream-match from 2010 that should’ve happened when both men were in their primes.
  • New painted red cell distracts from the match. 
  • Match starts fast and they start to brawl ringside sending each other into the cell, Hardy brings out a table.
  • Hardy kicks the table into the chest of Orton ringside sending him into the cell. 
  • Hardy also brings out a ladder and hits Orton with it, Orton fights back with a steel chair though.
  • Great Jumping Senton by Hardy off a steel chair ringside sends Orton into the cage.
  • Hardyiac Arrest Dropkick by Hardy for the first near fall. 
  • Great superplex by Orton, Orton deadlifted Hardy to get him higher sending Jeff down hard, near fall. 
  • Whisper in the Wind by Hardy, near fall. 
  • Hardy goes for another ladder and sets it up upside-down ringside. A front suplex by Orton sends Hardy through the ladder supports, innovative spot, near fall back in-ring.
  • Orton attacks Hardy with a steel chair, Orton grabs Hardy’s steel studded belt and whips him with it, a little kinky for WWE but okay…
  • Orton puts Hardy in between a ladder and stomps it down on him, near fall. 
  • These guys are working really slowly in this match, especially Orton. 
  • Hardy fires up and hits a sequence of dropkicks, near fall.
  • Twist of Fate countered into a Powerslam by Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls out tools and grabs a screwdriver, so Orton looks like he’s trying to kill Hardy and the ref is standing there like “how bout you don’t” good WWE logic. Orton puts a screwdriver through the ear lobe of Hardy and twists it, almost too brutal. Gross. Fitting for a HIAC match though.
  • Hardy attacks Orton with a chair, Hardy’s snapped and pins Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls Hardy off the top rope stopping the swanton bomb. From the belt whipping by Hardy to Orton Randy’s back is bloody and welted. 
  • Hangman DDT by Orton. Orton taunts for the RKO but fails hitting it, Twist of Fate by Hardy. Hardy lays a steel chair on Orton and goes for the Swanton Bomb and hits it on the chair on Orton, good near fall. 
  • The leg of Orton is busted open. This match is actually brutal but the crowd is lame as hell. 
  • Hardy sets up ladders and a table in the ring, Twist of Fate Stunner puts Orton on the table. Hardy climbs up to the tallest ladder and grabs the cell ceiling and swings off down through the table as Orton dodges. Great innovative cell spot. The referee calls for the cell to be called up and EMTs even though it’s Hell in a Cell and they didn’t do that shitty finish for Mick Foley or Triple H when they took worse spots. Randy Orton anti-climactically pins Hardy for the win. 

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: ***3/4, this felt like an old school brutal match. These guys went for it all and this might be my favorite Randy Orton match since the Christian feud. Jeff Hardy shined in this match and took some insane spots like the screwdriver ear and the swing off the cell ceiling. The spots were really innovative too and like nothing we’ve ever seen in HIAC which it’s rare to see WWE try anything new. However, the match was worked really slow for the majority and the ending was weird. Never before have they stopped a HIAC match because someone took a hard spot, it didn’t look like Hardy landed unsafely at all so they were just trying to sell the intensity of spot and the whole point of the cell is so these guys can go crazy without any help from the ref. This match both made the cell look brutal but also made it look like just another stipulation which is honestly what it’s become in recent years. Orton vs. Hardy was a fitting feud for the cell but this match is another reason why WWE should only bring out the cell when it’s needed. Overall, this match was a breath of fresh air even if that breath was way too long. 

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Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (c) for the SD Live Women’s Title:

  • The feud behind this match has been great and has really highlighted Becky Lynch. 
  • Early attempts by both at their submission finishers.
  • Diving Forearm off the apron by Lynch knocks Charlotte down ringside. 
  • Near fall roll up by Charlotte followed up with a Diving forearm by Lynch for another near fall.
  • Becky Lynch is doing a good job of working the arm of Lynch and keeps her in a hammerlock. Charlotte fights out and hits a chop but a lariat by Lynch goes for a near fall. 
  • Lynch misses a leg drop and Flair hits a sloppy knee stomp, Lynch hotshots Charlotte’s arm over the top rope. Lynch drops Flair shoulder first into the apron. Back in-ring near fall. 
  • Saito Suplex by Charlotte giver her much needed space. 
  • Big Boot by Charlotte knocks down Becky after a solid sequence. Charlotte follows it up with a moonsault that misses, Lynch locks in an armbar but Flair powers into a powerbomb, near fall.
  • Strikefest starts and Lynch fires it up and hits an inverted DDT landing Flair on her shoulder, near fall. 
  • Lynch flies off the top rope and neither of them do anything so Lynch just awkwardly falls and Flair locks in the Boston Crab, Lynch grabs rope.
  • Lynch pulls Charlotte’s arm into the post, in-ring roll up by Flair but Lynch locks in the Dis-Arm-Her as she kicks out, Flair escapes to ringside. 
  • Spear by Charlotte great reversal by Lynch into a shock pin and she wins the title. 

Winner: Becky Lynch New Champion!

Rating: ***1/2, this was a great match with both looking really good. The story of Lynch working the arm and at the end the story of Lynch finally getting her moment made this more than a good sprint. The pacing was much better than the last match and this match was for the most part cleanly worked. Becky Lynch deserves her moment to add a chapter to this good feud. 

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The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and Drew Macintyre(c) for the Raw Tag Titles:

  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Early Stomp attempt by Seth sends Ziggler ringside to recuperate with Drew. 
  • Drew and Dolph square up, Ziggler distracts Dean and Mcintyre clocks Ambrose from behind. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins after isolation on Dean. Suicide Dive attempt stopped by Mcintyre, Spike DDT by Ziggler out of nowhere on Seth, near fall. 
  • Drew and Dolph isolate Rollins, Ziggler locks in a sleeper on Rollins, Saito suplex by Rollins breaks Dolph off and opens tags, Mcintyre pulls Ambrose off the apron to stop the tag. 
  • Reverse Alabama Slam by Mcintyre to Rollins, near fall save by Ambrose.
  • While on the shoulders of Mcintyre, Rollins makes the tag but Ziggler distracts the ref stopping the tag from being noticed and Drew and Dolph continue to isolate Rollins.
  • Seth finally tags in Dean for the hot tag. Jacknife cover by Ambrose for a near fall, swinging neckbreaker by Dean for another near fall on Drew. 
  • Dean sends Drew into the post and Dolph into the barricade. Dean goes to the top rope and goes for an elbow drop but Drew catches him and hits an exploder suplex into the corner. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins, Rollins hits a suicide dive but gets caught by Drew and Dolph. Dean Ambrose hits a suicide dive to knock everybody down.
  • Falcon Arrow by Rollins on Dolph, very near fall.
  • Fameasser by Ziggler caught into a buckle bomb by Rollins, near fall save by Drew into a great sequence. Roll up by Ziggler, near fall, Roll up by Rollins, near fall and a Zig Zag by Dolph hits for an awesome near fall.
  • Claymore stopped with a superkick by Rollins, near fall. Another superkick by Rollins into a Frog Splash to the back of Drew, awesome near fall. Commentary is doing great selling the near falls. 
  • Plancha Dive by Rollins misses Ziggler sending Seth to a hard landing. Flying Lariat by Drew to Ambrose and Mcintyre kips up showing athleticism. 
  • Dean takes Drew to ringside, Superplex by Rollins but the Falcon Arrow stops with a Claymore kick by Drew out of nowhere for the close. Great finish. 

Winners: Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler Retain! Days Held: 14+

Rating: ****1/2, while my favorite conventional main roster WWE match is still The Miz vs. Seth Rollins from BackLash this places in the top 3. Seth Rollins has been the only consistently good thing about WWE this year and he continues to prove it by using actual logic, great high spots and amazing pacing in all of his matches. The addition of Dean and Drew made the great Ziggler vs. Rollins match even better.

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AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title:

  • Really weird attitude era like feud behind this match.
  • Styles comes hot out of the gates. 
  • Good Dropkick by Styles knocks Joe ringside, sliding knee off the apron by Styles.
  • Styles looks really agressive in this match.
  • Baseball Slide by Styles knocks Joe into the announce table. 
  • Phenomenal Forearm attempt by Styles but Joe dodges to ringside. Plancha Dive to ringside by Styles caught with a kick by Joe. Big Boot ringside by Joe run Styles over. Joe chucks Styles into the steps.
  • Running Knee by Joe to Styles in the corner. Styles has lost most of his momentum. 
  • Step-up Enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles into the ropes, Joe kicks Styles to ringside. Amazing suicide punch dive by Joe to ringside, near fall in-ring. 
  • Running Uppercut by Joe absolutely flips Styles, near fall.
  • Superplex attempt by Joe but Styles slips under and snake eyes Joe on the top turnbuckle giving AJ some much needed space. 
  • AJ fires up the a series of strikes ending with a sliding forearm for a near fall. 
  • Moonsault Reverse DDT by Styles, near fall. Really good-looking move. 
  • Lionsault by Styles caught into the knees of Joe, Powebomb by Joe, near fall. Transition into a Boston Crab by Joe, transitioned into an STF by Joe, Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • Really impressive show of strength with a Burning Hammer Powerbomb by Styles for a near fall. 
  • Springboard 450 by Styles hits, near fall.
  • Slingshot by Joe sends Styles into the corner, hard running lariat by Joe for a good near fall. 
  • Joe looks for a Muscle Buster but Styles reverses into a failed Styles Clash, Stiff step-up enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles down, great near fall. The crowd should be a lot more into this. 
  • Pele Kick by Styles knocks Joe into the corner, Phenomenal Forearm caught into the Coquina Clutch by Joe, Styles rolls up Joe for the win. On replay it looked like Styles tapped out before the 3 count meaning Joe won but Styles gets to retain. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains! Day Count: 314

Rating: ****, for a WWE match this was really hard-hitting and some of AJ’s best work in a while. The crowd was out of it due to the live crowd for this show, frankly, just being absolute crap. These 2 were hitting big strikes and moves going off of great pacing for a while. Hopefully, they can top this match due to the finish teasing another chapter. A rare occasion where a non-finish in WWE makes me excited but it happened. 

