15th Jul2018

WWE Week In Review (7/8/18 – 7/15/18)

by Nathan Favel

wwe-week-header

Welcome to this week’s WWE Week In Review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we should jump right in.

Mae Young Classic 2 Participants Announced

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Three international standouts — Japanese phenom Io Shirai, Canadian ring veteran Nicole Matthews and British up-and-comer Jinny — and former “American Ninja Warrior” competitor Kacy Catanzaro are the latest competitors confirmed for this summer’s Mae Young Classic 2018.

Shirai was recently introduced as WWE’s newest signee at a Live Event in Tokyo. One of the most decorated wrestlers in the modern history of Japan, “The Genius of the Sky” has captured countless titles in her home country and was named the top women’s wrestler for the past three years by Tokyo Sports, a national newspaper. Shirai is renowned for her incredible suplexes and high-flying attacks.

Kacy Catanzaro

Perhaps best known for her groundbreaking performances on “American Ninja Warrior,” Catanzaro — who was recruited into the WWE Performance Center earlier this year — looks to make an impact in her WWE Network in-ring debut. Though she may not have a wealth of wrestling experience, Catanzaro has been earmarked as a prospect to watch, given her otherworldly athletic abilities. A former Division I gymnast, she was the first woman to scale “American Ninja Warrior’s” “warped wall” and has twice been listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50” list of the world’s best female athletes. “It’s cool to be in the ring and use some gymnastics flair and style, and also be able to think of the ring and my opponent as that obstacle course and figure out different ways to get around or through them,” Catanzaro told USAToday.com, which broke the news of her participation in the tournament.

Nicole Matthews

A 12-year ring veteran from Vancouver, Matthews has established her name around the globe, having competed in Canada, the United States, England, Japan and Australia. Matthews has faced the likes of Becky Lynch, Asuka and WWE Performance Center trainer Sara Amato. She boasts an aggressive, bullying style of wrestling and likes to finish opponents with a devastating rolling cutter she calls the “Vancouver Maneuver.”

Jinny

Rounding out this set of competitors is London’s Jinny. Less than three years into her career, Jinny journeyed into a WWE ring for the first time at the 2017 WrestleMania Axxess. Known for her hard-hitting style inside the ring, Jinny is the reigning women’s champion of the U.K.-based PROGRESS Wrestling and holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s wrestling school.

My Take: I liked last year’s Mae Young Classic and I’m glad they have brought back the tournament. Cataranzo’s includement is realy interesting and will probably get the MYC some extra press.

Extreme Rules Card For Sunday

  • Sin Cara vs Andrade “Cien” Almas – Rematch from this week’s Smackdown
  • The New Day vs Sanity – Tables Match
  • Alexa Bliss (c) vs Nia Jax – Raw Women’s Title Extreme Rules Match
  • Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt (c) vs The B Team – Raw Tag Team Championship Match
  • Carmella (c) vs Asuka – SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
  • The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Team Hell No – SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
  • Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins – Intercontinental Championship – 30 Minute Iron Man Match
  • Jeff Hardy vs Shinsuke Nakamura – United States Championship Match
  • Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin – Singles Match
  • Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens – Steel Cage Match
  • Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns – Singles Match
  • AJ Styles vs Rusev – WWE Championship Match

Please take a look at the Extreme Rules prediction column here on Nerdly for a look at Sunday’s WWE PPV.

Best Moment of the Week:

A Bobby Lashley/Roman Reigns brawl happened at the start of RAW that really saved the Lashley/Reigns feud. The crowd went nuts for this whole thing and it really put this match over the top for Sunday.

Worst Moment of the Week:

The inter-gender match between Asuka and James Ellsworth feels like it is from a hundred years ago, instead of in an era when we know women can fight men and win, despite MVP’s feeling to the contrary.

Worst Match of the Week:

Asuka beat James Ellsworth in a Lumberjack Match – Inter-Gender Rules

The following is courtesy of WWE.com: Due to the controversial conclusion to last week’s battle of the sexes between James Ellsworth and Asuka, Paige declared that Ellsworth would have to face off with Asuka again tonight… in a Lumberjack Match. Having been given strict instruction by Carmella to take care of The Empress of Tomorrow, Ellsworth kicked off the proceedings with some insulting words for the lumberjacks.

