The Tournament Begins

Mixed Match Challenge 1-16-18

The Mixed Match Challenge is something I’ve been excited about. WWE has done a great job with the videos and promotion for this tournament, but it makes me wonder why they can’t treat their other shows with the same enthusiasm. The concept of a Facebook only show is very interesting, and I don’t think this will be a one-time deal. Having shows on different platforms is the future. There’s no way this company is going to evolve by just sticking to one television channel and their own network. This tournament will be a good gauge of interest in their product outside of the traditional mediums.

The first matchup of the tournament was Finn Balor and Sasha Banks vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya Neidhart. I was kinda bummed that Nakamura was paired with Natalya, but they won me over with the promo videos with Nakamura acting like a cat. The match itself was very enjoyable. There was some good action between Balor and Nakamura, and Nattie and Sasha. There was also some good comedy stuff in between. At one point, Sasha was about to dive to the outside to take out Nattie, but Nakamura caught her and put back on the ring apron. She then proceeded to jump over him and take out Nattie like originally planned. That’s exactly what this tournament should be, good action with a mix of comedy. In WWE, you usually get one or the other. They try not to mix them unless Heath Slater and Rhyno are in the ring, or it unintentionally happens when Braun Strowman is going on a rampage backstage.

The match goes back and forth until Sasha pinned Natalya with the Bank Statement. Crowd popped and everyone went home happy. Actually they didn’t go home yet because 205 Live took place immediately after the match. Nice way to start the tournament. I hope they can keep it up. Next week, Asuka and The Miz vs Carmella and Big E. Asuka and The Miz are my favorites to with the whole thing.

  • Match of the night: Duh!
  • Pop of the night: When Finn Balor Too Sweet’d Nakamura after a set of back and forth holds
  • No reaction of the night: None. Crowd was hot for this.

unnamed

Advertisements

New US Champion

Smackdown 01-17-18

I look forward to Smackdown every week. It’s kinda my show, but it’s getting hard to get through the shows lately. KO, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, and Shane usually are enough to make it an enjoyable show. This week, no KO and Sami in the ring, no furthering of the Shane-Daniel Bryan tension, and no AJ Styles in the ring. Instead, we got Jinder Mahal wrestling twice on a show that only had four matches.

For some reason, WWE changed the US Title finale from the Royal Rumble to Next week to tonight. Jinder Mahal beat a very game Xavier Woods in the first semi-final and Bobby Roode beat Mojo Rawley in the second semi-final. Both matches were decent, nothing special. I want to like Mojo Rawley, I really do, but if he were gone tomorrow, I probably wouldn’t notice.

The same six girls, but different from the same six girls on RAW, fought in a 6-man match that was won by the Riott Squad. This looked like a showcase for Liv Morgan. She looked the most impressive in this match. I hope they call up more women because it’s hard to get excited about these matchups week after week.

The show closes with Jinder Mahal vs Bobby Roode for the US Title. I’ll be honest, I thought Jinder was getting over her because WWE wanted to build him back up for possibly another WWE title run. Well, Bobby Roode beat Jinder to become the new US Champion. Where does Jinder go from here? Is WWE admitting that their experiment didn’t work? Is Jinder gonna start sliding down the mid-card? What’s gonna happen to the Bollywood Boys? Personally, I’d move the Bollywood Boys to 205 Live. They can work, and 205 Live needs new blood, so we don’t have to see the same people every week.

Some other stuff happened with AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, and Randy Orton, but it wasn’t that memorable. Most of the night was spent hyping the Mixed Match challenge. Overall, this episode was a miss.

  • Match of the night: Roode vs Mahal
  • Pop of the night: AJ Styles during an interview segment
  • No reaction of the night: Mojo Rawley (what’s the point?)

Roode

Braun Gets Fired

WWE RAW 01-15-2018

RAW was in San Antonio, but I didn’t go. Don’t ask!

The show starts off with Braun Strowman getting fired by Kurt Angle for creating an “unsafe working environment”. This is the same Kurt Angle who once sprayed milk all over the ring and had people slipping and falling all over the place. C’mon Kurt! Braun didn’t take this lightly. He proceeded to wreck everything in sight and threatened to continue until everyone got, “these hands”. How does WWE not have a “These Hands” t-shirt up on their shop by now. It’s basically a license to print money.

Angle Milk 2 (1)

So Strowman smashed Angle’s office, flipped a semi, put Kurt Hawkins through a catering table, and ate some chocolate cake, Angle re-hired him on the (phone) advice of Stephanie McMahon. Braun would get one last bit of destruction in before ending his reign of terror. He threw Michael Cole onto some security/local indy jabronis. Cole couldn’t continue and we still had over half the show still left to go. “Thank You Braun. Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap.” Tom Phillips replaced Cole for the rest of the night. Maybe Cole should take a break once in a while. I could get used to not hearing his annoying voice week after week.

I actually liked the show, even though I can’t remember half the stuff in the middle. I think the same six girls were in or around the ring for a match. I’m surprised Paige didn’t announce anything, but WWE said she wouldn’t be in the Rumble because of her “injury”. I wonder what They’re waiting for. Heels win, meh!

The same cruiserweights plus Goldust came out for a match. Face wins, meh!

Jason Jordan should be officially turning soon. He’s so annoying, the crowd hates him, and his face teammates can’t stand him. Just turn the guy already so we can build to the match with Kurt Angle.

The main event was great. Finn Balor with the Good Brothers at his side took on Seth Rollins with Jason Jordan in his corner. Corey Graves said there was a lot of “good brotherin'” going on at ringside. I like that he turned that into a verb. The match went back and forth with both guys hitting their moves and some nice kicks. The best part of this match was the return of the Seth Rollins Curb Stomp. It looked sick. He beat Balor with it and everyone went home happy.

curbstomp

The ending was a bit weird. Camera zooms in on Finn Balor with Anderson and Gallows in the ring. Balor looks legit dazed. The camera hung on too long because nothing went on. Is this part of an angle? I doubt WWE wants to do a concussion angle. Remember a few weeks ago when Itami shattered Brian Kendrick’s face with a GTS? Lots of podcasts and dirt sheets were saying that they were gonna ban the move. No way that move is banned and the Curb Stomp isn’t. Maybe the GTS will be saved for bigger moments.

Match of the night: Balor vs Rollins
Pop of the night: Anything Braun did
No reaction of the night: The Revival