  • Miz and Maryse defeat Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan **1/4

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Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Alexa Bliss is accompanied by Alicia Fox and Mickie James and Rousey is accompanied by Natalya. 
  • Rousey launches Bliss across the ring with a beal. 
  • Rousey follows Bliss to ringside, scares her then throws her back in. 
  • Rousey side-steps Bliss sending her diving and taking out her posse. 
  • Bliss pulls Rousey’s hair over the top rope getting her on top for a second. 
  • Stiff mid-kick by Bliss to Rousey, Rousey is coming into the match with sore ribs so they’re continuing the story. 
  • Rousey goes for the Judo Throw but the ribs gave out, Double knee moonsault by Bliss for a near fall. 
  • Bliss doing a good job of working the ribs of Rousey.
  • Bliss kicks Rousey in the ribs on the tree of woe, near fall. 
  • The most offense Rousey has taken since her joining WWE. 
  • Bliss drives Rousey into the bottom turnbuckle and stretches her ribs against the post. Fox and James stretch Rousey against the post too and Natalya takes out Alicia Fox, Rousey takes out Mickie James. Double Crossbody by both women. 
  • Roll up by Rousey, near fall. Backslide by Rousey, near fall. Mid-kick by Bliss catches Rousey. 
  • Rousey fires up and Judo Throws Bliss. 
  • Judo Drop by Rousey into an armbar ending the match. 

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Rating: ***, This match was good as Rousey held her own totally and these two put on a good long match. However, Ronda looked way too weak in this match selling the rib injury and giving Bliss the majority of the offense. 

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Roman Reigns(c) vs. Braun Strowman Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match with Mick Foley as Guest Referee:

  • Strowman grabs the title and Roman comes agressive out the gates.
  • Strowman sends Reigns into the cell wall via a shoulder block on the apron. 
  • Strowman trucks Roman into the cell wall ringside.
  • Braun’s first HIAC match.
  • Drive-By by Roman saves him from a steel step shot by Braun. 
  • Chokeslam on the apron by Braun. 
  • Reigns attacks Strowman with a kendo stick shattering it. 
  • Roman attacks Braun with a steel chair, Braun catches the chair and charges at Reigns but Reigns sidesteps sending Strowman into the post. 
  • DDT on the chair by Reigns, Strowman powers out early. 
  • 2 Superman punches by Reigns, Strowman catches the 3rd one in a chokeslam and gets a 3-count by Foley but they treat it like a 2. Strowman should’ve won the match and ended it awkwardly off that botch by Foley. 
  • The 3rd Superman Punch hits for Reigns, near fall. 
  • Someone in the crowd keeps screeching, it got so bad that they had to turn off the crowd mic. 
  • Reigns runs around the ring to superman punch Braun but gets caught with a steel step shot from Strowman. 
  • Another steel step shot in-ring by Braun, near fall. 
  • Running Powerslam by Strowman, near fall.
  • Foley is a bad referee. 
  • 4th and 5th Superman Punches rock Strowman, the 1st spear sends Braun through a table set up ringside. 
  • Both are down as Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre come down, Dean and Seth come down to take out The Show. 
  • Ziggler starts climbing the cell and gets to the top, Rollins follows him and they brawl on top of the cell. Mcintyre comes up to help Ziggler and Ambrose comes up with a kendo stick to even the odds. Double lariat spot by Ambrose and Mcintyre on the top of the cell. 
  • Ziggler and Rollins brawl halfway down to the floor and both fall off half the cell through the announce table. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and literally kicks the door down off the hinges. Lesnar attacks Braun and Reigns with table fragments. F5 to Reigns onto Strowman by Lesnar. Heyman maces Foley so a new ref calls a no contest. 

Winner: No Contest Reigns Retains, Day Count: 28

Rating: *, so much overbooking bullshit made a bad match even worse. I’m tired of WWE putting the biggest men against each other in one-dimensional boring matches. Inside the cell it was lame but Lesnar’s return and the fact that Reigns and Strowman literally sat in the ring doing nothing for 10 minutes made this a crapshoot. I heavily dislike Braun Strowman and this continues my case that he’s no longer what he used to be, now he’s an annoying, whiny and boring big man in total contrary to what he used to be just a few months ago on raw. Reigns being bad still isn’t his fault at all. This match had nothing working for it in-ring and while it could’ve been a fun and insane spotfest WWE literally messed it all up and ended a HIAC match in a no contest. This show made the HIAC just another stipulation washed over in the system.

Show Grade: B

Last Word: The in-cell work tonight was stuff of nightmares, both matches made the HIAC look like a bitch boy palace with both matches ending in the referees deciding that the comabtants were too hurt. Just to double check, this is Hell in a Cell right?? The same stipulation that had Mick Foley’s teeth shoved out of his mouth and into his nose and he had to wrestle the rest of the match after multiple 20+ foot falls against the Undertaker?? Okay, so tell me why Brock Lesnar’s F5 is more brutal than a fall into thumbtacks or a fall through the cell. Is swinging off the cell ceiling more brutal either? No, the hell in a cell is a bitch boy palace now. Regardless, what was out of the cell on this show was stellar. The Drew and Dolph vs The Shield and Styles vs. Joe were very good while Lynch vs. Flair and Rousey vs. Bliss were both good. The show started well with the Orton vs. Hardy clash that even though ended really bad had a couple great brutal spots and the quality either got better or remained the same until the atrocious main event and ending. 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: August 2018

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Wrestler of the Month +10: Hiroshi Tanahashi, The NJPW legend picks up more accolades this year as he wins the G1 Climax. The G1 is the most prestigious wrestling tournament every year and the winner is always presented as an almost unbeatable threat. Tanahashi had an amazing finals match against Kota Ibushi and a great time-limit draw with Kazuchika Okada. The legend continues to be on a tear this year and as he gets closer to his title shot at Wrestle Kingdom it will be interesting to see what else he has in store. X

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month +8: Kairi Sane, Sane had an amazing match against Shayna Baszler at Takeover which is one of my favorites Women’s Matches of all time. Sane played an amazing underdog babyface in that match and pulled out the victory she deserved. Sane showed her talent incredibly well this month and it will be great to see how she does as champion. 

roman-reigns-14Most Improved +7: Roman Reigns, WWE finally did it. They finally got me to like Roman Reigns. It might’ve been the fact that he was lesser of two evils against Brock Lesnar but I really think he delivered a good performance this month. He started it with some great character work in his feud against Lesnar, he won the title in a very mediocre match and is currently having another captivating feud with Strowman. I still don’t get why people hate Roman so much but I guess he is the Big Dog and has been shoved down our throats for a while. Hopefully, smarks can begin to realize that Reigns in NOT THAT BAD. X

3645a-1534636184-800The team of the Month +8: Undisputed ERA, this is the 3rd time that ERA has won team of the month. The ERA has an amazing character in their cocky heel personas and follows it up with amazing matches including this month’s absolute banger against Mustache Mountain. They always do a great job of mixing high spots and technical wrestling and Roddy and Kyle work so well together. As of right now, ERA might cross over The Young Bucks soon for the team of the year. Next Month is War Games and they will definitely pick up some points then. X

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Match of the Month +10: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn 4, these guys did it again. I still can’t decide which is my favorite match of their 3 Takeover encounters. This match was BRUTAL and had some amazing spots including the ending with Gargano taking himself out of the match in order to hurt Ciampa and the back-to-back Table spot. This match also had the added dimension of Gargano getting aggressive and becoming an anti-hero instead of a super-face. This is my favorite Last Man Standing match of all time and I thought they used the stipulation to make an amazing match that sets itself out as unique from their other matches. XX

Champions at the End of the Month:

WWE:

  • Universal +7: Roman Reigns 12+ Days
  • Raw Women’s +3: Ronda Rousey 12+ Days
  • IC +5: Seth Rollins 12+ Days
  • Cruiserweight +4: Cedric Alexander 145+ Days
  • Raw Tag +3: B-Team 47+ Days
  • WWE +7: AJ Styles 297+ Days
  • SD Women’s +3: Charlotte 12+ Days
  • US +5: Shinsuke Nakamura 47+ Days
  • SD Tag+3: The New Day 10+ Days
  • NXT +5: Tomasso Ciampa 44+ Days
  • NXT NA +3: Ricochet 13+ Days
  • NXT Women’s +3: Kairi Sane 13+ Days
  • NXT Tag +3: Undisputed ERA 71+ Days
  • UK +5: Pete Dunne 468+ Days
  • UK Women’s Rhea Ripley 5+ Days

