This week’s Raw was a welcome and extremely pleasant shift from WWE’s usual television formula. It even got me to hand out an A- grade, which I was shocked to even consider. And yeah, I graded on a curve a bit. But still.
Now…could SmackDown keep up the momentum? Not quite.
Yep, it’s all Bayley’s fault
This was probably the only segment on SmackDown that I’d heartily recommend you to seek out, Cageside. After Alexa Bliss’s machinations on Raw, we got a Moment of Bliss segment where Bliss and Bayley confronted one another. Bayley was quick to defend her reputation, denying all the things Bliss had said about here and even turning to Nikki Cross to remind the woman about all the others Bliss had used these very same tricks on.
Bayley called Bliss a liar, a fraud, and an entitled princess who has to use people to get anywhere in the WWE. Bliss shot back by doubling down on her claims and saying that Bayley’s entire reputation is a lie – even going so far as to say that Bliss tried to turn to her for advice in NXT and was big leagued by someone who’s supposed to be kind. Bayley denied that as well, but when Bliss is so ardently sticking to her claims, how can we be 100% sure that Bayley’s telling the truth?
The two brawled before Cross pulled Bayley off of Bliss, but the distraction allowed Bliss to leave the Champion on her back. Cross seemed conflicted, but quick to rejoin Bliss’s side.
Very fun segment. Definitely worth checking out the YouTube video for, at the very least.
The World Champs sweep
The show started with Kofi Kingston dealing with Dolph Ziggler saying all the things he’s said for a while. And while I dig Ziggler’s delusional behavior, he’s not backing it up with actions that demand attention.
But more on that later. Ziggler had a match against Xavier Woods that drew Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from the back, which is what I want to talk about. The Raw duo ran to Shane McMahon to whine about Seth Rollins and Kingston, and were given a 2 out of 3 falls match against the champions to main event the show. Neither Kevin nor Sami were too happy with their lot.
And for good reason! They lost 2-0!
Rollins was back to hit B-Team with a steel chair and to fight in this match, and this is where the brand split is just not that fun anymore. Why’s he really here? Why are the McMahons allowing him to wrestle? Are we really sacrificing SmackDown’s mid card for a bunch of Raw guys we saw just the other night?
It’s not that fun.
Dolph Ziggler def. Xavier Woods – My biggest gripe with this is that Ziggler’s just not that threatening in reality, despite a creepy disposition and distorted view of reality. For example, he swore at the start of the show that he’d make sure Xavier was never able to defend Kofi again.
Instead of trying to follow up on that claim, he just walked to the back. The match was fun, but little things like that add up.
Heavy Machinery def. B-Team – There was a big emphasis from Daniel Bryan on commentary that Heavy Machinery COULD be threatening. They do some stuff that makes him sit up and take them seriously…but then they pelvic thrust and act like idiots.
To that I say…fair point, Daniel.
Drew McIntyre and Elias def. The Miz and R-Truth – I like how Miz came out and was proactive about trying to fix this McMahon situation, but…yeah. It’s just more of the same, isn’t it?
It’s pretty funny how no big babyfaces could even bother helping him, too. They’re cool with Shane destroying him. Oh that reminds me – I hate how WWE books dumb stuff and then tries to sell it off in a promo as if that were the plan all along. “We’re all sick of you taking up all the opportunities and show time, Shane!”
Self-awareness doesn’t absolve you from bad booking. Do it right the first time!
Drake Maverick steals car, win’s 24/7 Title – We learned that a ref Ubers on the side and that Drake stole his car to drive off to his own wedding with his shiny new title in tow. Some wedding shenanigans are coming our way, and I’m totally here for it.
Woe be to Aliester Black’s opponent – Oooooh, red and blue lights this time! Not much to add here, it’s what Black’s been saying all along.
Apollo finds Andrade – Apollo has a score to settle with Andrade but keeps getting the worse end of it because he’s gullible. Gable was nearby, taking notes and laughing light-heartedly at Apollo’s misfortune.
Kabuki Warriors vs. IIconics in Tokyo – Now this should be fun…if it’s televised, that is. Paige tolled the IIconics backstage, which was fantastic.
The show was fine. But that made it even more disappointing after Monday night.
Also, if someone else says “kicking ass and taking names” so help me god…
Your turn, Cageside.