This Week in WWE: London Calling

Robert O’Neill: Raw is “live” from London as we’re just six days away from Money in the Bank! The Miz is out to open the show, as Roman Reigns is set to guest on MizTV.

Chris Novak: I believe the last time that Roman Reigns was on MizTV was the time that Roman punched him in the face. I know you’ve all seen the GIF before. I have to imagine that this time will be a lot different!

Robert O’Neill: They’re both feuding with Shane McMahon, so that’s exciting! Miz suggests they should do a buddy comedy, and Roman immediately shuts him down and says he sounds like “the old Miz” but Roman came to see “the new Miz” who stands up to Shane McMahon!

Chris Novak: Hey! He made a reference to the punch! Miz makes a rather passionate speech about how he’s earned everyone’s respect while Shane is the antithesis is that.

Robert O’Neill: And now Shane is here! He reminds both Miz and Roman that he’s their boss, and MizTV and over, and Elias and Bobby Lashley attack from behind! And Shane then sets up a tag match between the four.

Chris Novak: Effective first segment, to be honest. I enjoyed it, so hopefully we can keep this ball rolling here with this tag match.

Robert O’Neill: The tag match is quite good but Roman and Miz win by DQ when Shane attacks and with Roman incapacitated the three beat up on Miz but Roman flies over the top rope to take them out! Fun spot.Then Miz gets a chair and finishes the job on Lashley and Elias as Shane retreats.  

Chris Novak: Okay. So, I’m not really keen on non-finishes and whatnot. Thought that was unsavory but I get protecting these guys, even though Lashley doesn’t have a match on Sunday and… yeah. They could’ve just had him eat the pin. But whatever.

They play a really, really neat Seth Rollins-AJ Styles video package. That shouldn’t be surprising and whatnot, cause it’s a WWE video package, but this was really, really neat.

Robert O’Neill: Braun Strowman is interviewed by Charly Caruso and he’s excited for the Money in the Bank match, which he won last year. He hopes to win again. But Shane McMahon wants to see Braun in his office. Sami Zayn is already in the office explaining to Shane why what Braun did was awful. Sami suggests a falls count anywhere match with Braun’s Money in the Bank spot on the line, and Shane agrees!

Mojo Rawley has a match! He’s facing Apollo Crews. This might be fun.

Mojo injures Apollo’s knee early on and targets it for the rest of the short match.

Alexa Bliss lost her luggage and can’t compete tonight, but Nikki Cross is here and willing to listen to Alexa’s problems and be her friend and she’s taking Alexa’s place in the match. How fun!

Chris Novak: The two of them are a delight with each other. I hope this lasts more than one night! Nikki being in the match feels like them throwing a bone to her since it’s her homeland. I like it. It’ll be fun to see her in the match.

Contract signing: Next!

Robert O’Neill: Becky discusses how she’s going to retain both belts at Money In The Bank, but Charlotte and Lacey disagree! How novel. Charlotte wants to know why Becky is still complaining and taking shots despite having both belts, and also wants to know how it feels knowing she can’t live up to her reputation. Lacey adds that the WWE Universe deserves a better example as champion. Naturally, it turns into a brawl.

Chris Novak: And naturally, it ended with Becky being put through a table. Gotta say, that segment ruled hard. The brawl was fun and the heels coming out on top was a good visual. Probably not the one we’ll see on Sunday. But a good visual nonetheless.

Baron Corbin is facing Ricochet.

Robert O’Neill: Corbin got the victory, but it was a much better match than expected. They worked surprisingly well together. After the match, Corbin brought a ladder into the ring and showed what he could do Sunday at Money in the Bank, but Ricochet knocked him off before he got to the top!

Chris Novak: Really, really good match. Much better than I expected it to be, honestly. Nevertheless, good post-match segment too.

Cesaro implied backstage that Dominick wasn’t Rey Mysterio’s son. Cesaro, we already went over this 14 years ago! He’s Eddie Guerrero’s son! Anyways, maybe we’ll get Rey-Cesaro out of this? That could be really fun.

A really, really good Roman Reigns video package is playing now.

AJ Styles says some things about his methods over the past few weeks. Cut-and-dry pre-PPV title match interview.

Our fatal four-way women’s bout is next!

Robert O’Neill: Much like Corbin/Ricochet, that was much better than I expected. Dana Brooke did a crossbody off the top of the ladder! Nikki Cross got the victory with a spinning neckbreaker, and then Alexa Bliss (on commentary) came down to help Nikki bring the ladder into the ring and Alexa climbed it and posed with the briefcase.

Chris Novak: Really liked this! I really liked it a lot. You know, for a taped show, this is going very well.

Rey Mysterio-Cesaro is next. I foresee this match being great as well .

Robert O’Neill: It was! This has been an awesome show. Cesaro showed off his strength and did the swing and such, bu Mysterio ultimately got the win with the 619. The Raw mid-card is pretty good.