NJPW:

  • IWGP HVY +7: Kenny Omega 81+ Days
  • IWGP IC +5: Chris Jericho 81+ Days
  • IWGP US +5: Juice Robinson 53+ Days
  • NEVER Openweight +5: Hirooki Goto 73+ Days
  • IWGP Tag +5: The Young Bucks 81+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag +3: Suzuki Gun 176+ Days
  • NEVER 6-man: Firing Squad 17+ Days

ROH:

  • World +7: Jay Lethal 60+ Days
  • TV +5: Punishment Martinez 74+ Days
  • Tag +3: Briscoes 173+ Days
  • WOH +3: Sumie Sakai 144+ Days
  • 6-Man +3: Young Bucks and Cody 38+ Days

Over 4-Star Matches: (5 Points for a 4-star Match, 10 Points for a 5-star)

  • New Day vs. The Bar SD Tag Tournament SD Live ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin G1 Climax NJPW ****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi NJPW G1 Climax Final *****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki G1 Climax ****
  • Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz WWE Summerslam ****1/4
  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins IC Title Summerslam ****1/4
  • Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn *****
  • Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler NXT Women’s Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/2
  • Ricochet vs. Adam Cole NXT North American Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/4
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain NXT Tag Titles Takeover Brooklyn ****3/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Zack Sabre Jr NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Hirooki Goto NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito NJPW G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Juice Robinson NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax *****
  • ZSJ vs. Tetsuya Naito G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Sanada G1 Climax ****1/2
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins IC Title RAW ****1/4

August Leaderboard: 

njpw-g1-28-3-kenny-omega-645x370Leader: Kenny Omega

  1. Kenny Omega 192 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada 164 Points
  3. Young Bucks: 142 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi: 134 Points
  5. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  6. Johnny Gargano: 116 Points
  7. Will Ospreay: 105 Points
  8. Zack Sabre Jr -Undisputed ERA -Hiroshi Tanahashi: 102 Points
  9. Tomasso Ciampa: 97 Points
  10. AJ Styles: 81 Points
  11. Seth Rollins: 75 Points
  12. Adam Cole -Sanada: 66 Points
  13. Marty Scurrl: 64 Points
  14. Hirooki Goto -Tomohiro Ishii: 60 Points
  15. Alexa Bliss -Cody: 58 Points
  16. Hangman Page: 56 Points
  17. Jay White -Tetsuya Naito: 55 Points
  18. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle -Cedric Alexander -Mustache Mountain: 50 Points
  19. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  20. Minoru Suzuki -Evil: 45 Points
  21. Pete Dunne: 43 Points
  22. Juice Robinson: 42 Points
  23. The Briscoes: 41 Points
  24. The Miz -Jay Lethal -Kushida: 40 Points
  25. Shinsuke Nakamura: 37 Points
  26. Flip Gordon -Aleister Black -El Desperado -Michael Elgin -Chris Jericho: 35 Points
  27. Dragon Lee: 32 Points
  28. Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson -Finn Balor -Ricochet: 30 Points
  29. So Cal Uncensored -Charlotte -Dolph Ziggler -Roman Reigns: 25 Points
  30. Matt Taven -Ronda Rousey -Taiji Ishimori: 23 Points
  31. Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -Becky Lynch -Kanemaru -The Bar: 20 Points
  32. Burch and Lorcan -Chris Sabin -Bludgeon Brothers -Firing Squad -Sumie Sakai -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez -Kairi Sane: 17 Points
  33. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Roppongi 3K -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens: 15 Points
  34. Nia Jax -The Kingdom -New Day: 13 Points
  35. Sanity -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-HASHI -Rusev: 10 Points
  36. Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Baretta -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Samoa Joe -Travis Banks -Naomi -Elias -Drew Macintyre -Daniel Bryan
  37. Rhea Ripley: 3 Points

 

WWE SummerSlam Review 2018

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SummerSlam 2018 Results:

  • Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler w/Drew Mcintyre to win the Intercontinental Title via pinfall @22:17 ****1/4
  • New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ so 2B retains the SD Live Tag Titles @9:37 ***1/2
  • Braun Strowman defeats Kevin Owens to retain the Money in the Bank Briefcase via pinfall @1:55 N/A
  • Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella to win the SD Live Women’s Title via pinfall @14:45 ***
  • Samoa Joe defeats AJ Styles via DQ so Styles retains the WWE Title @23:20 ***3/4
  • The Miz defeats Daniel Bryan via pinfall @23:25 ****1/4
  • The “Demon” Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin via pinfall @1:30 N/A
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to retain the US Title via pinfall @10:14 **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss via submission to win the RAW Women’s Title @4:41 N/A
  • Roman Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar via pinfall to win the Universal Title @6:11 **1/2

Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler(c) w/ Drew Mcintyre for the IC Title:

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These two have 2 bangers already under their belts and they continue it here. Drew Ambrose returning added a much-needed dimension to this match that set it out differently from other Rollins V Ziggler encounters. This was also a very solid decision to open the show and brought a lot of heat to the show early on. I loved this feud and think it ends here. 

Rollins comes down in an awesome Thanos-themed attire. The match starts slow but picks up gradually. Very early on, Ambrose squares up to Drew making sure that this is a fair one-on-one match. Ziggler begins to work the knee of Rollins as always. Ziggler whips Rollins into the corner and Seth takes a hard bump to the outside. Then the match slows down as Ziggler holds a rest hold for a few minutes but then follows it up with a backdrop to ringside giving Seth another hard bump. A crossbody by Ziggler is reversed into a very sloppy suplex to ringside by Seth. Rollins looked off his game in the first half of this match taking rough bumps and lacking the follow through on some of his moves. Rollins gets on fire with a sequence of big moves, suicide dive to ringside followed up by a springboard clothesline and a Ripcord Knee back in-ring for a great near fall. Ziggler hits a great looking Spike DDT on the apron to Seth, Rollins gets back in the ring at a nine count. Rollins hit a superkick/frog splash combo but the splash is rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall. Rollins hits an amazing inverted super falcon arrow for another great near fall. “This is Awesome” chants. Drew takes out Ambrose ringside, Zig Zag hits for a very near fall. Roll up sequence into a buckle bomb by Rollins. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose hits to Drew ringside and Rollins hits the Stomp for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, Even though it’s close I don’t think this is the best one-on-one main roster WWE match of the year. That still goes to the Miz vs. Seth Rollins at BackLash. However, disregarding the slow and sloppy start, the closing to this match was FANTASTIC. The amazing inverted Falcon Arrow, the great near falls and the Spike DDT on the apron made the crowd hot and the match awesome. This match did exactly what it set out to do and that was fire up the live crowd for what was going to be a LONG show. The added dimensions of Drew and Dolph ringside made this match special and probably the best of their encounters. 

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Bludgeon Brothers(c) vs. The New Day for the SD Live Tag Titles:

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After a hot match to follow, these two teams were ready to lock horns again. Big E and Xavier Woods were the members of New Day to try and take down the undefeated Tag Champs. New Day won the #1 contender tag tournament on SD Live defeating the Bar for the right to face 2B at this show. 

Xavier and Rowan start the match. Early on, a big splash by Rowan gets the first near fall in on Woods. Ringside, a powerbomb on the steps attempt by Rowan to Woods fails and Woods goes for a huricanrana but ends up falling hard on the ringside floor. Big E gets himself in for a hot tag. A great Tope Con Hiro by Woods lays out Rowan, A ringside Deep Six by Harper wipes out Woods, A spear off the apron by E wipes out Harper and a crossbody off the apron by Rowan knocks down Big E to close a great sequence. In-ring Crucifix Bomb by 2B on Big E goes for a near fall save by Woods. Sit-out powerbomb by Harper to Woods for a near fall. Backdrop by Rowan to Kofi but E gets revenge with a Big Ending to Rowan. New Day hits the great uranage/backstabber combo off the apron to Rowan. Woods hits an awesome elbow drop to ringside and takes out Harper. New Day goes for the Midnight Hour to Harper but Rowan attacks with the hammer for a DQ. 

Rating: ***1/2, This is undoubtedly the best 2B match since the repackage and makes Summerslam 2-2 on the banger ratio. The match was just a rush of insane moves headlined by the amazing elbow drop to ringside by Xavier Woods. The ending didn’t make me too mad as it made sense. New Day pushed 2B to their limits for the first time as a team and they had to escape with a DQ to retain the titles. The Bludgeons are weakened now and might lose the titles to New Day at HIAC. 

  • Braun Strowman SQUASHES Kevin Owens. This made me so mad. This match had a lot of good story elements to work on with the briefcase on the line and the champion’s advantage for Strowman being taken away. However, Strowman won in a minute and a half. Strowman is honestly no longer interesting AT ALL. 

Carmella(c) vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch for the SD Women’s Title:

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Carmella has been an infuriatingly bad champion and Charlotte was just inserted into this match at the last minute. Lynch is the only one going into this match that deserves the title and that plays out in the match. 

