16th May2016

WWE: This Week in Review (Raw/Smackdown/NXT)

by Chris Cummings

So, we are heading quickly towards WWE’s second May PPV, Extreme Rules, and there are lots of rematches from Payback likely to happen at that show. I hope this doesn’t mean the product will be stale for the next month or so, but we shall see.

WWE-Raw-logo

RAW (9th May 2016)

Results:

  • Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler
  • R Truth beat Fandango
  • Paige beat Charlotte
  • Sami Zayn defeated The Miz
  • Sin Cara pinned Rusev
  • Roman Reigns & The Usos beat AJ Styles, Anderson & Gallows by DQ
  • Kevin Owens defeated Zack Ryder
  • The Dudleys beat The New Day
  • Big Cass versus Chris Jericho went to a no-contest

This week’s RAW opened with Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. Big Cass interrupted and got a very strong response from the fans. He faced off verbally with Jericho before challenging Y2J to a match. I’m glad WWE have chosen to keep Cass on RAW since Enzo’s accident, it keeps them in people’s minds and also allows Cass, the least over of the team, to get over while Enzo recovers.

Match-wise, it was hit and miss in terms of quality. Lots of roll-ups, and some matches that felt very phoned-in and typical of RAW. Zayn and The Miz had an enjoyable match, but the rest were what you’d expect and were used, as they should be, to continue storylines and feuds. Still, something was missing.

Dana Brooke debuted in a backstage segment involving her tag partner, Emma, and Becky Lynch. Emma and Brooke attacked Becky and left her on the floor.

The “Make Darren Young Great Again” gimmick/campaign continued. The new repackaging of Young is a head-scratcher and seems like something WWE would have done in the Beaver Cleavage era. Obviously used to poke fun at Trumps “Make America Great Again” campaign, the pro-trump WWE are perhaps missing their own joke. Bob Backlund as Youngs manager in 2016 also feels odd. I doubt this will last.

We saw the continuation of the Styles/Reigns feud, with Styles and Company now being referred to on television as “The Club” and Reigns and The Uso’s as “The Family. They need to avoid more television matches between these guys before Extreme Rules, I’m already bored of seeing them face-off. Not good.

RAW ended with Ambrose and Jericho brawling. Cass helped Ambrose a little, but it mostly promoted the ongoing feud between “The Lunatic Fringe” and “The GOAT”. Ambrose destroyed Jerichos “very expensive” flashing jacket at the end of the show. This has been promoted as a big deal and I couldn’t care less. It’s this sort of bland feud-causing content that makes the writing seem last-minute and crappy sometimes. I want these guys to feud and beat each other up over something real and guttural, not a campy shite jacket that belongs in a Blackpool parade in November. Blah.

A tepid and boring RAW, then, which is a shame considering the talent currently at WWE’s disposal and the amazing workers that are on television right now. I expect better than this, for sure.

 

nxt-logo

NXT (11th May 2016)

Results:

  • American Alpha beat Hollis & Skyler
  • Shinsuke Nakamura beat Alex Riley
  • Alexa Bliss beat Rachael Ellering
  • Finn Balor defeated Elias Samson

NXT continues its “rebuilding” as it makes new names since many have been promoted to RAW and Smackdown.

American Alpha are always a delight to watch, and the fans love them. The talented duo had what amounted to an exhibition match, showing what they can do as they suplexed and threw their opponents around. It was fun for a TV match against a couple of jobbers.

Nakamura is exceptional as a character and his style is so unique that it can’t miss if WWE lets it happen naturally. He beat Alex Riley in a match where no one looked at Riley because Nakamura demands eyes on him at all times, and gets it.

Bliss and Ellering had a so-so womens match. Bliss is decent, and considering how new she is to wrestling, the second-generation Ellering is also pretty good.

Balor and Samson was pretty dull, in my view. I hope WWE have plans for Finn. He is such a talented worker with charisma and an awesome look, but he needs something more to give him that push. I hope we see that thing soon.

At the end of the show, William Regal announced that the next NXT Takeover will be headlined by Samoa Joe defending the NXT Title against Balor.

 

smackdown-logo

Smackdown (13th May 2016)

Results:

  • Rusev beat Sin Cara
  • Dana Brooke beat Becky Lynch
  • Aiden English beat Kofi Kingston
  • The Usos beat Anderson & Gallows via DQ
  • Gorgeous Truth beat Goldango
  • Kevin Owens & The Miz defeated Sami Zayn & Cesaro

Smackdown, this week, was a better overall show than RAW. The debut from Dana Brooke was impressive and shows how much Dana has improved since her 2015 debut in NXT. She looks like she belongs on the main roster and it’s cool to see her reunite with Emma. Maybe we will see Becky bring a partner on board for a fun womens tag feud soon. Hint-hint.

R Truth and Tyler Breeze and Goldust and Fandango split when Breeze attacked Truth and Fandango attacked Goldie. This likely means we will see a feud between The Golden Truth and Fangorgeous?

Jericho put Ambrose in a straight-jacket and the two brawled some more. Their feud has been quite fun but I do hope to see it end at Extreme Rules.

Owens and The Miz against Zayn and Cesaro was a lot of fun as expected. These four guys work really well together, and I am excited for the four-way at Extreme Rules for the I-C Championship.

With the knowledge that Smackdown is now being written by the former NXT writer, it is no surprise that Smackdown is improving by the week. This was another step in the right direction for the blue brand.
______

Wrestler of the Week: Sami Zayn
Match of the Week: The Miz & Owens vs. Zayn & Cesaro (SD)
Debut of the Week: Dana Brooke
Dud of the Week: Alex Riley
Strangest Booking Decision of the Week: Rusev losing to Sin Cara on RAW

Overall rating of This Week in WWE: 5/10

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