Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Enzo Amore & The ‘Casshole’
Enzo Amore opened the show with an impassioned promo about how Cass shockingly betrayed him. Twice. Saying the 7 footer should now wear a shirt saying ‘Casshole’. Hopefully that’ll prompt the crowd to chant ‘Caaaaasshole’ to help his new heel character out of the gate.
Enzo is such a terrific talker, excelling at emotion just as much as comedy. He got his first bit of offence in the feud, attacking Cass backstage ahead of their match this Sunday.
Sasha Banks & Bayley beat Nia Jax & Alexa Bliss
WWE booked a babyface in the disadvantaged underdog role for a change! After Nia Jax kneed Bayley in the face early on – poor Bayley – Sasha Banks found herself in a handicap match. The Boss overcame the odds, making Alexa Bliss tap ahead of their Great Balls of Fire championship match.
Bliss later claimed tapping was to strategically lure Banks into a false sense of security. Which is a neat summary of how WWE often book their go-home shows.
Cedric Alexander beat Noam Dar
The Cedric Alexander, Noam Dar and Alicia Fox feud is still happening.
Miz TV Talks Ball S***
This was a rather meta Miz TV segment, with Miz first burying the Ball family for their trainwreck segment last week – undoubtedly verbalising Vince McMahon’s personal outrage – and also by calling Dean Ambrose a failure since the Shield, an oddly damaging piece of criticism that seemingly comes from a higher-up’s backstage agenda.
Kurt Angle booked Ambrose vs Miz for the 27th time this Sunday, but I would’ve much preferred a three-way involving Heath Slater.
Miz beat Heath Slater
Instead we got Miz defending his title against Slater right away, with the A-Lister still dressed in his Miz TV segment’s white suite – which quickly split, exposing his Casshole.
The two had a surprisingly fun match, getting the crowd into Heath’s babyface story at the end. A Miztourage distraction cost him a win, though, and the goons beat down Heath, Rhyno and Ambrose heading into the pay-per-view.
The Shattered Truth Premiere
Goldust premiered his new movie, The Shattered Truth, a short film about one of the weakest injury spots in recent history. Unsurprisingly, considering how rubbish the ring post angle looked last week, R-Truth appeared fine behind him, and the two scuffled to a disinterested crowd.
Seth Rollins beat Curt Hawkins
Seth Rollins squashed Curt Hawkins in five seconds, still trying to get his Kingslayer finisher over. You know what else he’s trying to get over? His very lacklustre feud with Bray Wyatt.
Brock Lesnar/Samoa Joe Interview
Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar did the strangest thing in their go-home angle – a promo segment where both men interrupted and spoke over each other; you know, as if they were having an actual heated argument or something. Not the usual WWE promo of I talk for several minutes, now you talk for several minutes.
This felt real, and it got even better when Joe went on a rampage trying to find Brock backstage, almost adopting a fighting babyface stance, while Lesnar played the cocky heel – an interesting contrast to how both men have been positioned in the build so far.
Neville beat Mustafa Ali
Speaking of real, Neville and Mustafa Ali had a very good cruiserweight match, built around Ali spiking Neville into the matt with a DDT. The King of the Cruiserweights suddenly got even more aggressive than usual, eventually making Ali tap in the Rings of Saturn. This was bloody excellent.
Finn Balor beat Cesaro
After their confrontation in last week’s six-man tag, Kurt put Finn Balor against Cesaro. And guess what? They had a cracking match. The closing moments were really hot, too, where Elias Samson, Sheamus, and Matt & Jeff Hardy all got involved.
Braun Strowman beats Apollo Crews
Braun Strowman wants competition before Great Balls of Fire, and his first match since going out with injury. But nobody wants to face him. Enter up-and-coming sports entertainment management sensation Titus Worldwide.
O’Neil’s main piece of advice to Apollo before the match was ‘Crews don’t lose’ – a tremendous strategy which unfortunately didn’t hold up. Braun destroyed Crews, kicking him across the ring mid-way through an Apollo moonsault, giving him three consecutive slams, and at one point, licking his head. Presumably afraid Strowman was about to eat Apollo, Titus stepped in, but got a slam for his efforts.
But when Braun went to put Apollo in the ambulance, Roman Reigns – thought to be off the show with injury – was laying in wait. Reigns speared Strowman off the stage through a table to close the show.
So that was this week’s Raw in about four minutes. Here’s the usual ratings recap, from top to bottom – In Awe, Cor, AVRAWGE, Poor and Bore.
This was one of the best go-home shows WWE have put on in months, with all the feuds progressing and a few tantalising cliffhangers. They made me want to watch Great Balls of Fire this Sunday, which is what a go-home show should do. The only exception is Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt, which I really don’t have any interest in.
This week’s Raw is Cor.
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