The match starts out slow as Carmella works on driving a wedge in between the friendship of Carmella and Charlotte. Carmella spends way too much time early on talking and taunting. The match starts to fire up when Carmella hits a top rope huricanrana for the first near fall. Spear/STO spot led by Charlotte goes for a near fall on both Lynch and Mella. Middle rope drop by Charlotte in a Boston Crab on Carmella, transition into the Figure 4 by Flair, Lynch breaks it up with a flying leg drop for a near fall on Charlotte. A great suicide dive by Carmella takes out Becky but an even better Corkscrew Moonsault by Charlotte pretty much misses Carmella and Lynch but still takes them out. Dis-arm-her in the ring by Becky on Flair, Mella breaks it up. Lynch saves a few near falls and hits a Bexploder/Dis-arm-her combo on Mella, Charlotte breaks it up with a Natural Selection on Lynch for the win. 

Rating: ***, The beginning of the match was almost intolerable but it picked up one Carmella stopped taunting. The dynamic of the three women worked well together and Lynch looked really good in this match too. Carmella delivered one of her better performances while Flair took a backseat a majority of the match. Lynch’s heel turn after the match was very justified and was one of the highlights of the show. 

 

AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title: 

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This feud has revolved around AJ’s family adding a lot of heat to the match. Joe continues to be amazing on the mic and feels incredibly fresh and different from WWE’s writing mold. AJ’s reign is finally starting to pick up too after nearly a year. 

Samoa Joe grabs the mic pre-match and calls out Style’s wife. The match starts with stiff strikes by both men and AJ going for the leg of Joe. Joe kicks Styles down off the apron for a hard landing and the first near fall. Amazing Suicide Dive by Joe sends Styles into the announce table. In-ring a stiff lariat by Joe flips Styles and goes for another near fall. Styles rocks Joe with a stiff right hand and plancha dives to ringside. Back in-ring, Styles hits a Moonsault Inverted DDT for a near fall. Joe goes to the top rope for a flying leg lariat for a near fall. Amazing show of strength by Styles hitting the ushigoroshi but hurting his knee in the process. Phenomenal forearm attempt by Styles is dodged into an intense snap powerslam by Joe for a near fall. AJ powers into a Styles Clash which doesn’t hit all the way but still goes for a near fall. A stiff strike-fest ensues and ends with an uranage by Joe putting both down. Styles locks in the Calf Crusher but Joe smashes AJ’s head into the mat to get out. Joe locks in the coquina clutch but Styles grabs the ropes. Joe signals bringing back the Muscle Buster finisher that ended a few careers including Tyson Kidd but Styles fights back. Joe step-up enzugiris Styles to ringside off the top rope. Joe sends Styles into the steps busting open AJ. Joe grabs a mic and stands on the announce table to call out Styles’ family again. Styles snaps and spears Joe off the announce table through the barricade and attacks Joe with a chair for a DQ finish. 

Rating: ***3/4, I was really close to giving this match a 4-star rating but the finish made the match weaker. The entire match was awesome, starting with stiff strikes and living at a fast pace. Joe looked awesome in this match and Styles got in the zone again. This tried less hard than AJ vs. Nakamura but was better early on. The match also was wrestled at a more strong style attitude which made it feel surreal that we are watching it in WWE. The end of the in-ring worked played out really well too with multiple near falls and the solid submission sequences. Joe hit an awesome step-up enzugiri to knock Styles ringside and before the DQ finish the work on the outside was awesome. Styles was busted open and therefore looked a lot more intense when he snapped. Joe looked like a devious heel and Styles’ family looked genuinely concerned. The camera cuts were great adding to the story here. However, because the match never had a decisive finish I couldn’t give it a 4-star+ rating. This match makes me really excited for the future of this feud though. 

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz:482b83b04467cf02882a8f4b466ba02063195f83r1-620-349v2_hq

It’s almost surreal that this match is finally happening. These two have been having an amazing feud since 2012 almost and they had some of the best encounters in 2017 on Talking Smack of the year. The rumors started circling that these two were gonna face off and we are finally here. Let me say, I was not disappointed at all by the outcome. 

An amazing video package starts the hype for this match. Miz hits Bryan’s strike sequence in the corner but Bryan fires up and hits his own strikes. Miz goes for Bryan’s Surfboard Lock but Bryan turns the tables again. The Miz is being an awesome heel and using Bryan’s moves against him. Clothesline off the top rope by Miz sends Bryan to a hard fall. Superhuricanrana by Bryan for the first near fall. Crossbody by Bryan off the top rope to ringside takes out Miz. Yes! kicks to Miz in the tree of woe by Bryan. Super Belly-to-Back suplex by Bryan off the top rope for another near fall. Yes! Kicks by Bryan get caught into a Snap DDT by Miz for a great near fall. Miz’s chest gets completely red due to Bryan’s chops. It! Kicks by Miz, Bryan squares up and delivers stiff ass slaps to the Miz. Running Knee attempt by Bryan caught into a slingshot by Miz sending Bryan into the corner, Skull Crushing Finale by Miz hits for a great near fall. Miz goes for the Running Knee but Bryan catches it with a Buzzsaw Kick for another near fall. Miz dodges Bryan’s kick sending his leg into the post, in-ring Figure 4 by the Miz, Bryan flips it over and the Miz grabs the ropes. Skull Crushing Finale attempt by Miz rolled up by Bryan for a near fall. Crucifix roll up by Bryan for another near fall. Bryan locks in the Yes! Lock but Miz grabs the ropes. Jumping Knee off the apron by Bryan sends Miz into the barricade near Maryse. Maryse gives Miz brass knuckles. Bryan goes for a suicide dive but is stopped with a Brass Knuckle punch, Miz gets the pin for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, I loved this match. These two have insane chemistry and brought a surreal match into reality in the greatest way. The layout of this match was awesome too, the beginning of the match saw Miz try to defeat Bryan with his own moves. The middle of the match had some great showdowns between the two and the end had some awesome near falls but again the ending tarnished the match a little. The Miz cheating to win just means that the feud isn’t over but it also seems like WWE forgot it was Summerslam and is just using this show to progress feuds and not have it be the showdown like it should be. This is the 3rd match of the night without a clear finish and it’s starting to get insanely annoying. Watching the match on its own though shows that it is an absolutely great match with a smart layout and an amazing heel/face dynamic. 

  • Finn Balor brings back The Demon to squash Baron Corbin. 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy in a very mediocre match, Hardy takes a hard bump off a failed Swanton Bomb to the apron. Randy Orton comes down for a second but turns back around and goes backstage. **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey squashes Alexa Bliss but the celebration with Natalya and the Bella Twins was a great moment. Ronda deserved the title and hopefully, Bliss is out of the scene for a while. 

Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title:

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I’m not going to lie, the build-up to this match succeeded in making me like Roman Reigns. WWE subliminally made us hate Brock Lesnar by never having him show up and so you look for Reigns to take the title and save the day. While I think they could’ve done something else with the main event like a Fatal 4-Way again or Lesnar vs. Balor it’s going to be great to see someone else with the big jam belt.

Braun Strowman comes down before the match making everyone think that he’ll cash in and make it a Triple Threat. But, he decides to just watch the match from ringside. The match starts and immediately Reigns hits 3 Superman Punches and 2 Spears, the 3rd Spear is reversed into a Guillotine Choke by Lesnar, Reigns powers into a spinebuster to get out. Lesnar re-applies the Guillotine Choke and Reigns powers out again. Lesnar hits 3 German Suplexes. The First F5 attempt is reversed but Lesnar side steps a spear sending Reigns diving into Braun ringside. F5 hits to Braun Strowman taking him out. Lesnar attacks Braun with the briefcase and launches it to backstage. A Spear that catches a distracted Lesnar in-ring wins the match for Reigns and the Reign of terror is OVER!

Rating: **1/2, this was a fun sprint with not much in-ring action but Braun ringside took much of the attention away from that. Lesnar is finally defeated and there was a definite pop when Reigns won. WWE has succeeded after 3 YEARS in making Reigns a solidified champion. It feels like he deserves the title and honestly he does. I’m going to be the first to say this, Reigns is good and gets an unneeded bad reputation. 

Show Grade: B+

Pros:

  • Demon Return
  • Bryan vs. Miz
  • 2B vs. New Day
  • Rollins vs. Ziggler
  • Lynch heel turn
  • Rousey title win
  • Styles vs. Joe
  • Reigns title win

Cons: 

  • Owens vs. Braun
  • Crappy endings to good matches

Last Word: The name of the game for Summerslam 2018 was to have a classic WWE match but end it with over-booking. Bryan vs. Miz, Styles vs. Joe and 2B vs. New Day all were great matches and all ended with cheating or confusion. The only straight up, no complaints good match was Ziggler vs. Rollins. It seemed like WWE forgot that Summerslam was a big show and just spent it to build new feuds instead of end good feuds. However, the highs in this show are more positive than anything in WWE lately like Rousey winning the title, the Demon returning, Reigns winning the title and the overall match quality. This show absolutely defeats BackLash and Extreme Rules but maybe 2nd or 3rd best PPV of the year against Royal Rumble and MITB. I was much more surprised at the quality of this show against NXT because I went into the weekend believing that NXT would completely overshadow Summerslam and Summerslam would be a bad show. This show was incredibly long and if you don’t have time to watch everything catch Dolph vs. Seth, Styles vs. Joe, Rousey winning and Bryan vs. Miz. 