Once the contest got going though, it was more of the same from last week: Asuka terrorizing Ellsworth. With nowhere to run for Ellsworth, it appeared The Empress was on her way to an emphatic victory just five days before her SmackDown Women’s Championship rematch at WWE Extreme Rules. At one point, Ellsworth attempted to bolt, but the lumberjacks grabbed him and then started going at it with one another.

During all this commotion, Carmella attempted to hand Ellsworth a spray that he used to try to blind The Empress. Asuka was hip to their plan though and stopped the ploy, knocking Ellsworth into Carmella to send her flying off the apron, and then putting Carmella’s lackey in the Asuka Lock for the submission victory. Just after the bell, Carmella rushed the ring to try to get the jump on Asuka. While The Empress attempted to deal with The Princess, Ellsworth retrieved the spray and blinded Carmella’s foe, allowing the champion to make a major statement by downing her challenger yet again.

My Take: This was just a lot of smoke and mirrors, to get by having them wrestle. I don’t have an actual match to review, so screw it.

My Second Take: There are heart attacks that have been more useful than this match.

Best Match of the Week:

5. AJ Styles beat Shinsuke Nakamura via disqualification: Smackdown Live

4. Team Hell No & The New Day beat The Bludgeon Brothers & SAnitY – Ten-Man Tag Team Match: Smackdown Live

3. Drew McIntyre (w/Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler) beat Seth Rollins: Monday Night RAW

2. Undisputed ERA (Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly) beat Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) to win the NXT Tag Team Championship

1. Cedric Alexander beat Hideo Itami to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com: After defeating Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali in a Triple Threat Match, Hideo Itami earned the opportunity to challenge Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. A major test for Alexander, Itami was looking to not only claim the title but to also demand respect from the Cruiserweight division and the WWE Universe.

The animosity between the Superstars was at a boiling point as they grappled early in the contest and countered one another in a stalemate. The champion finally took control of the contest by using his speed and agility, forcing Itami back into the corner. The Soul of WWE 205 Live taunted Itami before unleashing furious strikes that left his opponent reeling. However, just as Alexander built momentum, Itami answered with a brutal kick to the sternum. Now in control following another sequence of furious kicks, Itami methodically attacked, dominating the champion with the type of hard-hitting kicks that helped build his reputation. Demanding respect between strikes, Itami countered a burst of offense and grounded Alexander. Ever the resilient Superstar, Alexander fed off the energy of the WWE Universe and battled back, building momentum and regaining control with his speed, agility and power.

Forcing his challenger to the outside, Alexander flattened Itami with a jaw-dropping dive to the outside. Back in the ring, the battle raged on, and the two Superstars exchanged momentum before Itami nearly secured victory by driving Alexander into the ropes and taking him down with a flying clothesline. The Japanese Superstar took control with a resounding blow and nearly secured victory. Seemingly frustrated, Itami attempted to remove the cover of the bottom turnbuckle but was stopped by the official. Alexander once again took control, but Itami countered a high-flying move by knocking the champion off the top rope and crashing to the outside.

Mercilessly, Itami executed a running dropkick into the steel steps and rolled Alexander back into the ring. Incredibly, Alexander kicked out of a pinfall, but Itami was ready to strike. After unleashing a series of hard-hitting strikes, Itami charged forward, driving a knee into Alexander’s back. Looking to deliver a final crushing blow, Itami charged his nemesis, but the champion incredibly countered and quickly executed his patented Lumbar Check to retain his title with an incredible victory.

My Take: So far, this was the best WWE match of the week. These two guys really delivered a great match that got right to the point and gave the cruiserweight division a kick in the ass. Hopefully, this will be the first of many really strong matches for this title.

My Second Take: This was the best match of the week. If any-thing from Extreme Rules can deliver like this one did, then we’ll have a good night.?
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Thanks for reading and have a great week.

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