22nd Jul2018

WWE Week In Review (7/16/18 – 7/22/18)

by Nathan Favel

wwe-week-header

Welcome to this edition WWE Week In Review! I’m Nathan Favel and we have news about NXT and the Mae Young Classic to cover, as well as a few others, so let’s do so.

Hulk Hogan Returns:

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.

My Take: Hulk Hogan has made his one millionth return to the WWE! Yah-hoo! Actually, this whole thing with Hogan and Vince is getting old. There was no way that Vince McMahon didn’t bring back Hulk Hogan and Hulk’s racist remark, while being secretly filmed having sex with, I believe, Bubba The Love Sponge’s wife, and at her husband’s request. I’m amazed that this whole thing has remained just about Hogan, allegedly, saying racist words about his daughter Brooke’s boyfriend, who was black. You’d think people would be angrier that Hogan was taking part in casual adultery/swinging, considering that image is just as opposite to the Hulkamania angle he had in the 1980s. Hogan has always been a source of controversy and there have been rumors of possible incestuous intentions for his daughter and a homosexual relationship with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake that was alleged by Hulk’s ex-wife Linda. I understand black people not trusting Hulk Hogan because of his racist remark, but I can’t say for sure that he actually said any of it because I’ve never seen/heard the video/audio in question, so I don’t even know if he actually said any-thing racist (he must of since he apologized for it). How did all of the black wrestlers know about this? Did they watch the video? Isn’t that some-thing of a crime, if not legally then at least morally? Remember, Hulk was secretly filmed, so we are criticizing a man who had a crime committed on him, even though he willing took part in adultery at the behest of the woman’s husband. I feel like I’m reviewing a David Mamet play/movie with this Hulk Hogan thing. Hulk will always probably have his racist feelings buried deep down inside, so I don’t believe he will ever change his mind about this. By the way, Vince McMahon has been accused of racism several times over the years and you don’t hear Titus O’Neil or The New Day belittling Vince McMahon the way they have Hulk Hogan. If Hulk Hogan had won the wrestling wars with Eric Bischoff, either in WCW or TNA, would these same black wrestlers still take umbrage with Hogan if he was their boss instead of their idol?

War Games Returns To NXT:

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

NXT TakeOver: WarGames returns this November when the black-and-yellow brand comes to the STAPLES Center on the eve of Survivor Series on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The NXT Universe witnessed the monumental return of the first WarGames Match in nearly 20 years last November. Initially made famous as one of the premier match types in the NWA and, later, WCW, WarGames is a battleground unlike any other, pitting teams against each other inside two rings surrounded by a steel cage. Last year’s match, fought among Undisputed ERA, Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong and SAnitY, set a new standard for brutality and gave Undisputed ERA bragging rights after they picked up the historic win.

My Take: I enjoyed the last War-Games that they did and I look forward to this one. I hope they do a more traditional version this year, with two large teams and, hopefully, the roof put back on it.

Mae Young Classic 2 Roster:

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Four new competitors have been revealed for this year’s Mae Young Classic, and they include some of the brightest prospects from the WWE Performance Center, as well as one of the PC’s newest signees.

Making her long-awaited WWE Network debut will be Tegan Nox (pictured above), from Welsh Valleys, South Wales. Nicknamed “The Girl with The Shiniest Wizard,” the 23-year-old Nox signed with WWE last summer after spending several years wowing audiences throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. Weeks after arriving at the WWE PC, however, Nox tore her ACL in practice, which put her on the shelf for 10 months and prevented her from competing in the inaugural Mae Young Classic. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Nox finally debuted at an NXT Live Event earlier this year and hasn’t looked back. Will the ever-exciting Nox — who is known for her daredevil maneuvers inside the ring, as well as her devastating Shining Wizard knee strike — make up for lost time in this year’s tournament?

As originally announced by Sporting News, new signee Deonna Purrazzo, who reported for training this week at the WWE PC, will also compete in this year’s 32-woman tournament. Going by the moniker of “Virtuosa” on the independent scene, the 24-year-old Purrazzo is widely hailed for her highly technical in-ring style. Making her pro debut in 2013, Purrazzo has wrestled throughout the United States, as well as in Japan, England, Puerto Rico and Canada, and she is known for finishing off opponents with her favorite hold, the Fujiwara Armbar.