 

 

 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: July 2018

 

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Wrestler of the Month +10: Tomohiro Ishii, Ishii has been killing it in the G1 Climax field this year. He’s had absolute classics with Hirooki Goto, ZSJ, and Kota Ibushi. Especially, the Goto match as that was one of the most hard-hitting matches I’ve ever seen. While Ishii might not be a favorite to win the G1 this year he hasn’t had a bad match yet in the tourney and has given an amazing effort the entire month.

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month +8: Becky Lynch, after last month’s excitement for the women’s wrestling division and this month announcing the all women’s PPV “Evolution”, one woman has stood out at both times. Last month, Becky got her opportunity to shine in the Money in the Bank match and this month she has fought her way to a SD Live Women’s Title match in a very solid TV match against Carmella. Lynch is shining currently and it is refreshing to see her back at the top after being in the lower card of the women’s division in WWE for a while. 

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Most Improved: Juice Robinson +7, Robinson has always been great however this month he really embraced his potential. He won the IWGP Us Title from Jay White at the G1 Special in San Fran in a great match. He has also had a good G1 performance even though he started the tourney as the biggest loser. He had an amazing match against Tetsuya Naito in the G1 and I’m excited to see how he continues to be more successful. 

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The team of the Month: Moustache Mountain +8, these two won the Team of the Month through a story told in a single match. Against Undisputed ERA on NXT TV they put on one of the best single-match tag stories I’ve seen. ERA went after Trent Seven’s leg and Tyler Bate was forced to throw in the towel to save his mentor but lose the title. Moustache Mountain had a short tag title reign but it was memorable with amazing performances along the way. 

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Match of the Month +10: Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed ERA NXT TV Tag Titles, this might be an unpopular decision but I think this is one of the greatest tag matches of all time. The intense work on the leg of Trent by ERA, the high spots including the insane double spin (pictured above) by Tyler Bate and the selling of Trent Seven made this an absolute classic. The story I mentioned in the previous award section really tied all of the spots together and made it more than a meaningless spotfest. The undisputed ERA is an amazing tag unit but Moustache Mountain really shined in this match. 

Over 4-Star Matches:

  • Michael Elgin vs. EVIL G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Roman Reigns vs. Drew MacIntyre vs. Finn Balor RAW ****
  • AJ Styles vs. Rusev WWE Title Extreme Rules ****
  • Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy 205 Live NO DQ ****½
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain NXT Tag Titles *****
  • The Young Bucks vs. Evil and Sanada IWGP Tag Titles G1 Special ****
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee IWGP Jr Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Juice Robinson vs. Jay White IWGP US Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Kenny Omega vs. Cody IWGP Heavyweight Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr G1 Climax B-Block ****½
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito G1 Climax B-Block ****¾
  • Sanada vs. ZSJ G1 Climax B-Block ****
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Juice Robinson G1 Climax B-Block ****3/4
  • Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****½
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns RAW #1 Contenders Match ****¼
  • ZSJ vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****
  • Sanada vs. Kota Ibushi G1 Climax B-Block ****¼
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****¾
  • Kenny Omega vs. Sanada G1 Climax B-Block ****¼
  • Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black NXT TV NXT Championship ****¼
  • Yoshi-HASHI vs. Michael Elgin G1 Climax A-Block ****¼
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hangman Page G1 Climax A-Block ****

Champions at the End:

WWE:

  • Universal +7: Brock Lesnar 484+ days
  • RAW Women’s: Alexa Bliss 43+ days
  • IC: Dolph Ziggler 42+ days
  • Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander 113+ days
  • Raw Tag: The B-Team 15+ days
  • WWE: AJ Styles 265+ days
  • SD Women’s: Carmella 111+ days
  • US: Shinsuke Nakamura 15+ days
  • SD Tag: 2B 113+ days
  • NXT: Tommaso Ciampa 12+ days
  • NXT NA: Adam Cole 114+ days
  • NXT Women’s: Shayna Baszler 114+ days
  • NXT Tag: Undisputed ERA 39+ days
  • UK: Pete Dunne 436+ days

 

NJPW:

  • IWGP HVY: Kenny Omega 51+ Days
  • IWGP IC: Chris Jericho 51+ Days
  • IWGP US: Juice Robinson 23+ Days
  • NEVER Open: Hirooki Goto 43+ Days
  • IWGP HVY Tag: The Young Bucks 51+ Days
  • IWGP JR: Hiromu Takahashi 51+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag: Desperado and Kanemaru 146+ Days
  • NEVER 6: Bucks and Scurrl 88+ Days

ROH:

  • ROH World: Jay Lethal 29+ Days
  • ROH TV: Punishment Martinez 43+ Days
  • ROH Tag: The Briscoes 142+ Days
  • ROH Six-Man: Cody and The Bucks 8+ Days
  • WOH: Sumie Sakai 113+ Days

Overall Leaderboard after July 2018:

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The Leader and Current Wrestler of the Year: Kenny Omega

  1. ↑Kenny Omega: 165 Points
  2. ↓Kazuchika Okada: 149 Points
  3. ↑Young Bucks: 134 Points
  4. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  5. Will Ospreay: 105 Points
  6. Kota Ibushi: 104 Points
  7. ↓Johnny Gargano: 96 Points
  8. ZSJ: 92 Points
  9. ↑Undisputed ERA: 85 Points 
  10. AJ Styles: 74 Points
  11. Tomasso Ciampa: 72 Points
  12. Marty Scurrl: 64 Points
  13. Hiroshi Tanahashi: 63 Points
  14. Adam Cole -Sanada: 61 Points
  15. Seth Rollins: 60 Points
  16. Alexa Bliss: 58 Points
  17. Hangman Page: 56 Points
  18. Cody -Jay White: 55 Points
  19. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle -Hirooki Goto: 50 Points
  20. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  21. Cedric Alexander: 45 Points
  22. Kushida -Pete Dunne -Minoru Suzuki -Evil -Tetsuya Naito -Moustache Mountain         -Tomohiro Ishii 
  23. The Briscoes: 38 Points
  24. The Miz -Flip Gordon -Jay Lethal -Aleister Black: 35 Points
  25. Shinsuke Nakamura -Juice Robinson -Dragon Lee -El Desperado: 32 Points
  26. Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson -Michael Elgin -Finn Balor -Chris Jericho: 30 Points
  27. So Cal Uncensored: 25 Points
  28. Charlotte -Matt Taven: 22 Points
  29. Ronda Rousey -Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy      -Velveteen Dream -Ricochet -Taiji Ishimori -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -Dolph Ziggler -Becky Lynch: 20 Points
  30. Burch and Lorcan -Chris Sabin: 17 Points
  31. Yoshinobu Kanemaru -Bludgeon Brothers: 16 Points
  32. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -The Bar -Firing Squad -Silas Young -Roppongi 3K -Bobby Roode -EC3: 15 Points
  33. Nia Jax -Kingdom -Carmella -Sumie Sakai -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez: 13 Points
  34. Sanity -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Matt and Bray -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Kofi Kingston -Sasha Banks -Kevin Owens -Yoshi-Hashi -Roman Reigns -Rusev: 10 Points
  35. New Day -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Baretta -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Samoa Joe -Travis Banks -Naomi -Elias -Drew Macintyre: 5 Point

Monthly Wrap Up: The month of July has had some absolute banger matches such as Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega, Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto. In the end, however, this month was semi-uneventful for 2018 has been for pro wrestling so far but going into August it will be great to see how the G1 Climax finishes up. 

 

WWE Raw Review 7/30

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  • In Memory of Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher. 

Roman Reigns Opens the Show:

  • Brock Lesnar is shown actually here in the arena via satellite backstage.
  • Reigns says he won’t let Lesnar enter his “Yard” and run his mouth. Paul Heyman comes down. 
  • Heyman cuts an awesome promo and calls Roman insane for trying to challenge Lesnar again. Heyman also says Lesnar will retain and go on to UFC to become a “Two-Sport Champion”
  • Reigns asks for Lesnar and Heyman says Brock is here but he will only come out when and if he feels like it.
  • Roman says if Brock shows up at Summerslam he will return him to UFC as his bitch. WWE used it’s one and only swear word this year… I love how the crowd acted like saying “bitch” was the craziest thing Reigns has ever done and in PG WWE it probably is. 
  • Backstage Segment with Heyman and Lesnar, Heyman shows Lesnar what Reigns said about him and Lesnar destroys the phone and sits back down. He really couldn’t care less. 

The Brock vs. Reigns mega-feud has reached an official level. Brock’s gimmick is that he doesn’t care anymore which in real life he doesn’t either. Roman looks like the good guy here for once and finally, WWE has made Lesnar someone the hardcore fans hate more than Roman. 