Firefly Funhouse was terrifying, as Bray Wyatt revealed his dark side. Just… take a look.

Time for the main event! Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman in a falls count anywhere match.

Chris Novak: That match kicked ass. Real chaotic fun. Sami defeated Braun, but not without the help of both Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre. Strowman looked like a damn beast even in the loss. So everything there was all pretty great. Corbin tossed Zayn back out there and Zayn was driven through the announce table for his troubles. Some ally he is.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: I hate the taped Raws. I usually don’t avoid spoilers and I ruin it for myself. This time, I avoided the spoilers and I loved this show. I thought the in-ring stuff was all better than I expected and all the loose ends on the Raw side are tied up going into Money in the Bank. A-

Chris Novak: I think the matches on the whole could’ve been better. But, the string of matches towards the end of the show were all dynamite. All the right buttons were pushed here and all the pieces went into motion for MITB. Can’t lie, really liked this show. B+ for me.

Smackdown Live logo.png

Chris Novak: Like last night, we’re “live” in London for SmackDown Live. And, like last night, we’re beginning with The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Reigns eventually invites The Miz out, and after a bit of banter, Shane, Elias, Daniel Bryan and Rowan all come out. This eventually leads to a 3-on-2 beatdown. This… is eventually equalized by the efforts of The Usos!

Robert O’Neill: That was fun! Great opening segment there. The Usos coming out made a lot of sense for obvious reasons.

Moving right along, it’s time for the fatal four-way! Randy Orton vs. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Finn Balor

But before we get going, Orton cuts a promo about how he’ll win the ladder match on Sunday. Andrade comes out and says he’s going to win the ladder match. Then Ali. Then Balor.

The match was pretty good! It’s about what you’d expect from the Smackdown multi-man matches at this point. Andrade pinned Balor for the win and climbed the ladder symbolically after, but Ricochet came out and leapt onto the ladder and knocked Ali off and left with the briefcase. That was fun!

Chris Novak: Real, real, real good match there. Lot of fun, per usual from these guys.

They’re showcasing a recap video of the Becky-Charlotte rivalry. I, for one, am here for this.

Robert O’Neill: That was amazing stuff. The video packages have always been good, but they’ve been on another level of late.

Chris Novak: We get another Aleister Black vignette. What all this is leading to, I am not sure. But I would certainly hazard to say he’s going to make an impact, one way or another, at Money in the Bank on Sunday.

4-on-3 handicap match time!

Robert O’Neill: Yup. Shane McMahon is teaming with Elias, Daniel Bryan, and Rowan against Roman Reigns and The Usos. IF Miz gets involved, his match with Shane on Sunday is cancelled.

Chris Novak: Got damn, that match was actually really, really good. Shane won via the Coast to Coast on one of the Usos. Probably the best thing that they could do in that situation, considering where everyone else was. Probably means Shane isn’t winning on Sunday. Which… that’s the right decision anyway. So, that cage match should be stupid good, and should have plenty of ridiculousness in it too.

Robert O’Neill: Also Sunday, The Usos are facing Bryan and Rowan for the tag titles on the preshow. That should be good again.

Paige is here with Kairi Sane and Asuka, and she says they’re now known as the Kabuki Warriors. Mandy and Sonya come out and say that’s a weird name, and we have a match.

Chris Novak: Onto the match… which was good! Mandy got pinned by Asuka by the end. That will surely get the people going as far as her chances for Sunday going, I’m sure. Nevertheless, good match. Did its job. Enjoyed it!

They ran something on Lars Sullivan.

Next, Kevin Owens is doing the Kevin Owens Show with Kofi Kingston.

Robert O’Neill: Kofi is in the ring by himself to start the show and Kevin appears on the screen and says it took Kofi 11 years to make an impact but Owens did it the first night when he attacked John Cena. Kofi goads Owens into coming out and then Sami Zayn attacks Kofi as he’s distracted by Owens! Xavier Woods comes out to even the odds but he gets beat down and Owens and Zayn bring Kofi into the ring and Owens goes for a cannonball but Kofi moves! Then Zayn goes for a helluva kick and Kofi moves again and hits Trouble in Paradise to stand tall to end the show.

Chris Novak: I kinda liked that segment… although if I had one critique, I think I would’ve had Owens get the upper hand going into PPV. I get Kingston hitting Zayn with TOP but, also, I feel like Owens could’ve just stood tall heading into Sunday. That’s all. Apart from that, solid main event segment.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: Just like Raw, I really enjoyed Smackdown. For a pair of taped shows, I couldn’t have asked for much more. They both did their job and got me excited for Money in the Bank. A- here as well.

Chris Novak: Enjoyable SmackDown. Three matches on this show, but all of them were REALLY good, to be honest. Give me a high B+ for this one. Best taped shows in a long time, honestly.