Also vying for the 2018 the Mae Young Classic trophy is former collegiate volleyball player and NXT rookie Jessica Elaban. Standing 5-foot-10, the rangy Elaban has been pegged as an up-and-comer to watch since joining the WWE PC last May. An athlete her entire life, Elaban also excelled at soccer, basketball, track and dance before setting her sights on the squared circle. Having spent the past year learning under the WWE PC’s world-class coaching staff, Elaban looks to prove that she can hang with the world’s best female wrestlers, despite being a relative newcomer to the ring.

Returning to the Mae Young Classic is hard-hitting powerhouse Reina González, a second-generation wrestler from Texas. The 6-foot-tall daughter of Ricky “Desperado” González, Reina played basketball at Sam Houston State University before following in her father’s footsteps. She joined the WWE Performance Center in October 2016 and participated in the inaugural Mae Young Classic last summer, where she battled Nicole Savoy in the First Round. Though she came up short in that outing, González was praised by WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross for her rugged aggression.

Mercedes Martinez (pictured above), whose return to the Classic was first reported by Newsweek.com, is a 18-year ring veteran from Waterbury, Conn. Using an aggressive combination of strong-style and submission wrestling, Martinez defeated China’s Xia Li, Mexico’s Princesa Sugehit and America’s Abbey Laith in last year’s tournament before falling to her protégé, current NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, in the Semifinals. With an astonishing number of titles to her resume, The Latina Sensation will undoubtedly be one of the most decorated competitors in the mix this year.

Also returning to action is Mia Yim, a dangerous striker from Fontana, Calif., who represented South Korea in 2017’s tournament. After pinning Sarah Logan in last year’s opening round, Yim was ousted by Baszler in her next match. Yim suffered a leg injury in late 2017 that shelved her for months, but upon returning to action earlier this year, she adjusted her style to emphasize strikes and submissions, both of which she’s well-versed in thanks to her extensive background in taekwondo. Yim brings nearly a decade of wrestling experience to this year’s field.

Killer Kelly made her WWE Network debut in June at NXT’s events at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Known throughout the European scene for her punishing kicks and spine-bending suplexes, the Portuguese-born 26-year-old brings a heavy MMA influence to her mat game. Kelly — whose vicious ring name was inspired by Portuguese fans’ chants of “Killer Kelly” early in her career — holds the distinction of being the first women’s champion in the history of Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling promotion.

My Take: This year’s tournament is shaping up as a good one. I’ve heard the same rumor that many of you have heard, which is that they’re going to pull the trigger on giving the women their own show, which is for the best at this point, since Vince won’t put the women with the men.

Best Moment of the Week:

Randy Orton’s assaults on Jeff Hardy this week were refreshingly simple, yet they felt important. When Orton tried to rip Hardy’s ear off his head, I think it provided a gnarly image that you don’t see in the WWE any-more. Considering this latest chapter in the history between Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy, the fact that Shinsuke Nakamura is involved as well could mean that Summerslam could have a very cerebral story-line on its way.

Worst Moment of the Week:

There was no need to throw Kevin Owens off of the steel cage, not since we learned all that we have about concussions. Braun Strowman could have been given a strong win on Kevin by pinning him after a good match. Hell, that’s what they did with Braun and the Big Show and it worked out fine.

Worst Match of the Week:

Carmella versus Asuka was a decent match, but it just didn’t really go any-where. It’s a shame that Asuka is stuck beneath Carmella, but this is what we have to work with, for now.

Best Match of the Week:

5. Dolph Ziggler versus Bobby Roode: Monday Night RAW

4. Shinsuke Nakamura versus Jeff Hardy – United States Championship Match: Smackdown Live

3. Dolph Ziggler versus Seth Rollins – 30-Minute Iron-Man Match for the Inter-Continental Championship: WWE Extreme Rules

2. Kairi Sane versus Nikki Cross versus Candice LaRae – Triple Threat Match for an NXT Women’s Championship Match

1. AJ Styles versus Rusev – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

My Take: This was the smartest match all week and one that you could really savor. The women at number two almost took the number one spot, but this match had so many little details to enjoy that you can’t help but love it.
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Thanks for reading this week’s review and I look forward to seeing you, next time.

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