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This feud is bad for both men and it continues again this week. 
  • Missile Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside, Finn hits a flying forearm ringside. 
  • Apron Clothesline by Corbin knocks Balor down for a hard landing.
  • Long Rest Hold led by Corbin takes out the match’s minimal momentum it had built up. 
  • Sliding around-the-post clothesline by Corbin gives the match the first fall. 
  • Pop-up Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside and gives Balor some space.
  • Corbin punches Balor while he’s leaning over the ropes, Corbin follows it up with a Back Drop on the apron. 
  • Enzugiri on the top rope by Balor again knocks Corbin to ringside, awesome Tope Con Hiro dive by Balor wipes out Corbin. 
  • Another Long Rest hold by Corbin takes more momentum out. 
  • Chokeslam by Corbin rolled up for a near fall by Balor. 
  • Chokeslam Backbreaker is successful by Corbin for a near fall. 
  • End Of Days attempt reversed into a DDT by Balor getting Finn back on top. 
  • Coup De Grace attempt fails, Balor stays standing but Corbin catches Balor in the Deep Six for another near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick ringside by Balor drives Corbin into the barricade. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick in-ring but the Coup De Grace fails, End of Days by Corbin closes. 

Winner: Baron Corbin

Rating: ***1/2, This match showed what I knew all along, Baron Corbin can absolutely put on a great match given the time. Corbin put on a 3 star+ match while in a suit which I don’t think I’ve seen done before. Finn Balor is still amazing and they have great chemistry after all the matches they’ve had recently. 

  • Baron Corbin comes back again to attack Finn Balor more. 
  • Kurt Angle confronts Paul Heyman saying Brock Lesnar needs to be in front of a live audience of Heyman’s contract is terminated. 
  • WWE Evolution video package transitions into Natalya vs. Alicia Fox.

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox

  • Alicia Fox’s first match back from injury on RAW.
  • Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss are ringside. 
  • Rest-hold-mania for a while. 
  • Alicia taunts Ronda allowing for Bliss to KO punch Natalya allowing Fox to pick up the win. 

Winner: Alicia Fox

Rating: N/A, Another throwaway match just so Bliss and Rousey can be the focal point again. Before Evolution WWE needs to learn how to book their women better. 

  • Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey chase each other around for a bit.
  • Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman backstage segment and Heyman asks Lesnar to come out to the ring. Brock says nope and asks Heyman to leave the room. 
  • Kurt Angle, Natalya, and Ronda Rousey backstage segment. Angle announces Rousey’s first RAW match against Alicia Fox next week
  • Elias concert interrupted by Bobby Lashley, Lashley sings for a bit but Elias attacks. 
  • Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin backstage segment, Owens brings up the idea that Braun Strowman could cash in tonight before he can win the contract at SummerSlam. 

Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal

  • Jinder Mahal is still continuing the annoying self-renewal gimmick. 
  • Jinder distracts Strowman while Owens sneaks up and grabs the MITB contract. 
  • Strowman chases Owens, Owens gives the briefcase to Singh and Singh gets trucked by Braun. Braun chases Owens backstage for a count-out. Referring to the match at SummerSlam where if Braun gets Counted out or DQ’d he loses. 

Winner: Jinder Mahal via Countout

Rating: N/A, Even though it wasn’t a great match and nothing much happened in-ring there was some great wrestling logic. The countout loss refers to the match at SummerSlam and Owens is a smart heel again. 

  • Jobbers meet up backstage for a segment with Mojo Rawley, the most talented jobber on RAW Bobby Roode confronts Mojo and attacks him. A pretty lame pull-apart brawl ensues. 

Apollo Crews vs. Akam

  • Apollo hits a series of kicks to weaken Akam and finally gets him down with a flying forearm, Standing Moonsault by Crews gets a near fall. 
  • Roll up win by Apollo Crews. 

Winner: Apollo Crews

Rating: N/A, While I’m excited that the very talented Apollo Crews put on a show it came at the cost of making AOP look weak. I’m predicting AOP is another NXT transitioned turned sour, unfortunately. Without Paul Ellering, the Authors of Pain are majorly lacking any character. 

Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre

  • Great Deadlift Suplex by Drew.
  • Suicide Dive by Rollins is caught, Drew blasts Seth into the barricade. 
  • Slingshot under the ring to the exposed steel ring frame by Drew, a really unique spot sold really well by Seth Rollins. 
  • The Suicide Dive finally works for Rollins so he follows it up with a 2nd Suicide Dive.
  • Rollins whips MacIntyre into the exposed steel ring frame.
  • Amazing Tilt-A-Whirl Falcon Arrow by Rollins for a near fall. 
  • Stomp Attempt by Rollins caught in a Spinebuster by Drew for another near fall.
  • Great sequence of superkicks by Rollins knocking Drew down after Macintyre asked for more.
  • Amazing Super Air Raid Crash by Drewy Mac for another near fall. 
  • Rollins rolls up the inverted Alabama Slam by Drew for a near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins hits and Ziggler attacks for a DQ. 

Winner: Seth Rollins via DQ.

Rating: ***1/4, What a match until Ziggler got involved. The very unique ring frame spots matched with the typical big move into near fall flow by Rollins. They put on a banger that had a unique flavor to it and if it had finished clean and went on longer could’ve been one of the better WWE Matches of The Year. WWE does have to save the match quality for SummerSlam to make it feel more special. 

  • Kurt Angle and Roman Reigns backstage segment, Angle says to have Lesnar out in the ring they need to get Reigns out of the building. Police come to escort Reigns out. Reigns sucker punches Baron Corbin down and leaves. 
  • B-Team in-ring interview interrupted by the Deleters of Worlds and they cut the typical weird promo. The Revival come down and stake their claim for the titles. Brawl breaks out between Deleters and Revival but Matt and Bray stand tall. 

Revival vs. Matt and Bray

  • B-Team on commentary.
  • Side Effect by Matt Hardy on Scott Dawson allows tags, hot tag by Bray Wyatt.
  • The crowd is SILENT. 
  • Miami smarks chanting “CM Punk” and “Rusev Day”. People complain the Revival are misused but crap on their matches. 
  • Shatter Machine gives Revival the pin over Bray Wyatt.

Winners: The Revival

Rating: *1/2, the crowd really ruined this one. The Revival finally gets a break from jobbing and the Miami crowd craps on this match. All things considered, the match itself had nothing interesting going on and lacked momentum. 

  • Seth Rollins interview with Renee Young. Drew and Dolph attack Seth. 

Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley

  • AGAIN??
  • Sarah Logan and Bayley start the match. 
  • The Bayley and Sasha frenemy feud is the worst thing on RAW currently. Do something with the feud or drop it already WWE. 
  • Hot tag by Bayley on Liv Morgan. 
  • Diving Meteora by Banks on Morgan goes for a near fall but Logan saves the match. 
  • Cool Backstabber/Bayley to Belly combo gives Bayley the pin over Liv.

Winner: Banks and Bayley

Rating; **, The feud is crazy repetitive and a snoozefest at this point especially this late into RAW. The only good thing was the Double Team Backstabber/Bayley to Belly finish. Stop with the feud already WWE. 

  • Backstage segment with Heyman and Lesnar and Heyman finally tells Brock about Angle’s ultimatum. Brock squares up with Heyman. 

Brock Lesnar Segment

  • Kurt Angle comes down with Baron Corbin and asks for Lesnar or Heyman is fired. 
  • Paul Heyman comes down in a somber tone. The crowd sings “Goodbye”.  Paul Heyman says Lesnar is not coming down here tonight. 
  • Kurt Angle gets fired up and talks down on Lesnar calling him “The Worst Universal Champion of All Time!” Paul Heyman agrees and says he’s tried to mold Brock in Angle’s image. Heyman says to take Angle’s punishment out on Lesnar. 
  • Kurt Angle fires Paul Heyman and Heyman clings onto Angle. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and Paul Heyman’s face immediately turns into a sadistic smile. Heyman is the best. 
  • Brock immediately squares up with Angle and Corbin, Lesnar delivers an F5 to Kurt Angle but Baron Corbin ducks out. 
  • Brock Lesnar chokes Heyman down. 
  • Crowd chants “We Want Strowman”. They don’t get that and Lesnar leaves. 

A great closing segment with great performances by Paul Heyman and Kurt Angle. Brock Lesnar is still an actual dick though, in character and in real life. Horrible, horrible champion. 

Show Grade: D+

Last Word: Man, what a disappointment this show was. RAW continues to march towards SummerSlam looking like crap. Brock Lesnar did nothing here other than continue to be an actual heel and make people like Roman in comparison to Brock. Paul Heyman carried all of the segments with Lesnar. There were two solid matches in Corbin vs. Finn and Drew vs. Seth but the rest of the show lacked severely and was just filter.

SD Live Review 7/24/2018

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  • The show opens with a Limo Shot and Miz, Maryse and Monroe Sky come out of the limo. Miz and Mrs. premiere party later tonight. 

Randy Orton Promo

  • Orton says he busted his ass for 16 years and the only constant in WWE. (Which is true) But he also says he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. 
  • Randy Orton says he’s not some “Indy Darling” and doesn’t perform in bingo halls or do stupid hand gestures. Stop hating the indies because they’re doing better than you Randy. 
  • Randy says the crowd is the “Legend Killer” now because they are no longer respecting him. He also says he will end Hardy’s career.

As much as I hate Randy, he’s actually doing something interesting with his character now. None of what he said in this promo wasn’t true, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves compared to the likes of Cena, Batista, and HHH who were in his same era. He is acting sadistic and vicious like he always should be. WWE turned him around for the better after his return from injury. 

Andrade Almas vs. Rusev

  • No Aiden English ringside due to the interference he has at Extreme Rules costing Rusev the match. 
  • Rusev throws Almas into the ropes and Almas and Vega hit the Tranquilo pose. 
  • Almas dodges Rusev sending him into the post and locks in a cross arm breaker over the top rope. 
  • Inverted Tornado DDT by Almas into the first near fall.
  • Hard series of Buzzsaw kicks by Rusev fires him up into hitting a huge spin kick to get the advantage again. 
  • Brutal Thrust Kick by Rusev for a near fall.
  • Hard chop by Almas but Rusev isn’t phased, Rusev hits some elbows in return, Spinning Back Elbow by Almas finally rocks Rusev.
  • Double Knees by Almas caught into the Machka Kick by Rusev. 
  • Lana and Vega argue Zelina Vega slaps Lana and Lana brawls. Aiden English tries to break it up but Zelina pushes English into Lana taking her down. Rusev is distracted and Almas slides in to hit the Hammerlock DDT on Rusev for the win. 

Winner: Andrade Almas

Rating: ***, A great back and forth match. The ending took a bit away from it with the Vega/Lana and English mix-up. However, Almas continues to shine and gets a huge win here. Some great strikes made this match so entertaining. A longer match between the two should tear the house down later down the line. 

  • Lana and Aiden English bicker backstage but Rusev says “Maybe None of you are good enough for Rusev Day.” This is a pretty great story so far.

Samoa Joe vs. R-Truth

  • Truth’s first match since Wrestlemania 34’s Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
  • Truth comes hot out of the gates. 
  • Coquina Clutch closes the match.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Rating: N/A, While it was decent to see Truth back in the ring, he got squashed quickly. 

  • Asuka gets interviewed about the Evolution PPV and says “Billie Kay isn’t ready for Asuka” transitioning into the next match.

Asuka vs. Billie Kay

  • Annoying Selfie Promo from the IIConics before the match.
  • Sliding Knee by Asuke for the match’s first near fall. 
  • Asuka tries to go for an ankle lock but Kay holds onto Peyton Royce ringside. 
  • A great series of kicks by Asuka closes the match. 

Winner: Asuka

Rating: N/A, Another squash match but this time Asuka looks better than Joe did in the previous segment. Asuka hit a great series of kicks to close the match while the IIConics continue to be annoying as hell. 

Paige announces AJ Style’s SummerSlam Opponent:

  • Paige congratulates the women of WWE then, now and forever on WWE “Evolution”
  • AJ Styles also talks about “Evolution” and how it relates to him being proud of his company and how his daughter can do whatever she wants when she grows up. 
  • Paige announces Styles’ opponent almost but James Ellsworth’s music hits and he comes down. James claims his case for the WWE title but Paige calls him a joke and Ellsworth unfunnily roasts Paige. Get him off my TV, please. 
  • Paige decides to fire James Ellsworth and security carries him off. 
  • Cutting back into the ring, Samoa Joe attacks AJ Styles. Joe signs the contract for his match at SummerSlam versus Styles. 

This segment was great but a little bit sloppily booked. Paige decided to fire Ellsworth after he annoyingly got in the way of the SummerSlam announcement. After the firing, the awesome part started. The introduction of Joe as Styles’ challenger was done well. He came up from behind to attack Styles which is rare to see in these challenger pickings. 

  • Backstage segment with Paige and Joe confirms that Joe was Paige’s choice. Carmella argues with Paige about firing Ellsworth.

Carmella vs. Becky Lynch, if Becky wins she gets to face Carmella at SummerSlam for the Title

  • Diving Punch by Lynch off the apron wipes Carmella out ringside.
  • Carmella whips Becky into the barricade and Lynch takes a hard fall.
  • Huricanrana by Carmella sends Becky into the corner, Becky fights back but Carmella brings Becky hard to the ground.
  • Carmella talks trash but is hit with a Dropkick by Becky Lynch.
  • Becky fires up and goes for the Bexplex but fails, Flatliner by Carmella for the first near fall. 
  • Tornado DDT by Carmella stopped into a Bexploder by Lynch. 
  • Spider Supercanrana by Carmella for a near fall. 
  • Roll up using the ropes by Carmella for a very near fall. 
  • Rebound Enzugiri by Lynch allows Becky to get some space. 
  • Diving Leg Drop by Lynch dodges, superkick by Carmella for a near fall.
  • Dis-arm-her by Lynch taps out Carmella. 

Winner: Becky Lynch

Rating: ***1/4, Lynch just helped Carmella put on one of her best one-on-one WWE matches in recent memory. Becky Lynch finally gets her shot again and Carmella delivered a great match. There was some great near fall especially Carmella’s rope-full roll up. Carmella did a great job here delivering one of her best performances ever even though that is saying too much. 

The New Day vs. sAnitY in a Tag Team Tournament Match to face Bludgeon Brother at SummerSlam for the Titles

  • Woods and Big E from New Day and Wolfe and Dain from Sanity are the chosen competitors. 
  • The Usos on commentary. 
  • Xavier Woods and Alexander Wolfe start the match.
  • Poor Dain, Vince is making him wear a shirt on the main roster even though he was shirtless his entire career in NXT. I don’t mind it too much though, that boi hairy.
  • Huge Senton by Dain onto Woods. 
  • Great Missile Dropkick by Woods wipes out Dain and opens up tags, hot tag to Big E.
  • Eric Young hops up to distract Big E, A Cannonball dive by Woods takes out Killian Dain, Eric Young gets up on the top rope but Kofi takes him out, Midnight Hour closes the match on Wolfe. 
  • The Bar return to provoke the Usos and build to their match next week. 

Winner: The New Day Advance

Rating: **1/2, While this match is crazy short it was a great dash. It played out like you think it would with Eric Young getting involved and Xavier doing a big dive and getting the win. It was fun but not anything special. 

Miz and Mrs. premier party:

  • Maryse congratulates “Evolution” but says she started the evolution first. 
  • Miz says Monroe Sky has accompanied more in her short life than Daniel Bryan ever has. 
  • Miz says the mention of Daniel Bryan has put Monroe Sky to sleep.
  • Miz plays the highlight show of Miz and Mrs but it plays out like a blooper reel of Miz’s career. 
  • Daniel Bryan pops up on the big screen and says he will come to apologize to Miz in person for having the blooper reel played. 
  • Security stops Daniel from entering the ring but Bryan wipes them out. 
  • Miz throws his baby which turns out to be a doll and attacks Daniel Bryan. 
  • Miz says Monroe was never here and brought an actor to the show because he would never bring his daughter to *Insert Town Name Here*

This was a pretty fun segment but a weird close to the show. A good promotion for Miz’s new show that I probably won’t ever watch but the Miz leaves looking like a dastardly heel and the feud on Miz vs. Bryan continues. 

Show Grade: B

Last Word: While nothing on the show was as good as MacIntyre and Ziggler vs. Rollins and Balor or Lashley vs. Reigns from RAW last night, this was a much better build up show to Summerslam. The show was overall more entertaining too as there weren’t any negatives to this show. Almas vs. Rusev, Miz and Mrs. premiere party and Carmella vs. Lynch were all big highlights. RAW was a tad bit better but not by much and, in the long run, this show did so much more good for building up the “Biggest Party of the Summer” 

Raw vs. Smackdown this week: RAW

 

 

 

 

WWE Raw Review 7/23/2018

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  • The show opens with the roster on the stage and Vince Mcmahon in the ring. Vince calls for Stephanie to come down.

Stephanie Mcmahon’s Historic Announcement

  • Triple H congratulates the roster for making WWE historic lately with NXT, 205 Live, SD Live, Raw and NXT UK. Then mentions the strong bond the roster has formed with each other. Nikki Cross is officially on the main roster making a slight appearance on the stage. 
  • Triple H asks all the women to come forward and says the WWE Universe and Men’s Locker Room supports them like crazy. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon turns face for a change and thanks the crowd for opening up the doors for women to become strong lately. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon announces an event called “Evolution” on October 28th which is going to be an all Woman WWE PPV. That is awesome!

This was a great opening segment that felt insanely important with Stephanie, HHH, and Vince all here to make the announcement. An all Women’s PPV is a great idea which has been rare from WWE lately. An actual “historic” opening to RAW and I’m excited to see where the Women’s PPV goes from here. 

The “B” Team(c) vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the RAW Tag Titles

  • Backstage “B” Team promo highlights how far they’ve come from the jobber life. 
  • An Elias concert is interrupted by Matt and Hardy entering. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • The Rotunda Brothers face off again but Wyatt knocks Dallas down with a stiff crossbody.
  • Revival shown looking on. 
  • A Lariat by Wyatt to Dallas opens up a hot tag by Hardy on Axel. 
  • Side Effect by Hardy on Axel for a near fall. 
  • Twist of Fate by Hardy onto Axel, near fall but Dallas, saves the match, Wyatt comes to take out Bo but Dallas trips Wyatt into Hardy, Axel gets a roll up win for a B-Team retain. Confusing finish but a rightful winner. 

Winners: The B-Team Retain (8 Day Reign) 

Rating: **1/4, the same match from these two teams we’ve seen before but this round has an added urgency because it looked like the “B” Team could lose the titles. It played out like a normal tag match until the end which had Dallas take out Wyatt who took out Hardy inadvertently so Axel can get the win. Even though the ending was fast and convoluted, The B Team needed to retain, they’ve been entertaining as hell lately. 

  • After the match, Bray and Hardy attack Axel and Dallas. 
  • Backstage segment with Gable and Finn sees Finn move into his own locker room which turns out to be a kid’s sized house. Another WWE “HA, He’s so small joke.” Constable Corbin puts Finn Balor in a match tonight against Drew MacIntyre.
  • Interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley confirm they are again STILL friends. 
  • In a tag team match, Banks and Bayley beat locals and actually look like a good tag unit. 

I know WWE is trying to annoy us with the constant Love/Hate relationship between Bayley and Sasha Banks but that is almost working too well. These both are really talented and need to either move on or put on a great match like they totally could. Especially, with the all WWE Women’s PPV coming soon they need to book their women a bit better. 

  • Elias tries to talk about his new album again and gets interrupted by Braun Strowman. 

Monster in the Bank/Braun Strowman Segment:

  • Strowman congratulates the women on getting their own PPV but especially Alexa Bliss. 
  • Braun talks about Lashley vs. Reigns later on tonight and says it doesn’t matter who’s champion he says sooner or later he will cash in his briefcase. 
  • Strowman plays the crowd up but Kevin Owens interrupts. 
  • Kevin Owens says he tried to befriend Strowman for the sake of his son being Braun’s fan, Owens also says that Strowman crushed his son’s dream like he crushed his spine at Extreme Rules. Kevin Owens is definitely the face in this feud. 
  • Kevin Owens says Braun’s problem has barely started, Baron Corbin’s theme hits and, under the “power” of Stephanie, Corbin sends Jinder Mahal out to “control” Braun’s temper with his self-renewal bullshit. 
  • Braun hits Running Powerslams to Mahal and Singh.

This segment was pretty bad, the stereotypical treatment of Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens continuing to be an empathetic face even though WWE is booking him heel and Braun Strowman doing the same thing he does every week. It’s surely time for a refresh in all of their gimmicks and it feels like I’ve seen this exact segment every week on RAW.

Natalya vs. Mickie James

  • Again with this match/feud??
  • Electric Chair Drop by Natalya lays both women out, surprisingly high spot. 
  • James kicks Natalya from in-ring out to ringside, awkward sell by Nattie, Bliss gets involved but Natalya wipes out Bliss. 
  • James hits a superkick for the win. 

Winner: Natalya

Rating: N/A

  • Interview with Roman Reigns, he says “tonight is a night of firsts and I’ll beat Lashley for the first time tonight.” 
  • Elias tries to promote his album again but AOP interrupts this time. 

Authors of Pain Segment:

  • AOP says they need a challenge and they’re done with Titus Worldwide. I guess not as Titus Worldwide comes down.
  • I feel so bad for Apollo Crews, he has too much talent for Titus Worldwide. I guess, Titus does too. Just leave Dana Brooke and call it Dana Worldwide. 
  • AOP says Titus should just retire which starts a brawl, they somehow stand tall even though AOP would legitimately crush them if this was NXT. 

Another Raw Cliche segment. I feel like 4/5 people in this segment are too talented to be in this spot. AOP was shown as weak which was bogus after they looked like monsters in NXT for YEARS.

  • Stephanie, Angle, Corbin, and Owens backstage segment. Kevin Owens asks for a match against Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. If Owens wins (by Countout and DQ) included he gets the Money in the Bank briefcase. 

Even though seeing Braun vs. Owens again might be too repetitive, I’m looking forward to it. The stipulation should make it fun with Owens going for the MITB Briefcase and Stephanie Mcmahon being on the side of Owens might add extra importance to the storyline. Another solid looking SummerSlam match made. 

  • Mojo Rawley squashed Tyler Breeze (who deserves better) while Bobby Roode (who also deserves better) cuts a promo on a pop-up screen.
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler cut a selfie promo. 
  • Elias gets interrupted AGAIN by Finn Balor’s entrance. 

Finn Balor vs. Drew MacIntyre:

  • Dropkick by Finn Balor sends Drew ringside, an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive follows.
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Drew for a near fall, great show of power from Macintyre. 
  • Great Tornado DDT by Finn Balor finally gets MacIntyre down after Finn fails to get him down after a series of forearms. 
  • MacIntyre dodges the Coup De Grace attempt but Finn hits a follow-up slingblade and a shotgun dropkick. Off a second, Coup de Grace attempt Ziggler interferes for the DQ. Seth Rollins comes down to stop the attack on Balor and even the odds.
  • Kurt Angle restarts the match as a tag team match. 

Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre and Dolph Ziggler:

  • Rollins and Balor work together to take out Drew before the bell even rings. 
  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Plancha Dive by Seth Rollins takes out Ziggler ringside. 
  • After Drew and Dolph settle into the tag match, they start to dominate and isolate Balor. 
  • Drew Macintyre Gorilla Presses Balor over the barricade. 
  • Pele Kick by Finn Balor lays him and Ziggler down opening up tags, Drewy Mac makes it before Balor though and stops him from making the tag. 
  • Seth finally tags in for a hot tag and Suicide Dives Mac and Ziggler down. 
  • Diving Blockbuster by Rollins to Macintyre for a near fall. 
  • Superkick by Rollins to Macintyre leads to a very near fall but Ziggler makes the save.
  • Stomp attempt by Rollins to Ziggler but Macintyre stops Seth in his path. Alabama Slamma by Macintyre for a very near fall. 
  • “This Is Awesome” chants!
  • Rollins huricanranas McIntyre ringside and hits a Stomp on Ziggler for the win. 

Winners: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

Rating: ***3/4, The match was an amazing showcase for Drew Macintyre having another very strong performance on the main roster. Seth, like normal, carried a lot of the match and Balor took less of the heat after a solid match against Macintyre earlier. The whole half-hour segment here was very good and focused on wrestling instead of crappy gimmick stuff like the rest of the show has been. Ziggler is finally where he should be, high-mid card and everyone leaves this match looking great. The match had some amazing near falls and tag moments. Seth Rollins is amazing!

Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon

  • Moon immediately hits a single-leg dropkick after the bell rings.
  • Springboard Crossbody by Moon misses Dropkick by Liv for a near fall. 
  • Liv is working a little bit sloppy. 
  • The crowd is dead silent. 
  • Inverted STO by Moon for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Superplex by Ember Moon followed by an Eclipse for the win. 

Winner: Ember Moon

Rating: N/A

  • Backstage Interview with Seth Rollins, Rollins announces him vs. Ziggler for the IC Title at Summerslam. So no Brock vs. Rollins after all. 
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley video package plays. 
  • Elias comes out for another try at promoting his album, succeeds for longer than before but Kurt Angle interrupts. Kurt finally gives him the chance for a concert. Elias shouts out the band O.A.R who are ringside. After a little bit of playing with the crowd, Elias actually starts his performance. Elias stops the song to trash the town which happens to be Cincinnati tonight and Bobby Lashley interrupts. 

Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns for the chance to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam:

  • Brock Lesnar will be on RAW next Monday. 
  • Drive-By attempt by Reigns caught into an overhead suplex ringside by Bobby Lashley.
  • Spinebuster by Bobby Lashley for a near fall. 
  • Huge Double Lariat lays both men out.
  • Strikefest leads to a great looking leapfrog lariat by Lashley. 
  • From the apron, Lashley knocks a running Reigns down with another lariat. 
  • Reigns dodges a charging Lashley, Lashley gets back in the ring and Reigns hits a very sloppy leg drop for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch attempt caught into a Full Nelson by Lashley, Reigns fights out. 
  • STO into an Anaconda Vice by Lashley, pin attempt for a near fall by Reigns getting out of the hold.
  • Huge Powerslam by Lashley for a very near fall.
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a leg lariat by Reigns for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch by Reigns finally hits for another near fall.
  • Lashley throws Reigns from ringside back into the ring, hard fall on Reigns’ neck taken. Spear by Lashley for an awesome very near fall.
  • Another Spear attempt by Lashley gets caught with a superman punch. 
  • Spear attempt by Reigns gets countered but Reigns bounces back off the ropes and finally hits the spear to win the match. 

Winner: Roman Reigns

Rating: ****1/4, WHAT A MAIN EVENT! This is a contender for my favorite Reigns match and definetely one of the best Lashley matches. These two tore the house down. Constant amazing near falls added to the evenly match atmosphere that these two thrived in. There were a few sloppily worked moments like Reigns’ leg drop over the middle rope or Lashley throwing Reigns into the ring and having Reigns land on his neck but in the end, the near falls and the crowd participation made something special. These two battled for a great main event and even though Lashley should’ve won and looked amazing in this match, I’m not even mad about Reigns vs. Lesnar 4. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This is one of the best episodes of RAW recently even though it was far from perfect. Reigns and Lashley was a fantastic main event, Rollins, and Balor vs. MacIntyre and Ziggler was a great TV mid-card tag match. However, the shine of these two matches just barely overshadows stuff like AOP and Titus Worldwide feuding AGAIN, The Strowman segment and Bayley vs. Banks hate/love thing again. This is without mentioning the amazing opening segment though, as WWE used tonight to announce the all Women’s WWE PPV “Evolution”. This episode of RAW will actually be remembered and for good reasons, not like the Lashley’s Sisters episode of RAW.